The Red Riddle

Image found HERE

The Red Riddle

Where was Spring when flowers fell?
hand in hand, the dream and the child
with Persephone; in Hell.

White-veined in their shells,
blooming and oozing, tenebrous and wild
Where was Spring when flowers fell?

Whisper, deeper than a rain-stuffed well
never too ripe, never too mild –
with Persephone; in Hell.

The lackadaisy Moon will never tell,
not to the star, on either side
where was Spring when flowers fell?

And blushing cheeks with daggers swell,
and whistles rendered mute abide
with Persephone; in Hell.

With heart-strings all aloof and gasping just to dwell,
in tones and hues that colour darkness ‘kind’ –
Where was Spring when flowers fell?
With Persephone; in Hell.

Shared for Open Link Night at dVerse, do take up on the reading offered at the place!

It is 2022 and as it is evident, I cannot leave the villanelle alone; and it does not leave me be either.

~ by Oloriel on February 17, 2022.

53 Responses to “The Red Riddle”

  1. What an intriguing villanelle! The art and title are perfectly paired with your mystical imagery! I love the way the last two lines rhyme, great write! 💐

  2. April indeed must be the cruelest month, and rape by death in Springtime is the profound mystery. In my kinstock, the great tide of deaths (there have been many) have occurred between February and June. How can Primavera dance on so many skulls? A “red riddle” indeed, and the poem’s revisitation echoes deeper over time into that dark. “Blushing cheeks with daggers swell.” The shelling begins in Ukraine. Happy to finally find your work.

    • Thank you very much for taking a read, Brendan, and for noticing the dark notes behind the poem. I feel like we way to often have been taught to reason and romanticize the dark silence, and the lack of answers – instead of the tranquil and enlightening ones.

  3. I am so happy you linked. I have been thinking about you lately but couldn’t remember your blog address.

    I love your use of “lackadaisy.” ❤

  4. Truly beautiful stuff here ❤️❤️

  5. Well…it worked….very powerful poem and am sitting stunned..what a strong recurrent phrase…really good poetry..

  6. Reblogged this on

  7. A beautiful villanelle that flows so naturally. The sadness and longing–the falling flowers, Persephone–a melancholy feeling that comes through.

  8. Reblogged this on NEW BLOG HERE >> https:/BOOKS.ESLARN-NET.DE.

  9. A wonderful villanelle. Loved it 🙂

  10. So amazingly written!

  11. You know that question is apt to so many life experiences. Ah well such is life.

    Much love…

  12. Love this especially; “The lackadaisy Moon will never tell, not to the star, on either side.” ❤️❤️

    • Thank you so much for reading, Sanaa! Lackadaisical is my all time favourite word, so I am really happy to know it managed to stand out and grab some attention in this poem ❤

  13. Very nicely done!

  14. (remind me a little bit love hunters love is hell, but with happy end)

  15. Wonderful poem

  16. Yes

  17. Like Brendan I thought about April being the cruelest month… there is so much to love about your Villanelle.

    I also thought about a Poem by Karin Boye about the spring and the bursting buds.

    • Thank you very much for reading, and leaving me these wonderful associations, it was a delight to read the poem and recognize the thematic and get introduced to a new author.

  18. […] The Red Riddle […]

  19. Уз захвалност за показано интересовање, слободан сам да предложим да доставите неку контакт адресу на коју бих могао да Вам пошаљем примерак књиге.
    Срдачан поздрав.

  20. Uz zahvalnost za pokazano interesovanje, slobodan sam da predložim da dostavite neku kontakt adresu na koju bih mogao da Vam pošaljem primerak knjige.
    Srdačan pozdrav.

  21. […] The Red Riddle […]

  22. I love the repetition and all the descriptions! You’re an amazing writer and I hope you keep it up!

  23. “With heart-strings all aloof and gasping…” This line right here did it for me. Some of your words create subtle hints of things, but more times than not, they’re a straight punch to the throat- which I absolutely love. You’re such a strong writer! Beautiful addition to your collection. ❤️ (And I love the rhythmic dance this maintains throughout.)

Tell me something

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Punk Noir Magazine

The Only Crime Is Getting Caught

Hazel J. Hall

Writing through the chaos

Quixotic Mama

some may think I'm just a fool tilting at windmills, but maybe I'm not

Celine Aubert

Explore my books, works-in-progress, side projects, and random brain machinations.

The Violet Hour Magazine

A showcase of literary & artistic talent

Horned Things

A Literary Journal for the Discerning Creature


Colorful~ imaginative ~ Contemporary Art

One Million Photographs

Follow along with me as I travel the world on a quest to publish one million photos

Daydreaming as a profession

Daydreaming and then, maybe, writing a poem about it. And that's my life.

Pungent Sound Journal of Pulp Poetry

Poetry and Commentary that Smells


Author of "Within Paravent Walls", "Daughterbody I", "Daughterbody II", "you ate popcorn in my house of grief" & "mutterseelenallein und splitterfasernackt". Pentalingual Idealist. Hypercreative homebody. Transgenerational Poetess.

Tricia Sankey

poet and author of The Light in the Cave

Brave & Reckless

Reclaiming my inner badass at 50

%d bloggers like this: