Untended fences falling down, they hide what they impart
consequential actions fickle, blindsided and senseless,
where children roam the streets as families are torn apart,
parents wrapped in selfishness care little for their fences.
So babes decide to arm themselves with knives and loaded guns,
walking streets in gangs for safety, readying for warring,
forgetting that they’re killing someone’s daughters someone’s son.
Streets turn sticky red with blood of innocents outpouring
where vengeance is the new decree there’s no where left to run
laws are bent and broken on the pavements we’re ignoring,
a currency of coke and skunk, and debts paid off with sex
futures ruined, headstones laid un-mourned and disappearing.
We’re not to blame the voices come, we’re sitting here perplexed
curve balls hit the heart of those who love the kids they’re rearing.
This is the Sonnet version of the Stress Matrix Dectet/Stress Checkerboard Stanza –
14 lines, 14 syllables per line – aBaB cDc DcD eF eF
where lowercase are iambic heptameter (7 beats/stresses per line), and uppercase trochaic heptameter. This yields a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables (14 x 14, equalling 196 syllables).
Depending on where the Volta arrives (the ‘turn’ – resolution, or at least, change in tone, crucial aspect to a sonnet), there are 3 different stanza layouts (the rhyme-scheme stays the same). My turn quite obviously arrives with the last two lines, as is traditional in English Sonnets, hence the layout with a couplet to end on.
If the turn comes after the first eight lines, as it does in Italian Sonnets, the layout is aBa BcDcD cDe FeF.
If it comes after line ten (unique!), then it’s aBaB cDc DcD eFeF (same as English but ending on a quatrain rather than the two couplets).
Be original give it a go, but be warned…it’s flipping hard!