A Warren of Turns

Walking within the stony labyrinth

Mindful meditating noting my way

Ancient granite soothes my sense

Beneath my feet, smooth cool allays

Conscious observation, maintains my pray

Perceiving sensations in myriad hues

Calmness encircles as if in a pew


Continuing on, my mind is at rest

Heedful the surroundings, I’m feeling alert

My being is peaceful, sound and blest

Nothing disturbs, agitates or hurts

Natural concentration brings support

Relaxation as I pace, letting go all that spurns

This maze of old, a warren of turns


Entry for FormForAll–Rhyme Royal:  dVerse


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  1. Peaceful and meditative. I love the title and ending phrase “warren of turns” — not sure what it means, but it effects me in a mysterious way.


    • Thank you for your visit and kind comments, David. A warren is like a maze (has different meanings as well). I was talking about walking a labyrinth or maze for meditation purposes in the poem.


  2. Sounds very soothing.


  3. This leaves you with a soft feeling – love it


  4. Tom Eliot

     /  July 28, 2011

    You have hit all the right notes with this structure – it really works nicely.

    It is soft, as has been said, and that is its power – it lulls you into its careful clutches -whereby it will protect you.

    Like a warm brandy on a cold night

    Good write


    • Apparently, I hit very few correct notes with this, Tom! Hehe… (see below) I do appreciate your very kind and generous compliment for me–thank you.

      I tried to warn them at dVerse that I was a newbie baby at forms. Yikes!

      Well anyway, I captured the spirit of the form–I’m happy about that.


  5. Gayle, the poem is beautiful and the rhyme scheme is accurate. You have
    indeed captured the “spirit” of the poem and conveyed a play on words working a quiet meditation into that “warren” – I pictured the maze at Hampton Court.

    However I think, if you don’t mind, it will prove instructive to point out where you vary from the prescribed line length and meter. Of course, for purposes of your poem, you can write it any way you like; but this to show the places you veer from it:

    Every line but line four beginning with “Beneath” begins with a trochee foot, instead of an iambic foot – meaning, the first word in all but one case is a two syllable word whose first syllable has the hard stress.

    Line one follows the trochee with four clearly iambic feet.

    Line two is pretty much all five feet of trochees (the last foot – “my way” could be read as iambic, or as a spondee (two syllables with even stress).

    Line three is short the correct number of feet – you begin with the trochee “Ancient”, followed by the trochee “granite” then you have a one syllable word followed by an iamb “my sense” – actually this phrase “soothes my sense” is properly the three syllable foot called an anapest that is “soothes my” have lighter stresses than the heavy stress on “sense”. This makes this a line of three feet (trimeter) not a pentameter or five foot line.

    Well that should give everyone a sense of the prosody involved. If anyone has more questions, feel free to email at beachanny@yahoo.com for any more clarifications.

    Thank you again, Gayle, for allowing me to dissect your poem for purposes of accuracy. Your poem is beautiful and as I said, I wouldn’t change it solely for conformity’s sake. I would, however, take note of where it veers from the form in order to be able to use those prosody tools when wanted.


  6. Gay, I thank you first for your kind compliment of the content of my poem. I fear I tread far over my head when trying to join in with this form. I have not studied any types of meter, iambic, trochee, spondee–you may as well be speaking a foreign language to me. I would need a book to study up on all these things and then perhaps try again.

    You were so generous in your time explaining my errors and I really appreciate it and didn’t mind you dissecting my poem at all. But I fear it is like a pre-schooler trying to go to college! I need to do some studying.

    I marvel at your knowledge and expertise and thank you again.

    Gayle ~


    • Gayle,

      Funny you should say that you need to do some studying because I felt the same way not long ago. I think it took me at least 6-months of practice to get somewhat comfortable with iambic meter – and yet, I still mess it up. The more I write and ask others who know their stuff to dissect it, as Gay did for you, the more I learn. One “dissection” teaches me more than did the endless hours I used to spend looking up meter terms on wikipedia – lol.

      I love your poem – technicality aside, which I could not have responded to any way, your words felt like a meditation for me. I was noticeably more relaxed by the end. Thanks for that 🙂


      • Sheila, thank you for your encouragement. I need to do exactly what you have done for the last six months and practice and study. I think it’s very generous for Gay and others to spend the time that they do to help us fledgling poets out here.

        I feel I am not qualified in any way to offer any technical advice either–I never do that!

        I’m glad you felt more relaxed by my “walking meditation” poem. I really appreciate your visit and thoughts.



