Sample Poetry

JAPANESE FORMS

HAIKU IN ENGLISH: Traditional Haiku in English 5-7-5, Modern short-long-short syllable structure. Series or sequences are accepted.

a shower—
white petals adrift
on wet pavement

© Colleen M. Chesebro

SENRYU IN ENGLISH: Traditional 5-7-5, Modern short-long-short, syllable structure. Series or sequences are accepted.

faery...
in-between the veil
time shifts

© Colleen M. Chesebro

HAIGA IN ENGLISH: Traditional 5-7-5, Modern short-long-short, syllable structure.


TANKA IN ENGLISH: 5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure or the modern short, long, short, long, long. Series or sequences are accepted.

 blue sky, cloud watching
 under the green canopy,
 opaque day dreams build
 poetry and story plots,
 fashioning magical worlds

© Colleen M. Chesebro

GOGYOHKA IN ENGLISH:  A Gogyohka contains five lines but could have four or six lines. Gogyohka has no restraints on the numbers of words, or syllables used. However, this form should be written as other Japanese short verse poetry. Series or sequences are accepted.

Gemini new moon— 
dreams and illusions set adrift
heading into the unknown
shadowy communications 
boundaries challenged

© Colleen M. Chesebro

HAIBUN IN ENGLISH:  There are different Haibun styles: Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one haiku) haiku/prose, or prose/haiku; Verse Envelope: haiku/prose/haiku; Prose Envelope: prose/haiku/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements.

“The Neighborhood”

My first walk in the new neighborhood turned up some surprises. Across the street, a fast-running stream bordered the edge of the forest along the walking path.

So, this is where the deer came from, I thought. We’d spotted deer tracks in the snow as they came right up to our front porch. A real Michigan welcoming committee!

Around the corner, I spotted a pond, frozen beneath the afternoon sun. I day-dreamed about the frogs and crickets serenading us in the stillness of a long summer night.

frosty pond— 
cattails whispering
mourning dove cries 

© Colleen M. Chesebro

TANKA PROSE: Tanka prose 5-7-5-7-7, or short, long, short, long, long. There are many tanka prose combinations, such as Idyll: (One prose paragraph and one tanka) tanka/prose, or prose/tanka; Verse Envelope: tanka/prose/tanka; Prose Envelope: prose/tanka/prose, including alternating prose and verse elements of your choice.

“The Illusion of Power Spell”

On this Samhain eve of the full blue moon, I wait until midnight darkens the shadowy edges of the glen. I dip the tip of my right index finger into moon oil as I trace the shape of the orb on the flat surface of a nearby stump. Within the circle, I place four white candles around the edge, adding the fifth one in the middle. With a snap of my fingers, the candles are lit.

I call to the moon
to receive her powers cast
tonight, caught and kept
used for good intent only
that no evil shall arise

© Colleen M. Chesebro

AMERICAN FORMS

CINQUAIN: The Crapsey cinquain contains five lines, and is a non-rhyming poem featuring a syllable structure of 2-4-6-8-2. Series or sequences are accepted of any cinquain forms.

Crapsey Cinquain (2-4-6-8-2)

"Heed the Call"

our world
must unite with
one mind–one consciousness
as light workers allied to save
mankind

© Colleen M. Chesebro

The Crapsey cinquain has seen several variations by modern poets, including:

Reverse Cinquain (2-8-6-4-2)

"Karma"

karma...
share your gifts wisely with others
only cause "good" trouble
give back good deeds
tenfold

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Mirror Cinquain (2-4-6-8-2, 2-8-6-4-2)

"Shadow Play"

daybreak—
shadows holdfast
to the gathering light
clinging to the semi-darkness
waiting
searching—
for cover from the heat of day
hiding until twilight 
when safe harbor
returns

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Butterfly Cinquain (2-4-6-8-2-8-6-4-2)

