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WD Poetic Form Challenge: Sijo

Categories: Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides Blog, WD Poetic Form Challenge, What's New.

You knew it was coming–the next WD Poetic Form Challenge!

This time around, we’re trying out the sijo, a three-line Korean poetic form. It’s more lyrical than a haiku, and there are more syllables. Click here to read how to write a sijo.

Once you down the rules of sijo, start writing them and sharing here on the blog for a chance to be published in Writer’s Digest magazine–as part of the Poetic Asides column.

Here’s how the challenge works:

  • Challenge is free. No entry fee.
  • The winner (and sometimes a runner-up or two) will be featured in a future edition of Writer’s Digest magazine as part of the Poetic Asides column.
  • Deadline 11:59 p.m. (Atlanta, GA time) on February 23, 2014.
  • Poets can enter as many sijo (sijos?) as they wish. The more “work” you make for me the better.
  • All poems should be previously unpublished. If you have a specific question about your specific situation, just send me an e-mail at robert.brewer@fwmedia.com. Or just write a new sijo.
  • I will only consider sijo shared in the comments below. It gets too confusing for me to check other posts, go to other blogs, etc.
  • Speaking of posting, if this is your first time, your comment may not appear immediately. However, it should appear within a day (or 3–if shared on the weekend). So just hang tight, and it should appear eventually. If not, send me an e-mail at the address above.
  • Please include your name as you would like it to appear in print. If you don’t, I’ll be forced to use your screen name, which might be something like HaikuPrincess007 or MrLineBreaker. WD has a healthy circulation, so make it easy for me to get your byline correct.
  • Finally–and most importantly–be sure to have fun!

*****

Get started in writing!

Click here to learn more.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and already a fan of the sijo, because of its lyrical nature. He’s the author of Solving the World’s Problems (click here to check out a special offer on the book) and a former Poet Laureate of the Blogosphere. He’s currently set to read poetry in Seattle, Hickory (NC), and Austin–but he’s always open to adding to his schedule. Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.

*****

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

606 Responses to WD Poetic Form Challenge: Sijo

  1. lionetravail says:

    “Come on over”, my mother said, “and we’ll bake things together”.
    A quiet Sunday afternoon; butter, eggs, flour, sugar.
    Oven at three-fifty, yielding fresh-baked memories for two.

  2. cholder says:

    I write, fight for the life breathing inside, though I pay a price
    Passion powers my hand, verse my cryptonite, poesy my vice
    Providing nourishment to my soul, illuminating my mind

    Chi Holder

  3. RUTH R. B. says:

    Why isn’t my Sijo posting??

    • If you’re new to the site, your first couple of posts go through an approval process (to make sure the account isn’t a spammer account). When it happens on a weekend it takes me a couple of days to catch up as I go through them personally.

      Thanks for your patience and it should be up now.
      Brian
      Online Editor

  4. cholder says:

    Intricate webs of duplicitous wonder—why do you bother?
    Intersecting threads spun to fool, but I am no one’s fool
    Exhausted yarns woven into the fabric of your truth

    Chi Holder

  5. cholder says:

    A resurrection is coming; the phoenix rises in the east
    Sets fire to his only home as crimson paints the western sky
    On a nest of cinnamon he burns; hope is a flame eternal

    Chi Holder

  6. RUTH R. B. says:

    “Broken”

    The world is full of broken glass, lying shattered on the ground.
    The glistening sun points out the pieces: broken hearts and shattered dreams.
    Though the world is broken, it’s in the broken beauty’s born.

  7. PressOn says:

    THE OLD MINSTRELS (sijo)

    Us old folks recall the songs folks singers sang in olden times;
    all are gone, folks and singers, gone to far lands beyond all time
    but their songs had their own sweet rhymes. So, let’s sing them one more time.

    William Preston

  8. The Singer Tells Me

    The singer tells me that, since menopause, she’s lost the voice she had.
    She likes to sing with others now, who are giving all they have.
    ‘I too,’ she says, ’Give all I have. I must let that be enough.’

  9. cholder says:

    She brushes the girl’s matted hair, a tangled mess of neglect
    A simple act of compassion, gently soothing tortured tresses
    Now she brings her teacher ribbons, bound by satin strands of love

  10. DanielR says:

    A CHILD’S NIGHT
    Awakened, I watch a scary shadow claw my window screen
    Superman blankets offer little protection from monsters
    Mama hugs me tight; I will never climb that tree again

    Daniel Roessler

  11. DanielR says:

    TIME
    You cuckoo to me, announcing my procrastination
    Banded in ornamental splendor, my traveling companion
    Taken for granted, when you should be cherished and treasured

    Daniel Roessler

  12. Jane Shlensky says:

    I’m on a Sijo roll for the last few days. Love this form’s ability to limit my meandering…

    Promises

    Dawn’s light will spark ice diamonds astounding dozing ground
    under new blue-capped day, gray mist burned off like remembered loss.
    Trees will puff with green promise, tales of bloom, blue birds winging. Just wait.

  13. Jane Shlensky says:

    Advantage

    When problems come in rags and empty-eyed, she opens wide her door.
    They take her home, explore, make her a slave to being kind.
    No longer can she fight what should be right; she moves away.

    • PressOn says:

      I love this. The sounds and sense are both profound. It also reminds me of an expression my father used to use about helpful folks: “They are like a willing team of horses. One horse is willing to do it all; the other is willing she should.”

  14. Jane Shlensky says:

    Easy Things

    I’m getting old, in love with easy things, like laughter and losing
    weight, waking fluent in languages and instruments, energy
    settling over me like a cotton gown, lilting like praise and grace.

  15. Jane Shlensky says:

    School Lunch

    He meets the bus, huge hungry grinding mustard spill on wheels.
    Its maul twists open, he steps in, with other doleful faces.
    Maybe he’ll come to like being chewed and spit out at each day’s end.

  16. The Dead Year

    It’s as if a whole year has been negated since you died.
    Though I’m well aware of all its happenings and stages, they dim.
    It seems reality stopped with you, events since pale and lifeless.

  17. Rain Call

    Big splashy raindrops, I call you to fall on this thirsty earth!
    And to keep falling as long as the plants need to keep drinking!
    In one week autumn will begin — mote we go into it refreshed!

  18. Margie Fuston says:

    Infused

    The sun dips into the clouds with Midas’s touch, spilling lust.
    We watch from the sand, your fingers tracing the trail of my veins,
    your own magic, passing from skin to skin, turning me to treasure.

  19. Margie Fuston says:

    All That Glitters

    Ladybugs cluster to form the brightness of your freckled cheeks.
    Dandelions weave strands of gold to form your flowing hair.
    But ladybugs turn brown in death, and dandelions are just weeds.

  20. RebekahJ says:

    Handheld Prayer

    Teacup child’s back toothbrush comb; husband’s arm doorknob subway strap phone
    Squeeze stroke tap type scroll wave pull; thin quick cold chapped helping full
    On this tender day, dear God, please bless the work of my hands.

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  21. cholder says:

    Build a bower for my mate, create an optical illusion
    Around the tallest spire, dance about, cockery on display
    Trill tantalizing tunes for Mary; I hope that she will stay

    Chi Holder

  22. Jane Shlensky says:

    Twist

    Under an angry sky, they hunkered cellar deep, waiting
    as winds picked up, watching for tendrils dropping, swirling fickle straws.
    Hope’s light slices banks of gray, nods to twisting forms of fate.

  23. newbie44 says:

    Seasonal Strife
    by Renee Meador

    Evergreens undulate like hula dancers on sunny beach
    As the north wind surges south in pulsing gasps lest spring prevail.
    Pineapple Express victor drapes hula dancers in white leis.

