I've also never been a big fan of formal rhyme, which in unskilled hands can lapse into the sing-songy, stilted, and sentimental. Thus this attempt in sonnet form:
Girl rides her horse with childlike gravity;
Defiance thereof, perhaps, makes her rejoice
To cross this paradise of grass and trees
In summer's silence but for the crickets' noise.
It never will be simple like this again:
The girl and animal, a space to share.
She brushes Princess Star and looks within
The foreign eyes, interpreting their stare.
The horse's muteness sobers and puzzles her;
She seeks to draw her into consciousness.
About the lives of others we can infer,
Propose, conjecture, extrapolate at best.
She parses difference, intuits "same,"
Explores, enlarges, and learns the limits of "tame."
And this one indulges my weakness for the subjective sublime, and for a very conventional pun:
Boy hurls himself against the surf, as sun
And sea contend on the ribboned anvil of rock,
Or tiny rocks, the sand, the earth ground down
Into flowing stone. The boy is one
Of mine, a drop of sea-stuff bound in bone
And sinew, fired by solar elements,
Warmed to the point of restless self-regard.
We came from there, I think, correct myself--
Not we, but bits of matter did congregate
In acts of whimsy, once, until the game
Developed needs, demands, to be gratified
Or denied. The water waits with awful patience,
Inscrutably, for what I do not know.
The sea is self-estranged; its progeny
See its depths as alien, visceral.
The ocean swallows the sun, in dreams at least.
But I think otherwise: the sea will boil
Five billion years from now, when all are gone.
But now I watch my son, scorched by our star,
But cooled by salty spray from the abyss,
Stand before a towering wave, which swats
Him flat onto the river of scraping stone.
He rises, laughing: son is victor, now.