WD Poetic Form Challenge: Magic 9

Time for a new WD Poetic Form Challenge! This time around, we’re focused on the magic 9. Find the rules for magic 9 poems by clicking here. It involves 9 lines with a specific rhyme scheme that rhymes with abracadabra.

So start writing them and sharing here on the blog (this specific post) for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column. (Note: You have to log in to the site to post comments/poems; creating an account is free.)

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on May 22, 2016.
  • Poets can enter as many magic 9 poems as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better, but remember: I’m judging on quality, not quantity.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwcommunity.com. Or just write a new magic 9. They’re fun to write; I promise.
  • I will only consider magic 9 poems shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your user/screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

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Click to continue.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community, which means he maintains this blog, edits a couple Market Books (Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market), writes a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine, leads online education, speaks around the country on publishing and poetry, and a lot of other fun writing-related stuff. He’s also the author of the poetry collection Solving the World’s Problems.

Follow him on Twitter @RobertLeeBrewer.

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212 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Magic 9

  1. Karen

    In Sync

    Like pearls intertwined
    beauty is present
    wanting to be recognized
    we need each other
    that smile in your eyes electrifies
    heaven opening wide
    that connection magnetized
    affections intent
    Lovers synchronized

    by: Karen Wilson

  2. Jane Shlensky

    Placement

    I channeled mother yesterday
    arranging flowers for a bride,
    remembering buds have a way
    of opening before I’d like.
    When I started with dismay,
    mother’s shadow took my hand
    as slowly she revealed the way
    she used, making me warm inside
    as she once was, when making a bouquet.

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Release of Song

    To open up your throat and sing
    requires a kind of willingness
    to set song free. There is not anything
    held back, each note and word a life
    lived out in seconds, still winging.
    Intake breath, exhale heart, and tear apart
    any thought that does not bring
    relief and joy, the pure distillingness
    of self in sound, of honeyed hum stringing.

  4. Jane Shlensky

    To a Lone Goose at the Horse Pasture Pond

    Beyond the fence, I see you have returned
    chastened by loneliness, a solitary goose,
    your mate long dead but not forgotten. Concerned,
    I give you corn as you honk remembrance, your visions
    of happy nest eggs and gosling futures burned
    on the pyre of happenstance. I humanize your mourning,
    your circling, sweet friend, endowing you with what I’ve learned
    about loss and continuing, about sadness needing fuel to loose
    the feathers of forgetting as we feed and float and yearn.

  5. Jessica Cummins

    Junk Drawer Gone Awry

    It was my mother’s habit
    saving every scrap
    compiling detritus bit by bit,
    enough to enrage my father
    and fill a kitchen cabinet.
    Never me, I swore
    I’d always set a limit,
    if my cabinets ever fill with crap
    a cluttered mind, it will elicit.

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Caruso

    Heed how the tiny wren
    performs his aria.
    He lifts his chin,
    fills his bellows breast
    with air and sings, louder
    than crow chorus. Filled with song,
    he voices seeds and nests, his spin
    on all things opera,
    calling love, I wait, give in.

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Flash

    The steady bleep of monitor
    reflects the pulse’s hop—
    a kind of final keeping score
    of every wispy breath,
    of memories at deepest core
    that curse and bless,
    a last attempt at being more
    before we stop,
    accept, converge, then soar.

  8. Jane Shlensky

    Pacified

    How sweetly sassy
    is this little girl,
    her hair shining brassy
    in sunlight as she flits
    along the edge of glassy
    lake, refusing her father’s
    hand, freed for risk. This lassie
    takes a solitary whirl,
    her father holding her paci.

  9. Jane Shlensky

    Fireflies

    We run barefoot in the twilight
    carrying jars, as the first cicada sings.
    Fireflies take to velvet night
    like embers of fallen stars, floating
    and flitting green, their flight
    like souls carrying lanterns.
    We bear witness, examining their bright
    flash in our darkness, learning some things
    carry within them their own light.

  10. usedname

    The Fried Food Beauty

    golden,
    buttery goodness,
    melt in your mouth, flavor garden,
    the earth’s crop glorified in deep fried batter

    fingers holdin’
    the edge of your seat, don’t fall yet,
    a gooey thick sauce, deliciously molten,
    the last bite, gingerly dipped into its unholiness,
    off with a savory salute, to you state fair I am always beholden.

    -C.A.Richards

  11. lsteadly

    Alone

    Please don’t follow
    me where sadness reigns-
    let me wallow
    in the murky depths of regret
    until all the grief I can swallow
    tears asunder
    this mighty hollow
    heart in chains
    to seize the light from Apollo

    Lisa L Stead

  12. lsteadly

    Set Me Free

    Let me go where wind may blow
    far and near,
    an echo in the ebb and flow
    of life’s deep waters-
    Let me show the love I know
    grand and wee
    a whisper in the undertow
    that one shall hear
    swirling below sky’s twilight glow

  13. grcran

    didn’t really forget

    forgot to kiss her. y’all will think i’m silly.
    a little thing to perturbate about.
    there’s wars agog and problems willy-nilly
    and kids with birthdays never met their pa.
    but she’s my world. sweet filly. fragrant lily.
    my errand over, i rush back to her.
    we smile. we hug. we’re anything but chilly.
    she watches over me. i do not pout.
    connection strong. when we kiss, it’s for really.

    by gpr crane

  14. Jessica Cummins

    After Lunch

    In the wind you were snoring
    like the old dog in the alley
    we passed, through the stone streets walking
    after tapas above the sea, your last weekend home.
    You slept- I watched the blue rolling
    endless waves on a finite day,
    lazy dune grass blowing
    against the drift fence, highway for ants avoiding a sandy valley
    past your sleeping body, sun warming.

