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


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 (http://www.thepoetsgarret.com/sonnet/byron.html) 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

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  1. elishevasmom on said:

    I just LOVE the word prestidigitation! Nicely done, Ladies!
    I’m just on my way to bed, I’ll back in the morning to see what I can do 😀

  2. Wow what absolutely perfect examples you both have penned. The slight ramble of the pattern matched the ambling nighttime stroll of your two lovers, RJ. And Marie, your solid and certain conclusion of the “trust, not try” dilemma left me with a sweet sense of peace with the admission of our poetic limits.

  3. RJ and Marie, you’ve wowed me again. Wonderful pieces.

    Autumn Light

    When days are shorter, I must honor night
    who takes the day by force in afternoon,
    when shadows take the sunny lawn too soon.
    I fix my eyes on sunsets, vivid, bright.
    There’s something in the dying of the light
    that gives those final rays such scarlet hues
    until the whole horizon bleeds with clues
    to mysteries that darkness can excite.

    The light is fiercer as it dies away
    as if it fears it cannot come again,
    as if it has one final thing to say
    to give us courage, knowing human pain.
    I watch rose petals fill the setting day
    as moonlight rises like an old refrain.

  4. BYRONIC SONNET (enough to make me weep)

    You’d think a sonnet was just a sonnet,
    each one the same poetic form
    with fourteen lines ever the norm.
    Not so, further study on it
    reveals variety tectonic:
    with use of convoluted rhyme
    or no rhyme at all, a heinous crime
    Lines broken into octet, sestet
    in Italian or Petrarchan style
    or twelve lines plus a rhyming couplet
    like William Shakespeare’s – quite a trial.
    Decide which, and work upon it –
    with dedication you’ll compile
    a thesis on the forms of sonnets.

    ALSO POSTED AT http://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/a-byronic-sonnet/

  5. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    Meg, Amen… RJ: Again, I see a big children’s book page… :)!!

  6. No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
    As I have seen in one Autumnal face… John Donne, “Elegy IX: The Autumnal”

    Autumn’s Grace

    How do I love thee golden autumn day,
    your sun a gentler distance from the earth,
    your warmth a softer touch, your rays a dearth
    of burning heat that stream from clouds and play
    upon the leaves in mellow yellow waves?
    Your brazen beauty takes my breath away.

    And even on the days when heaven weeps
    and drips from sodden leaves in dulcet tones
    I look around at God’s creative sweep,
    His handiwork in plant and beast and stone,
    and in my breast there grows a reverence deep
    for nature’s gift of beauty that I’ve known.

  7. William Preston on said:


    A worn-down house stands by the waterside.
    Though cold and dark the winter might yet be;
    though storms are forming on the frowning sea,
    this mansion floods the sky and sand and tide
    with smiles that might be sun, for here abide
    the trace of words that loosed the grace of glee
    forever. Here was hospitality
    so blatant that it never deigned to hide,
    and here I come, as I have come before,
    to taste once more the long-forgotten joy
    of families that maintained here a store
    of love, ever ready to deploy
    when strangers came. Abaft this shearing shore,
    the house seems still a home, and I, a boy.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    NB: The “Sonnet to Genevra” of Byron has the traditional octave of the Petrarchan form (abbaabba), but the different sestet as described. According to Clitheroe, it’s the sestet that makes this form unique, so can I infer that the octave doesn’t necessarily need to have the variant (abbaacca) for the form to be considered Byronic?

  8. RJ Clarken on said:


    “Everything is a subject. Every subject has a rhythm. To feel is its raison d’être. The photograph is a fixed moment of such raison d’être, which lives on in itself.” ~Andre Kertesz

    A fifty-year old snapshot still
    has life within it, caught in time.
    There is a rhythm; there’s a rhyme.
    And it should hold that magic ‘til

    the scrapbook’s closed. But never will
    it be quite closed: yes, I believe
    in tales a photograph can weave
    with just one look: a snapshot quill,

    a raison d’être in a frame.
    ‘Though it is faded, it’s not gone,
    And even if each subject’s name
    with age might be a bit withdrawn
    from memory, it can exclaim,
    “I am still here. I will live on.”


