We’re stretching the view of poetry for today’s “form.” There will be no counting syllables or getting over-wrought with rhyme. Today’s “form” is the Aubade, more of a theme-based bit of verse. The Aubade is a poem written to celebrate the dawn; an “Ode to Morning”. The Sun Rising by John Donne is a good example of this type of poem.



Listen to silence.
It has so much to say.
~ Rishikajain

Morning is revealed.
Her lips are sealed
and she creeps in with the spirits
who keep watch. Night has found
his slumber, loud and raucous
like thunder. But, morning is a hush
She’s never in a rush.
She does not whisper.
She does not vocalize her arrival.
Her survival is imperative,
not much of a narrative heard.
Speaking very little.
At the dawn of a new day, she has
so much to say. Listen to her.
You will hear her in the silence
as morning is revealed.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2018


 Samuel Taylor Coleridge can be characterized as a romantic English poet/writer. Among his best loved works are Kubla Khan,The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. The major poets of his time were greatly influenced by Coleridge. It is no better illustrated than by his effect on William Wordsworth who adopted a more conversational poetic voice much like Coleridge advocated. At number 42 is “Frost at Midnight.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Frost performs its secret ministry,
Unhelped by any wind. The owlet’s cry
Came loud–and hark, again ! loud as before.
The inmates of my cottage, all at rest,
Have left me to that solitude, which suits
Abstruser musings : save that at my side
My cradled infant slumbers peacefully.
‘Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs
And vexes meditation with its strange
And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood,
This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and wood,
With all the numberless goings-on of life,
Inaudible as dreams ! the thin blue flame
Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;
Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,
Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.

But O ! how oft,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind,
Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars,
To watch that fluttering stranger ! and as oft
With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt
Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower,
Whose bells, the poor man’s only music, rang
From morn to evening, all the hot Fair-day,
So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me
With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear
Most like articulate sounds of things to come !
So gazed I, till the soothing things, I dreamt,
Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged my dreams !
And so I brooded all the following morn,
Awed by the stern preceptor’s face, mine eye
Fixed with mock study on my swimming book :
Save if the door half opened, and I snatched
A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped up,
For still I hoped to see the stranger’s face,
Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved,
My play-mate when we both were clothed alike !

Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side,
Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep calm,
Fill up the interspersed vacancies
And momentary pauses of the thought !
My babe so beautiful ! it thrills my heart
With tender gladness, thus to look at thee,
And think that thou shalt learn far other lore,
And in far other scenes ! For I was reared
In the great city, pent ‘mid cloisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.
But thou, my babe ! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds,
Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores
And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear
The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible
Of that eternal language, which thy God
Utters, who from eternity doth teach
Himself in all, and all things in himself.
Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould
Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.


Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.

~ Walt Whitman

This inspiration from American poet, Walt Whitman, plays on the concept and contrast between sunshine and shadow; between light and dark. We’ll use these as our starting point. Write either a sunshine poem or a shadow poem. Or light. Or dark. Either definition of each is acceptable, as in gradations of luminescence or lighthearted or darkly mooded words. Even something black or white can satisfy this prompt.



In darkness of cave
Defeater of Grave was born –
a King, unadorned.

In stillness of night,
as prophets did write, a birth –
The Light Of The Earth.

In grayness of sky
and depth of blue sigh,  dear one,
delight in The Son.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018




Silence does befall this place,
and in the night I see your face.
Every feature haunts my mind
in the darkness of this room I find
your piercing eyes, your turned up nose…
these shadows offer no repose.

This stillness in my heart does ache
and I can tell, make no mistake
the love I carried, I carry still.
For surely I’ll carry you until
my own eyes finally close,
these shadows offer no repose.

But, until that fateful day
I’ll still have so much more to say
to fill the vacuum of this night
and keep your visage in my sight.
For in spite of how our ending goes,
these shadows offer no repose.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik


The Wrapped Refrain created by Jan Turner.

It consists of 2 or more stanzas of 6 lines each.

Meter: 8,8,8,8,12,12

Rhyme Scheme: a,a,b,b,c,c.

Refrain rule: In each stanza the first 4 syllables (or 4 single-syllable words) in the first line must be the last 4 syllables (or 4 single-syllable words) at the end of the last line. This is what wraps each stanza with a repeated refrain …thus, the Wrapped Refrain.

Optional: The first stanza refrain and last stanza refrain can be joined (or loosely joined) together for the title of the poem.



The boy who sang love songs for her,
sang from a place that was so pure.
Heartfelt pangs sung in passion’s key,
as true a love as there could be.
His soulful sounds would fill the air and they would hang
around her heart and fill her soul, the boy who sang.

Songs from his heart, not knowing love
he reached his depths to rise above,
and people questioned what he knew,
to be so young, yet love so true.
His wisdom showed in spite of his age, he would start
to reach her soul with tender words, songs from his heart.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik


Sylvia Plath was a troubled soul which she wrote so characteristically dark and well. The daring real truth about the sins of her father is splayed out in this poem aptly named, “Daddy”. Written with the edge of a daughter who wanted to see the good in the man, but was greatly disappointed. This stunning poem sits at number 52  on our list.

Sylvia Plath


by Slyvia Plath

You do not do, you do not do
Any more, black shoe
In which I have lived like a foot
For thirty years, poor and white,
Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.
You died before I had time–
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,
Ghastly statue with one gray toe
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic
Where it pours bean green over blue
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.
So I never could tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna
Are not very pure or true.
With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck
And my Taroc pack, and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You–

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Fascist,
The boot in the face, the brute
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot
But no less a devil for that, no not
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,
And they stuck me together with glue.
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two–
The vampire who said he was you
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through. 


