Ode to Coffee: A Rhyme Royal

Today at DVerse, Frank is challenging us to write a rhyme royal, also known as a Chaucerian stanza. It is written usually in iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme of abababcc. I am really enjoying this form!

I stand in line awaiting morning brew,

It’s overpriced but its aroma calls,

Anticipating dark roast, my go-to,

Especially in the morning air of fall.

Yes, coffee is the greatest drink of all,

It greets me every morning with the sun.

I hope that I can sleep when day is done!



I was rather bewildered by the poetics prompt at DVerse this week, which is about either the inside or outside of our refrigerator. My family’s current refrigerator has no magnets on it, which is a contrast with how it was in my childhood. I think this could be extended as a metaphor for children being more open and honest and people “growing up” and assimilating, at the expense of their true self. Without any further ado, here is my poem, inspired unexpectedly by my refrigerator!

My fridge has a blank chrome face,

For magnets and papers there is no place,

In childhood it was different:

We had many magnets, and assent

To show our family’s personality.

My fridge looks perfect; I prefer verity.

Community (Challenge Half-Poem)

This is my contribution for Jilly’s October challenge. It is in the form of an ottava rima, an 8-line poem written in iambic pentameter, with a rhyme scheme of abababcc. I actually completed this poem but am only posting half of it to see what everyone else comes up with. 

One’s friends are precious, keep them close in heart,

Even though distance can get in the way,

It’s no excuse, these days, to be apart,

Community is needed like the day

In Ash and Fog

This week, we at DVerse are writing quadrilles about hope. Mine is based on a true story that happened this morning.

I walked through fog this morning,

Smelling smoke-tainted air.

Ash was on the doorstep

I stepped forward, noticing

The fog was dissipating,

I could see where I was going.


Somewhere, in ash of the past

And fog of the future,

Lies, and rises, hope.


Continuing the Blessing

This is a collaborative poem for Jilly’s October Challenge with Sarah, who began a retourne as a blessing for her daughter. The first stanza is hers, and the rest is what I added. I really enjoy shadow poems, such as retournes, and it is so much fun to work together!

May your heart sing like the ocean,

May the air be clear around you,

May your midnight flame burn bright,

May your feet find firm ground to stand.


May the air be clear around you,

Cloud accompaniment on high,

Seeing whatever you would like

In the fluffy white cumulus.


May your midnight flame burn bright,

To fight against injustices,

To proudly emit guiding light,

Indomitable spirit, stay.


May your feet find firm ground to stand,

Not shaken by small passing fads,

But confident in who you are:

Water, air, flame, earth, all in one.

This is a collaboration with Frank Hubeny, whose poem “Park Shade” provided a lot of inspiration. It is a Chaucerian stanza, iambic pentameter with a rhyme scheme of ababbcc. I enjoyed trying this unfamiliar form, and Frank’s original gets better with every reading. For Jilly’s October collaboration challenge.

You grew in what became a picnic grove
Providing shade to what is now a park
While dying you were cut and when I drove
One morning past your place expecting dark
I found the stump, your tombstone, your new mark
And knew eventually that so will I
Look up with new perspective on the sky.

I took for granted your inviting shade, 

Your stately trunk and verdant, kindly leaves,

A vacuum where I’d expectations made, 

An unexpected absence nature grieves, 

Much worse than winter’s cold, and icy eaves.

In winter’s bitter cold will our tears freeze

Time before such loss brings us to our knees?