"Stone Ghosts"

stone ghosts—
the false idols
of a treasonous past
dedicated to slavery
hateful
tokens of white supremacy
the darkness of death waits—
patriarchy
shattered

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Crown Cinquain (2-4-6-8-2, five stanzas)

"Pear Blossoms"

spring sun
white blossoms shine
glittering diamonds
in the azure afternoon sky
gleaming

hazy 
moonbeams glisten
keep the umbrella close
April showers grow weeds and seeds
moonglow

cool winds 
blast from the north
white petals cascade down
lacey spring snow—a fairyland
daydream

daybreak
dark clouds gather
shutting out the starshine
rain, manna from the heavens, falls
a gift

sweet blooms, 
fall down like tears 
a coverlet of white
sweet perfume lingers in the air
past spring

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Garland Cinquain (2-4-6-8-2 for five stanzas, 6th stanza formed from the preceeding five, line one from stanza one, line two from stanza two, etc.)

"The Old Gods"

old Gods
guard the river
where fast water runs deep
a far northern estuary
rushes

coastland
weathered heartwood
reveals the mystery
of the dryad’s saddle parasite
mushrooms

white-rot
weakens the host
maple, elm, box elder
united wood nymph sentinels
protect

the core
symbiotic
connection to the tree
If one falls, they die together
fungi

fairy
air, earth, water
powers drawn from the trees
ambrosia from the other world
enshrined

old gods
weathered heartwood
maple, elm, box elder,
if one falls, they die together
enshrined

© Colleen M. Chesebro

ETHEREE: The Etheree poem consists of ten lines of 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 syllables.

 Classic Etheree

"Riding High"

cold
dawn sky
heat rises
enveloped in
a hot air balloon
what Son of Son spotted
on the way to school. I say;
‘Good observation’ and he smiles
hopefully they land before the rain
that is predicted for our area

© JulesPaige  

Modern Poets have created variations for the Etheree:

Reverse Etheree: (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

"A Modern Begging Dilemma"

reigning chaos, her words flowed; closing doors
while the barrage continued to flow
seeking, yet pushing sympathy
was there any saving grace?
perhaps only that she
didn’t come right out
asking for funds
an awkward
bit of
time

© JulesPaige

Stacked Double Etheree (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

"Honoring the First Day of Spring"

 Praise
Vesna
the Slavic
Goddess of Spring
and fertility,
who declares victory
over the cold of winter,
by bringing forth new life this day,
and returning the light from the dark
past of winter's inhospitable chill
exalt the Vernal Equinox on this
full moon night, with chanting and dancing
as we carry clay birds adorned
with brightly colored flowers
to bless our fields in your
ethereal glow
all hail, Vesna—
the patron
of new
life.

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Stacked Double Inverted Etheree (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10)

"Downcast Outcast" 

too tall are those glass walls with stacked boxes
I used to live in an apartment 
that looked out over a river
nothing for a teen to do
just dream of escaping
how could I live life
being restrained -
reflecting
who am
I
I
am me
reflecting— 
on my limits
was this true living
where could I go, so I 
imagined traveling down
that muddy brown river flowing 
far from those limited rooms of gloom 
those stacked glass walled boxes they were, too tall

© JulesPaige

NONET: A nonet is stanzaic and written in any number of 9-line stanzas with the following syllable count per line: 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 syllables per line. Series or sequences are accepted of any nonet forms.

Classic Nonet

"Memories Locked in Stone"

from the shadows of the castle keep
I watch and wait for my ladylove
whose misty form inhabits
the aged walls remaining
a prison fortress
to bind our hearts
time without
birth or
end

© Colleen M. Chesebro

The nonet has variations created by modern poets, as well:

Reverse or Inverted Nonet (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9)

"Celebrate"

now—
honor
yourself first,
this is your time
for self-loving too,
enjoy sumptuous treats
by doing something special
commemorate your achievements
reward yourself for a job well done

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Double Nonet (9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

"Beware the Fairies"

in Ireland, there is a magic path
where otherworldly wights travel
nightly from hills to the sea...
returning home again
through the white square of
limestone one finds
the door to 
fairy-
land
when it swings open at nightfall, out
pours an eerie troop of spirits
for those gifted to hear their
voices—whistling music
through the leafy trees
mind the fairies
or you'll be
carted
off! 

