Category Archives: Stress Matrix Sonnet

Curse


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

We curse the wretched hour glass that nails life to the floor,
sifting time with ticktock rhyme as grain by grain we ripen.
Fast-beat with wrists and fettered fists on pedagogy’s door,
beg the grown-ups ‘let us in’ till gap begins to widen.
 

The race to reach maturity – a noisy quick-sand bore,
hollering from child to bride as growth becomes compulsion.
Half-hitch a ride on crimson tide, a monthly underscore,
 

pre-pubescent budding breasts; first training bra propulsion.
Hot hormone highs that dampen thighs and leave us wanting more,
chronologic ticktimebomb an exponential function.
 

The tipping point comes all too soon, impatient youth impugns
years gone by, blink of an eye; no chance now of reversal.
As sand runs fast through aging glass and shape-shifts into dunes,
echoes loud amid the shrouds – child that was no rehearsal.
 
 
 

The form:
 

This is the Sonnet version of Stress Matrix Dectet/Stress Checkerboard Stanza – developed by Luke Prater
 

14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaB cDc DcD eF eF
 

(I’ve taken a bit of a liberty with the rhyme scheme and carried the ‘a’ rhyme through so this one is actually
aBaB aCa CaC dEdE)
 

where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 beats/stresses per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter. This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equaling 196 syllables).
 

Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone, crucial aspect to a sonnet), there are 3 different stanza layouts (the rhyme-scheme stays the same).
 

If the turn comes after the first eight lines, as it does in Italian Sonnets, the layout is aBa BcDcD cDe FeF. If it comes after line ten, then it’s aBaB cDc DcD eFeF (same as English but ending on a quatrain rather than the two couplets).
 
 

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Chronophage


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion~ Albert Einstein

 

Above concentric circles sits the pick-pocket of time;
grim, malicious grasshopper, devouring every second.
Each hour is marked by clanking chain in place of pealing chime,
golden eyelets blinking, unsuspecting future beckoned.
 

Mechanical escapement claws its way with steady tread,
creature’s constant motion eats up minutes; won’t augment them.
Though hypnotized by blood-red eyes, observers filled with dread;
 

twitching eyelid’s inward turn serves only to torment them.
As pendulum stops-stutters-starts; lights lag then race ahead;
life’s irregularities reflected in momentum.
 

Though insect never falters in persistent eerie grind,
Albert’s sound advice – go on and plunder timeless foundries.
Let go illusion’s obstacles, let waiver sit unsigned;
time quick-steps for those that choose to live inside its bound’ries.
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corpus_Clock
 

For Paula Belli whose picture of the Corpus Clock was the spark of inspiration for this piece.
 

The form:
 

This is the Sonnet version of Stress Matrix Dectet/Stress Checkerboard Stanza – developed by Luke Prater
 

14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaB cDc DcD eF eF 
 

where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 beats/stresses per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter. This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equaling 196 syllables). <
 

Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone, crucial aspect to a sonnet), there are 3 different stanza layouts (the rhyme-scheme stays the same).
 

If the turn comes after the first eight lines, as it does in Italian Sonnets, the layout is aBa BcDcD cDe FeF. If it comes after line ten (unique!), then it’s aBaB cDc DcD eFeF (same as English but ending on a quatrain rather than the two couplets).

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Filed under Stress Matrix Sonnet