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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rispetto

Categories: Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, WD Poetic Form Challenge, What's New.

Before we get into the full onslaught of the April PAD Challenge, let’s complete one more WD Poetic Form Challenge. This time, we’ll be writing the rispetto.

There are two versions of the rispetto that I’ll accept for this challenge:

  1. Poem comprised of two quatrains written in iambic (unstress, stress) tetrameter (four feet–or, in this case, 8 syllables).
  2. Poem comprised of 8 hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines–usually one stanza.

Pick a version or try both.

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Workshop your poetry!

Writing first draft poetry is fun and liberating. However, it’s also isolating if you don’t have a group of trusted readers to help revise the poems. In the Writer’s Digest Advanced Poetry course, poets receive the opportunity to workshop their poems with other dedicated poets.

Click to continue.

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Here are the guidelines:

  • Write a previously unpublished rispetto and share in the comments below.
  • Include your name as you’d like it to be published–if it happens to win the challenge.
  • Deadline: 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA, time) on March 27.
  • Winning poem will be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest magazine.
  • No fees or special registration required.
  • Everyone is encouraged to participate.
  • Note: If you’re new to commenting on this site, it may take a day or two for your comment to appear–as I (or another editor) will have to manually approve. After that initial approval though, comments should appear as you post.

Good luck!

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About Robert Lee Brewer

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138 Responses to WD Poetic Form Challenge: Rispetto

  1. Linda Hatton says:

    Bullied

    Life’s never fair at Old Oaks Ranch, kids do things
    like scrawl spite on mailboxes while innocence
    sleeps, shut in by bludgeoned words, truants fighting
    for rights to hate another, belligerence
    guides all thoughts and words, neighborhood troops suppress
    random acts of kindness with plastic pellet
    guns. Children misdirected must be addressed,
    may loving care be the only true bullet.

  2. Linda Hatton says:

    Sooo many good poems here! Wow! I am writing to the tune of screaming teenagers in the background! Ack! A fun form that I would like to play with some more. The ones I’ve written are a bit clumsy, but I want to play along anyway.

    +++++

    Blue Collared

    Green waves of palm fronds brush moisture-less breezes
    while lady swings on porch of absent callers,
    a dot on horizon, her hero, freezes
    his future, entire life wasted for dollars
    placed inside a stranger’s purse feeding greedy
    wishes for possessions money cannot buy,
    filling space inside that makes him feel needy
    for love forgotten, enduring short supply.

  3. Originality says:

    Traffic Lights

    There is a constant traffic stalling my mind
    My muse attempts to explain the mechanics
    To decongest my mind with reds, yellows, greens
    With turns and parallels and directing signs
    I find myself slamming breaks, traffic remains
    All I want is to write this song, but just find
    Myself lying in bed in company of
    A guitar I don’t even know how to play.

    -Lahevet P.

  4. Originality says:

    Reconnection

    You were part of my memory
    Lines and images forming shapes
    There to stay, twisting with the pass-
    age of time, never did I think

    That lines and images would break
    The boundaries of my mind, and
    Past would enter into present
    “How have you been doing?” you ask.

    -Lahevet P.

  5. Originality says:

    Power Play

    The sea, a raging bitch foaming
    At the mouth, coming back for more
    Farther along each time, waves are
    A thin veiling curtain over

    The sand melting beneath my feet
    I crush blooming rocks under my
    Heels bury them back in the sand
    Step aside, I am walking here

    -Lahevet P.

  6. seingraham says:

    THE GAME OF DEATH

    You said I’d know when it was time to let go
    But you were certain I could not do the deed
    You laughed when telling me the signs that would show
    what to look for if the devil came to feed
    You were correct, I knew him soon as he came
    rattling his chains in that gloomy dank night
    You were wrong to have laughed though; I just said “hey”
    let him in to spirit you off from the game

    Maybe it was not quite what you had in mind
    But you forgot to express more explicit
    Wishes you see, so I used my faith. It’s blind
    And knowing that fact I wonder what was it
    You thought I might do when you ceased your breathing
    Honestly – did you think I would pray to God
    After years of our disputes left me seething
    Consulting your Almighty would have been odd

  7. BDP says:

    I Believe In Pixies

    when wind dusts snow off trees to form wee bodies,
    tiny heads, legs stretched down, arms thin as incense
    sticks bright sun burns to nubs that grow again: these
    elastic sprites just seconds tinged translucent
    white light blue then gone until the gusting breeze
    once more sends twinkles into shapes too soon spent

    so I’m struck by what needs doing now, fairy
    fading, magic tangible, momentary.