    -J. Cummins

  15. Asha1000

    At Day’s End

    And when at last all work is done,
    laundry and dishes fresh and clean,
    with aching arm, pass the baton.
    Kick off shoes, slip off socks, compress
    time. Rewind song, again have fun.
    Will I ever know for sure when
    these feet have made their final run?
    Shut down machine, complete hygiene,
    sleep. Hope to wake and know I’ve won.

    – Lelawattee Manoo-Rahming

  16. PressOn

    DENOUEMENT

    With urgency
    my lover came
    and savored me,
    but I replied
    truculently
    in word and deed.
    Now, no more we,
    the ending game
    has come to be.

    —William Preston

    1. grcran

      as always, your rhyming and syllabification is wonderful to peruse… and the succinctness fits the situation, enhances the narrative, makes the poem more effective… well-done!

  17. chasitymarcus@hotmail.com

    It’s a Nominalization Domination
    by Chasity Wilde Marcus

    Due to infatuation, she explored fermentation.
    The process by which healthy microbes will form.
    Under great trepidation and much deliberation,
    She bought a two quart crock with a wooden tool.
    The chemical reaction causes activation,
    Of bacteria to savor in a dish or alone.
    The operation is a recreation,
    That causes one’s arm for sure to be sore.
    No special qualification, just generous titillation.

  18. grcran

    from the dinner guests

    more mystical than most
    woodpeckers trill
    as tasty as a toast
    of good red wine
    from garden scraps compost
    we’ve grown our feast
    give thanks with glad riposte
    won’t pay the bill
    until we meet the host

    gpr crane

  19. grcran

    unmoved

    these folks who joke who polka-dot forever
    don’t sense the comprehend of which they speak
    intrusive truisms book facing never
    reach deep enough to root the grounded self
    in spite of and below this they are clever
    endeavoring for money fame and art
    but missing out oh lacking in true rever-
    ential spirit creativitique
    won’t ever move the world ain’t got the lever

    gpr crane

  20. Angie5804

    A Life Has Been

    Sun’s almost down, drawing heat in
    Sky enfolds the memories so warm
    Cool air like wine touches the skin
    The air’s whisper a mother’s breath
    A wink, a nod, a dimpled chin
    Cicada’s buzz a father’s love
    All the wonders a life has been
    Wrapped up secure and kept from harm
    Waiting now for the next of kin

    – Angie Bell

  21. PressOn

    A PAUSE IN THE PARK

    One evening, as the sun was going down,
    I came across a patch of golden gorse
    I’d never seen before. A lucent gown
    of yellow light erupted from the mix
    of rays and plants, dispersing all the brown
    of land and mood, as though an ancient curse
    were rendered moot. I’d come there with a frown
    but left in smiles, bereft of the remorse
    I used to feel when sunshine fled the town.

    —William Preston

  22. Connie Peters

    The Cage

    She dwells within a cage of grief.
    She’s jolted into this life’s stage.
    No strength to search for calm relief.
    The hawk of death searching for prey
    dove down and took him like a thief.
    Her people give what they can give.
    While they bring casseroles and quiche,
    her heart lies wounded in the cage.
    Recovery will not be brief.

  23. purpleveil

    Magic Nine
    V.M. Kristovich
    I sit at night
    In solid dark,
    No ray of light
    Within my eyes,
    Or in my sight.
    My shadowed heart
    Remains clenched tight-
    Without love’s spark
    I sit at night.

  24. purpleveil

    Magic Nine
    V.M. Kristovich

    I sit at night
    In solid dark,
    No ray of light
    Within my eyes,
    Or in my sight.
    My shadowed heart
    Remains clenched tight-
    Without love’s spark
    I sit at night.

    1. purpleveil

      Aubrianna
      VM Kristovich

      She is the very definition
      Of love and beauty
      Brought into fruition.
      Mother nature laughed!
      She did her duty
      When this child was born.
      This tiny, angelic apparition,
      This little cutie,
      Melts her grandma’s will into submission.

  25. timphilippart

    Drowning

    Everyday we drown in rain,
    Happiness can not float,
    Sadness sings it’s sad refrain.
    Crying feeds upon itself
    No one bears the strain
    So we reel, and cannot stand,
    No sure steps for our crushing pain
    As water fills our boat,
    And heartache clouds our brain.

