2012 Poetry Form Challenge

#11 Heroic Stanza

A very popular quatrain that normaly used in ballad and story writing, consisting of one unrhymed and one rhymed couplet giving a suggested pattern of:

x x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x x b
x x x x x x x x x c
x x x x x x x x x b
The Ghosts of You and Me

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

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

We'd wined and dined and entertained
And conversed so merrily
But the only ones that talk there now
Are the ghosts of you and me

And in the times when all alone
We made love passionately
But only ghosts make love there now
The ghosts of you and me.

Terry Clitheroe

Heroic Stanza Responses

Terry Clitheroe

Golden Dragon
Profumo di un Bambino
We Who Have Loved

Divena Collins

An Unlikely Event
As I Am
Country Mouse
Cry Wolf
Drunken Sailor
If I Were You
Merlin and Nimue
Midsummer Murder
Out of Body
Spirit of the Lake
Tango of Love
Trials of Nature

Jem Farmer

Charlie Girl
Deeper Understanding
It's Not Working Dave
Journey Into Darkness
Logic of Intuition
Shades of Deja Vu
Sweet Goodnight

Liz Rule

Emmi's Song

Terry Clitheroe

The Golden Dragon

The golden beast circled
And wheeled in the desert sun
Old as time, born before man
And his history had begun

The sand below hazy, shimmered
In the early mornings heat
Spiralling thermals shooting upwards
He joined with lazy wing'd beat.

And as he glided and spiralled
Flying as though in a trance
It seemed to the watchers below
To be like a merry dance.

But as he flew he was listening
Listening to the heavens above
Till suddenly he heard her
The sound of his one true, love.

The gold on his scales flashing
Blinding watchers down on Earth
Shooting upwards heaven bound
To the sun where dragons give birth.

For Dragons are not Earthly creatures
They are creatures gifted by the Gods
Not evil and never ever malicious
It's mans greed putting them at odds.

The Gods loving these gentle creatures
Gave them scales of purest gold
Man, ever greedy, cunning and covetous
Tales of his own evil he told.

Always blaming it on the dragon
For his scheming murderous needs
Encouraged George and others like him
Giving them Sainthood's for their deeds.

The dragon flew towards the sun
Upwards to his wife and child.
His wings beating in fervent haste
His heart beating, Oh so wild!!


The Leaving

One lingering moment stood at the door
Then walked out into the pouring rain.
Finally leaving the home she had built
That had turned into a house of pain.

She wore no makeup, it would wash away
Not from the rain but her flooding tears
Only wishing that they would wash away
Those final stupid, wasted years.

For years she'd loved and been loved back
Always thinking that love would stay
But like the rain that was falling now
His love had somehow washed away.

She shut the door and walked away
Leaving a darkened emptied scene
The home she loved an empty shell
Where once so much love had been.

With blinding tears, she started her car
And then quickly drove away
She does not know where to go
And what happens, only time can say.


Profumo di un Bambino (Scent of a Child)

A baby is loves ultimate gift
Once bonded, the link is stronger than steel.
The baby is cleaned and handed back to mum
It's cuddled and kissed and begins to feel.

The end is the same as the beginning
At first only touch then scent makes aware
You hold your child and start the bond
The bond that builds, unites, creating care.

Each child has its own unique smell
And that scent is with you forever more
Only mans rules can break these ties,
With ethics, and morals and rules that bore.

The child grows up and falls in love
As is usual under fate's greater plan.
A boy falls head over heels in love with her
All because of the scent of his woman.


The Row

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.



The tapestry of love
Is woven with a poetic thread
Each word of love creates a form
A gentle rhythm in your head

So begins each day the weave
And watch the pattern spread.
One often weaves with doubt
Often fumbling waiting to be led

The other holds love back
So scared and dare not care
Strangely each love creates
A sum lesser than what is there.

So in time they learn to trust
And begin to think as one
Sometimes they see the truth
Able to see what they have done.

Then finally with open eyes
They see the results of their act
Synergy is always bound to love
This is a true but unknown fact.

The tapestry is finished now
Two lovers have made their pact
Trust and time have won the day
With love creating the final act.



Each day each thing on Earth asks a question.
The question is, “How shall I shape what I ask?”
Each mortal asks the same I should mention
Thinking he's unique, wearing a different mask.

The humble bee as she kisses each flower in turn
Pollinating, and ensuring the spread of beauty
Is beautiful within herself having no unease
Her only concern is of the nest and her duty

She works; she cares so well that we must learn.
And the same applies to every living thing
The lark as she ascends each morn asks herself,
How loud can I sing what joy below can I bring?

The swan gliding regally over the lake
All other birds defer at all times to her
She's not a Queen, just much more like an angel
And as for beauty all others would refer.


