So…yes, we’ve done a couple of weeks of short, fun, easy (ish) syllabic poems.  But…I heard a bit of grumbling about that, so for October 30th, we’re going to do something that is somewhat more traditional – ta da…the Sonnet.  But not just any Sonnet.  Oh no.  (Besides, that was done already here.)

This time, we’re going to do a variation on a theme, so to speak – Byron’s Sonnet.  According to Terry Clitheroe, the showrunner of The Poets Garret ( this particular Sonnet can be in any meter (iambic pentameter, tetrameter, etc.)  But there are rules.

Da Rules: Byron’s Sonnet

“Byron’s sonnets are obviously influenced by the Italian form rather than the English, and possess an octave and a sestet.  The octave comprises a progression of three rhymes,

a-b-b-a a-c-c-a; but it’s the sestet that makes it unique: d-e-d e-d-e.”

Sonnet to Genevra

Thine eyes’ blue tenderness, thy long fair hair,
And the wan lustre of thy features – caught
From contemplation where serenely wrought,
Seems Sorrow’s softness charm’d from its despair-
Have thrown such speaking sadness in thine air
That-but I know thy blessed bosom fraught
With mines of unalloy’d and stainless thought-
I should have deem’d thee doom’d to earthly care.
With such an aspect, by his colours blent,
When from his beauty-breathing pen-cil born
(Except that thou hast nothing to repent),
The Magdalen of Guido saw the morn-
Such seemst thou-but how much more excellent!
With naught Remorse can claim-nor Virtue scorn.

~George Gordon, Lord Byron


Here’s an attempt by yours truly:

Night Stroll

“The night walked down the sky with the moon in her hand.” ~Frederick L. Knowles

 There was starlight for illumination
when Moon and Night went for a little stroll.
“Look up!  It looks like a big ice cream bowl,”
said Moon, on viewing a constellation.
“I think it is just collaboration,”
the Night replied, “’Tween a spoon and a dish.”
Moon grinned broadly.  “Night, it is as you wish.”
With a bit of prestidigitation,
Moon waved his hand, and a dish did appear.
On the dish? A Neapolitan brick,
which caused a bit of celestial cheer.
“Moon, however did you manage that trick?”
asked Night, “You are a clever engineer.”
Whereupon, Moon gave Night a kiss real quick.
So…are you up to a bit of a Byronic challenge?  Ready…set…poem!

I find my heart is easily deceived,
And vain attempts to emulate my Lord
Just seem to leave my spirit in discord.
I try in spite of what I have believed –
No good apart from God can be achieved.
So why do I attempt this my own way,
While knowing I’ll most likely go astray?
How could I be so foolish and naïve?
Lord, sculpt my heart as putty in your hand;
Affix my soul, and do not let it roam.
Reveal Yourself, that I may understand
How fully You’re my heart, my hearth, my home.
Without You, I can keep not one command –
I need you so much more than I can poem.



The misty morning dew-fall lifts its veil,
the blushing bride of night begins her day,
and bathes in sun light’s ever-cleansing rays.
Your beauty does espouse this without fail,
my song of love and passion’s fervent tale,
and in the shadows we recline in love,
our blessing from the Mighty Hand above.
For into cool blue eyes my soul will sail.

The heart’s desires should not be restrained,
for passions burn like fire in our hearts,
and endless fonts of love, yet so contained
are not immune to Cupid’s “fatal” darts.
Here in the morning mist true love is gained,
reclined in meadows, you and I remain!

© Copyright 2013 – Walter J Wojtanik


In the early 1920s, Robert Service wrote a poem called The Joy of Little Things. Although that poem has been ridiculed by some as mere doggerel, it has nonetheless been a favorite of others for its emphasis on the little things and events that make life enjoyable for most of us. These might be “a dog that leaps, a hand that clings,” as Service wrote, or a myriad of other topics, ranging from quarks or subatomic particles to hummingbirds or petunias. Or, “little things” might include the Sign of Peace at a Mass, or a smile from a stranger, or a poem. Write a poem about a little thing or event that stands out in your memory, or that you wish would happen.


“Jesus wept.”  ~John 11:35 

The Word became flesh
Revealing the heart of God
We can relate to.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

(Note from Marie: “Jesus wept” is the shortest verse in the Bible.  This tiny two-word sentence, for me, displays the warm human heart of Jesus Christ and magnificently voices the love and heart of my God.  Wow.)



Around and over rocks, the water flows
to scour the sand and tease the waiting creatures
entombed within themselves. The sunrise goes
around and over rocks; the water flows
to meet it. Flashing ebbs and liquid glows
bid life to loose its temporary features.
Around and over rocks the water flows,
to scour the sand and tease the waiting creatures.

