Jacaranda Rain–an Experiment in Line and Meter

Photo: David Slotto All Rights Reserved

Photo: David Slotto
All Rights Reserved

Jacaranda Rain–Free Verse

I am
the sun that slips
through blinds, half-closed.
Painting saffron stripes
on adobe walls.

I am
a bolt of fire
lighting up the skies,
singeing trees on mountain tops,
splitting limbs.

I am
the sheltered branches of Mulberry tree.
Broad leaf umbrella
shading you at noontime.

I am
the dance of light upon the moon,
hiding my passion behind
swaying palms,
kissing night in unseen places.

I am
the empty flute
the flautist left behind.
I await the breath of God
to fill the void.

Though I must leave,
I’ll come to you again—
a shower of purple petals
upon dew-covered sod.

Jacaranda Rain–Sonnet, Iambic Pentameter

I am the Sun that slips through blinds half-closed,
imprinting saffron stripes on textured walls.
I am a ball of fire that slashes clouds,
that singes trees on rugged mountain tops.

I am the spreading branch of Piñon Pine,
or Mullbr’y broad umbrella, leafy green.
I offer shade in sweltering summer time,
and home for mockingbirds’ delight in spring.

I am the dance of light upon the moon,
behind the palm tree fronds my passion plays
a tempting game—I kiss the darkest gloom
who yields to me at last, in hues of gray.

I am the flute the flautist left behind,
awaiting God’s own breath to fill the void.
I’m music whipped to life by restless wind
as nature’s sound, an echoing of joy.

May I return in showers of purple blooms—
a Jacaranda rain on grassy dew?

Thanks to Gay at dVerse Form for All for a comprehensive explanation of meter. She suggests taking a free verse poem you’ve already written and putting it into one of a number of meters that she describes.

This poem is the title poem of my soon-to-be published collection of poetry on Kindle. I also hope to have it available through Create Space. I would love your feedback–do you prefer the Sonnet or the Free Verse? 

By the way, my article, “Beating the Odds–Support for Persons with Early Stage Dementia,” is available for free on Kindle through August 9th–that’s tomorrow, or perhaps today for many of you.


36 thoughts on “Jacaranda Rain–an Experiment in Line and Meter

  1. Lindy Lee says:

    A productive experiment, Professor Poet…


  2. The freedom of the free verse resonates more with me given what I think the poem is about–the natural forces of life and death. They can’t be tames within any structure… Of course, maybe I’m wrong about the message of the poem (which is totally possible!).


  3. Jamie Dedes says:

    What a wonderful celebration of nature as metaphor and message and the promise of life after death; and I enjoyed both poems, but I do particularly like the second. Also appreciate that you are “trumpeting” your message and jacaranda (has to be the most beautiful tree) means blue trumpet. Altogether wonderful and immensly enjoyable. Congrats on the book and how generous of you to offer to all. Will check it out. Many blessings ….


  4. Digging the structure on both of these.


  5. zongrik says:

    the sheltering mulberry tree really got to me

    Midnight Cowboy — A Quick Review


  6. Victoria, these are both so beautiful. It is too challenging to choose which I prefer. I love the lightness of the free verse as it’s like a refreshing sherbet in summer; however the sonnet is a rich chocolate dessert for a winter evening. They both are delicious!


  7. claudia says:

    love the Jacaranda images… i’ve seen them in australia for the first time…breathtakingly beautiful.. love the emotions you wove in and great job on the meter as well.. a shame i missed gay’s prompt but hubs was only able to join me three days in berlin and i wanted that time to be internet free..


  8. ManicDdaily says:

    Hi Victoria – in this case I prefer the free verse as I think the free verse has a great deal of rhythm and has the directness of a Mirabai kind of exhortation, or Kabir. Both work well, but I have to say that I really do prefer the free verse. k.


  9. Like everyone I think both are lovely spiritual poems.


  10. sorry I’ve missed your recent posts~ been in the hospital but I’m grateful to be back reading you ! I love the Pronoun usage and that we are scripturally called Trees, we too cast shadows and beauty etc… BEAUTIFUL accentuating !


