The Minute Poem (created by Verna Lee Hinegardner, once Poet Laureate of Arkansas) is a rhyming verse form consisting of 12 lines of 60 syllables (one syllable for each second in a minute).

The Minute is written in strict iambic meter (an un-stressed syllable, followed by a stressed syllable [da-DUM]).  The poem is formatted into 3 quatrains, with syllable counts of 8,4,4,4;  8,4,4,4;  8,4,4,4.  The rhyme scheme is: aabb, ccdd, eeff.

 The theme should describe a finished event – preferably something that can be done in 60 seconds.  It is best suited to light verse – humorous, whimsical, or semi-serious.

More info:



If you were cute, that would suffice
I’d treat you nice.
I tell you true,
I’d care for you.
If you were cute, there’d be no need
For you to plead
To stay a while.
You’d make me smile.
But you?  I’ll sweep you, little bug
With ugly mug,
Across the floor,
And out the door!
© Copyright Marie Elena Good – 2013



He used to have a way with words,
though so absurd
with what he’d say,
he had a way.

And surely words have caused him pain,
they’ve clogged his brain.
He mumbles now
this sacred vow

to come around with words profound,
his verbs and nouns

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013


  1. It is best suited to light verse – humorous, whimsical, or semi-serious. … That sounds “relaxing’ and fun.

    Both of you did great. Marie…Poor Bug. 🙂
    Walt…You do have a way with words. 🙂


    I want to sail upon a boat
    or sometimes float
    and lay in ease
    to feel the breeze

    as gulls above me dip and swoop
    — then drop their poop,
    as they pass o’re
    on way to shore.

    so, I will stand and say o-heck
    but wash the deck,
    bid gulls adieu,
    then nap a-new.

  3. I’m not sure if I got the da DUM (hehe!) down all the way, but here goes:

    The Wind

    She changes in a moment’s time
    From warm, sublime,
    To cool and keen,
    To downright mean.

    You can’t predict the way she’ll act:
    If she’ll retract,
    Or boldly dare
    To pull your hair.

    Her soft caress can turn to slaps,
    And then relapse,
    And on and on,
    Until she’s gone.

  4. It “sounds da-DUM right” to me – but I am on the same learning curve. 🙂
    Good job of telling the ‘story’, Erin.

    [I had to come back on line to see what you had written, ’cause I know you would be here too.] 😉

    • Thanks Marj!! As soon as I see that there’s a new prompt, I get out my notebook and start to write down ideas. I think my brain is more sensitive and able to write poetry late at night…or early morning, whenever I’m still awake.😉

      • Oh, Erin the is so “win-full” once you said wind, I returned to reread it – sure enough that is a great discription.

  5. I took a few liberties with this form by adding a little ending outside the form rules. Can’t help it; I’m feeling very contrary today. 😉


    Once upon a long fingered day,
    people saying,
    people pointing,
    double jointed,

    Gossip, chatter, chitter-patter,
    tongues a natter,
    fingers wagging,
    whispers lagging

    Behind every accusing glance,
    and yet we dance,
    we love, no mind
    to those unkind

    because –
    we are the measure of ourselves

  6. Usurper Kitty

    My Snickers cat chirps like a bird.
    It is her word.
    With yip and yap
    Sits on my lap.

    With whiskered wiggle and a purr
    She preens her fur.
    She nudges me

    She takes her place before my screen.
    It is obscene.
    She’d like to play.
    Cat, go away!

  7. Pingback: We Are the Measure of Ourselves « Misky

  8. I ❤ this!!!

    *A Cuppa*

    I like my coffee light and sweet,
    not too much heat
    but sorta hot.
    It hits the spot.

    I drink my coffee sweet and light.
    It is my right.
    But sometimes I
    can just get by

    with soda, water, milk or tea
    (to a degree.)
    What gets me up?
    My coffee cup!


  9. *At My Father-in-Law’s House Two Days Before the Closing*

    I’m sitting in an empty room
    but there’s no gloom,
    just echoes of
    the past. I love

    the stillness of this old abode
    where time has slowed.
    Some ghosts drift by.
    I can guess why.

    In just a few more days this will
    be gone. Until
    that happens, I
    won’t say goodbye.


    (A Minute Poem)

    We live our lives obsessed with time.
    Appointments climb
    the pages marked
    in letters dark

    remind us moments rule our days.
    No wonder, crazed,
    we check the clock
    that seems to mock

    us slaves to schedules’ harsh demands,
    to time’s cruel hands,
    a hold released
    when sleep grants peace.


  11. O Wondrous Coffee

    O Wondrous Coffee’s pungent smell
    beneath your spell
    low-priced delight
    just feels so right
    O Wondrous Coffee’s calling me
    a gulping spree
    with topped off cup
    I’ll slurp you up
    O Wondrous Coffee’s ballyhoo
    fantastic brew
    beyond compare
    I’ll be right there

    © ~ Randy Bell ~ 2013

  12. Pingback: IN-FORM POET WEDNESDAY – MINUTE POETRY « cloudfactor5

  13. Red

    We counted months throughout the year
    that brought us here,
    then weeks, then days.
    We kept our gaze

    upon the calendar, this prize
    before our eyes,
    marked out in red.
    It’s often said

    that love is blind. But it is strong
    as time, as long
    as dreaming night
    as fast as light.

