Staying within our theme (Christmas), recall a moment from your youth or a childhood memory and write it in the form of a sonnet!

The SONNET is a poem, properly expressive of a single, complete thought, idea, or sentiment. It consists of 14 lines, usually in iambic pentameter, with rhymes arranged according to one of certain definite schemes. In the strict or Italian form it is divided into a major group of 8 lines (the octave) followed by a minor group of 6 lines (the sestet). An a-b-b-a, a-b-b-a pattern became the standard for Italian sonnets. For the sestet there were two different possibilities: c-d-e-c-d-e and c-d-c-c-d-c. In time, other variants on this rhyming scheme were introduced, such as c-d-c-d-c-d.

The English form breaks the poem into 3 quatrains followed by a couplet. Each line contains ten syllables and is written in iambic pentameter, in which a pattern of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable is repeated five times (da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM da DUM). The rhyme scheme in a Shakespearean (English) sonnet is a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g; the last two lines are a rhyming couplet. Alternate Rhyme Scheme: a-a-b-b, c-c-d-d, e-e-f-f, g-g



If there is just one lesson in life, it’s this,
you need a way you can stay young at heart,
because you’re never too old for Christmas.
So I’ll say, well before the season starts
Find your inner child and don’t be naughty,
try being as good as silver and gold.
Start to be real nice and don’t be haughty,
have a warm heart and not one that is cold.
Remember the lessons you’ve learned in life,
especially the number one lesson!
Although the world can be filled with such strife,
I stay young at heart. That’s my confession.
I take a deep breath. I take a long pause
and just try to be a young Santa Claus.

(C) Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Stepping away from the banquet table, one of the next telling highlights of the holiday season can be found in the music and sounds we hear. Christmas Carols and songs seem to dominate the airwaves at this time of year obviously. I’m sure there are equally prominent songs from the other cultural celebrations. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or even maybe a Festivus ditty could be heard.

Using a title or a lyric from one such inspiration, write a Haibun.

The haibun is the conjoining of two poetic forms: a prose poem and an ending haiku. Japanese poet Matsuo Basho made the form popular in the 17th Century. The prose poem and haiku are generally linked together  directly or indirectly.




I am Santa Claus and I come by my skills naturally. Passed down from generation to generation in celebration of the day to which I was appointed. Anointed with design capabilities and the ability to work in any medium, largely because my father and grandfather had taught me the value of a job well done. Plus in the process, I have fun. Christmas may come along once a year, but up here in my corner of the world where the winds swirl and the snow flies, I keep my eyes on the prize. I do my very best and request the very same from my helpers and friends because it all depend on them and their acquired skills as well. And let me tell you, we make great things that will bring joy to many and any who believe in the value of craftsmanship. We’re hip to it!


Let’s face it, someone has to keep this process moving forward. But, I do not think of my support group as underlings. The elves and snow people, the fauna and birds all are my partners. For starters, it’s a grand undertaking and there’s no mistaking our commitment. We were meant to do this! And I suppose my lineage has set me up to lead and succeed. But as I’ve stated, I am elated to be able to work with a whole “army” of leaders. A bit more important than craftsmanship, leadership will keep us on the right path for the good of the world.


We have always been dedicated to the proposition that Christmas is the time for us to come together for the cause of all humanity. It is insanity to think one person or group is more important than another. We are all in this together, whether or not we are all the same race, religion, persuasion, orientation, color or creed. We need to join in the common cause for the sake of the world. It is in fellowship that we sail into the future for our future’s sake. Whatever it may take, we cannot forsake each other. We are all sisters and brothers in the family of man.

I saw three ships come
sailing on a steady course,
steered by Santa Clau

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


e.e. cummings

This week’s selection cuts directly to the chase. seeker of truth is a transcendental peek into the works of e.e. cummings. Short and sweet to be sure, it speaks of our own truth being within us.

e.e. cummings was considered one of the most popular poets of the 20th century.  He started to write poetry at a young age, always with the determined inclination of being a poet. He had a preference for his name to be abbreviated in all lowercase letters. Cummings’s mother encouraged him to express himself in verse and to journal. Learn more about e.e. cummings here.

seeker of truth

follow no path
all paths lead where

truth is here


As we begin preparations (I know of a guy who is twenty-four days away from one hundred poems to Christmas) for the big season, we see the staple of most Christmas tables rising to the top. CHRISTMAS COOKIES are on our minds and so we will use that as fodder for our poetic pursuits, incorporating them into our poetic form which is the PANTOUM.

