NOCTURNE (A Villanelle)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I cannot find you in the summer’s leaves,
Or hear your music in the moontime’s song,
The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.

Across a cubist’s landscape of elm trees,
On midnight’s wave, I hear the steeple’s gong,
I cannot find you in the summer’s leaves.

When emerald stars through satin dreams, increase
Their spell and thus my fantasy prolong,
The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.

Of velvet indigos, the night then weaves
Its magic carpet  which bears me along,
I cannot find you in the summer’s leaves.

In caravels I sail Aegean Seas
And touch the columns that I dance among,
The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.

At last within my grasp   No, it deceives
Me, and I reach to find the vision gone.
I cannot see you in the summer’s leaves,
The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.

© Gay Reiser Cannon All Rights Reserved

 

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31 thoughts on “NOCTURNE (A Villanelle)

  1. I like the unusual but expressive images, full of movement, and the way you’ve worked in the cool blues and greens to suggest the sea, and the refrain line about the faceless breeze would work in any poem–doubly effective here as it’s repeated. Nice one, Gay.

  2. So artful and written beautifully. For me, the line “The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.” Yep, that one does it for me—seems like the effect becomes stronger each time it occurs. Really like this one, especially the journey aspect you draw out wonderfully.

  3. Such an atmospheric piece this Gay, full of rich imagery, particularly love these two lines.

    Across a cubist’s landscape of elm trees

    In caravels I sail Aegean Seas

    Beautiful write.

  4. “At last within my grasp No, it deceives
    Me, and I reach to find the vision gone.
    I cannot see you in the summer’s leaves,
    The shadow shapes become the faceless breeze.”

    Stunning!

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  6. This is fabulous! I’ve been enjoying experimenting with the villanelle. Loved doing the ghazal as well. Haven’t finished the sestina yet, but I’ll bet you can rock that form with no problem.

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  10. I enjoyed the sound when reading this. I could sense the longing and the frustration with not being able to find someone with leaves, shadows and breeze all being faceless.

    • Yes, I wrote this in my teens. It was one of my first poems. I had no boyfriend and I could see a church tower occasionally from my bedroom window. The leaves of trees would block it out and then I could see again. I was wondering where was my somebody out there that would later be my mate. I like it for all those reasons, I think.

  11. OMG–you were writing villanelles as a teenager–wow.This poem is in the voice of a mature woman, an accomplished poet; more the better it becomes as you share the rest of the story. My teen poetry in the late 50’s were like rap-lyrics–I see you in home room/ & I fear my doom/will be you rejecting me/not hearing my loving plea/–usually scribbled on school paper and passed to girls I never got to know. Love was a slippery pitfall at 13

    • Well I had what my friend and I called “gooey green” stuff too which was a lot like the one above.

      It takes a lot of work to get a poem finished. But as I remember this, it came down just like this not long after I read Dylan Thomas. Those were the days of two Dylans. The other one just won a Nobel. Our devotions were apparently worthy. Ha.

  12. The movement of the whole piece and the ‘almost’ longing of the final stanza are completely captivating. It doesn’t hurt that I am listening to Miles Davis as I read – perfect for the overall feel! Thanks for sharing this.

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