Thursday, December 2, 2021

Winding Down the Year

Hello December!

It's really hard to believe that this calendar year is coming to a close. Thank goodness for the season of Advent and Christmas through New Year festivities to keep me smiling.

This month, Molly challenged our Inklings:

I chose a new-to-me form, the Interlocking Rubiyat

I thought I had never read or heard a poem like this before. But, it is well known...especially in this famous poem sometimes read in December as snow begins to fall in my part of the world. 

'stopping by Woods on a Snowy evening' - robert frost (powerful life poetry)

And in the serendipity of poetry life, this Poem-a-Day from Saturday 11/27 popped up just to show me that the rubaiyat has more to teach me.  Fancies, by Mrs. Minot Carter is not interlocking...but it is a rubaiyat.


Mrs. Minot Carter

If we could return from our last long rest
And seek out the ones we loved the best,
Though not in a form to cause them fear,
Just gently to let them feel us near,

Would we come in the scent of the evening flowers
Bringing to mind past happy hours?
read the rest here

The rules of interlocking rubaiyat:

  • Comprised of quatrains following an aaba rhyme pattern.
  • Each successive quatrain picks up the unrhymed line as the rhyme for that stanza. So three-stanza rubaiyat might rhyme so: aaba/bbcb/ccdc. Sometimes the final stanza, as in Frost's example above, rhymes all four lines.
  • Lines are usually tetrameter and pentameter (mine are 10 syllables).

As I am saying goodbye to 2021 I am beginning to finish up a year's journey with Hamish. We will always be friends. But, his time as my main word squeeze is winding down. Our time together has been far richer than I hoped for. Again, I want to thank Irene Latham for the inspiration from her ArtSpeak padlet boards. I've been wowed by her work so many times. In 2021, I flat out took a page out of her padlet to give my own a try. My writing is forever changed. 

I have plans for 2022. But, more on that later. It's time to give Hamish some time with interlocking rubaiyat.

How to Say Goodbye? 

This year winds down, an old clock ticking slow 
wind blusters north and south now, seeking snow. 
A friend I’ve made and loved is moving on 
I don’t know how to say goodbye -- let go. 

I need a farewell star to wish upon 
a steady light for us to see and count on. 
Sure as any flashlight at midnight's dark, 
shining bright and holding us in common. 

These winter days grow short and early dark. 
Quick-scurry squirrels chase acorns in the park 
fists and cheeks full of bounty to be stored 
treasure maps marked by tiny chatter marks. 

My words, those acorns, fond memories stored 
will keep me warm and fed through lonely storms 
until we can wind up the clock again 
to meet as old and reunited friends.

Linda Mitchell 12/21
all rights reserved

Hamish has a few words at his padlet: 

Thanks to Michelle who hosts our Poetry Friday Round-up at MoreArt4All. Please stop by and enjoy the richness of her creativity! 


  1. Beautiful, heartfelt Interlocking Rubiyat, Linda! I can picture the squirrels and their "treasure maps marked by tiny chatter marks". Hamish was is a special fella... I was happy to read your Hamish-inspired words all year long. :)

  2. Hamish has become so real! Your goodbye is poignant...and beautifully crafted.

  3. I love this poem of goodbye, such a mixture of imagery with a tone of bittersweet. So well crafted. A challenging form to give yourself. Hamish will live on.

  4. Thanks so much for introducing me to the interlocking rubaiyat. Your poem in such a wonderful way interlocks the seasons to the loss of your friend, but one you will see again. Lovely.

  5. Oh, I'm already missing Hamish! You struck just the right tone with your poetic, poignant farewell to the year and good friend. Good job!

  6. Beautiful parting farewell poem Linda, and the form you picked works so well with your words–thanks for introducing me to the interlocking rubaiyat. Lovely bittersweet poem to Hamish, and I like the images you combined with the words. I will miss him… Thanks!

  7. Oh, Hamish! Don't leave us! Linda, your rubaiyat is lovely, especially that first stanza, and I do like how universal it is--no shaggy ox hooves, although we're thinking of them. Sometimes a classic form is all you need!

  8. Oh Linda. This is so beautiful. And that Hamish is having similar experiences too is doubly poignant. Goodbye is so hard. Change is hard. I wish we could keep friends close for always. (And I wish we could see overseas PF friends more often! Like; Just popping in for a cuppa and chat...) Squirrel those memories away, my friend.

  9. This is so poignant, Linda. As Heidi mentioned, the feelings are universal and true. Your last line is the wish we all keep tucked in our hearts. (And I'm sure you'll be meeting up with Hamish again!)

  10. I hear the grief over this transition in your poem, Linda. The concept of words as acorns caught my attention in this poem. Sending you love and ease during the holidays. (Laura Shovan)

  11. I've never heard of this form, Linda, and thanks for your wonderful example. I love those chattering squirrels! Looking at Frost's poem, one of my favorites, makes me wonder about the way having all 4 lines rhyme in the final quatrain changes the tenor of the poem. Hmmmm. I'm glad you're thinking ahead, about the time beyond Hamish. Yours is a lovely, bittersweet poem.


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!