Editors Blog

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Sijo

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  • All poems should be previously unpublished.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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606 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Sijo

  1. lionetravail

    “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.

    1. Brian A. Klems

      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.
      Online Editor

  2. RUTH R. B.


    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.

  3. PressOn


    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

  4. DanielR

    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

  5. DanielR

    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

  6. Jane Shlensky

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


    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.

  7. Jane Shlensky


    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.

    1. PressOn

      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.”

  8. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  9. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  10. Margie Fuston


    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.

  11. Margie Fuston

    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.

  12. RebekahJ

    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

  13. Jane Shlensky


    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.

  14. newbie44

    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.

  15. cholder

    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

  16. bjzeimer

    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?

  17. bjzeimer

    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.

  18. Jane Shlensky


    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?

  19. Jane Shlensky


    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.

      1. PressOn

        Wouldn’t surprise me in the least. This one, in particular, overflows with love for music, expressed powerfully, I think, in the notion that the instruments are “choked,” despite being on display for their craftsmanship. Marvelous!

  20. Jane Shlensky

    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?”

  21. Jane Shlensky

    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.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        I’m much much better, though now recovering from eye surgery. Maybe by spring, I’ll be breathing and able to see all that lovely pollen on the air. ;) Thanks for the kindnesses.

  22. Jane Shlensky


    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!

  23. Jane Shlensky

    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.

      1. Jane Shlensky

        Wonderful! It’s sung to “Good King Wenceslas” tune. Made me smile and sing too. You have also reminded me to ask if you’re familiar with “The Hymn of Promise”. It is my favorite hymn–a fine poem put to a lovely melody–which doesn’t happen often. Check it out, for I’m sure you’ll love the words there. It ranks with “Morning Has Broken” for me.

  24. DanielR

    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

  25. JRSimmang


    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

  26. RebekahJ

    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

  27. Domino

    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

  28. lionetravail

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

  29. PressOn


    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.

  30. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  31. Jane Shlensky


    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.

  32. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  33. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  34. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  35. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  36. Jane Shlensky


    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.

  37. Jane Shlensky


    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.

  38. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  39. Jane Shlensky

    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.

  40. Jane Shlensky


    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.

  41. DanielR

    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

    1. PressOn

      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.

  42. DanielR

    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

    1. PressOn

      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.

  43. Linda Hatton


    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

  44. Azma


    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

  45. PressOn


    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

    1. lionetravail

      What a total picture this paints! Fantastic… I can see the threadbare fabrics of the sofa, the worn wallpaper, and the moth holes in the curtains. Both lovely and sad.

  46. DanielR

    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

  47. DanielR

    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

  48. Linda Hatton

    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) :-)

  49. Brandi Beck

    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.

  50. lionetravail

    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.

  51. Linda Hatton

    (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

  52. Linda Hatton

    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

  53. Margie Fuston

    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.

  54. Linda.H

    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

  55. Charlene Prahasky

    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.

  56. Charlene Prahasky

    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.

  57. Azma

    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

  58. DanielR

    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

  59. lionetravail

    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.

  60. lionetravail

    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.

    1. lionetravail

      Actually, I’ve been feeling kind of scattered recently, and I meant the computer reference more as a metaphor for my brain- hence the last line involving saving the most important memories, rather than files.

      I guess it could have been clearer :)

        1. lionetravail

          Wonderful suggestion- thank you, Rosemary!

          Maybe call it: “A Terrible Thing To Waste”… or, whimsically, “The More You Study… The Less You Know”?

  61. PressOn


    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

  62. Linda Hatton


    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

  63. BezBawni

    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.

    1. lionetravail

      Gorgeous! I don’t know how the “forty four miss only two”, but I love the abrupt transition to it, and then to the enigmatic last phrase. Very nice and mysterious.

  64. PressOn


    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

  65. cholder

    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

  66. DanielR

    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

  67. DanielR

    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

  68. DanielR

    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

  69. Claudia Columna


    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

  70. PressOn


    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

    1. lionetravail

      But where are the blueberries? :) Love Maine, though we’re usually there for autumn instead of spring. .. nice lyrical imagery for a lyrical poetic form.

  71. Claudia Columna

    There you go, Sijo:
    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

  72. Claudia Columna

    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

  73. Linda Hatton

    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

    1. lionetravail

      Very nice! I love the juxtaposition of ‘fingers squeezing the fairy tale right out’… what a wonderfully dense metaphor that said it all, right in that short phrase.

  74. PressOn


    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

  75. JRSimmang


    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

  76. lionetravail

    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!