© copyright 2013, William Preston


Making big deals out of little things
brings little by way of happy endings,
no matter how it burns, turn and walk away.
There is very little left to say.

© copyright 2013, Walter J Wojtanik


William Preston has done it again.  This week’s “clown” prompt brought out some well-penned, imaginative pieces ranging from silly to sinister, heart breaking to heart warming, and rib-tickling to side-splitting. Well done, poets!


Among all the marvelous poems presented, I just couldn’t possibly NOT offer my Beautiful Bloom to Andrew Kreider for All it takes is a Rodeo Clown.  I mean, come on now … this thing is entertainment-dense, laugh-out-loud, don’t-blink-’cause-you’ll-miss-a-tidbit FUN.  And somewhere hidden in all the giggles is a message.  BRAVO, Andrew.  BRAVO!

All it takes is a Rodeo Clown (by Andrew Kreider)

After three months of protracted debate
over the budget for the Fellowship Committee
and restriping of the parking lot, it felt as if
Sunny View Church had finally fallen victim to the

Other Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse:
Tater tot casserole, Robert’s Rules of Order,
a bad sound system, and early-stage dementia.
The whole church was stuck thigh-high in gravy.

Ten minutes into the fourth special
congregational meeting, tempers were fraying
as usual. Brother James had crossed his arms
as Brother Olin bellowed spurious scripture at him.

Behind them, Sister Mary had raised her copy
of Bible Word Search Vol 2 (The Epistles)
in self-defense as Sister Olive advanced with a
crochet hook raised like the tent-peg of Jael.

Suddenly there was a dreadful clamor from the
back of the room. The double doors to the kitchen flew open,
and in rushed Deacon Jonah, resplendent in overalls,
a cowboy hat, bright red nose and white eye make up.

Woo-woo-woo-woo, he yelled, waving a King James
Bible above his hat. The warring parties all stopped
dead in their tracks, astounded at the sight of a respected
CPA rushing down the hallway singing Gene Autry songs.

In an instant the room was bathed in the holy light
of “prayer concern.” Who could sustain outrage
at the cost of Palm Sunday decorations when a
senior member of the Board had clearly lost his mind?

Leaping at the opportunity, Pastor Lundquist called for the
Question, and the budget was approved unopposed.
All conflicts forgotten, the room launched into a
spirited acappella rendition of Bind Us Together Lord.

Outside in the unstriped parking lot, the conspirators
shook hands. You called it, Pastor, drawled the Deacon.
That was mighty impressive. Thanks, son, replied
Lundquist. You know, this ain’t my first rodeo.


This prompt spurred a plethora of excellent offerings, and among them was Erin Kay Hope‘s little oddquain. I must confess that one reason I selected this poem for a bloom was her use of that form; somehow, it seemed to fit clowns and clowning. Mainly, however, I selected this poem because it encapsulates, almost literally, the joy that clowns can dispense and the pain that often lies behind their work. Actually, Erin Kay’s poem may not necessarily apply to clowns alone but also to anyone who “plays the clown”; often, such persons also are acquainted with grief. Abraham Lincoln comes to my mind as I think on that. Finally, another reason I selected this superb little poem was the use of “laugh” at the beginning and end. Laughter is the bottom line for clowns, comics, and comedians; it is the alpha and omega of their existence. I thought that Erin Kay’s poem acknowledged that.

PLAY THE CLOWN  (by Erin Kay Hope)

Play the clown,
Perhaps your despair
Will vanish, making others



Once again, it was really hard to choose. Misky’s A Raking Wind had lots of ‘gust-o’ and I loved the last line. Flashpoetguy’s, aka Sal Buttaci’s Time Pensee was beautifully written and was classic and ‘timely.’ There were several others which really got me where I live too…

but I guess I have to choose just one, huh?

Okay…then it has to be Michelle Hed‘s Pensee Pensieve – because I am a huge fan of the Harry Potter books, for one thing, and also, I adore her use of metaphor (…silver jump ropes…) It was awe-inspiring.

Pensee Pensieve (by Michelle Hed)

My thoughts,
silver jump ropes
skipping backward and forward
through time and memory, waiting
for me to come visit.


Pensee pic

Image courtesy of Fresh Plans

So, like…wow!  We had such a fabulous response to the short fun form Tetractys, that I decided we should maybe try one more week of something similar.  With that having been said, for the In-form Poet of October 23rd, let’s have a go at (don-da-don…) the Pensee.

