My grandmother’s peonies
yet abandoned, thrive--
I fight the urge to pilfer
as still her mind’s alive,
and thus I strive
to surrender theories.

Change comes in incremental
elbowing and shoves.
Even ignored buds blossom,
no loss of light above--
Transcended love
is never accidental.

Kerry challenged the Real Toads to try a rhyming stanza devised by Louis Macneice. This is also poem #11 of 30 Poems in November to benefit Center for New Americans. Hope you'll consider sponsoring me or make a contribution.


  1. This is just brilliant, Marian. The rhymes are so subtle (I love the 'blossom / loss of' match)and the idea of the peonies continuing to bloom, forgotten by everyone except themselves is so engaging. I love flowers and grandmothers and people who notice both.

  2. I love the feminine rhyme choices, especially in the second stanza, and your off rhymes in the early parts as Kerry has called out are just evocative and perfect. Kerry talks about this form giving elegance, and you exemplify that here.

  3. I love "Transcended love is never accidental." Beautiful wordings in this poem.

  4. "Change comes in incremental
    elbowing and shoves." and that marvelous last line!
    She is alive in the flower, in you.

  5. You aced this one, kiddo, which I was not brave enough to even attempt. I love it that your grandma's still alive. I miss mine. Love the "transcended love", and that "even ignored buds blossom, no loss of light above." Brilliant work, my friend.

  6. My grandmother’s peonies... I think of my grandmother and roses. She had a gorgeous trellis on her front porch. Years later I drove by and almost didn't recognize the little house. No rose trellis and no cherry tree...

    You did amazingly well with this poem. It is a very elegant form when done correctly. (and you did)

  7. You have mastered the form beautifully. I think of my mother and father's home where flowers came up each spring as they did before my parents even moved there. I loved sitting among the blossoms breathing in the scent of ancestors.

  8. I think this seems natural and as if not effort all was used..nice..

  9. thank you, friends! this form is really lovely & i imagine i'll be revisiting it soon :)

  10. Oh, Marian!! This is so great!! I love the rhyme in pilfer/still her...the transcendental love...the strength to bloom regardless...beautiful!

  11. never accidental indeed - love this!

  12. so glad yinz like this one. i really love the form!

  13. that last stanza is so beautiful and brilliant. It has tears running down my cheeks and my heart swelling.
    nothing is accidental, I like that thought.

  14. well i don't think NOTHING is accidental. but transcended love? sure thing.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!