Octameter, originated by Shelley A. Cephas, is a poem made up of 16 lines divided into two stanzas of 8 lines each. Each line has a syllable count of 5. The set rhyme scheme is: a/b/c/d/e/d/f/d g/h/c/g/i/g/d/d. This seems a convoluted rhyme scheme, so poetic license will not be revoked if you use your judgement on using a different pattern, or forgoing the scheme all together, I’ll have no problem with it. We’re about writing poems here, so get to it!





Gnarled and twisted hands
calloused and sore, more
used to hard work than
to life’s sheer kindness;
blood, sweat and tears, mere
offerings. Blindness
to those who shirk work,
their thinking, mindless.

A gentle man, he
gives of his worn heart,
more used to love than
life’s absurdity.
His mangled hands touch
her soft purity.
Her love is timeless;
fills him with fineness.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2014



Let us resurrect
when to use affect,
or to use effect.
Which should we select?
Which should we reject?
How do we detect
which one is correct?
Let me interject:

Let the verb “affect;”
impact noun “effect.”
Now let us inspect:
What do we detect?
Action of affect
generates effect,
just as we’d expect!

© Marie Elena Good, 2014

226 thoughts on “INFORM POETS – OCTAMETER

  1. Wow – cool form and both of you – Walt and Marie Elena have kicked us off with two very different takes on the form…both of them unique (no surprise there) and completely engaging. Still really tickled to see you here this week Marie Elena!

  2. Reborn

    Let me let go and
    Fly with the phoenix;
    Let me lift up my
    Heart from before me,
    Dead in its ashes,
    To be reborn free
    And devoid of shame
    And pain and grieving;

    Let me feel the tears
    As the phoenix weeps;
    Let me feel her cry
    As my torn heart hears
    The healing slip from
    The golden bird’s tears;
    Let my heart soar free
    On the phoenix wings…

    © Copyright Erin Kay Hope – 2014

  3. You guys never let up, do you? Always pushing, pushing, crushing us together in a mill to extract the poetic from the chaff. Hmm, we’ll see whether I’ll have any grains of ability to bring to the mill in the morning. 🙂

  4. Two poems of such contrast! Walt yours is beautiful – and bows to the prescribed form. Marie, you have touched on some of my pet grammatical bugbears! Clever.

    So far as the prompt goes, I understand Octameter to means lines of 8 beats or feet, and I once wrote a sonnet in iambic octameter.

    My brain is to fuzzled to attempt Shelley Capas’s convoluted rhyme sceheme. Forgive me.


    At a soccer game
    I watch, stultified:
    they run back and forth,
    sweating fast and free,
    all to no avail;
    both the goaltenders
    seem amused to be
    spectators. Ah, such

    I am bored to tears,
    longing for a book;
    running south to north
    for naught but arrears
    is like watching bugs
    swirling in stale beers.
    It’s no game for me;
    give me back the fee.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

    • Oops, I goofed. Let’s try this:


      At a soccer game
      I watch, stultified:
      they run back and forth,
      sweating fast and free,
      all to no avail;
      the goalies can be
      spectators. Ah, such

      I am bored to tears,
      longing for a book;
      running south to north
      for naught but arrears
      is like watching bugs
      swirling in stale beers.
      It’s no game for me;
      give me back the fee.

    • i can relate to this sentiment, Bill. All that running–you’d think they were on fire, and for what? To kick a small ball into a goal net. If that’s all they wanted, why not just put them so many meters from the goal and let each man have a try at getting it past the tender. Much easier. 🙂 Love this, btw.

  6. Waly, your poem feels like a soothing mountain brook. Marie, yours ought to be in an English book (or, as I guess it’s called these days, English Language Arts). Such fun.

