The clashes of passion and reason rein
In my penchant for light, as shadows spill
Over my deceitful heart—in such vein

Whence knowledge deserves little but disdain—
And as arrows of doubt my vigour drill,
Which clashes of passion and reason rain.

“Fight on, fight on, let every sinew strain
And every thought our slave!” The rivals shrill
Over my deceitful heart—in such vain

Ideal of peace they so boast and profane—
When neither ego nor ethos can still
The clashes of passion’s and reason’s reins.

“Fight on, fight on,” they cry, “to die is gain!”
Despite their battle hymn, they steal and kill
Over my deceitful heart in such vain.

O why, my soul, should you embrace their chains?
Fly me into the light, where no more will
The clashes of passion and reason reign
Over our deceitful heart in such vein.


Colin Lee


Lillian, our host for this week’s dVerse Poetics: Rein ’em in!, supplied us with a homophonic prompt, “rain / rein / reign”, and encouraged us to apply as many of these choices as possible in one go, with an added caveat that the poem must carry a positive bent. As if that wasn’t enough, I have taken extra pains to incorporate all three homophones into the refrain of this villanelle, whereas the rhyme of the second refrain is also a set of homophones, “vein / vain”. (In such a dotty vein, I hope the endeavour isn’t in vain.) Granted, this is an unprecedented personal challenge that has stretched and strained my poetic muscle like never before.

Photo Courtesy: Battle of Lapiths and Centaurs, 1688, Luca Giordano

23 thoughts on “Sovereignty

Add yours

    1. I’m thrilled that you like it. Thank you! It is a bit abstruse, like most pieces that I pour my heart into. I hope the constraints of form and prompts didn’t hinder the message though, such as the battle cries from various “characters” (states of mind).


  1. Colin, this I know. You haven’t even begun to flex your poetic muscle. Once you realize this, you’ll be unstoppable. A poeting King Kong, Godzilla… one of the crazy Kims of North Korea (maniacal laughter)!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Charley. More of the “belly muscle” and “digestive exercise” for now. Lol

      p.s. Never say “Kim” to someone living in the launch radius of the Kong’s. [hysterical nervous laughter.]


Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: