Photo by e on Unsplash

I read he was inspired

By the


There was something

About the rhythm

And the rattle

Of wheels

On the tracks.

Solitude and relative

Quiet, often



Sometimes, when I

Ride, in the

White noise,

I can almost hear

Notes and melodies,

Like a distant


Somehow, for him

It clicked,

Like a wheel on

A track,

Rhythms and sounds,

Horns that almost

Imitate the noise

And clamor

Of a train in




An emotive


Cries and

Laughs, along


Thrilling swells,


Exciting crescendoes and

Building rhythm,

Interrupted by


Lyrical, romantic


Once, one of these


Woke me

From a dream in

Which I was telling this


Of the train and


Thank you,

Mr. Gerschwin

for your

“Rhapsody in


© 2021 Susan Joy Clark

This poem was written as part of dVerse’s Blue Tuesday challenge. (I think I am getting addicted to challenges.)

A little end note: I wrote a similar poem, free verse, about Gerschwin and the train for a college creative writing class years ago. This is not that original poem. With computer failures and changing devices over the years, I’ve lost some of my archives. The dream really happened, a lot more recently than my first poem on this theme. I had put together a classical playlist for insomnia, but this piece was a little too exciting for my insomnia!

A Doggo and His Ball

Poem and Palinode

Franco, a little doggy I care for several days a week.

I have been writing some short stories lately, and though I am late for National Poetry Month, have been in the mood over the past few days to experiment with different poetry forms. I am always in the middle of a longer creative writing project, so it has been nice to write some shorter pieces and put out a piece of creative writing more often.

I came across this challenge by DVerse to write a palinode. As described on their page, “A palinode or palinody is an ode or song that retracts or recants a view or sentiment to what the poet wrote in a previous poem.” It’s possible to do the poem and its recanting in a two-part poem which is what I chose to do.

A Doggo and His Ball


Franco is a funny boy,

Doggo with a favorite toy.

Balls are this doggo’s delight,

Which he dreams of day and night.

His fixation is annoying,

For the while he is enjoying,

the ball it bounces, skips and places

self into inconvenient spaces.

Only a hooman on her knees,

Face, hands or belly can retrieve

beloved bally from its snares

Under sofas, seats, beds or chairs.


Did I say my darling was a pest,

Just because he gives me little rest?

Maybe I did, but only in jest.

© 2021 Susan Joy Clark

I’m not sure my form is flawless — poem people, be gentle — but maybe light, comic verse gives me more leeway?

I’m showing off my lovely mismatched staying-at-home outfit in this pic, but it’s a good example of Franco being a darling.

This silly ditty below, by Gelett Burgess in 1895, was shared on DVerse’s page as an example of a poem with palinode, and I liked it so much I’ll share it here.

“I never saw a purple cow.
I never hope to see one.
But I can tell you anyhow
I’d rather see than be one.”

Later in life, Burgess wrote —

“Ah yes, I wrote the purple cow!
I’m sorry now I wrote it!
But I can tell you anyhow,
I’ll kill you if you quote it!”