POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.


Saraband pic

Loie Fuller – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892; image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

William’s prompt last Sunday (Invitation to the Dance) inspired me to choose the Saraband for our October 9th’s In-form Poet.  Why?

Per Terry Clitheroe’s The Poets Garret, this septet (7-lined stanza) form is taken from a musical dance form, and what could be more fitting than having a poem derived from dance. The original Saraband was a dance of Asian origin, introduced into Spain in the 16th century and later to the courts of France and Italy.

The form follows the dance, with a 3-lined stanza (Tercet) followed by a 4-lined stanza (Quatrain).

The rhyme scheme is:
a. x. a.
b. c. b. c.

In the Tercet, all three lines may rhyme. Or you may choose to rhyme only lines one and three, as in the French version.

The Quatrain can vary from the Spanish (shown in the example); French; b. b. c. c. or Italian; b. c. c. b., and it is not uncommon to mix Quatrains, i.e. Spanish with French or Italian when writing long poems.

For the purist each line comprises of eight (8) syllables, but there are examples of Iambic and Trochaic pentameter also.

Here are some samples by yours truly:

Six Kinds of Impossible

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” ~Walt Disney

 “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” ~Lewis Carroll

Let us do impossible things –
yes, six of them before breakfast.
And really, it’s kindness with wings
since after all, we need to fly;
we need to make our spirits high.
From this world…it’s you and I…
Let’s laugh; let’s love; let’s not ask why.

Gumball Saraband

 Serendipity is putting a quarter in the gumball machine and having three pieces come rattling out instead of one—all red.  -Peter H. Reynolds

I remember when I was small
I would ask my mom for a coin
to get a cherry red gumball.

Purple was okay in my book
but red was the one that I sought.
Now and then I cheated and shook
the machine.  Kid magic, I thought.

You never know what will come out
the gumball machine’s metal spout.
Chance is what it is all about.

Luck may not decide to convene.
You might get yellow or a green.
But sometimes, you’re the conferee:
a red gumball – or two… or three.


A Sarab& for the Ampers&

When you write a lot of words, oft times in a list,
you’ll probably need an ampers&
or two for an assist,
because, the punctuation mark called ampers& can show
conjunction, which can come between two words or more, although
you could simply write the word ‘and’ – & then you’d see
it takes up much more sentence space.  No practicality.

Economy of words, they say, is what’s in great dem&
so choosing symbols carefully
can make books fall or st&.
I could yak on & on & on – & then perhaps exp&
the theme of this one grammar note, ’til it gets out of h&.
In truth, I think I’ve made my point, exactly as I’d pl&.
I’ll end this chat by saying that the ampers&’s just gr&!


So, got your dancin’ shoes on?  Pencils ready?  A five six seven eight…poem on!



She reads the chart ahead of her
That does not lead her to his heart –
Her path remains an aimless blur.
Yet she recalls the fairy tales
Where prince proposed, and love prevailed.
She’ll pick and choose from Brothers Grimm,
And forge a path that leads to him.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good


If you wish, write an “If you________” poem, and post it at Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides. 😉   Heck, you could even write an “If you” Saraband!

Single Post Navigation


  1. William Preston on said:


    He said that I would never see
    a poem perfect as a tree.
    I thought that he was joshing me
    until I saw the Coulter pines
    with wit as sharp as coned-down lines:
    they swayed their sonnets in the breeze
    and sarabanded lesser trees.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  2. William Preston on said:

    This looks like all sorts of fun, especially with the permissible variations. Your examples, RJ and Marie, run the gamut from wistful and a bit sad, as in Marie’s, to a bit mind-blowing, as in RJ’s third offering. & with that I rest my case, ne plus ultra

  3. Pouring Out

    Little glass jars standing neatly
    On a windowsill in a line,
    Magnify sunlight intensely:
    Changing, shifting with the weather,
    Rainbows dancing, light reflecting,
    Growing dimmer, growing brighter,
    Filled with light, still more collecting;

    Collecting and then spilling out,
    As we are to receive His word
    And let it, in great streams, pour out:
    Washing, cleansing, peaceful healing,
    Steadily giving as we get,
    To our neighbors life imparting,
    Hands held open to receive Him.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  4. Wm Preston on said:


    A minor poet, Max MacGhee,
    desired the perfect saraband.
    At first he went to Italy
    and there they told him that the form
    required a couplet in between
    lines four and seven, lending sheen
    and something nicely past the norm.

