"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Grappling with the Cywydd Llosgyrnog

Whaddya mean, you've never heard of the Cywydd Llosgyrnog? It's a big, vicious animal that lives in the Welsh hills, a sort of a cross between a dragon and a washing machine. Grace at Imaginary Garden with real toads was telling us all about it.
Again I quote. The big beastie "can be of any number of stanzas, but each stanza has a strict meter, containing two eight-syllable couplets and two interlacing rhymes on the third and sixth lines. The third and sixth lines also rhyme with one another."
Or to put it more simply -

Anyway, I had to go in and out of town on the bus today, so wiled away the hours composing two - one in my usual style and one, shock, horror, quite serious.Please visit the link above and read better examples and, better still, have a go yourself.

Rock pool

He was always much more daring,
would leap the rocks without caring,
always haring off while lairy
elder brother analysed each
step, glanced to father on the beach,
still within reach, dark and hairy.

To the last rock he would hurry,
tanned and smiling, without worry,
a brown flurry of bony flesh.
That’s where the best crabs were, he’d yell,
at the edge in a shallow well,
trapped in the swell, salty and fresh.

Fearless, I’d see his hand dipping
in and out, while I came slipping,
cautious, tripping, o’er each small lake.
His large black bucket fair thundered
with the crusty shells he’d plundered,
as I blundered up in his wake.

Today the autumn tide is high,
the rocks are covered, leaden sky
thick with crying seagulls; sandals
offer scant protection from cold.
In tweed, I feel alone and old –
not a day to hold burnt candles.


My wife died back in ’96,
falling into the concrete mix;
across the Styx she’s been ferried.
I still can see her, hard and set,
and though the pain is with me yet,
I really should get her buried.

(ps - the first one is the serious one)


  1. Thank heavens the first was the serious one ;)

    The first is such a poignant piece about fond memories and the pain of losing some days to time. I really enjoyed it.

  2. I did wonder while I was reading the first one, especially the last line. It was wonderful, a word picture well painted.
    And the second one is a hoot and a half. (Mine isn't at all serious, but it isn't particularly funny. More a honk than a hoot.)

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

  3. not a day to hold burnt candles? whoosh!
    you did a great job with this form--so subtle i might not have thought about it as i read, had i not known (and been struggling with the beast myself, heh). love this poem.

  4. Kerry, thanks for the comments and thanks for the challenge
    Kay, you're wrong - yours is very funny
    Marian - know what you mean - the form is very severe and it takes a lot of work to make it flow naturally!

  5. Delightful duo here - the form is obviously right up your street.:)

  6. I am always afraid when I post a challenge that I have finally pushed too hard and no one will respond. I'm so proud to be proven wrong, repeatedly.

  7. You did a lovely job of being serious, and then you croaked your wife again. Do you really have a wife?

  8. Thanks Cad!
    Ah, someday you'll beat us.
    Chris, sadly, yes.