  26. Sarah Metzler

    How to Spit Out a Magic 9

    On the day that 7, 8, 9
    The clever child giggled and agreed with the 6
    When it told the 7 to: “Get back in line!”
    And the 8 just stood there like an upright sign for infinite stupidity
    So confused to be standing between 6 and 7 that it began to wine
    “I am bigger than either of you lowly integers can imagine! Now get out of my way!”
    But, having just 8, 9; 7 was too fat to budge and try as he might, he could not properly re-align
    Well now six was getting quite peeved with 7 and missed 9 so she dug into her own bag of tricks
    And this is when she pulled out her magic word, “abacadaba” and 6, 8, 7 and spit out that magic 9

  27. RJ Clarken

    Hisssssssssss

    A sssuborder of ssserpentsss isss the sssnake,
    which includesss anacondasss, cobrasss, vipersss and other varietiesss.
    No eyelidsss; no earsss, but they feel vibrationsss, like, y’know, with the Harlem Ssshake.
    And, color isss a clue for poissson (if red touches yellow, it will kill a fellow…)
    ssso be careful and wary, for heaven’sss sssake.
    Asss a carnivore, the sssnake prefersss meat;
    they typically won’t eat chocolate flake or yellowcake (but would love a sssizzling sssteak.)
    In sssome sssocietiesss, there are big bad-asssss sssnake anxietiesss,
    but mossst are harmlessss, ‘though underessstimating them could be a missstake.

    ###

  28. Nancy Posey

    Silver

    Please call these tresses silver, not grey,
    After all, it’s my prerogative, my hair
    a part of me, so who are you to say
    it’s not on par with Rumpelstilskin’s gold?
    Rapunzel’s, if she’d had her way
    might have stayed locked in her tower
    running her comb and brush all day
    through silver locks, without a care,
    without a prince to spirit her away.

  29. Azma

    Lullaby for Today

    Eyelids perform a soft ballet
    in sync with the hymn
    of a passing day
    Any work now cannot progress
    as the body too has begun to sway
    The bedroom gives out a luring scent
    and blankets entice to come its way
    where oceans of dreams are prepared for a swim
    and responsibilities shoved until Monday

    -Azma Sheikh

  30. Tracy Davidson

    Passion

    I watch the way you lick your lips,
    the teasing look in lust-filled eyes
    that makes my heart do backward flips.
    My cheeks grow warm in your embrace
    as hands move down to stroke my hips.
    Your mouth and tongue trace wicked paths,
    my flesh full of nuzzles and nips.
    The air is filled with moans and sighs,
    and the sound of unzipping zips.

  31. RJ Clarken

    Incredible Edibles

    Here’s some good news for folks who bite their nails!
    One company has developed edible polish.
    Thus far there are only a few scant details,
    like flavors: Hot & Spicy and also Original (whatever that is.)
    Colors will abound in both bolds and pales
    and the idea is you can bite or lick it off. Then repeat.
    Sound more like marketing, amidst hopes for big sales
    and a wish for competition-demolish.
    Next year, expect to find it at Nordstrom or Bloomingdale’s.

    ###

  32. PressOn

    NOT IN IOWA ANYMORE

    I was sitting in the stands, slurping some stew,
    as content as I normally would be
    at a ballgame, when, of a sudden, a new
    vision replaced the diamond below:
    instead of green, I saw white and blue
    matter melding into mixed molarity,
    and then, without further ado,
    a diaphanous being said to me,
    “Your nine innings are through.”

    —William Preston

  33. taylor graham

    revision:

    THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD

    I met our new neighbor – but is he new?
    He may have been here years before we came,
    eight green springs ago. We yelled how-de-do
    across the county 2-lane. We’re different
    breeds but who cares? He has a good dog, too.
    Our dogs come down to the fence and bark wild
    greetings across the road. It’s what dogs do.
    We laughed across the road, our laughs the same
    as neighbors whose chance meetings are so few.

  34. taylor graham

    revision:

    CALIFORNIA CONUNDRUM

    I mow the knee-high field. It rains again.
    It’s May, all this green will be turning brown
    by mid-month, dry and flammable. But when
    will it stop raining so I can mow the grass?
    The lower field’s a thistle-swamp, a fen.
    What magic is this? Could it be climate change
    that makes the grass grow thick and lush – and then
    overnight it burns? Disaster coming down
    as lightning strike ignites sweet cedar glen.

  35. Jessica Cummins

    My love has a tendency
    to run its course-
    A 4.5 year expectancy
    drifted from coincidence to habit
    like a developing dependency
    somewhere near relationship number four.
    Here’s hoping you’re the one my heart will grant clemency.
    Instead of screaming our throats hoarse
    maybe I’ll see, love can grow old yet retain all its vibrancy.

    -J. Cummins

  36. tunesmiff

    MAGIC NINE
    G. Smith
    ====€====
    Maybe it’s the way you smiled at me,
    At least that’s how it seemed at the time,
    Given we had never met, how could it be,
    I felt as though I’d known you forever.
    Captured, the lock to my key;
    Naked and unafraid,
    Imagined, and yet real; held and set free;
    Newly born, ageless in time,
    Everything focused, all that I see.

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