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9 Words: poetry that MUST include the words given

9Words: These poems are my favorites, submitted for an anthology (never got off the ground) from a writing group that challenged each other to use a set of nine words proposed to the group. My preference was to write as brief a poem as I could with these words – to avoid taking the easy way out by drowning the words in hundreds of others!

throttle, eyesore, ricochet, tiptoe, hopscotch,disguise, fugitive, scholar, and gavel

The hopscotch stone ricochets

And hits the awkward child

A smirk, a giggle,

Fugitive glare then gone

Playground ills disguised as fun,

Eyesore of our childrens’ lives

Young scholars learn to tiptoe

Around blind adults’ gavel

Condemning the reaction

Not the cause.




truncate, squeegee, anthem, torque, launch, gravity, trickle, lather, and bulb

The wonders of an old house…

Water trickles, rust’s yellow tinge in my bath as I lather

I’ll have to squeegee the walls when I’m done,

I’ve gotten good at these odd little chores.

We chose to truncate our lives for this!

I launch a bone back toward the neighbor’s trashcan,

Gravity works just fine at least

It shouldn’t torque me off –

Too much torque and I’ll break some old fragile thing

The bonus comes with the hints of past decades

And the surprise bulb in February

A make-do anthem, but cozy and settled…




Resist Urge Bait Prod Delight Tease Mock Devil Harass

I came upon the Devil

Late one night in my back 40

He was hung up in the fencing

Where I’d stopped my work that day.

He looked just like the brainless sheep,

The reason for my labor.

Though I wanted to harass him;

Knew I must resist the bait

What an urge to mock and tease him

But what a chance to take –

I’d delight to win like Johnny

Rosin up my bow and wait

But the truth is I’m not certain;

I’d not risk the loser’s fate

For I like my quiet life;

And I love my gentle wife

I’ll just go on home; it’s late.




Midnight Mules Ghosts Screen Stack Numbers Disarray Basket Frantic

It’s midnight and the tech geeks

In disarray except on screen

Stack frantic numbers

For the system’s in a basket

And they work like mules

Their beds know only ghosts




Black Window Cat Shake Silk Ear Wander Wonder Wind

Black outside the window

Cat, shake water from your silk ear

What wonder made you wander in the wind?




Ice, Glass, Sweat, Branch, Collapse, Follow, Over, Under, Pretend

Pretend there is no outside,

Follow me to the thick rug

Sweat in the warmth of the fire

Lounge together under blankets

Be careful, do not stray far from the light.

The rest of the house is cold!

Be thankful for the fireplace.

Pretend there is no inside,

Follow me over and under each

Ice-glassed, fragile branch

Gasp together, cold, bright wonder

Be careful, do not bring about collapse.

Their fate is delicately balanced!

Be thankful for the beauty.




Date Bird Tin Yearn Balance War Luck Lost Genius

On this date, fifteen hundred years ago

The last moving, singing mechanical tin bird

Its gears’ balance, the genius of Byzantium

Ceased to function and was scrap.

Its fate the normal luck of war;

We lost such things under swords and boots.

We fell far, and hard!  So slowly rose, it took

A dozen centuries to regain that ground;

Now look how far we’ve come in barely three!

I yearn now for the world we might have known

Had we prized singing gears and beauty

More than the bloody glories humans choose.





Once I made great plans of excavation,

Pursuit of science, knowledge, so I thought

I did not know myself a heart-tamed prisoner

Surrendered to the mind Academe sought

Until the ancient ruins.  I saw true

Into th’unconscious caverns of my dreams

And in the ancient cistern I broke through

Abandoned dust for joy and tried my wings.




Beyond, Mischief, Dazzled, Impulsive, Timeless, Chase, Shadows, Intrigue, Hostage

O impulsive hostage

Dazzled, held by fascination

All for you is intrigue, cruel mischief.

Chase the shadows beyond grasping

Bound into the timeless prison

Of these fell, glittering shards.

Where died the child? The hope?

You are not free or found

And you do not even know.




platypus * verdant * calmly * play * azure * chamomile * quake * outer * rising

Crater Lake

Sit calmly in chamomile by the shore…

Verdant place, bejeweled with azure lake

Within a mountain bowl, the outer ring

An almost perfect circle, with an island

The picture of such purity and peace

Few who linger here would choose to think

Of the mountainbuilding fire then falling quake

The violent history of this lake, the island rising

Better to treat it as a platypus

Out of context, safe in its incongruous charm

But for some, for some – who look at how it’s made

Amazement lingers long!




Poetry ~ Eaten ~ Damn ~ Internet ~ Throwing ~ Tantrum ~ Modem ~ Cease ~ Writing

My poetry upon the internet

Is blocked, the modem throwing me offline.

Thank God it has not eaten inspiration

I reach for calm, such words as “damn” aren’t mine

But why, optimist fool, did I ever

Cease writing them on paper??




acre, curator, meadow, stealth, silo, clasp, antenna, gutter, and bouquet

I am the curator of this acre of meadow,

It is mine to steward in stealth

Managed so well no human touch despoils!

Not here the gutter, the silo, the antenna

Clasp tight to you the vision, and opening wide

Your heart, inhale the bouquet we cannot make.



One Comment

Leave a Comment
  1. Malhavick / Jun 20 2011 11:44 am

    Nice! Not much of a poet myself, I would have found it difficult to do this.

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