The GWAWDODYN (gwow-dahd-in) is a Welsh poetry form.  The name is about as awkward as a flamingo wearing a kilt, but the rules made it sound like a limerick in disguise.  It is not.  Each quatrain contains two rhymes; the A rhyme occurs at the ends of lines 1, 2, and 4, and the B rhyme is all in line 3, at the end and embedded somewhere (anywhere!) in the middle.  The strict syllabic requirement (9-9-10-9) defies the use of triads, which keeps the lines from waltzing along the way a limerick does.  A morning spent attempting to hammer it into my preconceived mold led to nothing but frustration.  Grouchily, I tossed it aside.

At noontime, as I lifted a ripening avocado off the counter, the first
line came to me.  Avocados, as you know, are the crown jewels of the produce department and I buy one every week regardless of the price.  When it blackens a bit and yields to a gentle press, I pile some Garden of Eatin’ blue corn tortilla chips on a plate and turn that bad boy into the most sublime lunch known to (wo)man:


Avocado, soft beneath my thumb
mashed with lime and salt you shall become
a heavenly dip for earth’s corniest chips
Guacamole, to you, I succumb

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31 thoughts on “GWAWDODYN: IT IS WHAT IT IS

  1. chevvy8 May 21, 2017 / 2:24 am

    Well, it looks like you cracked that unpronounceable poetry form here. Clearly, you are passionate about Avocados. Reminds me of my childhood where we were surrounded by huge avocado trees and the fruit were just there for the taking. Nowadays we look out for the man who parks on the side of the road selling the varieties I remember as child – much cheaper than the supermarket. Definitely a family favourite. Well done on cracking another form and romancing the ordinary Joan!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Just Joan May 21, 2017 / 3:40 pm

      I had to practice that word a few times, as if it were a foreign language lesson. Oh, that I could have an avocado tree of my very own! But they don’t flourish in Ohio and living in the south would not agree with me, I’m afraid. Varieties? We have only two here, the palm-sized California and the lesser-known and much larger Florida, probably the ones that hold up best in shipping. On a trip to Thailand years ago, we ate a dessert topped with mango, ripe from the tree. It was a revelation, juicy and sweet-tangy, not at all like the imported mangoes we get here. Food is among the most compelling reasons to travel, I think. My travel logs would have no art museums or architecture, just food porn. 🙂


  2. Tippy Gnu May 21, 2017 / 6:18 am

    Welsh, with a hint of Spanish–quite an exotic poem. Leaves me feeling hungry, too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Just Joan May 21, 2017 / 3:47 pm

      Gwaw-dahd-in is the squishy-squashy sound the fork makes when you mash up the avocado! I hated guacamole the first time I tried it–our high school Spanish teacher said we couldn’t have any nacho chips at the class party unless we tried the green glop in the bowl. I don’t remember exactly when I changed my mind; it was like the “soapy” taste of cilantro that grew on me as my taste buds matured, I guess. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Tippy Gnu May 22, 2017 / 2:27 pm

        Avocados and guacamole are “slime” food. Any slime food takes a bit of getting used to. It’s probably a mental thing.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Just Joan May 22, 2017 / 4:24 pm

        I think my childish taste buds were just to immature too appreciate it. The teacher was probably glad no one liked it because she got the whole bowl to herself. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 21, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Thanks, Joyce. Short and sweet and guaranteed to resonate with guacamole lovers everywhere. 🙂


  3. Peter Klopp May 21, 2017 / 10:17 pm

    What shall I say except give you praise for turning the prepaation of an avocado into a skillfully craft gwawdodyn?! Well done, Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Klopp May 21, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    Correction: prepaation is not an ancient form of poetry,but just a typo. Haha!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. L. T. Garvin, Author May 21, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    Fabulous, Joan! “A heavenly dip for earth’s corniest chips” do I even need to tell you how much I love guacamole? I can just taste this, and yes, it is the most sublime lunch known to woman!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 22, 2017 / 4:23 pm

      Thanks, Lana. It is my all-time favorite lunch–no soup, sandwich, salad, pasta, etc, can outdo it. And avocados have only GOOD fat. That’s something to smile about. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. K E Garland May 22, 2017 / 6:54 pm

    Haha I would also like to call this “Ode to Guacamole” lol Great form Joan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 22, 2017 / 7:26 pm

      Thanks, KE. I guess that would make it a GWAWD-“ODE”-YN? Two great forms that taste great together! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. LTodd May 22, 2017 / 9:23 pm

    Thanks for the poetry lesson. I’m not a poet but like to learn the different styles. I give this one a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 23, 2017 / 7:50 am

      Thanks for the read and comment, LTodd! And I’m always happy when people are inspired to write their own poetry. I enjoy your travel posts, btw, you guys are always on the move. 🙂


  8. kmteufel May 23, 2017 / 9:46 am

    Gwaw, ha ha! That one tickled me. And now I’m hungry…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 23, 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Hey, KT! Long time since I’ve seen your face around these parts! I have no idea how this word translates from Welsh to English… Maybe gwaw = joke, and dodyn = practical? It felt that way when I was trying to write one! 🙂


  9. Quirky Girl May 23, 2017 / 3:58 pm

    “a heavenly dip for earth’s corniest chips”

    What a fun(ny) line! Corny and heavenly, hand-in-hand at last. 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just Joan May 23, 2017 / 4:49 pm

      Thanks, Quirky. I meant “corniest” in its most flattering sense. Is there a higher compliment for a tortilla chip? Hey, maybe this could be a lunch idea for your kids… slimy and green, no classmate is gonna trade his Funyuns for that! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Quirky Girl May 23, 2017 / 5:06 pm

        Actually, slimy and green tends to have high appeal among kids. Especially boys. 😝

        Liked by 1 person

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