Category Archives: Other Forms

Poem: Identifying with the Prey

Identifying with the Prey

I smell the breeze
of the zephyr winds
carrying flowers’ jewels.

I smell the dew
of the early sun
delighting in its cool.

I see the blue
of the open sky
and am urged to run wild.

I see the green
of the forest glen
drawn to shadows’ beguile.

I hear the sound
of the hunting horn
and feel the fox’s fear.

I hear the pound
of the horses’ hooves
as they close and draw near.

I feel the cold
of the silver steel
striking deeply within.

I feel the warmth
of the flowing blood
bringing life to an end.



Lady Prudence the Curious

Started who knows when, but finally finished September 22, 2011; Published December 2011, Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone


A&S Competitions & Other Uses

2011 October 29 – Boar’s Hunt – Canton of Charlesbury Crossing; Barony of Sacred Stone – Entered in written poetry competition. Themed for “The Hunt” – Won (only 2 entrants)

Score and comments from competition: “Enjoyable read, thank you. Very creative perspective of the hunt theme. Would love to see some documentation next time (personal note: documentation not required for competition) DO continue to enter. – Score documentation (0), complexity (3), workmanship (3), Aesthetics (3), Authenticity (3), Creativity (3), SPECIAL: Theme (5 – max possible) – total score 18 out of 35.

The Architecture of a Sonnet

The Architecture of a Sonnet

Both Italian Sonnets, also called Petrarchan Sonnets, and English Sonnets, commonly referred to as Shakespearean Sonnets, are fourteen lines of iambic pentameter, though their rhyme scheme differs due to the simplicity of finding rhymes in Italian verses the difficulty of finding rhymes in English.

Pentameter refers to the fact that there are 10 (pent) syllables (meter) per line.  Iambic describes the emphasis of the syllables to be alternating soft then hard.  A classic example of iambic pentameter is:

“But soft, what light through yonder window breaks”.

It would be pronounced:

“but SOFT what LIGHT through YONder WINdow BREAKS”.
1 2 3 4 5 6     7 8     9 10

Italian Sonnets are split into two portions: an octave rhymed abbaabba and a sestet usually rhymed cdecde, though cdcdee is also popular.  English Sonnets have a pattern of abab cdcd eded gg.  Because of the differences in patterns, the two forms of a sonnet create different ways the subject of the poem is developed, but in either case the theme was almost exclusively love, whether that love be sacred or profane.

Italian Sonnets proceed more smoothly than the English version with the opening octave introducing the subject and setting the scene while the sestet presents the conclusion, often expressing the poet’s feelings on the subject.  The natural pause between the two parts lends itself well to philosophic thought where two closely related ideas can be presented.  Normally the octave builds to a climax and the sestet diminishes to a quiet close.

With English Sonnets, the three quatrains each advance a different aspect of the same subject with the finishing couplet summing up the poem.  The slight pause at the end of each quatrain prevents the flowing rise and fall of the Italian Sonnet.

While solitary sonnets can be found, sequences and cycles of sonnets were often developed around a central theme and published as a unit.

The romance of sonnets have been around since the thirteenth century with the structure of the fourteen line iambic pentameter poem virtually unchanged except for a few minor adjustments due to language differences.   While the form seems very restrictive, it has produced as many different shades and expressions of feeling as the love it so often describes.



Sheehan, Terry.  “Italian (Petrarchan) Sonnets” (p. 45), “English (Shakespearean) Sonnets” (p. 46).  The Complete Anachronist #67:  Ars Poetica Societatias.  The Society for Creative Anachronism: California, 1993.

Brittain, Robert.  “Sonnets” (Volume 21 p. 213).  Collier’s Encyclopedia.  The Crowell-Collier Publishing Company: USA, 1965.

Poem: Or we shall diminish

Or we shall diminish

Come nigh to me, my lord
While darkness does enfold
and hide our acts from prying eyes.
Nought shall know who thou art
my precious love.

Guard me openly, gallant man
With all love and caring in thee
when daylight shines on kin and king.
Forsake not your knightly vows
nor friendships dear.

But at night, I pray thee
Whilst none know and are harmed
let my gardens soothe thee.
Our love cannot be ignored
or we shall diminish.



Lady Prudence the Curious


Written January 1990; Published March 1990 Ironmonger, Barony of Iron Bog; Published in Emerald Quill 2006, Shire of Emerald Keep



Poem: Chase the Moon

Chase the Moon

“Chase the Moon”
The dark clouds cry
With patchwork precision
They hunt night’s single eye
Dancing in and out of vision
‘gainst the starless sky.
Midnight clouds
In darkness quiet lie
Waiting to jump
Leap on their bright prey
The reflective cousin of day.



Lady Prudence the Curious

Written April 8, 1998; Published in the May 1998 Ironmonger.


Poem: For Scribes To Give Birth

For Scribes To Give Birth

Take crude animal skins and soak in lye,
Then scrape the hair and sand the leather smooth.
Gently part it with a sharp knife lengthwise.
Each piece of parchment by maker approve.

Gemstones should be crushed with stone harsh and cruel.
An alchemist’s dream, alone dust remains.
Carbon black need be gathered; wax the fuel.
The ink to rival night is drawn from flame.

Next cut goose feathers at precise angles;
Pick horse-haired brushes for their perfect points.
Matchless ingredients do assemble,
And prayerfully with love of letters join.

A tome of beauty full of divine worth,
From pen and skill of hands the scribes give birth.



Lady Prudence the Curious

Written February 9, 1999; Published in the March 1999 Ironmonger


 A&S Competitions & Other Uses

Entered in Several A&S competitions and displays. Never won. For documentation, usually combined with the article: The Architecture of a Sonnet.


Poem: Valhalla Calls Come

Valhalla Calls Come

Valhalla calls “Come,
To grounds red and green”
Fields weep warriors
From mist to be seen

Weapons gleam catch light
Of early morning sun
Newly awoke
With dark night done

Cool air fogs
Congeals to hard fighter forms
Dewy maidens blossom
From flowers of morn

Yesterday’s echoes
Sound steel on steel
Drift through earthborn clouds
‘Fore weapons are wield

Come for honor, truth and death
Fall upon fields glorious.

Death walks not
On fields green and red
Hel has no strength
None fall dead

Crash and clash carry
To Odin maidens and Sif
Teasing Thor’s ears
Crossing Heimdall’s rift

Valkyries ride
On pegasi great
Flying the fantasy
Reaping warriors of rate

Bold bodies bloodied
Chosen, all win
Valhalla true home
Gather gods and Mithgard men

Come god, swordarm and child
Challenge friends hostile.

Sun weans trek
To noon high house
Burning warriors with heat
Dew and defender are roust

Cool night tentacles creep
Broad blanket the land
Warrior and maiden
Rise once again

Make merry with mead
Fitting feast display
Bard tongue twist tales
Hear music men play

Warrior wench dance
Flow freely the brew
Beds beg bodies
But remain unused

Come singer, brewer and dame
Revel in warrior fame.

Lightening sky siren
Sings fighters’ wakeup call
Mead mugs made orphan
To armor enthrall

Morning mist rises
From fields of fate
Birthing broad warriors
Of darktime dew create

Fight must quick
‘Fore burning of heat
Daring death dueling
Summer sun defeats

Battlemaids, brawlers
Combatants and kings
Valhalla calls “Come,
To grounds red and green

Come family, friend and foe
Pennsic – BEHOLD!



Lady Prudence the Curious

Written August 1995; Submitted to Pennsic Newsletter Aug 1996


 A&S Competitions & Other Uses

I’ve entered it in many competitions and preformed it at many bardic gatherings. Valhalla Calls Come is one of my favorite works which I created.


Background to the Poem

“Valhalla Calls Come” is a poem written in the Norse tradition.  It is meant to be read outloud where the rhythm and rhyme come alive.  The Norse epic poems also emphasized consonant sounds with entire lines where each word started with the same consonant.  Each word must be said distinctly, with each letter of the word pronounced (unlike normal South Jersey speech which has “wader” for water).

This poem was written after an epic battle in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) which was named Pennsic.  It took an entire week to play/fight it out.  Unfortunately, Pennsic also took place during the Summer Heat Wave of 1995 in the month of August and every day, around noon, the heat index rose about 120.  People in metal armor are not able to do rousing fights when imitating tea kettles.  While the SCA recreated the battle, we would rise really early each day with the dew and be beaten off the field by the heat by early afternoon.  At nighttime we celebrated in the encampments the victories of the day (which made the morning seem even earlier).  Did I mention we were camping and had no access to running water or air conditioning for the entire week?  But at the end of the week, the battle was won and the survivors of the heat deserved an Epic Poem.

Valhalla is a place in Norse myth where warriors fight each day, die, but rise again to party at night with the very people they fought with each day.  And in the morning they fight again.  So people are both friend and foe, just like in the SCA where each morning a warrior decides which side to be loyal to and fight for.  This is why I choose the Norse tradition to write the poem.  I hope you enjoy it.

Poem: The Pelican

The Pelican

Pelican is a lonely bird
Flocking not but in solitary
Challenged by the wild cry of order
To take chaos to wife for others joy

Flying in the crags of Kitchen
This noble bird hunts
Hidden in offices dear and deadly
Silent support for the frame of dreams

Autocrat, one in charge
Self on line with selflessness
Event, happening others notice
Controlled as raging river by one

Hunted by cruelty
Menace from backstabbing cowards and fools
Extinction held off only by love
Recognized alone

Feeding young
The children of the dream
With blood from breast
A heart often stabbed but open yet

Cry with the Pelican
Wild call of order
A King’s bird
Loyal in love and dreams.



Lady Prudence the Curious


Written December 1995; Sent in to Ironmonger 1996 (do not know if published); Published September 2011 Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone


 A&S Competitions & Other Uses

2011 August – Sacred Stone/Aire Faucon – Poetry competition at The Flight of the Falcon – did not win

2011 August – Master Achbar asked for an e-mail and then he posted it to his facebook page for the Pelican area. A Pelican from another kingdom contacted me about performing the poem elsewhere.

2011 August – Performed at Performers Revel South in Salesbury Glen, Sacred Stone, Atlantia

Poem: My Beloved’s Voice

My Beloved’s Voice

Merry, I hear my beloved’s voice
Thus my heart skips joyfully within
‘tis unto hearing the spring birdsong
And likewise knowing the winter’s snow melting
Will uncover meadows of morning flowers.

Melodious his talking enthralls me
I thirst to listen as each word drops
‘tis unto wanting cool, clean water
In an afternoon sweltering heat
And finding a lively rock-strewed brook.

List I do, whilst tones part from his lips
Rumbling their warmth unto my soul
Wouldst I could curl into the sound
As I would by the hearth on an autumn’s eve
Delighting in the dancing flames of the fire.

I wish my dear could speak forever
But moreover, I wish he may stop
Then he could leave his well-wishers
And enter the room where I await, so that
I may welcome him after his long absence.


By Lady Prudence the Curious

Written and Saved January 7, 2004; Published Summer 2004 Ironmonger, Barony of Iron Bog

Structured Poetry Note – Count of syllables per line per stanza is 9-9-9-11-11

Poem: Knightly Oath

Knightly Oath

My liege lord, I am your man
to do your will and protect your land.
On Royal Sword and Heavenly Word, both
I freely give this Knightly Oath.

By my gold chain of state
I will timely advise and not hesitate.
By the white belt about my waist
I swear to be pure, not base.
By the spurs upon my feet
I will propagate the arts in my keep.

By the crown upon your brow
I will govern the serfs under my plow.
By the throne where you sit
I will implement your just edicts.
By the sword which you hold
I will fight for Kingdom ’til I grow old.

By my honor and my life,
by my family, children, and wife,
by my Fathers, I do swear
to defend all for which we care.

This I say before God and man
by this Oath I shall stand
from now until time does end.



Lady Prudence the Curious

Written pre-August 1992; Published August 1992 Ironmonger, Barony of Iron Bog