Metamorphoses in Traditional Mongolian Meter

Metamorphosis: A Gothic Tale

He gave me starlings, dark dowry,
Hidden betrayals in gardens,
Houses muttering in the rain,
Hoarding secrets in rosaries.

Then sent he catbirds three, to kill
True love, their mimicry like
The day’s news, veiled, shifting half-
Truths, eyed over coffee and tea.

Crows by the murder he hastened,
Choreographed in gothic,
Cawing incessant, evil
Conniving to see my end.

Bedeviled, accursed, he must then
Bequeath me bats, like foreigners
Bearing plagues, designed to cause fear—
But now I’m more deadly than he.

The above poem is in response to Shay’s Word Garden Word List (inspired by poet Dave Kelly) and is the first of two as I experiment with a new (to me) poetry form: the Traditional Mongolian Meter. This form requires quatrains written in lines of 7 to 8 syllables, each line head-rhymed with alliteration being a prominent element of the form. Grace at dVerse explains a head-rhyme as being “the first consonant of each line matching. However, while still alliterative, with the matched consonant heading the line, it is often seen as the first syllable in each line rhyming with the first syllable of the ensuing lines.”

Christ’s Wine

The wine that Jesus made runs sweet
To quench my thirst like rain in spring
That falls on ground which hardened lies
Till it yields to softening streams.

No Cana wedding had I to go
Nor hear His mother’s firm request
Nothing but His love for me
Nourishing remembrance brings.

See wine in cup and bread on plate
Speak His body and His blood
Shed upon the Cross for me
So from guilt, from sin to free.

Jesus is my God and King
Joy unspeakable He gives
Just to know He loves me so
Joins my heart, my soul to Him.

Top image: jplenio; bottom image: Bouf16

14 thoughts on “Metamorphoses in Traditional Mongolian Meter

  1. Hmm, it sounds like he inadvertently created a monster! If she’s now too much for him, gee that’s too bad, he had it coming hehe! Very seasonal stuff, Dora, so appropriate for October. As always, thanks so much for being part of the Word List!

    The second is a straightforward song of gratitude and love. Perfect.



  2. Admiring how your pen conveyed the mood and message, while keeping with the form. The first one is dark and deadly in the transformation – love the tale. The second is inspiring and speaks of His love and Joy. Thanks for joining in Dora. Have a good weekend!!!


  3. Sherry Marr

    You are brave to tackle the Mongolian form. And you aced it , not once but twice. Well done. I especially love that opening line: “He gave me starlings…..” Beautiful.


  4. An interesting form, and it works very well for you here in a poem that uses progression so strongly–especially in the birds picked, who are indeed a biological and metaphorical progression, one “Choreographed in gothic..” A pleasure to read.


  5. Susie Clevenger

    Crows by the murder he hastened,
    Choreographed in gothic,
    Cawing incessant, evil
    Conniving to see my end….. Just a bit of all the wonderful you wrote into this poem.


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