#OctPoWriMo Day 31 & #NaNoWriMo Eve: Happy Halloween!

Welcome by Maria L. Berg 2021

For Tourmaline .’s last Halloween Challenge this year, costume, I used every one of my lights and “costumed” my driveway.

The Driveway in Fancy Dress by Maria L. Berg 2021

I really enjoyed starting each day jumping out of bed and grabbing my camera, so I made this November prompt calendar to keep myself inspired. I hope you will join me and leave links to your prompt-inspired posts in the comments.

November Daily Prompts by Maria L. Berg 2021


Here it is, the last day of OctPoWriMo and NaNoWriMo eve.

Today’s prompt, “Goodbye train,” is an interesting prompt. I’ve ridden many, many trains in Europe and the United States throughout my life. Reflecting on each of these train rides may lead to some interesting poems. However, today only evokes the strange, ghostly train whistle I hear sometimes in the house. I assume it’s the freight train along the tracks at the bottom of the hill, but that is so far away and it creeps in randomly, sounding so close. A moaning siren traveling like fog over the lake, seeping through the windows in the dark.

The 2018 prompt, “Endless,” is apropos as my daily poetry journey is not ending, only changing to the November PAD Chapbook Challenge. Anyone else participating this year?

This Isn’t Goodbye

Or is it?
It could be
It has been
so many times
but usually a good-
bye means I’ll see you
later in a time or place
I haven’t imagined yet, but you
know better, whether you will wish
to see me again, or speak to me when you need
as if I was always there, sitting next to you on the train
while I read and pretended not to feel me next to you
an entire world of unknowns that you might accidentally
fall into if you said hello and wanted to.

Rhododendron Dressed Up as Ghosts by Maria L. Berg 2021


Whose staying up until midnight to write their first sentences? I’m going to see where the day takes me. My regional group has a Halloween movie watch and then a countdown virtual party, so I might join in. Hopefully, I can get my mind around Discord better this year. It hasn’t been a great platform for me in the past. I’ll keep trying since that’s how my region does events.

So are you all prepped up and excited to get started? Last year I was so prepared and it paid off. This year, doing a re-write, I feel less prepared, but I think I’m over-thinking. I’ve done some important prep and I’m still really excited by the idea, so let the craziness begin!

Happy Reading and Writing!

The Quadrille: Not Just An Old Dance Anymore

quadrille: noun – 1. a square dance performed typically by four couples and containing five (or six) sections, each of which is a complete dance in itself. A piece of music for a quadrille dance. 2. each of four groups of riders taking part in a tournament or carousel, distinguished by a special costume or colors. A riding display.

The Dance

The dance took its name from square formations executed by four mounted horsemen in 17th-century military parades. The dance was executed by four couples in a square formation.

The following table from Wikipedia shows what the different parts of the Viennese six-part style look like, musically speaking:

  • part 1: Pantalon (written in 2/4 or 6/8)
    theme A – theme B – theme A – theme C – theme A
  • part 2: Été (always written in 2/4)
    theme A – theme B – theme B – theme A
  • part 3: Poule (always written in 6/8)
    theme A – theme B – theme A – theme C – theme A – theme B – theme A
    • Part 3 always begins with a two-measure introduction
  • part 4: Trénis (always written in 2/4)
    theme A – theme B – theme B – theme A
  • part 5: Pastourelle (always written in 2/4)
    theme A – theme B – theme C – theme B – theme A
  • part 6: Finale (always written in 2/4)
    theme A – theme A – theme B – theme B – theme A – theme A
    • Part 6 always begins with a two-measure introduction

All the themes are 8 measures long.

The Poem

I started this study of quadrilles today because it’s Quadrille Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and I wanted to participate for the fist time. The connection between the quadrille dance and poetry began when Lewis Carroll lampooned the dance in  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’sThe Lobster Quadrille” (1865).

The dVerse Poets Pub Quadrille is a poem (or short prose) in exactly 44 words that incorporates a given word. To quote from the original post from Björn Rudberg, “The challenge combines two essential elements to have fun.” Today’s word is muddle and the quotes on the site are great!

I headed over to Shadow Poetry to see if they had a poetry form page for the quadrille and the closest I found was an invented poetry form by C. G. V. Lewis called a quadrilew.

Over at Poetry Soup I found a page of links to poems about quadrille that they call Quadrille Poems which I thought was interesting.

And now that I have some understanding of quadrille (at least the word), here is my first attempt at creating my own:

The Dance

Lace and denim muddled
space in a rat race

Grace; a muddled mint
in a julep glazed

Chase a hint
of mace-muddled flint,
a warm taste

Face the phenom
of muddled voices
venom without trace

Time is a climb of thirsting,
bursting rhyme sublime


The Horses

Happy Reading and Writing!

and dancing and horses and costumes