2019 Poetry Form Challenge

20 Long Measure

This is a variation of Common Measure, and consists of stanza rhymes of iambic tetrameter, (4 feet). This gives a suggested pattern of:
x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x b
x x x x x x x c
x x x x x x x b


Have you ever really felt alone,
In a room crowded, with people
With the buzz of conversation,
Ignoring, wanting to decouple?

Have you ever really felt alone,
With someone lying next to you,
And you don't really feel her there,
When you belong to someone new.

Have you ever had to carry on,
That nothing seems to be amiss
And yet your mind is miles away
To where your heart still exists.

Terry Clitheroe

Long Measure Replies

Maryse Achong

Happiness Lives

Kathy Anderson

Happy Thoughts
Partial to Words

Terry Clitheroe

Bold Question
Ghost Of You And Me
Golden Dragon
Hidden Treasure
In Days Of Old
Leaving Home
Mist of Space
No Regrets
Out Of My Head
Such Is Life

Divena Collins

Blue Moon Rising
Chinese Vase
The Exotic Dancer
Gladdened Heart
Global Warming
The RoadTo Happiness
Theory in Fantasy
Ye Joyful Maidens

Jem Farmer

Beneath the Willow Tree

Ivor Hogg

One step at a time
Pulling Myself Together

Peter Willowdown


Maryse Achong

Happpiness Lives

There are people who’ve never known
What happiness is all about,
With lives that have been troubled by
Desolation, despair and doubt.

You see it in their downcast eyes,
In shoulders bowed by stress and strain,
In faces set as if in stone,
Reflecting all their inner pain.

But others have received the gift
Of lives that unfold like a dream,
And it is obvious to all
That happiness reigns there, supreme.

They look the world straight in the eye,
Shoulders upright, they’ve borne no load
They face the future unafraid,
Because ‘fear’ is an alien word.

But blessed are those who have known care,
Who have been battered by life’s gales,
Have stood with backs against a wall
Or balanced on precarious scales.

And yet their eyes are gentle, kind,
Their shoulders still squared though weary,
Their faces sometimes wrinkled, worn,
But wreathed in smiles for all to see.

May we always remember that
No matter how pitch black the night,
If we can only wait and trust,
Ere long we’ll see that chink of light.

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Nia Wynne

Happy Thoughts

A bird flying by a window,
Bread baking in a home oven
Captured within love kneaded dough
Delightfully fragrant as proven.

Exile from every storm,
Freedom from all retributions
Gathered at the dawns of each hour,
Holding on to hopes fair form.

Indigo twilight's at the edge
Just short of the horizon dream
Kilted with the cloth of loves light
Lingering together by pledge.


Partial to Words

The words are there but just get blown away.
Everyday is a rare opal gem,
Yet each day is swept out like common stones
Pebbling the beach that now, we condemn.

What is left are the shadows we once saw
Together, now apart by three long weeks,
Blue moon of fable and lore's we know
Though seldom do stories tell what tears speak.

So here the poet in me seeks release
For peace of mind shouldn't be a blue moon
And friends bring hope in less rare moments,
Love then stays when sad songs end none too soon.

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Terry Clitheroe


Have you ever really felt alone,
In a room crowded, with people
With the buzz of conversation,
Ignoring, wanting to decouple?

Have you ever really felt alone,
With someone lying next to you,
And you don't really feel her there,
When you belong to someone new.

Have you ever had to carry on,
That nothing seems to be amiss
And yet your mind is miles away
To where your heart still exists.


Bold Question

Where, where you when it first began,
Just where was anyone I ask?
God was busy on that first day
It was a very daunting task.

A day, a week, a month a year
That is only the words of man
Ten billion years could be a day
Please just try to understand.

Many biased believe their right
An equal lot believe their wrong.
Each passionately believe their truth
And all shouting alternate songs.



They were getting close to their home
The couple had had a blazing row
They'd said terrible things in anger
Of course neither would give in now.

They had driven for several miles
Down a tree lined country lane
Neither was saying anything
Just in case the other might gain.

Passing a field of mules and pigs
Smiling wifey said sarcastically
All those creatures look familiar
I think they are relatives of thee.

The husband scowled and frowned
But his wife had not won the cause.
Yes said he in a patronising voice
They are all my bloody in-laws.


Ghost of You and Me

I walked into the empty house
Once filled up with love and glee
Empty now save for memories
Of the ghosts of you and me.

A house we shared and cared,
Lived and loved so happily
But that house is empty now
Save for the ghosts of you and me.

We lived and wined and dined
And conversed so merrily
The only ones that talk there now
Are the ghosts of you and me.

There in the times when all alone
We'd make love so passionately
But only ghosts make love there now
They are the ghosts of you and me.


Golden Dragon

The golden beast circled aloft
bathing aloft in the desert sun.
As old as time, born before man
and his history had begun.

The sand below hazy, shimmered
savouring the morning heat.
Spiraling thermals surging up
joined with lazy winged beat.

As he glided and spiraled
flying up as if in a trance
seeming to the watchers below
it was just like a merry dance.

As he flew he was listening
to the heavens way up above
until suddenly he heard her
the sound of his one true love.

The gold on his scales flashing
blinding watchers down on the Earth,
shooting upwards and heaven bound
to where all the dragons give birth.

For Dragons aren't Earthly creatures
they're creatures gifted by the Gods
not evil and never malicious
it was mans greed put them at odds.

The Gods loved these gentle creatures
gave them their scales of purest gold
and man, ever greedy and cunning

he lied and all evil he told.


Hidden Treasure

I stare deep down into the pools
That I'm certain were your eyes.
I am touched by thoughts unknown
Is it true that you are fates prize?

You reach out your hand to me
Your touch is warm and familiar
And my soul remembers once more
Warm nights sat by an open fire.

I am drowning in soul memories
Yet it's life, it is not a death,
Or lives that we have lived as one
And in those memories I find wealth.

I realise now, any time we have
Is a pittance this time on earth
Yet every moment is a treasure
Adding to the total of loves worth.


In Days of Old

In days of old when times were good
And poetry had just been invented.
Men roamed the land with lute in hand
Telling tales that made folks contented.

But oftimes bastards from the bush
Would try to gag each stalwart lad.
For keeping people up to date
Was considered by some to be bad.

Each age that's been in countries seen
The written word's been suppressed
Religion made wisdom hidden
And politics, feelings repressed.

Each age in histories evolution
One person has let people know it.
Sometimes idealism led to revolution
From your oftimes humble poet.


Leaving Home

Lingering she stood at the door,
Then out into the pouring rain,
Leaving the home that she had built
That'd turned to a house of pain.

No makeup, it would wash away
Not from the rain but from her tears
Wishing that they could wash away
All those final wasted years.

She'd loved and been loved back
Mistaken, thinking that love would stay
Like the rain that was falling now
His love had been washed away.

She shut the door, walking away
Leaving the house a darkened scene
The home she loved an empty shell
Where so much love had been.

With blinding tears, she started her car
And then very quickly drove away
She had not planned where to go
What happens, only time can say.


Mist of Space

I know that in the mist of space
There's a place where we'll meet again.
Souls will unite and our hearts race
Our embrace will then prove love's reign.

You see it's written in our eyes
For love's bonds cannot be broken.
Not those of what is spoken for love will rise
Claiming the prize of a passion unbroken.

No matter where Fates bridge may be
It will be our meeting place.
We'll find a base for us for all Eternity
Somewhere you'll see, in the mist of space.


No Regrets

I don't regret my life or weep
Passing like smoke from a chimney
Autumn has me in her cold grip
A young man I shall never be.

My heart now feels September s chill
No longer beats as once it did
The stairways banister no more tempts
As in my spring I often slid.

My wandering spirit's is less
But still you stir my lips aflame
I've lost freshness of passions eye
And yet I love you just the same.

Oh life do desires grow tamer,
Or is life all a useless deed,
When in springs echoing early hours
I had galloped by on winged steed?

We're all mortal, watching silently
The trees spill their leaves of copper.
May you be blessed ever more
Till death comes with her final offer.


Out Of My Head

Tell me, how long have I known you
How long will there be a blue moon?
You've turned my world upside down
Let us hope it doesn't change too soon.

Will you still be here by my side,
When that blue moon has gone away?
Will you be here to see the next,
Can I be sure that you will stay?

It's not a dream the way I feel,
A feeling I don't wish to go.
If this is madness let it be
I wish it to remain just so.



She could not wear a dress of blue
Instead she had picked the black
Blue was the colour of his eyes
She knew he wasn't coming back.

He'd left that day in a bitter rage
Slamming doors as he rushed out
Driving too fast on sodden roads
His car wheels sliding on the route.

On the freeway no thought or care
As his madness made him drive on
Vision blurred by tears of rage
He knew his wife, his love was gone.

Then he thought of days not long past
Of times spent in each others arms
Of loving days and loving ways
And of the ways that loving warms.

His foot rose off the madness pad
As slowly his sanity returned
Then he reached the turning point
And homewards the car he turned.

She lay in tears upon the bed
Thinking of cruel words she'd spoken
Of spite and hurt no thought just said
Regretting no peaceful token.

"Regret! Oh much too late" she thought
As the tears poured from her eyes
She did not hear him come to her
And she looked up in surprise.

He took her in his tender arms
Hugging, kissing her tears away
And through her tears she heard him say,
"I'm not going to work today."

She did not wear a dress at all
Instead something flimsy and red
And the two, lovers made their peace
Upon their loving bed.


Such is Life

After all this time have you wondered
What happens when the moon is blue?
Have you seen the path that they walk
Creatures that in childhood we knew?

As we grew we cast them away
Treating them as childhood nonsense
Till they became ghosts in our minds
Calling it fantasy in defence.

But where is the origin of dreams
A child cannot create false scenes
But can see what is truly there
And with young eyes see the unseen.

If only our minds could be made
Level like fresh clean virgin sand
And yet retain the experience
That makes living a full life grand.



Come all ye spirits the church bells toll
Thirteen times now the bell has rung
Awaken all ye rotting dead
Ye're all dancing to what Deaths sung.

In the pale light of the Hallows moon
See as over the graves he stands
One lightning flash and thunder roll
Death takes his fiddle in his skeletal hands.

The bow scrapes o'er the suffering strings
No need for tuning to be right.
For life and balance only rule the day
Death and cacophony rule the night.

So the dancers are called to dance
And crawl out of their rotting graves
And beasts that always shun the light
Emerge from stinking caves.

The fiddler starts his hellish dirge
Echoing through the pits of hell
And some of Satan's creatures join in
Dancing to a tune they know so well.

The wailing of those tortured souls
Joins with the screaming of the un-dead
Werewolves victims join in now
Screaming as when dragged from bed.

The clacking of the bashing bones
As the skeletons wildly dance
The percussion section softened
As we see rotted corpses prance.

The vampires flamenco aloof
See o'er yonder where they are stood
Watching Dracula arms held aloft
As he stamps in a puddle of blood

The frenzy of the fiddler increases
Dancers crazily matching his tone.
For as every creature of night knows
That day can never be their home.

Then we hear it loud, a cockerel
Calling above the raucous din
And the creatures of evil curse it
For it banishes creatures of sin.

With light the creatures have vanished
Gone back to their hole or their pit
Slithering down the septic highways
Crawling to where only evil can fit.

We hear it still, high in the air
Death the fiddler fiddling away.
Knowing his work will be starting
At the end of another day.



We act like passing strangers now
As we sit here drinking coffee
An unsweetened long white for you
And black with two sugars for me.

We sit and we talk and pretend,
But can't really say what is known
Our eyes seem to lock constantly,
But feelings must never be shown.

Still smiling we avert our gaze
Going back to drinking our Tiffin,
And obeying the rules we'd made
Too proud and stupid to give in.

We sit here and play our charade
An invisible wall that's been drawn
Our meeting, our desire and our love,
Is such that never can be known.

But once again the clock says
That it is time for us to part
And here comes that sinking feeling
Deep, way deep down inside my heart.

Suddenly, as we rose slowly,
You very gently touched my arm
Giving me oh such a feeling
Making me feel oh so warm.

I know comfort and love is there
But with no promises given
Mere presence will have to suffice
As again our love has arisen.

You broke through the barrier
Once more reaching out to me
Your touch is that of love given
And one that is honest and free.

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Divena Collins

Blue Moon Rising

The hues of a blue moon rising
On the eve of a brand new year,
Sending shadows down to Earth,
Forming a pale blue hemisphere.

With alluring visions and fantasies,
And dreams that will all come true,
Mystique charms the young and old,
When a new moon is coloured blue.

When lovers meet in the moonlight
Sweet promises are made of love,
While strange atmospheric illusions,
Come true,`neath a blue moon above.


The Chinese Vase

The Auction room it was crowded
A musty smell now filled the room,
The auctioneer then took his stand
A showing was about to resume.

Antique dealers took their seats
Expecting to make a fast buck,
Old aunt Bessy she was first there
Thought maybe she`ll have some luck

She wore a fox fur round her neck,
Which smelled of strong moth balls
A broad brimmed hat with roses,
And sat at the back next to wall.

Had her eye on a Chinese vase
Blue China, with birds on a vine
Pretty vase, stood on a plinth
She said `your going to be mine`.

The Auctioneer now got started,
Describing the vase to begin,
He said it was certainly a Ming
And was found in an old dustbin.

" Ming be damned" Aunt Bess shouts
I knowjust where that came from,
It was the church Jumble sale
A man had bought it called John.

Underneath, a price tag is stuck
But all you can read is just `ing`
Peel of the tag then you will see
It`s stamped and made in Beijing.

Out of the goodness of my heart
Cancel this lot, now on demand
And I will, just to help you out,
Take this vase out of your hands".

The auctioneer`s face turned red
He then gave her the vase for free,
For her to keep her mouth shut tight
She eventually had to agree.

So back home my Aunt Bessie went
She had began to dance and sing
When she pulled the sticker off
It most definately was a `Ming.


The Exotic Dancer

Oh I wish I was a pole dancer
To slide up and down a pole,
I`d be as sexy as can be
And tease all hungry souls.

I would look cute in a thong
And topless maybe great,
To make men shout for more
And entrap them with my bait.

Oh I wish I was a lap dancer
And dance away the blues,
To do a jig on their laps in
Winkle picker stilletto shoes.

If only I was a belly Dancer
I`d wobble and shimmy all night,
With a jewel inside my navel
I`d be their turkish delight.

Oh I`d love to be a stripper
If I was once again young,
I would be their cutie pie
If my body was better hung.

But I have floated in the clouds
Had much too many wishes,
Now I`m back to earth again
I`d better go wash the dishes.


A Gladdened Heart

How gracious thus, thy bounteous smile
Which verily gladdens much my heart,
I would but treasure thee constantly,
And ne`er would I ever deign to part.

Much happiness showeth in thine eyes,
Which doth shine from thy soul within
And I shalt forever, hold thee dear
Deep in spirit and thoughts therein.

I hath loved thee for many a day,
Hast cherished thee all the while.
And I shalt not forsake thy love.
For e`er my heart thou shalt beguile.

How gracious thus, thy bounteous smile
For e`er my heart thou shalt beguile.


Global Warming

Whats all this about global warming,
When temperatures are so low here.
Tonight will be well below zero,
Freezing once again, I should fear.

Maybe if we move to Australia
Would things be better out there
With temperatures over a hundred
And no more fresh water to share.

What will we do for our heating
When all of the sea gas has gone
Just have to buy more thick woolies
And put warm thermal underwear on.

As for our friends in Australia,
Do not let the heat get you down,
Just think of us that are freezing,
While you are, lovely and brown.

All keeping warm in our thermals
While your waltzing Matilda may sing.
Were watching through binoculars
When you fit into that G string.


The Road To Happiness

Narrow lanes that twist and turn,
In a figment of imagination,
Red ferns grow in swirls of snow
In the strangest presentation.

Green and blue liquorice sticks
Form all sorts of tasty things,
Butterflys wings that now flutter by
Stringed harpsichords that sing.

A pathway twisted on it`s own
This morning being only tonight,
A large dog sat sucking his food
Forgotten he had lost his bite.

The rains came up instead of down
On Islands formed in the sky,
A woman briskly walks through air
Before she`d grown wings to fly.

She finds her road to happiness
Which is not a great distance away,
For she opens the gates of wisdom
And kneels on the clouds to pray.