  24. In Wilting Heat

    I believe there will be rain tonight, at last. Yes! I walk out
    and find very fine drops already falling invisibly.
    But will they be enough for this thirsty land? Bring on the storms!

  25. cholder says:

    I warned them it was coming; still they danced under the dark sky
    The ominous clouds alarmed me, but they laughed at my distress
    Oh virtue! Even after it thundered, they did not believe

    Chi Holder

  26. bjzeimer says:

    Earth Sijo

    How lovely, this planet, its surface shadowed, with forest green
    and blue surround, the big harvest moon, the red glow of a setting sun.
    For of this kind, who would think, that Earth came, from a big bang?

  27. bjzeimer says:

    Earth Day

    Earth’s climate, is changing, to harsh winters, with hot summers,
    tornadoes on the East Coast, blizzards as far as the deep south.
    But let us hold a summit, of the world, some say we are to blame.

  28. Jane Shlensky says:

    If/when

    If we eroded down to dirt, becoming over time
    wild ground, amazed with random flowers, nothing nature did not found,
    would you be happy then, raising your petaled face to sky?

  29. Jane Shlensky says:

    Caged

    My sister collects instruments to hang upon the wall.
    So beautiful, the workmanship, mother-of pearl, rich wood, and strings.
    She does not wish them played; they stand like wax tenors, choked with song.

  30. Jane Shlensky says:

    Pearls before Swine

    Tell us a story, complicated, sad, she says. I start,
    “In Denmark, Prince Hamlet…” when she turns to shake his arm.
    “Wib, listen, how sweet, a royal ham. Don’t you just love pig stories?”

  31. Jane Shlensky says:

    Bill, I just want to tell you that you are the laureate of laureates. Seeing your responses to every single entry posted, and every one so heartfelt and insightful, just blows my mind. I’m such a fan of your work and your kindness.

  32. Jane Shlensky says:

    Reformation

    A steady rain melts mounds of snow, sky water sculpting that
    frozen face left frowning on the ground; its icy stare responds,
    Time to be a pond, reflect, swell streams, feed springs, thaw hearts. Reform!

  33. Jane Shlensky says:

    What Lies Beneath

    Beneath the snow lies possibility tucked into earth,
    rebirth of seed or bulb awaiting sun to stun pods housing hope.
    Nature unfolds as we do, infinite layers rising to light.

  34. DanielR says:

    EVENING FEEDING
    Artistic acrobats against a backdrop of endless blue
    Swallows, diving and swooping, fully extending pointed wings
    After dinner, the show ends, gliding safely toward home

    Daniel Roessler

  35. JRSimmang says:

    ROADIE

    Down-trodden, teeth rotten. Clothes stained red thread-bare and unfed.
    He’s dead. Immune to the tune of the wind. His sign, in letters, read,
    “Spare Conversation: anything helps.” I roll my windows down instead.

    -JR Simmang

  36. RebekahJ says:

    Brushing My Daughter’s Hair

    Recessive genes surprised us with her flaxen helixed curls;
    Fifty microns leaves a world of room to tangle. When she’s forty,
    Will she still know I finger-combed to gentle out the knots?

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  37. Domino says:

    He asks her, “What is it like holding my heart in your two hands the way you do?”
    A veiled gaze; is he joking? Realizing no repartee
    she answers after a moment, and with a smile, “You should know.”

    Diana Terrill Clark

  38. lionetravail says:

    Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
    has just about the syllables, and meter’s not atrocious.
    But why’ve I gone and sijo’ed it? It’s probably neurosis!

  39. PressOn says:

    TASK IN FORCE

    When I checked, the comment count was getting close to five hundred;
    I pity the editor who has to count sijo syllables:
    as he counts, these mounds of sijo will come and go, ebb and flow.

  40. Jane Shlensky says:

    Summer Plans

    Come summer, I shall take to swimming pools, outside, where young ones sun.
    I’ll bring my winter weight to show them where their futures lie. Nearby,
    after my swim, I’ll replay when I was bikinied, thin, and them.

  41. Jane Shlensky says:

    Recovery

    The feeder’s full, the word goes out from chickadee and cardinal,
    and soon the air is full of wings, excited chirps, and happy things.
    My morning coffee, grinning cat, helps me to breathe and savor that.

  42. Jane Shlensky says:

    False Light

    The sun shines window-warm for cats and plants inside a house,
    but outside my blood freezes in bright promises of light—
    like you, life of the party, dazzling star, who leaves me cold.

  43. Jane Shlensky says:

    Eye of the Beholder

    Beauty can glide along a muddy pond, causing the sky
    to drop, be mirrored there, lamb clouds to settle warm as bloomed cotton,
    or peek through snow, a crocus, necessary as your eyes sweet gaze.

  44. Jane Shlensky says:

    He Walked Away

    The trail along the creek crackles, the water’s edge laced with ice.
    Our boots leave wet prints on frost, evidence of a long search
    for something small and quiet as a fawn, frightened as a child.

  45. Jane Shlensky says:

    Soft Dark

    My heart’s mineshaft, pitch-dark, is jagged with fears of is, is not,
    but darkness can be velvet soft, a toasty quilt, so comforting,
    a warm hearth on lonely nights, when I dream your bright eyes.

  46. Jane Shlensky says:

    Waiting

    Old snow still lies at forest’s edge, drifted against trees’ northern sides,
    staying for more to join it, locals swear, scanning blank skies.
    We wait for you, gone so long, residue of hope melting away.

  47. Jane Shlensky says:

    Elsewhere

    Hibernation counts on spring, floes turned to flows, alive with yes;
    and so I weather snow and ice and grow attached to barren bark,
    while you, down under on a beach, brave scorching sun, and I am warmed.

  48. Jane Shlensky says:

    Shadow Lessons

    He trails his brother every step, watches and mimics little things—
    to walk with shoulders back and spit, make friends and fight a million wrongs,
    but never look behind to see who patterns himself after you.

  49. Jane Shlensky says:

    Darkness Grins

    The Jews have known it all along, the comedy in tragedy,
    how just beneath the worst, there looms a chuckle, darkest irony,
    that we believed in ledges, nets, to break our wailing fall.

  50. Jane Shlensky says:

    Denouement

    I loved him—I can say that now and weep—too late for him
    to tutor me in sundry loving ways, to see me petal-
    open to his light, to watch me watch him go and blow a kiss.

  51. DanielR says:

    THE NOVEL
    What was it about your cover that piqued my interest?
    Selecting you from among your peers, you promised me suspense
    With each turned page, you become a friend I long to spend more time with

    Daniel Roessler

    • PressOn says:

      I feel a bit of a fraud here, because I rarely read novels. I have heard others speak of novels as friends, though. I have another view of the world, thanks to your poem.

  52. DanielR says:

    ART MUSEUMS
    Sweeping brush strokes of mad geniuses, displayed in ornate frames
    Cold, neutral walls given warmth by vibrant colors on canvas
    Mesmerized admirers, staring, privy to another’s soul

    Daniel Roessler

    • PressOn says:

      I never thought of being “privy to another’s soul,” which, I suppose, shows my insensitivity to art. Your poem gave me an new way to think on it. Thanks.

  53. Linda Hatton says:

    Dumped

    She left your kisses on the counter sometime before the maid cleaned
    up. Swept to the trash with one bare arm, then took them curbside, gave
    them away to a place where she can never get them back.

    -Linda G Hatton

  54. Linda Hatton says:

    Control Alt Delete

    You looked for love inside a box holding cookies and memory,
    forgetting to install new memories, share your cookies, love,
    cherish the one who stayed beside you when you had none.

