Commanding the room
The largest lead weight
On the rubber sheet
Of social intrigue

Little ball-bearings
Scattered in patterns
Move at a distance
But never too far

Prompt: Concrete imagery
Form: Unrhymed quatrains



The fields of sunlight-green go on forever,
The ancient arch reveals the rural scene
Containing countless shades of blue and green
Each leaf and blade of grass defined but never
Destroying harmony with one another
But delicately balancing between
Variety and unity of mien
A perfect patch of land, in perfect weather

Observing from the shadows, I remain
Detached and distant, in the cool, grey stone
As only those who stand without can claim,
Touched by the sight, held back from being home
In such a peaceful idyll, sad refrain:
Suspended on the threshold, standing alone.

Marathon prompt, hour six.
Form: Italian sonnet

Sam Vimes’ Kyrielle

With rolling gait to last throughout the day
On cobblestones trod many times before
The copper’s beat, that old familiar way
On night patrol, in company with Law

The titles to my name are so much sham
For making idiots react with awe
My mirror shows me still the same old Sam
On night patrol, in company with Law

The terrier, I always find my mark
With Sybil as my anchor, I’m secure
The truth cannot stay shrouded in the dark,
On night patrol, in company with Law

Prompt: A persona poem
Form: Kyrielle



No Newbs Please, We’re SF

You can’t say sci-fi
If you want us to take you

Don’t use time travel
Post-modern SF holds it

Any fool can write,
But science fiction is a
Highly refined art

Prompt: Genre poetry
Form: Linked haikus




Compliments hang, speared
On subtly barbed comments,
Disguising deadly intent.

Weave between the lines,
Better to be a cold fish
Than a terrible warning

Prompt: Fishing
Form: Sedoka


Fall asleep.
Good morning.

Begin the day.
Good evening.

A child is born.

Chase after hours.
Memories are fading.

Go back to reclaim them.
Catch the soft moonlight.

My children’s children.
Grown and leaving.

Fight the darkness.
Fall asleep.


Prompt: Incorporate three of five suggested phrases.
Form: Invented. I’ll think of a name for it tomorrow.


In such a narrow margin, close confined,
Between the crushing depths and empty space.
This thin, sustaining band where life can grow.
How perilous existence is for fish.

PROMPT: Set underwater.
FORM: Unrhymed blank verse.

Warm Up Stretches

Last month, I attended a poetry workshop. After most of the others there had shared their work, and had constructive feedback, I shared mine. I got told that I demonstrated “good use of language”, but that my offering was “not poetry”. The instructor didn’t explain what I was doing wrong, just that I was, definitively, wrong.

That hurt, far more than it should. Some people are jerks, and I know that. But it really hurt to have my work shot down with no explanation. When I saw this challenge, I knew that I had the perfect way to put that hurt behind me, and get back to writing.

So here is my warm-up piece, a kidney punch to the ogre of insecurity. Warning: naked sarcasm ahead.


The English is good, and the grammar correct,
But this is not poem.
The rhythm is fine, and the stresses line up,
But this is not a poem.
The metaphor struggles on atrophied limbs,
The rhyming is weak, and the words just don’t sing,
And it’s not the way I would have written the thing;
No, this is not a poem.

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