The Pensee is a syllabic poem, which is great if you like to count.  (No vampire puns intended.)  For a single stanza (and yes, you can write more if your muse compels you) is 2 – 4 – 7 – 8 – 6.  But, there is a slight trick to it.  Line one is your subject line, line 2 is your description, line 3 is the action line, line 4 is your setting and line 5 is your final thoughts on the poem.

If you are curious to see how it can work, there is actually a Pensee generator, which allows you to plug your words into boxed fields.  Then, all you have to do is press the button – and voila! Instant Pensee.  It was designed for school kids, in order to help facilitate their writing, but it’s fun to play with, nonetheless.

Here’s the link:

(If you decide to try it, the above link will take you to the main page.  Scroll down ‘til you find Pensee and click on that link.  You know the drill.)

Anyway, here are a couple of examples by yours truly:

Paparazzi Fodder

Light gnomes
flash in my eyes
as the photographer shoots
a portrait of me walking off
with this week’s tabloid news.


Pensée for a Nudist Colony

I heard
some nude resorts
are taking off the gloves to
fight rivals for more customers,
a bare necessity.


So…just like Descartes once famously said, “Je pensee; donc je suis…eh?” *

Go Pensee!

*The phrase was Cogito ergo sum, which in French is actually Je pense; donc je suis – and in English translates to mean, I think; therefore I am.


Cute cuddle bug
Closed-eyed smile, hugging Grandpop
Perfectly framed by the doorway
Picture-perfect moment

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

Warm beating heart
Showing us how to use it
Tangibly, right here where we live
I can’t help but love Him

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good



She stands
heart full of fire.
Consumed by her soul’s desire,
for she knows steps she has taken
could be so mistaken.

She walks.
Passions inflamed.
She wants his muse to notice.
Sharing the desire to dance
if they just took the chance.

She basks
in the sun’s warmth.
She stops, feeling its embrace
like his arms over the miles.
She stands there and smiles.

She knows
passions can burn.
She wants to feel all she can,
no promise or demand, just heat;
an all-consuming love.

She sighs.
She wants this more
than anything else she knows.
He continues to grow on her,
touching every moment.

She steps,
moving closer;
feeling alive with passion,
his words entice her to want more;
lead her to their dance floor.

She feels
alive and well
desired. Fired by him
who writes love as he writes his heart,
letting the journey start.

© Copyright 2013, Walter J Wojtanik


How interesting that the very week we are clowning around, Robert Lee Brewer invites us to the circus!


Clowns, probably, have been part of the entertainment spectrum as long as human memory. They certainly were part of the classic Greek theatre, and famous (and legendary) ones in history have included Till Eulenspiegel, Puck, Joseph Grimaldi, Adrien Wettach (Grock), Charlie Chaplin, Harpo Marx, and Red Skelton. They are famed for the laughs they provide, but many have had sadness in their personal lives. Write a poem about a clown or clowning. It may be about a real clown or one from your imagination, or perhaps a person you know or have known. It may be funny or not.


Code 300.29 Coulrophobia

Bozo caused me massive panic –
Used to think he was satanic.
Thought perhaps I was a chicken
When I’d feel my heart rate quicken.
Science knows this fear of mine:
Code three hundred point two nine.
Coulrophobia is real
DSM-IV seals the deal.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

(Note: I’m not a fan of clowns, but I’m not really as freaked out by them as my silly poem indicates. 😉 )



Some people think my mind weak and weird;
from it, no debris has cleared.
I love to laugh; I can stand the gaff
of those who scoff when I am not geared
to take their rants with solemnity.
Rather, when they annoy me,
I can stand the gaff. I love to laugh
and so I do, continually.
I think I act with a kind of grace,
even when dressed all in lace.
I love to laugh; I can stand the gaff
and kicks and squirts and pies in the face.

© copyright 2013, William Preston



A tear grease painted here on my face
in case the well’s run dry.
The tears of a clown roll down
my bulbous proboscis, sadness
in hiding, providing the greatest spark
on earth to offer my mirth for the joy
of others. It is laughter they are after.
But, it bothers me that I can’t lighten
my own heart. I fall apart and land
flat on my face. Traces of tears
grease painted here, just in case!

© copyright 2013, Walter J Wojtanik


Sheryl Oder captured what is, in my opinion, the perfect poetry prompt.  Perhaps it is because reflection promotes rumination.  Thank you, Sheryl, for giving us food for expression.  The results are outstanding.


Reverberation by Benjamin Thomas unearthed emotions I have not felt in many years.  This simply written piece speaks to an element of life that few escape.  I like best the way Damon describes it:  “…. beautiful longing from the sigh to the unsung ache.”   Absolutely.  Benjamin, I humbly offer you my Bloom for this week.

Reverberation (by Benjamin Thomas [poetryshack])

Smitten by your smile
I sigh… as you walk by
Knowing I cannot
Make you feel or spy… this heartbeat-
For you.

Perceiving it’s magnitude
It’s every thrust.
Perhaps my chest would
Rupture, bust wide open-
For you.

And you could finally
Appreciate it’s rhythmic melody.
The sweet strum of heart strings
Playing in sync with your stride
The air particles displaced between us.
But I only wished for an echo.
A return of like feeling.
A reverberation.

But I guess some things are best unseen.
Some songs seem to go unwritten.


I selected Ellen Knight’s poem and response to the photo prompt because it offers an insight into a condition I know nothing about (for which I’m thankful), and fits the photo so well. I thought many other poems fit the photo well also (it permitted all kinds of interpretations), but Ellen’s, in my opinion, related something grounded in (painful) reality to the shifting, fluid, broken, near-and-far perspectives of the photo prompt. In addition, Ellen’s use of similar sounds to begin her stanzas lends a pounding quality to the lines, much like a bad headache, I would think. The absence of punctuation (till the end) and capitalization lend a streaming feeling to the poem, consistent, I think, with the sensations she reports and the image she used as a prompt. Finally, the last stanza offers a question that goes beyond migraines or surrealist photography: what is really distorted? Like the photo, one can read her poem in lots of ways. All in all, I thought this was a superior poem and a slice of life that I think would interest physicians; I can envision it in a neurology journal.


reflection curved—wrapped around my mind
perception altered—nothing straight or square

searching for sea legs to still the
lurching—steady the

tipping and
slipping the

bending of images
sending my thoughts to

contortion beyond all reasonable
proportion leads me to wonder if the
distortion is

genuine or is it



Although it was really hard to choose this week because we had SO MANY great Tetractyses (Tetractysi’?) I finally came up with one that really just resonated with me. It is a Double Tetractys, written by Jerry Walraven. His ‘We are our Stories’ is amazing, and his final two lines just blew me away. I definitely had one of those ‘I wish I’d written that!’ moments, and so, this is my pick for In-form Poet Bloom of the Week.

We are our Stories (by Jerry Walraven)

between you
and another,
these marks made against others memories
building connections to the memories,
past and present,
of others.




It occurred to me that many of you may not be aware that  The Institute of Children’s Literature has provided Poetic Bloomings with several delightful, imaginative, skilled writers.  These include Meena Rose, Claudette Young, Kate Wilson (aka Kate de los Conejos), Erin Kay Hope, Hannah Gosselin, and today’s interview guest:  Damon Dean (charmingly known as Seven Acre Sky).   It is my pleasure to welcome this fine gentleman! Continue reading


pic for in form for October 16Image by starrynight11/deviant art

Because I know how much so many of you ♥ unrhymed short forms, I decided that this would be a good week for it.  So, please allow me to present…


Tetractys, a poetic form invented by Ray Stebbing, consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20). Tetractys may be written with more than one verse, but must follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Tetractys may also be reversed and written 10, 4, 3, 2, 1.

Double Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1

Triple Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10

and so on.

“Euclid, the mathematician of classical times, considered the number series 1, 2, 3, 4 to have mystical significance because its sum is 10, so he dignified it with a name of its own – Tetractys. The tetractys could be Britain’s answer to the haiku. Its challenge is to express a complete thought, profound or comic, witty or wise, within the narrow compass of twenty syllables.” – Ray Stebbing

-from Shadow Poetry

The reason for the picture above was simply because when I first saw the name of this form, pterodactyls jumped into my head.  Your guess is as good as mine.  That having been said, here’s a sample by yours truly:


dactyls are
nifty critters.
If I lived in prehistoric times, I’d
fly on one of them to school or maybe
even to the


But seriously, here’s a more serious Tetractys:


are an
autumn hue.
But plums are a
(generally considered) summer fruit.
This makes no sense to me.  But this poem
has no rhyme and
it has no

So…are you ready to pen a few Tetractyses (Tetractysi?) of your own?  Ready…set…start poeming!



Is visible.
Some disabilities hide beneath masks.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good



a state
of being,
seeing a heart
that is given away to be returned,
tempered in the forge of passion, not burned;
left to smolder.
Never cold,
old as
of love
are written
by the smitten,
expressing a heart’s true nature, for sure!

© copyright 2013, Walter J. Wojtanik

Robert Lee Brewer is up to something  “fishy”  at Poetic Asides…

PROMPT #124 – Ekphrastic Poetry – 2013 Photo Prompt #4

Photo credit: Sheryl Kay Oder

Photo credit: Sheryl Kay Oder


Thanks to Sheryl Kay Oder  for use of her photo. 

If you are interested in submitting a photo for consideration as a future photo prompt, please see submission instructions at:


“But how do you thank someone who has taken you from crayons to perfume?” (Don Black’s To Sir with Love)


Students from yesteryear gather to honor him.
I see the pride well and spill.
Not arrogance or superiority, but a grounded wonder
As he processes the ripples initiated
By his long-passed presence in their lives.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

(For Dad with love)



will suit you and me
but some eclectic folks need


How fun is it that our prompt highlighting stars was so closely followed by Robert Lee Brewer’s announcement of the 2013 Poetic Asides Poet Laureate, and April P.A.D. Top 25 list of poems. 🙂 Congratulations once again to our own dazzling stars William Preston (Poet Laureate) and Top-25 “Bloomers” De Jackson, Nancy Posey, Jane Shlensky, William Preston, and Walt Wojtanik!

Now, on to this week’s Blooms!


In the midst of many poems I wished to feature today, Salvatore Buttaci‘s The Almost Star haunted me all week.  But here’s the thing:  I find myself at a loss to adequately promote this piece.  I can use words like brilliant, uncommon, curious, or remarkable … but even as a collection, they do not explain how unique and absorbing this piece is to me.  Nearly every phrase or line fascinates me, but the final stanza blows me away. Sal, I enthusiastically offer you my Bloom.

THE ALMOST STAR (by Salvatore Buttaci)

A new soon-to-be-announced star
lay ready to exit God’s Womb
one still twilight moment
with midwife stars attending

but the Great Infant Hope
overstepped feet first,
kicked its way to debut,
slipped buttocks forward
(two moon slices locked in

and All-angry/All-embarrassed
tugged taut the umbilical string
strangling the almost star to blue.

Fetus the Failure shook infant fists
at all creation, crawled up the canal route
then died there about three a.m.
swearing galactic blasphemy.


I selected Jane Shlensky’s What Shines, almost on a gut response, because it moved me deeply. As I said when I first read it, the imagery is profound: falling through the sky; reversing gravity; souls aglitter; carrying moon dust; tiny twinkles, longing for starlight; all these give the poem the brilliance and ambiance of the Milky Way on a moonless night. Jane is, in my view, not only a superb poet but a superb storyteller as well, and this poem captures and holds attention like a well-told story as it recounts the experiences of youth, the transition to an older age, and the link that binds them both. It is masterful work.

WHAT SHINES (by Jane Shlensky)

A need to get away from home a while,
if only on a hill beyond the house,
forced us to live in nature, making do:

collecting broken limbs to make a fire,
a few pine cones as kindling, a tent,
and rods to catch a willing supper fish.

But we took hot dogs, marshmallows, and chips
prepared to release anything with fins,
waiting for dark to wrap us in its light.

And lying on our backs we fell through sky,
a velvet basin pocked with many stars,
and named the ones we knew pointing at night.

We felt the universe pull at our eyes,
reversing gravity as we fell up,
our souls aglitter freed to float in space,

a seed of being in us taking root
until we lay still, filled with something right,
ourselves now heaven’s rib cage, arching out.

I’m old now, creaking bones keep me upright—
no sleeping on the ground, waking in dew.
But I still carry moon dust, starry night,

remembering how I felt we were part
of something big, mysterious, and true

we, tiny twinkles, longing for starlight.



Each week it just gets harder and harder to pick only one bloom. (Heavy sigh.)

But…here goes:

My bloom this week, well, it just has a certain rhythm (with some soul) and when it’s mixed with ‘razzmatazz’ the music in the poem flows. So, Susan’s work is this week’s choice because this poet really shows she ‘gets’ jazz and the Beatles’ voice.

Congrats to Susan Schoeffield – my choice for Saraband.

MUSICAL PROGRESSION (by Susan Schoeffield)

I used to be a Beatles fan.
But as I aged, my tastes would move
far away from where they began.
In its every variation,
simplistic or complex pizzazz,
my ears feel a pure elation
whenever they listen to jazz.

There’s no point in me denying
my love for the famous Fab Four.
If I did, I would lying.
But my musical progression
to the beboppers’ razzmatazz
is now a growing obsession
and today I’m all about jazz.

Congratulations to Sal, Jane, and Susan!