POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

Archive for the category “Inform Poets”


The basic pantun consists of a quatrain (4-line verse). Commonly, each line contains between 8 and 12 syllables, and employs an abab rhyme scheme. A pantun traditionally follows a fixed rhythm. Per Wikipedia, “The first and second lines sometimes appear completely disconnected in meaning from the third and fourth, but there is almost invariably a link of some sort. Whether it be a mere association of ideas, or of feeling, expressed through assonance or through the faintest nuance of a thought, it is nearly always traceable.”



…and all at once, the rain had ceased.
When did my children grow so quick?
The length of sunshine has increased.
Why does it leave me feeling sick

when the warmth of Spring emerges?
Little girls become young women
Comfort in this season’s surges.
and all the changes from within –

blossoms having rooted now bloom,
Decorating each life they touch,
fragrant flowers fill up the room.
truly knowing they mean so much.

Life’s bouquet gathered together,
Grown in love to know what life means;
flourishing in all kinds of weather,
ever-growing, evergreen!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


There is no excuse for the late posting of our form. I should have my poetic license revoked! But they say better late than never, so…

Today, we will revisit the Etheree. Created about twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong, this titled form, consists of ten lines of unmetered and unrhymed verse, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

The way things have been piling on of late, this seemed like the perfect form for this time!



A man
standing guard.
Despite efforts
to be fair and firm,
sometimes he folds under
the pressure. Bright hazel eyes
flash their semaphore to signal
the next barrage to a Father’s heart.
Daughters in tug of war for Dad’s favor.


Burns Stanza is a stanzaic sestet with lines of two lengths and two rhymes.

Lines 1, 2, 3, and 5 are four feet long with the “a” rhyme.

Lines 4 and 6 are two feet long with the “b” rhyme.

Schematic: Rhyme: aaabab
Meter (Iambic):

x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x b



A madman in a quick decline
was clearly daft; out of his mind
but other that that he was just fine,
a bit unscrewed.
But underneath I’m sure you’d find
a righteous dude!

He’d lost his bearings long ago,
and found them once a year or so.
But when you’ve got to go, you go.
It will be sad,
but when your crazy starts to show,
you’ve gone quite mad.

You find there really is no cure,
(you thought there was, but you’re not sure.)
You laugh hysterically in stir,
a crazy loon.
And when you’re saner than you were
you’ll get out soon!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


During our Sunday Seed this past weekend, Bill Preston reminded us in his tribute to our friend Earl Parsons, by writing a poem in the poetic form that Earl had proposed a while back. Earl call it an “Appreciate” explaining it’s origin from the children chant “Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate…” So as such, the stanza of the poem has two words in the first line, four in the second, six in the third line and finishes with eight words in the last line. I believe you can string stanzas together with that configuration.

So write your poem in Earl’s form, Appreciate. Let him know you have him in your thoughts, and I’m sure he would certainly do just that, appreciate your efforts.



a mermaid
swishing in the sea
emerald water, coral reefs. Seaweed tickles
my fins. I awaken to same old me



Earl messaged
with me on Facebook
telling of his upcoming medical procedure.
I assured him prayers would be raised up.

My thoughts
center on our friend.
His faith will lead him on,
our love will keep him in our hearts!

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik -2016


Every so often, you need to go back to basics. So today we are dealing with the ABC of poems, the Alphabet or Abecedarian poem. There are many different ways to write an alphabet poem.

You can write a poem as a twenty-six word poem with each word starting with a different letter of the alphabet.  A technique for writing this type of poem is to lay out the alphabet ahead of time so you can quickly reference the letters used (or still in play!)

You can also do this consecutively through the alphabet:

A barbaric canopy divided elephant
flag givers high in jumping karate leg
mounts nevermind old pirate quarrels
registered self-employed tax-paying
units vacated wordlessly xylophonic
yesteryear zealots.

~ Example by Robert Lee Brewer of Writer’s Digest.com/Poetic Asides

Another method for alphabet poems is to go through the alphabet using the first letter of the first word for each line:



Alabaster and roan, she was put down; a
broken fetlock blamed for the turn lame.
Certainly, a sad end for a once proud and
determined foal. She was a true beauty;
effervescent and ethereal.
Furlong after furlong, a strong
gait with the gallop of each
hoof striking a counterpoint to the crowd.
Indeed, now the odds were against her.
Jockeys would run her hard and fast,
keeping her on the track far
longer than she should have been.
Many years back, she was a champion, but
now in her later days, she was not.
Other trainers would have put her to
pasture, but where her legs failed, her spirit remained strong.
Question her determination, and she’d prove you wrong.
Rest would have helped her for sure, but
she knew she had one good race left in her.
Three quarters of the way around the track,
unknown to her owner, she fractured a leg.
Very few horses would have continued, but
winning her final race would reveal a true champion’s heart.
X-rays would verify the sad fact. After
years of racing, her fate was sealed. Outstanding in her field,
Zenotrope’s Zip found her rest in eternal pastures.

