Thursday, March 22, 2012

Poetry Friday: A Triptych of Tournament Poems


One, two, double-dutch stew,
cook up a kettle of skip-a-rope stew,
mulligatawny and mulligan, too,
chicken cocido and beef ragout.
Into the broth goes this and that,
spuds and turnips and bacon fat,
dumplings to the dog, carrots to the cat,
and peas to the lady with the porkpie hat.

Today I'm posting all three of the poems I've written as part of the March Poetry Madness tournament (Round One - above - and Round Two and Regional Semifinals - below.) The voting is still going on (no registration necessary - just click on "Vote") and Ed Caria (who designed the tournament) is hoping for a big surge in votes for this round of match-ups. I hope if you're reading this you'll go over and vote for your favorite. It's like a basketball tournament, but the outcome is determined not only by the skill of the players but the taste of the crowd. Some of my favorites have moved forward, other favorites have gotten clobbered, but I think all the poets are having a good time. Click here to go vote for your favorite in my current match up through Friday around 6 p.m.  - and you can vote for all the other Regional Semifinal match-ups via this page. Doesn't take long - it's good for morale - and it's good practice for next November (better choices in poems than in some of those candidates, definitely.)

Jump Rope Stew was written for Round One - the assigned word was "mulligan." When I was a kid, jump rope was a passion.
One, two, double-dutch stew....

Here are the other two poems:

Round Two - Assigned Word: "barrage"


One barrage, the battle’s over,
Best friends now, like cows in clover.
Kiss me quick, then chew your cud –
Rain comes down, and up comes mud.
Fee, fi -  fiddle me a song,
Everything’s right but something’s wrong.
Cows in the corn and the moon is blue –
Fo, fum, foo -  out goes you!

Best friends now, like cows in clover....

Regional Semifinals - Assigned Word: "heft"


Nest-chirp, feather-float, lamb-laugh, wind-waft.

Lake-lap, night-smile, flame-call, star-breeze.

Leaf-lift, mower-bite, shovel-lug, hammer-heft.

Sky-scowl, snow-show, sled-slip, face-freeze. 

lamb-laugh, wind-waft...

Kennings are an Old Norse riddle form, joining two independent words with a hyphen, making one compound word for the original word which is not mentioned (in this case Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall.)
Poetry Friday is being hosted this week by Mary Lee Hahn, my worthy opponent for the Regional Semifinals, over at A Year of Reading. She's already put her Poetry Friday post up today (Thursday) so you'll have an extra day to vote in the March Poetry Madness tournament over there, too. I'll post this now, though here on the West Coast, it's still a few hours from Friday!  Head over to Mary Lee's site to see what other people are posting.


  1. You are all doing such amazing work with the tournament. I love the poems you shared here although the jump rope one (along with the lady with the porkpie hat) did catch my fancy a great deal. :) Lovely! Thanks for sharing, Julie.

  2. Thank you, Myra. I liked that little porkpie hat, too! Right now, it looks like these three will be it for my part of the competition. Mary Lee Hahn's poem is winning hands down. But I've had fun, and I'm looking forward to voting on the rest.

  3. These are so much fun, Julie. I especially love your first round poem. Good luck in this round of the challenge!

  4. It's been so much fun to check out the goings on with this poetry fest - I love that last one in particular, it's a form that's new to me, but now I want to try it out!

  5. All of these are FANTASTIC. My favorite is Jump Rope Stew as well. It is so much fun and sounds like it should be a playground classic. Amazing! :)

    I was "one and done," in Think Kid Think's March Madness Tournament, but I am sure enjoying each round.

  6. What fun poems, Julie! Needless to say, I'm most in love with your Jump Rope Stew. It made me want to run to the playground. Oh, for a porkpie hat!

    The kennings form is new to me. Very nice!

    Thanks for sharing these.

  7. Julie, thanks for re-posting your madness poems here! It was a joy having you in the competition -- three terrific poems, all written under pressure. Amazing what you could do in such a short amount of time. AND your spark led the way for many other talented poets to follow you through my (trap?) door. Thanks again! -Ed D.

  8. Thanks, everyone, for your nice comments. Ed, it was pure pleasure (other than the time constraints! Oh, I am SO not speedy....)