WD Poetic Form Challenge: Terzanelle

It’s that time again: time for another poetic form challenge. And, as you may have guessed, we’ll focus on the terzanelle this time around. Click here to read the guidelines on writing the terzanelle.

Once you know the rules for the terzanelle, 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 October 6, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many terzanelles 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  • All poems should be previously unpublished.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@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new terzanelle.
  • I will only consider terzanelles 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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Win $1,000 for Your Poetry!

Writer’s Digest is offering a contest strictly for poets with a top prize of $1,000, publication in Writer’s Digest magazine, and a copy of the 2015 Poet’s Market. There are cash prizes for Second ($250) and Third ($100) Prizes, as well as prizes for the Top 25.

The early bird deadline is October 1 and costs $15 for the first poem, $10 for each additional poem. Enter as often as you’d like.

Important note: This is separate from the terzanelle challenge. The Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards is open to all forms, styles, subjects, etc. So enter your haiku, free verse, and so on.

Click here to learn more.

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roberttwitterimageRobert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He loves reading poetry, writing poetry, and studying poetry–but he especially loves sharing poetry and is happy that Poetic Asides is a place that accommodates just that.

For the terzanelle, in particular, Robert appreciates its complex structure of rhymes and refrains that when done well make for a really enjoyable poem. He looks forward to reading through this batch.

Robert is married to the poet Tammy Foster Brewer, who helps him keep track of their five little poets (four boys and one princess). Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

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232 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Terzanelle

  1. Marie Therese Knepper

    Backyard Stratagems

    The war between dog and squirrel rages
    On each side claiming bragging rights
    A no-win scenario for all the ages

    Though somewhat amusing their to-the-death fights
    ‘Round the solitary oak in my backyard
    On each side claiming bragging rights

    One little Shih Tzu bravely stands guard,
    Scanning and sniffing alert to any sign
    ‘Round the solitary oak in my backyard

    That a fluffed-tail intruder has crossed the line,
    As said fluffed-tail plots his offense
    Scanning and sniffing alert to any sign

    Makes a run for it. Oh, the suspense!
    Paw to earth. Claw to bark. The pup’s too late
    As said fluffed-tail plots his offense

    Tsik’s and chrrr’s “I stole home plate!”
    The war between dog and squirrel rages.
    Paw to earth. Claw to bark. The pup’s too late
    A no-win scenario for all the ages

    Marie-Therese Knepper

  2. Shennon

    The young and tender pea rests in its pod.
    It grows a littler larger ev’ry day.
    Just two short months ago its home was sod.

    A large dog keeps malicious pests at bay.
    Hand-sewn into a piece of private land,
    it grows a little larger ev’ry day.

    With weeds that spring up daily pulled by hand,
    protected by its pod and by a man,
    hand-sewn into a piece of private land.

    Between nature and man a master plan
    to sew the seeds to feed him and his wife.
    Protected by its pod and by a man,

    the young plant slowly, surely comes to life.
    A simple man who knows just what he needs
    to sew the seeds to feed him and his wife.

    These plants of green were once a bag of seeds.
    The young and tender pea rests in its pod.
    A simple man who knows just what he needs.
    Just two short months ago its home was sod.

    –ShennonDoah

  3. Jane Shlensky

    Food Chain

    An ibis settles on the shoal—
    white plumes in shallows, standing still
    until the fish forget his goal

    to make of them his morning meal.
    He’s in the moment, focused, clear,
    white plumes in shallows, standing still.

    He does not see me watching, near;
    he stares beneath blue mirrored sky.
    He’s in the moment, focused, clear,

    reflected in the water’s eye
    where languid fish seek smaller prey.
    He stares beneath blue mirrored sky,

    then strikes and pulls a fish away,
    joining a chain that holds us all
    where languid fish seek smaller prey,

    in answer to a primal call.
    An ibis settles on the shoal
    joining a chain that holds us all,
    until the fish forget his goal.

  4. Jane Shlensky

    Preparation

    Poised at the mirror, much engrossed,
    he practices his shiny smile.
    His feigned humility is boast,

    as he perfects his polished guile.
    Again with every face he meets,
    he practices his shiny smile.

    He hides his heart, one of his feats;
    a chance is wasted to be true
    again with every face he meets.

    Who knows what he may think or do?
    He feels it in his sinking gut:
    a chance is wasted to be true:

    his life is in a savage rut.
    Hypocrisy is difficult—
    he feels it in his sinking gut.

    So injury befriends insult,
    poised at the mirror, much engrossed.
    Hypocrisy is difficult;
    his feigned humility is boast.

  5. Jane Shlensky

    Windsong

    It is a varied language wind can speak,
    a music born of contact with the earth,
    a canon made by wandering air’s technique

    soughing through pines or wailing like the birth
    of requiem’s klangfarbenmelodie,
    a music born of contact with the earth.

    Each rising storm, we hear a symphony;
    wind’s trumpets blast, flutes trill prelude to rain
    like requiem’s klangfarbenmelodie.

    Each breeze that flutters leaves like a refrain,
    each howling gale lifts waves toward the sky,
    wind’s trumpets blast, flutes trill prelude to rain.

    Allegro to adagio’s sweet sigh,
    wind proves the universe has songs to sing,
    each howling gale lifts waves toward the sky.

    The breath that offers life to everything—
    it is the varied language wind can speak
    that proves the universe has songs to sing,
    a canon made by wandering air’s technique.

  6. Jane Shlensky

    Eulogy for a Fisherman

    Your buddies called you fishing fool
    for seeing trout leap in your head.
    Some visions are a useful tool.

    They said you could not keep to bed
    imagining untested spots
    for seeing trout leap in your head.

    You knew your way ‘round cooking pots,
    your chubby friend tells to the crowd
    imagining untested spots.

    No talking fishermen allowed,
    You cooked whatever they reeled in,
    your chubby friend tells to the crowd.

    You knew each fish by lip and fin;
    you radiated deep respect
    for any fish you might reel in.

    Fishing can make men circumspect.
    Your buddies called you fishing fool
    You radiated deep respect—
    some visions are a useful tool.

  7. Jane Shlensky

    Wintering

    These winter birds have varied tales to tell
    of weather, wind, and changes in the air.
    It’s just as if they’ve heard a pealing bell

    directing them to forage daily fare,
    to pillage feeders on their migrant flights
    through weather, wind, and changes in the air.

    A slant of light, and chill October bites
    at instincts buried fur and feather deep
    to pillage feeders on their migrant flights.

    A band, a flock, a mass, formations keep
    the rhythm random snowflakes often bring
    to instincts buried fur and feather deep.

    Flight preparations serve to warn wild things
    of snow and ice sealing the frozen ground,
    the rhythm random snowflakes often bring.

    October air shifts plot, setting, and sound,
    for winter birds have varied tales to tell,
    of snow and ice sealing the frozen ground.
    It’s just as if they’ve heard a pealing bell.

  8. Jane Shlensky

    Fatal Retraction

    Life has a way of turning up the heat
    as we get older, making us ashamed
    of sedentary habits, like defeat,

    reminding us to take our share of blame
    for messing up the world. We hesitate
    as we get older, making us ashamed.

    Are young ones eager to be profligate?
    Forgive trespasses squandered on our youth
    for messing up the world? We hesitate.

    Stupidity plus hindsight equals truth.
    Old men perforce must sacrifice the young,
    forgive trespasses squandered on our youth.

    We wonder if at death, our praises sung,
    we’ll dare imagine pleasant afterlives;
    old men perforce must sacrifice the young.

    We shun rereading history’s archives—
    life has a way of turning up the heat.
    We’ll dare imagine pleasant afterlives
    for sedentary habits, like defeat.

  9. BDP

    “Another Word for Earthquake”

    Before now, you would not choose “quietude.”
    Your thoughts first flash to someone breaking in—
    what on earth, a robber in a logger’s steel-toed boots?

