Villanelle # 6


In January, I will explore the style of the Villanelle. This form of poetry has a lot of rules. I am normally a rule-breaker, so I take up the challenge of pirouetting across this restrictive dance floor with a degree of trepidation. Villanelle # 6 I will call Elba Mae’s Intervention.

My first love is poetry. I played with rhythms as a child as a favorite toy, writing line after line and verse upon verse down in a notebook my mama gave me. The words became undecipherable squiggly lines dancing across the page.  I remember sitting on my Uncle Harvey’s porch, making up poems only I could read. I learned to write real letters after I started school. That’s when my adventure with poetry started. I found myself in a dance with a fickle dancer. As soon as I got the steps right, the beat changed, and the singer sang a different tune. COVID-19 and retirement have given me the gift of time to explore, study, and capture the essence of poetry, making all its different moved on the page.

The rules I followed writing Villanelle # 6

The rules for creating a Villanelle are simple and straight forward. This style of poetry must have 19 lines and five stanzas. The closing stanza has four lines. Also, line 1 gets repeated in lines 6, 12, and 18. Thus,  line 3 gets repeated in lines 9, 15, and 19. There are so many rules and so little time.

Elba Mae’s Intervention

This here is Elba Mae, and we need to have a chat

It’s me sitting here this morning at your writing table  

Naomi appointed me spokes person and diplomat

 I have a bone to pick with you before things go splat

You better listen up real close if your able

 This here is Elba Mae, and we need to have a chat

You need to make Naomi Jewish or she’d leaving you flat

She wants to be high class and wear coat made of sable

Naomi appointed me spokes person and diplomat

And I ain’t a white Episcopalian woman and I’ve told you that

On this point, I got to say I am definitely unswayable

This here is Elba Mae, and we need to have a chat

As far as Word Daddy you got to leave him flat

He’d treating us like we’re a ho in his stable

Naomi appointed me spokes person and diplomat

He’s a misogynist and a pig and have you noticed his last tat

It’s a picture of me and Naomi hanging off a bridge by a cable

This here is Elba Mae, and we need to have a chat

Naomi appointed me spokes person and diplomat

Who is Molly Shea?

Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh.  To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.

Be sure to follow Molly on Twitter!

Published by henhouselady

I am the author of Saving the Hen House. I didn't know when I started it would turn into a series. I love to ride motorcycles, the blues, my family, and going on adventures. This old hen rocks.

9 thoughts on “Villanelle # 6

      1. It’ssomething I was able to put off for ten years will exercise and diet. It finally caught up with me when everything shut down due to COVID. I know it will be great when I get on the other side of this.

      2. It will wither be at the end of January or first part of Febuary depending on my Covid test. It is not as bad here as in some places. Not everything is shut down, and people think we are crazy for being out in the world. Health care seems to be the big obstacle.

      3. Yes, I agree. All the best with the surgery and thanks for your continued support on my blog. The world is going upside down..

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