The Swap Quatrain was created by Lorraine M. Kanter.

Within the Swap Quatrain each stanza in the poem must be a quatrain (four lines) where the first line is reversed in the fourth line. In addition, line 2 must rhyme with line 1, and line 3 must rhyme with line 4 and so on, BUT not repeat the same rhyming pattern on subsequent stanzas.

Rhyming pattern: AABB, CCDD, and so on.

For more information:


Once Upon Exuberance

When we were young, we’d ride a bike,
We’d hopscotch, skip, or take a hike.
We jumped some rope, on swings we swung,
We’d ride a bike when we were young.

Let’s try to change; turn back the clock
Let’s do our best to walk the walk.
Let’s romp and play – not think it strange,
Turn back the clock; let’s try to change.

Copyright © 2012 Marie Elena Good



The morning had arrived on the shadow of night,
dew’s first breath lifted by sun’s early light.
The moon and stars, for another night survived,
on the shadow of  night, the morning had arrived.

Birds set to fly after awakening from their sleep,
the croaking frogs announce their hurried leap.
The world in silent rapture, such a cry
after awakening from their sleep. Birds set to fly,

so alive with the Spirit; tempered by His good grace,
as morning arrived with sunlight on its face.
And the sounds of life as clear as you will hear it
tempered by His good grace, so alive with the Spirit.

Copyright © 2012 Walter J. Wojtanik


  1. YES Walt, that is exactly the word I felt as I read yours – BEAUTIFUL.
    Marie, you captured me right away with your example.
    What a Neat, Neat form. Thank You, Walt for brining it to our attention.
    I look forward to working with it.

  2. Sweet, True, Fiery

    Back to what I knew, just before you:
    Dreamy, bright, rainbowy too
    Sunshine, raindrops, skies of blue…
    Just before you, back to what I knew.

    Though Life will never be the same
    And I may (cry) never see you again,
    I must move forward, continue to grow
    Life will never be the same, though.

  3. Lament

    The simplest things, sometimes they’re the hardest things
    like explaining Samson’s lost hair and why a daughter no longer sings
    in the harsh light of endless hospital wings.
    Sometimes they’re the hardest things, the simplest things.

    It should be easy, my doing the right thing,
    like being a pillar of strength, taking the hurt, taking the sting,
    yet it’s the shuffling girl beside me touching me in the silence to ease me,
    my doing the right thing, it should be easy.

    Ah not exactly the form because aaaa rather than aabb?

    Great job Marie and Walt, always amazed how you can so effortlessly and successfully work within these formal constraints to create such inspired and flowing work 🙂

    • Oh my goodness, this is just so very sad. I’m never quite certain whether to assume any given poet’s heart spills are necessarily autobiographical. thoughts and prayers to you, Steven.

      Your poem may not be a strict swap quatrain, but it is well penned. I especially love “… why a daughter no longer sings in the harsh light of endless hospital wings.” 😦

      Marie Elena

    • Steven, when we start reading this riveting poem we forget about! Well done and my heart goes out to everyone who has known first-hand this scene or similar.

  4. When it Storms

    When the skies are gray, and the air grows cool
    The wind picks up, the shadows rule
    The water laps, the pine trees sway
    When the air grows cool, and the skies are gray

    When the thunder rolls and the lightning splits
    The animals hide, and the downpour hits
    The campers run as the weather controls
    When the lightning splits and the thunder rolls

    On our journey here, the storms will come
    We’ll want to hide, we’ll want to run
    But in our God, we have no fear
    The storms will come on our journey here

  5. (I was feeling kinda sad and serious this morning and I clung to one of my favorite verses 2 Cor. 12:9, then I read this prompt…and drew inspiration from it)…I think my sadness is my seasonal summer-end blues; nothing too serious;)

    When We are Weak

    Until we are weak, we cannot be strong
    Perfect strength is not reserved for the young
    But through One whose promises agelessly speak
    We cannot be strong until we are weak

    His grace is enough for all mortal despair
    Our infirmities never exceed His care
    Nothing on this earth over-powers His love
    For all mortal despair His grace is enough

    The darkness is great, it cannot comprehend
    A love that has known no beginning or end
    Though the Light shines on it, darkness chooses hate
    It cannot comprehend; the darkness is great

    Love is so abused; often misunderstood
    Thus, we are confused when we hear ‘God is good’
    Love appeared weak; He answered not, though accused
    Often misunderstood; Love is so abused

    Love proved its power as the cross bore His blood
    The Lion, a Lamb shedding redemption’s flood
    From ancient Calvary to present hour
    As the cross bore His blood Love proved its power

    Until we are weak, what we cannot truly know
    Is His perfected strength; He has promised it so
    God, give us courage then, to surrender and seek
    What we cannot truly know until we are weak

  6. Connections

    When I was a teen, talking to my friend,
    the cord wrapped around the wall without end.
    It stretched and it pulled and made quite a scene,
    talking to my friend, when I was a teen.

    Things are different today, there isn’t a cord
    instead pockets beep with a photo or word.
    We stay connected no matter where we might stray,
    there isn’t a cord, things are different today.

    © KED 2012

  7. MEG and Walt, what a cool form. Fun word play!

    The Acorn Eaters

    They come in herds to walk the autumn lawn
    The old and young, their breaths make clouds at dawn
    The bucks with crowns like trees for morning birds
    To walk the autumn lawn, they come in herds

    The oak trees fling a feast of acorns down
    Like manna for the deer who stand around
    A big buck watching from outside their ring
    A feast of acorns down the oak trees fling

    The days grow short, the mornings often dim
    When deer arrive to sing their sunrise hymn
    In praise of acorns—hear their happy snort?
    The mornings often dim, the days grow short

    With coffee in my hand, I watch them graze,
    These acorn eaters, praising autumn days;
    My kindred animals, they understand
    I watch them graze, with coffee in my hand.