    The ramped up rumble tips you off, you sprint
    outdoors. Pumped, shaking. What would experts do?
    Your thoughts first flash to someone breaking in,

    yet you stop, stutter step, turn back…or run to
    where? Opt sidesaddle on the landscape rock—
    outdoors pumped, shaking. What would experts do

    when five Doug Fir, muscled toughs of your block,
    sway back-forth, wide in unison, wind stilled?
    You opt sidesaddle on the landscape rock,

    ground bucking, birdsong silent, stale air quelled
    as though fresh breath thieved from below. You watch,
    sway back-forth, wide in unison, wind stilled,

    forget your fear for an eternal stretch.
    Before now you would not choose quietude
    as though fresh breath thieved from below. You watch
    the earth, a robber in a logger’s steel-toed boots.

    –Barb Peters

  10. taylor graham

    RINGSIDE

    They thought to hold a hero in a crate.
    Aging veteran of the Best in Show –
    old dog now, once called great.

    The challenge cups, the ribbons – no,
    there he lies; in honor, caged
    “aging veteran of the Best in Show,”

    while younger dogs are gauged
    against his famous “flying trot.”
    There he lies in honor, caged.

    His handler failed to fix the knot.
    He pushes free. What holds the ring
    against his famous flying trot?

    He takes his stride, the earthbound wing
    that made him legend. Fast and faster
    he pushes free what holds the ring.

    The crowd gasps. Here’s the master
    they thought to hold – a hero – in a crate!
    What makes him legend? Fast and faster.
    Old dog now? None so great.

  11. BDP

    “Break Down: School Rescue, Hurricane Katrina”

    He helicoptered in to help them, found
    no one alive. He’s trained to scout and save,
    to locate through his skill on sea, air, land.

    He broke soon after searching through the waves.
    That day, he thought a hydrant was a child.
    No one alive. He’s trained to scout and save,

    so dipping down he gave a watchful chide:
    Grab my hand, no running, wait for the green.
    That day he thought a hydrant was a child.

    He, frogman, savior, tough guy vomiting,
    who dove to rescue school kids. Waterlogged.
    Grab my hand, no running, wait for the green.

    What he saw, first one, another, caught, bogged
    beneath the roofs and desks. Not one adult
    who dove to rescue school kids. Waterlogged.

    What happened here? Who failed, then this result?
    He helicoptered in to help them—found
    beneath the roofs and desks not one adult—
    to locate through his skill on sea, air, land.

    –Barb Peters

  12. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Okay, for what it’s worth, here’s my revision of “A Stone with Petals Folded,” correcting the missed rhyme and making a few other nips and tucks (a poet’s habit — revision is never done!)

    A Stone with Petals Folded

    You are a living stone – of flesh, of blood
    that blossoms in the marrow of your bone –
    a stone with petals folded tight as bud.

    A rock that waves of water toss and hone –
    each jagged edge is smashed as smooth
    as blossoms in the marrow of your bone.

    I try to bind your cuts, to sooth each bruise.
    What plan is this that needs to break you? make
    each jagged edge so smashed it’s smooth?

    Some eye must see beyond my sight, my ache.
    Some finger feels the velvet textured bloom …
    That plan is this that needs to break you, make

    your flesh a stone the builder can’t presume
    won’t do – must join to polished corner stone.
    His fingers feel that velvet textured bloom.

    No rough-hewn rock, no flower petals blown,
    you are a living stone of flesh, of blood,
    prepared to join the polished corner stone,
    a stone with petals folded tight as bud.

  13. Marian O'Brien Paul

    And one last terzanelle from me:

    A Stone with Petals Folded

    You are a living stone – of flesh, of blood
    that blossoms in the marrow of your bone –
    a stone with petals folded tight, a bud.

    A rock that waves of water toss and hone –
    each jagged edge is smashed as smooth
    as blossoms in the marrow of your bone.

    I try to bind your cuts, to sooth each bruise.
    What plan is this that needs to break you? make
    each jagged edge so smashed it’s smooth?

    Some eye must see beyond my sight, my ache.
    Some finger feels the velvet textured bloom …
    That plan is this that needs to break you, make

    your flesh a living stone the builder can’t
    reject, must join to polished corner stone.
    Some finger feels that velvet textured bloom.

    No rough-hewn rock, no flower petals blown,
    you are a living stone of flesh, of blood,
    prepared to join the polished corner stone,
    a stone with petals folded tight, a bud.

  14. Marian O'Brien Paul

    Flashing Dendrites

    The sweep of prehistoric brush defines
    a bison’s back inside an ancient cave,
    records the light inside of human brains.

    A line on weather map, a sweeping wave
    that dips from Arctic ice to inland lake,
    a line like bison back inside an ancient cave.

    By brush or pen the human mind can wake
    us, sharing beauty, warning: Plan for ice
    to dip from Arctic rim to inland lake.

    Technology, our modern art – device
    begun with brush between a finger, thumb –
    while sharing beauty, warns us: Plan for ice.

    Electric impulse, enigmatic jump
    between the dendrites hidden in our skulls
    conveyed with brush between a finger, thumb …

    An artist lines the walls with thoughts he mulls.
    His sweeping, prehistoric brush defines
    the flashing dendrites deep within our skulls,
    records the light inside of human brains.

  15. grcran

    a cappella

    and yes, i worry that i’ve lost my song
    i do not know if i will get it back
    it’s possible i got the whole thing wrong

    my whole life’s been thrown crazy out of whack
    i cannot hear the music any more
    no one will show me how to get it back

    that white noise revs itself up to a roar
    she’s dancing lightly on a far-off beach
    she hears it, but i can’t, not any more

    the remedy for darkness isn’t bleach
    sing louder anyway it will not hurt
    she dances, moonlit, on a far-off beach

    the truth can deafen, think before you blurt
    the music that you heard someone else sing
    sing all the louder now it will not hurt

    resounding ‘round the corner, hear it ring!
    still i do worry that i’ve lost my song
    that music that you heard someone else sing
    it’s possible i got the whole thing wrong

    by gpr crane

  16. Jane Shlensky

    Flash
    Great Nature’s wit is complex and absurd,
    ironic but such fun to contemplate:
    the pugilism of the hummingbird

    is quite at odds with his lithe bantam weight.
    This tough wears ruby ascot, silky sheen—
    ironic but such fun to contemplate.

    No fangs or claws—he’s not a wolverine!
    He’s like a flying blossom speeding past.
    This tough wears ruby ascot, silky sheen.

    He trash-talks, darts, and dives with great bombast
    in jeweled armor, helicopter wings.
    He’s like a flying blossom speeding past.

    We see in iridescence light that sings,
    studded with ironies to peaceful life
    in jeweled armor, helicopter wings.

    Inside earth’s ornate sheath resides a knife,
    for Nature’s wit is complex and absurd,
    still fraught with ironies to peaceful life—
    the pugilism of the hummingbird.

  17. Jane Shlensky

    Animal Instincts

    Sometimes I fancy channeling a cat,
    ignoring, napping, playing with a string,
    luscious and preening, wrapped in fur and fat,

    and giving not a damn for anything.
    I would look cool with night-reflecting eyes
    ignoring, napping, playing with a string.

    I’d like to try their attitude for size,
    for being nonchalant is not a crime.
    I would look cool with night-reflecting eyes.

    The question hinges on our use of time—
    how cats and I spend leisure hours we’ve got,
    though being nonchalant is not a crime.

    Concerned and sleepless, picking at life’s knot,
    should I commit to rat-race hide-and-seek:
    how cats and I spend leisure hours we’ve got?

    Since thinking like a cat gives me a peek,
    sometimes I fancy channeling a cat.
    Should I commit to rat-race hide-and-seek,
    luscious and preening, wrapped in fur and fat?

    1. grcran

      your poem has some well-staged and creatively staged philosophical comments, I like! and you nailed most of the essence of “cat”, which I also like… I have 3 of them on the bed, and even though they truly are nonchalant in essence, these 3 do have something of a social nature, which helps me be an even more enthusiastic cat-person… thanks for a great poem, my cats thank you too!

  18. Jane Shlensky

    Echo

    Her thoughts are weary travelers these days,
    like vagrants seeking shelter, passing through,
    echoing memories across a maze

    of random moments searching for what’s true.
    Sometimes she cannot tell awake from dreams,
    like vagrants seeking shelter, passing through

    or shouts crisscrossing canyons. Living seems
    content reverberating waves of thought.
    Sometimes she cannot tell awake from dreams.

    Even the twinkling stars above are fraught
    with mortal struggles, light we see, long dead,
    content reverberating waves of thought.

