Tag Archives: form poetry

Tanks or Tankas

A tanka is a verse form of five lines following the pattern of 5-7-5-7-7 syllables. This poem consists of nine tankas that deal with the question, “Does might make right or does write make might?”

Tanks or Tankas?

It is such pleasure
lying in my morning bed,
I forsake those “shoulds”––
pool aerobics and the gym––
save them for another day.

As I exercise
that switchboard of all muscles,
the marvelous brain,
ideas are pumped like barbells
to create a well-toned verse.

Iron man or sage––
which will win and which will lose?
Is it brain or brawn
that moves our species forward
to survive this crazy race?

Our laptops used for
what––as pens or weaponry?
Which serves us better
in this age’s lethal match
for survival, power, wealth?

Which moves us forward?
Philosopher? Iron Man?
Poet? Soldier? Jock?
Which insures our progress toward
a place as Darwin’s fittest?

Physical fitness
in contemporary thought
wins most of the points
to insure a lengthy life
(and a husband or a wife).


They also serve who
sit and wait upon their bums,
writing out their odes
by recording just what comes.
So now you need to tell us

which of these will win:
the muscle man or soldier
or the poet’s pen?
If muscle is your power
If you think that it will win,

please now consider:
the leg may be the longest
of your muscles, but
the largest strongest muscle
is the one you sit upon!


For Colleen’s Tues. Tanka prompt–poet’s choice.

Early Morning Jazz

If you are viewing in Reader or on facebook, please click on the title or URL to view poem in its correct form.


                                                      Early Morning Jazz   

The scrape of your chair.

                     The gentle tap of keys
   as you, rhythmic early riser,
 rouse the day.

I burrow deeper, 
trying to ignore

           your accompaniment



      on the
frozen, silent

Version 2

For the  dVerse Poets Quadrille Challenge.

Rude Visitor


This year the rains came early, starting the day after the men came to begin stripping and resurfacing my roofs. The day after they were supposed to remove the skylight, hurricane-force winds and torrential rains made me glad for once, that they had been no-shows. A month later, the repairs are over and we’ve settled into the daily or nightly showers. I am snug in my house and the mountains behind me are covered with a vivid green. Soon water will be shooting in rivers down the arroyos and cobblestone roads that lead down to the lake from my house and every teja will serve as its own channel for individual rios streaming down from my roof into waterfalls that will arc down to the terrace tiles below.

The rainy season
breaks its usual habit.
A rude early guest.

For dVerse Poets.

Loving Thy Enemy

Three years ago yesterday, I wrote an abecedarian poem for NaPoWriMo that contained today’s pompt word of “froth.”  What are the chances?  There must be some poetic synchronicity at work here.  If you don’t know what an abecedarian poem is, it is one where each word in the poem begins with a letter of the alphabet in order from a to z.  I did one poem in this manner, then wrote another  where I stated with z and went backwards through the alphabet to a, and then forward again, a to z. Give me any kind of game and I can’t resist it.  Especially word games.


Loving Thy Enemy


Don’t ever fictionalize
great heroic intimacies.

Just keep looking
major nemeses over,
proudly quieting
rash stabbing thoughts.

Under violent words,


Raw Savage Thoughts

Zealous young
xenophobic wanderers
veer under
the sun’s rays,
quitting promenades
over nomadic mesas.

Let’s keep jumping
into harsh green fields,
eternally delving closer
before age accents
belligerent crankiness.

Delicious effervescence
froths gushingly homeward
in jugulars,
keeping lymphatic matters
normal or palpitating,

raw savage thoughts.
Understanding vulcanizes
woman’s X-rated,
yearnful zest.


The prompt today is froth.



We are all filters of the world,
taking the news in—the happy births 
and inane deaths, the charities and cruelties,
the beauties and the gross ugliness
of nature and of human nature. 
These things pass through us or get stuck,
taking us with them into the poles of our own natures.
Those ills of the world we choose to dwell on
change us if we are not careful to let them go again
or to act in a manner opposite—
which causes us to seed new hope
which just might, just might
catch hold in the sieves
of others

and bloom.

A concrete poem is one that takes the form of what it describes. I could find no photo of a rose in my photo library, so the form of the poem will have to do to illustrate its meaning. 

The prompt today was “filter.”

Triple Tricky


Triple Tricky

Who knows what each new day will bring?
Three dogs wiggling outside my door–
my feeding them, them wanting more.

The world reaches out for me and more.
Those worlds imagination  brings
come whining louder at my door.

Now and always at time’s door
I offer words and ask for more
than what, I know, the years will bring.

Agape once more, that final door brings me at last to face my fears.
I bring myself to cross its sill, still hoping there will be some more.

The WordPress prompt is “Tricky” and and NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a tritina–a poetic form that involves three three-line stanzas and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line. I cheated and used two concluding lines instead of one. This poem meets both prompts. Tricky.

HayNOku: NaPoWriMo Day 27

NaPoWriMo Prompt: Write a A hay(na)ku (a three-line stanza where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.)

are the
Tweets of poetry.

bird tweets
three note songs.

don’t write
six word poems.



New World Miracle: NaPoWriMo 2015, Day 9

New World Miracle1
New World Miracle2 New World Miracle3

Today’s prompt is to write a visual poem.  This is one I tried to publish earlier this year when WordPress was not accepting pingbacks, so perhaps not many have seen it, and certainly not in this form, as when I published it, it was all evened out into regular stanzas by the blog formatting.  It occurred to me to save it in jpeg and treat the pages as photographs and that seems to have worked.


Five Shadormas

The Prompt: For this week, write a shadorma (a non-rhyming six-line poem consisting of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllables.)  Instead of following the WordPress prompt, My Circle of 5 will be 5 Shadormas. Thanks, Sam, for the prompt.


 This paper
very slightly used–
and a stab.
This morning’s poem now dead–
unsung, unmourned.

Chinese Takeout

That rice grain
and the plastic fork–
against me
of another food court sin.
Yes, I ate it all.


Walk away
lest you find reason
to stay here,
fouling up
your determination to
have a fucked-up life.

Signing the Papers

You prompt me
to mind my timing.
Five o’clock
on the dot.
I come early anyway.
Her scent signs the air.

Salt Water Taffy

Sweet toffee
cannot hide the tang–
bitter salt
on my tongue–
of all the tears I swallowed,
waiting for your touch.

To see more shadormas, go HERE.