Lai Nouveau: River Affric

view of the River Affric near Dog Falls, with moss growing on a branch in the shape of a deer's head and neck

history lives near
in waters this clear
old songs
when ravens nest here
pine martens and deer
belong
fresh bluebells appear
this time every year

wild salmon who steer
the gorges this sheer
are strong
in silence we hear
our hearts leap and cheer
along
in waters this clear
history lives near

© Xenia Tran

close up shot of a raven preening on a branch, partly obscured by smaller branches
a river tumbling over boulders and rock with small waterfalls

Grace at dVerse Poets invites us to write a Lai or a Lai Nouveau and I have opted for the Lai Nouveau at my first attempt.

A Lai is a French poetry form consisting of a five-syllable couplet followed by a two-syllable line. The number of lines in each stanza is fixed at nine and the couplets must rhyme with each other, as must the two-syllable lines. The number of stanzas is not fixed and each stanza has its own rhyme pattern. The stanza’s rhyme pattern is: a a b a a b a a b.

A Lai Nouveau is considered to be slightly more challenging than the Lai. It has an eight-line stanza and is similar in idea to the Villanelle. In the Lai Nouveau the first two lines are the refrain and are used as the last lines of the subsequent verses with the last verse including the refrain lines in reverse order. The stanza rhyme patterns are: A1 A2 b a a b a a and a a b a a b A2 A1.

You can read my second contribution Seashore Anew on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

The Lai and Lai Nouveau prompt stays open for another three weeks.

With love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr

Settings: f/4 – 1/200 s – ISO 160, f/6.5 – 1/160 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200.

dVerse Poets Poetry Form: Lai and Lai Nouveau

Your Daily Word Prompt: Negotiation

Villanelle: Worth Waiting For

a male swan tidying the nest with trees in the background

here by the river, our world seems beautiful
a swan in spring feathers tidies the nest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan shuffles away from the nest with trees in the background

big webbed feet are beginning to shuffle
the swan feels happy the nest looks its best
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

a male swan shuffles down a grassy crest, looking at the ground and ahead

with a breeze from the east, still fairly cool
the swan walks through grass, feet pointing west
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan shuffles down a grassy crest, looking at the ground and ahead

his neck stretched out, feathers unruffled
reflected in water, the swan knows his quest
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

a male swan approaching the edge of the riverbank and looking at the water below

moments like these feel deeply spiritual
he lands in the river assured, on his chest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

a male swan landing in the water, chest first, from a grassy island

loving, devoted and dutiful
the swan and his mate are equally blessed
here by the river, our world seems beautiful
as time brings us growth, birth and renewal

a male swan swimming in the river past a grassy island

This is my third contribution to the Villanelle prompt at dVerse Poets. You can read A Voice that Knows and Where Seasons Meet on our sister blog Whippet Wisdom.

A Villanelle is a French verse form consisting of five three-line stanzas and a final quatrain, with the first and third lines of the first stanza repeating alternately in the following stanzas. These two refrain lines form the final couplet in the quatrain (the Poetry Foundation)

Below is the complete version of the villanelle:

here by the river, our world seems beautiful
a swan in spring feathers tidies the nest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

big webbed feet are beginning to shuffle
the swan feels happy the nest looks its best
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

with a breeze from the east, still fairly cool
the swan walks through grass, feet pointing west
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

his neck stretched out, feathers unruffled
reflected in water, the swan knows his quest
here by the river, our world seems beautiful

moments like these feel deeply spiritual
he lands in the river assured, on his chest
it’s time for growth, birth and renewal

loving, devoted and dutiful
the swan and his mate are equally blessed
here by the river, our world seems beautiful
as time brings us growth, birth and renewal

© Xenia Tran

The prompt at dVerse remains open if you want to participate and there are now more than seventy contributions for you to enjoy.

Wishing you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week,

with love from Xenia xxx

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Settings: f/5.6 – 1/500 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/640 s – ISO 200, f/5.6 – 1/800 s – ISO 200 and f/5.6 – 1/400 s – ISO 200.

dVerse Poets Forms for All: The Villanelle

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Wait

Your Daily Prompt: Participate

Fishertown Rubaiyat

 

view through a snow covered lane in the Fishertown

 

The smaller lanes still pure with snow
where lanterns cast their final glow
the moon will blink before she sleeps
the blue sky’s here to steal her show.

