Day 3 Poem-a-day challenge

Prompt:  Maureen ( invites us to get complex on Day 3 and write a “glosa” or glose. According to my musty old poetry handbook, this form dates to 15th century Spain and Portugal when subjects were quite pious, but when the French started writing this form, it transformed to parody and humor. I love that we write in a form that dates to the 15th century even though we may not do it that often. If you dare, try for the rhyme scheme requirement in which lines 6 and 9 rhyme with the final word of line 10.

The Poet and the Unicorn

“Prisoner at a desk? No, universe of feeling

where everything is seen, and nothing mine

. . . as if at times I could put out a hand

and touch the lion head, the unicorn.”

May Sarton

If I tap into that feeling bank

that overflows with heart pierces,

uncontrollable tears or hyena laughs, I meld with

oaks & Spanish Moss high in blue outside my window.

My painting of an animated palm tree

slaps the porch wall with each burst of wind

serenaded with chimes at a higher pitch.

Inside may be a hollow place

until it flips to fill my being.

Prisoner at a desk? No, universe of feeling.


Before my imagination  parades

a multi-colored kaleidoscope of

characters as if a Mardi Gras parade

or a merry-go-round

up, up, up, & down, down, & again down

before my mind’s eye—but not mine—

they are not mine, those many images &

characters who parade to an

unheard fife and drum, a scene

where everything is seen, and nothing mine.


But does the knowledge that these

things are not mine keep me from

thinking, imagining to put out my hand?

To the branches high up & swaying moss

above my head, to wind that turns the ceiling fan,

wind that moves sunlight on my hand,

multi-hues of green Cherry leaves

turn transparent, magical & moving

on my page, like shifting sand

as if at times I could put out a hand.


My left hand that does not write,

my curious hand that reaches & reaches more,

my wandering hand as if in dark

searches something tangible,

my planter’s hand to drop a seed &

cover with dark moist earth,

my gentle hand that longs to touch

the wild & the sensual with courage to

brace against naysayers’ scorn

and touch the lion head, the unicorn.

Jacquelyn Markham

April 3, 2022

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