May 2022 Free Verse Poetry Challenge

Seven poets, from Ireland, US, England, India, Canada, and Scotland wrote free verse poems giving clues to a mystery person, place or thing. See if you can guess what or who they describe in their verse. Need a clue? Check the photo after the poem.

Mayo de 2022 Reto poético de libre verso

Siete poetas, de Irlanda, los Estados Unidos, la India, Canadá y Escocia escribieron poemas de libre verso dando pistas acerca de un misterio: una persona, lugar o cosa. Intenta descifrar quienes o que describen en sus versos. ¿Necesitas una pista? Mira la foto después del poema.

Purple Cone Flower Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Ireland

Bright yellow
Warm, glowing
Cheers us all up
Visiting for more than half the year
Makes flowers grow
3 letters in its shortened name
8 in the longer name of this thing
What could it be?
Insects come out to play
And they all love this shiny thing

–Carol Anne

Amarillo brillante
Caliente, ardiente
Nos da ánimo
Nos visita más de la mitad del año
Con su ayuda crecen las flores
3 letras en su nombre
10 letras en la frase más larga
¿Qué puede ser?
Los insectos salen a jugar
y les encanta esta cosa reluciente
–Carol Anne (translation by Rebecca)

~~~

Sunshine on a Prairie pond/Rayos de luz Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

USA

She is so often present
as the sun makes its
daily retreat, we
imagine she is
mysterious as
she hides or
does she take
refuge in the shadows.
Only a few
have truly seen her
and they only speak
of her luminescent
alter ego.
– Lou Faber

Presente frecuentemente está ella
cuando el sol
se retira a diario
la imaginamos
misteriosa cuando
se esconde o
es que toma
refugio en las sombras
Solo unos pocos
la han visto de verdad
y ellos solo hablan
de su alter ego
luminoso.

– Lou Faber (translation by Rebecca)

Moon in Madison/La luna en Madison Photo: R. Cuningham

England

May Riddle

Straight and proper
tall and broad
full of wisdom
some nonsense
and great good humour
within there is Mr Darcy
also hope and despair

Bedroom companion
of many years
I love you so
some think you wooden
and you’re
getting fatter
but I don’t care

Copyright © 2022 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Adivinanza de mayo

Recto y correcto
alto y ancho
lleno de sabiduría
algunos sin sentido
y de gran buen humor
dentro está el Señor Quijote
también esperanza y desesperación

Compañero de cuarto
de muchos años
Te amo tanto
piensan que eres rígido como madera
y cada año
te pones más gordo
Pero a mí no me importa.
–Kim (translation by Rebecca)

Bookshelf/Estante Photos: R. Cuningham

India
No one seems to hear him walk,
Muted footsteps and charming pouts.
Some may call him selfish,
But he’s a confidante if you wish.
A sly ball of fur, delicate stance,
Night long jigs and daytime naps.
He’s seems a proud creature,
And hunting’s in his blood,
He’ll be your lifelong friend,
If you treat him royally.
–Enchanted Words

Nadie lo oye caminar
Pasos mudos y ceñudo atractivo
Algunos lo llaman egoísta
Pero podría ser de confianza si quieres
astuta bola de pelo, postura ligera
Baila de noche, duerme de día
Parece una criatura orgullosa
Cazar está en su sangre
Tu amigo de toda la vida
si le tratas como rey.
–Enchanted Words (translation by Rebecca)

~~~

Cat/Gato Photo: Alvesgaspar

Canada
An oracle of sorts; soothsayer too
a personal Delphi prophesying sleep.
Crisp hotel corners
fitted for kings and queens
robe four-poster silhouettes.
Modern fibers woven
on history’s indigo looms.
Permanent pressed or not; unburdens
the weary soul
With
Its full-fitted embrace.
-Suzette