We Who Have Loved

We who have loved so well
Yet by cruel Fate we are apart
You left me so early my love
And tore away my bleeding heart.

Love had not reached its zenith
Yet so strong did our love grow
You presence here is not a lie
There's nothing surer that I know.

I hear your words whispered to me
As you still come to me each night.
You stayed around to help me see
And made sure I did what was right.

One final time I see your ghost
Telling me it's time to move on,
One final kiss, so soft and warm,
A fading shadow, then you've gone.

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Divena Collins

An Unlikely Event

Sage are the waters of the murky swamp
Where water nymphs and dragon fly play
That slumbers within the depth of reeds
And awaken to mermaids song this day.

Such sadness in eyes that shed wet tears
When cupids arrow had broken her heart
For she already had loved yet another
So much she was not prepared to part.

King of swamps by the name of Neptune
'Twas he that she had promised her hand
Let no other sample the fruits of her love
She was only free for her Kings command.

Who was that cupid to have interfered
Did he not know he was false to a King
He dares to seduce an innocent maid
Would he harm a poor bird on the wing.

All the sea horses all the Kings men
Had come to rescue her pure vanity
Cupid that was is now turned to stone
Named Eros within Londons sanctuary.

"Drop Dots - Daniel Racca


As I Am

I am a maiden borne from the wild
That lives to love and loves to live
To love you must take me as I am
And I in return my love freely give.

I have no need for trinkets of gold
For I am a maiden akin with nature
Nor do I crave for too much frivolity
Take me as I am, tho` not in stature.

All that I ask is your love in return
To cherish and to gather me near
Until the passion of love shall flow
Take me as I am, true and sincere.

I am a maiden borne from the wild
The desires you have I feel the same
Of natural fantasies beyond control
Take me as I am, love holds no shame.

Arthur and Gwenivere


Country Mouse

Small I am more scared than most
For my home is a hole in a field
When the farmer ploughs it up
I am much too much revealed.

Decided I would take to the roads
And hitched on a truck for a ride
For there would be rich pickings
Much more than the countryside.

The truck stopped I jumped off
Near some busy high street shops
A huge bus near squashed me flat
So I scuttles and jumps and hops.

I hunted around to find me a home
To recover myself from the shock
And found me a dustbin with a lid
Plus food that was fully stocked.

Couldn't wish for a better 'des res'
With everything there I would need
Slept in an empty tin of baked beans
With a tummy overloaded from greed.

But in the dead of night I awoke
I had company come visit my flat
And found myself face to face
With a great big fat black cat.

So I jumps scuttles and I hops
And ran like the wind to escape
There in a shop I settled down
But that was a huge mistake.

It was a tea shop of genteel folk
And I hid in a ladies handpurse
But when she went to pay her bill
She screamed and I did curse.

The owner of the shop gave chase
With a cleaver as big as a house
Why can't folk be more kindly
For I'm only a terrified mouse.

So home I went back to the fields
To the country home that I love
Never again will I roam far away
For the Cities they can 'shove'.


Cry Wolf

Do not fear me creatures of the wild
Thy fear of man is not without reason
The sport of a king shall be for the kill
Within the midst of the hunters season.

For I have felt your nose nuzzle my hand
Had since gained trust of a faithful friend
I hear your sad cries calling from the wild
Knowing deep within `tis thee I defend.

I hath observed thee nurture and grow
From tiny cubs to a pack of wolverine
Why is mans need to injure and destroy
When love and devotion remain serene.

The spirits within those enchanted eyes
Speaks so much of thy sorrows and pain
When the sunlight shadow begins to fall
It`s then that thou shalt howl at the moon again.


Drunken Sailor

There was a jolly sailor man
His name was Sam Mcphee
His ship was docked at Dover
From a long time out to sea.

Both Sam and his shipmate
Were all geared up for fun
They stepped out in Dover
With their bellies full o'rum.

Sam he was a handsome lad
And did meet a wench to woo
But the ladies in those parts
Were nought they would view.

Now he was taken up with her
And promised he would wed
When she gave her all to him,
He went off to sea instead.

She was left their with child
Barely managed on her own
Praying for that special day
When Sam would come home.

Now two years had gone by
She heard from Sam Mcphee
When he pleaded he was sorry
She was ne'er the wench for he.


If I Were You

Upon a sunny day in the garden
When I was digging happily away
Old Ted next door said 'beg pardon
I hope you dont mind what I say.

I should never dig if I were you
You'll have an awful bad back
I did exactly the same as you too
And had to be stretched on a rack'.

I thought I`d have a go at the weeds
And ransacked the shed for a hoe
Ted said 'you need a weedkiller feed
Then the weeds will no longer grow'.

With a box of petunias ready to plant
Said he `there be ground frost tonight`
I was going to plant but now I shant
For as always the old buggers right.

