Trolaan is a poem consisting of 4 quatrains.

Each line of the quatrain begins with the same letter.  The rhyme scheme is abab.

Starting with the second stanza you use the second letter of the first line of the first stanza to write the second, with each line beginning with that letter.

The third stanza will use the second letter on the first line of the second stanza. Write the third, with each line beginning with that letter.

On the fourth stanza you will use the second letter on the first line of the third stanza and write the fourth, with each line beginning with that letter.



As evening wanes and morning
appears over the hill,
another day, with the sun adorning
all that lies quiet and still.
Soon, the shadows cast will
seem elongated and pronounced,
surrounded by the sounds that fill,
serenity has been announced.
Over in the quietest of places,
obviously, one who seeks will find,
of all their heart encases,
original thought is within their mind.
Very soon the morning fades,
vacillating between now and noon,
valiantly the hours parade,
visions of nightfall coming soon.

© 2020 – Walter J Wojtanik


When Summer leaves, Autumn comes rushing in. But, no one ever sings about Summer Leaves. So today I’ve listed part of the lyrics for Autumn Leaves. Use a phrase, word grouping or line in your poem, or as an inspiration and write that colorful piece.


(Lyrics by: Jacques Prévert in French and Johnny Mercer in English)

The falling leaves drift by my window
The falling leaves of red and gold
I see your lips the summer kisses
The sunburned hands I used to hold

Since you went away the days grow long
And soon I’ll hear old winter’s song
But I miss you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start to fall…


Hands I Used to Hold

I grasped Mom’s finger –
stared into her loving eyes –
my first breath of air.

As a child, always
held her hand to cross the street
and for bedtime prayer.

Sometimes as a teen
I would grasp her hand as we
walked on Naples’ beach.

Elderly, and soon
to pass, she gripped my hands as
though to save herself

as sensation of
falling overtook her, and
she needed grounding.

An honor to hold
dying hands of one who held
my hands in her womb.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020



The lips that captured your smile
have left their mark on my heart
as the summer fades from view.
There is me and you and this
distance between.  We have seen
the sunset of our days together
and now the weather turns colder.
We are older and the lips the summer kisses
will leave a lasting goodbye
as Autumn leaves start to fly.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


 There have been times where we imagined our lives as a motion picture. We surmise who would play the part of us.

But in this case, we’ll wait for the book!

Your auto-biography begins here. Break up your life (up to this point in time) into three chapters. Give each chapter a title.

Write three brief poems (one for each title). For added pats on the back, give your “book” a title as well (the title of your three chapter story).


Two Sisters in Three Chapters

Chapter 1.  Rain.

The day I was born,
it rained hard on my sister …
submerging her soul.

Chapter 2. Wombs.

Her first pregnancy’s
uniqueness dimmed, when I found
myself pregnant, too.

Pregnant together
again. A son for me. A
tragic loss for her.

third pregnancies perhaps seemed
a cruel joke, to her.

Chapter 3.  Lost and Found.

In thirty-five days,
we lost Mom and Dad, and found
a common heartache.

In thirty-five days,
we lost Mom and Dad, and found
shared grief is shared love.

In thirty-five days,
we lost Mom and Dad, and found
a needed sister.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020



CHAPTER 3: PUPPY DOG TALES, by Walter J Wojtanik

Growing up, we always had a dog.
My pal and companion,
a boy’s best friend,
a good listener,
two good ears and no sass!
At the head of the class,
I miss having a dog.

CHAPTER 11: SHY OF THE MARK, by Walter J Wojtanik

My nerves in the presence
of curves and a pretty face
had laced my younger years.
It was one of my greatest fears
to be so frozen in place
for the course of a lifetime.
I was able to shake that phobia
over the course of time.
But, it took a while.

CHAPTER 15: FINDING A VOICE, by Walter J Wojtanik

It’s true, I was a shy guy.
When I’d speak, my voice
would creak and crack,
a knack I would outgrow.
That started to show
when I embraced words.
For the good of my sanity
and some of humanity,
music steered me towards poetry.
The rest, they say, is history!


  • The stornello is an Italian tercet (or 3-line stanza) form
  • with 11 syllables per line
  • and an aaa end rhyme.

Note: There is a variant version of the stornello in which the first line of each tercet is shorter than 11 syllables, but it retains the same rhyme scheme while holding 11 syllables in both lines two and three.