    • WmPreston on said:

      I think this is a magnificent poem,and it calls to mind something I’ve often thought: that, save for a dimension, people (or other animals) in old pictures could, at any time, begin to move. One picture that comes to mind as i write that is of a horse killed at Antietam:


      • RJ Clarken on said:

        I just read the article and saw the picture to which you refer (among the others.) All war casualty pictures are disturbing (or else we may have lost our humanity) but the horse photograph was particularly haunting because it is so hard to tell in that moment whether it is actually alive or not.

        It is probably why I prefer to take photographs (as opposed to video – although they both have their place in the broader scheme of things) because I like the idea of capturing that one moment in time – and in that moment, the subject is alive and has a story to tell.

    • janeshlensky on said:

      Both well penned and true. Photographs speak volumes of what was…and therefore is. Great one, RJ!

    • Just beautiful, RJ!

    • Henrietta Choplin on said:

      RJ!! CAPTURED!! I don’t think that I will ever forget your poem when I look at photographs… this is Gorgeous!!

  9. The Leaves Fell

    The tree was yellow, it cast its own light,
    As glorious as Aslan’s golden mane,
    Luminous as stars in their lovely train,
    Outshining by far the brightest moonlight;
    I gazed up at the splendid yellow bright
    Of the boughs, full of leaves, far above me,
    Waving and rust’ling like a golden sea,
    I don’t think I’d ever seen such a sight;

    But Autumn came and has almost passed, wind
    Shook the boughs, rattled them till the leaves fell;
    Now the tree is bare, if you look you’ll find
    All the leaves in a golden-brown heap, still
    Clinging to their tree, hoping the wind
    Will leave them now that they’re sad and they fell…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  10. A Sonnet to Autumn Love

    Though of the autumn fires thy love was born,
    She had a childlike carefree countenance.
    She bore by will or by pure happenstance
    A strong resemblance to a summer morn.
    Until the last leaf off the branch was torn,
    And trees, revealed, stood like the naked truth.
    Thy love hang low her head, and her lost youth
    And her elusive happiness did mourn,
    Before her shrine of phantom dreams did bow,
    As heavy clouds were gathering above.
    The first frown lay upon thy love’s fair brow,
    But in the whisp’ring rain the voices of
    The ancient times she heard, that called her, “Thou
    Shalt live forever.” And she smiled, thy love.

  11. RJ Clarken on said:

    Wow. Shakespeare meets Byron. What a lovely, ancient/modern intersection.

  12. WmPreston on said:


    Now, autumn gilds the land:
    the swallows flee the sky
    but still the cardinals fly
    from bush to forest stand;
    the sun does not command
    such power, now it’s low,
    but still its rays bestow
    a gradient of grand.
    I watch the colors pall
    upon the distant sea
    where fall has yet to fall
    to serendipity,
    and ponder: all in all,
    all Earth seems pleased to be.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  13. Will There Really be a Morning?
    From Emily Dickinson – “Will There Really be a Morning?”

    Will there really be a morning?
    This darkest of all nights
    That hides the stars; their light
    Might have blinked a warning.

    Light a candle to ease our yearning
    A beacon that will gleam
    So far that it will seem
    A refuge from the storming.

    It is too late to prepare
    To purchase more supplies
    Shop the markets where
    The thrifty and the wise
    Who would never dare
    To remain beneath these skies.

  14. Marjory MT on said:


    As steady rain and winds land sweep,
    tree branches dance, set leaves to flight
    to cover ground in autumn bright
    while temperatures do downward creep.

    The squirrels gather nuts to keep
    in nests from which they‘ll seldom stray
    ‘til sunny days appear in May
    when once again o’er land they’ll leap

    to start anew the quest to bring
    into their nests all they can squeeze,
    fill every nock up to the brim,
    against the coming winter freeze,
    then settle down, both her and him
    to spend the months in quiet ease.

    (A Byron’s Sonnet)

    We’ve reached a point where words have done their part
    To teach each generation right from wrong.
    We read the holy books to make us strong
    But words of Scripture rarely touch our hearts.
    The sins that we commit are off the charts.
    It’s time to back the words with actions now,
    Replace the tears with sweat across the brow.
    This moment is the ideal time to start.

    Instead of saying, “I love my neighbor,”
    Define the word love by showing kindness,
    Regard the effort as joy, not labor,
    Avoid what’s prevalent in life: blindness
    To what matters. Good deeds win the favor
    Of a loving God. It’s how we find bliss.


