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Showing posts from 2018

Shadorma Poems

Shadorma is a Spanish 6-line syllabic poem of 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively. 
If the mood takes you, you might link multiple 'shadorma.' Here are a couple of Shadormas I made earlier.

Winter Winds

Waves and wind Wrestle out to sea Tumble, crash Slap and smash A wintery encounter 
The shoreline resists

Lost in Transit

Please help me

It appears I'm lost
This way first
That way next
No direction works for me
In a circle constantly

Action Without Traction Poem

As I have stated many times, poetry and wordplay are the best of friends. We should never pass up an opportunity to play with language. The more we practice, the easier it becomes.

This poem contains a lot of action words. This is deliberate. Verbs are the muscles of writing- they do the heavy lifting.

I have chosen words I frequently 
hear used in everyday idiomatic language.

I have quite deliberately tried to reposition them to deliver a different kind of message. I had fun creating a picture of Felix focusing on his somewhat questionable behaviour. 

Action Without Traction  Felix was a fitness fanatic
Who spent his days-

Leaping to the wrong conclusion
While jumping the gun

Racing against the clock
And skipping meals

Bending the rules
And skirting issues

He would throw tantrums
And dash all hope

Felix was spreading the word
While catching his breath

Bouncing ideas around
And frequently stretching the truth

In such questionable action
Felix gained little traction

Alan j Wright

Cherita Poem

Cherita (pronounced CHAIR-rita) is a linked poetry form. It consists of a one-line stanza, followed by a two-line stanza, and then finishing with a three-line stanza. It can either be written solo or by up to three partners.
Cherita is the Malay word for 'story' or 'tale.'
The cherita aims to convey a story. It was created by ai li (A UK poet and artist) on June 22, 1997 in memory of her grandparents, who were renowned storytellers. 
The cherita arose out of the English-language haiku and tanka tradition, but is more  narrative, in nature than are the 'momentary' haiku and the more lyrical tanka,  It uses images and depends on concise word use and suggestion for its effect.
It can be written solo or with up to three partners each be being responsible for a stanza. A Cherita poem does not require a title, something that adds to its unique qualities. 
The three separate stanzas are in effect 6 lines: a single line, a couplet, then a tercet. The line lengths are at the…


Last week I shared the poetry of the mysterious Brian Bilston, who has been called 'The Poet Laureate of Twitter.' 

This week I have the pleasure of highlighting another Brian Bilston poem, 'Refugee.' The poem is contained in Brian's first book of poetry, 'You Took The Last Bus Home.' This very powerful poem is a technically brilliant example of a Reverso poem.

A Reverso poem is a passage which can be read from top to bottom or bottom to top. 

The poem will often express opposite opinions depending on which way you read it so it can really make you think. A Reverso poem is like a picture turned upside down, a frowning face upended to reveal a smiling one. The poem read in reverse, contradicts itself with an opposing message.

In 'Refugee' Brian Bilston focuses on a societal issue that tends to polarize feelings and the opposing views are clearly in evidence when the poem is read in both directions. Firstly, you are invited to read the poem from beginning…

The Poetry of Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston has been frequently described as the 'Poet Laureate of Twitter.' He remains  a poet clouded in  mystery. He possesses a Banksy type persona. Very little is known about him other than the fragments of information revealed on social media and through his poetic offerings.  In 2014 he became the first person to retain the title of Pipe Smoker of the Year [Poetry section] and, over the years, he has won numerous awards  He won the 2015 Great British Write Off poetry prize for a poem disguised in a Venn diagram.

His first collection of poetry 'You Caught the Last Bus Home'  has now been published. Bilston has been described as wordsmith who takes great pride in his use of language, making words dance before the reader's eyes. He is bringing poetry to the masses through social media employing topical, witty, thoughtful and very accessible poetry. Perhaps the most famous of his poems is the powerful message contained in  'Refugee.'

