POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

IN-FORM POET – Etheree

Today, we delve into a little more familiar form, the Etheree. Created about twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong, this titled form, consists of ten lines of unmetered and unrhymed verse, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

Marie’s Etheree:

Comprehensively Incomprehensible

Difference of opinion
Speaking a “different language”
Powerless to convey one’s intent
Complete collapse in communication

 Walt’s Etheree:


A man
standing guard.
Despite efforts
to be fair and firm,
sometimes he folds under
the pressure. Bright hazel eyes
flash their semaphore to signal
the next barrage to a Father’s heart.
Daughters in tug of war for Dad’s favor.

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37 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET – Etheree

  1. Poor Papa. *grin*and Marie. sorry. I love that "Etheree" is an actual name. Trying to imagine it paired with some of the stranger family names I've come across.

  2. Thinkpondercontemplateor evaluatewhile I cogitate.The facts are always upfor debate. Don't relinquishyour power or lay down, play dead.Get informed, form an opinion andbe heard. A voice of truth, reason, and worth.

  3. Love the etheree! Will try to write another one, but for now, here's one I wrote about a month ago:Conch ShellPinkspiralsout to pinktinged with coral,sanded in beachtones-treasure chest of sea-sounds,surf and sand sealed in its spire,pearl of the deep, vessel cradlingNeptunian strains, bottled message,each conch shell a beachcomber’s pandora.**Beyond the traditional meaning of "pandora," which refers to the mythological creature who opened the forbidden box of evil, the word can also refer to a handsome fish that lives off the Mediterranean coast (Pagellus erythrinus), a mollusc (genus Pandora) the lives on sandy beaches, or a stringed musical instrument (from the word "bandore").

  4. Great form, guys. Thank you! Ethereal Muse.Mermaid.Wave-logged waifweaving finned phrase leaving long lines loosed into chanced, entranced breeze. Please, just this once, won’t you come to dry land, find solace in sand whisper to hungry ears, aching pen. Surely your toes can love this road once mine.

  5. TwisterBirdsSingingClouds dippingTrash cans argueAs a freight train grindsOut of the green south westDistant banshees slash the airWild eyed at the scent of our fearFramed in the doorway, I turn my headBut a tiny hand pulls me back downstairs.

  6. SmackWords biteWithout thoughtTossed through the airWaves of despair crashI watch from the sidelinesA tsunami of angerAmazed at the mind-boggling gallUntil I respond misunderstoodSilenced, I cower back into my shell

  7. “Doppelganger” AStrangerStrolls in, andPlops himself downIn your favoriteRecliner, props his feetOn your wife’s coffee table.Smirking at you with your own face. Your voice, not yours, snags onto your brain,“Now how long do you plan to be content?”*based on Shelley's supposed encounter with his doppelganger just before his death.

  8. Dad,I wishI could bewith you right now,sit and hold your handinstead of sitting hereclutching my own in prayer,waiting for word and wondering if I will get to see you again,but oceans, deep as our love, divide us.

  9. If anyone has trouble with a word and needs to check the syllable count, I found this tool.http://www.howmanysyllables.com/index.html

  10. Oh, Linda. Just beautiful. I am praying for you and your dad, so much.

  11. Nice work, Elizabeth.I love this line: pearl of the deep, vessel cradling Neptunian strains…

  12. Andrew, your etheree is perfect for this form 🙂

  13. Oh, Linda … my heart and prayers are with you. How beautifully you've captured your love for your dad, and the emotional turmoil you feel. My heart hurts for you! May your dad feel God's presence in an unmistakable way.

  14. Quiet,White wine,Tall green trees:A fine settingFor my head clearing.Now to refill my brainWith the beautiful musingsOf a fabulously rich book.I am simply in a brief heavenOf my own and the author's creation.

  15. Thanks, Marie Elena. It is 1:30 AM in Germany and, needless to say, I am having a bit of difficulty sleeping. Poetic Bloomings is usually a stimulus for my muse but tonight it is also a much needed distraction. Ironically, I already had a flight reserved for Saturday, but that just isn't soon enough anymore. 😦

  16. I'm thankful you're able to find solace in our little site, Linda. Poetry (both reading and writing) seems to help ease the mind.

  17. A-HA!Heglanced mydirection.He drew me in;charmed me with banteras I fumbled my words.His confidence, alluring.My shyness mesmerized him too.Our opposing styles were attractive.Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.2011-07-27P. Wanken*For those who travel the prompt sites, you may recognize a few prompts contained in this one. ;)~Paula

  18. Linda, my heart aches for you. May God grant peace and comfort to your heart and mind.

  19. Never heard of this form before but enjoyed trying it! Here's my link:http://lolamousedroppings.blogspot.com/2011/07/always.html

  20. PoetryWordpassingthrough my mindsparks ideabright inspirationslipping through my fingersbefore I can gather itencapsulate the germ of itinto coherence, understand itsevanescence impossible to holdseek the transformation into poemtranslate transience into momentundeviating on the pageconcrete language to outlastimmediacy of nowwith enduring termsof lovelinesseternalconstanttruth.

  21. I waited for your newalbum. Wanting to fall head over heels, but dissappointmentis all I find in your rhyme and cliched lines. Words take up spacebut meaning was replaced by bouncybeats; commercial flare that takes me nowhere.

  22. Cliche, but true.One girl and one boy; uniqueentities merged tobecome one. Parallellives established with "I do."Side-by-side, with a transversal or intersecting line, hoping toavoid complete perpendicular loss.

  23. I started writing this for another prompt, but it kicked and screamed until it had its way as an etheree:Ripeyellowbanana,my nemesisof pubescent years,who offended taste buds,distressed my sense of smell,quashed my appetite for dinner:then suddenly, all defenses fade!wonderstruck, I eat my first banana.

  24. ShipsShipssailingoppositedirections maypass in the oceanwithout ever seeingthe other as they sail on.They circumnavigate the globewith a cargo hold full of treasuresand head toward separate destinations. By Michael Grove

  25. Thank you, Linda. Much strength and peace to you and your whole family in these days…

  26. I ran across a prompt, at Poetry Jam, to write about oneself at 67. An irksomely short time away.They wanted non-rhymers to rhyme, but I figure that this is just as far from my comfort zone as rhyme, so here goes.Etheree on my expectations for the age of 67threemore yearsand some months.See me scowling?That's sixty-sevenand the house is a mess.The starving cats beganwith a tentative nibblejust a taste of a little toe.I was writing, and didn't notice.Well, these things happen, what did I expect?

  27. Linda, I'm wishing you strength and courage. Losing a parent is one of life's major traumas, and you have all my sympathy.

  28. Vivinfrance, he's hanging in there. Doc says he's lucky to be alive, and though he's not out of the woods yet he is awake. My dad is a fighter so I am counting on his strength. Fly out Saturday. Thanks for your kind words.Thanks also to Elizabeth and Andrew.Some good work already posted. Shannon, I really enjoyed your first one about the new album. Vivinfrance, I like how you did a reverse etheree. Sort of like a reverse fibonacci.Barbara, yours was sort of funny. Nibble, nibble.

  29. DeepHiddenSecretedI know you’re thereI search intentlyDelving diligentlyPursuing determinedly Catching glimpses, spurring me onPersistently peeling back layers Surely I’ll not give up, I will find you.

  30. Michael…I like how the shape of your poem looks like it could be attached to the mast of one of those ships you've written about! :)~Paula

  31. A Lonely PathShealwaystook paths thatwere dangerousnormally alonealthough rarely was she lonesome walking through crookeduneven dimly lit paths which lead this unprepared traveller toastounding and exillerating views.Poem Form: Etheree. 10 lines; 1st line 1 syllable, 2nd line 2 syllables, etc.; total 55 syllables.

  32. Linda, my prayers and thoughts to you, your father and your family. I hope that you're able to make it home to his side. My father passed away before I was able to get home. I live in the UK and he lived near Seattle. Hugs to you.

  33. That last line should read:astounding and exhilarating views.

  34. Burning EmbersWhite curtains of snowfall freezing against the icy window.The chilled air racing its way toward me, bracing cold, chasing warmth and embracing heat against its breast, thinking opposites attract but they destroy, then recreate.

  35. Never ForgetNeverforgetthey are there,every movenoted and checked,one unguarded moment,one foolish word out of turnwill be enough to make them act,to appear suddenly in the night,you will cease to exist, a forgotten name.

  36. Pingback: Home | Scarring Words

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