IN-FORM POET WITH RJ CLARKEN – TETRACTYS

pic for in form for October 16Image by starrynight11/deviant art  http://starrynight11.deviantart.com/art/Pterodactyl-183313531

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

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 http://www.shadowpoetry.com/resources/wip/tetractys.html

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:

Pt

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

###

But seriously, here’s a more serious Tetractys:

Plummy

Plums
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
season.
Plum!
###

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

MARIE ELENA’S TETRACTYS

JUDGED

Don’t
Assume
“Disabled”
Is visible.
Some disabilities hide beneath masks.

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

WALT’S TRIP TETRACTYS

LOVE’S CERTAINTY

Love,
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
time.
Rhymes
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…

460 thoughts on “IN-FORM POET WITH RJ CLARKEN – TETRACTYS

  1. TETRACTIBILITY

    When
    Euclid
    added up
    one, two, three, four
    and got ten, he knew he had a stacked dec.

    Copyright 2013. William Preston

  2. Wow, this is like an extra scoop of ice cream: welcome home, Walt. Your poem is as loving as its sentiment, and has those singing sounds that I associate with your work.

    Marie, your poem hits home for me, both personally and in terms of many folks I’ve known. I think it is a superb piece of work.

    RJ, this form looks like fun. Thanks for introducing it, and for your ptum of a ptoem.

  3. Seeds Of Faith

    Who’d
    Believe
    The story
    Of creation,
    Of your divine, fatherly, gracious gift,
    Who would believe it took only six days
    To create this
    Paradise
    Where we
    Live,
    If
    The seeds
    Of faith weren’t
    Sown by Your hand?
    I see, since You’ve opened my eyes, Your gift
    Sown and brought up as a fruitful tree, and
    I believe and
    Know you’ve placed
    One in
    Me.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    Faith was the theme for our Inklets meeting last week. The other girls wrote some really good poems, and they are on my blog. 🙂

  4. These are fun! Here’s my offering.
    ——————————————–
    Snakequation
    one
    plus two
    with three now
    added to four
    makes this fifth line a long and slithering
    snake on my floor whose flicks and hissing makes
    sane people go
    a running
    thru the
    door.

  5. TRUTH APPEARS IN STRANGE PLACES

    When the miser opened his pocketbook,
    the sound of birds
    readily
    rang out:
    cheap!

    copyright 2103, William Preston

  6. Good to see these nocturnal creatures already here. I love y’all. 😉

    Reminiscence

    Some
    moments
    open for
    one another
    like nesting dolls of possibility.
    I trace us back, cracking time like an egg,
    to locate the
    instant that
    changed our
    lives.

  7. Startling Morning Rose

    Robed in vibrancy, enwombed in beauty;
    Fashionable,
    She lit up
    My sky
    Red.

    The
    Grey clouds
    Fled away.
    Indisposed by
    By her color stealing the light of day.

  8. DISAPPOINTMENT

    Sometimes, in the course of human events,
    the best of friends
    fail to pass
    human
    tests.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  9. You all are so clever! Thanks for the laughs this morning, RJ…

    Two quickies from me on the way out the door…

    Walls
    close in
    when words cease.
    A poet dies
    from the inside, unable to cry out.

    Mommy mommy mommy mommy mommy
    I gotta go
    Oops – too late
    Never
    mind

  10. Fish
    Blank eyes
    Kissy lips
    Slippery skin
    Dad and me in a rowboat casting lines
    with these silly creatures and lunch in mind
    Oh, I got one!
    Reel it in
    Laughter
    Fish

  11. WEATHER REPORT

    Clouds
    are still
    hovering,
    loaded with rain,
    armed and ready to dampen my spirits.
    But the rain has no power over me
    because behind
    those clouds, the
    sun still
    shines.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  12. TRANSFORMATION

    Hues
    of gold,
    rust and red
    coat the trees and
    paint a delicate landscape of autumn.
    A gentle reminder, should we forget,
    the real beauty
    in this life
    withstands
    change.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  13. BEYOND THE CURTAIN,

    blue,
    bluer
    than heaven,
    backed by saxes.
    Sing Hallelujah! C’mon get happy.

    copyright 20113, William Preston

  14. THE GAME’S AFOOT

    Socks,
    asleep
    in their bin,
    wake up for fun
    when flip-flops retire for the season.
    These mischievous creatures take great delight
    in dryer games
    when they play
    hide and
    seek.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  15. Cat Atrophy

    I
    hear the
    chitty-chat
    of fat chipmunks
    as my old cat eyes them and sees a meal.
    Imagination manufactures zeal
    in house cats, born
    of instinct
    boredom
    sloth.

  16. Life

    Life
    A gift
    God given
    With plan attached
    All we have to do is choose the right path
    Nevertheless, God allows us to choose
    His way or ours
    I choose His
    Perfect
    Way

    =======================

    Death

    We
    All will
    Suffer death
    One of these days
    If we believe there is an afterlife
    It is what we choose while we are alive
    That determines
    Where we go
    After
    Death

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  17. COURAGE
    (a Double Tetractys)

    Hearts
    Tremble
    Fearlessly
    Love can do that
    See the leaves flutter in early springtime

    Who argues they tremble, fearing winter
    Hearts are like that
    Love beckons
    And they
    Beat

    #

  18. Cats
    Fur balls
    Companions
    Lazy and spoiled
    Love to lick your face once they clean their butt
    Couldn’t care less as long as they get fed
    Nevertheless
    They’re the best
    I love
    Cats

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  19. Assured

    I
    Love you
    Only you
    And no other
    You’re the reason for everything I do
    You’re my life, my breath, my forever
    You can always
    Be assured
    Of my
    Love

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  20. We are our Stories

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

  21. On

    On
    the beach
    I can hear
    the temptation—
    unfamiliar waters calling me.
    But with faith and hope, I believe that my
    new adventures
    will one day
    bring me
    home.
    This
    allows
    me to stretch
    the boundaries
    of my imagination, to go on.

    Ellen Knight 10.16.13
    write a “tetractys” poem for PB

  22. Leaving Home

    The
    leaves
    tremor, their
    teardrops glisten
    as they gently wave goodbye to mother.

  23. Law And Gospel

    Some-
    Where deep
    In everyone’s
    Innermost soul,
    God has written His holy, perfect law:
    Relentless voice, driving us to wit’s end;
    There’s no escape
    From the voice
    Except
    Death;

    Death
    That brings
    New life: a
    Drowning of old
    And resurrecting of the New Creature;
    Somewhere Christ will meet you, and then you will
    Finally know
    The meaning
    Of true
    Peace…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

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  25. By-Stander
    ~
    I overheard the bugler’s cry today.
    Sanctuary
    palpable-
    grief-filled.
    Spill
    down
    curtain;
    a life ends.
    Friends, family…
    Mourn the emotive call of taps today.
    ~
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013
    ~
    I happened to be at the church today tallying the tithes and helping stuff some envelopes when there was a funeral occurring…there was a bugle being played at the end…it brings such a flood of emotion, beautiful. My prayers are with those families today.

      • hmm it occurs to me that I wrote a reversed double Tetractys…is that “allowed?” 😉

        Thank you for the form Rj and the examples, gracious hosts…kudos to those that have responded. A common theme for me lately…lacking time to read. 😦 Season will cycle round again I’m sure. Happy writing and smiles to everyone.

        • Hannah – first of all, this was a beautiful poem. Thanks for sharing the backstory – it made for a slightly different understanding of the writing. As for reversing and other playful reworking of forms – why not? Rules are made to be broken (just so long as you know the rules ;D) and besides – poetic license goes a very long way!

    • This is a touching poem, and I think the form acts as an envelope for it; sort of a beginning and ending, very fitting for “Taps.”

      • Yes. Tender, touching, beautiful, poignant … thank you for this, Sweet Hannah. And thank you for taking time to help at your church, and to notice the heart-images of your surroundings. ❤

    • I had heard the story of “Taps” sometime ago and now each time I hear it, it holds a special meaning. Thanks for your poem,

  26. Mother And Daughter

    Mom/
    daughter–
    difficult
    relationship
    if mom holds unfulfilled dreams in her heart.

    She tries to live them vicariously
    through her daughter
    whose own dreams
    defy
    mom’s.

  27. Forget-Me-Not

    Snow
    White and
    Baby blue,
    Forget-me-nots
    Cluster around the side of the building,
    Looking up imploringly, pitifully,
    Admonishing
    Me to ne-
    Ver for-
    Get;
    How
    Could I
    Possibly
    Forget you, though?
    They don’t seem to realize how much you were
    A part of me, of my life; baby blue
    And white implore
    Me never
    To for-
    Get.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  28. BROGANS

    Dogs
    can hurt
    if old soles
    can scrape and pinch.
    When they do, I must visit the shoe store.

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  31. REST

    A
    golden
    harvest moon
    lights wearied fields,
    where wheat, corn, peas flurished ‘beath summer sun,
    then were marshaled to feed man before fields
    sleep beneath a
    blanketing
    winter’s
    snow.

  32. Blending the Past with the Present

    Once
    there were
    dinosaurs
    roaming the earth,
    perhaps even, right here in my backyard.
    Looking out the window I imagine
    the kids playing
    between legs
    the size
    of
    tree
    trunks, and
    I wonder
    how my house would
    stay in one piece and how many dishes
    would break from the vibrations of walking
    earthquakes, and I’m
    glad the past
    is not
    now.

  33. Is He a Keeper?

    One
    tear streaks
    down her cheek
    and he freezes
    in place. Unsure how to handle this, this
    situation, for they have only been
    dating a few
    days. To flee
    or stay?
    Stay.

  34. Short and Sweet (and Being Silly)

    I
    find it
    extremely
    impossible
    to keep poetic thoughts within five lines.
    (I
    did it!
    No, you failed.
    For you forgot
    to invert and you also wrote more lines.
    Damn! I guess I will have to go back to
    the start and start
    all over
    again.
    Damn.)

  35. Dust to Heaven

    One
    Ripe cell.
    Illegally
    Tells his colleagues
    To take their own lives…immediately.

    This
    Poem
    Is about
    Cancer that killed
    My Father March twentieth last year.

    May
    You rest
    In peace now.
    Valiantly,
    Returned to dust yet spirit in heaven.

    A
    Piece of
    You remains
    With all of us.
    In shaded memories, friends, family.

  36. Music Reaches Places No Hand Can Touch

    A
    Snatch of
    Song drifts past
    With the fall wind,
    Stirs a memory…sigh…tears can fall now…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  37. Unconscious

    Light-
    Headed,
    And then black…
    What is your mind
    Actually doing when you’re unconscious?

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

    I never really thought about this before, but I fainted the other day (still not sure why) and it was a really scary experience. It’s like your brain is just shut down for however long you’re out…weird.

  38. Sent For All

    My
    Spirit
    Cries aloud
    To spread the truth
    Of forgiveness and grace and salvation
    The truth of the One and Only Savior
    The King of Kings
    Lord of Lords
    Jesus
    Christ
    Sent
    To seek
    And to save
    A sinful world
    From eternal separation from God

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  39. The Fret of Man

    Man
    Mandate
    Mandated
    Mandatory
    Manufactured mandates that manage man
    Frequently frustrating fresh freethinkers
    Freezing free will
    Fragmenting
    Freedom
    Fret

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

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