Ten lines rhymed; usually (though not by definition) iambic pentameter. This is originally a French form and initially would have been made up of eight syllable lines, but later ten syllable lines were also used. The few examples of this form in England did prefer Iambic Pentameter, but that’s purely up to the poet.

The rhyme scheme is: a-b-a-b-b-c-c-d-c-d.

Marie’s Dizain:


Our days are swift, and age affects our lives –
the essence of our character and traits.
Though thankful as another year arrives,
We haltingly approach the entry gates
Concerned about what destiny awaits.

Cast off this uninvited guest of fear!
Grab hands, and leap into the coming year!
Draw near the gate with courage – boldly delve –
Embrace the future, lift your glass in cheer,
And turn to Him who holds your Twenty Twelve.

Walt’s Dizain:


My cheeks are cold; ruddy and rather red,
and the muddy residue on my shoe
has me wishing I were home in my bed.
But, now that my world-wide journey is through,
I have to thaw my face, frozen and blue.

A leap of faith and we were on our way,
Me and my reindeer and my toy filled sleigh.
We travel around at the speed of sound,
This Santa Claus’ heart is warm today.
A trip that started with a single bound.

50 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET – Dizain

  1. Marie, Your poem describes my heart exactly as the old year is waning we cast off the uninvited guest of fear and turn to Him who holds our twelve. Love it!

    Walt, I love your sense of humor woven skillfully into vivid imagery. Thank-you for sharing your talent and making us smile!

    I can’t sleep tonight so I thought it would be fun to give this Dizain a try…I have never heard of this form before!


    Child’s face plastered against an ethereal pane
    Dark, hollow eyes follow me everywhere
    A haunting plea of misery and pain
    A cry, unheeded hangs on stricken air
    Of hunger, hopelessness and stark despair

    A world of things looms far across the sea
    Oblivious to his wail of poverty
    Where excess is the fount of discontent
    While greed becomes a noose of misery
    Across the sea a small child’s hope is spent

  2. An interesting contrast in style between Marie and Walt: Marie’s pure iambics and Walt’s syllable counting make the form sound quite different. I like the look of the form, and will have a go.

    • It didn’t take long, but it really is drivel!

      Another Milestone

      arrived last night while I was fast asleep,
      a target reached more quickly than I thought.
      The number forty thousand on my screen
      shows readers of this blog more than I sought.
      Overwhelming as a juggernaut,
      they come to read my modest minstrelcy.
      And so I write to praise the loyalty,
      persistence of my blogging friends who come
      and comment daily on my ribaldry,
      their kind remarks to which I will succumb.

      • Vivinfrance,
        You underestimate yourself! Your Dizain isn’t drivel, and your blog certainly deserves the recognition it is receiving! Congratulations!

      • If this is drivel I wish I could ‘drivel’ so well. Viv, congrats to the 40,000. Just think of all of us across the globe that you encourage and inspire through the many talents and gifts God has blessed you with. i like your writing because it has the depth and genuine voice of experience! plus, you do so many forms so well.

        Thank-you for the above comment and your words of encouragement through-out the past 5 mos, since Mike Patrick said ‘jump’ so I closed my eyes and did…and met you and many other wonderful poets..
        We have a friend who left yesterday for her third trip to an orphanage in Sudan. It affected my train of thought…I hope to try another dizain on a lighter note…

  3. OK, here goes:

    Musings on the Year’s End

    And so another year has slipped on past
    We wonder what we’ve learned and what it means
    and whether what we’ve done is meant to last
    Replaying last year’s memories and scenes
    before our life demands and intervenes

    How did the year live up to what we planned?
    What do we see behind us where we stand?
    We should not mourn the year that’s come and gone
    The cards were dealt and so we played the hand
    New year, new hand and so the game goes on.

  4. Starting Point

    Everyone tends to think, at New Year’s time,
    they must make all kinds of resolutions
    like losing weight, organizing…and I’m
    no different – thinking of new solutions
    the New Year might bring. But constitutions

    are not built on thin promises of air.
    Resolutions are a tricky affair
    which take determination and some grit
    (stick-to-it-iveness is the key to it.)
    But hey, guess what? Ya gotta start somewhere…


  5. Blessing

    ‘I’ll feel the distance if you move away,
    Please, think again…again…again…again.’
    Now when she’s having night, I’m having day,
    And when she’s having snow, I’m having rain,
    And I can never get to her by train…

    With eyes too dry from holding back the tears
    She watched me leave, wrapped in my doubts and fears,
    And eased the burden of a looming choice
    With words unsaid that help me through the years,
    ‘Amen to you, be happy, and rejoice.’

  6. How to Label a Box When You are Four Years Old

    He told me it was a project for school.
    He needed markers, colored pencils, glue,
    construction paper and a straight-edge tool.
    He arranged those things neatly for review.
    He boxed them up, saying, “There! That should do.”

    Phonetically he listed all his art
    supplies for school on a sweet little chart.
    Then, in big letters, he titled his gear:
    the label on the box was now totally clear…
    as I saw he had written, “BOX o fART.”


