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this is Poetry ... 

What is your definition of poetry? Please contact me if you'd like to share your thoughts. 

The following poems are a sampling of my attempts at some fun exercises... I've included the rules to the forms in case you'd like to try writing some of your own.  Enjoy : )

Leslie Bevans  




at first

the cat

a feline riveted to dry land

would never think of getting wet

crossed bridge

saw fish

jumped in

• First line: 2 words

• Second line: 2 words

• Third line: 6 words,

• Fourth line: 6 words,

• Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh lines: 2 words


Lesson Plan


will end hunger

only for a moment.

But teach gardening and there will be


• 2 syllables in the first line

• 4 in the second line

• 6 in the third line

• 8 in the fourth

• 2 in the fifth.

• (Poet may add or subtract one syllable from each line).

Minute Poem

Summer Minute

In summertime a poet born

no trumpet horn,

though angels sang,

carillon rang,


and every flower thanked the sun

‘til day was done,

in late July,

under blue sky…


Today the poet works the land

with heart and hands.

When day is done,

she thanks the sun.

• 3 quatrains 

• 8 syllables in the first line of each stanza

• 4 syllables in the remaining lines of each stanza rhyme scheme: aabb/ccdd/eeff

• written in strict iambic meter 



The fool’s journey hasn’t ended

water, fire, earth, air blended

his feet are cold, socks unmended,

undescended, undescended


his voice is soft, his steps are small

he tries to climb the tower tall

he’s upside down, then hits a wall,

the world still calls, the world still calls.

• quatrains in tetrameter for a total of 8 syllables per line

• each quatrain made up of mono-rhymed lines

• the final line of each stanza repeats the same 4 syllables

• poet chooses length of poem (1 quatrain to infinity)


A Tradition of Taylor Graham's Tuesday at 2:00 Poetry Gathering in El Dorado County, California - each participant chooses one little strip of paper from a can full of hundreds of strips. Upon each strip is one word or phrase (taken from assorted poems). All participants will have about 12 minutes to write a poem that (at the very least) contains all of the words drawn from the can. If there are 6 participants, all 6 will use all 6 words drawn. (I've included the word can words in italics below poems). Then each poem is read aloud and , yes, everyone's poem is different!  


when trudging in from red-cheek wind,

autumn end brings heaps of leaves and acorn lids,

eyes squint, tired again,

mittens wet and stiff with muddy rot, wrung out to dry on hook

untie boots and feet escape wet socks

pink in firelight, icy toes kiss hearthrug warm

you sing while stirring barley beans and tubers

and honey butter rests soft upon my cornbread.


eye, cornbread, light, acorn, wrung out

some after-words

Fire chief slammed a dusty tailgate 

Under tread, the stinking land

brown and black, a corpse unwrapped,

a pillaged mummy, silenced dead

the living left to grieve


The scene, an absence of green

Our tears blur out what’s left to see

but loyal to this station still,

and love for soil, fit or spoiled,

our hope shines radiant


A lightning strike, a gentle rain,

destroy and heal, nature’s game

no one keeps score … as life goes on

one thing for sure, there will be change

and no time to complain.

tailgate, station, mummy, game, radiant, tread 

Three chimes later...

and as if attempting to escape by mouth, the words

endeavored to climb free but

banned to air upon

acceleration of inward breath, not a word

but nasal twang was heard

and sudden to sink, her body fell

toward ground as she became a toad

and the potion bottle rolled away. 

banned, twang, accelerate, potion

under, standing

Again, I waited under oak,

a centerpiece upon the slanted field,

my sheep milled about like seashells scattered on the sand,

my hound ran fence from farm to top of hill

and wove between the lazy grazing sheep

ever-productive in his quest to herd,

I rested, knowing all were safe.

Under this tree, so old its age unknown,

bark, silvered gray, and checked with moss.

Its voice so faint I held my breath to hear

on breeze its song, an audible mirage.

I closed my eyes and relished every word,

it sang about the sky, the moon and time

not in a way that I had ever known,

it sang about the space that lives between our lives

and places traveled, remaining, still unseen. 


places traveled, silver, mirage, farm, productive, seashell, check, centerpiece 

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