    The signals from her youth streak through her head
    as if the girl she was falls like a star
    with mortal struggles, light we see long dead

    but beautiful—loves long past often are.
    Her thoughts are weary travelers these days
    as if the girl she was falls like a star
    echoing memories across a maze.

  19. Jane Shlensky

    First Frost

    The pasture lies beneath an early frost
    until fierce sun can melt away the night,
    the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

    The hummingbirds are sipping at slant light
    as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones
    until slant sun can melt away the night.

    I feel a great migration in my bones,
    a nip of air that urges me to fly
    as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones.

    Such days each breath is poignant as a sigh
    that sings me to a harvest in my mind,
    a nip of air that urges me to fly—

    to carry little, leave the past behind.
    Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme
    that sings me to a harvest in my mind.

    I’ll don a sweater made of knitted time,
    for pastures lie beneath an early frost.
    Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme,
    the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

    1. Jane Shlensky

      Big ol’ oops. I edited incompletely on one line. Here she is again.

      First Frost

      The pasture lies beneath an early frost
      until fierce sun can melt away the night,
      the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

      The hummingbirds are sipping at slant light
      as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones
      until fierce sun can melt away the night.

      I feel a great migration in my bones,
      a nip of air that urges me to fly
      as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones.

      Such days each breath is poignant as a sigh
      that sings me to a harvest in my mind,
      a nip of air that urges me to fly—

      to carry little, leave the past behind.
      Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme
      that sings me to a harvest in my mind.

      I’ll don a sweater made of knitted time,
      for pastures lie beneath an early frost.
      Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme,
      the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

    2. Jane Shlensky

      First Frost

      The pasture lies beneath an early frost
      until fierce sun can melt away the night,
      the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

      The hummingbirds are sipping at slant light
      as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones
      until fierce sun can melt away the night.

      I feel a great migration in my bones,
      a nip of air that urges me to fly
      as feathered flocks prepare for warmer zones.

      Such days each breath is poignant as a sigh
      that sings me to a harvest in my mind,
      a nip of air that urges me to fly—

      to carry little, leave the past behind.
      Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme
      that sings me to a harvest in my mind.

      I’ll don a sweater made of knitted time,
      for pastures lie beneath an early frost.
      Fall makes me wistful, reason with no rhyme,
      the first signs that a rest comes at a cost.

  20. Karen Wilson

    The Scent of Him

    The scent of him is intoxicating
    I want to nuzzle his neck
    languishing in the sensual

    fresh from the shower soap scented
    I need to feel close to him
    I want to nuzzle his neck

    the dance of intimacy feels surreal
    I know our love is real
    I need to feel close to him

    Connecting like lovers
    Not a care in the world
    I know our love is real

    A lover’s touch conveys so much
    Our bodies lay entwined
    Not a care in the world

    Love blossoms in the heart
    the scent of him is intoxicating
    our bodies lay entwined
    languishing in the sensual.

  21. PurviGadia

    It’s just not fair
    -Purvi Gadia

    It’s just not fair
    There is one burning light and a thousand dark shadows
    The eyes have shed a rainfall of memories
    There is no price of love but still the heart did pay
    And it flew to a land of sorrow with every breeze

    I have lived behind barriers
    Lived in anguish
    Take me where life flows in every vein
    where there is only happiness, love and friendship

  22. PurviGadia

    Nothing left
    -Purvi Gadia

    Only that wet water is left on these eye lashes
    Slowly slowly that dream flowed away from my eyes
    Little by little all those memories are fading
    Only a broken moment left in my hand……saying goodbye

    The hands of the clocks are standing with loneliness in their palms
    Even my heart lies unconscious inside
    After all this time……this wind flows silently
    No one’s left in whom i can confide

    Nothing has been left other than that shattered dream
    Everything I once believed in destroyed
    Every dream….every moment….every memory….vaporizing
    Only a shadow I am…..left behind.

  23. PressOn

    A MIDNIGHT IN DECEMBER

    This time of night I hold most dear:
    the moon is new; the stars are bold;
    the light-years meet the minutes here

    and I can feel, here in the cold,
    the photons dancing on the snow.
    The moon is new, the stars are bold,

    and in their timeless afterglow
    I sense a tingling on my arm;
    the photons dancing on the snow

    invade my face, a gentle swarm.
    They say, “Open your eyes and see.”
    I sense a tingling on my arm

    and then, in serendipity,
    I feel the snow and stars unite;
    they say, “Open your eyes and see

    the wonders of this winter sight.”
    This time of night I hold most dear:
    I feel the snow and stars unite;
    the light-years meet the minutes here.

    William Preston

        1. PressOn

          I don’t think only terzanelles are “supposed” to be posted here, but I think only those will be considered by Robert in the challenge. I think anyone can post any poem the she or he thinks fits the prompts.

  24. shellaysm

    Silver Shadows

    Rogue shadows eclipsed their light,
    still gilded and debonair,
    a sophisticated sight.

    Their life creed of laissez faire:
    Don’t mind us; we won’t mind you.
    Still gilded and debonair,

    mirror-like, all silvered too,
    the couple’s own reflection.
    Don’t mind us; we won’t mind you.

    Blind eyes behind affection
    welcomed this belated youth:
    the couple’s own reflection.

    They saw what mattered as truth,
    marveled at the change of tide,
    welcomed this belated youth.

    Nothing can steal pride but pride.
    Rogue shadows eclipsed their light,
    marveled at the change of tide,
    a sophisticated sight.

    -Michele K. Smith

  25. rlhodges

    Anniversary

    A life can change in an instant.
    I know such a thought is cliché,
    but it best captures the moment

    when you came, directing my way.
    My life was reshaped that evening…
    I know such a thought is cliché.

    Dark was I to what fate might bring—
    you appeared, encircled by light.
    My life was reshaped that evening

    you gleamed in the midst of the night.
    Drenched in deep blue, glittered like sky,
    you appeared, encircled by light,

    a sight suited for old magi
    (all the cynics can call this absurd).
    Drenched in deep blue, glittered like sky,

    you made doubt a fainthearted bird.
    A life can change in an instant.
    All the cynics can call this absurd,
    but it best captures the moment.

  26. PurviGadia

    Hidden
    -Purvi Gadia

    I was morose that I had to kiss her goodbye
    It was my complete life that had been jeopardized
    The pain experienced could not be seen
    by any, it was only the cheerful curve on my face
    which I presented in front of this whole world

    I had now witnessed the ugliness that had been concealed in her heart.
    Those sweet dreams, meaningless promises, her portrayed heart
    all shattered into pieces……..like glass
    The impious intentions which she wore
    underneath her mask of beauty
    was now clearly in my sight

    The secret passage which she had built
    in our house of love and faith
    when revealed, brought down our house like a pack of cards
    I was so mesmerized in her beauty
    that her wickedness was foreseen by me

    I yet remind myself of all those
    golden moments spent with her,
    cherish them,
    treasure them like diamonds
    with the hope that one day
    she will walk back in, to have
    these diamonds,
    her love….

  27. Alice Todman

    Digits

    I could count out my woes
    (they are legion)
    -I’d run out of fingers and toes,
    but I know what spins the seasons,
    out of sympathy and respect
    (they are legion.)

    I forget
    which is the kicker
    out of sympathy and respect.

    But my blood beats thicker
    than signs or numbers-
    which is the kicker?

    I lose count at the next blunder –
    but there’s more and better to you,
    than signs or numbers.

    If I wanted to,
    I could count out my woes,
    but there’s more and better to you –
    I’d run out of fingers and toes

  28. taylor graham

    INK-BLOOD KIN

    A leaky pen passed hand to hands –
    our fingers smudged blue-black
    to chart a way through unknown lands

    of words that won’t be taken back,
    that makes us ink-blood kin.
    Our fingers smudged blue-black,

    the whorls and flourishes of skin
    stained with poetry, transformed
    to make us ink-blood kin.

    Now I take this phrase you formed
    as if blotted in reverse, and changed,
    stained with poetry, transformed

    the way I saw the dawn arranged
    this morning in my waking words
    as if blotted in reverse, and changed

    with the first song piped by birds.
    A leaky pen passed hand to hands
    this morning. In our waking words
    we chart a way through unknown lands.