  16. RJ Clarken on said:

    Calling it a Day

    “We’re taking a hiatus…I don’t know if we’re calling it a day.” ~Shirley Manson

    ‘Creative differences,’ the band mates said.
    It was a fancy name for all those crass fights:
    lately full of angry days and booze-fueled nights.
    Fame, most likely, went to each musical head.
    The tabloids reported the band was now dead.
    But the fans – oh the fans – all they wanted was more.
    Reality? No one knew the truth for sure
    but a lot of strange rumors were out there, widespread,
    like: the drummer slept with the front man’s wife,
    and frequently, the bassist’s comitatus
    was responsible for a lot of the strife.
    Regardless, it seemed like the band’s future status
    was like one of their tunes: a day in the life.
    So, they went into indeterminate hiatus.


  17. elishevasmom on said:


    It all could have been predicted.
    She hardly knew him at all,
    when he moved in that fall.
    She didn’t know he’d been convicted.
    And yet, she’d still been conflicted.
    But she realized something was wrong
    when the landlord said she’d go along
    with him when he was evicted.

    It turned out that he was a stalker,
    and that he was wanted abroad.
    Because he was such a smooth talker
    he’d had no problem selling his fraud.
    But now, he’d be no more a walker.
    For that, even she could applaud.

    Ellen Knight 10.30.13
    write a “Byron’s Sonnet” for PB

  18. If you’re a praying person, please spare a prayer for my friend Celia Leal who was injured in a car accident on Friday and has not awakened from surgery. So frightening.


    We cannot get our Celia to wake,
    and no one seems to know what has gone wrong.
    The chatter is that she’s been out too long,
    that even anesthesia would make
    her drowsy but a while. For goodness’ sake,
    what causes her to linger in a dream,
    relying on her doctors’ healing scheme?
    I don’t know how much more her folks can take.

    We stand and look at her for hours on end.
    We listen to her breathe and smooth her hands.
    We talk in whispers, pray that God will send
    her back to us and that she understands
    how her hiatus from us could upend
    our deepest thoughts and fears, our smallest plans.

  19. One Road

    There is but one road that we should follow
    Though many roads exist for us to choose
    Some so tempting most humans can’t refuse
    Some intriguingly awesome, don’t you know
    Only one that leads to where we should go
    This road that leads to an eternal place
    Can only be walked by those saved by grace
    The road I speak of is straight and narrow
    Not hidden, it does cross all other roads
    Chances arise for this path you should take
    Of course you have free will; God told you so
    Get on or get off; a choice you must make
    Better on, for the Lord will take your load
    One road of many; don’t make a mistake

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  20. Henrietta Choplin on said:


    To wake this night from dreams and dwell
    On drops of grace held in my hand
    A flower’s night-in-bloom, Jasmine
    Its fragrance seals my heart, its spell
    Is delicate, I know it well
    Inhale this charm, intoxicate
    Lull me to sleep, for dreams his wake
    Has left a very fragile shell.

    Then trust that He will soothe my soul
    Envelop it with guiding light
    For there is nowhere else to go
    This grace, I pray, to bring me sight
    And travel down a path I know
    With Him who makes the day from night.

  21. Away at the Lake

    Hills hid the tiny fishing town from view.
    Early fall, I took a much-needed break.
    The sky glowed blue over a rippled lake.
    Wood paddles dipped and moved the red canoe.
    Hemlocks huddled on shore as if they knew
    the mountain would not block the coming storm.
    The sky darkened, whitecaps began to form
    as the air chilled and a whistling wind blew.

    The canoe sidled up to the long dock.
    My nephew lent his strong and friendly hand.
    Friends had clam chowder cooking in the crock.
    The tinkling chimes and thunder formed a band,
    the sound of rain more pleasant than a clock.
    We chatted as we waited in the stand.