© Walter J. Wojtanik

Response to:
“Heaven For Horses” by Lew Sarett

Lastly, you can always flip the alphabet, too. That is, instead of going A to Z, you could write these pieces from Z to A. Give any of these a try!



The monotetra is a newer poetic form developed by Michael Walker. It is comprised of stanzas that contain four lines in monorhyme. Each line is in tetrameter (four metrical feet) for a total of eight syllables. The last line contains two metrical feet, repeated. It can have as few as one or two stanzas, or as many as desired.

Stanza Structure:

Line 1: 8 syllables; A1
Line 2: 8 syllables; A2
Line 3: 8 syllables; A3
Line 4: 4 syllables, repeated; A4, A4



The tube has reached an all-time low
A slew of stupid sit-com shows,
and inept dramas without flow.
We need mojo, we need mojo.

Where did all the good writers go?
Did they get offers of more dough?
Someone give me a blow-by-blow,
or I’ll forego, or I’ll forego



I’ve always had a way with words
from thoughts profound, to quite absurd,
my parody is for the birds,
a poet nerd, a poet nerd.

I’ve written love songs for my spouse,
I’ll sing them all throughout the house,
the neighbors think that I’m a louse
when I get soused, when I get soused!

Expression is the thing I do,
these poems, prose, I do that too!
The things I write are mostly true,
the lies are few, the lies are few.

(C) Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


The ballade is a verse form typically consisting of three eight-line stanzas, each with a consistent metre and a particular rhyme scheme. The last line in the stanza is a refrain, and a four-line concluding stanza (an envoi) usually addressed to a prince (in lieu of a prince, for whom ever the inspiration for the poem may come)  follows the stanzas. (The ballade should not be confused with the ballad.) The rhyme scheme is therefore usually ‘ababbcbC ababbcbC ababbcbC bcbC’, where the capital ‘C’ is a refrain.

There are many variations to the ballade, and it is in many ways similar to the ode and chant royal. There are instances of a double ballade and double-refrain ballade. Some ballades have five stanzas; a ballade supreme has ten-line stanzas rhyming ababbccdcD, with the envoi ccdcD or ccdccD. A seven-line ballade, or ballade royal, consists of four stanzas of rhyme royal, all using the same three rhymes, all ending in a refrain, without an envoi.



He fell deeply in love at first glance,
a woman with eyes like jade moons
that smoldered, saying let’s take a chance.
She floated in amber and jasmine perfume.
Bewitched, he yearned to consume
her, although he knew he was not free.
Obsessed, he quickly pursued her.
Lust burns at high degrees

He lived for those stolen moments,
without her, a painting unfinished.
In his head, a voice cried, atonement,
but his passion did not diminish.
A year passed. He was feeling skittish
as they spoke only of ‘we.’
Thoughts of divorce made him wince.
Lust burns at high degrees

She pressed him to devise a plan
that allowed them to live together.
As doubts mounted, he began
to feel like a lesser man.
Nerves pushed him to end of his tether.
Under pressure, he could not leave.
Ten years later, he wonders whether . . .
Lust burns at high degrees

© Sara McNulty – 2016



In contemplation, sat she did,
to think of futures yet unknown,
despite the sad farewells she’ll bid,
and “braverisms” that she’s shown.
Her daughters, yes, are fully grown
to carry on her beauty bright,
And so to right the love I’ve shown,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

Lament the battered heart and head,
such maladies should not be hers.
I’d take them on myself instead
to suffer all that it incurs.
So as for now if it gets worse
I’ll keep my precious well in sight,
and pray that nothing more occurs,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

My sad intent comes at a price
through indiscretions wrought, it seems.
Forgiveness given must suffice,
as life dismantles all our dreams.
Yet through it all, her smile still beams,
a beacon through this dreary night,
emotions flow from both extremes,
I’ll stand beside her in her fight.

My princess, queen – my love so true,
I’ll hold you close with all my might,
and give you all that you are due,
I’ll stand beside you in your fight.

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


We are exploring the Rubai this week (also known as the interlocking rubaiyat)

I’m sure you have some familiarity with the 12th-century Persian work, The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It uses the Rubai. Another surprising usage of the rubai, is highlighted by one of Robert Frost’s well known poems (“Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening”.)