    MacGhee then went to sunny Spain
    to find the perfect saraband.
    The Spaniards tried to make it plain:
    the quatrain lines should have a sound
    that alternated with the next;
    they showed examples all around
    but Max was skeptical, and vexed.

    So then he went to Paris, France,
    to find the perfect saraband,
    the poem that was once a dance,
    and there they said that couplets, two,
    were all that he would have to do
    to make the quatrain bend and blend
    and bring his saraband to end.

    When Max returned to Nauset sands
    he tried to write those sarabands
    but they were water in his hands.
    The only way that he could do it
    was write a rhyme and then renew it.
    No other way can I construe it:
    he tried and tried, but poor Max blew it.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  5. The “Saraband” :

    “Dance Lesson”
    “Shuffle, hop; step and step”, said she.
    (Age five, again, in my tutu.)
    “Now wave your arms and be a bee!”

    My teacher heard; my dance enthralls.
    I bounced and buzzed as I recall.
    To dance is joy when you are five
    and all the earth is so alive.

  6. Hallowe’en

    Just at dusk when the light is dim
    and dead leaves rustle on their own
    a wise old owl perched on a limb
    hoots a warning that on this night
    there are scary things out of sight
    that haunt and roam this Hallows eve
    and matters not you disbelieve

    the veil is thin that separates
    the living from the dead this night
    and no one knows just what awaits
    by graveyard gate and in the woods
    beware of things with masks and hoods
    who knows if they be child… or ghoul…
    they loves kiddies in their gruel.


    I’ve written poems all these years.
    I’ve shared my wonder, joys and fears.
    But they were never worth my tears.

    And so I finally realized that I am not a poet,
    I think that prose is more my style, in fact I surely know it.
    A lengthy book I’m writing now so I can really show it.
    I hope I’m not mistaken, though, and that I do not blow it.


    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.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  9. Dancing the Petticoat Wag

    Sally yourself in old converse
    Court those thees and thous, shout and then
    Sully your heart with bawdy verse.
    Lift hems above lace, ankles dance,
    Shoes light on floors, and striding lines
    of verse and rhyme. Tempt circumstance
    and fall in love with joy, sublime.

The Petticoat Wag was a Tudor dance often reserved for the peasantry.

  10. Pingback: Dancing the Petticoat Wag | The Chalk Hills Journal

  11. Trust

    I watch the way you lean into
    my shoulder, pressing, nuzzling,
    and I am warmed just knowing you.

    Perhaps a pet is what you are,
    love nurtured where language can fail.
    An inter-species trust can far
    outreach talk, touch teaching us braille.

    New ways of reading, creature deep,
    move words to actions, minds to eyes,
    where instinct helps us stretch and leap.

    Compelled by cat-kind’s purring creed,
    we kindly open wide a door
    left closed by humans’ twisting need,
    discovering what hearts are for.

  12. Pingback: Musical Progression | Words With Sooze

  13. Getting and Spending

    “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Ben Franklin

    If consumerism fails us,
    maybe less is plenty more.
    Too much stuff surely derails us.

    What we long for, purpose, meaning,
    is not touched by storing, gleaning;
    rather we feel hope’s deposit
    when we give from our self’s closet.

  14. Poetic Measures

    Wee spasms of poetic twinkles
    coalesce into rhyming lines –
    spending time smoothing the wrinkles

    we prevaricate each line, word
    until each syllable breathes fire
    worthy, ready to be read, heard
    a poem to aspire, admire.

  15. Belly Dancer

    Golden coins picking up the beat
    on hips shaking faster, faster –
    rhythmic clapping, stomping the feet.
    Tiny symbols on her fingers
    the ringing disc, the sound lingers.
    Colored veils swirl and fly away
    as the music ends, shout ole!

  16. Wm Preston on said:


    The flaming maple trees
    are calling out to me
    in cries without surcease,

    reminding me of when
    they budded forth their green.
    But now, in scarlet sheen,
    they shudder now and then.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  17. Wm Preston on said:


    she’d chip away at you.
    She would, without ado
    until her hands turned blue;
    until her thumbs were numb.
    She loves you, after all,
    despite your grime and gall.
    Some gals are just born dumb.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  18. elishevasmom on said:

    “Oh, bother…”
    (to quote Pooh)

    I was looking for poetic traction,
    since my muse had slithered away,
    and it was driving me to distraction.

    To cook the meal I had chosen,
    meant heating the oven for dinner.
    It was simple, lasagna, frozen,
    easy, even for a beginner.

    This Saraband was giving me fits.
    And my muse was still on strike.
    So I almost called it quits.

