Poem 'Geraint the Siever', Response to Rhyming Challenge from Chris Mills; Poem 'Hocus-Pocus' & a Challenge of My Own
Sifting the Sands
In his hub ‘The Boar and the Wolf’ the hubber Chris Mills issued a challenge for us to write a poem to include each of the following words. None of them has a perfect rhyme but the trick is to find the closest. I find the best way to do this is to concentrate on the sounds rather than the letters. My poem decided its own route as it developed!
Rhyming is not obligatory in poetry but it’s fun to find the best words that do rhyme if you want to stick to tradition, especially if your subject is more traditional.
Follow the link below if you wish to take up the challenge!
Words to Test your Rhyming Skills
Here are the ten words Chris has given us to form the core of a poem, along with associated words or symbols:
- silver - Symbol Ag, atomic number 47, metal element, argent, silver coins
- purple - deep colour between blue & red
- month - one of 12 in our calendar, a period of 28 (February), 29 (Feb in a leap year), 30 or 31 days
- ninth - number 9 in an order of things
- pint - an imperial measure of liquid, often associated with beer/ale
- wolf - ‘canis lupus’ a canine animal from which dogs are descended, ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’ i.e. someone who isn’t as harmless as s/he appears
- opus - a work, often of music but can be the end result of extensive work in books, art, music etc. ‘opus dei’ - the work of god - also an institution of the Roman Catholic church
- dangerous - can cause danger to someone
- marathon - a long-distance running/walking race over a set route
- discombobulate - disconcert or confuse someone, it’s increased in use since the 50s
Pint of Beer
Geraint the Siever
I knew a man whose hair was silver.
He made his money as a siever,
trying to find within the sand
a tiny piece of value.
He dyed his hair the brightest purple,
to us a crazy, mad curved-ball.
During the summer, July the month,
he came upon some bumph.
Amongst the tat, marked as the ninth,
a piece of paper, signed by Anth*,
showed him where some treasure lay
so off he went exploring.
To all he was known simply as Geraint**,
who frequented pubs - he loved a pint.
He had a dog by name of Wolf
which was to cause a gulf.
A friend, composer of a famous opus,
had a cat by name of Puss-puss.
Cat, thinking Wolf was far too dangerous,
hid beneath the hydrangeas.
On his travels, he was persuaded
to enter the local town’s marathon.
Along with all the army garrison
he ran along, came last.
Afterwards he swam in waters cool,
to ease his tired, aching muscles.
The river wasn’t clean so Geraint
felt extremely ill.
Poor man, so discombobulated,
at the doctor’s was inoculated.
He’d had enough, so decided to return
to just sifting the sand.
*Anth - short for Anthea, a female name
**Geraint - a Welsh male name pronounced ge/rint (hard ‘g’, then long ‘i’ to rhyme with ‘pint’)
I’m throwing in another, seemingly random, poem next. The word ‘opus’ actually reminded me of ‘hocus-pocus’, hence the title. That’s how my brain works (or doesn’t) - at a wide tangent, or is that a butterfly brain? And it does loosely rhyme with opus so I think I’m justified in including it.
biscuit and crumb,
oak from acorn grows.
Fish and chips
tomato sauce still flows
scoop of ice-cream,
milk and honey,
mixed to make a brew,
stirred in hot pan,
dash of chilli,
that’s hot, oh boy, phew!
ready for mischief, use.
One big spoonful,
wash straight down
with a glass of bat juice.
Do you, would you,
dare to taste
this mixture, dark and deep?
Can you cope with
such a potion?
It might put you to sleep.
I knew someone
who took a dose
and just fell over flat.
It took him to
could you put up with that?
fiddle and stir,
you never know
what’s waiting….. aaagghhh!
More words that have no Rhyme
- aitch (the letter)
- poem (!)
Perfect Beach for Metal Detecting
Geraint above was sifting through the sands. He had nothing as sophisticated as a metal detector. Nevertheless, he could have found all sorts of things, from razor shells to diamond rings.
I often see people wandering the sands of my local Burnham Beach, detectors at arms’ length, swinging from side to side, waiting for the high-pitched rapid beep to tell them of hidden treasure beneath the grains. Do they find anything? I think they do now and then.
There might be old coins; Celtic, Roman, a Victorian Penny Black perhaps. There might be cutlery or toys or something washed ashore from a boat. Whatever it is, it will have a story to tell and that’s what it’s all about.
There are laws in Britain regarding the finding of treasure and reporting it. Not reporting valuable treasure is punishable by imprisonment.
What do you Find on the Beach?
I don’t know about you but I’d much rather look on and above the sands.
Walking along a beach, breathing in the fresh sea air, is exhilarating, soothing, relaxing and therapeutic, I find. Walkers, some with dogs; runners, horse-riders, sand-buggy ‘sailors’, sand-castle builders, ice-cream vans, kite flyers… the list is endless.
You can search landward or you can gaze out to the horizon, over the water and far away, dreaming of voyages untold.
My Own Challenge
I want to pass the baton with a challenge of my own.
Do you have a favourite beach? One you know, or one in your imagination? Write about it! Describe like you’ve never described before! Use unusual vocabulary! Make us see every detail in the landscape!
Prose, poem, fiction or reality, let’s hear about it in a way which makes us want to visit or which fires up our imagination.
Responses to the Challenge
Which type of poetry do you prefer?
Do you prefer...
Have you ever found something valuable?
Questions & Answers
© 2018 Ann Carr