    • Thanks Bill! I’ll add it to the far-too-many I should polish up and submit somewhere. 😉


    Freedom does not mean
    doing what I please,
    but independence
    does mean being free:
    free to follow rules;
    free to pay a fee;
    free, even, to loose

    That is the notion:
    independence means
    free choices, and hence
    no king, no potion
    can bestow freedom
    for, like the ocean,
    freedom cannot be
    anything but free.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

  8. Walt, your poem made me sigh with its beauty, a portrait in words. Marie Elena, I laughed all the way through your poem.

    I am always amazed at those of you who write such wonderful poems at this early hour.

    • Thanks Darlene!

      As for the early hour, that’s part of the beauty of hosting … you get the prompt ahead of time. 😉

  9. Handwritten Knight-Errantry

    “I dip my pen in the blackest ink, because I’m not afraid of falling in my inkpot.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

    I love to vary
    my colors of ink
    not out of some fear:
    rather, adventure.
    See, Emerson knew.
    There’s no indenture
    he would ever bear;
    and even censure

    will not stop my words.
    Give me pen and ink:
    I’ll strip the veneer
    in whole or in thirds.
    Ideas pour forth
    from all the cupboards.
    I crave no quencher:
    it’s not calenture.*

    *Calenture was a tropical fever believed to cause delirium.


  10. BTW…Walt and Marie – I loved both of your poems. Thanks for the new form (I did not know of this one!) Each of you gave me a bit of insight into how this form should work. Wow.


    The ocean rolls in.
    Foam covers my toes,
    wet sand grabs my feet.
    I’m locked in this place.
    My lifeless statue,
    with sad, empty face
    and nothing to feel,
    refuses embrace.

    The sea sprays its mist.
    An angry sun burns.
    Denying defeat,
    my dry eyes insist
    that nothing is wrong.
    Yet letdowns persist.
    I hide in this space
    with no saving grace.

    © Susan Schoeffield

  12. Pingback: Weathered | Words With Sooze

  13. Finally got something done for this. It’s fun to practice fiction in poetry and that’s what I did here. It was a chance to write a character I hadn’t tried before. Back later for comment making.

    Cliché Ending

    You are my sunshine,
    my clear blue sky kind,
    and when you say “’Bye,”
    wild tears erupt, flow
    amid memories
    in my mind aglow
    with you and how we’d
    track efforts to grow.

    You were my sunshine,
    my fertilizer,
    emphasis on lie.
    You were always mine,
    from start to finish;
    beware—I will whine
    when you say “Let go,”
    and I must say no.

  14. Okay, I should be editing my book due on July 1st. But I had fun with one of my favorite images and hope to share a smile with you as well


    Never a box a cat
    Does not love, nor a
    Bag left unexplored
    Whiskers quivering
    Measure for green light
    Head first, paws on springs
    Legs hugging body
    As snug as bird’s wings

    Dangling tail swishes
    Warning to leave alone
    Or face his claws in war
    Backing out, his wish
    demands more comfort
    Legs first, not too squished
    around him, tail swings
    In box, cat is king


    What sense in asking
    how to live long lives.
    why some reach old age
    we don’t have a clue.
    It’s not a question
    we can answer to.
    It’s just not the same
    for me and for you.

    How did we survive
    the storms of our youth,
    the tempests that raged,
    how we stayed alive,
    walked around landmines,
    despite the pain, thrived?
    One thing’s surely true:
    The Lord alone knew!



    My fairy tale dream
    of forever love
    lasted a season
    of orange colors
    a sizzling autumn
    with minty flavors
    jasmine scented bows
    and sunset capers

    A thunderstorm shook
    and shattered its moon
    no rhyme or reason
    just shredded its book
    seasons come and go
    breathing, changing looks
    yet, my heart’s tracer
    Was THAT, – Fall’s savor——–

  17. Pingback: ♥ Joy in the Journey ♥ | Metaphors and Smiles

  18. Joy in the Journey

    It’s in little things –
    in the small pebbles
    in the heart-shaped stones,
    in the ones with stripes
    and the mottled rocks,
    no matter the type…
    in a field or beach,
    on a mountain ripe –

    a treasure’s found there.
    Placed in one’s palm sound,
    granite feels at home.
    Holder is aware
    history in her hand,
    mystery in the air.
    It’s simple and nice…
    little things of life.