  8. -SEEKING-

    I long for peace mid stress of life,
    to withdraw from sound, sight and strife.
    Quiet, restful place of release
    mid stress of life, I long for peace.

    Fresh winds slide over my bowed head.
    Longing my hungry soul be fed.
    Where is peace found? Release my pride.
    Over my bowed head, fresh winds slide.

    Carry me high on white cloud wings
    where I can hear as night bird sings.
    My battered soul drawn up to fly
    on white cloud wings. Carry me high.

  9. To all: You continue to have me marveling at your combined excellence. If there was a perfect poetic place, I believe it is right here. I’m honored to have you alongside Marie and me ( or M.E. and me). Us. Thank you!!

    • Pleas, Give it another go. 🙂

      Come up with a line 1 that you can cut up into a line 4.
      You are half done.

      Write those out leaving two lines as filler.
      (visials are good)

      Figure out what words will rhymn with lines ends of one and four –
      then complete lines 2 and 3.

      Adjust endings for line 1 and 4 as necessary for rhymn.

      Looking forward to your efforts. (Oregon Coast?)

      —-“I love going where the sea crests….
      —- (rests… )
      —- (knowing, blowing, doing….)
      —-Where the sea crests, I love going.

      Sorry if I imply over-simplyfied….

    • Sara, I agree! I looked at the prompt and thought nope, can’t do it, but all you need is a line you can break into parts…and then what ‘teacher’ suggested:) We have a week, right? No rush! I still hope to get into the memoir project beginning with week prompt #2! sigh…my daughter just informed me she needs the computer all day to work on a course she is taking…

      It is a lovely place, here among word-lovers and spilled word
      There is nothing quite like the pleasure of being stirred
      by nothing but poetic ink-whispers in cyber-space
      here among word-lovers and words, it’s a lovely place

      Thank-you Walt and Marie, for opening the gate to this garden!

  10. Late to the party again: Jock has just left to take our guests to the airport, and I am feeling completely drained. The first prompt I read is your brain-defying form, with two such perfect examples that I am demoralised from the off! I may be some time…

  11. “Restoration”

    I am the arm of subtle love—
    a morsel fed to mourning dove
    in courts below; the evening charm
    of subtle love, I am the arm

    where vows uncease; though hearts are torn,
    and hungerings of babes are born
    ‘tween rings of harsh; for sake of ease,
    though hearts are torn, where vows uncease

    I am the arm to crook each hand
    ‘neath folds of sorrows built of grand
    blame that halts ease of disarm.
    To crook each hand, I am the arm.

  12. Afternoon Delight: Swap Quatrain

    We had Milk and a Cookie after School
    As long as Mom was being Cool
    We two never would play hookey
    When after school, we had milk and a cookie

    For a young child, no greater joy
    than 3 pm sugar for a girl and a boy
    In a few more years, we would want something wild
    But what greater joy, for a younger child?

    (And theme Thursday)

  13. I think this form is great and I wanted to use it to write a beautiful theme,
    But I got unexpectedly waylaid by a theme that was something … different … which seemed to demand my writing attention.


    In depression, life is all gray.
    Mind’s in a cloud, feet stuck in clay
    seeking some meaning or mission.
    Life is all gray in depression.

    Depression, can one combat it?
    The moments, hours, days don’t fit.
    Another pill, one more session?
    Can one combat it – depression?

    From depression how can one hide
    when it presses on every side?
    Without giving it concession,
    how can one hide from depression?

    • Dear friend, I have read that the best way is to Exercise — get out and take that walk; ride a bike; jog, dance !!! My Mom tells me that when she starts to feel that dark cloud, she immediately gets up and gets busy doing something….

      • Thank You, friend.
        Yes – a walk or ‘doing somethin’ is good….
        It is just HARD sometimes to do what is best….

      • Exercise really does wonders! I am beginning to believe it is a battle of many women as we age…an inexplicable heaviness or ‘flat-line’. But exercise gets the adrenaline pumping and releases those ‘happy endorphins’.

  14. First

    I hold you tight as you lay sleeping
    wide awake, not far from weeping
    surrendering without a fight
    as you lay sleeping I hold you tight.

    We’ll rise above some day soon.
    Seek midday sun and harvest moon.
    Nothing shall deter our love,
    some day soon, we’ll rise above.

    One must be first while one is last.
    Out on the pond a stone is cast.
    Plenty left to quench our thirst,
    while one is last, one must be first.

    I die for you each fine day
    while knowing that there is a way
    to live forever staying true.
    Each fine day I die for you.

    Will you miss me when I’m gone
    that final day at dusk or dawn?
    I speak, you hear, I move, you see.
    When I’m gone will you miss me?

    By Michael Grove

  15. Dramaturgy

    We draw the curtain on today
    The scripts and props are put away
    Tomorrow’s lines remain uncertain
    On today we draw the curtain

    We move like players scene to scene
    Do we remember where we’ve been?
    Always something more to prove
    Scene to scene, like players we move

    The page is done; the lines are said
    Make up washed and costume shed
    We crave the solitude of one
    The lines are said; the page is done

    But you can see inside my shell
    No one knows me half as well
    From you I do not ache to flee
    Inside my shell just you can see

    With you I need not wear a mask
    I set aside the actor’s task
    When truth can be hard to construe
    I need not wear a mask with you.

    by lolamouse

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