Pen & Ink

Sharing Fiction, Poetry, and Writing Tutorials

Poetry by Meredith Gundale

My friend, Meredith, recently shared two amazing poems with me, so I wanted to share them with you! Meredith Gundale is a super talented writer friend of mine and I’m excited to share some of her work with all of you!

Meredith is also a fiction writer and published her historical fiction short story, Tea Party on Boston Harbor, last year. I also co-authored a medieval fantasy novel with her and a couple of other writers. She also won two awards for the poems I’ll be sharing in this post today, A Sestina of Life and When it Rains. You can read more about Meredith in her bio below the poems.

A Sestina of Life

By Meredith Gundale

A star shines bright in the heavens
Soon he is joined by his friends,
Starlight dances through leaves,
And crickets play happ’ly in grasses,
While a child begins his journey,
Across time’s vast open plain.

An infant toddling on an open plain,
Looks up into bright, starry heavens,
Watching a merry star tell of its journey,
And they all wink to tell him, “We’re friends,”
While he plops down softly in grasses,
Gazing up through pale yellow leaves.

Abandoning toys, he leaves,
On Double-Digit’s path, not plain,
To watch wind rustled grasses,
And clouds floating in heavens.
The little birds are his friends,
Before southward they go on their journey.

The birds fly southward, a journey,
As the first quarter life from him leaves,
Someone becomes closer than friends,
As two starting out on a plain,
Questioning the God of the heavens,
Searching skies, stretched out in the grasses.

Now, romping loudly in grasses,
His own children embark on their journey,
Talking to the Creator of heavens,
While softly drifts down blazing leaves,
Which covers o’er half of life’s plain,
As soon depart his old friends.

His spouse, the best of his friends,
Now’s laid to rest in the grasses,
In a field in a quiet plain,
And alone he continues his journey,
‘til he, also, this world leaves,
And his spirit flies to the heavens.

And so, he leaves Life’s journey,
Along with his friends, to the heavens,
Their bodies now rest in the plain, covered by gently waving grasses.

A Sestina is a poem that means ‘Song of Sixes.’ In this poem there are six stanzas, each with six lines, then followed by a 3-line envoy. When you write the first stanza, you pick the last word of each line to be something used throughout the whole poem as the last word of a line in each stanza. In my poem, “A Sestina of Life”, I chose the words Friends, Grasses, Plain, Journey, Leaves, and Heavens as my words to end every line. I rotate through those words in each stanza so that the words are never-ending in the same lines. When you write the 2nd stanza, you take the first ending word, then the last, then the 2nd, then the 2nd to last, then the 3rd, and then the 3rd to last, and that order is the order your words will be in the stanza. You repeat for all the stanzas so all 6 are like that and then create your 3-line envoy. The envoy has 2 of those ending words in each line, so in mine, I have ‘leaves’ and ‘journey,’ which were previously my ending words, now both in the same line. I do the same for the rest of the envoy.

When It Rains

By Meredith Gundale

Rain fleeing from the sky,
Clouds unleash their fury,
Glistening raindrops from up high
Wash away Ground’s story.

Clouds unleash their fury,
“Budum, Budum,” they say,
“Wash away Ground’s story,
Wash it all away.”

“Budum, Budum,” they say.
“Erase Time’s vivid lines,
Wash it all away,
Gone, until the sun shines.”

Rain fleeing from the sky
Glistening raindrops from up high
“Erase Time’s vivid lines,
Gone until the sun shines.”

“When It Rains” is a pantoum, a poem with an embedded pattern. After making the first stanza, you pull out lines 2 and 4 of that first stanza, and they become lines 1 and 3 in your second stanza. You then make up the other 2 lines. You repeat the process until you have the desired number of stanzas. In the final stanza you pull the very first line of the poem to be your first line of the last stanza. Line 3 of the first stanza becomes your second line, and lines 2 and 4 of the second-to-last stanza becomes your last 2 lines.

So those are the poems! Please leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts!

About Meredith Gundale

Meredith Gundale enjoys reading, writing, playing with her pet bunnies, and running on her homeschool cross country and track team, Northwest Nighthawks. She lives in MN, loves Journey music (especially Steve Perry),  Kara Swanson books, and chatting with friends.

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9 responses to “Poetry by Meredith Gundale”

  1. Keaton Amora Avatar
    Keaton Amora

    These are fantastic, Meredith! Thank you for sharing your process, it’s making me think about my own poetry! (Also, I love Journey, too.)

  2. Meredith Avatar

    Annabelle, thank you SO much for doing this for me! So sweet of you!

    1. Annabelle Avatar

      You’re welcome!

  3. Sonya Myskowski Avatar
    Sonya Myskowski

    Good job Meredith!!!!!! Where can we find the short story “tea”????

  4. Saraina Avatar

    Whoa, I love how those poems are so intricate! Great job, Meredith!!!

  5. Ava Coulter Avatar

    Ooh those were so beautiful!!!

  6. Luella Treto Avatar
    Luella Treto

    Holy smokes those were good! Very satisfying….

  7. Lillian-Keith Avatar

    Wow, these are great! I loved reading them. Amazing job, Meredith! 🙂