One for the road

I always act up when I’ve had a bit to drink
I never tread carefully, don’t stop to think
I always forget – consequences arise
I never can see through another person’s lies
I always become innocent and sweet
I never look, just take a carefree leap
I always regret ignoring my concerns
I never pay attention, forget I need to learn
I always swear ‘I won’t do that again’
I never can think ‘no’, don’t ever say ‘when’
I always think that just one more is fine
I never see until too late – I’ve stepped over the line
It’s so far behind me now
I’ve lost the friends I had
Drink will be my only mate –
How did it get so bad?


This week on dVerse Meeting the Bar, our bar-keep Gay has set us a huge challenge – to create a new form of poetry. I must confess, at first I felt rather floored by this. I’ve never really spent a great deal of time learning form – but then it’s only been a few months since I revisited my love of poetry writing. Its form wasn’t really ever something we learned at school (what a shame), although we did read quite a bit. So… after a little moment of ‘eeek!’ I decided to attack this in a simplistic way.

Rather than trying to research different styles and then getting frustrated at not being able to master the existing version, let alone create something new, I thought about the words themselves, about synonyms, antonyms, that kind of thing (I told you it was basic!). Since I came across this week’s theme just before 7pm UK time (courtesy of Bjorn’s blog), whilst waiting for my train home from Gatwick Airport, I don’t think I’ve done too badly – it was less than two hours ago!

So – my form, which I will name ‘Oppositional Rhyme’ has four ‘rules’:

1) The lines operate in pairs

2) The first word of each line must be the same – in this case, I used ‘I’

3) The second word should be pairs of antonyms – in my example, I used ‘always’ and ‘never’

4) The poem can be any length you like, but there should be four final lines that round off the poem which do not follow the first three ‘rules’. Otherwise it could go on, and on, and on.

Hmm… I thought it was quite simple… but now it doesn’t sound it!

By the way, the theme of this poem has nothing to do with me as such, except that for once in my 4 times a year journey to Jersey, Channel Islands and back (on the same day), I had a little drinky on the flight home. It was very enjoyable – but I do have to be firm with myself because I do have an addictive personality. It’s not too hard for me to imagine the lure of the bottle.

I hope you enjoy my offering – and do take the time to have a look at what the other creative types have dreamed up.

40 thoughts on “One for the road

  1. I like this! Wasn’t sure how your form worked until I read your explanation, but this is very clever. By the way…the last 4 lines…is it a rule that they have an ABCB rhyme structure?

    1. Thank you! Hmm… I hadn’t *really* thought too much about the last 4 lines – I was just so relieved to have thought of something at all! No, that’s not a rule, although it could be… πŸ˜‰

      1. Maybe that’s why I instinctively adopted it. I do wonder if I don’t think quite enough when I write poetry – but then if I think too hard, it kind of doesn’t do what I’d intended! Ah, the tortured neural pathways of a creative, slightly angst-ridden person! πŸ˜‰

  2. Ah.. yes this is clever.. likejuxtaposing two theses against each other.. and use the repetitions for poetic effect.. very nice. I think it creates much more meaning in that (and I sincerely hopes it’s not that bad.. loosing all your friends I mean)

    1. Thank you, Bjorn. Your new form did rather scare me, as it seemed so technical – oh the cares of a person who knows so little about poetry form at the moment! So, I adopted the simplistic approach – I’m very glad it worked. As for losing friends to the bottle – there are some in my family’s past that it happened to, sadly.

  3. I thought this was really smart and your example poem well illustrates the form. I am thinking it could become difficult to find the “perfect” words in apposition but a worthy challenge. Well done!

  4. oh nice….i can do this one…i might have to give it a try…
    and i def remember the days when i was not too far from this..
    luckily a long time ago…ha…

    1. I have a friend who has struggled for a long time with addiction. I know for a fact that it would be very easy for me to go down that road. Kudos to you, for being strong every day. I’m glad you enjoyed my new form πŸ™‚

  5. A very cool form, Freya; one perhaps worthy of putting on MTB/FFA one day; enjoyed it a lot, might try it myself one day.

  6. I like your form, Freya; I think the “I always” and “I never” could work to produce a lot of poems. I do think the message of your poem packs a punch & gives the readers something to think about.

  7. Wow, this is a carefully thought-out form, Freya! I also like how you tell a story that is rounded up in your closing lines. And I hope you enjoyed that drinky!

  8. Oh this form reminds me of a word puzzle…I bet this was a fun challenge. My poetry book is growing full with all the new forms.

    The poem itself is touching and sad and I hope not too autobiographical.

  9. I enjoyed it, though form is sometimes lost on me. I didn’t catch on until five or six lines in. I really more just dropped by to say hello. I’m feeling neglectful of my online friends. Hope you and your feet are well.

    1. Yes, I’m not a huge form fan at the moment, although I did try a villanelle for a poetry comp last week. Goodness knows what the judges will think!

      Neglectful? Really? Is your drive to attain the dizzy heights of published-ness taking up a lot of time? I’m sure it is – sometimes it is hard to get the balance right in your heart and mind, isn’t it? Fear not, you haven’t been struck off any online friend list of mine!

      My feet are dandy πŸ™‚

  10. this has a neat construction. I like the idea of the opposites pairing off in each pair of rhyming lines.

    just one more…until it’s too late…I think many can relate to this.

  11. I’m having the same ‘eeeek’ reaction that you had, but I love the way you’ve solved it. Shows we can complicate things on our own, thank you very much!
    It’s also a list poem with a difference, isn’t it? I was wondering if you had a certain line length in mind?

    1. Oh yes, I am *fabulous* at over-complicating things. I think it’s what I excel at πŸ™‚

      No, I didn’t really have a certain line length in mind – I didn’t want to make it too complicated!

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