Shadows


Corata


_____Corata is verse rendered as prose. It should not be confused with a curgina, which is verse rendered as [lineated] free verse.

_____For an example of corata, see below.


Shadows (in coratic format)


_____ "Kickbacks is such an ugly word, but judge and jury both agreed that Talbot shook old Jonesy down."

_____ Ed Pritchard sniffed aloud and stirred his coffee. Tears began to bead in Murphy's eyes.

_____ "In this whole town we could not find a lower bid than that of E.D. Jones?" he asked.

_____ "As aldermen we must accept," said Smith, whose crafty answer hid a plan to draw the tendered task away from Jones. The others leapt at Smith's proposal: offer Jones the job but not the standard right to list his name on registries or carve it onto cornerstones. When Blake and White expressed delight, the five who shared these loyalties to Talbot broke for beer and smokes.

_____ It fell upon the mayor to give the sorry news to E.D. Jones. Such "offers" were the stuff of jokes. No architect could ever live with the conditions' overtones.

_____ "And what've you done these last few years?" prospective clients might ask of him. How could the contractor then say he'd built the City Hall? The jeers would echo long.

_____ The chance was slim that E.D. Jones would say "okay".

_____ To Mayor Surtey's great surprise the man accepted! Glory be!

_____ There was a catch. E.D. would set conditions of his own. No eyes could stray behind the tarp to see the grand façade. He would not let a deadline hasten such a task.

_____ The five conspirators had not expected this contingency. If they declined how could they mask their motives as each member sought to please his own constituency?

_____ Construction started in the spring. The back and northern walls were raised in weeks. The southern face, designed to match that on the northern wing, was built by Jones himself, unfazed by taunts. If pressed, he would remind the pest that one could not be late when deadlines don't exist. He built it, brick by brick, his eyes inclined towards the sky. He would create a masterpiece. For now, the tilt of sun and stone consumed his mind.

_____ Ted Smith persisted.

_____ "Finished soon? Another year, perhaps?" he'd snivel.

_____ Ever the civil engineer, old Jones ignored the whining goon. With sextant, compass, pen and level Jones would measure, stack and peer forever upwards. Only the sky and this next brick could interest him. Brick by brick. It was three years--three years, and none could fathom why--before construction came to rest amid long sighs and muted cheers.

_____ The grand unveiling day had come. The city's best had brought their broods and spouses, grateful for the chance to share this moment. There were some who waited for the interludes to shout out slogans, songs and chants. The mayor's speech was eloquent but made no mention of the man who'd built the Hall.

_____ The crowd could wait no longer. At last, the signal went to Jones. The awning fell, its span revealing windows so ornate that children gasped. The canvas fell some more, uncovering baroque reliefs; and still it dropped, its slow descent exposing cherubs. Well before the gathered city folk could take this in, the wind would blow the canvas to the ground.

_____ "Good Lord!" the mayor cried, eyes boggled wide. Instinctively, hands moved to brows. A woman fainted.

_____ Pritchard roared: "Sweet Jesus, man, have you no pride?"

_____ The sight they saw would soon arouse much more than anger. One small child would point her finger at the five repulsive gargoyles over the door and then at Talbot's crew. Soon, mild applause and cheers would come alive as laughter rippled through the core of cognoscenti standing there.

_____ On meeting one of this quintet we'd see the same old scene recur. You'd look and say: "I could swear by all that's holy we've never met but, damn, you look familiar, sir!"

_____ The group could claim its only solace: aldermen would never pick that name again for cornerstones.

_____ At the sun's crest--at summer solstice--shadows on the offset brick spell out the name: E.D. Jones.




Shadows (in standard iambic tetrameter format)


"Kickbacks is such an ugly word,
but judge and jury both agreed
that Talbot shook old Jonesy down."
Ed Pritchard sniffed aloud and stirred
his coffee. Tears began to bead
in Murphy's eyes. "In this whole town

we could not find a lower bid
than that of E.D. Jones?" he asked.
"As aldermen we must accept,"
said Smith, whose crafty answer hid
a plan to draw the tendered task
away from Jones. The others leapt

at Smith's proposal: offer Jones
the job but not the standard right
to list his name on registries
or carve it onto cornerstones.
When Blake and White expressed delight,
the five who shared these loyalties

to Talbot broke for beer and smokes.
It fell upon the mayor to give
the sorry news to E.D. Jones.
Such "offers" were the stuff of jokes.
No architect could ever live
with the conditions' overtones.

"And what've you done these last few years?"
prospective clients might ask of him.
How could the contractor then say
he'd built the City Hall? The jeers
would echo long. The chance was slim
that E.D. Jones would say "okay".

To Mayor Surtey's great surprise
the man accepted! Glory be!
There was a catch. E.D. would set
conditions of his own. No eyes
could stray behind the tarp to see
the grand façade. He would not let

a deadline hasten such a task.
The five conspirators had not
expected this contingency.
If they declined how could they mask
their motives as each member sought
to please his own constituency?

Construction started in the spring.
The back and northern walls were raised
in weeks. The southern face, designed
to match that on the northern wing,
was built by Jones himself, unfazed
by taunts. If pressed, he would remind

the pest that one could not be late
when deadlines don't exist. He built
it, brick by brick, his eyes inclined
towards the sky. He would create
a masterpiece. For now, the tilt
of sun and stone consumed his mind.

Ted Smith persisted. "Finished soon?
Another year, perhaps?" he'd snivel.
Ever the civil engineer,
old Jones ignored the whining goon.
With sextant, compass, pen and level
Jones would measure, stack and peer

forever upwards. Only the sky
and this next brick could interest
him. Brick by brick. It was three years--
three years, and none could fathom why--
before construction came to rest
amid long sighs and muted cheers.

The grand unveiling day had come.
The city's best had brought their broods
and spouses, grateful for the chance
to share this moment. There were some
who waited for the interludes
to shout out slogans, songs and chants.

The mayor's speech was eloquent
but made no mention of the man
who'd built the Hall. The crowd could wait
no longer. At last, the signal went
to Jones. The awning fell, its span
revealing windows so ornate

that children gasped. The canvas fell
some more, uncovering baroque
reliefs; and still it dropped, its slow
descent exposing cherubs. Well
before the gathered city folk
could take this in, the wind would blow

the canvas to the ground. "Good Lord!"
the mayor cried, eyes boggled wide.
Instinctively, hands moved to brows.
A woman fainted. Pritchard roared:
"Sweet Jesus, man, have you no pride?"
The sight they saw would soon arouse

much more than anger. One small child
would point her finger at the five
repulsive gargoyles over the door
and then at Talbot's crew. Soon, mild
applause and cheers would come alive
as laughter rippled through the core

of cognoscenti standing there.
On meeting one of this quintet
we'd see the same old scene recur.
You'd look and say: "I could swear
by all that's holy we've never met
but, damn, you look familiar, sir!"

The group could claim its only solace:
aldermen would never pick
that name again for cornerstones.
At the sun's crest--at summer solstice--
shadows on the offset brick
spell out the name: E.D. Jones.






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