Friday, January 29, 2010

Poetry Stretch Results - Tritina

The challenge this week was to write a tritina, a 10-line poem composed of three, 3-line stanzas and a 1-line envoi. Like the sestina, a tritina uses an end-word scheme instead of a rhyme scheme. Here are the results.
by Steven Withrow of Crackles of Speech

That Sunday you wanted a drive,
So we drove south, you and I,
Singing alphabet songs, to the sea.

Some roads lead only to the sea.
We passed a sign for “Scenic Drive,”
You pointed out a lighthouse, which I

Saw was a mammoth lowercase “i”
Topped with a beacon, and the sea
Strove with its moon-driven drive

To drive us, home, beyond what my eye could see.

This poem was left by Lee Wind of I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read?

Four days till the SCBWI Conference and I'm excited.

My first New York Conference so I'm scared.

Who knows what could happen? I don't, so I'm nervous.

Excited, Nervous, Scared... but mostly excited. That's me.

Jane Yolen left this poem in the comments.

To write a poem takes great heart ,
But do not leave behind the head.
Of course the other body part is the foot.

With poetic coin, the bill you foot,
But never neglect great (h)art.
Still, some poems begin in the head.

The poetic road that lies ahead?
You will need to go on foot.
Do not, my rhyming friend, lose heart

It takes all three to walk that road, to make a poem: heart, head, foot.

The Deluge
by Diane Mayr of Random Noodling

I imagine the deluge began
in the winter's darkest days
when the already bone-chilling rain

turned to relentless bone-breaking rain.
Beating, bashing, battering, it began
to obliterate nights and days.

No difference between the days
and nights--just pain--and rain--
and pain. Until the fortieth night began.

Forty days and nights lost to rain before forgiveness began.

by Kate Coombs of Book Aunt

Last week the sky was made of gray
and all the eyes reflected rain,
the kind of weather that asks why.

Like children tugging, asking why,
we waded through a sea of gray,
the only light in gleaming rain.

But there are those who read the rain,
who think its falling tells us why
the world's tenderness is gray.

Why, soft and gray as eiderdown is rain.

--Kate Coombs, 2010

by K. Thomas Slesarik

Pet shops seldom sell ‘em (those sneachers)
because they’ve a small cerebellum
but some sing karaoke by day.

They make little pay working each day
and many teachers are really sneachers
so please don’t stress their cerebellum.

And don’t speak of their cerebellum
‘cause it likely will ruin their day.
In fact, just run away from sneachers.

But celebrate their cerebellum each day. Go sneachers!

Stu Pidasso of Mudville Musings left this poem in the comments.

My temper makes me want to hit.
On me, it has such a firm hold.
Dealing with it daily can be a drag.

Stressed, I’m found in need of a drag;
or as it’s known, by some, a hit;
on this joint which I stand and hold.

I light it, breathe it in deep and hold;
before, to the car, my bag, I drag,
It preps me for a practice of rugby hits.

Tackling practice, where we learn to hit, hold and drag.

by Barbara J. Turner of Afternoons With Grammy

Strolling through the apple orchard, just you and I.
You don’t want to come, but I insist. So me and you
bask beneath plump red fruit, unseen by even him.

I feed you apples under the boughs, never thinking of him.
I see the man you were, the man you could be. I
see light in your eyes, feel your lovemaking change, and you -

you say you love me. The triad breaks. We become me and you,
no longer me, you, and him. You are the one I love. And him?
A memory. Now I cleave to you. Now there is only you and I.

We leave the garden, I unashamed, you, a whole man, neither of us caring a fig leaf for him.

Caroline left this poem in the comments.

In the damp, she peeled up moss
piecing the rugged squares
together again under the trees.

The wind shook the wet off the trees,
the soft bed of moss
squished in their cushioned squares.

Mud sealed and joined the squares,
little flowers fell from the trees,
decorating the moss.

A patchwork quilt of moss or what she considered squares of tiny trees.

These next two poems were written by Liz Korba.

My First Tritina
Oh how does one begin to find a way
To write three words repeating in ten lines
Four times - change ‘round the order ‘till the end
Where three words reflect what’s written at the end
Of the beginning lines (first three) (No way!)
Just how to make that happen in the lines
Complete with thoughts to read between the lines
I’ve no idea…but almost at the end
I think, “Who feels the need to write this way?!”
This way with lines, three words – four times… The End!!

Third Day Tritina
And so they build not shelters yet but time
Each second forged to make up one more day
And night - not thinking what some future days will hold
To breathe that’s all and putting hope on hold
Still waiting for life to return with time
Though no one can begin to see that day
Imagine something other than this day
Now that the earthquake came, left and took hold
Of lives that once built other things in time
Some time, one day, again, life will take hold.

Jone of Deo Writer shares a poem entitled Old Chair.
It's not too late if you still want to play. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll add it to the list.


  1. I'll have to try one of these. I seriously need to become more disciplined about trying these exercises when you first post them!


    A life of solitude
    The chosen alternative
    To corporate power.

    The struggle for power
    Ending in the solitude
    Of a prison with no alternative.

    Accept the alternative
    While you have the power
    To enjoy a little solitude.

    Be solid in solitude with alternative selections of solar power.

  3. I had trouble commenting with my computer earlier in the week to send this, but now I can. So here is my tritina.

    A Writer’s Midnight Dilemma
    By Nicole Marie Schreiber

    Too tired to write another word.
    How will I ever finish this novel?
    Become an author? Become a success?

    What is a writer’s success?
    Is it about finding the perfect word?
    Or creating the perfect, marketable novel?

    No, the key lies not in focusing on the whole novel
    But in remembering that in order to obtain success
    A writer must flood her pages daily, word by word…

    Until one word becomes two, then a line, a page, a chapter, a paragraph, a novel, and, finally, a success.