Hide and Take – Glosa

Children hide and seek, hide and sneak; that’s the way
it is, and it’s always fun. The ending here may not quite
be the expected one but then it’s October when things don’t
always do the expected, and who wouldn’t enjoy it?

The form I’ve used is an old one, a Spanish
form of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the
full explanation is at the end.

HIDE AND TAKE – GLOSA                                    IMG_1694 dandelion head

Listen, you who hear
leaf under the snail
dandelion seeds fall
fly whirr in the web,

Creep, giggle, whisper
sneak each footstep,
head ducked and tilting,
finger to lips
as the game moves
from far to near                                                       IMG_2815 the park it's in
across the lawn
between the trees
stop to peer –
Listen, you who hear

know how to move
unseen, when to stop
concealed by shadow,
hidden by wind,
where bird and deer
are fairytale,
stilled by the sun
to sound small
as a thumbnail
or leaf under the snail                                               IMG_1698 dandelion heads

No ghosts here
but glint of eye,
curve of cheek,
whispers given, taken
in the sneaking game
run, drift, crawl to the prize,
un-noted by adults
who talk and talk,
but be as invisible
as dandelion seeds fall

hands reach
out of shade                                                             IMG_2709 the chocolate cake
into sunlight
take the cake.
A large hand lands
fingers outspread.
One child is caught,
the others flee
laughter on the ebb:
fly whirr in the web.


the epigraph is from Anne Lewis-Smith, St. Thomas’s Church Bell, Achill,
p.49 of “Sing for the Inner Ear”, UnMon America, Pittsburgh, 1998.
reprinted with the author’s permission

A ‘glosa’ is a Spanish form of the 14th and 15th centuries. An opening quatrain
is four consecutive lines from another poet. The glosa elaborates (glosses) on
this with four 10-line stanzas, their concluding lines taken consecutively
from the quatrain and their 6th and 9th lines rhyming with the borrowed 10th.

About Joanna M. Weston

Born in England, she lives in British Columbia. She is married with three sons, Joanna has an MA from the University of British Columbia. She has published in numerous anthologies and in magazines in Canada, the US, UK, and New Zealand, such as Canadian Women's Studies, Convolvus, Endless Mountains Review, Grain, Green's Magazine, Prairie Fire, Spin, Wascana Review, CBC Gallery, and many more...
This entry was posted in children's games, hide-and-seek, poetry and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hide and Take – Glosa

  1. revbillcook says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Quite a form! Good to see you are still blogging.

    Bill Cook

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