  22. Watch and Learn

    Our children learn from watching what we do
    While we provide for them their every need
    They imitate our every word and deed
    In their minds, and often in front of you
    We’re so proud when they do the things we do
    We often laugh when us the imitate
    We clap and cheer as we they replicate
    But when they go too far, what do we do

    We gladly take the credit when they’re good
    Our children have been learning from the best
    Sometimes they do things we don’t think they should
    Sometimes they imitate things we detest
    No matter, we must teach them as we would
    And try each day to be our very best

    (C) 2013 Earl Parsons

  23. ejparsons on said:


    Remember the days of Dippity-Doo
    Green gooey liquid that came in a tube
    Squeezed into the palm in a greasy goob
    Applied to the hair; formed into a doo
    Combed into place before it set like glue
    Ten minute wait to make sure it took hold
    The mirror was proof you’re so cool you’re cold
    Just wait till your date laid her eyes on you

    Oh, Dippity-Doo, what a friend you were
    You kept my doo perfect all through the night
    Oh, Dippity-Doo, how I remember
    You gave me such coolness, all was so right
    Oh, Dippity-Doo, such good times for sure
    No need for you now; my head’s shiny bright

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  24. Forgiven Season

    Why should I believe in nature’s rift?
    That divides sea from shining sea?
    From ripened tree, dire green has stripped, what remnant lies for me?
    The greater light-bearer disgraces day, greatly misbestowing her gift
    From every tree we may freely eat, but in waveless grains, what shall I sift?
    Astral rays slim, shunned, sternly turned away
    Our shining seas shine no more, our pilgrims no longer come to play
    brazen winds bring frozen slumber, barren trees wander adrift

    Despite trembling season’s fall from such astounding grace
    hunting wildly her chief rouge blooms, stalking her cosmetic blush
    forgiveness is a virtue obtained, regardless of it’s stoic face
    beauteous remembrance of chilling greens, when old man winter hushed
    Wandering anew in trotting thoughts, cadence of mind apace
    Tis’ but a season of slumber now, when spring recoils foe, and running vistas plush

  25. What Nature Provides

    A place of bountiful beauty unfolds
    on a stroll taken though nature’s gift.
    Train your eyes to linger and slowly shift
    from green to fiery reds and golds.

    Autumn is upon us, a joy to behold.
    Catch a leaf as it sails, starting to curl
    Note the shape, and veins like a palm unfurled.
    Some say a leaf caught prevents winter colds.

    Let your dog burrow in a pile of leaves,
    listen, you can almost hear him giggling.
    When he emerges he’s likely to sneeze.

    Acorns fall, squirrel gather, and finches sing
    Each season is special, but I’ll take Fall, please,
    as will my dogs, you can see their tails wiggling.

  26. Blackberry days are over…

    In The Orchard

    Long grass swaying lazily in the breeze,
    Leaves rustling, covering the hard ground
    With a blanket of gold warmth all around
    You and I: in the orchard at our ease;
    Heady scent of pears carried by the breeze,
    Sweetening breath, hanging thick in the air
    As the fruit lies here, there, and everywhere,
    And we share one big one beneath the trees.

    You smile, and the whole world gets brighter,
    I blush, and you steal a quick kiss from me,
    You wink and my heart palpitates faster,
    I smile timidly, you’ve captured me;
    We linger here as the sky gets darker,
    In the orchard together, you and me.

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  27. Wobbly little thing

    The Placement Test

    His ears being filled with what must have been song,
    the man from the UPS truck slid my books
    across the porch, not pausing to knock.
    He seemed to be singing, but painfully wrong.

    When you rest on the square where you belong
    you can sound schizophrenic to the human world,
    but the bees understand you, and starlings curl
    in flock corkscrews for you: a crown of notes on wings.

    I’d do badly, running packages up stairs
    and jog-plodding back to the brown truck.
    The universe wouldn’t spin for me from there.
    But. When the wind left a peck of lady bugs
    outside my door like sparks from a spotted fire
    the UPS man’s song came, clearly, back.

