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.

Radical Surgery

A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve rep...

A thoracic surgeon performs a mitral valve replacement at the Fitzsimons Army Medical Center. Slovenščina: Kirurgi med operacijo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Radical Surgery

The day I diagnosed your treachery,
excised deception from my fragile life,
I cauterised my heart, scrubbed clean of strife.

How to assess what you have done to me?
the lies you told, emotions cold,
anesthetized my longing to be free.

I close the wound incised with your dull knife,
Debride my feelings of your treachery.

Written for today’s Poetics at dVerse Poets’ Pub in which we are asked by the incomparable Karin Gustafson to choose active verbs from one profession and apply them to a completely different scenario. I’ve chosen to use Luke Prater’s Octain form. Check out his site to learn more about it.

And…I suspect I’m not the only one out there who’s dated a sociopath?

March Desert


English: Orange blossom and oranges. Taken by ...

Image via Wikipedia

March Desert
Form: American Sentences

Overnight, citrus trees explode in fragrant blossom, ravish our world.
Remnants of a nest lay empty in deep grass, spring promises: illusions.
March wind batters the garden; hummingbirds struggle to take in nectar.
Early morning birdsong. Crow caws—inviting silence. Hawk swoops in, kills.
Moon escapes behind a cloud, stars take center stage, the night holds her breath.
Sing of winter oranges, desert sun. Dance on mountains topped with snow.

This week I ordered a new book on poetry by Kim Addonizio: Ordinary Genius. In an early chapter, I encountered a form and prompt invented by poet Allen Ginsberg known as American Sentence. Inspired by the Japanese Haiku, three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, Ginsberg build this poetic form on the foundation of the sentence, but a sentence comprised of seventeen syllables.

For this week’s Write2Day, I’d like to throw out the American Sentence as a prompt that can reach out to either prose or poetry writers (or those who write both). For my poem, I’ve strung together six sentences on a single theme, all things I’ve experienced here in the desert in the last few days as the changing season defies all expectations.

Because I’m currently working under deadlines, I need to continue to budget my time spent blogging, so I’m also linking this to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets’ Pub where poets from all over our wonderful world meet to share a poem, friendship and cheer. Our talented host this week is Joseph Hesch. Come on in; you will not be disappointed.

If you would like to link to Write2Day:

• Post your poem or prose sentence, based on the prompt, on your own blog or website.
• Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post.
• Share your name and the direct URL to your post.
• Take time to visit and comment on other participant.

The link for dVerse is here. I hope you’ll join both prompts.

Photo: GNU Free Documentation License

Wordsmith Wednesday–True Haiku

The poetess Ukon

Image via Wikipedia

Many of us enjoy writing 17 syllable poems that we call “Haiku.” These are divided into 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables each. To be honest, we often take liberties with this centuries-old Japanese form, which is okay. As former poet Ted Kooser says in his wonderful book, The Poetry Home Repair Manual, “Don’t worry about rules.”

There’s another poet who is known for her translations of Japanese poets. In her stunning book Nine Gates, Entering the Mind of Poetry, Jane Hirshfield presents details of Haiku and other Asian forms. She presents such masters as Basho, Shikibu and Ono no Komachi.

A key element of Haiku (and similar forms) is its focus on the natural world. Using concrete sensory images–tactile, visual–these word artists create a subjective interpretation of objective reality. To me, this Zen-like experience is an example of the poet’s power to observe and translate the mundane into the sublime.

Another aspect of true Haiku is that the poem should always evoke one of the four seasons–either directly or obliquely through description.

In no way do I want to discourage Haiku that adheres only to syllable count. Rather, I invite you to take it a step further and try to compose a Haiku while turning to nature for inspiration and incorporating a seasonal reference.

I strongly suggest adding Hirschfield’s book, as well as Kooser’s to your library. You won’t be disappointed.

This week I will be posting three Haiku on One Shot Wednesday: that observe the form as developed by the Japanese poets.

Andante–One Stop Poetry

Photo: Walter Parada

I am linking this to One Stop Poetry for both One Shoot Sunday where the prompt is inspired by the photography of Walter Parada and One Stop Form. Today’s form is the high octain, created by Luke Prater.

high octain

adagio thoughts inhabit me
beside the mountains or the shore
i live for music, nothing more

alone and aimless though i be
i play the blues and drink my booze
then jazz it up to vivace

when morning comes, i toss the score
adagio thoughts return to me

adagio thoughts conquer me
gravissimo my spirit’s core
i leave my music at the door

though from myself i hope to flee
i find my muse in nature’s clues
a gift of music sets me free

once more allow melodic roar
as dolce thoughts come back to me.

Musical Notations:

gravissimo—most grave

Painting Life–Poetry Potluck

Photo of an oil painting palette. Photo taken ...

Image via Wikipedia

Linked to Jingle’s Poetry Potluck where this week’s theme is sketches, images, impressions:

Painting Life

a Rhyming Tercet

Were you to draw this life in black and white,
the lines would then be hard and unforgiving—
no subtle shades to ease the journey’s plight.

With color’s tones and even shades of gray
the world assumes her nuances of beauty—
the lights and shadows of our every day.

So you surrender paint and page and hand
unto the artful muse who lurks inside you,
allowing her to guide you thought and pen.

You smear the color orange and then the yellow
to taste the sweet scent of the Scottish Broom
and forge in black the loamy earth below.

Now play with texture to confuse the senses
and add perspective, draw the viewer in.
Create illusion to obscure pretenses.

You will take risks when you engage in art,
allow your soul to bleed on canvas bare.
Be sure you understand this ere you start.

Photo: Max Wehlte

Sonnets as a Poetic Form–“Point of View”

A bit about the sonnet as a poetic form courtesy of Wikipedia:

The sonnet is one of several forms of lyric poetry originating in Europe. The term “sonnet” derives from the Occitan word sonet and the Italian word sonetto, both meaning “little song” or “little sound”. By the thirteenth century, it had come to signify a poem of fourteen lines that follows a strict rhyme scheme and specific structure. The conventions associated with the sonnet have evolved over its history. The writers of sonnets are sometimes referred to as “sonneteers,” although the term can be used derisively. One of the best-known sonnet writers is William Shakespeare, who wrote 154 of them (not including those that appear in his plays). A Shakespearean, or English, sonnet consists of 14 lines, each line containing ten syllables and written in iambic pentameter, in which a pattern of an unemphasized syllable followed by an emphasized syllable is repeated five times. The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean sonnet is a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g; the last two lines are a rhyming couplet. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Most often we think of sonnets as love songs. When my poetry critique group suggested writing a sonnet, I felt a bit squeamish about it until I stopped to consider the broad spectrum of “love.” Not sure how my poem would play in the traditional sense of a sonnet. If you enjoy the discipline of working with poetic forms, I encourage you to read more about the various types of sonnets and just do it…it’s fun and it’s challenging.

“Point of View” A Sonnet

Ain’t nobody with a right to judge my heart,
To guess why I do the things I gotta do,
To say ‘cause I walk the streets I’m just a tart.
No way they can see from my sacred point of view.
Got calluses on my feet from three-inch heels.
I stink from filthy men I’m s’pposed to please
Who with rough touches my self-worth will steal
Then toss me a crumpled bill to find release.
The haughty turn away when they pass me by.
They snicker, whisper loudly, “She’s sold her soul.”
But in my deep-part, truth reminds me why:
My body is not me, my spirit’s whole.
It’s not that I whore for drugs or my own joy.
His daddy just split. Gotta care for my little boy.