a villanelle

Be still now and let them go.
Their trials and losses fade away.
Briefly, they were yours to sow.

Children stumble, cry, and grow.
They are young and so they stray.
Be still now and let them go.

Work the ground and sweat and hoe;
Plant them for some distant day.
Briefly, they were yours to sow.

Now there’s time to watch their slow
Climb sunward though they sway.
Be still now and let them go.

Our hopes, sky high sometimes, I know.
They don’t care, they laugh and play.
Briefly, they were yours to sow.

Soon enough, they’ll gouge a row,
Toiling, wish for greener days.
Be still now and let them go.
Briefly, they were yours to sow.


Mickey Kulp is a writer and father whose creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry have appeared in numerous consumer magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and three books of poetry.  He is a member of the Gwinnett County Writers Guild and founding member of the Snellville Writers Group. In 2018, he created a quarterly reading series to benefit the local food co-op. He lives with his wife and a dozen larcenous squirrels in Atlanta, GA.  


Views expressed by individual poets and writers on this website and by commenters do not represent the views of the entire Society. The comments section on regular posts is meant to be a place for civil and fruitful discussion. Pseudonyms are discouraged. The individual poet or writer featured in a post has the ability to remove any or all comments by emailing submissions@ classicalpoets.org with the details and under the subject title “Remove Comment.”

7 Responses

  1. David Gosselin

    Quite nice sir.

    I like the voice. Simple, humble, but causes one to think at the same time.

    It reminded me of a poem written by a friend, The Flight of the Ibis. It begins:

    In the golden light of the late Spring evening,
    A boy is dreaming on the backyard swing,
    Swinging and dreaming, as over the treetops
    And rooftops his infinite spirit is flying.
    Over the city, the church bell is ringing
    A song that is old as his dreaming soul,
    Reaching out into the gathering twilight.



  2. James Sale

    What a beautiful poem: pensive, melancholic and with a slow inevitability it builds and builds. I like this very much; a fine poem for these pages.

  3. Amy Foreman

    I like the refrains of this villanelle, Mr. Kulp: “Be still now and let them go” and “Briefly, they were yours to sow.” Thank you for sharing this poem.

  4. Mark Stone

    Mickey, Hello. It’s a beautiful poem. I like it very much. My wife was also moved by the poem. She asked me to tell you that it made her cry.

  5. Jeff Nicholson

    Mr. Kulp, thank you for this fine poem. As a father whose youngest of five graduated from high school just last spring, I am stirred by your sentiments on the theme of letting them go. The imagery of sowing is significant. Under typical circumstances, the years of our relationships with our children as adults far exceeds the brief years of their rearing. We reap what is sown. May more sow wisely in the time they have.

  6. David Hollywood

    What a lovely quiet and lamenting poem with wonderful strands of reflective imagery. Thank you.

  7. Dave Whippman

    Interesting how such a variety of thought can fit into what seems a quite limiting formula as the villanelle. This was skilfully written.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.