    B Peters

    • BDP says:

      Well, the entire poem is not supposed to be in italics–only the title and the word “now” (in line 7). I tried the HTML prompts, and thought I should lead with a prompt before the targeted word/phrase and end with a prompt after the targeted word/phrase in order to create limited italicized words. Does anyone have any advice on HTML?

  8. PKP says:

    Angelo Polizaiano

    Angelo Poliziano
    Shimmering son of Tuscany
    Politziano Angelo
    Eight beat coincidentally?

    The name rings rhythmic to the ear
    Two hundred rispetti penned near
    Dance! Regards! spin highest to low
    Angelo Poliziano

  9. The last book

    In twenty-five excruciating minutes
    she will be put to death for crimes committed.
    Her exclamations of “I didn’t mean it!
    were carefully and purposely omitted
    as there is no excuse for her behavior,
    for no reader on this planet can save her
    from death. It’s too late for an apology.
    She burned it, and left us with… technology.

    (c) Jacqueline Hallenbeck

  10. Stanza break got lost. Hope it comes through now.

    THE LAST WALRUS

    Huge, sleek and rusty, he hobbles
    searching over waterless sand,
    cripple without crutches; cobbles
    under flippers. This, his last stand –

    a desert without blue mirage.
    His own kind – that lost equipage –
    his chances. Sun sets into dusk.
    Oh elegant curve of his tusk.

  11. THE LAST WALRUS

    Huge, sleek and rusty, he hobbles
    searching over waterless sand,
    cripple without crutches; cobbles
    under flippers. This, his last stand –
    a desert without blue mirage.
    His own kind – that lost equipage –
    his chances. Sun sets into dusk.
    Oh elegant curve of his tusk.

  12. If poetry were a girl…

    If poetry were a girl, she’d be my wife.
    For it, I would change gender. I’ve been writing
    it ever since I can remember. My life
    is rich and so deliriously exciting
    when I submerge myself into my pieces.
    And if it were a dude, I’d be his missus.
    If poetry proposed tomorrow, ‘tis true:
    For better and for words, I will marry you.

    (c) Jacqueline Hallenbeck

  13. LuvingLife says:

    A Gift Returned

    What happens when a lover stops your heart?
    And the stenosis makes the love cease to be.
    Injected with deception, you start to mold.
    Optical hardship iced; struggling to see.
    Can you be revived in time to save your soul?
    Or will it be an inevitable goal?
    No…because with a warm cup of honesty,
    I can turn your heart back into it’s beauty.

  14. ewdupler says:

    A COLD LONG WALK

    A bold breeze breaches brittle bones,
    As legs lead onward, lacking heat,
    To searing sunset’s warm red tones,
    snow crunching under freezing feet.

    The leafless trees make creaking moans,
    Full moon floats free, above, discreet.
    Sometimes I walk alone like this,
    Out in the cold when life’s amiss.

  15. PressOn says:

    THE OLD QUAKER MEETING HOUSE

    It stands in ruins on the knoll,
    the twin doors open to the wind;
    the paint is gone; the stout ridgepole
    is stunted; all appears chagrined.

    The tombstones in the dried side yard
    are faded; broken; crumbling; scarred;
    and yet the whole contains within
    the grace and peace that once had been.

    William Preston

  16. Michelle Hed says:

    Helen Keller

    An illness took away your sight
    and closed the door on all the noise
    but never did you quit the fight
    as you grew from dolls into poise.

    You graced us with your written word
    and your voice was strong, loudly heard.
    Your limits did not define you
    each break through, you grew, you just flew.

  17. Arwalker_79 says:

    Kiss and Tell
    Your kisses are hot, blazing heat from the sun
    I wanted forever a touch of your love
    A burning sensation can come from the tongue
    Oh how I wasn’t thinking that night thereof
    My mind drifted places as your lips made O’s
    Softly on my neck, I felt my body froze
    When I saw your phone recording our session
    My lies are dead, only room for confession

    Archeila “Archie” Walker

  18. dandelionwine says:

    Sugaring

    Through billowing sweet steam he gives voice to past
    seasons making maple, his father before
    him with two horses, six hundred taps, and last
    year not bothering, the yield projected poor.
    He jots down the temperature and gallons,
    the hours he has boiled today, then runs
    his finger down guest names and to not forget
    this particular night, writes “pretty sunset.”

    Sara Ramsdell

  19. dandelionwine says:

    Vows

    With bands of snow late winter slips
    upon the fragile hand of spring
    and presses cold with icy lips
    to every quiet growing thing.

    Remembering each reaching bough
    the white flakes form a solemn vow
    and spring in turn affirms sweet life
    becoming winter’s perfect wife.

