The Old Gods, #Garland Cinquain

This week for the poetry challenge, I want to share a garland cinquain. This poem is created with a 2/4/6/8/2 syllable count for each of the five stanzas. The last stanza is where it gets interesting. You take line one from the first stanza, line two from the second stanza, etc. until you’ve created the last refrain.

I especially like this form because it combines the brevity of syllabic poetry into a longer verse poem that tells a story.

(The cover image credits are: Roger Kidd,

Image Credit: Dustin Hemingway, My Michigan son from another mother

The Old Gods

old Gods
guard the river
where fast water runs deep
a far northern estuary

weathered heartwood
reveals the mystery
of the dryad’s saddle parasite

weakens the host
maple, elm, box elder
united wood nymph sentinels

the core
connection to the tree
If one falls, they die together

air, earth, water
powers drawn from the trees
ambrosia from the other world

old gods
weathered heartwood
maple, elm, box elder,
if one falls, they die together

©2020 Colleen M. Chesebro

Years ago when we lived in Great Falls, Montana, Dustin lived next door to us where he served in the Air Force. Now retired and married to the love of his life, Molly, the two returned home to their beloved state of Michigan. Our friendship has endured for many years and we talk often. When Dustin sent me this photo from a spot near his home, I knew I had to write about the dryad’s saddle. These fungi are edible, believe it or not! Click the link to find out more.

Give back to the mother goddess… plant a dryad tree!

62 thoughts on “The Old Gods, #Garland Cinquain”

  1. I didn’t know they came in so many stanzas. Looks challenging. I like how yours turned out. That first photo looks like a snake, looks like a mushroom, looks like a snake, lol. I had to go find my glasses, lol!!


  2. Wonderful poem, Colleen and thank you for the tutorial too. I was apprehensive to try out Garland Cinquain, thanks to you, I might give it a try in near future. It’s amazing that the last stanza makes perfect sense. 🙂

  3. You had a great inspiration to write this poem, Colleen. It was good of your friend sent you the photo. It looks very interesting to find the tree and other things in addition to the fungi in the photo. <3

  4. You have taught me something new Colleen.. I didn’t know this fungi was edible.. You have to certainly know your fungi… My Dad and I would often go mushrooming… And he taught me a lot about what mushrooms to pick and avoid.. I would never have touched Tree fungi.. 🙂 lol..

    Loved the image… and wonderful your friendship has long lasted Colleen…. Your poem I loved.. The myecelium that connects ALL trees is fascinating… when you learn how that web beneath the earth communicates..

    Sending Love my friend… <3 Enjoy your Friday and weekend to come.. <3 <3 <3


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