Theory in Fantasy

Out of the void of space unknown
Constellations had just been born,
Mythical beasts roamed spheres
On a group of stars named Capricorn.

These beasts bred, half goat, half fish
Thus the Capricorns known birth sign,
From cosmic rains from the galaxy,
Where they thrived `til end of time.

There deep in the midst of moonshine
Bore the most wonderful global hue,
This moon, quite the largest by far
Shone magnificent shades of blue.

And beasts of burden in Capricorn
Had all turned the same shade too,
Hence the sky, the sea., and our Earth
From space, are all shades of blue.


Ye Joyful Maidens

Oh Come all ye pretty maidens
Maketh merrie whilst thou may,
For thy shalt surely soon be wed,
In a quaint olde fashioned way.

Oh thou may sing to a merry tune
Let thy silken locks freely flow,
Thou shalt sup, sweet honeyed mead.
Until thy heart warms to a glow.

Oh come all ye pretty maidens
Bring happiness and frivolity,
For love of life shalt be too brief,
Seeking much of it from jollity.

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Jem Farmer

Beneath the Willow Tree

My words are naught but summer rain
when met with acrid clouds of doubt.
Each time the hurt denies my heart
in welts of pain I am cast out.

On deafened ears I waste my time
declaring love she cannot see;
although I try to understand,
her ceaseless taunts are killing me.

If it's her will that I should die
without her kiss upon my lip;
then I can only take my fate
and from this world I'll lose my grip.

My love I give and give my all
for her to take or turn away,
and sit beneath the willow tree
in hopes that love will come today.

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Ivor Hogg

One step at a time

I see no reason to be coy.
I was a baby long ago
and after that a little boy.
When all I had to do was grow.
I quickly grew to be a youth.
Certain that I knew everything.
But passing years taught me the truth.
I could be sure of just one thing.

The more I learnt the less I knew.
There was so much I did not know
and I had other tasks to do.
Things to see places to go.

We may not know what lies ahead,
such knowledge is forbidden us.
So we are forced to guess instead.
Perpetually curious.

I realised as I grew old.
That I must die eventually.
Leave my old body stiff and cold
And then at last I would be free.

Just how I knew I cannot say
but I believe it to be true
I grow more certain every day.
Although I KNOW no more than you.

I find it very comforting
to think that when this body dies.
At last I will know everything
with nothing hidden from my eyes.

Until I am reborn again.
Bereft of all my memories.
Knowing no more than other men
I learn again by slow degrees.

Bodies may die but I go on.
Blessed with immortality
Forgetting past lives which are gone
until I am what I should be.

A small part of the oversoul
Returned at last from whence I came.
A process I cannot control
but I must go through just the same.
When all are safely gathered in
and thus complete the oversoul
A new creation can begin.
Perfection is the final goal


Pulling Myself Together

In dreams I can communicate
with disparate parts of me.
I'm learning to appreciate.
The frightening complexity

Of the different parts of me.
Which I must balance constantly
A task I must face every day
so they combine to make me, me..

I am a father and a son.
I am a brother and a friend.
The endless list goes on and on.
It seems as though it has no end

. Somehow I manage to control
at least the parts on public view.
The scattered parts which make the whole
But still conceal a thing or two.

The parts of me I need to change.
I'm sure I can do given time.
Some parts of me are weird and strange.
Like creatures from an earlier time.

The Id tries to assert its will.
The ego sure to disagree.
The super ego bids them both be still.
I just accept they're part of me.

When other people look at me.
I wonder if they wonder too
If they can see reality.
I am not certain that I do.

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Peter Willowdown


The joyful birds proclaim the morning,
the flowers open their petals to sing;
in the meadow the trees are dancing
- only man has crippled wings.

Self-bound in the swathes of doubt
he glowers at another day,
he shakes his fist, rails and shouts
at the sun's bright yellow rays.

Armed with spears and portfolios,
bristling with cell-phones, deadlines and facts,
he takes no part in creation
and does not even know he lacks.

Tired and bloody from massacring the heavens
he gazes at the pale white moon
and wonders at the hidden powers
from the shelter of his room.

In his heart wild beasts roam,
he warms himself beside the fire;
his little cave is his home
- let no-one test his vengeful ire!
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The Poets Garret
Muse Mongers Motel