I have just taken rec…

Slugger Mugger Poem

I have gained so much wicked delight creating an imaginary beast to be feared and loathed -and then writing a poem where this  creature became a central character in the telling. 

This is why I refer to the 'making' of poetry. Words and ideas are rehearsed and rolled around in the writer's mind before they emerge. You want them to fit the mood of the poem. You want the best words you can imagine to land on the page.
A lot of inward chuckling accompanied my writing of this poem.  I was also enjoying myself. Talk about conflicted. I feel this is my Frankenstein moment. This is my cautionary tale. Hope you like it. 
And, if you don't eat your greens- be afraid, be very afraid!
The Slugger-Mugger’s coming Slugger-Mugger Slugger-Mugger The Slugger- Mugger’s coming Sliding in on slime
The Slugger- Mugger’s coming The conditions are just right The moon is hidden by the clouds There’s very little light
The Slugger- Mugger’s on the way To your neighbourhood Please don’t bother h…

POEMS -Let's Hear It For Poetry!

Pen Licence Perils Poem

I have never been a fan of pen licences. As a student I didn't like them and as a teacher, and a left handed writer, I refused to implement them in my classes. I figured there were more authentic ways to encourage kids to write neatly. I would explain to kids that writing neatly was a way of showing respect for your readers, your audience. Whatever you write with -pen, pencil, marker, the same message applies- its about respecting your audience.

 Having spent my entire writing life railing against the false prediction of my very first teacher who told me, 'Alan, you need to write with your right hand, otherwise you will never be a neat writer,' you can understand why I don't hold much store in pen licences. I am proud of my left handed writing. It may be slow and deliberate at times, but it is neat, quite neat.  My teacher's prediction proved to be way off the mark. Her words have motivated me to dispel her dire predictions for  my handwriting future. 

So, here's…

Look At Me, Look At Me Poem

Today I find myself looking at poetry as social commentary. 
Many aspects of our lives have been irreversibly changed through the tsunami like effect of the digital revolution. It has been a mixed bag to say the least. 
My poem is a satirical look at the phenomenon of 'selfies' and the advent of the selfie stick. 
Satire is the application of humour, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and/or criticize people's behaviour in the context of contemporary politics and topical issues. It is observational in nature. 

Look At Me, Look At Me

You’ve seen them I'm sure With their selfie sticks Their lofted totem Clicks and clicks
Snap, snap, snap What do you see? In my selfie library 400 snaps of me, me, me
-Look at me, looking at me Kissy face Kissy face Flout the pout Flout the pout Push out those luscious lips right out Jump, pose  Leap in the air Take the shot of me, somewhere
Get my best side Get it quick Get it quickly that’s the trick Gather round, all lean in Magnet heads  Smile, grin
How do…

VIVID- Poems & Notes About Colour

Today I have an intriguing new book to share. ‘Vivid’ by Julie Paschkis -a hybrid text incorporating poetry and informational notes about colour. The author and illustrator reminds us how colour is woven into our language, connected to our moods and colour has different connotations among different societal groups. 

The poems are mostly quite short, free verse poems at times employing repetition and elements of rhyme. The poems easily complement the fascinating facts that accompany each of the poetic offerings. The partnership between information and poetry created in this text adds a deeper dimension to the reading experience.

'Even though blue is often associated with sadness, it is the most popular colour according to polls taken in ten countries around the world.'
On a personal note, and as a reader, this book meets two strong interests of mine- factual information and verse. The book demonstrates the various ways to think about colour and delivers a playful way to explore th…

Poetry Friday -The Triolet Poem

The Triolet (TREE-o-LAY), is a poetic form with 13th century French roots. It has links to the rondeau or 'round' poem. 

The triolet is perfect for using repetition, because the first line of the poem is used 3 times and the second line is used twice. It's an 8-line poem, so there are only 3 other lines to write.

Two of those lines rhyme with the first line, the other rhymes with the second line.