        • I’m no queen of form. I’m free-verse and can barely cobble a limerick together! So your attempt truly impressed me, Gayle. I’m glad we have a community where Gay feels welcome to help you hone the form. I’m learning so much from all of you…

          Gayle, the spirit of your poem, the bare feet on that cold stone of the labyrinth, had an ancient quality that made it quite precious to me. I read it three times aloud!

          Now, if you want something free verse and completely bonkers, here’s my take on Poets United’s call for poems about Grass:
          Peace to you ALL! Amy


          • I mostly write free-verse too but have attempted some forms–self-taught–uh,oh that could be trouble–now that I think about it!

            Amy, it was very kind of you to share your thoughts about my poem. I’m happy that you enjoyed it. I really appreciate that.

            I did go read your grass poem and commented–my comment is still “awaiting moderation”. I loved it!



          • Amy, my comments must have gone in your spam department…


  7. Well, I am a baby myself here but you did well in rising up to the challenge.

    I don’t have any experience in these forms myself so its nice to see your poem and Gay’s critique as an example.

    Great to see you actively participating here~


    • You are very kind to say that, Heaven–thank you.

      I have tried to teach myself a few forms now and then and want to improve. So here I am.

      It’s nice to have the company of another “baby.” Hehe…


    • It’s a wonderful learning academy isn’t it? I’m still surprised at the time Gay and the others are willing to spend with us–very generous of them I think.

      I really appreciate your kind words for me too–thanks so much.


  8. jgavinallan

     /  July 28, 2011

    This is your “poet piece.” I mean this sounds like a deep, mysterious observation of something or life in general.
    You are so gifted…it sounds like something you might hear in a reciting from a super, poet…like you
    hugs to a great talent


    • Hi Jaye–this is based on a “walking meditation” that is popular in some Buddhist practices.

      You sure know how to encourage a person–I really appreciate your support for me.

      Thank you–to a wonderful friend.
      Gayle xoxo


  9. ok, i love the soothing feel to your verse…it lulls one in…and gays comment is scaring me even more…ha…think i will borrow a bit of your courage for tomorrow….


    • Maybe anyone else who might want to give this a go should be sent over here first and read my critique!

      Well, I do want to learn and get better so I appreciate the work that others are willing to put into me.

      Thanks Brian, for enjoying my “free form” poetry.


  10. Hi! I was new to this form, too, so I know how daunting it is to put it out there for all to see. Kudos to you for giving it a go. I wouldn’t be the one to speak to form, but I also found this soothing, and I agree that the whole maze theme is excellent. I could picture it in my mind, the puzzling labyrinth. Thanks for your encouragement my way, too 🙂


    • I seem to have soothing people down pretty good, now if I could only learn all those pentameters, trochees, feet, etc! I think I need to read up on a few things before I dive right in again. 🙂

      I do appreciate your kind compliments and good luck with your future endeavors.


  11. A wonderful feeling of letting your feet walk out inner tensions! A gentle cradling motion in the poem encourages a soothing atmosphere!


  12. I love the peaceful feel of this!


  13. You have done it here. I see old souls and their energies, here, in this poem. I see anyone’s history in these words. This is timeless and beautiful and I hear music playing behind your words.


    • I’m happy that the ancient feel came through on this, Leslie. What an amazing compliment you have paid me–I’m really honored by your words.

      I think people have been striving toward their inner peace for as long as there have been people.


  14. Well I love the illustrious depth and calming effect of this piece, Gayle. It reminds me of one of the spiritual retreats I have attended (we went on a similar walk).


    • This was based on a “mindful walking meditation”–perhaps this is what was practiced at that spiritual retreat you went on–it is Buddhist based. Very calming and centering. I’m glad the feeling came through on it–thank you very much, Laurie.


  15. Great job with an old form that’s new to me. Maybe I’ll try one too (:


    • Thank you, Marilynn, but really I went in way to deep over my head on this one–see Gay’s very kind critique above. I had joined in with a new group and decided to give this form a try–I didn’t have a clue as to the rules and really had no business trying.

      I have a lot of study ahead of me… 🙂


  16. this is a beautiful picturisation gayle. very beautiful.


  17. How beautifully have you done this Gayle!
    Mesmerizing and encircling- isn’t that how labyrinths are? Never walked in one yet.. I know of these through Pat Cegan!!

    I feel at peace reading this one..
    hugs xox


    • Thank you, Olivia. Yes, they are encircling and are said to be a meditation tool (can be).

      So glad it brought you peace.

      Gayle xoxo


  18. A simple, lovely meditation. Yes! Like a labryinth.

    We have a labyrinth in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral. It is a replica of the one at Chartes Cathedral in France.


    • What a beautiful labyrinth at Grace Cathedral–especially beautiful with the stained glass colors shining on it. Thanks for sharing that with me, Jamie. It’s just lovely.



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