More Vacation Fun

One evening while my daughter Tammie and I were returning to our vacation cottage after an outing I noticed that although the sun had not set, there were long, dusky shadows prematurely darkening the coulees. I said, “Night comes early to a shadowed valley.”

Tammie laughed and said, “That sounds like a pantoum topic.”

I knew she was right! The next day I sat down and wrote one about life in a coulee.

If you didn’t see my last blog, a pantoum is an adaptation of Malaysian poetry in which certain verses repeat. The verses may rhyme if you like. It is arranged in sets of four lines, which is called a stanza. There should be 8 to 12 syllables in each line. The second line is repeated as the first line in the second stanza, while the fourth line in the first stanza is repeated as the third line in the second stanza. This pattern is repeated in subsequent stanzas.

In the last stanza, the unused third and first lines from the first stanza are placed as the second and last line. The effect of this arrangement produces a continual feeling of looking back over your shoulder.

 

Shadowed Valley Pantoum

Night comes early to a shadowed valley.

A place you should never dally.

The sun sets behind a tall bluff.

Wind blows seed from a dandelion puff.

 

A place you should never dally.

Cows living in a coulee are tough.

Wind blows seed from a dandelion puff.

Holsteins and jerseys climb steep alleys.

 

Cows living in a coulee are tough.

Out to bring the cows home goes farmer Sally.

Holsteins and jerseys climb steep alleys.

Through bogs and streams, the terrain rough.

 

Out to bring the cows home goes farmer Sally.

Night falls suddenly and it is dark.

Though bogs and streams, the terrain rough.

Farmer Sally bumps her head on tree bark.

 

Night falls suddenly and it is dark.

The sun sets behind a tall bluff.

Farmer Sally bumps her head on tree bark.

Night comes early to a shadowed valley.

 

A haiku is a Japanese poem that has three lines. The first and third lines contain five syllables each and the second line is seven syllables long. The three lines do not have to rhyme, but do summarize a situation, describe nature, or share your feelings.

The first Haiku describes Tammie’s and my visit to a bluff-top vineyard where we sampled several types of wine. The second is a visit to an orchard that was out in the boonies and might have been owned by Ma and Pa Kettle. While in southeast Wisconsin, we also visited the shrine of Our Lady of Guadeloupe and enjoyed the cottage’s amenities, so I wrote about them, too.

Saturday August 20th

Bluff-top wine and cheese.

Prize-winning drinks, sun, vineyard.

Two girls in a pub.

 

Searching for orchard.

Rain-eroded roads, steep bluff.

Ma and Pa Kettle.

 

In driftless region.

Roads cut through foreign mountains.

Is this Wisconsin?

 

Sunday August 21st

 

Shrine on the hill-top.

Beautiful, a holy place.

Mary intercedes.

 

View from old Grand Dad.

Miniature houses and train.

Eagles soars above.

 

August 22nd

Chiminea and fire.

Coyotes, crickets, owls, stars.

Crazy rabbit runs.

 

Monday August 22nd

Quiet cottage days

Games, walks among the grapevines.

Pleasant companion.

 

An electric grill

Must use it for our sausage.

Eat inside…bugs bad.

 

Bug bites from Sunday

Tammie’s feet covered in welts.

Baking soda paste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “More Vacation Fun

  1. Kathy, I like your poems. I never heard of a pantoum, but I loved to teach haiku and read the beautiful creations of my students!

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