Parece oráculo; vidente también
un Delphi personal que predice sueño
esquinas precisas de hotel
caben reyes y reinas
cubren siluetas de la cama con dosel de madera
Fibras modernas tejidas
en telar de añil histórico
Planchado permanente o no, alivia
el alma cansada
con
su abrazo matrimonial.
–Suzette (translation by Rebecca)

~~~

bedsheets/sábanas Photo: Liz Lawley

Scotland
A thought

In the beginning, oh, so simple. Big. With utmost certainty.
Here. Where else? Rooted through three levels of floors,
kitchen doors, the unquestionable centre of my universe.
Then, time passed. I grew and some bricks didn’t feel right,
walls tight. I packed box, box, box, full of complication,
suddenly everything became small. Hall of residence, 10 m2.
My own higgledy, piggledy palace of borrowed, old and blue,
never new, don’t be silly. Next chapters. The theme familiar:
stuff – packed, stacked, unpacked, was this thing tidal?
Sometimes more, sometimes less, people, mess, confusion,
a continuous search, hope and expectation of who knows what.
In the end, it feels simple. Now, at its smallest. Just a thought.
A certainty, inside my soul’s core. Doesn’t need a bigger place.
–Britta

Un pensamiento

En el principio, ay, tan simple. Grande. Con certeza.
Aquí. ¿Adónde más? Repasar tres niveles de pisos
puertas de cocina, el centro incuestionable de mi universo
Pasó el tiempo, crecí y algunos ladrillos no me sentían correctos,
paredes estrechas. Empaque caja tras caja, llenas de complicaciones,
de repente todo se puso chico. Residencia de 10 metros cuadrados.
Mi propio palacito todo patas arriba y de prestado, antiguo y azul,
nunca nuevo, no seas zonzo. Próximos capítulos. El tema conocido:
cosas – empacadas, amontonadas, desempacadas, ¿eran olas?
A veces más, a veces menos, gente, desorden, confusion,
una búsqueda continua, esperanza y expectativas de no sé que.
Al final, parece muy simple. Ahora tan pequeña. Un pensamiento.
Una certeza, dentro de mi alma. No requiere un lugar más grande.
–Britta (translation by Rebecca)

Home/Hogar Photo: Rebecca Cuningham

Poet on Holiday

‘My’ Strange land
Needle leaves giving shade to
A fathomless sea melting into sky
Where is deepest thought?
Sand course but golden, round a castle wall,
Where has time gone? (sand in a timer/ or events in history)
Lavender, dog rose, broom
From where and when?
People speaking words they understand
Eating p-ell- and t-rt-ll-
This is not my home
This is their home
I’m their stranger
In our beautiful world.

–Sandy

Poeta de vacaciones

Mi tierra extraña
Hojas de pino dan sombra a
un mar insondable derritiendo al cielo
¿Dónde queda el pensamiento más profundo?
Arena dorada alrededor del muro de castillo,
¿Adónde se ha escapado el tiempo? (reloj de arena/eventos de la historia)
Lavanda, rosa canina, Spartium junceum
¿De dónde y cuando?
Gente hablando palabras que ellos entienden
Comiendo p–ell– y t–rt–ll–
No tengo hogar aquí
Es el hogar de ellos
Soy su extranjera
en este mundo bonito.

–Sandy (translation by Rebecca)

Spanish Omelette/ Tortilla españolaEspaña Photo: R. Cuningham

¿What answers did you glean from these mysteries? Join the conversation in the comments below. Thank you poets for your clever verses!

¿Cuales son las respuestas que sacaste de estos misterios? Entra en la conversación en los comentarios que siguen. ¡Gracias a los poetas por sus versos ingeniosos!

¡Olé! –Rebecca

PD Gracias a mi amigo Antonio Garcés Arias por su ayuda en corregir las traducciones. –R

Pinwheel Narcissus Photo: R. Cuningham
Rebecca Cuningham

30 thoughts on “May 2022 Free Verse Poetry Challenge

      1. While reading I was engrossed in the poems so I didn’t noticed that pics were clues!!
        Thanks for sharing.
        Also will you be doing more such challenges in future?? I know some poets who will love it

        Liked by 2 people

      2. The photos were for decoration in yesterdays draft. Today I changed it to make them hints. Yes, I host a poetry challenge every month. Please invite your friends for June. I’ll announce the theme at the beginning of June.

        Like

  1. Wonderful poems! I love your translations Rebecca. They had so much depth to the meaning in this month’s challenge.
    Gracias por estas aventuras de verso libre… la poesía es un tipo mágico de libertad😊

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh crumbs Rebecca, I forgot all about this. Blame it on my having been (briefly) in England,France, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, North Macedonia and Albania since this time last week! I’ll be back on track next month.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rebecca, what fun to find the mystery metaphor

    My guesses

    Ireland–Sun and sunshine USA–Sunset England–mirror India–a cat Canada– Quilt or bed sheet Scotland–an attic Poet on Holiday But where? Mexico, Italy, Spain?

    MaryG

    Liked by 1 person

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