    Sara Ramsdell

  20. Mama Zen says:

    The Tree

    He was a country squire, that old, stately oak.
    Each time a breeze stirred his brown, brittle leaves
    I was certain that he spoke. I listened close,
    for his words were well disguised by the weeping
    of wound and worry, the grind of sand and time.
    Yesterday, the old tree came down as I watched
    from across the street. And, I raised my jar high
    to his voice in my mind – Farewell. Blessed be.

  21. SUNDAY RISPETTO

    Early Sunday morning’s bright with chiming bells
    and poetry. In a circle, beaded strands
    of word and metaphor, fragile weave that tells
    how the bird lifts from a tree of praying hands.
    And after, with my dog I walk the spring fields
    to see what bounty an April morning yields –
    birdsong blossoming beyond the season’s days,
    words that would be petals of a poppy’s praise.

  22. Resurrection

    Seeds die and birth deep roots and vine.
    And sprout some stems and leaves come out.
    Soon blossoms sow their scent and shine.
    Fruit forms to share with all about.

    Eternal Seed beneath the ground.
    His death breeds life to all around.
    And likewise, we must learn to give.
    To serve like Jesus frees to live.

  23. Ann M says:

    Snow on Easter Week

    When the leaf of palm is blessed
    and shrouds unfold for Friday’s woe,
    a wintry storm comes from the West
    with howling winds and swirling snow.

    We dance, despite the pending death,
    and sing beneath the doom-filled skies.
    We save the crocus with our breath
    and wait for Easter’s morning’s rise.

  24. Ann M says:

    Snow on Easter Week

    After the leaf of palm is blessed
    and shrouds unfold for Friday’s woe,
    a wintry storm comes from the West
    with howling winds and swirling snow.

    We dance, despite the pending death,
    and sing beneath the doom-filled skies.
    We save the crocus with our breath
    and wait for Easter’s morning’s rise.

  25. Casey says:

    “Gettysburg” (Rispetto #2 version, Hendecasyllabic, abab;ccdd)

    Look, and you will see her cast in radiance!
    A merciful, angelic water’s daughter…
    Lifts each ghostly soul through humid July’s dance;
    puts parch`ed lips to cups of precious water.
    She moves among the men whose glistening eyes
    follow horses hooves who break their holy cries.
    Her wagon mid the battleground’s begotten;
    She moves among the dying and forgotten.

    (Lydia Hamilton Smith, born in Gettysburg, Pa.. The daughter of an African-American mother and an Irish father. When donations withered away for Civil War veterans, she used her own earnings. Lydia was born and died on Valentine’s Day.)

    Jacqueline Casey

  26. Jane Shlensky says:

    Plowed Ground

    A lot can happen in plowed ground
    turned belly up to winter sky.
    Cold hollow air muffles the sound
    of birds and beasts that happen by.

    The rain and snow and sunlight’s heat
    mellow the soil for early wheat,
    and softened features of the clod
    reflect the living face of God.

  27. Mama Zen says:

    As Good As

    Each day is a sway between grift and grindstone.
    Each day is a strange one-legged waltz, and they say
    a woman’s only as good as the worst man
    that she lets steal her Sundays and her somedays.
    Sit, and I’ll offer you sweet tea and wisdom.
    Or, go, and I’ll show you a smile and the door.
    A woman is only as good as the shine
    on her floor. I’ve scrubbed all my footprints away.

    Kelli Simpson

  28. RJ Clarken says:

    Shadows

    “My shadow’s the only one that walks beside me.” ~Green Day, Boulevard of Broken Dreams

    I know I’m never quite alone.
    My shadow stays with me. I’ve known
    this other me: we both have grown
    through words and deeds, in hue and tone.

    I walk. My shadow keeps the pace.
    The darkness cannot quite erase
    her silent presence: still a trace
    of silhouette remains in place.

    ###

  29. JRSimmang says:

    It’s no longer winter, he says to me under
    the falling dead leaves of the oak in the back yard.
    It’s becoming a time where the world wakes up
    from her slumber and shakes off death. It’s certainly
    better than the alternative. What’s that, I ask,
    impatiently, staring at his empty hands, while
    mine clutch tightly the old plastic rake that has been
    an eyesore in the eyesore of the plastic shed.

    It’s that death itself walks among the living in
    this world we cling to so dearly, that we wake up,
    shake off our covers and think in the mirror that
    today might be the day we finally see the
    man behind the cloak and he raises his bony
    hand to clutch our tender throats. That’s, dark, I mutter,
    and look to the ever-darkening sky. I had
    to admit that he might finally be stark mad.

    The piles of leaves gradually whittled down to
    piles of mulch and sweat. I looked to my father, his
    gently wrinkled face and greying temples spoke to
    a calmer soul and a gently wrinkled humor.
    Don’t let me fill your head with thoughts of an old man,
    he laughs. You’ll be around much longer than I and
    that is a promise I hope to keep. You’ve got a
    good head start. Now, tomorrow we rebuild the shed.

