Almost Summer When the Mockingbird Sang

I’m not quite sure of the difference between a cleave poem and a contrapuntal poem, but this is one or the other. It’s for Jilly’s Days of Unreason, Day 1 based on this quote from Jim Harrison.

“Spring day, too loud for talk
when bones tire of their flesh”


Spring day, almost summer               when the mockingbird sang

when the air was heavy                       warning of threats—or promise

too tired to sigh                                   seeking an answer

in fragrant breezes                               in curtained windows

but letting go finally                            as the rain fell

whispering, then shouting                   beating a tattoo

calling children to skip and jump       into rainbow puddles




33 thoughts on “Almost Summer When the Mockingbird Sang

  1. Yay! This is wonderful! The repetition of words and phrases have the rhythm of rain and by the end of it I am that child playing in the puddle. So glad you were inspired by the prompt.
    Now, regarding the two types of poems… you’ve set me off on a quest. The best I’ve found thus far is that Cleave poetry is more about the visual and that there should be a dichotomy involved. I’m not prepared to settle for that distinction & am prepared to dig into my library a bit further. 🙂

  2. Really cool. Not sure if I’m reading it correctly, but I read it three ways. The effect brings to mind how three different people can hear the same conversation, song, etc., and come away with three different viewpoints all equally valid…or otherwise. 😉 Not sure if I have the mental energy to try it, but sure had fun reading.

  3. Whichever form this is, it is done really well! Read it all three ways …and then began reading lines at random. This would so work in Harry Potter’s world! Passages changing without warning. Or perhaps a Calvinball poem …where whoever reads it gets to choose the poem. Love this:

    ” …letting go finally as the rain fell
    whispering, then shouting beating a tattoo….”

  4. This is wonderful. Some of your words seem to describe the day we’re having, this rainy Sunday, when the mockingbird is full of song (and hanging out with his mate on the perch near the roses). Love this:

    “…letting go finally as the rain fell
    whispering, then shouting beating a tattoo….”

    • Thank you, Robin.
      I’m sick of this rainy, cloudy weather. It’s not raining now, but it was when I woke up. Now it’s cool and windy. But the birds still do sing. 🙂

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