    -Linda G Hatton

  55. I don’t want the same old age my mother had, sad and lonely.
    Her world kept narrowing in, her companion was the TV.
    Let me be vigorously aged, go out and play, make whoopee!

  56. Azma says:

    DILEMNA DEMONS

    Oh! What do I wear? Dilemna demons decided to dare.
    Plaids, purples or polka dots? Alas! My mind is left in knots.
    At last! Relived to work with the blues. Oh wait! There’s still shoes to choose.

    -Azma Sheikh

  57. PressOn says:

    GHOSTS

    Pianos, left to themselves, go out of tune and start to fade,
    and the songs we used to sing limn the parlor like a soft shade;
    my soul knows few sights so haunting as pianos left unplayed.

    William Preston

  58. DanielR says:

    THE BRIDGE
    Iron arches, exposed and weathered by the glare of many suns
    Spanning deep, swift, muddy waters with some far away birthplace
    Connecting strangers lives, shocked, I watch her jumping off point

    Daniel Roessler

  59. DanielR says:

    THE BEACH
    Grains of shifting sand settle in around my damp feet and toes
    Waves caress the shoreline, whispering endless possibilities
    With anticipation, I gaze toward the place where blue meets blue

    Daniel Roessler

  60. Linda Hatton says:

    Seven-Year (Gl)itch

    The hibernating winter brought drought to the kingdom, created
    cracks where tears once lived, teased me with a hint of himself, made
    me question whether love survives without the change of seasons.

    -Linda G Hatton (who seems to be hooked on parentheses) :-)

  61. Waking up, I stretch my limbs, lifting my legs high in the air
    so I see the slim ankles, the shapely calves of a young girl
    once a day — before weight and age, and Gravity, thicken them.

  62. Brandi Beck says:

    His rough hand upon her cheek is hot and heats her to a burn
    Revealing the rapid pulse that beats beneath her reddened throat.
    Turning from his warm caresses, she hides her heart in a blush.

  63. I walk about my little house, liking the comforts I’ve made here —
    this home of mine that was once ours, from which you are dead and gone,
    where in each room I encounter warm traces of your presence.

  64. lionetravail says:

    Wintry Trails

    She lay before me, pristine. Queen of all I surveyed.
    I shivered. Virginal, she, free to be ravished. I swayed,
    transfixed by her snowy beauty. Duty called, and tracks I laid.

  65. Linda Hatton says:

    (Not) One Direction

    The turn signal screams over teen-club beats, turn left, turn right, any
    direction, but straight ahead where the street dead ends, sobered,
    disrobed of my love for you, the seat next to me empty.

    -Linda G Hatton

  66. Linda Hatton says:

    Without (Fri)ends

    This poem doesn’t know where to go, like a seventh-grader
    with no one to turn to, stopping and starting, word-searching
    for love in I’s and U’s, hiding between the lines on the playground . . .

    -Linda G Hatton

  67. As Promised

    ‘We’ll get through this,’ you told me, your arms around me as I sobbed
    and would not give my reason: that I saw you dying day by day.
    Alone now, and still here, day by day i’m getting through it.

  68. Margie Fuston says:

    Counting Pennies

    Men and women dressed in Burberry, or maybe Armani,
    drop pennies like paper on sidewalks, in crevices, unmissed.
    Across the forgotten world, or maybe just next door, people starve.

  69. Linda.H says:

    The wind tugs at the edges of winter’s lacey White gown,
    creating white waves of snow that roll across the hidden earth.
    Inside, you trace my body, each curve a snowdrift ready to melt.

    Linda Hofke

  70. Morning Sounds

    Intermittent calls of local birds, from shrilling to warbling.
    My neighbour’s wake-up cough; noises of saucepan and kettle.
    I am quiet here in my yard, with my cat curled up beside me.

  71. Charlene Prahasky says:

    Resilience
    By Charlene Prahasky

    Covered in darkness body beaten to the core, encased in fear, in time no more.

    Dreams take shape through mended escape, fear subsides, in time much more.

    Radiant light surrounds a beautiful being abounds, love pervades, in time amazingly more.

  72. Charlene Prahasky says:

    Resilience
    By Charlene Prahasky

    Covered in darkness body beaten to the core, encased in fear, in time no more.

    Dreams take shape through mended escape, fear subsides, in time much more.

    Radiant light surrounds as a beautiful being abounds, love pervades, in time amazingly more.

  73. Azma says:

    The lost friend

    We ran together, across the playground I remember
    So sanguinely they said- our friendship would never fade
    But now you are lost in the mist, just a name in my Friendlist

    -Azma Sheikh

  74. DanielR says:

    REMEMBERING
    Scattered fragments of years left behind, recalled and then forgotten
    Glimpses of childhood happiness at far too great a distance
    Epitaphs on weathered headstones cannot be forgiven

    Daniel Roessler

  75. Is it wrong to start my day, every day, at the computer?
    Bad for my health and my housework both — so I am often told.
    Ah, but this they don’t know: I start all my days with poetry.

  76. lionetravail says:

    The sijo form is yrical. Cadence? Metaphysical.
    Its messages may typical-ly be quite prototypical-
    political, critical, egotistical, or, to beat a dead horse, with last line meter disjointedly atypical.

  77. Missing

    My black cat is moping tonight, and wandering the whole house
    uttering strident miaows; I know he wants me to fix it all
    but I can’t bring back our dead man, I can only cuddle the cat.

  78. The Bloom is Lost

    You have fallen by the wayside; I go on without you —
    as if you were just a weed, plant that I used to tend and cherish.
    Perhaps I’ll give up gardening, or find something hardier.

  79. lionetravail says:

    My hard drive is nearly full; I’m not sure how to de-frag.
    To save more information, old bytes must be recycled.
    Survival of the fittest: the paragon of memories.

  80. SOUL LABOR

    What sound is resonating? sonata for wind in oak trees.
    He gives up striving with mattock and muscle. Hardpan wins.
    But that arcane music from thin air – even earth stops to listen.

  81. PressOn says:

    BY THE ROUNDHOUSE

    Rusted rails, twisted and split, stretch from here to eternity;
    at sundown, when purple comes, they straighten out and ghosts return:
    striding back, robust and profane, come God’s men who worked the rails.

    William Preston

  82. Linda Hatton says:

    Bully

    Unbridled pest grips smaller boy’s backpack like reins of a horse,
    hoofing over the floods of middle school, trampling unsaddled
    until mere horse turns steed, bucking, fleeing to high(er) (school) pastures.

    -Linda G Hatton

  83. BezBawni says:

    Dream State

    When little girls start to fly among invisible feathers,
    and gold is reflected in the tears of silver and bronze –
    forty-four miss only two. It’s hot, it’s cool, it’s jittery.

  84. PressOn says:

    RELIEF

    My poems sometimes slumber many a night, many a day,
    but sooner, often later, they and paper manage to play.
    When cornered, creativity seeks its release, come what may.

    William Preston

  85. BezBawni says:

    Marshall

    You think there’s some hidden rage I lodge, but I don’t care.
    I dodge yet another rebuke you fling, and it explodes
    into the wall behind me. I get away with mild contusion.

  86. BezBawni says:

    Moving Train

    Our compartment is full of smoke and dusty arguments,
    I listen to the click-clack of my pulse, and turn away
    to wacht my snowbound life sweep past. Then – blast! Our love derails.