    I heard the timer go off with relief,
    so just imagine my disbelief.
    The taste in my mouth was rotten.
    On the counter stood lasagna, forgotten.

    Ellen Knight 10.9.13
    write a Saraband poem for PM

  19. Sorry, I’m tired. 🙂

    A Lame Praise Song

    I praise You because You are great
    You are wonderful, good and kind
    You make sad, glad and bent paths straight

    You forgive people when they do wrong
    You are faithful, patient and sweet
    I cannot find good words for this song
    So I praise You and then repeat…

    • elishevasmom on said:

      Will and Michelle, it seems like you two just skipped and hopped your way through this prompt. While for others of us, it was as hard as pulling hens’ teeth, because first you gotta find em before you can pull em, if you know what I mean 😉

    • RJ Clarken on said:

      A perfect song of praise…

  20. A Band Named Sara?

    Might there be a band named Sara,
    where all group members are female?
    Could be they all wear tiaras.
    Hard rockers all decked out in black
    playing vermillion guitars.
    Cheering from the front row to back,
    and me as lead vocal, a star!

  21. Wm Preston on said:


    Up there, a smudge in autumn’s sky
    that I see with averted eye
    is coming closer, by and by,
    and someday, when it mingles here,
    I wonder if the atmosphere
    will glow with darkness, dim with light,
    or bid us all a last good-night.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  22. RJ I love your ampers& & all the other sarab&s Here’s mine


    I think it would be good to dance
    but if I tried the pain would lance
    so sad to say I have no chance.
    The music plays inside my head
    the will is there but pain I dread.
    The time will come when bone will mend
    and I shall dance – a happy end.

  23. Pingback: Octpowrimo Day 10 – a cop out | Vivinfrance's Blog

  24. William Preston on said:


    I used to date a girl named Bess
    who lived upon a mountain crest
    and called herself a poetess.
    I didn’t mind that she used rhyme
    whenever she would start the car,
    but making love in iambic time
    was taking things a bit too far.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  25. Nocturnal

    Moon light flows through shivering leaves
    Owls fly low in search of fast food
    Mice scamper and hide in barn eaves

    Bat wings flap, form Vs overhead
    Raccoon scarf their scavengers’ yield
    The farmer and wife snore in bed
    Crops grow quietly in the field

  26. shivering leaves… oh, I LOVE that

  27. Vengeance Claw

    She entered with her head held high
    Showing she would not be beat down
    A steely stare from laser eyes
    Told her ex his road was ending
    The battlefield a court of law
    No words worthy for defending
    Today he’d suffer vengeance claw

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  28. ejparsons on said:


    Magnificent, magnanimous
    Magical, mystical, moving
    Mysterious, miraculous
    Marvelous and mystifying
    Meaningfully mind-boggling
    Memorable and masterful
    Majestic, magisterial

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  29. William Preston on said:


    please look away, your liquid gaze
    reminds me of the early days
    when we were sure that all our ways
    would be compatible forever.
    But now has come the time to sever
    the once and future jubilation
    of universal gravitation.

    copyright 20131, William Preston

  30. ejparsons on said:

    Pain Driven Love

    A year had passed since she had gone
    Just one day short of sixty-three
    Painfully he tried to move on
    Each thing he packed held memories
    Each thing he packed brought tear to eye
    He prayed for strength to set him free
    And answers why He let her die

    Then one cold night while deep in sleep
    His soul was touched angelically
    A vision standing made him weep
    He heard her say, “Let go of me
    When it’s your time, I’ll be right here
    For now, live for your family.”
    When he awoke, his head was clear

    The pain of lost love never dies
    No time can make the hurt subside
    The angel made him realize
    He still had lots of life to live
    He still had lots of love to give
    The pain that filled heart’s empty space
    Would drive him ‘til he found his grace

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

    • William Preston on said:

      This so well captures both the pain of loss and the realization that life goes on, and that one should live that life to the fullest. Or so it seems to me. I think it is very well penned.

  31. A Week of Stumbles

    Little toes press to tippy toe walk
    Moving before we can talk
    Never seeing those dangers that stalk
    Our steps, making us stumble
    Falter, yet keep us humble
    Years, tears, we reach and fumble
    Seek joy, make sense of life’s jumble

    This is in honor of fellow poet Dave King, who passed away this week and my friend’s son who at 19, passed away last week after an inspirational life–he was born with a defect in his liver and survived 5 liver transplants. Sigh. Cherish the days and the people you love–I cherish all of you 🙂

Plant your poem or comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: