For the In-form Poet, December 11th, we’re going to do a rhyming form again (oh quit yer whining!) with some metrics, for…uh…good measure (and yes, I said no whining!)

Per Terry Clitheroe’s wonderful The Poets Garret (

The Terza Rima is a wonderfully challenging poetry form of Italian origin. In the original form, there was no set meter although it is normal to keep a constant syllable count and line length. In the modern version the syllables are accentuated and usually iambic tetrameter or pentameter.

Lines 1 and 3 rhyme with each other, and line 2 sets the rhyme for the next stanza. There can be any number of tercets or three line stanzas and it is a matter of preference whether you link back to the first stanza or not. If there is no link back, it’s normal to terminate with a couplet that rhymes with the previous stanza.
The rhyme patterns are ….a. b. a…b. c. b… c. d. c. etc., finishing x. a. x.; or x. x. etc.

On Writing Terza Rima

I sit and stare at my half-penned schema
and ponder words which might ring like a song.
It’s rather hard to write Terza Rima

since every try seems to turn out wrong.
I wonder why my muse plays games with me
but gives no flash insight for which I long.

Am I taking this too seriously?
I sincerely hope that is not the case.
I think I’ve become delirious. Me.

Once again, I’ve spent too much time and space
since this form has proven to be my bane.
Nevertheless, I’ll try to show some grace.

As you can see, this is not a cinquain
but apropos of nothing, why complain?


White Horse Farms

On the drive home from Atlantic City,
(my grandparents moved there when I was small)
we stopped at a farm stand that looked pretty

inviting, with fresh fruit, as I recall.
My parents bought baskets of sugar plums,
peaches and summer berries from the stall.

“When the peaches are ripe, when the time comes,”
said my mom, “I’ll make a cobbler or pie
or a peach cake with cinnamony crumbs.”

Pleased, we got in the car and waved goodbye.
And suddenly, plums magically vanished…
devoured by my young sisters and I.

Matutolypea *

Does the AM put you in a mòód?
Do you wake up feeling fractious?
Should the early hours be eschewed?

Is awakening detractious:
one side more than the other side,
or is that just being factious?

There are those who say, “Woe, betide
folks who roll to the other side.”
Cranky might be the term applied.

On getting up, you must decide:
Will you be Jekyll…or be Hyde?

* The word, Matutolypea, per Worthless Word for the Day, means ‘waking up on the wrong side of the bed.’


And finally, if you really want a challenge, why not try combining forms, such as the example below (5-7-/5 Haiku/Terza Rima.)

This is the Season

This is the season
of bright scarves and rosy cheeks
and scents so pleasin’

‘cause we’ve waited weeks
for this time to (at long last)
come.  Small children’s shrieks

of joy waft right past
us, like the ribbons we use
to wrap up gifts.  Cast

your gaze, and your muse
will grant your wish, appeasin’
any sort of blues.

And that’s the reason
for all the hustle and fun.
This is the season…


So…are you up for the challenge?  I think you are.  Ready, set…start poeming!


Politically Unbecoming

We tend to see things differently,
But I would never stoop so low
As to treat you viciously.

I’d never thought of you as “foe,”
But that’s how you have treated me
Since partisan rifts began to grow.

I’d love to let ideas flow,
But you would just get mean so, no.

© copyright 2013,  Marie Elena Good



By mid-October, she gets this tingle
through to her fingers and her toes.
The little folk begin to mingle

in their merry workshop clothes.
And in the stables things get going,
that’s the way it always goes.

Just outside, the wind is blowing,
frigid hands, but warming hearts
and even though it’s really snowing

it belies the way this season starts.
So, in the kitchen – pots and pans
and dry goods stacked on sturdy carts.

Mrs. “C” makes no demands
as Christmas baking she begins
with her tender loving hands.

He’ll be busy filling his bins
with toys for all the girls and boys,
while her baked goods fill her tins,

her one of many Christmas joys.
They called her Crystal, Mrs. “C”,
an angelic voice amongst the noise,

the sound of much activity.
But, she is clear on why she’s here:
to celebrate Nativity.

Her given name, it surely fits her,
transparent as the day is long,
for Santa Claus can see through her,

her eyes – wide open, vision strong.
This “Peace on Earth” was her grand scheme
and when she’s right, things can’t go wrong.

While children close their eyes to dream
with blankets tucked beneath their jaws,
that is when Mrs. “C” will beam.

This “Lady in Waiting” for the cause,
listening for his sleigh bells jingle.
She is his Mrs. Santa Claus!

© copyright 2013,  Walter J Wojtanik


  1. Yes! I love this form – Shelley used it in his “Ode to the West Wind”, which has been one of my favorite poems since i read it this summer. Thanks, RJ! And well done, you two. 🙂

  2. Dreamcatcher

    The feathers move, swayed by the breath of dreams,
    Pale silvery strands, woven skillfully
    To form a net just where the darkness seems

    To be the darkest, shimmer magically,
    Catching all the evil breaths and holding,
    Whilst one by one the pleasant dreams slip free

    To fall softly through the feathers, bringing
    Peace and rest at last to her restless sleep,
    Softly caressing her closed eyes, soothing;

    And all the dark dreams vanish with the night,
    Broken by the warmth of morning sunlight…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2013

  3. Taking the form, as is often done, to 4 tercets + a couplet, you end up with a sonnet. Here’s one I prepared earlier:,in iambic pentameter.

    August Terza Rima

    A garden in the hush of eventide,
    all work has stopped, the buds have closed in sleep.
    A summer place, we saunter side by side.

    Above, a crescent moon is set to peep
    shyly on our bliss, both satisfied
    and sad the day is ending glorified.

    Reluctantly we turn our steps aside
    towards the setting sun that dips below
    the trees that line the riverside

    with red-streaked colour statement. It must go,
    to stay away for hours, just to preside
    on other summer places we don’t know.

    We turn again, prepared to go inside—
    as night must fall, the moon will still abide.

  4. This World

    This crazy world that we live in
    Ever changing as we go
    Always saturated with sin

    We ask what we don’t know
    For help to make it through
    And not get caught in sin’s flow

    But no matter what we do
    We are weak and easily misled
    Sins disguise fools me and you

    And this world will fill the head
    With lies, deceit, and false rewards
    All that leads to eternal dread

    We must not let this world defeat us
    We must pray God will always guide us

    © 2013 Earl Parsons

  5. Winter Walk

    The wind is bitter
    my face red and raw,
    snow blinds with glitter,

    my toes need to thaw.
    I walk on, shiver
    wind chill, winter’s flaw…

    over the river
    not to Grandma’s house
    sun light, a sliver

    feel like cursing spouse.
    “Go get some fresh air”
    he said, I just grouse.

    Feeling naked, bare,
    the wind slides through me
    with frozen eyes, glare.

    Home! I bend one knee
    kiss the carpet, sip
    hot chocolate, just me.

    Toes thaw and wiggle
    sigh, snooze, I wriggle.

  6. I can’t do these things without lots of wiggle room

    Ice Fog

    The sunrise ice fog has…done whatever
    ice fogs do. Evaporated. Sublimed
    into the bottomless morning, and weather

    phenomenal Dali rose up and climbed
    out on every warty hackberry branch,
    with a fine horsehair brush of white primer.

    Left even the thinnest, highest twigs drenched
    and stark against the over-blue cold sky,
    sticks portrayed in their silk unmentionables
    and frost lashes framing a stained glass eye.

  7. It looks like many of us had winter on the brain this morning…


    You blanket my walkway with snow and with ice
    Make walking a too treacherous adventure
    The idea of even just checking for mail is not nice

    And walking the dog feels like an indebted indenture
    Yet falling from the sky you look all pure and light
    And I find I am hard-pressed to find censure

    Til I’m flat on my back staring at the moon bright
    With cold entering my bones, and my nose running too
    And ice freezing my rump off, then I am hating your sight

    There is really not much I find to like about you
    In fact I wish you would hurry and vacate this place
    When you’re here, there’s nothing much anyone can do

    So go now, take off, vamoose, get out of my face
    Take your coldness, your snow, your ice, leave no trace.

  8. “In Welcome”

    Our door is always open in welcome
    to you and all your witty friends
    though our paths traverse so seldom,

    Whenever joy or trial of life sends
    you round our quaint and sleepy lane
    come rest before our hearth and spend

    your bliss or worries. Here, you reign.
    Here, we’ll tend to you—A tune to hum
    and croon of love or soothe your pain

    Away. Too soon you’ll leave this silent
    nest basking in your enduring scent.


    The season comes around once more
    when cold and snow are welcome friends
    and wreaths and lights emboss the door

    as though the winter makes amends
    for leaden skies and slicing frost,
    and here and there one sees some trends

    that friendliness has not been lost
    despite a world of selfishness;
    that love, perhaps, can stem the cost

    that hate puts paid in strains and stress.
    The season comes around once more;
    it’s time to shake out love’s best dress.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

  10. Merrily we Drive Along

    A doctor’s appointment, wouldn’t you know
    To another city we have to drive
    Merrily on our way we’ll go!

    We watch the weather radar live
    It shows a growing blob of green
    The temperature has taken a downward dive.

    Now doesn’t that seem rather mean?
    To take a person who is suffering pain
    On a tiresome journey in an old machine?

    There is nothing we can expect to gain
    From highways, journeys, doctors, cars –
    But we will travel, just the same.

  11. For the picture:

    Japanese Garden

    Japanese Garden – white sand, strictly raked.
    Grey stones, perfectly placed for peacefulness
    that bring soothing thoughts, infinity shaped.

    Its stillness calls me to linger and stanch
    the hue and cry that bleeds a person dry.
    So, I sit, am quiet, contemplate a branch

    of bonsai. Heed the granite’s solemn sigh.
    Feel the calm seep through my skin, enter in
    the bliss of this and watch my soul fly high.