  87. cholder says:

    He trudged to work each day; slaved for a lifetime, his wage unpaid
    Found that love shattered, brought a man low, on his knees toiling
    Faith in a tiny seed sown; too weary to tend the garden

    Chi Holder

  88. DanielR says:

    PIANO BAR
    With each strike of the ivory keys, your melody calls out to me
    No crowds, grand stage, or spotlight, you still play on in to the night
    A few dollars in your jar, long ago dreams of being a star

    Daniel Roessler

  89. DanielR says:

    COUNTY FAIR
    Tilt-A-Whirls and Ferris wheels, screams of fear and delight pierce the night
    Pink and fluffy cotton candy clouds float by, gobbled up and gone
    Barking voices offer three throws for a dollar, win if you can

    Daniel Roessler

  90. DanielR says:

    WITHOUT YOU
    Your name escapes my lips, echoing in limestone canyons
    I am lost and wandering, not on my hike, but in life
    A hawk’s intense eyes follow me, sensing I am easy prey

    Daniel Roessler

  91. SUNFLOWER SHOWER

    Sunflowers on a rainy winter day – when are they more intriguing?
    Powerful golden ray – shedding light on thoughts kept in the darkening.
    Sunflower summer rain – sending warm regards and bright ideas to friends of dreaming.

    Claudia Columna

  92. PressOn says:

    MAY IN MAINE

    Daisies dance in pantomime along the crest of yonder hill;
    lilacs, standing in a line, perfume cool air that leaps the rill.
    Green returns; spring explodes again; life busts out for good or ill.

    William Preston

  93. There you go, Sijo:
    BACK TO THE ROOTS, EARTHLINGS
    The land of poets and thinkers, Hermann Hesse and Hermann of the Cheruscans
    Goethe’s Storm and Stress as fruit of Barbarian German forests
    Fertile soil meets hungry soul – ARTist in love of nature as a whole
    Claudia Columna

  94. SUNFLOWER SHOWER
    Sunflowers on a rainy winter day – when are they more intriguing?
    Powerful golden ray – shedding light on thoughts kept in the dark.
    Flower Power at its best – warm regards and bright ideas to friends without rest.
    Claudia Columna

  95. Linda Hatton says:

    You’ve Been Naughty

    Too bad you can’t untangle the knots left in my heart your stunt
    chained together, strung around my neck, like your fingers
    squeezing the fairy tale right out of our wronged relationship.

    -Linda G Hatton

  96. TOIL AND TROUBLE

    This man was meant to toil in the sun to earn his pay,
    my muscles strain and ache and in time, my back will break,
    but make no mistake: This hard working man likes it that way!

  97. PressOn says:

    CONTEST

    Love holds hope in humble hands and proffers a home to the heart;
    hate, ensconced in iron bands, demands that love must soon depart.
    Love and hate, two sides of the same, fight for my soul and birth art.

    William Preston

  98. JRSimmang says:

    ALLIANCE

    I’m a freedom fighter, ignitor, caught in between midnight or
    morning. I ain’t boring; temptor, seductor, helpless protector.
    Down the barrel of my gun you’ll find peace, a bittersweet release.

    -JR Simmang

  99. lionetravail says:

    Dancing around the subject, with infinity of care-
    Whoops! Where is it? Where’d it go? How’d it get clear over there?
    Kittens with the innocent look, I never believe that pair!

  100. newbie44 says:

    Trying to post sijos. Hope this works.

    Diet
    by Renee Meador

    Cabbage soup diet assures ten pound weight loss in seven days.
    Holiday weight gain vanquished in a burst of post feast restraint.
    Chocolate chip cookie respite in my sweet dreams while dieting.

    Bitter
    by Renee Meador

    Such bitter winter weather, dark sub-zero days in sequence.
    Horses paw for cured grasses under snow drifts, ice on water.
    Bitter melancholy deepens icy grip on weary soul.

  101. JRSimmang says:

    FEED THEM TO THE BIRDS

    Off the sill and onto the floor, the flower less pot shatters.
    Her name inscribed on the soft underside, like it even matters.
    The potter made us to break, I say, shattered pieces break no more.

    -JR Simmang

  102. priyajane says:

    Nightfall

    Welkin left overs, shine nervously, as charcoal clouds gang up
    Flapping fearful bells of discontented deadlines and half baked reds
    For that mighty Hades, who will blast off some cold spiral spears–

  103. Linda Hatton says:

    Full of Air

    With no knack for wordiness, I struggle to write each line.
    And too many vacant wordy spaces expose my untrained mind
    at penning poems of long-windedness. Oh haiku, where are you?

    -Linda G Hatton

    • PressOn says:

      I was smiling broadly as I read and re-read this piece. The sijo is short anyway; it is funny to think of “long-windedness” in that context. I don;t know if you intgended the humor, but that’s what I got, and I enjoyed it. Thanks.

  104. cholder says:

    When midnight strikes, the owl takes flight, his sinister call incites
    And I, in my haste to escape certain death, stumbled, lay waste
    To the pitiless earth, and crept, on beseeching knees I wept

    • cholder says:

      Forgot my name :)

      When midnight strikes, the owl takes flight, his sinister call incites
      And I, in my haste to escape certain death, stumbled, lay waste
      To the pitiless earth, and crept, on beseeching knees I wept

      Chi Holder

  105. DanielR says:

    LEAVING
    The multi-colored Maple shivered in chilly autumn winds
    Its leaves fought falling, clinging with absolute desperation
    Surrendering to their calling, they released and floated free

    Daniel Roessler

  106. PressOn says:

    GAZING AT ORION

    The midnight constellations, wheeling about the winter sky,
    foster dreams, aberrations that I discern with blinded eye.
    Here and there, flashing meteors cast no wisdom, though they try.

    William Preston

  107. ChristineA says:

    Regret

    I would call you to tell you that I love you, that I’m sorry.
    I would call you to tell you that I’ll miss you, but it’s too late.
    The yellow telephone is silent and I walk away.

    Christine Ahmed

  108. Azma says:

    Taming down

    Every crease and every fold, can be smoothed by just a stroke.
    Just some heat will suffice, to make clothes look neat and nice.
    Something to say, might i dare – can to clothes, kids compare?

    -Azma Sheikh

  109. Tiffany198300 says:

    I loved you, You loved me, Then we fell apart, I cried day and night, Wishing I could hold you tight, Why did you have to leave me, Why did you have to go, When I still loved you so, So will you please, please take me back, Cause I’ll always love you day and night.

    Tiffany Wehunt

  110. priyajane says:

    When you are gone, I wrap myself in your old gray sweater
    and twirl my fingers through its song that holds me with some cozy strings
    Into a silent world, beyond these rings , when you are gone

  111. lionetravail says:

    The Big Game

    If running and sports don’t do it, but watching and drinking sure do,
    and your claim to fame’s on the couch instead of in quarterback’s crouch,
    ignore the absent reporters- you ARE an ‘athletic supporter’!

  112. PressOn says:

    NIGHTFALL

    Cold and snow are with me now as my tears flow and winds blow blue.
    You are gone; I falter now; can’t sing our song while winds blow blue
    and dusk brings its plunging purple, shadowing the snow and cold.

    William Preston

  113. Azma says:

    THE BEAUTY
    She sashayed down the alley, so proud and so nonchalant
    My sight swayed with her pendulum like struts, yearning to pick her up
    If in my arms, I would brush her fur and keep her as my pet kitty
    -Azma Sheikh

  114. Die-a-beating me

    She tells me sugar mama is ruining my fairy tale.
    Runs in my family, I utter. A race she is winning.
    No bedside manner. Cold fingers write yet another script.

  115. JRSimmang says:

    WE GREW A FOREST

    Do you remember how you laughed? Because I can’t forget
    that tender, splintered puzzle. I’ve thought about it often, but
    I fear I’ve lost my last piece. Will you return to me?

