Our Lost Jungle has challenged us to write a Lento, well actually, two Lento’s.

Write one by the rules and one that stretches the rules.

Here are those tricky treacherous rules created by Lencio Rodrigues:

1. A lento consists of two quatrains (2 stanzas, 4 lines each, for a total of 8 lines)
2. In a lento, the first words in each line of a stanza should rhyme (for a first-word rhyme scheme of AAAA BBBB)
3. The end of the second and fourth lines should rhyme. According to Lencio’s description, it is up to the poet whether or not the first and third lines should also rhyme. So your rhyme scheme might be ABCB DEFE, or it could be ABAB CDCD
4. All the lines “should be more or less of the same length.”

In his description, Lencio specifies each line should also “stand on its own.”

* * * * * * * *


“The value of a child-poet in the eyes of a fool.”

Rhyme-child, why do you window gaze?
Climb down from that cloud of poetic haze.
I’m telling you that no one will sing your praise.
Time is too short to waste your young days.

Who will applaud all your couplets and rhyme?
Do something worthy like Bell or Einstein.
Too many like you refuse work just to pine.
Undo this foolish archaic dream and resign.

* * * * * * * *


“Thin ice night”

I am hanging from sickles of ice,
high above the drifts of a late
July poor, sweating in a steamy-night
try to sedate my lonely mate’s

sore-bodied effort to provide
for old bride and child, he wears
shorn chills upon his bent spine as he
forlornly sifts the day’s wheat and tares.


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