Bawl, Ball, & Not Quite Able

Day 26 GloPoWriMo 2019

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a word, or phrase. You can even repeat an image, perhaps slightly changing or enlarging it from stanza to stanza, to alter its meaning.

At seven years, Jeneva’s challenge was
A fifteen hundred metre swim, because
Eight hundred one she had already done —
For distance badges, this the final one:
A daunting task
Of her to ask.

Then chosen was she, netball games to play,
For school, in inter-schools on the same day,
And wept at missing opportunity:
The chance for playing in these matches three,
Though daunting task
Of her to ask.

We planned that in the matches she could play,
And still do distance trial on that same day,
Provided that we left directly when,
First task performed, so she could start again
With daunting task
Of her to ask.


She is the WA with a look of determination.

Then fortune favoured us, in that one team
Had pulled out — short of player it would seem —
So, after two games played (both of them won)
We now permission had to duck and run
To daunting task
Of her to ask.

For rest, time she was able to avail,
While other swimmers took their distance trail,
Though none of them was set the same degree
Of distance that from her required would be:
This daunting task
Of her to ask.


Ready and set and waiting for ‘Go!’

At last to water took with a strong start,
And now, she’d need to swim extremely smart,
For this, alone of distances, was set,
Time limit, forty minutes, hard to get —
A daunting task
Of her to ask.


One needs to go to great lengths for each one . . .

Then back and forth she swam against the clock,
Remaining quite as constant as a rock,
Encouraged by her sister, swimming too,
And grandfather, and coach, for her to do
This daunting task
That we’d her ask.


Taking a deep breath.

Ten; twenty lengths; but inexorably
The clock was winning, and one could not see
That in the time she’d possibly complete
All thirty that were needed for this feat:
This daunting task
Of her to ask.


Thirty lengths duly completed and looking fresh! Needed to be quite a bit faster, though.

Indeed, when came her thirtieth, and last
Of lengths, that forty minutes had gone past,
But for the valiant effort comes all praise
And, next year, she is sure all to amaze,
And lick the task
We of her ask.

© April 2019 Colonialist

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Africa, Challenge, GloPoWriMo, Grandchildren, Rhyme, Swimming and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Bawl, Ball, & Not Quite Able

  1. You’d be a bit lost without these granddaughters for inspiration methinks


  2. Debra says:

    A talented young lady with a very talented grandfather. And how nice to be highlighted in one of his poems! 🙂


  3. Sue W says:

    Wow and Wow again!
    Jeneva you are an absolute star. Well done for putting in such an amazing effort. Next year… for sure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, a great poetic tribute to a determined young lady.


  5. Well done both of you. The refrain works well


  6. disperser says:

    Exhausting just reading about it.

    Exhausting just reading about it.

    Exhausting just . . . you know the rest.

    1500 meters is quite the swim.


    • colonialist says:

      It was tiring enough just walking with her alongside the pool! I did swim the 800 metres with her sister when her she was practising for that, but this would have been beyond me even before ops and stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

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