  29. shellaysm

    Guidance

    In slippery saunter, days pass
    meandering through swaying trees
    empty of hope, eyes fall downcast

    Lost, searching each lone, errant breeze
    as trickster answers hide and seek
    meandering through swaying trees

    Oh, for want, a crystal ball peek
    a single moment, clarity
    as trickster answers hide and seek

    Life’s steamy brew, as leaves of tea
    often revealing wayward hints
    a single moment, clarity

    Shall trust be found in murky glints
    guidance, safe in truths, protected
    often revealing wayward hints

    Mold grows when faith’s left neglected
    in slippery saunter, days pass
    guidance, safe in truths, protected
    empty of hope, eyes fall downcast

    Michele K Smith

  30. Joshua

    I walk with you like nothing’s changed,
    every Tuesday, just like before.
    We walk in silence, no words exchanged

    Tuesday morning, just like we swore
    when we were kissing in the rain,
    I turn to speak, but right before

    the words roll out I feel the pain.
    What once was joy replaced with tears
    falling down my cheeks like rain

    Memories don’t fade with years
    they cultivate and grow like seeds
    nourished by their loved ones’ tears.

    The sadness overgrown like weeds
    so thick and dense you’ve lost your way
    those memories, they grow like seeds.

    I miss you more than words can say
    and still I walk like nothing’s changed.
    I’m in the weeds, I’ve lost my way
    we walk in silence now, no words exchanged.

  31. PurviGadia

    The fault in our stars
    -Purvi Gadia

    I knew we were meant to be
    this was a life I used to foresee
    a life of happiness, a life of bliss
    a life in which only we both exist

    But fate did not write this story for us
    we could rely now only on stardust
    make a wish, make a wish
    our fate is going to see a twist

    we were again united
    you and me delighted
    but the storm of fate again tore us apart
    it was relentless on extinguishing our spark

    A flood of memories filled my mind
    of the beautiful moments it did remind
    this world for us is too harsh
    Let us accept:it is the fault in our stars

  32. laurie kolp

    Cyber Pressure

    Why is it almost every day catfights
    break out in halls and cafeterias
    intermixed with kids whose moral plight

    cycles hourly, a washateria
    where “normal” teens provoke the immature,
    break out in halls and cafeterias

    inflated with hormonal amateurs
    trying to one-up classmates? Do you know
    where “normal” teens provoke the immature

    and bullies try to stain the fragile load?
    It’s not in nail salons or clothing stores
    trying to one-up classmates. Do you know

    what your children do behind closed doors
    comparing Instagram updates alone?
    It’s not in nail salons or clothing stores

    that compliments are likes on screens, cell phones.
    Why is it? Almost every day catfights,
    comparing Instagram updates… alone,
    intermix with kids: who’s moral plight?

    1. laurie kolp

      (CORRECTION)

      Cyber Pressure

      Why is it almost every day catfights
      break out in halls and cafeterias
      intermixed with kids whose moral plight

      cycles hourly, a washateria
      where “normal” teens provoke the immature,
      break out in halls and cafeterias

      inflated with hormonal amateurs
      trying to one-up classmates? Do you know
      where “normal” teens provoke the immature

      and bullies try to stain the fragile load?
      It’s not in nail salons or clothing stores
      trying to one-up classmates. Do you know

      what your children do behind closed doors
      comparing Instagram updates alone?
      It’s not in nail salons or clothing stores

      that compliments are likes on screens, cell phones.
      Why is it? Almost every day catfights,
      comparing Instagram updates… alone,
      intermix with kids: whose moral plight?

  33. PressOn

    UNDER THE MILKY WAY

    The stars, from far above the valley floor,
    send twinkles to the ripples on the stream.
    I sit amidst it all, and yearn for more

    delights to light my way, as on they gleam.
    The constellations wheel across the sky;
    send twinkles to the ripples on the stream

    and cast them back to whisper in my eye
    that hope will come with day, and all the while
    the constellations wheel across the sky

    in measured order: light-years meet the mile
    as space and time proceed to play and say
    that hope will come with day, and all the while

    the lightning-bugs contribute, in their way.
    This feast of light makes midnight glow with joy
    as space and time proceed to play and say,

    “Despair cannot obtain when gods employ
    the stars, from far above the valley floor.”
    This feast of light makes midnight glow with joy.
    I sit amidst it all, and yearn for more.

    William Preston

  34. laurie kolp

    Calling Orion

    Open the moon, O ordinary sky
    O galaxy where supernovas dwell
    over blue chasm meeting spheres on high.

    Orgasmic in the realm of cosmic spells
    omniscient stars, remove my tainted dreams
    O galaxy where supernovas dwell.

    Orange and red collide, the vision seems
    ornate when glowing through sagacious lens.
    Omniscient stars remove my tainted dreams,

    oratory rage arousing demons
    orchestrated in my mind. O space, you’re
    ornate when glowing through sagacious lens

    ordain the heavens, fullest moon procure
    oracle’s enchanting skill beating odds
    orchestrated in my mind. O space, you’re

    Orion hunting superficial gods–
    open the moon, O ordinary sky!
    Oracle’s enchanting skill beats all odds
    over blue chasm, meets all spheres on high.

  35. PurviGadia

    The Crying Hearts
    -Purvi Gadia

    God…..if you hadn’t sent me in this world
    Then my heart wouldn’t have started crying seeing this….
    All the suffering people bear in their hearts
    And the unbearable pain of lost ones they miss

    All these hearts they look silent and at peace
    But they are screaming at the top of their voice
    They have been secretly tortured and burned at the stake
    Their screams loud: can’t you hear the noise

    My heart it weeps and it cries
    It burns in agony and drowns in a sea of blood
    Only if all this suffering could be lessened
    Then hopefully peace and happiness would flood

  36. DanielAri

    “Enchanted Exile”

    Without comment, her fairies ceased to be.
    That’s not exactly true. My daughter’s tears
    smeared handwriting she saw belonged to me.

    The series had been running for six years.
    Then she read one note from the tooth fairy.
    (That’s not exactly true.) My daughter’s tears

    washed that narrative game out of her eyes
    or wrecked her bridge to willful suspension
    when she read one note from the tooth fairy.

    Her dad dropped the curtain of pretension
    while fumbling to keep the light bulb burning,
    and wrecked her bridge to willful suspension

    by assuming she had not been learning
    what everyone learns: fairies are and aren’t.
    While fumbling to keep the light bulb burning,

    I’d clap my hands raw for the filament
    without comment. Her fairies ceased to be
    what everyone learns fairies are and aren’t,
    smeared handwriting she saw belonged to me.

    .
    —Daniel Ari

  37. PressOn

    AN OLD TESTAMENT

    Throughout the years our love has swelled and grown:
    you have become the ground on which I stand.
    If not for you, I never world have known

    that love can be mysterious, yet grand;
    the stuff of stories told from ancient times.
    You have become the ground on which I stand

    and for you I attempt, in songs and rhymes,
    to capture you forever and reclaim
    the stuff of stories told from ancient times:

    the grandeur of the simple things; the same
    that poets love to dream and write about;
    to capture you forever and reclaim

    the beauty that forever dashes doubt.
    My innocence is vast, but this I know:
    that poets love to dream and write about

    the kind of love that swells and lasts. Just so,
    throughout the years our love has swelled and grown.
    My innocence is vast, but this I know:
    if not for you, I never world have known.

    William Preston

  38. James Von Hendy

    The Beauty of Her Face

    It’s time for a poem for my belle,
    A small packet of words that’s just for her,
    And so I’ll send her this, a terzanelle.

    It’s almost origami, as it were,
    My love creased and folded between the lines,
    A small packet of words that’s just for her,

    Poor recompense for the love that shines
    Each morning in the beauty of her face,
    My love creased and folded between the lines,

    Crows’ feet, hers and mine, a laughing grace.
    The comfort of a gentle marriage sings
    Each morning in the beauty of her face,

    The simple joy her every smile brings.
    She’s a wonder no lines can justify,
    (The comfort of a gentle marriage sings),

    But poets ages past and I, we try.
    It’s time for a poem for my belle.
    She’s a wonder no lines can justify,
    And so I’ll send her this, a terzanelle.

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