Okay, guys, I’m digging deep on this one. “U” was a tough one to find, and none of them have looked real easy to achieve (the first one I found was an Arabic form written in the “meter of the camel”…not sure what that means, but, hey, maybe it’s a cultural thing, and I’d have to have been there to understand).
I’ve opted to go with the Utendi or Untenzi (Swahili meaning “deed” or “act”) which is a Swahili form. These poems are apparently usually narrative and should tell a story. Swahili epics appear in this form, not that I’ve read many of those.
The elements of the Utendi are:
- written in quatrains
- 8 syllable lines
- rhyme aaab cccb dddb etc.This seems doable.
Or at least I thought it did until I sat and stared at the screen for 20 minutes, typing a line, erasing it…counting syllables…pretty much hating all of my ideas. I think I’ve hit a poetry wall…and the challenge has pushed me to a limit where it’s no longer fun.
But, because I am not one to give up, even when I can or should. I will complete this fucking challenge (see, this is why these month-long things are so bitter-sweet for me…sure they push me to write, but is it good to push me to the point of not liking it anymore? Maybe it’s something else. Maybe I’m just stressed. Maybe I need a break from writing. When it becomes work, it’s no longer an escape.)
Under the cover of evergreens
a girl waits for the rain to cease.
She is cold, and her heart — it beats
crooked patterns that beg for rest.
The path forward has become faint–
lost in the undergrowth it lays
hidden, forked as usual, and waits.
Every choice feels like it’s a test.
And so the walk has lost its smile.
She considers retracing miles,
but then remembers how trials
are hardest right before the crest.
She’ll continue, she knows will,
as she has always done, but still
she wonders how it would feel,
for awhile, to remain the forest’s guest.
One foot in front of the other,
she moves forward, away from cover,
and finds the hidden fork under
the undergrowth, promising her best.
I can do this. 5…more…steps… (and of course, they’re the hardest, as with nearly every journey: V, W, X, Y, Z).