  28. Excellent writes PB friends Walt, Marie and RJ!

  29. ejparsons on said:

    Halloween Tonight

    Tonight the ghosts and goblins walk the streets
    In search of lights on porches, decks, or doors
    Tonight there will be ghouls with blood and gore
    A clown with big red shoes upon his feet
    And princes and princesses out for treats
    Ironman, Thor, The Hulk and Superman
    The Good Witch, the Bad Witch and Peter Pan
    Flashlight holding parents walking the beat

    Keep watch, you little goblins, ghosts and clowns
    For Halloween brings out spirits of old
    Remember where you go to look around
    Be wary if you should feel something cold
    You may be walking on their hallowed ground
    Fear not, just laugh and that will break their hold

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  30. Thought I’d try another

    A Song Before the Dead Walk

    A palsied mocker-man, the leprechaun appeared
    –sudden as a cockroach–in the kitchen. Not a please.
    Not a pardon the intrusion. Not an offer of the least
    ort of gold. He had cobwebs in his beard,
    a buckle hatband, buckled shoes, a thirst for beer
    rude as a barrel. He didn’t drink, so much as spill
    his belly full. Or talk, but he intoned like a will
    and testament: roundly, loudly, ominous. Unclear.
    Why the mocker-man, here? And today of all days?
    When the dawn doesn’t rustle a pig-latin leaf,
    afraid our innocence will hear if it betrays
    that behind the candy corn lurk darker treats.
    The leprechaun should not have come, to play
    the little lord now, by day. What’s waiting in the night?

  31. Damsels and Beasts

    Small beasts yell and scurry about, dirty
    creatures with no refinement in their ways,
    eyes just slits, with a wild and wicked glaze –
    but you, you are brave and wise, so purtee
    you will slay dragons, before your thirty.
    Tears be gone and snap your spine into place
    you need to have poise and show them some grace,
    for beasts grow up, they change, make a sortie
    upon your heart, turn your head, even flirt!
    Don’t shake your head, I know of what I speak,
    they may be hellions now, covered in dirt
    but someday they will turn your head, you’ll peak.
    Some guy will hold your hand, erase the hurt
    and you’ll deserve that kiss upon your cheek.

  32. It’s not pentameter, but maybe that’s OK?

    Leaf Storm

    It’s raining leaves. A whirling wind
    brings downpours, yellow, red, and gold
    aflutter, as if trees have sold
    their clothes to earth. They shake and send
    a flood from limbs that sway and bend
    and everywhere the puddles form
    from fall leaves flowing in a storm
    until bare trees have none to lend.

    How many years have I watched leaves
    forsake their green lives on the trees?
    Still my mind only half perceives
    how Nature prepares for a freeze.
    I watch and still my old heart grieves
    at fleeting beauty on a breeze.

  33. William Preston on said:


    When, in the course of human thought,
    a caveman drew a running bear,
    he looked at what he’d rendered there
    and thought that then perhaps he ought
    to make the bear seem great, and fraught
    with utter, grim ferocity.
    He gave it legs, in groups of three,
    so we might praise his brave onslaught,
    and since that time mankind has seen
    tall tales related. Some reach the sky,
    for men, it seems, all like to preen,
    embellishing with fib and lie
    all stories told, both grand and mean.
    All from a bear that wandered by.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  34. Playing with Robert’s prompt (appearing) I wrote a sonnet about disappearing:


    I thought you whispered something in my ear
    and leaned in closer, not to miss a sound,
    but you were gone before I turned around
    I never even saw you disappear.
    Misunderstanding is my haunting fear;
    perhaps you didn’t say a word at all,
    no sentiments, no promises to call,
    no reassurance that you will appear
    beside me once again to plea your case.
    Perhaps, in fact, you’ve let me be misled
    believing I saw something cross your face
    that looked like love, on which I fed
    my hope, my fantasy of your embrace.
    But if it never lived, love can’t be dead.

    N. Posey

  35. “Sonnet To John”

    Since you are gone, my days are not the same
    although the sun still kindly lifts its head
    and offers me a soothing from dark dread
    my night returns, reminding me of shame.
    Since you are gone, I’ve taken on the blame:
    that curse of one’s companion taken soon,
    before their time. They took you before noon.
    Diminished is my light; though heart inflamed.

    Since you are gone, this mystery still glowers:
    how I, so close to you, still linger here.
    The laughter from your eyes that you did shower.
    I close my eyes, remem`bring all the cheer.
    No matter nature’s kindness, warmth or flowers,
    my days now covered as the tented bier.

    • This is a beautiful tribute, but a hard read. I don’t want to cross any lines, but I read about your very special marriage and about your husband’s passing, when I visited your website. Marriages like yours are one in a million, such an inspiration. You’ve been very blessed. And you write beautiful poetry, Jacqueline.

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