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Thread: Riddle Poems

  1. #1
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Riddle Poems

    A while back, I had fun writing riddle poems about commonplace objects. Here is one to solve or as a prompt.

    I may wear lace, brocade or gingham,
    or shudder in my own bare frame.
    In mansion or in hovel,
    look to me for weather’s moods,
    time’s shifts from bright to dark.

    My outlook changes constantly,
    never twice the same.
    What you see this moment
    will not appear again.

    If need be, my single eyelid
    will hide you from the curious
    or the moon’s intrusive stare.
    Last edited by Demeter; 09-08-2015 at 06:21 PM.

  2. #2
    practical experience, FTW
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    Nice! I've guessed the answer, I think, but in case anyone wants to go the prompt route I won't post my guess for a while.

    (May use it as a prompt myself; have to see what comes along here.)

  3. #3
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    I've guessed it. How does one use it as a prompt? Is the idea to come up with another riddle poem? (Not so sure that's my thing, but it's a fun idea.)

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    Write your answer in a poem.

  5. #5
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Yes! Feel free.

  6. #6
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    That was quick! If you feel like solving another one, let me know.

  7. #7
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    Not as elegant as the riddle, but perhaps it will entertain.

    I stand thin
    brittle
    vulnerable between
    in and out
    safe and storm

    sometimes
    I am invisible
    sometimes
    I am raised up
    sometimes
    closed.

    I can break,
    oh yes!
    but unlike a mirror's
    seven years,
    shatter me
    your bad luck
    is only brief.

    No pane?
    no pain,
    just fix
    the window.

  8. #8
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Wonderful! The answer and the poem.

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    Thanks! I'd love to play with more of these. Fun!

  10. #10
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    It was fun writing them.

    Fish, flesh and fowl
    swim beneath my waters.
    A garden's harvest glows there.
    To trawl my smooth-banked, rounded pond,
    one implement is all you need.
    Hook, line and net
    would draw odd looks
    from puzzled fellow-fishermen.

    ***
    Like generations before her,
    labor never varies, never ends.
    Slender, stiff-necked, hair tightly bound,
    she carries on their work.
    You will never hear her speak aloud,
    only harsh and hostile whispers
    as she goes about the house.
    Job done, she rests against a wall
    or retires to her quarters
    until called upon again.
    An exorcist who cannot win,
    she will wear herself down
    in the struggle.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW
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    Two different riddles there, correct?

  12. #12
    is this how it ends? SuperModerator poetinahat's Avatar
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    I love these. (Demeter, I've guessed the second; I may have the first, but wouldn't be surprised if I were wrong.)

    Once upon a time, many years ago in the Writing Games forum, another thread of riddle poems flourished. I'm so glad we have a new one.

    These were my contributions:

    1.
    Once you've met me, you can't rest
    you cannot shrug and let me go
    but once you've seen me as a whole
    do I still entertain you? No.

    There is no joy in knowing me
    when once my secrets you've exposed
    but introduce me to a friend;
    you smile as their vexation grows.

    *

    2.
    My tawny skin, my slender belt
    and darkly sweet aroma
    invite anticipation while
    unmatched my pleasures be

    yet only is my essence felt
    as meditative coma
    when I'm destroyed - a dusty pile,
    blue haze of memory

    *
    Last edited by poetinahat; 09-09-2015 at 05:43 AM.

  13. #13
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Right.Two separate ones.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demeter View Post
    It was fun writing them.

    Fish, flesh and fowl
    swim beneath my waters.
    A garden's harvest glows there.
    To trawl my smooth-banked, rounded pond,
    one implement is all you need.
    Hook, line and net
    would draw odd looks
    from puzzled fellow-fishermen.

    ***
    Like generations before her,
    labor never varies, never ends.
    Slender, stiff-necked, hair tightly bound,
    she carries on their work.
    You will never hear her speak aloud,
    only harsh and hostile whispers
    as she goes about the house.
    Job done, she rests against a wall
    or retires to her quarters
    until called upon again.
    An exorcist who cannot win,
    she will wear herself down
    in the struggle.
    I'm too lazy tonight to write my own poems in answer, so I'll steal from Lewis Carroll and Emily Dickinson:

    Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
    Waiting in a hot tureen!
    Who for such dainties would not stoop?
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!



    ***************

    She sweeps with many-colored brooms,
    And leaves the shreds behind;
    Last edited by CassandraW; 09-09-2015 at 06:29 AM.

