Poetic Constraints – Exercise 9



How Writers Write Poetry lesson for today is Constraint Based Poetry. This morning I already wrote a tyburn poem. The form has a lot of constraints. In fact I had to edit it, because pile is one syllable. I did not mind though. I originally had piled high, but thought piled was two syllables. I was able to go back to the version I preferred.

At the end of the lesson, Christopher Merrill talked about writing a poem that had one word per line and added one letter to each line. So I built a poem with this constraint. For those interested here is an explanation to writing tyburns.

Sorting Laundry – Tyburn

Chores neglected crashing, trashing dirt
Laundry piled high smashing, dashing skirt

Actually I haven’t been neglecting chores. I’ve gotten quite a bit done the past two days, including laundry. Tweetspeak poetry shared 10 laundry poems which was part of the inspiration for this tyburn. The other part was how trashed my house can become when one man is left alone for two weeks.

Playing Catch Up

I’ve been visiting family back in Buffalo, NY the past two weeks. It was just me and the girls. My husband stayed home alone for two whole weeks. I knew I would have catch up chores to do, but I thought he would do some cleaning. His excuse, I made sure the animals didn’t die.

We got in at 9am yesterday and the first thing I decided to do was tackle the vacuuming. While I was doing this, the little one came up to me and asked what the date was – July 24th why? I knew it; the milk says July 21. She drank most of a glass until she noticed chunks in the bottom. Ewww… After I vacuumed, I cleaned the cat litter and noticed the toilet was not cleaned in two weeks either. We have hard water build up. I scrubbed but it was not completely coming off. I usually clean my toilet twice a week to help keep the hard water stain in check. I put some white vinegar in the bowl to sit over night. It looks better, but it’s still going to need more scrubbing. I was worn out from travel and cleaning so we only did soup for dinner. Then I went to watch the 6pm news. By 6:30 I was snoring and didn’t wake up until 7 this morning.

Today I’m working on more cleaning and catching up with the lessons at How Writers Write Poetry. Yesterday Rachael brought her suitcase into my room. I thanked her for bringing my suitcase over before I noticed it was the wrong one. Then I noticed she was unpacked already! She brought it to me to put away. This morning I unpacked my suitcase and Dad was able to put two of them away before heading to work. Then I worked on bills. I paid everything that came in before we left and told hubby he shouldn’t have to pay anything unless something comes in I’m not aware of. Well doctor bills came in and were due July 22. Hubby said, I told you they came in. I said, And you didn’t notice the due date? Oh well if he was on vacation with us, the bills would be late anyhow. A few days won’t hurt anyone.

Exercise 4 – Mindful Poetry

I actually did this poem before leaving on vacation, but did not have an opportunity to post it.


Escape within
living with cerebral palsy
Escape within
writing poetry I begin
to lose constraints my mind is free
words give me possibility
Escape within

I’ve watched the video lessons for Meter and Containing Multitudes this morning. I enjoy working with meter. I write a tweetku for the #haikuchallenge on twitter as often as I can. Because I’ve been out of the writing swing for a couple weeks. I went over to see what the haiku challenge word was today, left. I wrote a senryu but so far that is the extent of my poetry writing today.

Poetry seeps out
CP affects my right side
Left handed, I write

And my dryer just called me so I’m off to switch the laundry over.

Thank you to the 27 poets featured in our Half New Year Poetry Series


On vacation in Buffalo, NY right now. Thanks to Silver Birch Press for featuring my poem among all the other great half year poems.

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

From July 2nd (Half New Year’s Day) to July 12, 2014, Silver Birch Press featured poetry submitted for our Half New Year Poetry Series. Many thanks to the 27 poets who participated in the project with their poetry — and, in some cases, photography and art. (And how yin/yang is it to feature 27 poets to celebrate 7/2!  I am all the way — not halfway — in awe of this!)

We extend our thanks to these 27 poets from around the world: 

Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier (Canada)

Mary-Marcia Casoly (U.S., California)

Tobi Cogswell (U.S., California)

Daniel Patrick Delaney (U.S., Pennsylvania)

Barbara Eknoian (U.S., California)

Mark Erickson (U.S., California)

Adelle Foley (U.S., California)

Jack Foley (U.S., California)

Shreyas Gokhale (India)

Deborah Herman (Canada)

Veronica Hosking (U.S., Arizona)

Clara Hsu (U.S., California)

Mathias Jansson (Sweden)

Jax NTP (U.S., California)

Wm. Todd King (U.S., Kentucky)

Roz Levine (U.S., California)

Tamara Madison (U.S., California)

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Building a Poem – Assignment Three

Time and Tide

Feet in the sand
Keep me anchored to who I am
Feet in the sand
My world flipped upside down unplanned
Reality rolled out to slam
Me against what was: my heart swam
Feet in the sand

Feet in the sand
Timid to cross liminal space
Feet in the sand
Dig deep, steadfast I understand
Change an inevitable chase
Tide waits for no one to embrace
Feet in the sand

The third video presentation in How Writers Write Poetry – Building a Poem. Daniel Khalastchi talked about image, metaphor, rhyme and lines to build your poem. He also, briefly, mentioned form. I began with a rondelet so my structure was pretty set. Though Khalastchi did talk about breaking form as Srikanth Reddy did in “Sonnet”. And I may do this in another workshop depending on the feedback I get from this assignment.

