Flotsam down the river drifts,
‘Til currents shift it to shore
Where it sits upon the beach.
Roots reach nowhere anymore.
Once it was a mighty tree,
Proud and free on wooded bank.
‘Til lumberjack took its wood,
Where it stood, a stunted shank.
Roots then lost the earth’s firm grip.
Began a slip — erosion.
Into river trunk stump crashed.
It splashed, trip set in motion.
Driftwood sitting patiently,
Expectantly, waiting rise,
Then flood waters come along,
Current strong, releasing ties.
Untangled roots float again,
Until when it’s forced to stop.
Who can tell where roots may go?
You never know where they’ll plop.
Just some tree stump driftwood on the Mississippi River that I spotted the other day. These my stay, or might drift further down when the river rises. You never know.
Shank – a cylinder forming a long narrow part of something.
Flotsam – floating debris in water.
Lumberjack – someone who cuts down trees for a living
Erosion – the wearing away of soil or hillsides due to rain.
This poem is a Awdl Gwydd.
The Awdl Gwydd (pronounced like: owdle gow-widd) is a Welsh poetic format made up of quatrains with a specific rhyme scheme that repeat the end-rhyme of the first and third line as an inline rhyme in the second and fourth. It’s important to state that Celtic poetry is based on sound structures to make them easy to remember, with rhyme not as important as repetition, alliteration and rhythm.
Each stanza is a quatrain of seven syllables. Lines two and four rhyme rhyme with each other; lines one and three cross rhyme to form the inline rhyme into either the second, third, fourth, OR fifth syllable of lines two and four. So the rhyme scheme of each stanza becomes:
a, (a,b), c, (c,b),
where the lines in parens represent the inline-endline rhyme structure. For example, below I show two stanza layouts where the Xs are just syllables and the letters show the rhyme. The first stanza has the cross rhymes in the third syllable. The second stanza has them in the fifth.
x x x x x x a
x x a x x x b
x x x x x x c
x x c x x x b
x x x x x x d
x x x x d x e
x x x x x x f
x x x x f x e
This image was taken by the author himself on March 9, 2016.