Bref Double pic
(Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons; Japanischer Garten. Emil Orlik, 1904)

 Hey Poets!

On Sunday, September 15th, the wonderful and talented William Preston provided Poetic Bloomings with the prompt of ‘Making a List, Checking it Twice.’

There were so many wonderful postings, so I thoroughly enjoyed reading all your poems!

Although I wrote a couple of humorous ‘list’ poems based on this prompt, I also wrote a gentler, sweeter poem for my husband Rich, in honor of our 18th wedding anniversary.  Several people were curious about the form I used for this poem, which was Bref Double … so guess what?

Yes, you’re right.  Our form for this week’s In-form Poet is the Bref Double.

According to DeviantArt’s Poetic Forms page (

 The Bref Double is a French form. It is similar to the sonnet, but it need not be written in iambic pentameter (it can be in tetrameter, hexameter, or any other meter you prefer). The rhyme scheme is also different from a sonnet. The Bref Double contains three quatrains (four-line stanzas) followed by a final couplet.

Quatrain 1       a/x/b/c
Quatrain 2       x/a/x/c
Quatrain 3       a/x/a/b
Final couplet   a/b

The x stands for a line that doesn’t rhyme with any of the other lines.

Here are a couple of poems I wrote in the Bref Double form:


The colors of the October sky
are accentuated by crisp scents
of apple-cinnamon and log fires.
I put on my cable-knit sweater.

The air is chill, but mostly at night
so I count the stars.  I wonder why
Fall seems like a fresh start, but maybe
it’s the new school year.  Life gets better…

Each drum beat from marching bands nearby
seem to imply that October is
not emblematic of things that die
but rather, a season which acquires

hues like gold and burgundy. I sigh
and watch the stars of Fall unfetter.


A Garden, in Words

“Show me your garden and I shall tell you what you are.” ~Alfred Austin

Beyond the street, beyond the gate,
is your garden.  What is it like?
Do you grow tomatoes or herbs,
and is there a green climbing vine?

Are there marigolds?  Spearmint?  Kale?
Gerberas?  Well, at any rate,
please show me where your garden is.
Your garden is how you define

yourself, your world.  Communicate
all those things you want to bring forth.
Words, like plants, can grow strong and straight
in vacant lots or by street curbs.

No matter where you place your gate
bright blooms can grow from nouns and verbs.

And on that note… Ready, set…start poeming! ~RJ 



I love to watch her heart unfold –
Enthusiastic little soul
Who loves her purple stringed balloon
As though it loves her in return.

Adoringly, she named her “friend.”
Precocious little two-year-old
And tethered buddy “Bumper” play
Together, and she’s sure he’ll learn

To speak and sing; laugh uncontrolled.
She also knows without a doubt
That she’ll reach out to grab a hold
Of Bumper’s string some afternoon –

Then sprinkle pixie dust of gold,
And fly together to the moon.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good


Need more prompting?  Head over to Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides.  This week’s Wednesday prompt is to write an “On the Road” poem.


  1. Tricky little form, this.

    We Don’t Realize

    A slam and a crash under the red light,
    Death hovering, waiting its chance to take,
    Mortality realized in shattered glass,
    A broken windshield: you could have died;

    You could have died, my mind keeps echoing,
    We don’t realize how close, sometimes, creeps night,
    How stealthily, subtly, coldly creeps death:
    I know for certain that I would have cried

    If you’d died, dear friend, I’d have cried all night
    Without pause, without rest, without comfort;
    Oh God, I beg, pray, I plead that You might
    Carry the night away, let the dark pass;

    But, of course, may Your will be done; the fight
    Will end, either way, with You at the last.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  2. Night Noises

    There’s something in the woods at night
    that yelps a soggy strangled cry.
    We listen squinting through the trees
    to see such sounds take shape and walk.

    We keep the house dark, concentrate,
    concerned that it might see our light
    and hurry blindly straight to us
    to terrorize us as we gawk.

    We hardly talk, our muscles tight;
    we strain to heighten hearing’s edge
    and steel ourselves to sounds of fright
    lest our fear drive us to our knees.

    Imagination’s teeth can bite,
    like sound that’s carried on a breeze.

  3. This is a dilly of a form, and your examples, RJ and Marie, show the way well. Marie, yours has a pixie-dust feel to it throughout, consistent, I think, with the imagery of a little girl flying to the moon; the overall effect, for me, is akin to St. Exupery’s Little Prince coming to Earth via a flock of birds. RJ, your Unfettered is, or ought to be, a classic paean to autumn, right up there with Keat’s Ode, and A Garden, in Words could be the anthem of this blog. Just magnificent work from you both, in my opinion.

  4. Lie–an abomination before the Lord and an ever-present help in time of trouble. Mark Twain


    If you must lie, then do it well;
    be not content with little fibs;
    a whopper is preferred to tales
    that limp as they prevaricate.

    Your standard lie will never do
    when stories must entreat and swell;
    much better to expand the zone
    of disbelief as on you prate

    and build a mountain straight to Hell,
    for, if well told, your blather will
    become the truth that others tell
    and thus will tip all juries and scales.

    A lie that rings with truth’s clear bell
    is handy to have at garage sales.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. I had just posted this for another prompt. I’ll also try another later.
    Stand Strong

    Every heart holds a daunting thing.
    A small, armored leviathan
    that nestles like a broody hen
    upon a nest of addled eggs.

    His claim on heart’s prize must be met!
    To arms, to arms, make haste and bring
    weapons of war against this brute.
    And though you be on trembly legs

    stand strong, this stalwart challenge fling,
    “Death, lizard, who guards your heart, who
    steals your ambitions, clips your wings,
    craves of your life “what might have been”.

    Be brave. Have pluck, and do not cling
    to fears of life like timid men.

  6. OM Gee… RJ… Meg… You poems Sing… to my Heart!!! :D!!!

    I think that my homework assignment here shall take me all day long (perhaps all week) to complete… but, I shall thoroughly enjoy each moment, so I thank you 🙂 !!


    If we could be given a glance
    Of heaven while we’re still alive,
    Would it help us repent our ways?
    Would what we see be strong enough?

    Some would insist it was a dream.
    I saw heaven? they’d say. Fat chance!
    It was that angel cake I ate.
    Don’t give me any heaven stuff!

    Or those in that good circumstance
    Might think heaven lacked excitement,
    Not enough party song and dance,
    A kind of boredom everyday.

    If you saw heaven in advance,
    what exactly would you say?


  8. I have to apologize for not writing comments on Sunday’s seed prompt. My old computer died (really!) over the weekend. It was a wonderful workhorse of a computer, but it was past 7 years old and it just finally gave out. I bought a new one (which I am using right now) but I am still in the process of migrating files and getting used to the new system. (Besides having a lot of school work.) So, please be patient with me. I will get to everyone’s work to comment. You are amazing writers in a wonderful, supportive community – and that’s why I love it here so much!

    Okay…poem on! ♥

    • Fortuitous you should say that. Mine appears to be dying right now.

      Spot on, your remarks about the community. Walt and Marie sure started something, to borrow a snippet from a favorite old song, Mi>Them There Eyes.

  9. On a trip across country we saw fields of sunflowers – so beautiful (in Kansas, I think).


    Sunflowers growing in the fields,
    row on row of miniature suns,
    every face looking to the east
    heliotropic ruffled gaze

    of adoration to that sphere.
    The sunflowers selflessly yield
    their loyalty and reverence,
    perhaps our look should also praise

    as well the son we serve, who wields
    the healing warmth of light and grace
    upon this furrowed plot he tilled.
    We should be at the very least

    sunflowers growing in the fields
    with faces looking to the east.

    • Wonderful. I have seen fields of those flowers at sunrise (in Kansas, too), and you’ve captured the feeling of awe that comes from seeing a field of yellow nodding to its source. I think this is superb.

    • Love the flowers, love the poem. Reminds me of the passage in Willa Cather’s My Antonia, in which she says the sunflowers were planted along the paths for westering folks headed for Utah, etc. Those faces looking east suggests they’re looking toward the old home while traveling to the new.

    • Love this! There’s a field not far from my house, and in season, the sunflowers fill your entire field of view.

    • heliotropic ruffled gaze–amazing.
      I’m traveling, and using a borrowed laptop, and my mind is braying like a mule at the idea of a form. I will try, but don’t anyone hold your breath.

    • Debi, you handle poetry with such dexterity I need not question why you keep climbing up my favorite poet list!

  10. PLEDGE

    The time has come to say
    in words as clear as air
    that I’m in love with you
    and have been, all these years.

    I long have been afraid
    that you would show dismay
    if I should ever speak
    in spite of all my fears,

    but I am here today,
    at risk of scorn and spurn
    and with no more delay,
    to say these words so true:

    my love, in every way,
    is yours, without ado.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  11. Tick-Tock

    It’s said that time waits for no man
    It tick-tocks by without a care
    Once gone, it’s gone, ne’er to come back
    Time marches on, tick-tock, tick-tock

    Finite our time on this great earth
    Our last breath breathed, we know not when
    Regardless, we should never ask
    Will we punch out on tick or tock

    Ignore the tick-tocks; stick to a plan
    Live each hour like it’s your last
    Love one another like no one can
    Give without wanting anything back

    Through life hold firm to God’s strong hand
    Let not the tick-tocks hold you back

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  12. Harvest

    I walked this garden path so long
    you’d think my feet could find it blind,
    the to and fro-ness marking time
    with baskets empty, baskets filled

    with every season’s harvest gift.
    I’d start out fresh and morning strong
    thinking of peas, tomatoes, corn,
    plodding back home like something drilled

    to do a mindless task. Among
    deep bounty’s green mirage,
    this brutal weariness feels wrong,
    a mountain view after the climb.

    But evening’s back aches like a song
    that pounds a path to the sublime.