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Double Nonet (Reversed) (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9)

"Home"

home—
sends me
bittersweet
dear memories,
wrapped tightly in love,
where hearts dwell together,
welcoming all kith and kin
cicadas sing their summer songs
as the fringes of darkness descend—
some
secrets
remain to 
guard through the night
from the circles of 
family we protect
kindred lives past and present
the ancient legends of our clans.
hark—the distant lands summon us home.

© Colleen M. Chesebro

Double Inverted Nonet (9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9)

"A Spring Avalanche of Sound"

sitting on my stone bench, I am at
a natural party; birdsong
staccato trilling, birdie,
peter-peter, squeak-meek
twea-tea-tee, cheep-cheep
heeer-here, quack,
chew-coo-coo,
voices
tweet
splash
water
playful creek
small rapids run
breeze flips the trees leaves
distant train whistle sighs
along with motors of cars
and planes—those engines attempt to
distract me… but not for very long

© JulesPaige

Double Inverted Nonet (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9, 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1)

"Be Careful What You Wish For"

time
brings us 
this rebirth—
across our lands
life stoked climate change
quenched the fires and flames—
water, the life source endured
brought moisture to the thirsty earth—
wind, the calming breath of the goddess
storm remnants ebb into silvered mists
where sky and water join as one
I struggle for air above
the rising ocean tides,
as shrill sea bird screams
welcome me to
a fresh day
without
land

© Colleen M. Chesebro

SHADORMA: The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza 3-5-3-3-7-5 for a total of 26 syllables. Series or sequences are accepted.

left at the
bus stop, a canvas
bag, a note
and daisies
told us, no coppers, thank you
if life was valued

© JulesPaige

BADGER HEXASTICH: The Badger Hexastich is syllabic and written in six lines with a 2-4-6-6-4-2 structure. Series or sequences are accepted.

"Cornerstones?" Badger Hexastich Sequence

guarded
sanity ebbs
returns, flows free as the
oceans are salted with
hopes and dreams; joined
by tears

what fears
keep one awake
the lingering or the
eventual exit
that all must take—
love waits

brilliant
the horizon 
preparations in lines
buckaroo troops rally
healing forces
unite

© JulesPaige

ABHANGA: The elements of the Abhanga are: syllabic, 6-6-6-4 syllables each, stanzaic, written in any number of 4 line stanzas. Rhymed L2 and L3 rhyme. Often internal rhyme is employed. End rhyme scheme x a a x , x being unrhymed. Series or sequences are accepted.

"Promises Laid Out" Abhanga Series

cold air; so we lie close
leaning in to face fears
of aged marching years
winter again

we dream of traveling
perhaps this coming spring
with lighter steps, we’ll sing
always lovers

warmth in our embracing
proactively preparing
our future we’re sharing
from first ‘I do’s’

© JulesPaige

DIATELLE: The Diatelle’s syllable structure follows: 1/2/3/4/6/8/10/12/10/8/6/4/3/2/1, but unlike an etheree, has a set rhyme pattern of abbcbccaccbcbba.

"Mahlon’s Crew: Two"

sprang
did they—
dawn of day
not one was ouphe
up, readily away
just doing their job, not aloof
to fix, repair and replace the old roof
rhythm assaulting neighbors ears – not to harangue!
pros not to play, diligent, not a goof
just doing their job, not aloof
to bare, tare and display
the bare bones roof
work today,
did they
bang!

© JulesPaige

Learn how to write syllabic poetry on Word Craft ~ Prose & Poetry HERE.