    -JR Simmang

  116. DanielR says:

    PERSERVERANCE

    A lonely dancer pirouettes on life’s enormous stage
    Rhythmic with the melody, gracefully shifting pointed toes
    Awkwardly stumbling, elegance lost, bouncing up with poise

    Daniel Roessler

  117. DanielR says:

    RAPIDS
    Water rolls across bulky rocks in ripples of frothy white
    The urgent, rushing swells frantically racing toward mellow ends
    Melting into calm in greater depths, unrecognizable

    Daniel Roessler

  118. DanielR says:

    THE SWING

    Amongst dancing trees, a breeze blows gentle across my troubled soul
    Sweeping away my concerns, restoring youthful memories
    A sturdy oak branch strangled by a rope, anchors the swinging tire

    Daniel Roessler

  119. JRSimmang says:

    FORGETTING THE MOON

    Soon, the trees will beg for sunlight, their wilted branches warmed into
    birthing sublime breezes. It is here I will sit patiently.
    Though, some things stay dead, frozen in perpetual winter.

    -JR Simmang

  120. DanielR says:

    THE JOURNEY

    At the end of everything I’m in the middle of nothing
    Still running from something that I don’t understand and can’t explain
    Asking questions with no clear answers, weary but journeying on

    Daniel Roessler

  121. JRSimmang says:

    SOMETIMES A HAND

    I’ve chosen to carry your world, so don’t ask if you can help.
    I have your second – guesses balanced with your almost misses.
    My world? I left it somewhere else. Can we just share this one?

    -JR Simmang

  122. PressOn says:

    THE BRIGHT SIDE

    Mosquitoes metamorphose from bitty bugs to needle thugs;
    summertime’s mosquito time, and that is why I smile and shrug
    at complaints about cold and snow: in winter, no mosquitoes.

    William Preston

  123. Margin of Twilight

    Swollen by rain, river pulled wind down-valley. Shiver of air
    and faint quaver of instrument unseen, a harmonica
    wavering through archives of wail and jubilation, of song.

  124. RebekahJ says:

    Freckles in Starbucks

    They cover her pale arms neck face hands calves in speckled gold
    I say I’d love to have them and she laughs: I never hear that
    Shoulders the door open; shimmers as she walks into the sun

    Kimberly Gladman Jackson

  125. lionetravail says:

    The Unkind Word

    I know the way to hurt: curt, callous, blase, uncaring!
    Preparing cruelly what to blurt, quirts which strike unerring
    at vulnerable places; faces mirrors of despairing.

  126. priyajane says:

    Memories
    Memories drift in the rear view mirror, down the winding road
    Don’t lose focus causing bottlenecks, keep your eyes on the road
    One can reminisce, with the radio burning bright golden songs —

    Priti Agrawal

  127. priyajane says:

    A lone star
    A drop of light, an early bird, a gleaming thought, a whisper heard
    Love’s first felt blink, the tipping point, so crystal clear, a distant sign
    I walk with it, beyond my world, and watch it merge, into the swirl

  128. South Hadley

    The sky fell like porcelain, shattered and still in the darkness.
    Afterwards, we lit candles in the kitchen. She kissed my lips
    and I dropped a plate in surprise, then another, to make sure.

    Andrew Kreider

  129. DanielR says:

    THE WRITING LIFE
    Creeping in and spreading, like grass seeping through a sidewalk’s cracks
    Questioning each word choice, agonizing over my chances
    Hope eroded by the vicious, strong-armed tactics of self-doubt

    Daniel Roessler

  130. PressOn says:

    CONUNDRUM

    Millipedes have many feet and many ways to walk about;
    while walking on curving streets they simply curve like swimming trout.
    But what if ever we should meet? Can one shake hands with millipedes?

    William Preston

  131. bclay says:

    Above Treasures

    Far greater than rubies, I ran my fingers through your gem heart.
    Virtues shine in her inlaid with jewels, there too my desires
    are found in a noble wife – our holding hands are an organ.

    inspired by my confusing two verses earlier today lol,

  132. bmorrison9 says:

    Snowlight blue under a cold moon, silence more profound than sleep,
    and dreams that lie suspended, quiescent, buried more deeply
    than even the hidden voles, curled in frozen slumber, waiting.

  133. cholder says:

    I apologize for the reprint but decided it should be a 6-line

    When you wished for me to be prettier,
    smarter—a bit taller
    Like her instead—though you were sniggering
    and juddering your head
    It’s not the way you said it, dearest darling—
    It’s what you said

    Chi Holder

  134. cholder says:

    When you wished for me to be prettier, smarter—a bit taller
    Like her instead—though you were sniggering and juddering your head
    It’s not the way you said it, dearest darling—It’s what you said

    Chi Holder

  135. cholder says:

    It’s finally time— close the curtain—move on—pass the baton
    Someone will take it when I’m gone; shake the coals, start a fire
    Burning within, and without a doubt, fill the void leaving left

    Chi Holder

  136. cholder says:

    The Eagle’s Quest

    Out of the mist, the majestic soars, a sentinel in pursuit
    Incisive eyes seeking, the warrior raptor stalks his quarry
    Carnassial claws plunder; the river’s roar a requiem

    Chi Holder

  137. JRSimmang says:

    SILENTLY CROSSING TO THE SHORE

    Accept my hand with your fingers. Sweetly step onto this boat.
    Let not my keen gaze throw you, for this boat won’t float when filled.
    Your soul’s unsure without your body; still with fever, left for dead.

    -JR Simmang

  138. WINTER

    Winter unleashes her fury, raging blizzards and flurries
    fly, frigid wind chills kill the spirit. A blanket of white
    holding in silent slumber, dreams of Spring’s new promise.

  139. rhodalew says:

    After going to an Edward Hopper exhibit and seeing his “House by the Railroad”

    Lonely house

    I stood across the railroad tracks from that shadowed mournful house-
    Shades half-drawn – façade solemn – I imagined ghosts gazing downward.
    “I miss you,” I whispered softly, “I should never have gone away.”

  140. missjoyce says:

    Breakfast
    Coffee aroma was sweeping me off my feet that morning.
    Mr. Sun joined us as the hope of crisp autumn filled my home.
    I sit across my dad who smiled and asked me, “Do I know you?”

    +Joyce Guerrero

  141. PressOn says:

    MARCH IN MAINE

    Though life voids the dark and cold and trees bud new and sun grows bold,
    and new green replaces the old with a substance akin to gold,
    on the cusp of the spring season I remember: fear treason.

    William Preston

  142. priyajane says:

    A Desert Feel

    Between split mountains, brown bare defies death, with dusty vapor
    harvesting desolate rain shadows, with grainy prickly flesh
    de-robing ache, with limbs of palms, that fan and stretch, shadows

  143. Matchmaker

    “Hey, mister… see my sister? I swear. She’s no trouble.
    She is reading about you every day in her novels.”
    Please tune in tomorrow and see how it all unravels.

  144. Bruce Niedt says:

    Solution Unknown

    Pencil sharp, I tackle them – crossword puzzles, devilish grids,
    squares to fill with many words, intersecting. Yet you remain
    an enigma. I write, then erase. No words I know can solve you.

  145. DanielR says:

    DAYBREAK
    The innocent morning wakes, wet from the passionate night’s kisses
    Covered in a blanket of cloudless, infinite azure
    Adorned with the splendid, echoing melodies of songbirds

    Daniel Roessler

  146. PowerUnit says:

    Dan

    Words fail him, the written sort, the page of code he cannot sort
    Sympathize the jobless man who cannot read or understand
    Say the sound b looks like a bird, read the letters learn the word

  147. bclay says:

    trouble sleeping, and not so comfortable with this draft either….

