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Walking Through Spain, A Villanelle

IMG_2031Walking through Spain
on knotted, riven knees
toes soaked in pain

backs bent to the rain
a hoopoe appeared, disappeared, we
understood Spain

could not be explained
nor moss, nor mists on trees
without knowing the pain

in our boots stained
with mud, on the road to the sea
on the west coast of Spain

nor how even to name
what we came to be,
in November, parting from pain

when joy made its claim
on new hearts and knees
along roads of Spain
walking tomorrow away from old pain.

Will Kirkland, December, 2015

for Bob & Sue, Jessica & Rami


A villanelle is a poetic form of five, three-line stanzas, each rhymed a-b-a, ending in a four line stanza, also a-b-a-b.  However, in particular places the word itself must be repeated – as here. A poetry puzzle piece….  Two villanelles that are well known are Leonard Cohen’s /Frank Scott A Villanelle For Our Time (A bitter searching of the heart,) and Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night. [To hear the great voice reading, go here.]