This week, we celebrate Thanksgiving Day in the States.

We’ve already written a poem about the things for which we are thankful. Now we turn from words of thanksgiving to thanksgiving words. Today, I offer this word cloud for your consideration. Use at least ten (10) of the words in your poem. If you fit all of the words into your poem, you get the drumstick and a nice nap! It doesn’t have to be a Thanksgiving poem. Any subject is fair game, just use the prescribed words!



cranberries, feast, eat, grateful, fall, Pilgrims, yams, Plymouth, stuffing, gravy, food, ham, gobble, pumpkin pie, blessings, turkey, family, thankful, natives, friends, leaves, tradition, football, parades, holiday, nap



Oh the feasts that we would eat  –
Grandma’s stuffing can’t be beat!
Turkey carved and on display,
Guesses on “what does it weigh?”

Yams and hams and pumpkin pies,
And (to figures’ great demise}
Aunt Peg’s “Goop,” and Mom’s cheesecake.
Hopeful leftovers to take!

TV playing  football games,
Watched by mostly men named James.
Conversations, hugs, and laughs.
Later-treasured photographs.

 © Marie Elena Good, 2018




Friends gathered in celebration
a family in tradition, a condition
in which grateful hearts honor blessings
given. Thankful for a holiday
that can play up this function
of our human nature. Grand in stature,
a feast shared, prepared in love
to fete the historic past as the leaves
drift downward, parades move forward
and we eat ourselves into a long nap.

 © Walter J Wojtanik, 2018




Let’s get a bit adventurous today, and explore the Double Etheree. The Etheree was created about twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong. It is a titled form, consisting of ten lines of non-metered and non-rhymed verse, of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 syllables, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

The Double Etheree starts with the ten line Etheree and then reverses the order for another ten lines.  A Double Etheree has a syllable count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.

And if you really want to lose your mind, you could try a Reverse Double Etheree: 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

But in keeping with our guidelines of “just write something” a regular ten line Etheree will serve our purpose. Oh, and you can break some rules and rhyme, if you have it in you. Just go on, poem with your bad self!


FOREVER CHRISTMAS, by Walter J Wojtanik
(A Reverse Double Etheree)

Why can’t every day be just like Christmas?
Why should it come only once a year?
The joy and peace that comes with it
fills this jolly heart with cheer.
Smiles on children’s faces,
music in the stores,
love in your hearts
each year starts
with one
The first
gift to all
goodwill abounds
in the cheerful sounds
that Christmas carols bring.
Everyone is glad to sing,
or hum if they don’t know the words.
Not absurd if you know the reason.
I am Santa Claus. I love this season.



Through history we’ve feted the accomplishments of men, thinking they were suited to be great leaders. But we have come to realize that there are equally qualified (some even more so) women who could, and have assumed the mantle of accomplishing much. These women, as highlighted in this poem by Maya Angelou, are phenomenal. The secret being told, we all came from phenomenal women (and some of you are phenomenal themselves). In the reading room today we read the   poem of this compilation.

Maya Angelou

Phenomenal Woman

by Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.


As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

We are all about words. Happy, sad, funny or absurd, every word is used with aplomb. 

But, JFK spoke of words by which to live. Is there a phrase or comment that you might consider words to live by? They do not need to be by anyone famous. Something a parent, teacher, a friend or even a stranger you overhear that had said something so profound that it made you think they could change your very life. We are looking for direction beyond the ends of our noses. Do you suppose you can write this thought? Maybe you will be the one to influence another. Give it your best effort, and we’ll try to live by it.


“Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”
 (From Robert Robertson’s hymn Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)


Lord, I need Thee every instant;
Need to feel my hand in Yours.
When I feel my heart grow distant,
Call me back to heaven’s shores.

Lord, I long for angel voices
Harmonizing all day through,
Triggering my soul’s rejoicing!
Set my heart to praising You!

Lord, that I won’t wander far,
Faint in faith, and unfulfilled,
Lift my eyes to Christ Child’s Star
Where my heart is awed, and stilled.

Lord, I need Thee every hour.
Give ear to my earnest plea:
Hug me in Your staying power.
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

© Marie Elena Good, 2018




I stand within the garden gate with hat in hand
as contrite as I can be, or so I’m told.
As I await my next (or last) command,
I hope it comes before I’m much too old.
For in this life we live, we’ll take a stand
and make our choices, be they brash or bold.
We live within the dictates of our hearts,
and reap the benefits that life imparts.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik


Imagism is the name we give to a movement in poetry aimed at clarity of expression through the use of precise visual images. The early period was written as a French form, named Imagisme. We’ll use the language of common speech, but employ exact words, not the nearly exact, nor the merely decorative word.

An example:

RAIN, RAIN GO AWAY?, by Walter J Wojtanik

The rain falls in big sloppy drops
saturating the soil and foiling
plans for a most pleasant day.
On display is the lightning flashing
and the loud thunder crashing to sack
your solitude. It becomes quite rude
to intrude on this mid-autumn day.
They say the skies will clear from here
on out, but I doubt they’ll be right
since they called for sunny skies last night.

Try your hand at connecting with the Imagism spirit. Be descriptive and paint the visual picture. Good luck.