    Japanese garden, or often called Zen,
    yet my heart praises God and breathes amen.

  12. Christmas in New York

    That smell of chestnuts in the air,
    those soft, salted pretzels heating.
    Breath escapes like white smoke where-

    ever folks offer their greeting.
    Windows come alive as stories might,
    give children magic moments, fleeting.

    A New York Christmas viewed at night
    with tree lights twinkling says all is right.

  13. First Seeds

    Seed catalogues arrive during first snows,
    enticing me to cast my lot with spring,
    when outside skies put on such wintry shows

    of snow, sleet, ice, encasing everything,
    trees weighted down with winter, half asleep;
    even the perching birds refuse to sing.

    I bundle up, stay warm as snows grow deep,
    quilting the resting land with fluffy white.
    Perusing catalogues, how my thoughts leap

    to future sunny days dazzled with light;
    I watch buds bursting, shoots break through the earth,
    as floral visions blossom in my sight.

    I flip through promises, craving seeds’ birth,
    planting my garden first within my mind—
    you’d think such daydreams sprouted into worth.

    Such cheerful images leave cold behind.
    I doze, the dreams I’ve planted start to grow
    in fertile fields I’d know if I were blind.


    At last, city streets, for months, white with snow,
    green-treat our eyes and intoxicate us
    With lilac scent. Spring soothes with birdsong now.

    At last the spring! An end to winter’s flush.
    We vow that we will walk each afternoon,
    keep ourselves in good shape, refuse to rush.

    If only time would not bring spring to ruins!
    Close her ticking eyes, keep other seasons
    Far from the good magic spring is doing.

    The flowers waken! Each one a reason
    To celebrate life. Oh, dear God be praised!
    It is the kind spring He finds most pleasing.

    Imagine a world filled with springtime play:
    No snow nor dying leaves, just joy-filled days!



    The ground is hard again; the oaks are bare
    and farolitos paint adobe walls
    with flashing beams of light that hover there

    as though to bless the cold with lucent calls
    for warmth. The whispered snow is falling slow
    upon the earth; its wisps of white enthrall

    the very air, and silence lends its glow
    as stars observe, and smile. This is the way
    the winter starts: in quiet and snow.

    Peace is a presence here; a passion play
    in black and white, enhanced by the gentle prayer
    of farolitos, calm with grace, yet gay.

    copyright 2013, William Preston

    • Very nice William…fine work…I particularly like “farolitos, calm with grace, yet gay”…oh, and the title…I love well-thought out titles and yours is one of those…

    • Had to look the word up. Seems a “farolito is the preferred term in Santa Fe and other parts of northern New Mexico, while the decorations are often referred to as luminarias elsewhere.” Thanks for the term. I’ve learned two from this prompt now with Matutolypea.
      I love this “enhanced by the gentle prayer of farolitos, calm with grace, yet gay.” Lovely, peaceful poem.


    How does this happen to us
    One minute everything’s fine
    Then suddenly there’s a big fuss

    It’s as if I’ve crossed some line
    Drawn with invisible ink
    Etched on this heart of mine

    Did I miss your nod or your wink
    Was I lost in thoughts of my own
    Or is it not really as bad as I think

    You just need some time all alone
    It’s not as if we’re joined at the hip
    Perhaps I imagined I heard you groan

    So I’ll let it go, again, let the time slip
    Pretend nothing’s wrong and maybe
    Nothing will be, maybe we’ll be able to flip

    Back to okay, if not happy, at least peachy keen
    We’ve been here before, you know what I mean

  17. Pingback: Of Watching | Metaphors and Smiles

  18. Of Watching
    Cardinals, a bright pair
    busy in a game of chase
    flitting up limbed stairs-
    a jovial pace
    sends them to the cedar tree
    my eyes quickly trace
    as swift female flees
    and her muted feathers blend.
    Rich antiquity,
    this bird- watching trend
    brings a meditative pause,
    this quiet time spent
    beauty as its cause
    it sure can mend hurried hearts.
    See beyond the flaws,
    hold the worthy parts;
    cast one’s cares in silent light,
    a new hope-filled start.
    Finding peace despite…
    in whisper of perfect prayer-
    found, in crimson flight.
    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2013
    This one’s for my grandmother. ♥

  19. Late to the party but here’s mine.

    Unmet Debt

    Collections of memories—priceless possessions
    Of graces and mercies and all of God’s blessings
    The processes of life, of prayers and confessions

    A three-in-one Deity greatly impressing
    From trinkets, to cathedrals, we seek to return
    His favors but I believe we’re merely guessing

    His creation is speaking so people can learn
    They’re messengers sent to proclaim past what we hear
    With our ears but with our hearts and souls we discern

    The bonus He gave us from a heart of good cheer
    Birthed straight from the Father’s bountiful compassion
    The point was and is Jesus, then, there, now and here

    We still try to repay by thanks in some fashion
    Our lives like an envelope of praise and passion

Comments are closed.