The gritter weaves through narrow streets
winter’s flown here now and greets
the wood smoke curling into day
through chimney pots, their smell so sweet.

The fisher folk who used to stay
in homes along the coast and bay
would know how strong the wind can blow
the way life changes, when we play.

© Xenia Tran

 

view through a narrow snow covered street in the Fishertown

 

view down a snow covered street in the Fishertows at day break

Frank at dVerse Poets invites us to write a Rubaiyat with a Winter theme and I’ve created an interlocking Rubaiyat following the aaba, bbcb, ccac format.

You can find an example of a ruba’i (a classical Persian quatrain with 13-syllable lines) in One More Glance on our sister blog.

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend,

with love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Canon Powershot SX60 HS, Settings: f/5 – 1/20 s – ISO 1250, f/4 – 1/40 s – ISO 640 and f/5.6 – 1/100 s – ISO 640.

 

dVerse Poets: Poetry Forms – The Rubaiyat

Rag Tag Daily Prompt: Fish

 

Haibun: Snapdragon Moon

 

macro shot of a raindrop hanging from pink and yellow snapdragon

 

The early morning drizzle is full of promise. Scorched fields of grass and droopy gardens sigh with relief when the promise turns to rain. After a heatwave and hose-ban to preserve diminishing pools of water flowers raise their heads in gratitude, singing full of colour.

snapdragon
from the edge of satin
her own moon

© Xenia Tran

 

macro shot of a raindrop hanging from pink and yellow snapdragon

It is such a treat to have some rain again.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

Camera: Panasonic Lumix FZ200, Settings: f/4, 1/1000 s, ISO 100 and f/4, 1/640 s, ISO 100 with DMW-LC55 lens.

 

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dVerse Poets: Open Link Night #224

 

Haibun: Life’s New Garden

 

pair of swans with cygnets in tow and on the pen's back

 

The criss-cross waves of high water tell us the tide is turning. Returning to the mouth of the river, the cygnets carry a glimpse of the sea. The pen is doing what she has always done. Prepare her young for the wider world, showing them where and when to feed. Her cob swims quietly by her side, creating an easy slipstream for cygnets who swim behind them. When the current becomes too strong they climb on their mother’s back.

We stand and watch them glide by and thank them for our own glimpse into another world.  I am enchanted by their deep communication and understanding.  Everything is done in total silence. Neither the cygnets nor their parents make a single sound. All I can hear is our smile.

all by themselves
lilies of the valley bloom
in nature’s garden

© Xenia Tran

 

pair of swans with cygnets in tow and on the pen's back

 

a pair of swans in the river with five cygnets on the pen's back

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week!

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

Daily Prompt: Ceremony

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: All-time Favorites

dVerse Haibun Monday: Silent Sounds

dVerse Poets logo

 

Haibun: Pink Lilac

 

close up of pink lilac flowers, leaves and raindrops

 

Our garden changes colour after an early morning shower. Yellow poppies, primrose and pansies look vibrant and replenished. In years gone by, fishermen dried their nets here. Different guardians blessed with different times.

scent of lilac
ready to weave our home
in a raindrop

© Xenia Tran

 

close up of miniature pink lilac buds with raindrops

We wish you all a very happy Monday and a wonderful new week!

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Cee’s Photography: Flower of the Day

Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

dVerse Poets Quadrille #57: Don’t Rain on my Parade

dVerse Poets logo

 

Haibun: The Love between Birds

 

a swan (cob) patrolling the river

 

It has been four weeks now, since his pen laid her eggs. While she is on the nest he keeps her safe, patrolling the river. From one bridge to the next, he sees that all is well. He greets familiar faces above the buttercups and shepherd’s purse, the fresh blades of grass. He looks so much better this year, more confident. People stroll along the river bank, to see how he is doing. We all want him to do well. Last year’s eggs never hatched. We are hoping that this year, things will be better.

temple blossoms
seagulls flock to guard
a sleeping swan

© Xenia Tran

 

seagulls watching over a sleeping swan (cob) on an outgoing tide

You can see images of his pen (female swan) on the nest in an earlier post ‘Nesting Swan‘. She raised 62 cygnets over the last nine years with her previous cob (male swan), before he passed away.

Update: on 17th May 2018 seven cygnets hatched – you can see the first images in our post New Life.

With love from Xenia xxx

 

Photographs by Xenia Tran, edited in lr.

 

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