Planets, Gods and Weekdays

Alarms are snoozed, and Monday’s born.
A few more snores as dreams are shorn,
And sleep is corked by clanging horn;
__The moon’s bereft,
Her silver day now dimmed and worn
__By weekly theft.

A remnant fire of Mars appears,
Now Tuesday steers earth’s working gears.
Electric hums replacing spears
__Of war-drunk men;
Impatience pushing pioneers
__To win again.

Emails are tapped with flying speeds,
Winged Mercury is Wednesday’s seeds.
Caduceus in hand, he leads
__The letters sent
From keyboard texts and Twitter feeds
__That blow and vent.

With Jupiter the giant next,
It’s Thursday with a hammer flexed.
Expanding buildings unperplexed
__To raze the small,
While thunder booms when Thor is vexed
__Inside his hall.

But Friday has a loving hold,
In arms that Venus warms from cold.
A sister planet shining gold,
__She sweetens heads
To evening walks and sheets unrolled
__On feather beds.

Abundant cupboards, fridges stocked,
It’s Saturday, and roads are blocked
With shoppers spending wages clocked,
__And Saturn grins
On party feasts while floors are rocked
__By dancing spins.

The hours have ticked to sunny ends,
And Sunday’s rest, to drift with friends,
As bells are rung, a hymn ascends,
__And folk are free;
Until the working week descends,
__There’s time for tea.



Isabella Bethe is a British musician and piano teacher living in London. 

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11 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    I love the way you’ve woven the three themes together! And the form you’ve used is musically lovely.

  2. Paddy Raghunathan

    Gentle, simple, and reads like a breath of fresh air.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    Wow! This is really fantastically good stuff. The perfect rhyme scheme, the small dimeter sub-lines, the easy mix of contemporary details with a solid etymological link to both the classical and Germanic roots of the names of the week… there is so much achievement here that it dazzles. The connection of Mercury and his caduceus with e-mails and Twitter — it’s both striking and unexpected, and every stanza has that same force.

  4. Joshua C. Frank

    I love the form and the interplay between the three themes. I see this is your first poem published here; welcome! I look forward to reading more of your work.

    Joseph Salemi is a professor of the humanities at a major university, so if he likes it that much, that’s high praise.

  5. Paul Freeman

    Great stuff, Isabella, and since I’m laid low with the lurgy, that’ll be all for now.

    I look forward to hearing more from you.

  6. Norma Pain

    Beautiful. I read it a few times and got into the lovely swing of it. Thank you Isabella.

  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Isabella, this is truly beautiful for its admirably crafted rhyme, rhythm, and rich content. Its wonder has my toes tapping and my face smiling… it’s a poem I’ll be returning to regularly… thank you!

  8. C.B. Anderson

    The form you’ve created, Isabella, is so striking that you should give it a name. And the content you have invested in it is really really great. I often think about the days of the week, why they have the names they have, and how come we no longer experience the shades of difference they should have from one another. But maybe, in a way, we do acknowledge some of these differences. A long time ago a teacher told my class that work-related accidents were most likely to occur on Wednesdays, or Mittwoch, midweek in German. And we have “Thank God it’s Friday.”

  9. Mary Gardner

    Isabella, your poem is like piano music, relaxing. Like waves on the beach, the penultimate line of each stanza holds the reader momentarily before gently releasing, with the last line bringing closure. I hope you will share more of your poetry with us.

  10. Alan

    A nice poem combining old and new. It was written in Burns stanzas. Robert Burns popularized this type of stanza, which I once used for one of my own poems. It is not an easy stanza to use.

  11. Sally Cook

    One swings through the week in such an easy, cosmic pattern, and comes out ready for another go-round. Accomplished work !


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