So grabbed instead the watering can
He said 'it will never reach the roots
A hose is best when there is no ban'
So I drenched him from head to foot.

'I Dont Believe It.' Victor Meldrew. 'One foot in the grave'


Merlin and Nimue

Within mythical times of King Arthurs reign
'That lay high upon the hamlet of camelot
Merlin the wizard had become beguiled
By Nimue who had revenged Sir lancelot.

Nimue gained so many loves before him
She had outwitted and sent to their doom
With her knowledge of evil magical spells
She sealed them forever in a silent tomb.

Merlin was beguiled to a point of ecstasy
So amazed he was of her mystical charm
Bewitched and completely within a spell
Little did he know she would do him harm.

Upon several days performed her spells
From old volumes of malicious intention
So weakened was he his magic had gone
And no retaliation remained to mention.

Dark the tombs lovers were imprisoned
Merlin encountered yet another evil spell
Her collective reasons were all the same
Nimue`s previous victims remain as well.

I do hope within my mind that this is right
There are many versions that could be told.
But all said and done this is only a fantasy
Within days of old when knights were bold.


Midsummer Murder at Village

'Twas at dusk on midsummers eve
That strange events took place
'fore I begin for the feint of heart
Please leave or your heart will race.

Weird goings on the scariest sight
In a clearing in them there woods
Village tramp was there with me
And we would of run if we could.

Them witches there they had a pot
Like a black tin bath on stand
But they did chant lots of spells
That we could'na understand.

Then we heard a blood curdling scream
And a large pool of blood of some kind
Whatever was in that big old pot
Gonna` miss his body and mind.

I'm off to tell the police man now
Even though I think its too late
For whatever was in that big old pot
The evidence must have got ate.

But I'll have a rum before I go
Just to keep steady my nerves
So off I staggers out the door
Missing a motor wot swerved.

There was a killin we was right
For they killed a large boar pig
The police are all at the barbecue
Havin' a midsummers jiggedy jig.

If you go in the woods tonight
Your in for a great big surprise
Village tramp fell over the bones
In that pot right up to his thighs.


Out of Body

To walk down the path of loneliness
A barren wilderness of no return
It shall it be for some a salvation
For others it could cause concern.

This was not the path it used to be
No songs of birds no longer trees
All remains silent disturbingly still
I listened but could hear no breeze.

Far in the distance I thought were hills
Somehow they were out of my range
How I got here from whence I came
Was a mystery I thought so strange.

This path seemed to me never ending
For I had walked for many long years
Was I asleep or was it just a dream
Why then could I have wept dry tears.

Out of body experiences I had heard
Could that be what happened to me
Though I know I never left my inside
I still felt a sense of longing to be.


Spirit of the Lake

When spirits of love shine upon thee
Oh lady within darkness of thy tomb
Thou shalt arise from thy silent sleep
From the depth of a watery womb.

Ye who hath valued the joys of love
From a life that had ended too soon
For a curse of death was upon thee
From the darkest side of the moon.

Forbidden love was the fated cause
The final outcome of an evil word
That ended her life within violence
Slain by the edge of a long sword.

Still she arises to make her claim
Within life she did nothing wrong
But love to extreme`s of intimacy
Pledged for another lifetime long.

Was this not the very oath of love
To have loved honoured and obey
Misdeeds hath now been delivered
Her spirit returns to him this day.


Tango of Love

Soft the flow of music plays within the heart
To hear and feel the rhythmic beat of dance
To tango thro`a mystical world of fantasy
That enduces dreams of love and romance.

To express within a dance no stops taken
Emotions of love dwelling deeply therein
Softly their touches then fondly caress
Special moments enhance charms within.

The tango of love is but a moment long
But sweet memories shall linger forever
For both loving eyes shall mirror no wrong
Nor shall desire within hearts ever sever.


Trials of Nature

When a summer sun hides behind the clouds
And darkness weaves sudden flows of tears
So bleak this earth that shows no sign of light
When shadows of a rainbow disappears.

Bleak the raging winds that violate this night
That teased the calming ocean unto a storm.
Causing floods and destruction thro' this land
Ne-er a break the weather forecast informs.

Too soon shall the birds on the wing follow
Fooled by the onslought of unatural force
Seasons are not as they were meant to be
Weather patterns have diverted the course.

But this does not mean our planet shall end
Even this old World is overdue for a change
Doing what it has done so many times before
'Tis why Earth appears so dark and strange.

3 days ago, as a huge wave crashes against a light house in Porthcawl. S. Wales.June. 2012.

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Jem Farmer

Charlie Girl

While walking through the store I caught your scent,
A lady stood beneath the neon light,
She held a bottle of perfume in hand,
And memories returned into my sight.

Outside the school gates waiting for the bell,
I saw my mum; she's standing, waiting there,
With me running out ready to go home,
The essence of Charlie kissing the air.

