Archive for November, 2016

The first poem is a poetic form called an etheree. The first line is one syllable, and each of the following lines is one more, ending with the ten syllable tenth line.


He lost so much
Sacrificed for us
Gave of his own free will
And changed his life forever
Not losing limbs, but peace of mind
Spending restless nights haunted by dreams
Waking to the nightmare of homelessness

The second poem is an octain refrain. I’ll explain the form then share my example.
Structure – 

eight lines as two tercets and a couplet, eight syllables per line with the first line repeated (as much as possible) as the last. Line five has an internal rhyme requirement (c/c) Meter is either iambic or trochaic tetrameter.

Rhyme scheme/Structure




When troops come marching home again,
war torn, exhausted from the flight,
still trying to forget the fight,

Our arms reach out to take them in,
and after cheers and many tears
we’ll all give thanks and say amen,

Then beg relief from battles’ blight
When troops come marching home again.

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Part of the fun of poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear. Oh, did I say fun? Perhaps the most frustrating part of writing poetry is putting pen to paper, staring at the blank page, and not knowing what may appear!


What is the joy of writing poetry? Putting pen to paper and seeing it fill with all those tiny symbols that come together to finally having meaning–seeing something actually appear!

There’s a very good chance that what you see will be a bit of a mess that must be cleaned up, refreshed, refined, and maybe, just maybe, turned into something you love…okay, love may be a little strong. Maybe you’ll just think it’s acceptable… it’s tolerable… it’ll do. Well, maybe I can make it better. And so it goes.

Many of us find the most difficult part of writing a poem is deciding on a topic. What shall I write about? (Except for those times when something inside drives the pen..) That’s where some real fun can begin. The Challenge – and there are many different kinds of challenges to get the word juices flowing.

Given one such challenge (five years ago) I was really stumped. The challenge was to write a quit doing what you’re doing poem. What?? Well I wasn’t doing anything but looking at that ugly, white, blank page! But then I thought about it, and this was the result.

Worry?  Why?
How does it help?
   And who?
Does it stop wars,
   Cure disease?
Does it prevent the drought
   Or stop the seas?
Does it keep a child
   From foolishly erring?
Does it stop the moron
   From drinking and driving,
      Destroying too many lives?
If worry could heal,
If worry could change the tides,
     Still the winds,
        Stop the ground from moving.
If worry could protect the child
     From harm and suffering,
        Keep fools from causing pain,


     Worry?   Why?

Is this great poetry? Oh, hell no! But it served a purpose for the poet. It brought a moment of clarity. She was satisfied… at least for the moment.

Want to give it a try? Can you write a quit doing what you’re doing poem?

I’d love to hear about it if you do. Happy writing!


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