Playing with Poetic Form–Monday Meanderings

Today I’m sharing a post from Heidi who blogs at A few weeks ago, Gay Reiser Cannon, hosting dVerse Meeting the Bar, gave us the challenge to create our own form. Here, Heidi sends a Thank You to Gay, along with a brief explanation of her response. It’s so much fun, I thought I’d share it. Thank you, Heidi and Gay.

An Open Thank You to Gay Reiser Cannon

Dear Gay,

For the April 10, 2014 dVerse Meeting the Bar post, you challenged us to create our own form.

I created the Geburstag, which uses the writer’s birthday to determine lines and either word or syllable count. In my comments, you wrote that it would also be a good ways to write poems for other people using their birthday. Your challenge and comment opened a whole new way of celebrating my friends for me. I have been using it for birthdays and to commemorate any other special day. (I don’t know if my friends like it as much…) But it has been such a fun way for me to remember and appreciate people who are important to me. I just wanted to thank you for the cool inspiration!

With Gratitude,


If you’d like to read Heidi’s original post with a sample of her poem, find it here.

I hope you’ll give it a try. Maybe you’ll share it in comments or by adding a link in comments. In the future, perhaps we can deal deal with some more ideas that this prompt generated.

And here’s mine.

Photo: David Slotto

Photo: David Slotto



smooth jazz on a warm night in the california desert



i heard

smooth jazz

played under stars, palms and a silver slivered moon.


i dream of desert skies dancing to saxophone riffs,

drums, a bass guitar,

tasting your kisses.

Gay Cannon Gay Cannon is a Published poet, (she majored in English Lit.) author of children’s stories, musician and lover of music, artist and lover of art, figure skating judge,- covetous of dancers, founder of Stars FSC in Dallas (she minored in Political Science) supporter of the arts, an aesthete but not an atheist She’s a loyal friend, mother of three, grandmother of eleven. She loves to travel, meet people, go to museums; She loves good food and good conversations. She tries to find the music in people’s voices and the poetry in their souls.

Photo: Gay Cannon, Published Poet Photo taken from dVerse Poets

Photo: Gay Cannon, Published Poet
Photo taken from dVerse Poets

Fights of Fancy–dVerse Meeting the Bar

I can’t believe I actually came up with something in response to Gay’s prompt for dVerse Meeting the Bar! She asks that we create our own form. I can’t decide a name for it–maybe you can, but here’s the recipe:

  • Open the poem by stating an indisputable fact–perhaps based in science, as I have, and then let your imagination take over and see where it takes you.
  • Each stanza should have only two lines, each beginning with the word “and…” Think of a child who has discovered some new to her wonder and comes running, breathless, telling you all about it. It should have a tone of excitement.
  • The final line should reflect back on your opening statement.

I have no idea where this came from, but here is my example:




Flights of Fancy

The world is round—


and when I set sail,

I’ll ride the Ferris wheel waves;


and dance with dolphin

in deep blue-green and silver froth;


and follow hummingbirds

as they fly to jungle climes;


and borne upon wind’s breath

touch nebulae above the clouds;


and then set foot upon the land from whence I came

and find that, though unchanged nothing remains the same


in this round world.


And this is my poem for Day 10 of National Poetry Month.

Skirting the Eastern Sierra in Autumn–dVerse Open Link Night

Driving South—brilliant orange flambeaux flank velvet blue—Topaz Lake’s smooth skin.
Two weeks later—brittle naked branches stretch, touch gray skies, gray water.



This short poetic form was the creation of Allen Ginsburg. He based it on the Japanese Haiku.
It consists of complete sentences made up of 17 syllables…as many sentences as you like.

This photo doesn’t compare with what I saw driving South on I-395. The trees were a bright cadmium orange on the way down, next to a glass-like aqua lake. I’m kicking myself for not stopping to take a photo. 

I wasn’t able to participate when Gay Cannon posted this for Form for All at dVerse earlier this month, so this is what I’m bringing to the poets’ pub for Open Link Night. Hope to see you there.

Summer’s Flame–a Huitain

Photo Credit:

Summer’s sun, inflammatory
passions flare. Searing, scorching rays
spawn such words defamatory.
Tempers simmer, kindle a blaze,
destroy our now and yesterdays.
All through the night a cricket’s call
sparks passion in another way
so that our morning love heals all.

On Thursday, for dVerse Form for All, Gemma Wiseman guest-hosted with Gay Cannon and challenged us to write a huitain, a form comprised of eight lines, eight syllables per line with the rhyme scheme: a,b,a,b,b,c,b,c. I didn’t have time to write something new, so I’m posting a huitain in response to today’s Poetics challenge to write to the theme of SUMMER, offered by Karin Gustafson. I hope you’ll stop by and read some poetry and maybe dip back into the archives to learn about this interesting form.


The day wind felled a weary oak,
we donned work aprons, boots,
took pails and spades in hand
and ventured out into the brumey cold
to scoop red clay, harvesting Earth.

That night we sat around a fire.
Flickering flames of warmth dispelled
the cold that seeped through dense
gray stone—walls caching sacred
secrets of a century and more.

We worked the clay that night, extracting
grit and stones, Gaia’s grainy
cells that would, ignored, destroy
our own creative efforts. Each night
thereafter, tediously, we toiled for perfection.

And when the day arrived to mold
and fashion terra-cotta worlds,
figures formed of toil and imagination,
clods of mud clung to our hands
that we discarded as extraneous.

Yet now and then we’d find a pebble.
Another proof that life eludes
the quest for flawless execution.

In the early 70’s I lived in a monastic setting at the Motherhouse of Les Petites Soeurs des Pauvres in St. Pern, Brittany, France. The above story is true. I am submitting this poem to Gay Cannon’s prompt at dVerse Poet’s Pub, as a metaphorical twist on life. I’m also linking it to my own prompt for this week’s Write2Day. The muse actually crawled out from under the covers this morning!

Motherhouse of the Little Sisters of the Poor

Funereal Reflections

Karrakatta Cemetery grounds

Image via Wikipedia

The world moves on in timeless reverie
while doves o’er head turn westward to their home;
yon raven waits upon a gnarly tree.
Two empty spaces rest beside your tomb
and night, tonight, descends on you alone.
We gather then, disperse and go our way
sure we shall live to tend another day.

Your life, a whisper in the ear of earth,
too soon forgotten by the race of men;
can we embrace the promise of rebirth?
The blackbird swoops and preys upon a wren
and we bear witness: cruel death again
invades a waking moment, ruptures ease,
forsakes our very search for timeless peace.

Linked to poetic form prompt presented by Gay Cannon. Check it out and give it a try!