Monsoon Season, poem by Veronica Hosking (Half New Year Poetry Series)


Thanks to Silver Birch Press for including “Monsoon Season” in their half year poetry series.

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:



by Veronica Hosking


IMAGE: “The Beauty of the Desert” by Saija Lehtonen. Prints available at fineartamerica.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I chose to write about monsoon season for my half year poem, because the rains come in July and bring life to the desert plants. I also enjoy writing concrete poems. This poem can be read two ways depending on whether you start from the left cactus branch or the right one.


 ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Hosking is a wife, mother, and poet who lives in the desert southwest with her husband and two daughters. Her family and day job, cleaning the house, serve as inspiration for most of her poetry. “Spikier Spongier” appeared in issue two of Stone Crowns magazine in November 2013.  “Desperate Poet” was published on the Narrator Central website and reprinted in volume four of Poetry Nook in February 2014. Veronica keeps a poetry…

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Repurposing Lines – Assignment Two

Yesterday the second video for How Writers Write Poetry was posted. Kate Greenstreet talked about collecting lines. She called it her epic as she writes down interesting lines/tidbits from her day in one doc file. Then she culls from it individual ones to create poems. Lucy Ives talked about letting poems sit for one, two, ten years or even a lifetime. This gave me the idea to look at an old poem and try to rewrite it. I chose my first attempt at rondelet.

First written August 2012

Feet in the sand

Exploring where water meets turf

Feet in the sand

Experience an endless surf

Finding a treasure trove is grand

Seashells collected have great worth

Feet in the sand

I chose this one because I did not get the rhyme scheme correct. It should be A,B,A,A,B,B,A.

I rewrote it and a friend suggested changing, “Seashells collected have great worth
” to Seashells collected gather worth, because great and worth are too similar. The rewritten version:

Feet in the sand

Exploring where water meets turf

Feet in the sand

Finding hidden treasure is grand

Seashells collected gather worth

As little ones wade in the surf

Feet in the sand

Then I got a couple suggestions on the class forum page. 1) to get rid of ing verbs doesn’t really progress poem or image. True, but I find I fall back on ing to get the needed syllable count for a rondelet. 2) get away from the water. Hmmm… interesting. Since the repeated line, Feet in the sand, evokes the beach image, the other lines don’t have to follow suit. I thought I could work on this one. The third version:

Feet in the sand

Keep me rooted to who I am

Feet in the sand

My world flipped upside down unplanned

Reality rolled out to slam

Me against what was: my heart swam

Feet in the sand

What do you think? I know it is still a work in progress. It certainly is now repurposed since the first version and rewrite were created from a picture of my girls at Woodlawn Beach July 2012. The third version reflects how my world changed two years later.

Sketching Techniques – Assignment One

I signed up for an online course – How Writers Write Poetry through Iowa University.  The first class was posted today.  Robert Hass talked about how to create lines by looking at the world around you, metaphors and questions.  The assignment is to write a one, two, three or four line poem about your observations.  When he spoke of unusual metaphors, I thought of a conversation I had recently with my youngest.  She was complaining about something and I said, You’ll live till you’re twice married.  She looked at me horrified.  Mom did not want her baby living too long.  Once upon a time my own mother would utter this same phrase to me.  It meant you were going to live a long time, because most people only married once. First three line senryu -

Longevity slips
You’ll live till you’re twice married
How young will death come


I spent some time in the forum reading and commenting on other pieces.  Then I checked twitter.  We can chat there with #heypoets.  I checked the #haikuchallenge word today.  Today’s word is watch. Another poem sketch -

Sketching poetry
How words spill forth ideas
Watch video, write


The course runs through August 9th.  It should be interesting minus my break to shuffle off to Buffalo.  We set up tours for Alfred University (equine center was a plus for my smarty pants) and Cornell.  Yes, my future vet sets her sights high.

Erasure Poem

Richard’s death

r             i            p
Death masks

personal                              tunnel
eyes                                             mask
man                                                         death
ceremonial interments
died                                                              grave robbers

Richard's death erasure poem gravestone

Richard’s death erasure poem gravestone

Doctor Who – Haiku

Fractured across time
Souffle girl battles daleks
Doctor Who escapes

Dalek at the Phoenix ComiCon.

Dalek at the Phoenix ComiCon.

Netflix finally updated Doctor Who – though a little girl I know has been using iTunes gift cards to stay up to date on her Doctor Who.  Also we visited Nonnie at Christmas and were able to see the 50th anniversary episode and Matt Smith’s farewell there.  And right now, Nonnie is about an hour away and I’m writing #haikuchallenge haiku instead of the last minute tidying I should be doing.  I did get a lot of cleaning done yesterday.  Dad and Rachael went off to work.  I told Gretchen we’d be cleaning.  Well Mom cleaned and let Gretchen sleep in.  When I did go into her room to wake her up, I got a big hug.  Apparently she had a dream I died and she was very happy to see me.  Love getting hugs from 13 year olds. ;)

Then when Dad and Rachael got home, Dad was all excited to show me a video of Rachael in a car. By his excitement, I thought she was behind the wheel. No she was the passenger. Why was this so exciting? Yeah I’m not a car aficionado. Dad made a comic with his 280Z complaining about how I keep calling it a her. His new baby is a guy apparently but he treats it like a mistress, in my opinion, so I’m sticking with female references. :P