  14. A Short Measure

    Hemidemisemiquaver –
    What’s to savor?
    It’s much too quick,
    not quick a tick-

    ing of a clock. But what’s a beat?
    A note that’s fleet
    or fast? A blink?
    When played in sync

    within the context of a song
    it does belong.
    So after all,
    it’s not so small.


  15. I love both of yours, Marie and Walt. a fun form!

    News Day

    A wren wakes me up every day,
    no rain delay—
    just chirpy tweets
    like whistle bleets.

    His voice is bigger than the sky!
    I wonder why
    in one so small
    his notes are tall.

    The bluebirds chase him from his limb
    to quieten him.
    We can’t refuse
    his daily news.

  16. Post-Dental Plea

    Mylanta get to work real fast
    My stomach pass
    Don’t hesitate
    This burn won’t wait

    No, Tylenol is what I need
    For throbbing teeth
    A jaw that squawks
    At chewing, balks

    A dentist trip, swallowed spit
    Upset my pit
    My jaw, my teeth–
    I need relief!

  17. I’m afraid that this is the best I can do for this prompt this week. Subject and even rhyming with syllable count wasn’t so much the challenge for me as the blasted meter. I despair at ever being able to hear correct meter, much less write it. Here goes.

    Dusting 1-2-3

    I will not do this thing I see,
    A chore for me
    With no reprieve.
    I know! A sleeve!

    But others would know if I left
    Tracks oddly deft
    In wordy dust clumps
    And tell–the chumps.

    When I see finger trails, I know
    My inside snow
    Must disappear,
    Reveal veneer.

    • Love the subject matter for this form, Clauds. So creative and fun! Your first and third stanzas are in perfect meter. Your second needs some tweaking.


      The first line may be read in iamb meter, but it forces us to read in an unnatural speaking cadence. In order to read it in iamb, we would be saying it like this:

      But OTHers WOULD know IF i LEFT. An example of our natural speaking cadence might be: But OTHers would KNOW if i LEFT.

      Your second line is perfect.

      Your third line has five syllables instead of four.

      Your fourth line is perfect.

      All-in-all, it’s a fun poem done very creatively. If you want it to be a true Minute poem, it needs only a little tweaking. If you want to keep it “as is,” or rewrite it in a different form (or no form), I think you have a great little poem here!



      • As they say in the youtube video clip I posted up above, iamb is the meter of our heart beat. 😉 (ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM ta-TUM ….)

        Here is the url again, if you missed it:
        Iambic pentameter youtube url:


      • Thank you for letting me know where it fell apart. I’ll have to work on it and see if I can come up with changes that work. I’ve never been able to do meter correctly, regardless of how many times I work at it. My conscious mind just doesn’t recognize it, I guess.

        I appreaciate the assist. We’ll see what I can do. 🙂

  18. Pingback: Belated Poetry Attempt | Two Voices, One Song

  19. Heating Up

    I thought he’d stick around a while.
    He made me smile.
    His sweet appeal
    and charm seemed real.

    In truth, he had an icy mien
    quite unforeseen.
    The heat I felt
    caused him to melt.

    I never dreamed he’d fall so soon.
    It made me swoon.
    I didn’t know
    he was just snow.

  20. Some of you may have read my strange story on Facebook about a buggy visit. I wrote a Minute poem kind of about it…

    A Visit from a Stinkbug

    Oh stinkbug, how did you arrive?
    Did you sky dive
    onto my desk?
    So Kafkaesque.

    Well, not exactly, but you are
    a bit bizarre.
    Still, I won’t kill
    (I never will)

    you. Rather, I will set you free.
    Please find a tree
    or other place
    like outer space.


  21. Oh, Baby

    At first she could not tell that he
    was purity,
    a virgin still
    her new beau, Bill.

    How did he come to reach this age
    a snow white page
    devoid of ink,
    and in the pink?

    I do intend to teach him well.
    So glad I fell
    for someone who
    views sex as new.

  22. This was fun! As you can see from the poem, I’m never one of the first to post!

    Don’t Rush Me:

    I just can’t seem to write on cue
    Too hard to do
    I seem to lose
    My fickle muse

    I read a prompt; my mind goes blank
    May I be frank?
    When I can’t think
    My ideas stink!

    Sometimes I’ll try to write in form
    Results lukewarm
    I need more time
    To be sublime!

  23. The Sea

    Her folds of foamy green she pulls,
    From rocky shoals
    With weary arms,
    Her fading charms.

    About her in her last despair,
    She droops her hair,
    Sheds salty tears
    To calm her fears,

    And on the sand she softly sighs,
    She moans and dies,
    A wave of blue
    To form anew.

  24. What’s With the Cats?

    They all have cats I’m telling you,
    It’s all so true
    I know that now
    I’ll tell you how.
    Take facebook as a point of view’
    The posts are few
    Without a cat
    I smell a rat!
    I’m out numbered four cats to one,
    That’s me undone
    I love the pups
    That’s it, hands up.

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