In Competition No. 3204, you were invited to supply a rondeau with a summery theme.
The best-known English rondeau is the Canadian poet and doctor John McRae’s first world war poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ (which inspired the use of the poppy as a symbol of remembrance). But the form has it roots in medieval and Renaissance French poetry and perhaps it was this that prompted David Silverman to submit his jaunty, mischievous offering, celebrating the prospect of a lack of British tourists in that country this year, in French:
“Les Anglais ne viennent pas cet été.Ah! Dansons donc et chantons rondelays!
Other strong performers, in a pleasingly wide-ranging entry, included Susan McLean, Paul Freeman, David Shields and Frank McDonald. I also admired Max Ross’s Wordsworthian submission and Nigel Stuart’s well-made cri de coeur.
The winners below take £25 each.
“Across the mead a maiden fair,Adorned with daisies in her hair,Strolled through the grass with softest tread,This season’s flowers about her spread,As I, transfixed, stood gazing there.Birds circled round her in the air
While on she walked without a careThrough poppies glowing vibrant redAcross the mead.Her robes were white, her feet were bare,
Both dazzling in the sun’s bright glare,I asked her name by interest led,‘My name is Summer, sir,’ she said,Before she fled, this vision rare,Across the mead.Alan Millard
“The nights are drawing in we sayAs, skipping past the Longest Day,And out into the sun-stilled peace,With months to run on summer’s lease,We fall to making hay
The closure of our matinee’sA hundred curtain calls away,Yet soon the shrouded obsequiesAre drawing in
Inconstant summer’s greens go grey,The clouds roll in, and rain stops play,The picnic ends, we leave the crease,Inured to summer’s soft caprice,For autumn days of rich decayAre drawing inNick Syrett
“The tourists swarm, the carparks fill,on bustling beaches bodies grill,an overdressed, invading pack,to slum it in their five-star shack,with extra friends; you know the drill.The locals groan with strained goodwill,
endure the traffic overkill.Each summer with a fresh attack,the tourists swarm.Now empty cafés, rattling till,
the streets deserted, silent, still.The locals cry, ‘our trade is slack,‘We miss you so, come back, come back!‘We need your cash,’ they wail, until the tourists swarm.Janine Beacham
“On Stanbury Moor as summer heatun-eggs new lapwings on the peatthe dazzle-painted adults flyinside the turbine-breeding skyto blip their central-locking bleatwap-wap pooweet wap-wap pooweet
at garbage gulls who hope to eattheir grounded nestlings by and byon Stanbury Moorwhile cuckoos talk of trick or treat
for meadow pipits that they cheatand melancholy curlew cryproposes that some year I’ll diewith future summer incompleteon Stanbury MoorNick MacKinnon
“In summertime the young obeyNo master; freed from classrooms, theyAvenge the months of sitting stillBy charging through the fields at will,Attacking every summer day.They gambol wildly while the hay
Is freshly felled, as if they playFor mortal stakes, with time to killIn summertime.And in their heyday, while they slay,
Assaulting summer as they may,They’re somersaulting down a hillOf green and pleasant chlorophyll,Determined to forever stayIn summertime.Alex Steelsmith
“It’s summer and we’re free to singa roundelay, hey ring-a-ding,it’s time for barbies, making hay,for skinny-dipping, peach sorbet,and sounds of songbirds chirruping.Yet, like the birds, we’re on the wing
and flying off to have a fling,we just can’t wait to get away,it’s summer and we’re free!Yes, Portugal’s for partying,
it’s green, we won’t catch anything —the British summer can be greybut here we’re roasting every day.What can go wrong — hey ring-a-ding,it’s summer and we’re free!Sylvia Fairley
No. 3207: give us a clue
You are invited to supply an extract from a thriller, written by a well known politician, past or present (please specify), that contains clues to the identity of its author. Please email entries of up to 150 words to email@example.com by midday on 7 July.