(c) all rights reserved · dverse · poetry · tetractys

dVerse — MTB 226 — ROYGBIV

waves of
sorrow wash through
me, a nerve-searing tsunami of loss.

Tart, sweet, your twinkling eyes with deep laugh lines
pull me in. I
dream or-

low slides
under leaves, in
wait for industrious, distracted mice.

After long months of masked fear, the time comes
to put it down.
New green

about, tiptoes
in my peripheral vision at first.

Long wavy tresses caress her shoulders.
Her lashes dip.
She is

harvest many funny reminisces.


Tetractys, a poetic form invented by Ray Stebbing, consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20). I’ve chosen to write a series of them for the ROYGBIV (mnemonic for red, orange, yellow, blue, indigo, and violet,) trying to compose as I imagine how a synesthete might perceive.

“Euclid, the mathematician of classical times, considered the number series 1, 2, 3, 4 to have mystical significance because its sum is 10, so he dignified it with a name of its own – Tetractys. The tetractys could be Britain’s answer to the haiku. Its challenge is to express a complete thought, profound or comic, witty or wise, within the narrow compass of twenty syllables.” – Ray Stebbing

Grace is today’s host of dVerse’ Meeting the Bar. Grace says:
The writing challenge: Today we will write about color from the perspective of a synesthete. Pick one color or several colors. Create your own Dictionary of Color. All sounds have color. The alphabet has color. Days of the week have color. Each day has a color and a certain shape.

Image is a painting by Leonid Afremov

My sons have introduced me to worlds of new music. Boards of Canada are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin. My musical selection today is from their first album, “Music Has the Right to Children” (1998.) I thought of this song when I read Grace’s prompt, and it was the song that led to the title, and then the poetry.

62 thoughts on “dVerse — MTB 226 — ROYGBIV

  1. I love the shape your series of tetractys makes, Lisa, the way you played with the colour names, and the ‘industrious, distracted mice’! My favourite lines:
    about, tiptoes
    in my peripheral vision at first.’
    They reflect the many shades of blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this, and I ADORE the transition here with the style:

    dream or-

    low slides
    under leaves…”

    Something about that with the use of hyphens and spacing, it just intrigues me. Definitely accentuates the piece by breaking it up in this way. Incredible poetry, as always. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kudos, Lisa, you rocked the prompt, and introduced us to a spanking new form. I hope d’Verse uses it as a prompt, for it is visually intriguing, and it does smack of haiku or Eastern form.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Electronic music is perfect for this prompt, and a good complement to your poem, as is the painting. Back in the 80s there was an electronic music show on one of he local college stations, and I always enjoyed it. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the way the form forces the unexpected word breaks. I found myself stopping not only at those, but also at the other colors (including the single syllable ones) because of the breaks. It’s not a form I’ve ever been particularly drawn to, but you make it sing here.

    Liked by 1 person

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