  13. RJ, I’m enjoying the form although that rhyme scheme kept me hopping. You and Marie made it seem so easy, such wonderful poems, like watching ballet and then trying that at home :D. I thought I’d do a couple of garden poems, since I’m seeing the end of all that now. I’m loving the poems I’ve read so far, friends. You guys always blow me away.


    I can see where the critters go
    across the garden to the woods.
    They carry what they’ve stolen, weight
    that presses them into damp soil.

    Racoons and possums, chipmunks, deer,
    a thousand squirrels let me know
    I’ve worked to plant and tend for them—
    they are the reason for my toil.

    The tracks they plant might seed and grow
    the minute that I turn my back,
    and I will tend a crop of foes
    that I’ve a mind sometimes to hate.

    Instead, I bid them loud hello:
    they forage, but appreciate.

  14. The Old Couple

    No longer do they roam the fields and woods
    searching for rare birds like they used to do.
    They pass the hours watching old TV shows.
    They stay to watch the news, then go to bed.

    Silently they draw the covers close.
    Say “Good-night”, lay down upon their bed.
    He dreams he is in some endless TV play
    where fame and fortune has gone to his head.

    A millionaire that no one understood,
    he tosses his fortune foolishly away.
    Too late he tries to do a little good
    but what will happen next, he never knows.

    He wakens, and feels sadder than he should –
    oddly craves champagne, drinks coffee black instead..

  15. The Soul

    Pure, innocent and sinless soul
    Vulnerable beyond imagination
    Growing exponentially day by day
    Formed with the blessing of the Maker

    Cells split, then split, then split again
    Bones form and joint; eyes fill holes
    Hands and fingers; feet and toes
    Thoughts downloading from the Creator

    The Miracle Maker in full control
    Forming and programming perfection
    A plan for this most perfect soul
    A perfect God to show him the Way

    This pure, innocent and sinless soul
    Deserves to see the Light of Day

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  16. Haiga

    Gesso this wood, sand it fine
    careful now, this needs to be
    right, so that it says it well,
    from hidden depths this river flows

    unknowing to the vast sky.
    Trim it clean, edges align,
    then glue down where the eye
    can stop and mind can close

    around the calligraphic design,
    holding fast a moving world.
    Encaustic icon, to rewind
    time a heart beat, just to tell

    there is nothing you can bind,
    sweet one, and that is well,
    that is well.

    Bref-Double – poetic form
    for Poetic Bloomings

    • I second RJ’s welcome! And HEARTILY second her hope that you’ll visit here often. We love adding new poetic voices to the chorus, and I must say that yours is very impressive! Beautifully done, Lorna.

      Oh, and I deleted the double post for you. 😉

      Marie Elena

  17. Friendship

    A monarch flutters gently by
    Her wings a brightly colored hue
    A breath of wind captures descent
    And moves the flowers’ fragrance near

    Then carries lightly her sweet song
    Her voice so soft, an angel sighs
    And thus he strums his harp in time
    As dew drop forms, become his tear

    That drops as from the morning sky
    To land on milky weeds that flow
    And beckon her as she lilts by:
    Come sip of pure, sweet nourishment

    She draws her breath, he hears her sigh
    He strums her flutter’s soft ascent.

  18. Self-Sticking

    She could not move on with her life
    although divorce was commonplace.
    The drink took hold with claws that clung;
    she spiraled down into a hole.

    Employment proved impossible,
    she was a mom but not a wife.
    Her child grew old before his time.
    At eighty pounds, she’d lost control.

    Her son absorbed all stress and strife.
    He would not make it out unscathed.
    Addiction wounded like a knife
    to all those close, a siren rung.

    In time, she ceased to drink. Suffice
    to say, too late–the damage done.

  19. Hiking

    We wake up at the crack of dawn.
    We tug on jeans and pack a lunch.
    Fill water bottles to the brim.
    And comfortable shoes a must.

    We drive to vacant parking lot,
    and make a quick stop at the john.
    And now we’re ready to begin.
    It’s up to mountain top or bust.

    We hike for miles then sit upon
    a rock, a log or rustic bridge.
    Then back we go and spot a fawn
    which runs behind a shady limb.

    We’re tired but make ourselves go on
    until we’re back when light is dim.

  20. SO THERE!

    A heart is not
    nor can it be

    a love is more
    than a sweet spot
    for it can fade
    or fall, fractured.

    It is my lot
    to love you true
    but you have got
    false care for me,

    and so I trot
    to Tennessee.

  21. La chute de l’automne (The Fall of Autumn)

    “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ~ Albert Camus

    Sun drenched kisses have left their flavor
    upon the verdant leaves, as the cool
    nights lock the new hues in position
    delighting the eye with a spectrum

    which tantalizes acuity.
    Nature hands us a party favor
    and every journey and walk becomes
    joyously filled with a momentum

    which our delighted senses savor.
    Every crunch beneath the boot, every
    inhalation, wishing a waiver
    from the upcoming composition.

    Bare branches, inspiring disfavor
    as the skies fill with white ambition.

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