  15. #15
    practical experience, FTW
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    Good work there, Cass, even if it's not your own.

    I think I've got the first one of Mr. Hat's but not yet sure of the second.

    I'm being stubborn and waiting til I can come up with my answer in a poem, which won't be tonight.

    ETA: I was wrong, it was tonight.
    Last edited by Kylabelle; 09-09-2015 at 07:44 AM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetinahat View Post

    1.
    Once you've met me, you can't rest
    you cannot shrug and let me go
    but once you've seen me as a whole
    do I still entertain you? No.

    There is no joy in knowing me
    when once my secrets you've exposed
    but introduce me to a friend;
    you smile as their vexation grows.


    *
    Here's a snake that bites its tail,
    a question that can't stop questioning,
    a feedback loop in fine fiddly detail,
    a verbal perpetual motion machine!
    It's a riddle
    about a riddle!

    (and the exclamation points are special delivery for Cass.)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kylabelle View Post
    (and the exclamation points are special delivery for Cass.)
    I stand alert and drop a turd
    at the end of every line!
    Don't trust yourself to merely words!
    If you're excited, give a sign!

  18. #18
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    Good one, but you know, you really telegraphed the answer.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by poetinahat View Post

    2.
    My tawny skin, my slender belt
    and darkly sweet aroma
    invite anticipation while
    unmatched my pleasures be

    yet only is my essence felt
    as meditative coma
    when I'm destroyed - a dusty pile,
    blue haze of memory

    *
    scoping out the pretty people
    in sundry dark and smoky bars
    remember when you read their signals
    cigars are sometimes just cigars

  20. #20
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    I guessed poetinahat's first one but I kept tripping over that belt in the second one. Easier to write than solve them. I love Kylabelle's and Cassandra's answers as poems. Want more?
    Last edited by Demeter; 09-09-2015 at 04:39 PM.

  21. #21
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    Of course! Thanks for starting this up (again) Demeter....

  22. #22
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Two more:



    They are old companions,
    opposites in every way.
    He is made of sturdier stuff
    though subject to the ills of age.
    She is versatile, impressionable,
    sensitive to temperature,
    reduced by heat to dissolution
    in cold a golden girl.

    They meet always with a close embrace.
    She clings.
    He is the better for it:
    complementary opposites,
    their differences are smoothed away.

    **************

    Source, font and reservoir,
    granary and root cellar,
    unshaped clay of prose and poetry,
    whatever use you make of me,
    I cannot be exhausted.
    Harvest me.
    Shelves are filled with preserves
    from my bounty,
    labelled, waiting to be opened,
    their singular flavors set free.
    They are my progeny,
    myself remade.

  23. #23
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    Got it! Cassandra's last one.
    Last edited by Demeter; 09-10-2015 at 02:01 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demeter View Post
    Source, font and reservoir,
    granary and root cellar,
    unshaped clay of prose and poetry,
    whatever use you make of me,
    I cannot be exhausted.
    Harvest me.
    Shelves are filled with preserves
    from my bounty,
    labelled, waiting to be opened,
    their singular flavors set free.
    They are my progeny,
    myself remade.
    Ah, I used to be
    so lovely and whole,
    delighting the senses of all.

    But the Tower of Babel did for that
    when it caused my perfection to fall.

    Now I lie shattered
    but pick up the shards
    and sing me a lay or two.
    It's language I am
    if that ever mattered
    to any but me and you.

  25. #25
    Dreaming North. Remembering Maine Demeter's Avatar
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    This morning I was thinking of preoccupations that have overtaken me at various times in my writing and how they come and go. This was the result:
    VISITATIONS

    They came uninvited, stayed too long,
    the Muses’ distant relatives,
    fifth or seventh cousins,
    unmentioned by the family.

    Not easy guests, obsessive,
    insistent, imposing quirks and manias.
    One, with a trunkful of masks
    and disguises, spoke in riddles,
    smug as the Sphinx
    with her little half-smile.

    Another, in kimono and obi,
    wooden sandals at the door,
    unrolled a tatami, settled in.
    Exquisite, measured, precise,
    she stood behind me as I wrote,
    dictating her requisite numbers:

    Five, seven and five,
    five, seven and five, not more,
    not less, not ever.

    Salam, Sayonara, enough,
    they left at last.
    But who is that at the window?
    What games do they want to play?

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