    The Last Petal

    Summer went love wilted bloom, our fragrances of red are gone.
    Tore “loves me not” with the last petal – just pistil and stamen –
    and fell with nothing to catch us – we picked roses for their thorns.

  148. JRSimmang says:

    THE COMPANY WE KEEP IS OUR MEASURE

    The baby’s breath bloomed white outside; the kitchen soundlessly paced.
    There would be no pillow forts or muddy hands, but the house proudly
    brandished its gilded golden handle, once rusted and swollen shut.

    -JR Simmang

  149. no news

    she glances at her cell phone when she doesn’t think I’m watching
    I tell her about wood glue, anything to fill up the cracks
    until ten, when we see the lights and stop breathing, because we know

  150. jaynesgirl says:

    “Some day we will look back on all this and laugh,” you tell me.
    “When things are better and our ship finally comes in to port.”
    But I know better than to trust your words, sentiment hiding lies.

  151. jaynesgirl says:

    Nor’easter

    Oh New England with your colorful leaves and sandy shores.
    How do you lure people in, to spend their entire gray lives
    Waiting for the warm of a Spring day, wanting only to bask.

    • PressOn says:

      Wonderful! I’m not sure I buy the “gray lives,” but this captures much of what the winter that follows the “colorful leaves and sandy shores” in New England is all about, as I recall it.

  152. jaynesgirl says:

    Winter Bites

    How is it that the cold wind blows, unrelenting, wild,
    And the snow swirls around me, biting at my neck
    A frigid vampire attacking–should have moved down south.

  153. Clae says:

    Dragonfly Goodbye

    Amethyst wings fold in to slumber poised for compound dreams
    Slender silver knees perch lightly on lily surface silken smooth
    Carp slips past sapphire raindrops to taste prismed compound eyes

  154. Clae says:

    Ocean’s Roar

    Sea-tigress swims among the weeds Beneath the waves she hunts
    Fish flee Crabs scurry in retreat Pursuit proceeds on clawed webbed feet
    Strong tentacles coil round sea-tiger’s tail Squid ends another hunt.

  155. PressOn says:

    JANUARY AT THE CAPE

    All is still: the morning sun slides orange rays over the sea
    as bare trees, the sentinels of the silence, guard the white heath.
    Then, snow moves; a snowy owl rises by a slowly flowing rill.

    William Preston

  156. Clae says:

    Music Remains Unchanged

    Old fashioned ballads Power ballads All still play the same
    Songs of longing, loss, love and all other flaws of humanity
    Each destroys our lives so it is no surprise we sing truth as lies

    T.S. Gray

  157. PowerUnit says:

    Between Jobs

    Skeptical, wary after a hard day’s work bringing home bread
    Relaxing, feet on table fingers on glass, moments alone
    They return and disturb my peace, smiling faces, hearts alive

  158. PressOn says:

    MIDNIGHT

    In a glade off the highway, under brilliant and flowing stars,
    you and I watch with wonder while the universe welcomes ours;
    I am one with infinity, encompassed whole in your eyes.

    William Preston

  159. Bruce Niedt says:

    Blessing in Disguise

    Third snowstorm: we’re tired of TV weather hysteria.
    We’re sick of shovels and salt, but those snow days; ah, those snow days.
    Beautiful, we say, drinking tea by the window, not driving.

  160. PressOn says:

    UNDER BALLROOM LIGHTS

    As we dance and the music thrills our bodies and our souls,
    and we gaze at each other as we never did before,
    we are whole in our universe; we are legion; we are one.

    William Preston

  161. DanielR says:

    LEMONADE
    A freckle-faced girl in summertime, holding a cardboard sign
    Waving and smiling as the cars pass, twenty-five cents a glass
    A half-empty pitcher, plastic cups, and her stack of quarters

    Daniel Roessler

  162. JRSimmang says:

    THE RESPONSE

    A chair, left to its own devices, will stay in the center
    of a room, resting its arms, wishing for warmth and an embrace.
    It’s promise is never ceasing its support for the tired.

    -JR Simmang

  163. JRSimmang says:

    HERCULES WAS AN AWFUL LIAR

    It must have been hard, for Atlas that is, to hoist the world
    to his shoulders. A burden it was, pulling him down to his knees.
    Perhaps, though, it wasn’t that bad, always touching the ocean’s breeze.

    -JR Simmang

  164. PressOn says:

    SEGUING TO A STARRY SITE

    This deep night, never ending, proffers a sight so unbending
    in the seep of faraway constellations never seen in the day;
    yet for me they seem ever close at hand, chanting, “Return home.”

    William Preston

  165. SHADOW MOUNTAIN

    December, a hundred miles with no other headlights on the road,
    the desert midnight dark but for its stars and harking angels.
    The radio played music I’ve never heard that way again.

  166. DanielR says:

    DROWNING
    Murky waters of the swollen creek move swiftly toward merging
    The willow’s branches droop downward, already weeping for him
    Panic and desperation surface; sinking, then swallowed

    Daniel Roessler

  167. jaynesgirl says:

    MY LOVE

    When you turn to look at me each night with your bedroom eyes
    And reach for me with longing, your arms warm and ready for me,
    I wish I could be a migratory bird, flying far away from you.

  168. David says:

    Freefall

    By David De Jong

    Leaves are chanting, gathering, drawing their sabers with sharpened edge
    Charging forward, in clustered columns, with battle cries of revolt
    Angry winds shake their timbered fist, their members refusing retreat

  169. wannabauthoresse says:

    Forget-Her-Not

    Sitting in the chapel pew, she felt a premonition of doom
    Weeks later, her faith tested, as she awaits her daughter’s fate
    Heart-broken, a Mother faces a parent’s worst nightmare, departure.

  170. cholder says:

    The Robin

    Under the eaves, by light of day, a robin builds her nest
    Each twig and stick skillfully chosen; a mother’s devotion
    ‘Till her nestlings abandon, and the robin begins anew

  171. cholder says:

    Legend of the Whippoorwill

    On the eve of morn’, in the cusp of dawn, a harbinger warns
    And I hesitate to tarry there, in wooded deep, too long
    Beware ye departing souls, for the whippoorwill chants his song

  172. MayamotoWaya says:

    I can see the change in your eyes, as you gaze towards the skies
    In parallel the universe you see – won’t be itself again
    Thus when revolution is nature, how could I resent your stare?

  173. Marie Elena says:

    “Excuse me, my leg has gone to sleep. Do you mind if I join it?” ~ Alexander Humphreys Woollcott

    DON’T MIND IF I DO, APPARENTLY.

    Why would I (how could I?) pass up the use of this humorous quote
    From deceased American commentator for The New Yorker,
    Perfectly prepackaged in sijo sixteen-syllable line form?

    (Marie Elena Good)

  174. PressOn says:

    THE UMP REPLIES

    It is hot, and I am not in the mood for shenanigans;
    you are hot, and in the mood for one hell of a brannigan;
    if that bat that you threw comes down, you are out of the game.

    William Preston

  175. lionetravail says:

    “As Irrelevant Tears Soundlessly Fall”

    The desert boasts of music through long ages of the world…
    A requiem its melody, merciless its threnody,
    its bleak opus plays Golgotha as its careless dirge is skirled.

  176. DanielR says:

    LOST IN WINTER
    The rage of the midnight moon shatters the January darkness
    Bouncing through barren branches, penetrating the cold, damp air
    Exposing small footprints in white powder, aimlessly wandering

    Daniel Roessler

  177. PressOn says:

    GREAT HORNED OWL

    With feathers silencing wings, she stealthily courses the land
    throughout the coolness of night, steadily, with nary a pause;
    harvesting the heaths and hedgerows, grazing the moon with her claws.