The triolet looks like this:
A (first line)
B (second line)
a (rhymes with first line)
A (repeat first line)
a (rhymes with first line)
b(rhymes with second line)
A (repeat first line)
B (repeat second line)

I only had to look out the window this morning in order to find my inspiration. I could hear the wind howling through the trees and witness its command, its power, over all things outdoors. 

The Morning Wind

The wind now bullies the trees
Ferocious, unyielding and bold
It formed from a gentle breeze
The wind now bullies the trees
With the strength of Hercules
A blustering blast, icy cold
The wind…

Poetry Friday- Triversen Poems

The 'Triversen' is a poetic form developed by William Carlos Williams. It presents as a flexible poetry form where the sentence plays a key role in forming each of the six three line stanzas.

A Triversen poem has the following characteristics:
Each stanza equals one sentence.Each sentence/stanza breaks into 3 lines (each line is a separate phrase in the sentence).There is a variable foot of 2-4 beats per line.The poem as a whole should add up to 18 lines (or 6 stanzas).
Here's my attempt at a Triversen poem. It sets a tone of sadness, but in this case that was my brief as a poet.

Earl's Funeral
when they buried old Earl a murder of crows sat in a nearby tree
the shadow of a cloud passed over the  mourners who shuddered in the cold air
Earl was buried in an old suit his favourite battered hat and a photo of his dog.
can't remember the last time I saw Earl  but we shared a few words
A life gets recounted packed up and then put away
the crows held the tree captive then shook their sooty f…

Beating The Blank Page Poem

Poets, experienced and inexperienced all face the challenge of the blank page. So let's approach the writing we choose to do with a can-do attitude. The blank page is the very reason the rehearsal of our 'first' or opening words is so vitally important. When we rehearse those initial words, we turn up the party bearing gifts! We bring with us a string of words to launch the writing. Words ready to splash across the page. Words to get things going. These words provide momentum. To help develop a can do attitude I have written this poem, a battle cry of sorts. A poem to create a mind set for action. We should hold no fear of the blank page. The idea of writer's block is something of an excuse. Afterall, do doctors suffer doctor's block? Do electricians suffer electricians block? Let's get this party started!
Beating the Blank Page
A Battle-Cry for the Brave Young Writer

Hello blank page
I’m here to let you know
You hold no fear for me
I come prepared
For above all thing…

Friday Poetry- The Table Poem

'Sometimes the easiest way to start is not to try to ‘think something up but to write something down – and what better place to begin than with what is right in front of your eyes?'      Andy Griffiths, 'Once Upon A Slime.'

With these excellent words ringing in my ears, I did just that. I sat down at the table with my notebook and wrote this poem to celebrate it's existence. So in a way the table was both the subject of my poem and a facilitator. 

So my advice is sit still and take a look around you. There are so many potential ideas waiting to be discovered. They are hiding in the open!

The Kitchen Table

This table listens to our secret conversations
Revealing nothing
It watches babies grow
Eavesdrops on discussions
Heartbreaking and ridiculous
This table witnesses the emergence of wisdom
Through the years
Through interminable time
to and fro across its ever flat surface
Words weave and wander
Comfort and stir
This table silently acquires
Cuts and …

Poetry Friday -Trimeric Poems

Trimeric Poems
Today it gives me great pleasure to share a Trimeric Poem. A poetry form I have recently discovered. A poetry form I really like...

The poem begins to build seamlessly as you go, due to its expectation for the writer to repeat lines used in the first four line stanza in order to launch each subsequent three line stanza.  

The Trimeric poetry form was invented by Charles A. Stone, and the rules are quite straightforward :

A Trimeric poem consists of 4 stanzas
The first stanza has 4 lines
The other three stanzas have 3 lines each
The first line of each 3 line stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza (so 2nd stanza starts with the second line, third stanza starts with the third line, etc.)
No rules apply for line length, meter, or rhyme. I;ve coloured coded my poem so you can see how the structure has been informed.

I was born into a world of blotting paper Ink wells and fountain pens A left handed writer In a writing minefield
Ink wells and fountain pen…