“Digging for Diamonds” (A Rondeau)

We were digging for diamonds in the sand
sifting and sorting the dirt we had panned.
The weather was clear, a fine day in May
our Maggie was off with children at play.
The day was unfolding just as we’d planned.

From the trees came a shout, a curt command.
Out through the forest, a search party fanned.
When Maggie went missing that fateful day
we were digging for diamonds.

Daily we go to the mine to expand
our sifting and sorting for clues at hand.
The dirt with the diamonds has turned to clay
and tortuous memories are here to stay.
Our answer to questions that folks demand:
we were digging for diamonds.

(Written for dVerse Poets, FormForAll: Rondeau. October 24, 2013.)

This entry was posted in Flash Fiction, Micro Fiction, Poetry, Short Fiction, Short Story and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to “Digging for Diamonds” (A Rondeau)

  1. “diggin’ for diamonds” – that Sammyspeak for picking one’s nose ?

  2. I am admiring the rondeau form, you got the pattern & refrain ~ “Digging for diamonds” took a different meaning at the end ~ If Maggie went missing, then the day didn’t turned out as planned ~

  3. brian miller says:

    ouch…what a sad story…consumed with the diamonds and maggie goes missing….would hate to have to live with that….nicely done to form

  4. Tony Maude says:

    Chilling use of the form; the rhyme pattern and refrain are spot on. I stumbled on a couple of lines as I was reading, which leads me to suspect that the meter isn’t quite right. Nonetheless, this is a really strong poem – not at all fluffy as the rondeaux can become.

    • vbholmes says:

      Many thanks for the critique, Tony–I’ve made some changes, and if you check back, I’d appreciate hearing about any remaining (or for that matter, any newly created) trouble spots.

      • Tony Maude says:

        The ‘worried prospectors’ line is a little awkward. I wonder if you need to tell us they are worried; surely you’ve shown us that already? If you agree, then simply ‘the prospectors’ works with the meter.

  5. Nice use of the form, VB; brought me through the plot without being aware of the form. Tony’s comment reminds me that most of us can still do more to approach perfection; never was too good at using appropriate meter. Liked what you did with this; thanks.

  6. Oh that line Maggie went missing… loved the way the meter worked when I read it… not quite tetrameter… more like an anpest like a limerick .. and the humerous meter made it even more chilling.. (or did I get it wrong when reading it)… and definitely far from fluffy..

  7. hypercryptical says:

    Sad tale VB and poor Maggie! Love your close:
    Our answer to questions that folks demand:
    we were digging for diamonds.
    Very very clever!
    Anna :o]

  8. grapeling says:

    enjoyed this dark tale, vb ~

  9. aprille says:

    You used the rentrement to perfection: it has a slightly different feel each time. First it sets the scene, then it says that in the light of maggie’s disappearance, the digging isn’t of any importance, and the last time it is almost an excuse and that you were so busy that you didn’t realized she went missing.

  10. nico says:

    I’m not so sure I believe that pat answer, digging for diamonds. There seems to be more to the story than the narrator is letting on! I took a dark turn with my poem as well–I think since the form is so closely tied to love themes I tried to go the other way. Excellent work!

  11. For a moment I almost thought that Maggie being missing was part of the plan. I was reading too much into it. I’m not familiar with the pattern, but learned from the above comments.

  12. shanyns says:

    Phew – this is a dark take on the rondeau and the story begs for a part two! 🙂

  13. Rowan Taw says:

    What a sad mystery. I like the alibi of digging for diamonds. Great rondeau.

  14. very mysterious and poignant.

  15. Your writing continues to impress me.

  16. How sad. It felt like a tale out of folklore – can’t quite explain why, but I can imagine this being a tale told down the years, long after anyone remembers Maggie herself…

  17. kkkkaty1 says:

    So sad if true..unfortunately it happens all the time….digging for diamonds is such a contrast to a lovely little innocent girl…nice write.

  18. Bryan Ens says:

    So sad…but great rondeau!

  19. ManicDdaily says:

    Such an intense contrast here– and what happens (metaphorically) all the time — people work, children get left behind. The term “mine” has so many meanings here. Thanks. k.

  20. I do hope this is fictional! Wonderful rondeau, either way.

  21. Imelda says:

    What a very sad story. I join Rosemary in hoping that this is all fictional. You did a great job with the poem and the form. 🙂

  22. diamonds …sounds like interesting writing and form.
    Time for II that was I . It could go on and on….

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