    William Preston

  178. Nancy Posey says:

    College Logic

    I asked him, Do you expect to graduate in just four years?
    His answer: Graduating in five years would be like leaving
    a party on Saturday night at eleven o’clock, Mom.

  179. Nancy Posey says:

    Relative

    My mother on her birthday looks younger than ever to me.
    When I look in my mirror I sometimes see her looking back;
    But today my granddaughter touched smile lines on my daughter’s face.

  180. JRSimmang says:

    A CIRCLE, BISECTED

    Part 1
    Filter

    When I was young, I could hear the ocean in the shell I held
    to my ear. Round, coiled, cacophonous sound made seasick my
    head. What I heard then is not too different now; I hear your voice.

    Part 2
    Pathways

    Where is the shadow of the sun? I’ve spent my life waiting
    to see the brilliance of it slip, like a bride’s pure white veil,
    and collect with the dirty laundry on our bedroom floor.

    Part 3
    Driver

    The kids still play, and lover still kiss, under this nowhere bridge.
    It creaks. It moans on splintered wood. And as often as I drive
    across it, you will always be standing on the other side.

    Part 4
    Lament

    It’s the suspension of disbelief, this means by which we convince
    ourselves that what we see and feel are real while the play plays on!
    So… tell me. When will this red, red curtain finally fall?

    Part 5
    Laps

    I had walked once, as Wordsworth prescribed, under the ancient oaks.
    Oddly, as I counted steps, I could feel my mind unravel the
    universe. Absent, I looked up, and all I was… was… lost.

    -JR Simmang

  181. Domino says:

    I lie here; grass is my bed. I’ve chosen this place to stargaze.
    Moon dark sky, stars brightly blaze; undimmed by much save these few tears.
    I will stay, perhaps, for the night. I can’t leave your grave unmourned.

    Diana Terrill Clark

  182. Luis Enrique says:

    Damn Cold Right Outside My Door

    Outside, it turned colder,
    colder still because of the coming night.
    The nights here, like the days, were full of snow
    and darker ice.
    But, somewhere, elsewhere, my wife,
    and life, are waiting, not patiently.

    http://wp.me/p2CQD-bn

  183. Dana L. says:

    August Nights

    Dusk tries to swallow the sky, but rebel streaks of pink and crimson
    fight their fate, searing the clouds with brilliant acrylic abstracts.
    Summer wind sighs with surrender, and the colors drown in the stars.

  184. DanielAri says:

    I tremble finger first—so much depends on the word send.
    With a click, I set you free. Stage fright dissolves into taut waiting.
    I ask myself to let go—and leap into your reply.

  185. Beyond Trailhead

    The way’s cut in rock deep-layered, years of leaf-fall, roots, and bones.
    Wind’s leverage, uncanny song nostalgic as fluted barren trees.
    Pre-history grooved in granite; let’s unravel its riffs and chords.

  186. DanielR says:

    THE CITY AWAITS
    Momentary frames of green fields, barb wired fences, and sprawling oaks
    Miles of repetition, the rearview mirror reflecting my past
    Driving toward the possibilities of my asphalt future

    Daniel Roessler

  187. Knock on the Door

    He stood bedraggled on the doorstep, pale as day’s-milk spilled:
    peddler with a box of matches. But who buys matches anymore?
    He gimped away no poorer. One struck match could flame like praise.

  188. janflora says:

    I recently remembered you died, two years ago last week.
    You cannot watch our child grow, becoming the man that he will be.
    For me, it’s a daily reminder, as he becomes more like you.

    Janet Flora Corso

  189. janflora says:

    I woke up after midnight to watch glitter falling from the sky.
    A serene moment of silence as Janus ices us in,
    Before morning brings the squeals and shouts of a snow day at home.

    ~Janet Flora Corso

  190. Dana L. says:

    Fragmenting

    I let you grow big: till you filled up my world with sweet words
    and musky aftershave, not knowing how a shattered dream scars,
    cutting like a surgeon’s knife, twisting in the soft spires of my heart.

  191. DanielR says:

    Silent Night

    A familiar, deafening silence rushes to welcome me home
    Both a well-known foe and comfortable friend kindly visiting
    The midnight sun arrives to illuminate my loneliness

    Daniel Roessler

  192. DanielAri says:

    Berkeley growls, an ogre of young guevaras and the homeless.
    My daughter and her friend haven’t pedaled home. It’s near dark.
    Freedom turned fearsome that day she found her balance on a bike.

  193. DanielAri says:

    He dressed up for the party, but his dumb hat was not a hit.
    They could see under the brim he was faking, which is to say
    I didn’t fit. I blamed my hat. It flopped like a fish on sand.

  194. Michelle Hed says:

    Quietly Going

    Mesmerized by snow slowly dancing, twirling, putting on a show
    lost to me, my memories fading to grey, my hands are withered
    ash to ash, the cardinal bleeds into view singing a greeting.

  195. Michelle Hed says:

    Party

    Laughter and smiles, the mingling, gay murmur of conversation
    the golden color of ambiance in clinking glasses
    the blood red flash of the ambulance lights, the world oblivious.

  196. lionetravail says:

    Kittens seem, to me, to be a form of meditation.
    Hours pass in soft repose as gentle purrs massage like “oms”,
    And random, sleepy thoughts crystallize into “chakra” and “awwww”.

  197. Amy says:

    Dreaming of Sleep

    Your breath breaks on the cotton pillowcase, as gentle waves.
    I long for the peace that wraps you in dreams, contentedly,
    but settle, instead, between inked pages, where dreams content me.

    Amy Glamos

  198. Amy says:

    Moonlight

    If I could hold the moon upon my face, let the light trace
    exposed planes and hidden hollows, would your hand follow in its
    quest? You whisper your assent, or perhaps it’s just the breeze.

    Amy Glamos

  199. Amy says:

    The One That Got Away

    I hear pieces of you in all the music I listen to.
    You cry out to me in poetry; you whisper in the words
    that never left our lips, hitched in heavy afternoon heat.

    Amy Glamos

  200. PressOn says:

    APRIL

    Songs of spring are spreading wide from dawn of day till eventide:
    choruses of warm-day birds greet insects’ chatter and creatures’ words,
    bringing me to the cusp of joys I once knew when but a boy.

    William Preston

  201. missjoyce says:

    Celestial
    In this dark, full but empty, silent chaos and harmony,
    I stand still. I wait and shine within without the hands of time.
    I start to live in my lightyears. In a twinkle, I disappear.

    +Joyce Guerrero

  202. curious elly says:

    Actions

    What am I to do? The dolphins are cruelly culled at Taiji.
    There’s more trapping in Canada because the price for furs is up
    (the use of snares for killing is regulated)…I still eat meat.

  203. missjoyce says:

    My Angel
    It was sunset when momma said, ‘be careful, dear.’ She closed her eyes.
    A tear fell as gravity pulled it quickly from her grey eyes.
    Sadly, they no longer glistened — only my name on the tomb.

    +Joyce Guerrero

  204. VArakawa says:

    Letter to William

    I look into the mirror. It reflects the scars on my skin.
    I slowly touch them with my fingers, feeling the pain again.
    I send you all my love, for I happily bear them for you.

  205. Af10ski says:

    Lie:

    Tell a Lie, but tell it Flat
    Truth in Degrees is Hell bent
    It’s all the Same to Lie

  206. Tracy Davidson says:

    Cocktails

    For our twins sixteenth birthday, we serve non-alcoholic cocktails,
    complete with pink umbrellas, and novelty shaped ice cubes.
    My daughter finds a penis in her virgin ‘Sex on the Beach’.