    • JRSimmang says:

      “He who comes whilst sleep”

      I am the one who speaks through teeth
      upturned and yellowed. You are under
      my spell though you believe to be
      under the veil of cold, dead nightmares.

      Seek not my face; seek not my voice.
      Seek not my post-pubescent noise.
      For if you find me in my hell,
      you’ll wake from underneath my spell.

      PS. And the title to my first is “Yardwork.”

  30. RJ Clarken says:

    Upward Drifting Smoke – after Papier a Cigarette Job, by Alphonse Mucha, 1896

    Her tendrils curl like the upward drifting smoke
    from the cigarette ‘tween her fingers, evoke-
    ing a come-hither urge. It is so baroque
    but that’s the point: Mucha in La Belle Epoque.
    Job Papers were the ‘sell’ with every stroke
    of the man’s sable brush. Sex in a plumed cloak
    designed to draw a man in, inflame, provoke.
    With just one word, Mucha elegantly spoke.

    ###

  31. Evelyn’s gift

    This year she sent me a birthday card without
    anything written in it, just a check for
    twenty-five dollars, same as always. No doubt
    she had it ready to go, propped by the door
    along with her notes to congressmen, cookies
    for the great-grandkids, and car keys. She still sees
    fine, still prays, still loves to rattle every cage,
    still forgets details like someone half her age.

    Andrew Kreider

  32. tonijoell says:

    Second Time Around, Less Wary than She

    I’ve memorized the shape of you beneath me,
    the way you and I become a sacred us
    through the mismatched way our lips mesh; create we—
    a word I long found so unmelodious.
    I pray that you’ve staked your claim as I am yours
    in a blind, incredulous way that restores
    the hope robbed by past reticence. Press your face
    to my breast; my heart beats your rhythm of grace.

    Toni J. Gardner

  33. PressOn says:

    MAY DAY

    My old collie and I took a walk today.
    We passed through a wall, at an old battered breach;
    we marvelled at spring as we strode on our way
    and stopped in the shade of a leafing old beech.
    Atop the knoll, flowers waved a new greeting;
    they laughed and they danced for joy at our meeting
    with rhythms that would have done credit to Strauss.
    And thus we were blessed. We returned to the house.

    William Preston

  34. Jane Shlensky says:

    The eleven syllable count really messes with my equilibrium, but I gave it a go.

    Self-taught

    He taught himself to play his old guitar by
    watching wizened masters tune and pick and strum,
    in love with how mellow strings vibrate, throb, cry,
    their calloused fingers plucking at spirit’s hum.

    Long he listened, practiced until his hands bled,
    unsure of where song lives in a man—his head
    or deep heart—but he made room, let music fill
    the space and play him: whisper, lilt, swell, be still.

  35. Linda.H says:

    Teenage Boy

    Like a caterpillar wrapped in a cocoon,
    this tranformation from a boy to a man
    requires time, especially to attune
    to all these changes in such a short time span.
    I often feel that I am a polliwog
    with legs—not a simple tadpole, yet not frog–
    still learning to maneuver my way around,
    yearning to set my feet upon solid ground.

    Linda Hofke

  36. Linda.H says:

    Mary at La Tomatino

    We met by chance under the palo jabón,
    two American tourists lost in a sea
    of virginal white in a planned combat zone,
    armed only with swim goggles and bravery.
    For an hour we fought the battle of red,
    slinging tomato-bombs against chest or head
    until all wore clothing of crimson batik.
    She said, “I’m a bloody Mary,” tongue-in-cheek.

  37. DanielAri says:

    “I clumb to get the daffy-dil”

    He wants to get expelled and drive a streetcar.
    He rigs up an auto horn in the classroom,
    puts tacks on the seats, and brings in a donkey.
    Misses Crabtree throws him out. Beside the brook,
    his conscience haunts him: “Learn that poem. Learn that poem.”
    Self-discipline as deus ex machina,
    returning the fresh kid to the class lectern.
    Tearful recitation, then a skunk comes in.

  38. Karen31 says:

    Story

    All of this has happened before. Cat becomes
    bird: claws, talons; fur to feathers; bones hollow out.
    Fish grows legs and lungs, inherits the land. Hope
    drops its quills and develops desperation.
    The magic and the real exchange addresses.
    The writer washes up and then confesses
    that she never saw the flower in its flight -
    yet her dream transports her reader through the night.