    Copyright © Hannah Gosselin 2014

  19. Wow…Marie! I was literally just in this very quandary…yesterday, I think. Always a problem for me…I think your poem will help me if I read it again a few times!! 🙂

    I love the way your title ties in with your last lines, Walt. Crafted well. 🙂

    • It’s a stickler for me as well, my friend! I always have to think about how affect starts with an “a,” which is perfect because it is mostly used as a verb — an action word (and action starts with “a”). That helps me, but I have to think of it every time. If you memorize just the last 3 lines, that would help.

      Action of affect
      generates effect,
      just as we’d expect!

  20. Here is another box poem, without the rhyme scheme (working without my computer).


    Hand-painted box fort
    Felled by driving rain
    Do-it-yourself Dad
    Questions the standard
    PVC pipe and
    Camouflage replace
    Thinks outside the box
    Creates something new

    The Man Upstairs and
    The Good Book both speak
    Casual truth, facts
    Made from cardboard, pricked
    And torn, thrown around
    Easy to replace
    Throw out inept box
    Nothing contains God

    • Darlene, this fascinates me. Especially the second stanza in its entirety, but especially the final two lines (which could stand alone). Deep truth “contained” herein; uniquely presented. Cause for contemplation.

      • Thank you, Marie. This grew out of a conversation we had yesterday. . .the man had remade his son’s fort and that grew into a conversation of things we put in a box. . .including God. I’m glad it’s thought provoking.

    • When I read your explanation it confirmed my first thought of “God in a box” which we all do at some point. I’m trying so hard to think outside the box spiritually these days. Thought-provoking poem.

    • Very good, Darlene. A take few would have thought of. It’s true, but we still try to contain all the impossibilities in a container built as a sieve. Even when we’re told otherwise. 🙂

  21. “Night sways”

    The sounds of midnight
    gather beneath my
    scars and written prayers.
    I could not breathe a
    moment if not for
    you. Nor will a day
    endure a dawn if
    our frail love betrays

    the gift of veiled vows.
    All morning I read
    the poets’ despair
    of lone hearts aroused
    in storms. Time beats on,
    dear, and as you bow
    to the moon’s charmed sway
    our love fades away.

  22. Moonlight Mistake

    On a moonlit night
    they met in the park.
    She was young and free,
    while he was older
    and married with kids.
    The night grew colder.
    They climbed in his car.
    He tried to hold her.

    She expected more–
    at least a clean room.
    How cheap could he be?
    She was getting sore.
    This is a mistake,
    she thought, he’s a boor.
    He touched her shoulder,
    she fled, he smoldered.

  23. Refurbishing

    She paints a deck chair,
    sanded first of course
    to smooth the rough
    scars winter’s weather
    left, betraying use.
    Scars that may infer
    despair. The chair’s new
    hue a bright cover.

    Fresh looks might delay
    damage seasons rend.
    Is thin hope enough
    to bear brazen rays,
    summer storms’ hard rain?
    A second coat she’ll lay.
    Bold strokes imply her
    confidence in layers.

    © Damon Dean, 2014


    In the underbrush
    I hear a meow
    uttered tenderly,
    utterly discreet.
    I wait for a while,
    watching for the beat
    of wavering leaves
    or fluttering feet.

    I know what I heard
    and I know at once
    the sound has to be
    a cat or a bird,
    and soon a shape flies,
    so grey and so blurred;
    I laugh at the treat
    from my catbird seat.

    copyright 2014, William Preston

    • My Keith and I always watch (and listen) for catbirds along our bike trail. Pretty, sleek, and verbal little beings they are. 🙂

      Your imaginative title would never give a clue to what is in store. Love the flow of this, and play of “uttered” and “utterly.”