  11. Waltermarks says:

    That’s altogether lovely verse, very inspiring.


  12. janehewey says:

    both lovely and sensorially evocative. I prefer, but only by a small margin, the sonnet. it makes use of the repetition “i am” quite beautifully and your final couplet is delicious.


  13. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    PS It’s four lines longer than a traditional sonnet.


  14. Snakypoet (Rosemary Nissen-Wade) says:

    Wonderful! I like both versions very much, but have to admit that the metre makes the second one dance.


  15. Sherry Marr says:

    Glorious writing, both versions. I love it best in the second version, it has such a richness to it. So well done!


  16. The verse is beautiful in both forms. Blessings to you, Victoria…


  17. vb holmes says:

    For me, they read so differently that it’s difficult to choose one over the other. They’re equally successful in their individual forms.


  18. tigerbrite says:

    I love both. The free verse is perfect for a title poem, grabs attention. The second I found lyrical and magical:)


  19. Susan says:

    2 exquisite poems: the first wild, the second majestic.


  20. Both are beautiful, jacaranda rain is just so apt…soon there will be jacaranda rain around here love it! I really loved the ending to the second poem…yet all round they both sing. 🙂


  21. Rowan Taw says:

    Both are really lovely, but I think my preference is with the free verse, the enjambments added to the mystery and magic of the piece. I also liked the strength of the ending “I’ll come to you again”, rather than the question “May”…though that’s the mood I’m in today (tomorrow my opinion may switch the other way). I really enjoyed both.


  22. Your sonnet is a beautidul beautiful read. and you managed to capture so well the spirit of the free verse. To me it compares to a painters scetch to the finished oil painting. To me both have different qualities that make them equally fine. A very good example and lovely imagery.


  23. Anna :o] says:

    Beautiful Victoria, beautiful – both a pleasure to read.
    Anna :o]


  24. howanxious says:

    Wonderful; both of them are lovely. Free verse is like writing beautifully on a parchment with a quill and ink. Writing in meters and feet is more like calligraphy.
    I prefer the free verse myself. 🙂


  25. As always, beautiful.


  26. I love both poems, but feel happier with f r e e ‘I am’


  27. nico says:

    I have to put my vote in for the sonnet. It looks to me as if having the strictures of a form helped focus some of the images, made them crisper. For me anyway. However, both are excellent!


  28. Pamela says:

    Victoria, I like both of them. They both have a magical quality to them. I do however only write free verse, that is because I cannot write in meter. I have tried and it simply comes out all bungled up. So, I really admire what you have done here.



  29. southernrealmwayfarer says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I usually write in free verse and it was so nice to see a side-by-side comparison of technique. I have to say that i preferred the Iambic Pentameter. It affected me deeper somehow. It’s a lovely poem in either form. Thanks again!


  30. brian miller says:

    dang…nicely played…i like the free verse version as it def gives me more ideas on how to go about it myself…it feels def more in tune to what i think i can pull off…though i like your phrasing in the second….i found, Mullbr’y broad umbrella, leafy green, to be pretty cool…seriously magical victoria….


  31. Trudessa says:

    I think both of these are amazing it would be hard for me to choose one over the other. I myself prefer free verse when writing but, the sonnet is beautiful.


  32. wolfsrosebud says:

    beautiful… thought the free verse had some special pizazz


  33. Mary says:

    Both are beautiful, Victoria. If I saw either of them by themselves, I would say that. But if I had to choose one after having seen both, I would choose the free verse.


  34. Gay says:

    Oh Victoria, I love them both. Your sonnet is dazzling with metaphors that take the reader into a garden, a reverie, a peace; and your free verse is the essence of simplicity. The repetitions define you exactly. If I have to vote one way – my choice (at least for today) would be the sonnet. Wonderful poem in both incarnations.


  35. annotating60 says:

    Personally, I prefer free verse, though with touches of meter and some internal ryhme scheme when it works itself in. But I thought these were lovely Victoria.>KB


  36. Jayde-Ashe says:

    These are both lovely poems, I can’t decide which one I like best!
    If you would like to have some of your poetry published in my free online magazine please visit my page:


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