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SEPTENGA [3-2-3-2-3-2-3]

A Septenga is a sequence of seven links, starting with a three-liner, followed by two and finishing with a three-liner. The poem should contain a psychological and/or empathetical theme and can be either written solo or with a partner. The Septenga was created by Alexis K. Rotella and ai li on the 16 February 1997, with grateful thanks to Robert F. Rotella for coining the Septenga name.

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella and ai li 1997

 

EXAMPLES :

IN TOWN with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
SPRING FLOWERS with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
VALENTINE'S DAY with Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
THE WHORE with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
A MOTHER by ai li
VOICES by Caroline Gourlay

_______________________________________________

 

IN TOWN

A Septenga between ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
London and Los Gatos, California
6 - 7 February 1997

 

in town
again
christmas lights

 

on every corner
the jingle of tin cups

 

the fat man
in red
knee deep in snow

 

asleep in the manger
a calico

 

silent
and bright
evening star

 

Under Orion
midnight mass

 

a beggar passing
hears
the hot bath

 

 

[Published FROGPOND, December 1996]

Copyright ai li and Alexis K. Rotella 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

SPRING FLOWERS

A Septenga between ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
London and Los Gatos, California
6 - 7 February 1997

 

the first daffodils
in a
march wood

 

everywhere the smell
of yellow

 

a little girl
with buttercups
shallow grave

 

chocolate rabbit
minus one ear

 

not hearing
birdsong
at the interment

 

Chinese New Year -
a pink slip

 

mother
sitting by
white chrysanthemums

 

 

[Published FROGPOND, Spring 1997]

Copyright ai li and Alexis K. Rotella 1997

 

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

VALENTINE'S DAY

A Septenga between Alexis K. Rotella and ai li
Los Gatos, California and London
14 - 16 February 1997

 

Valentine's Day -
off with
his head

 

the murmur
in a cardiologist's ear

 

He whispers
as we dance
"I smoke three packs a day."

 

lips for kissing
a cold sore today

 

Again
the full moon
a surprise

 

red roses
on the wrong doorstep

 

The girl with
a collagened pout
weeping

 

 

Copyright Alexis K. Rotella and ai li 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

THE WHORE

A Septenga with ai li and Alexis K. Rotella
London and Los Gatos, California
17 - 24 February 1997

 

the whore
moans
rising rent

 

stains under the arms
of her green satin dress

 

she looks up
the address
of a lottery winner

 

"why," she asks,
"do I always fall for a loser?"

 

the 23 stone client
demanding
a water bed

 

ochre
the whites of his eyes

 

after the call
from her clinic
a razor found

 

 

Copyright ai li and Alexis K. Rotella 1997

____________________________________________________________________

 

 

A MOTHER

A solo Septenga by ai li
London
20 February 1997

 

a mother
called miriam
making chopped liver

 

he comes home
once a year

 

an old piano
tuned,
fresh lilies

 

the din
of silence

 

girls
of marriageable age
bringing chicken soup

 

he sees the bars
in a bedroom window

 

cryptic -
the final
note

 

 

Copyright ai li 1997

___________________________________________________________________

 

VOICES

A solo Septenga by Caroline Gourlay
Powys, England
1997

 

unchanging landscape -
slow passage of a day
across the ceiling

 

a shadow
leans into the room

 

eyes closing -
louder and louder
the afternoon sun

 

temperature rising
- falling, rising ...

 

bee in the medicine glass
drone
of a forage-harvester

 

on all the silent walls
my mother's paintings

 

insistent voices
rustling the curtains
summer wind

 

 

 

Copyright Caroline Gourlay 1999 [Revised March 1999]

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