  77. newbie44

    Trying to post sijos. Hope this works.

    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.

    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.

  78. JRSimmang


    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

  79. priyajane


    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–

  80. Linda Hatton

    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

    1. PressOn

      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.

      1. Linda Hatton

        LOL!! I’m glad it made you smile! Your comment made me smile. :-)
        I guess it is a short form, but those long lines make it feel painfully long to me. I hope to play with the form more (to try) to overcome my frustration.

        1. PressOn

          For what it might be worth, I try to think of Robert’s rules (no pun intended) for the syllabic breaks per line (3-4-4-4; 3-4-4-4; 3-5-4-3) as lines, then join them into the long lines. That trick doesn’t always work, but it helps me to get started.

  81. cholder

    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

    1. cholder

      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

  82. DanielR

    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

  83. PressOn


    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

  84. ChristineA


    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

  85. Azma

    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

  86. Tiffany198300

    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

  87. priyajane

    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

  88. lionetravail

    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’!

  89. PressOn


    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

  90. Azma

    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

  91. JRSimmang


    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

  92. DanielR


    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

  93. DanielR

    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

  94. DanielR


    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

  95. JRSimmang


    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

  96. DanielR


    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

  97. JRSimmang


    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

  98. PressOn


    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

  99. RebekahJ

    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

  100. lionetravail

    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.

  101. priyajane

    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

  102. priyajane

    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

  103. DanielR

    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

  104. PressOn


    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

  105. bclay

    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,

  106. cholder

    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

  107. cholder

    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

  108. cholder

    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

  109. cholder

    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

  110. JRSimmang


    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

  111. rhodalew

    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.”

  112. missjoyce

    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

  113. PressOn


    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

  114. priyajane

    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

  115. Bruce Niedt

    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.

  116. DanielR

    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

  117. bclay

    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.

  118. JRSimmang


    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

  119. jaynesgirl

    “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.

  120. jaynesgirl


    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.

    1. PressOn

      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.

  121. jaynesgirl

    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.

  122. Clae

    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

  123. Clae

    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.

  124. PressOn


    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

  125. Clae

    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

  126. PressOn


    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

  127. Bruce Niedt

    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.

  128. PressOn


    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

  129. DanielR

    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

  130. JRSimmang


    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

  131. JRSimmang


    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

  132. PressOn


    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

  133. DanielR

    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

  134. jaynesgirl


    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.

  135. David


    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

  136. wannabauthoresse


    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.

  137. cholder

    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

  138. MayamotoWaya

    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?

  139. Marie Elena

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


    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)

  140. PressOn


    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

  141. lionetravail

    “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.

    1. PressOn

      I think this is superb. I love the desert, at the least the Mojave, with which I’m a bit familiar. This probably fits the Sonoran better, but I can recall many scenes, reading this. Your rhymes make it sing for me too. Thanks for posting.

  142. DanielR

    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

  143. PressOn


    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

  144. JRSimmang


    Part 1

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

  145. Domino

    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

  146. Dana L.

    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.

  147. DanielAri

    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.

  148. taylor graham

    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.

  149. DanielR

    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

  150. taylor graham

    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.

  151. janflora

    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

  152. janflora

    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

  153. Dana L.


    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.

  154. DanielR

    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

  155. DanielAri

    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.

  156. DanielAri

    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.

  157. lionetravail

    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”.

  158. Amy

    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

  159. Amy


    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

  160. Amy

    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

  161. PressOn


    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

  162. missjoyce

    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

  163. curious elly


    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.

  164. missjoyce

    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

  165. VArakawa

    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.

  166. Tracy Davidson


    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’.

  167. poet since birth


    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?

  168. poet since birth

    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

  169. poet since birth


    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.

  170. anurag7788

    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.

  171. PressOn


    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

  172. bclay

    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.

  173. Cameron Steele

    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.

  174. cholder

    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

  175. cholder

    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.

  176. PressOn


    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

  177. PressOn


    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

  178. PressOn


    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

  179. Andrew Kreider


    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

  180. taylor graham

    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.

  181. taylor graham

    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?

      1. Marie Elena

        I tried to comment last night, but the site was being quirky. Taylor, this is my favorite of the day so far. There is so much visual beauty here, but the end thought can be taken several different ways … all of them deep and full of wonder.


  182. taylor graham

    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.

  183. RJ Clarken

    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.

  184. RJ Clarken

    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.

  185. RJ Clarken

    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.

  186. writinglife16

    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.”

  187. PressOn


    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

  188. DanielAri

    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.