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Skimming the Djinn

November 2, 2012

Like falcons over sculpted crescent dunes
we scan the graded silica, discern
the shifting ripples of a sleeping djinn.

His wind-blown stories whirled in reddish runes
dispersing incantation, circling turns
like falcons over sculpted crescent dunes;

inscribed in early mists and smoky spin,
an ancient lore, that superstitious burn –
the shifting ripples of a sleeping djinn.

Above the tyre-tracked scribble (looping tunes
of frantic, revving pleasure) slow we learn,
like falcons over sculpted crescent dunes,

the arc of silence stretching under wing.
Re-sifting patterns, whisperings, we yearn
the shifting ripples of a sleeping djinn.

Close red-ridged sinuosity we skim
in easy, wind-glide channels – grace returns,
like falcons over sculpted crescent dunes
and shifting ripples of a sleeping djinn.


Up for another Tuesday night round the world poetry read that is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub

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  1. oh i love it….great form…the repetition works really well..marvelous pic to go with it too…how cool of a ride would that be? the wind blown stories…and sleeping djinn….def fav parts…

    hey drop me an email at btm2007(at)yahoo
    got a question for you…

    • Cheers brian.. know villanelles are not your own preferred form, so appreciate your comments. Lovely pic eh?

  2. Exquisite, perfectly crafted, and simply a joy to read!

    • That’ll do me! Thanks, Anna…. I did take a few liberties with the rhyme scheme and hope they pay off.

  3. An international major with a minor in Turkish, the Djinn, his smoky spin and ancient lore, spoke to me.

  4. Laurie Kolp permalink

    This is beautiful, Becky… and serene.

  5. I would not want to wake a mean djinn but a nice one with my wishes would be nice haha great verse and love the pic, be a fun ride indeed.

  6. othermary permalink

    You are so good at this Becky, you almost make it look easy. Love the flow if this.

    • It’s all too easy to disappear in a soiralling black hole with this form I find, so happy that it’s working for you. I really enjoyed what you did with yours – a truly fresh approach.

  7. Enjambment mastered, simply.

  8. can hear the whispers of those wind blown stories…

  9. jcosmonewbery permalink

    Good to see the Villanelle is alive and well and in good hands!

  10. Lovely piece, Becky. I was thinking of you earlier tonight when my crewmate Tom said he would be flying home to Wales in a few weeks by way of Dubai. πŸ™‚

  11. Thanks, everyone, all your comments mean a lot.

  12. Hmmm, can’t figure out if you are describing an actual balloon trip over desert dunes.
    Did you take this photo and write about your experience? (the photo is not credited)
    Did you ride in the revving dune buggies?
    Or were you flying — because you write of wings?
    Does Dubai have a very rich and very poor class? Are the dune riders and girls on beaches with porches the norm, or just the playgrounds you hang around at?
    Sorry, so many questions.

    • The photo was taken by a friend.. the yellow balloon is my husband’s.. and yes, I have been ballooning. Thanks for getting so involved… The poem is less about an actual trip but draws on the experience of balloon flight as a way of exploring that perspective and the sensations that are part of the particular qualities of this form of flight. Thanks!

  13. hedgewitch permalink

    Sorry to be so late, becky but last night was a bit long and crazy. So very glad I made it by, because this has to be one of my favorite villanelles ever–your use of meter is immaculate, and it really feeds the form, letting it take the words on that same sort of free but controlled flight as your balloons in the picture. ‘sinuosity’ is a wonderful example of how your vocabulary helps reinforce the images, and the refrain line, so magical, so evocative of the mystery of the Arabian Nights image of that region, though the poem itself is clean and modern. Anyway, one of my favorites of yours ever…but I’m repeating myself. ;_)

    • And I am so relieved by the election result…

      Jo, thank you – I so appreciate your response. I was a little unconvinced by the final version and ‘clean and modern’ relieves those anxieties. πŸ™‚ and πŸ™‚

  14. see…now you made me wanna be a falcon and fly over that magical landscape…love that villanelle becky

  15. Pure pleasure on the tongue: ironically, it flows so well, liquid . . . I felt like John Mills downing that lager . . . Poetry be my beer! πŸ˜€ so good to read you in form and executed to this standard . Hedges comment about the poem being clean and modern – YES! Cheers Becky

    • I knew I should be working in advertising… now which beer was it? πŸ™‚ Cheers yourself, arron. And looking forward to your villanelle one of these days…. πŸ˜€

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