  7. Pingback: The Natural History of My Office « echoes from the silence

  8. OK…here comes the (usually) non-rhymer! I’ve piggy-backed this prompt with the one over at to come up with:


    more hours spent here than nearly anywhere,
    home away from home, reflection of me:
    cats of all types — plus pictures of my pair —
    on my desk, the wall, and cup for coffee,
    watch over me, keeping me company

    also found here, small touches of Paula
    bright colors all over my area
    blue stapler, pink push pins, yellow flowers,
    orange post-it notes, green highlighter; it’s the
    small things that keep me smiling for eight hours

    P. Wanken

  9. Bumpy Road

    The wheels keep rolling ‘round and ‘round.
    The road is rarely smooth and straight.
    Around the next curve answers found.
    Perhaps another twist of fate.
    With open heart, it’s not too late.

    The potholes might be wide and deep.
    The rocky hill climbs seem so steep.
    Keep moving forward with that load.
    There’s no need for you to loose sleep.
    It’s just a little bumpy road.

    By Michael Grove

  10. Diagnosis

    When a doctor confirms a friend fears
    and that friend bans all conversation
    you try to be upbeat, and blink back tears
    though your gut’s feeling great agitation.
    All you want is your friend’s salvation.

    You rely on updates from his wife
    whom you have known for half of your life.
    Concentrate on driving doubt from your mind,
    while your heart’s being cut like a knife.
    You resolve, all you can do is be kind.

  11. So much good work here today – especially led off by our intrepid hosts … this is a challenging form this Dizain (new to me) – loved both your poems, Walt and Marie Elena – yours Marie Elena sums up my feelings very nearly – and many of the other poets I see – especially about trying to ignore the fear, grab hands and jump! And Walt, you are the ultimate Santa – humour, warmth and everything good – Windburn is wonderful! Thank you both again for your site and your generosity …

    My attempt at this form:(admittedly raw but thought I better post or I never would)

    On Transitioning the Year

    Roll up the old year toss it out
    Unfold the new one gently now
    Shake out twelve months without doubt
    And fifty-two weeks, you know how
    Three hundred plus days you must allow

    The task’s as old as time itself
    Easy as taking a book from a shelf
    One you just can’t wait to read
    One you’ve maybe saved for yourself
    Each New Year’s the one you need


  12. Spiritual Diet
    This year was kind to me yet I’m afraid
    I’ve become fat and flabby in my soul
    Like hungry man intent on frig to raid
    My soul has dipped its fingers in the bowl
    It suffers from a lack of self control
    It feasted on TV and mindless games
    Seduced by the old world’s enticing claims
    Instead of on God’s promises and prayer
    And exercise the Word, it says in James
    My goal’s to shape my soul I so declare

  13. This form took a bit of wrangling to get a handle on, but the challenge is the best part of the fun for me! Lots of great dizains posted already, happy to add my attempt to the list.

    The Mystic

    The mystic peers into the scrying glass,
    Searching the swirling mists of time and space
    For clues of events that will come to pass,
    Finding no outline her finger can trace
    Of my waiting path or the trials I’ll face.

    My story is one only I can write.
    Tarot cards and runes hold no magic sight.
    The future is shaped by my own choices;
    Required actions, no matter my fright;
    Never determined by mystic voices.

  14. Found this one very difficult….Fitting my thoughts to form continues to be a challenge. But, challenge is good!

    This year….

    Resolutions surely must be defined
    As promises destined to be broken.
    No longer will I eat foods that are fried,
    I will give much more than a mere token,
    Anger curbed, aiming for soft spoken.

    Intentions are always for perfection,
    Perhaps we should lower expectations.
    Let us favor goals somewhat more humble,
    Searching our hearts for His revelation,
    Doing good for others with no grumble.

  15. Pingback: This Year…. | Awakened Words

  16. ~BIG PLANS~

    Oceans spell your name
    Churning, spiraling
    Water won’t tame
    Waves crashing
    Consonant claiming
    Tidal pools tell
    Purple periwinkles spell
    Twisting eddies, vowels voice
    On each pregnant swell
    Ocean spells your name by choice.

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  18. A Brief Thoughtful Pause

    My history is imbedded in my feet,
    where they’ve walked, stopped, ran and pounded
    the compass corners. Mean streets
    in unfamiliar cities, mapping my course around
    and around in circles like a greyhound
    chasing a rabbit’s tail and wound tight,
    sprinting toward my future, these feet in flight,
    chasing dreams and destinations
    with no recollection of what sights
    or plights cause their intermittent hesitation.

    Poetic Bloomings, In-Form “Dizain”
    and also written/posted for We Write Poems, Prompt: Feet

    • I’ll just repost it.

      A Brief Thoughtful Pause

      My history is imbedded in my feet,
      places where they’ve walked, stopped, ran and pounded
      the four corners of the compass. Mean streets
      in unfamiliar cities, paths around
      and around in circles like a greyhound
      chasing a rabbit’s tail and wound up tight,
      sprinting toward my future, feet in flight,
      chasing shattered dreams and destinations
      with no recollection of what sights
      or plights cause their intermittent hesitation.

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