Break it down
Words that are rawboned
and bare to the core.
that stare you down.
who insist on one syllable
that’s two isn’t It?
And their name
I think it can’t be done.
But then I think
trust, sun, warm,
truth, song, notes,
motes (it’s time to dust)
no more than
rein and myth.
Oulipo is based on constraint. It can be taken to the ridiculous. One syllable words are just one form of Oulipo. For instance, take a poem, preferably your own, that you love (or hate, as the case may be) and look up each noun, then count 7 down (7 nouns that is) and replace each noun with the 7th after it in Websters (or whatever dictionary you choose). Then rework the poem to make sense of it with the new nouns.
They say we will find freedom in constraint, and maybe so. I don’t know. I haven’t yet, but I’ve been having fun. Obviously my muse has flown and I’m gasping for air here.
Below are a few facts I found about Oulipo.
OuLiPo, the “Ouvroir de Litterature Potentielle” or “Workshop for Potential Literature,” was co-founded in Paris the early 1960’s by mathematician and writer Raymond Queneau and Francois Le Lionnais. Oulipian writers impose constraints that must be satisfied to complete a text, constraints ranging across all levels of composition, from elements of plot or structure down to rules regarding letters. The informing idea behind this work is that constraints engender creativity: textual constraints challenge and thereby free the imagination of the writer, and force a linguistic system and/or literary genre out of its habitual mode of functioning. . Famous Oulipian texts include Queneau’s Cent Mille Millard de Poemes.
Queneau’s Cent Mille Milliards de Poèmes is derived from a set of ten basic sonnets. In his book, published in 1961, they are printed on card with each line on a separated strip, like a heads-bodies-and-legs book. All ten sonnets have the same rhyme scheme and employ the same rhyme sounds. As a result, any line from a sonnet can be combined with any from the other nine, giving 1014 (= 100,000,000,000,000) different poems. Working twenty-four hours a day, it would you take some 140,000,000 years to read them all. (but who would want to? s.m.z.)
I was amazed at the kindness shown by so many when I posted the request for help in finding the family of Willowdown. It is a joy to share with you that his family has been found. His friends in England, Wales, and in the online writing communities all worked hand in hand to accomplish that.
We have put together a memorial that I wanted to share with you. You will find it at
My thanks again to all.
Featured Wordflair Poet and Artist, Peter Crossland, aka Willowdown, has passed away in Thailand. He was born in Liverpool, England. He was a talented writer, poet and artist, and well loved by the Internet writing community but he was a very private person. He was 62 years old at the time of his death. Because no one has been able to locate his family we posted a plea for help in locating them. That, along with the concentrated effort of friends in England has now led to communication with his family. My thanks to all who contributed to those efforts.
Willowdown will be sorely missed by the Wordflair Community of Poets and Writers and by the family of poets and writers at The Peaceful Pub as well as the poets and writers on the many communities where he shared his work.
There’s no accounting for happiness
or the way it turns up like a prodigal…
Dedicated to the proposition
of despair, she was unprepared
for those unsettling moments
when Happiness appeared.
Curled fetal in the mist of nap,
gray afternoon wrapped around her
and in the next moment
with not even a knock on the door
It was there, grinning
in that irresistible way
that only Happiness has, and she
still fog-minded with sleep
Embraced it as if this time
it would stay, forgetting
in the moment it had a proclivity
for leaving unannounced.
sown in summer, fall is their spring
the kiss of frost has sweetened them
too mature they toughen
but it takes some aging
to build character
embellish just a little
but keep it simple
a touch of buttering
a little seasoning
don’t overwhelm them
learn to love the tang
take them or leave them
but don’t try to change them.
The Pen and Ink art of Willowdown is currently being featured at Wordflair.
His art work has appeared online and in print publications.
His poetry has been featured at Wordflair since 2009.
You will find his art at Willowdown Pen and Inks
You will find his poetry at Willowdown Poetry
A new poet will be featured each week of April, National Poetry Month.
We are pleased to announce that the work of Matt Clendon, aka Sabresun, is currently being spotlighted at Wordflair Community of poets and writers.
Congratulations! Matt, on being our newest inductee to the Poets Hall of Fame.
Stop by and take a look.
Submission Guidelines: http://www.wordflair.net/guidelines.html
A museless mind
in quest of just one spark
in a sea of darkness;
The year is new,
Void surrounds this fallow pen.
the gibbous moon couldn’t sway
the night. Can your astronomical feat
accomplish what it did not? Distance
has no power over seasonal flux,
Only the tilt accomplishes that,
but tonight as Earth travels closest
to the Sun, if you should see
a wayward muse,
please send it home.
On Jan. 4th, 2015,
Earth comes closer to the sun than it will come again all year.
This phenomenon is called perihelion
(from the Greek peri (near) and helios (sun).