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Rainbows Rising

August 31, 2016


NOTE:  After my lengthy, three-part “Route 66” travel series, I am exchanging the blue highways for rainbows on this Wordwalk blog post.  Late last summer, in preparation for a critique session on Labor Day weekend of 2015, a fellow member of the writers’ group Behind Our Eyes (BOE) and I collaborated on the poem “Partners in Rhyme.”  Unlike too many collaborative or group efforts in school, Deon Lyons and I enjoyed e-mailing stanzas of a poem back and forth, from Maine to the Midwest.  Actually, since our first collaborative effort won the first prize in the Magnets and Ladders Poetry Contest for the spring/summer issue of this year and since we were pleased with the collaborative process, we wrote a second poem together from August 20 through August 29 and submitted the following poem for the critique session of BOE on this Sunday of Labor Day weekend.  While our first collaborative poem consisted of eight quatrains, “Rainbows Rising” contains five cinquains; and in each of our cinquains, the first and last (fifth) lines rhyme.  (A stanza of five poetic lines may be called a cinquain, quintrain, or quintet.  While the first cinquain came from Medieval France, the most common type of five-line stanza is the lightly humorous limerick.)


In addition to having published the “coming-of-age” novel Sully Street and the collection of poems entitled Ready, Set, Poetry–Deon Lyons, of Maine, weekly posts on his “Surviving” blog at:


With Deon’s permission, I am happily dedicating this collaborative poem to my grand-nephew Caden James, who celebrated his first birthday on August 28 with a fantastic sports-themed party.



Rainbows Rising


by Deon Patrick Lyons and Alice Jane-Marie Massa



Little child, little child, do you want to make a rainbow?

Do you want to know how?

Just wait for a sunny day;

then, with your back toward the sun,

let the water from the hose arc into a powerful flow.


Little child, little child, let the wonder begin:

red, orange, and yellow–stretching awake inside an autumn morn;

green and blue,  splashing atop an ocean so deep;

indigo and violet, snuggling down into a bed of iris.

Replace those aimless frowns with colorful grins.


Can your tiny hand touch the rainbow?

Which color can you hold?

Can you feel the mist of wonder

where sunlight breaks through a raindrop?

Can you wave toward the arc of indigo?


Open your eyes to an Irish tale;

gaze out across a clovered field.

Stand on your toes and stretch toward the clouds;

fill your pockets with a fistful of magic.

Chart a course as your rainbow sets sail.


Little child, little child, why are you standing there akimbo?

Ah, you look just like your grandpa,

glistening like his shining star;

but your glance is so afar.  Naptime!

Little child, little child, sleep well and dream a rainbow.



You may still read “Partners in Rhyme” at:

On the literary magazine’s website, click on the link for the spring/summer issue of 2016.


To my Clinton (Indiana) friends and to all who are going to Clinton for the Labor Day weekend,

enjoy the Little Italy Festival!  Ciao!

Alice and Willow


August 31, 2016, Wednesday



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  1. Bravo! My compliments to the master word chef, Alison Massa!
    Alice, it’s been another honor of mine to take part in this 2016 collaborative poetic effort.
    Treats for Willow girl.

  2. Thank you, Deon and Alice, for this delightful poem! As Caden’s proud Grandma and as a prekindergarten teacher, I encourage the two of you to find an illustrator for “Rainbows Rising.” I can certainly envision a colorful picture book or a bright wall poster to be enjoyed by children of all ages. Keep up your creative collaborations!

  3. Sue McKendry permalink

    This is a delightful collaboration! I was reminded of a song called “Through the Eyes of a Child.” And connecting the rainbow colors to the autumn season and nature was just perfect. I also liked the mention of the Irish tale, a nice connection since rainbows are so common in beautiful Ireland. Caden is lucky to have this poem dedicated to him and fortunate to get such a wonderful gift for his first birthday.–Sue

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