    • Karen31 says:

      Sorry! Posted too early. Polished version:

      Story

      All of this has happened before. Cat resolves
      to bird: claws, talons; fur, feathers; bones hollow out.
      Fish grows legs and lungs, inherits the land. Hope
      drops its quills and develops its lonely doubt.
      The magic and the real exchange addresses.
      The writer washes up and then confesses
      that she never saw the flower in its flight -
      yet these dreams transport her reader through the night.

  39. Jane Shlensky says:

    Impressions

    Behold the peacock in the yard
    surrounded by his harem hens,
    his tail fanned like a hand of cards.
    This game he plays, he thinks he wins.

    He struts, regal in his own mind—
    he boasts all eyes on his behind,
    while his pea hens twitter in groups
    and leave him to the chicken coops.

  40. Jane Shlensky says:

    Fog

    The mist turns fog at dusk of day
    and veils my vision of the trees,
    tired sentinels that wear their gray
    but feel green pulse with every breeze.

    Thick gauzy fog enfolds the night
    and holds it until morning light.
    So do I slumber wrapped in dreams
    of what life is and what it seems.

  41. Jane Shlensky says:

    Forgiveness

    He uses his old pocket knife
    to cut the trunk down at a slant.
    He chooses cuttings primed for life
    and wedges them into the plant.

    We bandage well the grafted place
    and wait for growth’s emerging grace.
    So are we two bound by shared pain
    ’til we become one thing again.

  42. Jane Shlensky says:

    Trades

    They sit all night with wine and fire
    remembering when they were young
    when girls and cars claimed their desire
    and their exploits had just begun.

    Now old men, humbled, they can smile
    at how life braked them mile on mile,
    for now they’d trade ladies and speed
    for a good old dog on a lengthy lead.

  43. FATHER OF THE BRIDE

    A beauty, in her heart and mind,
    fully grown, soon to be married.
    A loving daughter, smart and kind
    living out the dreams she’s carried.

    Down the aisle I will take her,
    Daddy’s love will not forsake her,
    on that day will I give her hand,
    and be the second lucky man!

    © Copyright – Walter J Wojtanik

  44. DEAR TO MY HEART

    You were the one my heart had known,
    now this emptiness is painful.
    And all compassion I had shown
    had made this task more disdainful.

    These days do pass in bitter dreams,
    my soul is tearing at the seams,
    And you still live here in my heart
    forever pierced by Cupid’s dart.

    Walter J Wojtanik

  45. BELLA MIA (Second Version)

    I see you in the morning mist, a vision;
    my tired eyes welcome it. And your gown flows
    in a gentle cascade, my only mission
    is to take you up into my arms and show
    you all that my love can teach you; a lesson
    your mind will learn, but your heart already knows.
    In close silhouette, your beauty is revealed.
    My longing for you cannot be concealed.

    Walter J Wojtanik

  46. SILENCE OF THE NIGHT

    It seems that sleep is elusive,
    a sometimes thing that fights my will.
    It’s disruptive and effusive;
    but wide awake, the room is still.

    I listen to the lack of sound,
    a gentle respite all around.
    The silence of the night soothes deep,
    I do not hear it when I sleep.

    Walter J Wojtanik

  47. ABSENCE OF HEART

    It can be said absence of heart
    can breed a fondness most sublime.
    All longing festered from the start,
    is magnified in space and time.

    Can love endure the test of will?
    Does absent love bless lovers still?
    Fate says time and distance will pass.
    But hearts growing fonder? My ass!

    Walter J Wojtanik

  48. THEN AND NOW
    (Rispetto for Cathy)

    Could it be you did not see me;
    out of sight and out of your mind?
    It wasn’t easy to be me,
    let alone be drawn to your kind.

    But years later, you’ve found my words
    and think not one of them absurd,
    they soothe your mind and warm your heart.
    I guess that was the place to start.

    Walter J Wojtanik

  49. Casey says:

    Rispetto Poem comprised of hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines. One Stanza, composed of 8 lines.
    (Rhyme scheme: ababccdd)

    “For Eve”

    Like Venus, flashing, skirting cross the heavens,
    Undaunted Eve, she passes fruit to Adam.
    Amidst the midnight sky she knows a million
    stars are wand`dring in her planetarium.
    “I’m a garden, strong, to live beneath this Sun.
    For distillation of my soul is driven.”
    Venus takes her chances ‘oer predicted time;
    Eve will grow, uncharted, over any clime.

  50. WILD GEESE

    Three winter weeks with one lone goose
    standing in our pasture. Just one?
    Overhead, skeins flew free and loose,
    but all in pairs, backlit by sun.

    And now it’s spring. Our grassy field
    so full of hope and pasture’s yield,
    and two wild geese are standing there –
    a nest, six eggs, a loving pair.

  51. ianchandler says:

    Attaché
    by Ian Chandler

    You came to my house in the late afternoon
    sopping in your bathing suit and asked me if
    I would give you a ride home in the warm June
    evening. So I agreed and gave you a lift.
    On the way to your place, we listened to noise
    on the radio; Bruce Springsteen, Backstreet Boys.
    We arrived too fast. Your slim legs brushed the door
    as you smiled, said thanks, goodbye. (I want more.)

  52. Nancy Posey says:

    Downtown, Music City

    Please don’t hassle the stars for an autograph,
    the local business owners liked to tell us,
    so we grew accustomed to their presence. Half
    of the charm was our brush with fame. Jealous
    wannabes, playing their guitars along Broad
    both craved and resented those who had made it.
    And not ever wanting to hear the word fraud,
    they kept a record of dues when they paid it.

  53. Misky says:

    RAINY-DAY-SKY TEARS

    I was as young as spring back then, twenty-two,
    and although I’d been kissed and done a fair bit
    of bouncing on him, when he walked out I knew
    that my world had gone wrong. Gawd, I bawled a bit,
    but kept filing letters in rainy-day-sky
    steel cabinets that reached as broad and high
    as the office wall, while raining down a sea
    of tears on folders lettered from A to Z.

    Marilyn Braendeholm

  54. DanielAri says:

    “Love Rhyme”

    On Tuesday night it’s good to leave
    the office earlier than five.
    We don’t have plans but suppertime
    and inklings that the house is warm.

    The sweeping moon has made it home
    unhurried as the bedroom door.
    If having time means time to have,
    we’ll orchestrate the hours like waves.

  55. Casey says:

    “Pomegranate” (Rispetto #1, Iambic Tetrameter)

    The lady, Eve, came late one night
    and whispered sweetly in his ear:
    “This pomegranate will not blight;
    nor harm God’s admonition seer.”

    She split the fruit along its seams;
    pink glows the seed and thus he beams.
    So great the flow of knowing her
    the fruit of Adam she did stir.

    (www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iHbSzM63Hs “The Correct Way to Eat a Pomegranate”)

  56. De Jackson says:

    Adagio
    (only 88 breaths to go, Love)

    I know nothing of this sorrow salted sky,
    or the places I might once have lost my key.
    I’ve hummed galaxies loose, and heaven lost; why
    not connect these ivory dots, come save me?
    Your lungs will hold my dark if you’ll just let them.
    Our words are scattered silk, let’s not regret them.
    The world is wrought of unpolished, pilfered things,
    but when you wake, these indigo stars will sing.

    .

  57. Pamela on the sand

    I love you for your mind, your heart,
    your vegan lifestyle, for the way
    you care for baby seals, your part
    in shaping who I am today.

    But most of all, I celebrate
    your acting talents – how your great
    emotions sweep across the screen
    while sprinting slowly through each scene.

    Andrew Kreider

  58. When a poem walks out on you

    What to do when a poem walks out on you?
    Do you file for divorce and steer off course in-
    to uncharted waters? Sail the ocean blue
    for days seeking ways to effectively win
    back its affection, probing the ocean floor,
    wooing, pursuing, courting it back to shore?
    What if you realize it wasn’t meant to be?
    Do you untie its wings and let it go free?

    (c) Jacqueline Hallenbeck

  59. JUJU

    My juju kit holds what I’ve heard
    in dream: a song with memory
    of aeons down to one bright bird
    that twitters from the darkest tree.

    My juju kit holds paper – white
    and wordless, begging me to write
    the first line, and the next, a rhyme
    to weave into the warp of time.

  60. Nancy Posey says:

    Walking Blues

    They say he came down with those old walking blues,
    just up and walked out of that door, down that road,
    kept walking til he had worn holes in his shoes,
    a trail spread behind where he’d lightened his load—
    He left plans abandoned and dreams long faded,
    his old worn out memories and tired broken hearts.
    bitter resentment with those who had traded
    him something for value for all his spare parts.

  61. “Respect”

    His hands teach me that earth contains
    our gold; there is no shame in dirt
    or calloused palms; there are no gains
    when body parts do not sleep hurt.

    When morning skews the cold hard ground
    he wraps corded steel with will bound
    to hold the hearts of his children
    with palms as soft as shirted men.

  62. Tracy Davidson says:

    Casualty

    Shades of yellow and violet, in mad designs,
    amid the black and the green, the red and blue.
    And a network of ridges and crisscrossed lines
    that match the heel of his size eleven shoe.
    In spite of the evidence before our eyes,
    she supports his innocence, his blatant lies.
    As I treat her wounds on the hospital bed
    I wonder how long before she ends up dead.