DOUBLE-O HEAVEN, by Walter J Wojtanik


I wander around through life, a vagabond,

searching for the one true love, I’m rather fond.

Until my shy eye spies you, like I’m James Bond.


This is simple.

Complete this simile,

“AS AWKWARD AS ______________”

Write that poem.


As Awkward as Two in an Elevator

He says hi there;
she says hello.
“Which floor?” he asks.
She doesn’t know.
His finger waits,
then starts to tap.
Her face turns red.
She thinks, “Oh crap.
Why can’t I think?
Just pick a floor!”
Her brain congeals.
He taps some more.
“Just. Pick. A. Floor.”
That thought now slips
from clotted brain
through tense, pursed lips.
With sideways glance
and impish smirk,
he presses 12.
(Joker?  Or Jerk?)
Long, silent ride
can’t end too soon.
It seems to take
all afternoon.
She ruminates
entire ride,
should parting words
be kind?  Or snide?
She isn’t sure
how this should end –

Just like my awkward
poem, my friend.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020



That first sight said it all,
more that you were able to muster.
You’d stammer and bluster hoping
the words you chose would close the deal.
You steal another glance
and a chance to say hello. But you don’t know.
Will she answer in kind
or mind her own space?
Would she grace with a smile
or have disdain on her face.
She’s probably not interested,
she probably can’t see you.
Her wonder is her disguise,
there’s a glimmer in her eyes.
You swallow your gum, you stand there mum,
some thoughts come to your mind
but you find your mouth is is full
of mumbles and verbal stumbles.
She takes the lead and you beg and plea
that you don’t say something stupid.
You’re bolstered by Cupid’s dart
(even though it missed your heart
and caught you in the throat)
She smiles and offers her greeting. You think of retreating.
You’re sad and shy, but look her in the eye
and say “Hello”. A slow process
in any book. “He’s not as dumb as he looks!”


Narrative poetry is poetry that tells a story.

In its broadest sense, it includes epic poetry;

some would reserve the name narrative poetry for works on a smaller scale

and generally with more direct appeal to human interest than the epic.


An example of a narrative poem would be

The Raven

by Edgar Allan Poe




She had come to leave his heart
they had been apart numerous times,
but as they ended, he sought solace in rhymes.
Words and verse of how she had come to depart.

She was a gentle soul, a vision for his eyes
soothing and healing, appealing to his senses –
he stood unprotected, without defenses,
anguished by the sound of her cries.

He felt tears welling as well,
for he could tell she would not be returning.
In his heart of sadness, he was yearning
for love to be enough, but it was instead a hell,

a fiery disposition, a fatal condition
that devoured her in ways neither expected.
Again rejected, a warrior with his love unprotected
a painfully unconditional contradiction.

To his fate he was resigned for she would be bereft him.
Life did things in its due time
as he realized that there was no solace in rhyme.
He waved solemnly as his fallen angel had left him.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2020



A lifetime is filled with many memorable moments. So much history has passed through our lives like sand through our fingers, and it causes us to take pause. What is something you recall from your lives, as simple as that.

Your title should be “I REMEMBER _______.”  I remember when man landed on the moon. I remember when President Kennedy was elected. I remember the Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show. I remember when John Lennon was killed. What do you remember? Remind us all through your poem of what it is you remember.


I Remember John-John’s Third Birthday

My five-year-old eyes
watched a three year old salute
his daddy’s coffin.

© Marie Elena Good, 2020



I was all of thirteen//
still very green//
I mean, I was too young
to have actually gone there.
I was just growing my hair.
All I know is there was this farm.
Acres of open spaces
to sit//stare//prance and dance.
It was a chance to connect
with the land//the bands//
the lovely nymph passing acid,

a nice little lass at that!
Summer never felt hotter.
But I would’ve spotted her, a face
in the crowd//to remember//
to launch a thousand trips.
hair like Jesus//multitudes
of chicks and dudes,
beads and leather vests//chests bared
and fellas with no shirts on too,
true confessions in August//
free love and granola.
Mohair and moon pies//
more music and sex and drugs.
Old man Max threw a bitchin’ party!

But after all these years,
I’m glad I wasn’t invited.
It had ignited this new morality
one which festers til this day.
But I must say, the music can stay!

©Walter J Wojtanik – 2020