The Stars Are Out Tonight – A Villanelle, April Ekphrastic Challenge

Jane Cornwell

The stars are out tonight
Shining for you and me
Beacons in the dark night

Lending their guiding light
So we can the road see
The stars are out tonight

Guiding our hasty flight
As we loneliness flee
Beacons in the dark night

You hold my hand so tight
Less I fall, scrape a knee
The stars are out tonight

We’re hasting to the site
Towards the white abbey
Beacon in the dark night

Tonight we future write
When you will marry me
The stars are out tonight
Beacons in the dark night

©RedCat

Read other Villanelle by me here.

To see all art and read all poetry for today go to The Wombwell Rainbow.


Jane Cornwell


likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of Scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

April Ekphrastic Challenge – GloPoWriMo 2021

Granddaughters of Red Riding Hood – April Ekphrastic Challenge

Jane Cornwell

We granddaughters of red riding hood
Brought up with the cautionary tale
Have the dangers of dark woods understood

Know everything the world thinks women should
Do to avoid predatory males
As granddaughters of red riding hood

Know there’s sometimes cruelty in manhood
Know that nice personas can evil veil
We have the dangers of dark places understood

Know that getting caught by one would
Lead others to our precautions assail
As granddaughters of red riding hood

We know that one sad fact of womanhood
Most abuser will never face jail
We have the dangers of dark minds understood

Know we’ll live asking if we’ve done all we could
Knowing the price we’ll pay if we fail
We granddaughters of red riding hood
Have the dangers of walking the dark understood

©RedCat


I’ve got such reactions to We just want to get home – Dedicated to Sarah Everard.
Both when I read it live and afterwards. Some comments especially have made my heart ache with the knowledge that way too many women have been assaulted. Will be assaulted sometime in their lives. Click on the link to read it, or hear me read it on dVerse Open Link Live.

This one is a sort of continuation or maybe a companion piece. Because as the abuse seems never ending, so too is the struggle to do something about it.  

Written in the Villanelle form. But don’t bother to count the syllables, because I’ve kept no strict meter. And have allowed the repeating lines to change slightly through the poem. Choosing substance over form.

For all art and all poems go to The Wombwell Rainbow.

Jane Cornwell


likes drawing and painting children, animals, landscapes and food. She specialises in watercolour, mixed media, coloured pencil, lino cut and print, textile design. Jane can help you out with adobe indesign for your layout needs, photoshop and adobe illustrator. She graduated with a ba(hons) design from Glasgow School of art, age 20.

She has exhibited with the rsw at the national gallery of Scotland, SSA, Knock Castle Gallery, Glasgow Group, Paisley Art Institute, MacMillan Exhibition at Bonhams, Edinburgh, The House For An Art Lover, Pittenweem Arts Festival, Compass Gallery, The Revive Show, East Linton Art Exhibition and Strathkelvin Annual Art Exhibition.

Her website is: https://www.janecornwell.co.uk/

April Ekphrastic Challenge – GloPoWriMo 2021

Nightmare Storms – A Villanelle –Ekprastic Challenge, January 30

Kerfe Roig – The Heat Breaks

In her dark mind towering thunderheads
Better to break than to abuse conform
Sparkling dreams and fragile dreams beaten dead

No pink dawn breaking to be seen ahead
The sky full of bruised clouds aching to storm
In her dark mind towering thunderheads

Starved, strangled passion bleeding out blood-red
No space for dreams outside the prescribed norm
Sparkling dreams and fragile dreams beaten dead

Clinging to sanity by a thin thread
Stuck screaming unheard in protective form
In her dark mind towering thunderheads

Trapped in a black vortex of clawing dread
Demons, nightmares and evil spirits swarm
Sparkling dreams and fragile dreams beaten dead

Shivering cold in a lonely blue bed
Dreaming of being held in embrace warm
In her dark mind towering thunderheads
Sparkling dreams and fragile dreams beaten dead

©RedCat

The form is a Villanelle in pentameter, meaning five feet per line. And although it has niteen lines (thirteen unique ones) it has only two rhyme sounds.
For me the easiest way to denote this is – A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2

I confess to some extra dark and hopeless days recently, but even so, I’m grateful to be able to say it was a long time – as in years and years – since I was in such a bad place.

I just have private reasons for wanting to help someone else expressing the same kind of bad place.

Read all poems and see all poems at The Wombwell Rainbow.

Also posted to OLN at dVerse – The Poets Pub.

Kerfe Roig

A resident of New York City, Kerfe Roig enjoys transforming words and images into something new.  Her poetry and art have been featured online by Right Hand PointingSilver Birch PressYellow Chair ReviewThe song is…Pure HaikuVisual VerseThe Light EkphrasticScribe BaseThe Zen Space, and The Wild Word, and published in Ella@100Incandescent MindPea River JournalFiction International: Fool, Noctua Review, The Raw Art Review, and several Nature Inspired anthologies. Follow her explorations on her blogs, https://methodtwomadness.wordpress.com/  (which she does with her friend Nina), and https://kblog.blog/, and see more of her work on her website http://kerferoig.com/

Yule Angst – A Villanelle Song by Kmt47 feat RedCat, 19 December

©RedCat

Is there reason to be jolly
Will my love kiss me tomorrow
Wake me from this melancholy

Feeling only pain and colly
Fading like an old, old photo
There’s no reason to be jolly

Brain is treacle slow and foggy
No hope left it’s all a dumb show
Shake me from this melancholy

Bring me back to happy folly
Lead me to above the rainbow
Teach me reasons to be jolly

Read me from your book of stories
Take me to the patch of willow
Break me from this melancholy

Let’s lay down beneath the holly
Touch until we’re breathless, aglow
There is reason to be jolly
Woken from this melancholy

©RedCat


Inspired by music made by Kmt47. I have tried lyrics before, but never felt it work. This time the music gave me rhythm and melody. The words slotted into place, one by one, for each read through. And the music changed after the words where added. Haven’t sung in years, so it was a bit nerv wrecking.

Together we poured all the angst this year had into one strange, haunting techno song.

Written for the last dVerse prompt of the year – MTB: endings / beginnings.
There where a seasonal buffet of five delicious (though low-fat) things about about endings:
(for full descriptions see the prompt)

  1. how and where to end that line 
  2. endings as quotations like The Golden Shovel form – where one poem quotes another 
  3. endings and beginnings – verse forms that loop and repeat (dVerse Vilanelle)
  4. underlining your endings, and
  5. surprise endings.

Since I recently done two Golden Shovel poems. I choose number 3. I love repating, looping forms. I decided to try a new one a Villanelle.

A Villanelle has 19 lines – 5 three line stanzas (tercets) and a final four line stanza (quatrain). It has a definite rhyme and repeating structure. And thanks to the dVerse explaination I finally understood something about denoting poetic structures.

1b2 ab1 ab2 ab1 ab2 ab12 equals A1bA1 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2

Looks like a strange equation :-)

It means the first five stanzas rhyme aba, the last abaa. The lines denoted with a capital letter are repeated verbatim. You’ll notice I break this in my song and change the lines slightly. I did that after singing it for the first time realizing it would be better to suit the lines to the change going on.


Photo by Aakash Sethi from Pexels

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