Incremental Poetry ~ 35 Lines

Traveling Thoughts

The winter-white of flesh cries out to see the sun;
too long the weary land has borne the look of death;
I pass through countryside and see—spring has begun!
I stop the truck to take a picture, and a breath.
It won’t be long before the butterflies return.

The clouds grow dark above, but that is no concern,
for Old Man Winter blows to me his parting breeze;
I’m glad to see him leave and take his sallow snow.
I’d rather pass the time by counting cones on trees
than counting all the weeks that I have yet to go

before my journey takes me where I long to be—
but that’s a story to be told another day.
For now, there’s so much more to hear, and touch, and see;
there’s work to do, and birds to watch, and songs to play—
so, driving on, I listen to a tune, and look

beyond the windshield, and the bridge that spans the brook,
to a mass of flesh and feathers ‘waiting plunder—
A buzzard lies deceased upon the highway, and,
life’s circle, being such as it is, I wonder,
will his own brothers clean his carcass off the land?

Amid the dingy gray of barren branches springs
some trees with bright pink blooms whose names I can’t recall;
yet nameless, for their joy, my soul, euphoric, sings.
Next to those great trees, I feel incredibly small—
and yet I am significant, for God made me.

He made the butterfly, the buzzard, and the tree,
so why are you and I more special than all them?
Because God made us in the image of His Son;
we are His crowning jewel, His precious diadem.
We’re flawed—don’t get me wrong—but the work has begun,

and He is patient, for there’s much to undergo.—
Now I rein in thoughts, alerted by the thunder,
announcing heavy rain that forces me to slow
my pace.— I’m His “on-purpose”; I am no blunder,
and I’ll be perfect when my Father’s work is done.

Copyright © 2019 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my series, Incremental Poetry, where each week the featured poem will be one line longer than the one I share the week before. I have no idea how long I’ll keep this up, so we’ll just have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by.


Mad Cow
attributed to Sebastian “Duke” Delorange
a pastoral of 35 lines composed of 7 cinquain stanzas
written in alexandrines = isosyllabic, with 12 syllables per line
generally iambic in meter
Rhyme scheme: ababc cdede fgfgh hijij klklm mnono eieio
Note: There is a shorter pastoral form called a Mad Calf, with 20 lines, 6 syllables per line, and no rhyme until the final stanza, which also rhymes eieio.

About the poem:

I recently returned home from my aunt and uncle’s house, passing a 6-hour drive entertained by nature, my thoughts, and the occasional radio. While on vacation, my 8-year-old great nephew had said, “We’re all our own brand of crazy.” He’s right. Who defines normal, anyway? We are all defined by God. He created us, and when He did, He looked at us and said, “That’s very good.” I pondered that and many other things while driving home. And often I stopped to take pictures of things that caught my gaze along the way, for I learned long ago that it’s all about the journey, not the destination, which is why I prefer to travel alone, or with my daughter, for no one else sees a road trip quite the way she and I do. I rambled. Perhaps I’m rambling now. My poem rambled a bit too. But like me, it had a destination; it just took its sweet time in getting there.

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