  207. poet since birth says:

    ROADSIDE WEIGH STATION

    Sitting on the side of the road
    Looking for a place to unload
    All the troubles on my mind
    Making my dreams harder to find.
    Sitting down resting my back,
    Oh, how many more miles do I lack?

  208. poet since birth says:

    TWO BODIES, TWO HEARTS, ONE SOUL
    Two bodies together, sharing one space
    Their hearts entwined, their souls embraced
    A beautiful sight, together, nsync,
    A blissful moment in time, I believe.

    Gentle touch, the heart skips a beat, emotional,
    Souls begin to scream,
    Rush of the climax, bodies entwined
    All your feelings begin to unwind

  209. poet since birth says:

    CARESS

    I miss your whispers in my ear
    There is nothing I should fear
    The way you kids my lips, touch me with your finger tips
    Sending shivers down my spine
    Making me totally lose my mind.

  210. prabhateinstein says:

    That moon in sky, you can see..
    On one side of it is you..
    On other side, me..

  211. anurag7788 says:

    Whom do I fear , Whom do I fear? I often ask;
    In my downfall as i stand, I just see shining stars.
    Death alone now creaps me out for now even the mud is my new bark.

  212. PressOn says:

    CALIFORNIA PRELUDE

    A soft scent in the soft breeze entrances all the cottonwood trees
    and they wave, serene and slow, their regrets to the grasses below
    as the wind begins to turn and fire appears at the rim.

    William Preston

  213. annell says:

    In the beginning, you might be overwhelmed
    By the whiteness of the paper, and the first marks, you make
    Hidden in the final image will be all thoughts, part of me, part of you

  214. poet since birth says:

    SHATTERED DREAMS

    Dreams don’t seem to come true
    I found this out because of you
    Life seems so much harder when I’m awake

  215. bclay says:

    It might actually snow here in Myrtle Beach !! a few flakes at least. Hope everyone up North stays warm, couldnt imagine below zero!

    Melting the Ice

    I would land, like snowflakes on your skin and lips – turn to water;
    small and soft crystalline kisses, made weak by your warming cheek;
    this blizzard, our flurries in eyes – if I could just talk to you.

  216. Snowed In

    Google how to get a job after a mental breakdown. Don’t.
    “turn broken into break-through with thirteen ways to look your best”
    I avoid mirrors for blackbirds and mountains. It’s been evening three afternoons.

  217. cholder says:

    The Nightingale’s Song

    In the moonlit hour of wooded knolls, the nightingale sings
    Mournful trills, across misty hills, vibrations of love in bloom
    Till the dawn breaks his heart, and the nightingale ceases to croon

  218. cholder says:

    I chose the 6-line English version

    “Murder at Chain of Rocks Bridge”

    Chain of Rocks your secrets keep

    what remains beneath buried deep

    My heart bleeds forsaken one;

    justice serves no retribution.

    The mighty Mississippi weeps

    over her watery grave.

  219. PressOn says:

    WINTRY VIGIL

    Every day the old coyote visits the hedge by the old boat
    and stands there, sniffing the air, first to the east, then to the west,
    then sits, still. So do I. We wait, till we can smell Earth again.

    William Preston

  220. Marie Elena says:

    DETACHED (sijo)

    Member of Mensa Foundation. Former business owner,
    Now mindful only that this actual moment in time
    Is dreadfully not as real as yesterday’s tomorrows.

    (Marie Elena Good)

  221. PressOn says:

    LAST LEAVES OF AUTUMN

    Grounded leaves embrace new frost, their scarlet splashes bleeding gold
    till purple overtakes the light. In cold breezes the colors freeze,
    entombed in penultimate flight; awaiting the ice of night.

    William Preston

  222. PressOn says:

    MY OLD DOG’S GAZE

    He was just a point on the line of life, but when he looked at me,
    all care and woe and even strife repaired to infinity,
    and these days, though it seems so strange, the thought of him heals me still.

    William Preston

  223. anon

    She is not a woman of a certain age, doesn’t like to
    tell lies to stupid people, is tired of being careful.
    She is who all of us will be after the last food is gone.

    Andrew Kreider

  224. Bootleg

    Let’s record the gig tonight I said to her, we’ll rock the world.
    She moaned, I screamed, you couldn’t hear the crowd. Listening back,
    it was like a homemade sex tape. I destroyed it when she left.

    Andrew Kreider

  225. Thursday Morning

    Frost on the windshield, it’s still dark. Bach canon for the commute.
    Traffic speeds by our pasture – in the swale, a doe and buck.
    Too dim to count his prongs. First-light strikes antlers a golden crown.

  226. November Sidewalk

    Where she used to walk last summer, brittle leaves litter the way.
    She’s bundled against winter – a pumpkin’s smashed on the street.
    Must children revel in autumn even as her year shivers down?

  227. A Stately House

    Ivy and periwinkle grow lush over the mossy stones,
    the carefully keystoned arch and the name carved in bas-relief.
    We climb the tall, proud stairway to a balcony long gone.

  228. To the Trailhead

    The way’s cut in rock deep-layered, years of leaf-fall, roots, and bones.
    Wind’s leverage, uncanny sound nostalgic as ‘30s German jazz.
    Pre-history grooved in granite; let’s unravel its riffs and chords.

  229. RJ Clarken says:

    The Words of the Prophets

    Graffiti artist left his mark on the walls of the underpass.
    On the concrete canvas, he stenciled the outline of small bunnies.
    An old song played in my head, but then the light changed. I drove away.

  230. RJ Clarken says:

    Evening Commute

    Silhouette: vermillion sky, India-inked wintery limbs…
    An unknown artist must have magic in his ancient pen nibs
    Sitting in the twilight traffic: through my windshield, I trace the strokes.

  231. RJ Clarken says:

    Mirror Image

    Recently, a photograph showed me something unexpected.
    It was a picture of me when I was much younger. What I
    did not see then that I can see now: unusual beauty.

  232. RJ Clarken says:

    Snow Angel

    Why is it that when I look at a snowflake, I see angels;
    angels of light, air, dance, and of twirling and tinkling wind chimes.
    I wonder if the Snow Queen ever felt like this before ice came.

  233. writinglife16 says:

    Her mother dragged the kindergarten pictures
    out to show. Her date froze as he looked at her
    in a brown onesie with cap. She fell in love when
    he said “I will buy you chocolates daily.”

  234. PressOn says:

    GIFT OF THE COLD

    Soft the snow is drifting down along the roads and through the town,
    casting white through all the land; leaving a sight muted and grand;
    bringing peace where anger had roared. My enemy I see no more.

    William Preston

  235. DanielAri says:

    The moon wears its leash loosely, staying up late for the commute
    this morning. Not like the train: despite dramas, it stays on track—
    like the sun. I’ll draw my power from timetables I can trust. 

  236. BEING MY OWN MAN

    Always someone’s someone else, never my own me,
    wondering if I can function on my own, myself.
    I need to see if I can be my one and only, me.

  237. COMEDY/TRAGEDY

    The classic tale is offered for your approval,
    two faces exposed, choosing laughter and cheers to express,
    manic depression is in session. Let the curtain fall.

  238. LAUGHTER

    A child laughs, feeling happy and healthy and warm.
    The storm of life has not yet raged; not yet upstaged,
    the joy. The promise not yet fulfilled lingers in its soul.

  239. LONELINESS

    He stands on the threshold, a future uncertain.
    Wearing despair like a drafty cloak, he is cold.
    Feeling older than years can count, his loneliness mounts.

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