Kerry's poetry challenge for the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads today is for us to write a Tetractys, which has a syllable count of 20, arranged 1, 2, 3, 4 (adding up to 10) and 10.
Tetractys, a poetic form invented by Ray Stebbing, consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20). Tetractys can be written with more than one verse, but must follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Double Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1. Triple Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 and so on.
My submission is a Double Tetractys. I had just finished writing it when my young brother phoned to inform me of the death of one of his longtime friends.
My brother is 21 years younger than I am. Although I am, of course, very sad when one of my friends dies, it was a real shock to hear one of my brother's school friends died. To me, they will always be teenagers. The pain in my brother's voice makes my heart ache for him and all of his old gang.
Rest in peace, Zad. You were one of the good guys, and will be remembered.
and a kiss
from a loved one
gladden my heart on a soul-dreary day.
when my mind’s compass cannot find the way,
friends make me feel
there is hope