This week’s form is the LAI (lay). French in origin, a Lai has nine lines and two rhymes that follow this pattern: aab aab aab. Lines with an “a” rhyme have five syllables and those with a “b” rhyme have two. Mine (below) is also an elegy, mourning the loss of a beloved friend.
For decades, we’ve walked our dogs down a long lane between tracts
of farmland, enjoying the seasonal beauty of an iconic oak on the path. This year, it emerged from spring rickety and leafless, likely a victim of agricultural pesticides. It puzzles me that farmers, men who depend on the soil for their livelihood, are so flippant about their use of chemicals. Without wildflowers and weeds for food, populations of bees and other pollinators continue to wane. Stately trees are written off as collateral damage. What do you suppose eating tainted crops does to humans? Clue: a hundred years ago, your chance of getting cancer was 1 in 33; today, it’s nearly 1 in 3! Please, please, please, THINK about what you put in your mouth. Choose ORGANIC and support farmers who care.
Lifeless old oak
your shriveled roots poke,
between farm fields soaked
with poisons to choke
weed and thorn
What foolhardy folk
would trade this grand bloke
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