    • This was a perfectly performed response to the prompt! Wow, just flowed with story and captured the moment in perfect verse. Rhyme and meter right on. I love poetic commentary on everyday encounters like this.

    • this is a keeper. I’m a sucker for your birdie poems, anyway, but this paints so gentle a picture, such delight in the recognition of the greatest mimic ever.

    • Love this, Bill. Catbird, indeed. One doesn’t get to see any of those around here, but I remember the times back in Indiana when Dad would whistle duets with these shy avians friends. Thanks for the nudge to the memory. I needed that today.

  25. Pingback: The Motel | The Chalk Hills Journal

  26. The Craig Motel

    That summer folded
    Across prairies, creased
    Lines that sent rivers
    Wandering blind, lost
    Deep in maps we creased
    Hard against the edge
    Of thumbs. We crossed
    West to east. We drove

    Every night enclosed
    In stars, deepest night
    Sang lively chitters,
    Crickets, I supposed.
    And I thought, here’s where
    Angels watch o’r those
    Who sleep so well – at
    The Craig Motel.


    Notes: (1) This poem was inspired by photo included with poem on my blog at (2) I had to rejig this to flow so rhyme: abcdedfd ghcgigdd (alt: line 8 g, lines 15-16 jj)

  27. This form is hard to do without ‘poetic license’ being employed. Hard work but joy afterwards ; )

    The Soul Uplifted

    Overhead the sky
    Beneath the feet earth
    Wonders in between.
    Butterflies and bees,
    Blackbears and badgers
    Do just as they please.
    But leaves on the oak
    Must bend in the breeze

    And the back of man
    In his laboring.
    But his great reward
    In this trying land
    of work and worry
    Is that the soul can
    Soar, unbridled, free …
    His truth guarantees.

  28. Sound and Sense

    I train my fingers,
    eyes, and brain to work
    together, create
    and transmit feeling
    down conduits of
    sense, sounds congealing
    until chords blend heart
    and notes, appealing

    to listening ears
    to pull their song from
    within, join their fate
    to mine without fears
    for one brief moment,
    to rise above tears.
    All nature kneeling;
    harmony, healing.

    Tough form, you guys. Love what you both did with it.

    • For me, this says more about the charm of music, in short, than anything else I ever read. It ought to have a score, I think. I love it.

    • “transmit feeling down conduits of sense” – BRILLIANT.

      “All nature kneeling: harmony, healing” – Like a cool breeze this morning.

      Lovely work, with or without form constraints. You amaze me.

  29. Harmony

    He’s getting more stooped
    these days, his back bowed
    like a comma from
    years of tending plants.
    He’s gentle with them,
    talks to them in chants,
    sing-song, daily news,
    common happenstance.

    Sometimes he whistles
    handling foliage,
    ‘til warbling birds come
    and share epistles
    about seeds and flight,
    tweeting on thistles,
    these garden bacchantes,
    of granting a chance.

    • For me, this poem is like watching aging in reverse. Despite the “back bowed / like a comma,” this man is a kid again in that second stanza. Your words, especially those “istle” rhymes, are enchanting. I admire your work greatly.

    • Jane, I’m running out of complimentary words to describe how fabulous is your work. GOODNESS, girl!!

  30. Jane,
    I feel like Marie. What’s left to say, your work is outside the bounds of my vocabulary. I loved Sound and Sense, the flow of feelings being the musician’s craft….but Harmony made me cry with joy and elicited a deep satisfying sigh.
    When warbling birds share epistles, all’s right with the world.

  31. Traveling

    Travlin’ down the road
    till backsides are sore.
    All the cars we passed
    along with our time!
    Patience helps us wait.
    Thoughts not worth a dime.
    The truck engines sound,
    a guttural rhyme.

    Counting off the miles.
    Red, white, black, gray cars.
    Some zip by so fast.
    Drivers have their styles.
    Munchers sip and eat.
    Singers are all smiles.
    Bikers like the clime
    and don’t mind the grime.

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