  63. Nancy Posey says:

    Brief Item, page 2B

    He read the news today, oh boy.
    He hadn’t heard she’d gone away.
    The clipping left there, as a ploy,
    beside his plate–he could not say

    who left it there. Perhaps a friend
    who knew he’d want to know despite
    the way she calmly met her end,
    a resignation, not a fight.

  64. CALL OF THE WILD

    A walk this morning in the green
    of spring just after rain, and all
    is growth and hope. Above, the keen
    of wild geese with their haunting call.

    But here come, running, our four sheep
    from pasture where they’ve been asleep –
    behind, coyote in full run
    of hunger under springtime sun.

  65. Juanita Lewison-Snyder says:

    Dave
    by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

    There was a time when you were crazy fluent
    in the language of native whales, before
    the military messed with your sonar, then
    discharged you with a boot print on your backside.
    Now you seek calmer waters of the Mermaid
    kind, trading favors for a little slice of
    Caribbean pie, awaiting Moses to
    come lead you out from the Land of Atonement.

    © 2013 by Juanita Lewison-Snyder

  66. Rispetto

    At first it sounded like a biscuit or some
    kind of cheese, and so I tried to, um, bite it,
    and then I thought: “It must be pizza. Yum-Yum!”
    Then husband walks in, so I tried to hide it
    from him. He laughs and tells me: “This is not food.
    It’s something you earn by being utterly good.”
    So now I give it to young and elderly
    hoping everyone will return it to me.

    Jacqueline Hallenbeck

  67. “Give us this day . . . “

    I lost the glow of Yeats one summer’s day past
    when dusk and autumn ruled in warrior voice;
    the stench of grey hope knit and pearled upon vast
    and vacant rows of providence and poor choice.
    When days’ work descends and painful hunger casts
    a weak shadow of children’s eyes bleak and moist,
    the war then shifts from guns to fear for old bread
    and toil to parse the living young from the dead.

  68. Linda Hatton says:

    Soldier(s)

    She tricked herself to sleep each night he was gone,
    musing he slept on blankets of royalty
    and after wake less nights, he rose up at dawn
    surrounded by a loving life that was free.
    Instead, his bed prepped with abrasive, crude dust
    scraped away at torn camouflage skin like rust
    eaten away from iron nails soaked in Coke,
    sanity left only from love she awoke.

    +++

    This is my “first” finished attempt after working on it off and on throughout yesterday. I hope to write another one though; a fun form!
    Linda G Hatton

  69. RJ Clarken says:

    Any Way the Wind Blows…

    I pretended to write a note on a leaf.
    And ‘though imaginary, I kept it brief.
    I ‘wrote’ about something which caused me real grief.
    Then I tossed it in the wind, and felt relief.

    ###

  70. RJ Clarken says:

    Word Count

    A tiny spark was all it took
    to turn a word into a book.
    But editing? Another thing.
    Who woulda thought one spark could bring

    this agita? I like to write
    but axing words gives me such fright.
    When I begin, I cannot stop.
    Uh oh! Here comes the Word Count Cop.

    ###

  71. Olympia (after Manet)

    Olympia lies splendid and unashamed
    white ankles crossed, a great orchid at one ear,
    her gaze imperious. She will not be tamed
    by timid souls. She is free and does not fear
    the power of her sex – guarding that grand view
    with a teasing hand. Surely she knows what you
    desire, and she shames you for this. Today
    she owns you, until she lets you look away.

    Andrew Kreider

  72. PressOn says:

    THE SWALLOWS OF THE SUMMER

    I watch them fly across the lea
    like music set to sweeping motion;
    they purge my soul of misery,
    effective as a healing lotion.

    I think of them as darts of God:
    they leave me standing open-mawed
    and never fail to cheer my mood,
    unless I swallow swallow food

    William Preston

  73. Michelle Hed says:

    A Mother’s Presence

    Warm smiles calm down the inner dragons riding
    through the imagination of the young child
    as he pauses on his quest, coinciding
    with the need to make camp and eat the food piled
    on the plate his mother waves before his eyes,
    as his stomach rumbles approval he spies
    the object of his quest running through the yard –
    quick hug, the quest resumes, the beast caught off guard.

  74. Amy says:

    The River

    The river ebbs and flows in turns,
    conforming to its stony shell.
    But water wild with spirit yearns
    to spring beyond the shaded dell.

    To pour its contents past the line
    and savor sovereignty divine.
    Resigned to stay within its frame,
    the river ebbs and flows the same.

    Amy Glamos

  75. BrazenCreative says:

    Not Me

    “Not me!” says she and looks ahead,
    Her sister standing by the bed,
    In turn the oldest one replies,
    “Not me!” and widens her brown eyes.

    The baby trips across the room,
    “Not me!” he echoes the same tune,
    Another child of mine must be,
    The messy fourth who’s named “Not Me.”

    Danielle Brasington

  76. Spirits Among Men~

    Among trees of archaic woods,
    Dwellers of light and darkness stood,
    So seem these presence witness,
    Ruined tribes and glorified traitors,
    Of sunlight that streamed filthy windows,
    The unwilling eyes so lovely follows,
    Human errs made over and over,
    And human hearts as foe or lover,
    Moonlighted nights gracefully reveal,
    Creatures He made for men to think,
    That may not He decides what be,
    These lights and shadows are meant unseen,
    So if ancients with will so hollow,
    The Scriptures yet to teach them how,
    Such spirits among men made gods,
    Veneered perhaps, or misunderstood,
    With domestic flames and shrines abode,
    So many years, so many lives passed,
    Spirits among men lived and hide,
    Yet as such beauty can never be cloaked,
    Once captured by men never more overlooked,
    Quiet subtle beings made divine.

    The task is dire as we wait for the call,
    Of He who is True to save us the fall,
    Spirits came and so blind were men,
    Leading through signs, art and omens,
    Now as minds became blinder still,
    Most with faithless hearts and tempestuous thrills,
    Hold no God nor Spirits within,
    Make papers king and their women queen,
    While yonder I see dusts gather,
    On altars ancient done by the weather,
    Nevertheless small compare to He,
    So feeble Spirits and Men under Thee.

    ~Copyright of DdC~
    Errors noted.

    • Tracy Davidson says:

      Hi Diana, I don’t know if you meant to post these poems on this page, but they do not fit the criteria. Please see the instructions at the top.

  77. Perfectly Incomplete:

    I am a nest void of its fills,
    A home vacant under cold weather,
    I am the sea calm and still,
    With no creature in my belly deep,

    I am the sun with no Venus to accompany,
    Neither Earth nor Moon to share my light,
    I am a lone soldier in a defenceless city,
    Watching mighty kings with toppled crowns,

    I am the darkness without dawn,
    The night that seems to go on and on,
    I am the songs sang so forlorn,
    Its rhythm creeping into silence,

    I am water with no thirst to quench,
    No flowers to feed and dirt to wet,
    I am the dead without the stench,
    Bury me not when I’m gone,

    I am all but only without,
    I am the perfectly incomplete,
    Redeeming what was lost out loud,
    By the capture of quiet love within.

  78. Marie Elena says:

    TERMINAL

    The metro steps implore her come -
    Which hell will they remove her from?
    Their callous walls placate her mind,
    Unfettered chaos now confined.

    Among the lewd and indiscreet,
    Mechanically, she takes a seat
    Unsympathetic subway train -
    Peculiar refuge from her pain.

  79. PowerUnit says:

    Year Zero

    There is no rest for working hands
    plant the pods deeply my sweet child
    for the rains will try to take them
    and your soul will remain empty

    Angkor Wat sings a song for you
    Says a prayer for you while you sleep
    That you will be born again in
    Year Zero on the killing fields

    John

    _http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Zero_(political_notion)

  80. Seth Lajoie says:

    “The Woodchuck’s Rispetto”

    The woodchuck runs and has some fun despite me.
    He eats and digs that “whistle-pig” beneath me.
    I’ll never know just how it goes to stop him.
    Oh, the vandal’s tunnels leading everywhere.
    He chews the weeds and pays no heed to rifles.
    Without a care you’d think he’d scare a trifle.
    Ignores the trap that’s sitting there armed with pears.
    He crams his fat ass through the fence to nowhere.

    Seth L. Lajoie

  81. Domino says:

    Moon

    I look to your luminous sphere
    and realize with such delight
    such moonlit nights as these make clear
    the beauty of our earthly night.

    Paradigm shift, my thoughts are clear;
    bathe in the cool delicious light.
    Naught will mar this luminous gleam
    or ruin my delirious dream.

    Diana Terrill Clark

    • Domino says:

      *sigh* Typo. Here is the corrected version.

      Moon

      I look to your luminous sphere
      and realize with such delight
      such moonlit nights as these make dear
      the beauty of our earthly night.

      Paradigm shift, my thoughts are clear;
      bathe in the cool delicious light.
      Naught will mar this luminous gleam
      or ruin my delirious dream.

      Diana Terrill Clark

  82. PressOn says:

    THE LAST SPRING

    The flurries in the skies today
    descend amongst the stubs of corn
    and mark the migrants on their way
    to grounds where all of them were born,

    and as I watch them in the sky
    and see the winter passing by,
    I scarcely feel the joy of some
    when snowfall goes and snow geese come.

    William Preston

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