Villanelle Vows

All that is in this delightful garden grows,
Should happy be, and have immortal bliss.

      Edmund Spenser, Faerie Queene, st. 41

Have immortal bliss.
Bride and Groom: “Dost thou?”
And now you may kiss.

We to bear witness
two to make a vow.
Have immortal bliss.

Nothing here amiss
if each day lived now.
And now you may kiss.

One of you remiss ?
Forgive and allow.
Have immortal bliss.

Then in all fairness
to bend like a bough.
And now you may kiss.

Leave today with this:
Every day endow.
Have immortal bliss.
And now you may kiss.


How They Met

It started by a garden wall.
It was May Day as I recall.
He tripped and took a dreadful fall.
She wrapped his ankle in her shawl.
He asked might he give her a call.
A simple twist of fate, this sprawl.


Cinquain* in the Rain

“Crapsey,” I cursed.
Just a sprinkle at first.
Now a downpour – picnic submersed.


*The 5-line 2-4-6-8-2 cinquain was invented by Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914)

Neal Whitman  splits his time between Western and Japanese form poetry. He writes to be read – north of 500 poems have been published. His 2012 poetry awards include White Buffalo Native American Poet Laureate; third place, Artists Embassy International Dance Festival; third best autumn haiku, Diogen Art Magazine, Serbia; Ito En Haiku Grand Prix semi-finalist, Japan; and honorable mention, Pancakes in Heaven poetry contest. Neal and his wife, Elaine, live in Pacific Grove, California, and, in nearby Carmel, are docents at Robinson Jeffers Tor House.

These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.

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3 Responses

  1. waldo47

    Your gracious mastery of the villanelle’s discipline is unique. I aspire to such artistry.

  2. neal Whitman

    Waldo47, I see only today that you posted a comment. Writing poetry is a private labor, so when a public comment comes along as gracious as yours, I feel gratitude. Thank you.
    Amicus poeticae,


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