The rules of the (rubai) interlocking rubaiyat:

  • The poem is consits of quatrains following an aaba rhyme pattern.
  • The succeeding quatrain picks up the unrhymed line from the previous stanza as the rhyme for the new quatrain. A three-stanza rubaiyat might rhyme so: aaba/bbcb/ccdc. Sometimes the final stanza rhymes all four lines.
  • Lines are usually tetrameter and pentameter.



Alone, this beach deserted now
for winter’s taken its first bow,
omen for geese to begin flight.
Alluring without sounds of crowds.

Wind whips sand, and lone kite;
my eyes watch route ‘til out of sight.
A sting of salt assaults my lips.
Ocean sparkles in brilliant light.

A mist drifts ‘cross my fingertips,
today my toes will not be dipped.
I can throw my ams in the air,
and shout to every gull and ship.

A freeness overtakes me here.
My mind empties of all life’s cares.
Expanse of vastness humbles me,
a brush stroke in this art we share.




There she stood in the shadow of night
where the moon was big and roundly bright,
and there she was wishing on a star,
a reflection of the evening’s light.

It was seven years beyond the bar,
she traveled long and she traveled far,
her journey began within her heart
but the pain of leaving left a scar.

And so she dreamed of a fresh new start,
she couldn’t stand to remain apart,
but reality comes not from dreams,
her wish in sadness did impart.

So in the shadows the moonlight beams,
a love once bursting at the seams
was not the love that lived in dreams,
was not the love that lived in dreams!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016



We’re having another go with the poetic form NAANI.

The NAANI is one of India’s most popular Telugu forms introduced by poet Dr. N. Gopi,  and the last time I checked, Naani still means “expression of one and all.”  It consists of 4 lines, totalling 20 to 25 syllables. It is generally untitled, although the subject may be inferred in the first line. The poem is not bound to a particular subject, but is often about human relations. 


Many people walk on tiptoe, skirting
around words they long to say,
missing opportunities



We offer love
expressing our hearts
to each other. We offer our hearts
expressing the love they bear!

© Walter J. Wojtanik – 2016


Today, your muse is directed to one of three things. As we draw near the fall season, I notice the animals in the neighborhood changing their pattern. The domestics seem to draw close to home, where the “wild” animal are foraging for the months to come. Flushed out from the reservoir, the deer come down to pick the pears and apples that have fallen, ripe for the taking. The groundhog started burrowing to prepare their winter resting place.

Also, fall is harvest time! (Check the Harvest Moon!) The farmer’s market is thriving as the crops are brought to market and sold. Fresh fruits and vegetables and floral plants are offered at a fair price and find their way onto our table more as these days dwindle down.

Mineral things round out the bill (and fills our last item in the adage!)

For this week’s prompt, write a poem of something animal, vegetable or mineral. The choice could be the title of the poem, the subject of the poem, a bit part in the poem. Discover what surrounds us. Everything in life is either animal, vegetable or mineral! And as always, have fun.




Red, hearty Honeycrisp apples,
and Barlett pears, pair up with green
and white striped squash, and bold

orange pumpkins. Last group of Italian
prune plums are on sale. Tails of brown
silk trail ends of corn ears, piled

up on stands, a checkerboard
of sweet mixed kernels–
white and yellow. Scent

of apple cider spices the air.
Fare of farmer’s markets lures
customers with promise of Autumn.




Guinness and Marvel

Guinness and Marvel Photo by Melissa Kruse

Guinness is “our” rescue dog.
She has been gracing our lives for years.
Her ears flop when she runs
but she seems to have slowed down a bit.
And it is always a joy to see
the excitement in her wagging tail.
She has accepted us at long last,
no longer skittish and defensive,
no longer afraid or pensive.
She’s a good girl.

Marvel is her new little “sister”.
Another dog saved from a life of cruelty,
the rule to me is, if you save one
you save yourself in the process.
This little one is an explorer
and more bold than her bigger companion.
A Boston Terrier/ Dachshund mix,
a “Bodash” by breed and I need a towel
when she launches into my arms with sloppy wet
“kisses”. This little miss is a fine addition!

In five weeks (October 23) we will celebrate our 200th prompt at Poetic Bloomings. We will begin gathering submissions from our Poetic Bloomings poets for our anthology collection. It’s been a while since we assembled one and I think it’s time we did. Poets who have written to our prompts or our inform poets selections are eligible to submit up to five of such poems for consideration. Further details will be presented as we near the Oct. 23rd date. So start perusing your poetic pearls to select your poems for consideration.

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