I see the old man stop all of those cars,
In his white mac with his lollipop stick,
Of course it was magic in a child's eyes,
Like Paul Daniels performing a staged trick.

Past the airfield and rails, Blue on her lead,
Over the bridge to check the lizard hill,
Were they bathing in early summer sun,
Then on home where Peter was lying, still.

Sweet memories that I have in my heart
You may wonder on the what, why, and how
My mum will always be my 'Charlie girl',
Although it is me who wears Charlie now.


A Deeper Understanding

When I was young the way ahead was clear,
The simple choices lay in front of me,
But easy street is such an empty one,
And I forgot the thrill of living free.

My heart must rue the blindness that held me,
The chances missed as I embraced my fear,
Those nightly dreams I thought could ne'er be mine
When walls of doubt denied all I held dear.

My eyes opened within a leap of faith,
And I stepped out of normality's line,
I took a chance to live and be myself,
And there I saw my life could now be mine.

My heart may break into helpless despair
So it may know the wonder of a kiss,
To know love is to know bitterest pain
But love, wondrous love, makes life what it is.


It's Not Working Dave

From Old Father Thames, she waved to the crowds,
'Tis sixty years no matter the debate,
Our Queen has reigned through challenging times,
But governments have fallen to their fate.

A graceful Queen, who makes us feel our pride,
Again failed by those elected to rule,
A jubilee as people suffered pain,
Once more those in pow'r are shown to be cruel.

The sunny times that warm the days of June,
Were lost as the grey clouds melted in tears,
The skies wept as they felt our sense of shame,
As games reveal those vulnerable fears.

The two-faced rat that lives at number ten,
See him step back so the Queen takes the flack,
O majesty we know you're not to blame,
But who will dare give Cameron the sack?


Journey Into Darkness

I feel her chilling touch here in my sleep,
My girl of dreams is dressed in shades of night,
Her hunger for fresh blood upon her lips,
My senses know the darkness of her delight.

Her hour has come and now she takes control,
Such beauty burns in love's eternal fires,
My weakness succumbs to her vampire want,
For she, the woman of my dark desires.

With one bite she purged and raped my soul,
As blood-filled veins became her wanton feast,
Yet beauty let me live another night
As she left before the dawn kissed the east.

Enchanted soul, I longed to feel her touch
To come alive in pain that is my need,
I wanted so much more than her sweet bite,
My own desires had come to take their feed.


Logic of Intuition

O! listen to the whisper of the soul,
The flutterings that caress on the breeze,
A gentle sense of knowing the answers,
That brings agitated stress to its ease.

A distant ripple of laughter recalls
The wisdom of time and the sacred truth,
No words are written on a printed page
Just a whisper of the soul is the proof.

O! harken to the silence of a dream,
Feel the purity of the inner light,
The call of life that comes only within
And grants the eyes the will of second sight.

The dreams of love while learning give and take
Instincts beyond the words of any man,
To know the way the soul goes is right,
For the soul alone knows destiny’s plan.


Shades of Deja Vu

The same old questions lie in front of me,
And knowing already there's no reply,
Just like unanswered phones that always ring,
And living just keeps on its walking by.

Unsaid, the words then hover in thin air,
An empty promise attracting more dust,
Untaken chances, a meaningless dream
All left behind to fade in silent rust.

The dreams that offered a different hope,
And slowly I believed they could be true,
As knowledge shown within a golden light,
The doors opened in shades of deja vu.


Sweet Goodnight

Those delicate features whisper goodnight
As feathered pillows welcome her to sleep
To close her eyes and enter vibrant dreams
Where love gives the heart no reason to weep.

On her soft pillows the thoughts drift away,
Restoring rest yet so much more than this,
For dreams come alive with each rhythmic breath
To waken the soul with the tenderest kiss.

In her dreams fingers trace her curvy lip,
And as they quiver with her passion’s need,
They slowly open to exploits of love
An act of possession for lust must feed.

Oh sweet my love as I watch you sleeping,
I see those lips curve in wilful delight,
I wonder on the visions you may see,
And hold you near me long into the night

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Liz Rule

Emmi's Song

Emmi Golightly has twenty-five fingers
On each of her twenty-five hands.
"Oh, what shall I do with these fingers" she gurgled,
And burrowed them into the sand.

As she looked at her nose, she saw it was dripping
And feared it would bring her disgrace.
"Oh, dear," she observed "my mama will start flipping
If I allow this to sully my face."

She wiped and she swiped with her sleeve at her top lip
But those hands all got in the way.
When a nose is a-dripping and hands are too many,
It's sure to cause disarray.

But this girl was smart; she called for Touille,
Ever eager to obey her commands;
Aided by Melvin, two tongues, wet and friendly,
Licked clean her nose, lip and hands.

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