The PANTOUM consists of a series of quatrains rhyming ABAB, in which the second and fourth lines of a quatrain recur as the first and third line in the succeeding quatrain; each quatrain introduces a new second rhyme as BCBC, CDCD… In the last quatrain, the two unused lines from the opening quatrain are used to fill in the last stanza, with the first line of the poem becomes the last line of the poem (ZAZA). Walt’s example illustrates this traditional form of PANTOUM.

A variation of the PANTOUM loses the restrictions of the rhyme scheme



Christmas cookies crisp and sweet,
sitting piled on a plate,
you look way too good to eat
and I sure bet you taste great

Sitting piled on a plate
you are the best, I’m sure by far.
And, I sure bet you taste great,
but you are for the church bazaar.

You are the best, I’m sure by far,
in fact you smell delicious.
But you are for the church bazaar,
eating you is against mom’s wishes.

It’s a fact, you smell delicious,
Christmas cookies crisp and sweet.
Eating you is against mom’s wishes,
you look way too good to eat.

© Walter J Wojtanik, 2020


Back to some form exploration… with a twist. Not only will I offer a form suggestion, but I will give you a subject that your poem will be based upon.

Today, we started getting our firsts glimpses of snow for the season. So, we will write a Triolet about something snow. That’s it and we’ll see how it goes.

The triolet is a very brief, tightly rhymed poem that, like the pantoum, takes part of its structure from the repetition of entire lines. A triolet is eight lines, as follows:

1st line A
2nd line B
3rd line a (rhymes with A)
4th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
5th line a (rhymes with A)
6th line b (rhymes with B)
7th line A (entire 1st line repeated)
8th line B (entire 2nd line repeated)

Wax up the sleigh and think something, something snow!



Do not try to guess what you’re getting,
though it’s not hard to do, you know.
you may find it really upsetting,
so do not try to guess what you’re getting.
The weather will catch you off-guard I’m betting,
so get ready, you’re getting some snow!
Do not try to guess what you’re getting
though it’s not hard to do, you know.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020


Let’s try this one again, courtesy of Robert Lee Brewer and Poetic Asides. The trian rannaigechta moire is an Irish poetic form with the following guidelines:

  • Quatrain (or four-line) poem or stanzas.
  • Four syllables per line.
  • All end words in the stanza (or poem) consonate.
  • Second and fourth lines rhyme.
  • There’s a rhyme between the third and fourth line.



We had a dog,

Name was Coco.

He was not dumb

Or plumb loco.  


Such a smart one,

He kept his cool.

But in the dark,

Barked like a fool!


© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2020


A short while back, Robert Lee Brewer introduced us to this simple but interestingly named form, Bob and Wheel. I thought we might explore it a bit deeper.

Here are the guidelines:

  • Quintain (or five-line) stanza or poem
  • Rhyme scheme of ababa
  • First line of two to three syllables
  • Lines two through five have six syllables per line



We’re in between seasons,
between Winter and Fall,
or rainfall and freezin’
and that covers it all.

in excessive amounts.
Glad that it stays outdoors,
I guess that’s all that counts
or I’ll be mopping floors.

© Walter J Wojtanik – 2020



Today we approach another French poetic form, the Rondel Supreme. This form has the following guidelines:

  • 14-line poem broken into three stanzas.
  • Stanzas one and two have four lines and the last stanza has six lines.
  • Rhyme scheme: ABba/abAB/abbaAB
  • The (capital letters) refrains repeat as the last lines in the last two stanza.
  • No restrictions on syllables or subjects.



When the cold winds blow, it's sure you will know
that Christmas is well on its way.
The Elfin folks will come out to play
when they're knee deep in snow.

We're getting ready for "the show",
on this snow filled winter's day.
When the cold winds blow, it's sure you will know
that Christmas is well on its way.

Even when the skies are gray
we're happy when the North Winds blow,
for that's the way the reindeer go
with this Santa Claus snug in the sleigh!
When the cold winds blow, it's sure you will know
that Christmas is well on its way.








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


  • 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.