“Feckless Friday” ruba’iyat

This is not what Friday was meant to be;
events conspire to render me
helpless — stroke by stroke of ticking span
I fear that I will not break free.

From moment one, so much to do
that I worked straight through to the stroke of two;
and finally, with all affairs copacetic
took my lunch just to get some food.

O, how the Slav March toils my ears!
Until the weekend salves with beers —
till darkness comes to pull me down,
I sweat and fight through hours like years.

When darkness comes, as it does each day —
a visit to vet, to assess, I pray —
may it find me well enough to say:
“just passing through; l can not stay!”


    • Yep; the ruba’i, as I understand it, is a quatrain stanza typically in the rhyme scheme of AABA and there’s some noise about 42 meters per line, but I always feel the meter in my poetry. So then a ruba’iyat is a poem composed of those ruba’i, such as Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. That’s the example you’ll usually get in an English class.

  1. Very interesting piece you’ve written here.

    I’m busy digesting its meaning, scope and depth. And I really like it — feel moved by it, even though there is a heaviness and darkness to it.

    • I would be interested in hearing your analysis; I think that if someone famous were to hear my past analyses of their writing they’d be like, “of course!”

      And they’d be thinking, “dang, I never intended or thought of that!”

      • Lol —- dang, gotta like that thought. 😉

        Actually, let me sit with it for a bit longer, and I’ll get back to you — how would you prefer it – here on your space, or by email?

          • So I’ve been sitting here, for a while now, cobwebs growing on me, musing on this piece …. and if you’re expecting something deeply profound – lol – sorry!

            Seriously, though – down to business.

            There is a seriousness and heaviness to this piece, but a lighthearted spirit as well – almost – well to strip it down very bluntly – ” a childlike innocence of sticking out the tongue at a “truth” that just isn’t acceptable” – a sort of denial that is filled with hope and innocence that speaks of freedoms —- that’s definitely the sense I get in the last lines: “may it find me well enough to say:
            “just passing through; l can not stay!””

            Somehow, it’s interesting that you used the analogy or metaphor of having to visit the vet’s for an assessment – which I presume means you referred to having been “working like a dog”? At any rate, it is an “twist” that initially reads one way, then simply slips back into place and makes sense.

            The beginning and middle of the poem seems rather simple – or rather, choice of words not necessarily the most obvious, but the metaphors work well – but what still trips me up, after all this time is this line:
            “O, how the Slav March toils my ears!”

            Now is this a reference to Slav March – as in Slavic? or perhaps a play on Slave March? Either offers possibilities, when I think on it, painting a similar but different picture. One presents the ideas of the cold, Siberian fields and harsh world and work, while the other, offers heat heat heat – unbearable conditions and cruelty. Although the “Slav” version offers this as well – cruelty and intolerance for human spirit.

            All in all, this piece speaks to me on many levels — but it had to sit within me for quite some time, because truth be told, if I was not “hooked” by some intangible “essence” of whatever your spirit intended to share, then I would have been a bit baffled, “understanding’ but moving on rather quickly.

            So, essentially, this piece moves me – and I’m fascinated with the form and language choices etc.
            As for the actual technicalities of the “form” —- I can’t speak to that, other than to suggest that I *think* you succeeded in using it well; when it comes to actual poetic forms and all the technicalities of rhyming schemes and blah blah blah — my brain has always come to a screeching/screaming halt in violent protest. Don’t ask me to analyze and break down a poem to determine form/style etc. I can do it – having been “versed” in Eng. Lit. for the better part of my schooling – but my brain doesn’t process it well,

            So that’s my take on your wonderful piece!

            Great poem in my opinion Rob 🙂

            • I thank you for that wonderful analysis, Pat, and if I were to grade it you would get an A+ — not because you were right so much this has done what analyses and theses are supposed to do: namely, bringing new ideas and perspectives to the table in the context of a work. I have to say your reading of the Slav March line was bang on identical with my own, relating to the earworm I had that day — Tchaikovsky’s (I believe) Marche Slav which I assumed when I was younger meant “slave march” and was at some point covered by The Specials as well. That tune took on connotations of hard work and toil, and if you’ve heard it you might say that’s a fairly appropriate image. As for the vet thing, I think that’s a cool look at it, even though I was using vet there as a verb I think you added a great dimension to that line. That’s what analysis is for, is to expand what appears to be a limited meaning into as many directions as possible. 🙂

              • oh hell — there you go — mystery clarified —- I hadn’t *EVEN* considered vet in the verb sense!

                Sheesh — where was my brain all this time? 😉

                thanks for the evaluation/grade, Teach 😉 it’s always good to exchange ideas and have a good conversation about such things, adding and subtracting in good will … er …. searching.

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