Ghost Mill, revisited
grooved granite mill-stones grind
formless flour from coarse grain.
The brake wheel clanks; the wind
thrums an untuned refrain.
How Did It Go?
I had not heard of the Bob and Wheel and enjoyed spending some time researching the form – this led me to revisit Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, echoes of which may perhaps be found in my use of alliteration.
I always like content and form to interact, so wanted to invoke a sense of turning, of repetition, but also of disruption. After one or two false starts I settled on a ghostly windmill (modelled on De Valk in Leiden, the Netherlands) as a metaphor for the current Groundhog Day politics here in the UK. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to political commentary in a poem!
In my writing I frequently make use of syllabic constraint, but not of rhyme schemes, so it was an interesting challenge to work within the restrictions of this form while at the same time trying to express a coherent idea in five short lines. The second and third lines are deliberately weighty while the final two lines are intended to have a lighter, but also disquieting, music.
Thank you for introducing me to this form! I very much enjoyed the challenge. One day I would like to try applying the Bob and Wheel as ‘punctuation points’ within a longer poem, as the poet of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight does.
in fogged October skies
weird lop-sided grins
gleaming with Devil’s eyes.
Such darkness hides within.
How Did It Go?
This poem came fairly easily once I decided to use Pumpkins as the “bob”.
Walker and stalker
Walking where the leaves drift deep and rust-red dry,
in silence broken only by the wild jay’s cry,
where dapples fall in golden coins on dusty earth,
and every breathing thing waits for the rain, rebirth
of sprout and shoot and crawling things, tight buds, the spring,
we wait, hoof raised, paw poised, birds balanced on the wing.
twigs crack and heavy tread
of boots. Red flash, a deer
on flying hooves has fled
the danger creeping near.
How did it go?
I hesitated over this one. The purpose of the bob and wheel was to be a sort of interjection, an interruption in the flow of a story, drawing attention to itself with the command-like ‘bob’ and the phrasing of the ‘wheel’ that stands out from the rest of the verse with its short rhymed lines in a different meter. I didn’t see how it would make sense without context, so I added a preceding piece of verse. Maybe I’ve completely misunderstood the point, but there you are.
Two Bob And Wheel
Banquet /Linens (A Bob and Wheel).
drink more shots than we should.
Drop down tables soiled.
Promising we could
expect fat more broiled.
Annotations (A Bob and a Wheel)
The tenacious tenor’s
Notes on Emperors
Drawing the censor
How Did It Go?
A Bob and A Wheel is an unfamiliar form to me; short but short not always the easiest to pull off. That this is a Medieval construction makes sense – also theatrical dynamism and long epic. From what I read, sometimes these short sequences were interspersed with longer prose or other poetic forms/metres – an early hybridity! I realized as I worked on this, I was creating little ‘dialogues’ or monologue (stand front-centre, deliver the lines, exit stage left). I think the two pieces go together; I ask you, dear readers, to imagine some text in between – a scene, a landscape, — is there (in invisible ink) – or imagine your own scene, time, place, past meeting indelible futures / stamp/ liminal erasure – Robert Frede Kenter http://www.icefloepress.net
-Robert Frede Kenter
Bios And Links
was born in Zimbabwe and travelled widely before moving to her current home in Kent, southeast England. Publications include a chapbook, Fractal Poems (Penteract Press), and a collection of essays, From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry (Beir Bua Press). When not reading or writing poetry, Marian looks at the stars, puzzles over the laws of physics, listens to birdsong and crochets.
She blogs at http://www.marianchristiepoetry.net and is on Twitter @marian_v_o.
-Robert Frede Kenter
is a widely published writer, visual artist, Pushcart nom & the EIC/Publisher of Ice Floe Press. Books incl. EDEN (2021) available http://www.rareswanpress.com. Work in Anthologies incl. The Book of Penteract (Penteract Press, 2022) & Before I Turn into Gold, (FeversOftheMind). Publ. recent: Erato, CutbowQ, Streetcake Magazine, WatchYrHead, Anthropocene, Anti-heroin chic and others. Toronto-based, previously, NYC, San Francisco, etc. Living with ME/Fibro, Robert, sometimes sidelined, is never out of the game. Twitter: @frede_kenter & @icefloeP.
3 thoughts on “TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormChallenge #Bob And Wheel was last week’s chosen form. Join Robert Frede Kenter , Tim Fellows, Marian Christie, Jane Dougherty, and I.”
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