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 Formal & Rhyming Poetry

   with Vera Ignatowitsch

The Polaroid of a Lady


The lady down the street whose husband died

last year was sorting through his books and found

a half-a-dozen volumes to set aside

for me – some Twain, some James – leather-bound

editions, not so much to read as show.

Okay by me.  I hadn’t much enjoyed

“The Portrait of a Lady” years ago.

But inside I found a faded Polaroid:

a lovely woman, nude, and in her eyes

the love reflected at the man who took

the picture.  It was easy to recognize

the lady who had given me the book.

The title was his trick to help recall

the sixty-year-old photo pressed in there.

Did she remember?  It isn’t, after all,

a thing you want discovered by an heir,

but neither is it something you would burn,

nor something you forget the wonder of.

What shame is there if someone else in turn

should glimpse her youthful loveliness, their love?



Richard Wakefield has taught college literature for thirty-eight years and since 1985 has been Professor of Humanities at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, Washington.  For twenty-nine years he was a literary critic for the Seattle Times.  His first poetry collection "East of Early Winters" (University of Evansville Press), won the Richard Wilbur Award.  His second collection, "A Vertical Mile" (Able Muse Press), was short-listed for the Poets Prize.

Quiet in a Crowd

There is such silence in the din of random noise,
a soothing balm assuaging to a tired soul;
like the backdrop of mountain trees alive with life
we do not see but know is there by evidence;
such relevance, though hidden, we should not forget
for the power it gives earth's weary travelers,
tremendous bounds of energy released at once
to swirl together into a maddening calm,
which finds itself at rest in a green tea latte
that she sips with sweet glee and anonymity.


DE Navarro lives in Greater Los Angeles where he writes and publishes. He is the Founder of NavWorks Press. He is an author, poet, editor, publisher, speaker, and life coach. He is the originator and owner of the We Write Poetry forums and the Pride in Poetry Prize and Publication. His work has been published in various journals and magazines. His most recent book is Dropping Ants into Poems. Visit DE's beautiful Website at for a peaceful experience and to learn more about his work.

Lighthearted Verse & Limericks...



Eaglets in unknowing stare
under care of mother's glare
never dream of storms so cruel
drool instead to eat their gruel.


Mother dreams of mountains high
pristine sky where eagles fly
but my dreams drift as I stare
at a gorgeous woman there.


Inner eagle craves to soar
go explore the mountains more
then descend into her care
valley of her solace there.


But alas, I am well fed,
lift my eyes and turn my head
soar in other skies instead.

DE Navarro

On this page we publish monthly selections of metrical poetry from our contributors. Submit your blank verse, metrical rhyming poems, villanelles, sonnets, sestinas and other formal poetry to betterthanstarbucks2@gmail. We love both traditional and experimental forms and subjects, and do submit your limericks and lighthearted verse as well!     Vera Ignatowitsch



When I was young, I’d stare at that stone face

Truly believing that she was an Eve.

Her garden, an Eden, a sacred space,

Where I found the chaos of life reprieved.


But as I grew, so did my appraisal

Of this woman created from a bone.

My conception shattered by the navel,

Through this simple scar, a new meaning shone.


I realized I must reevaluate

Her identity, this naked woman

With apple. I tried to amalgamate

My knowledge of art, myth, and religion,


To no avail. Until one day I saw

Her smile: full of wrath and treachery

A clever goddess who uses cat’s paws

To bring forth the chaos she wants to see.


Following her gaze I saw a world made

With centerless blocks created on sand.

No peace, no war, just an endless parade

Marching to a rhythmless, backward band.


Staggered, I reached for her hand to steady

Me but found it moved and grasped only air.

She laughed and said, You should know already

My apple belongs only to the fair.



Duke Trott is a writer whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in American Athenaeum and Artful Comics. He is currently a graduate student in Emerson College’s MFA program.

To a German soldier

If you should kill, think only this my friend:
forget not he who lies in foreign field
and recount stories of his dreadful end.
Your enemy, although he did not yield
and fought for country's sake like you, confused
and vainly asking why, to understand,
had one objective clear-- be not accused
of disregarding duty's harsh command.
And more, you should inquire why those in power
sent you to me with war, and ask of them,
what high ambitions meant that mothers' sons,
of whom more than a countless few would cower
in trenches filled with fear, should then condemn
each other, marching out to greet the guns.


Ian Colville talks to himself in the third person as if a wonderful poet, however, in his more lucid moments, he is brought to a realisation that he is merely competent. Nevertheless, he has had nigh on 60 poems published in curated magazines and anthologies. His writing tends towards irreverence, and his fondness for ballads and the 'standard habbie' enables him to versify satirically from time to time. When he's not writing, he's reading, and sometimes he goes cycling ...for hours.

Don’t Call the Doctor, Don’t Call the Nurse


It’s troublesome to watch my mother age

and there are days I have to bite my tongue

preventing truths from breaking through, a sage

performance having faltered once among

delivering bad news; removing hope

as if the moral thing to do is mute

all words of reasoning to better cope

with something looming overhead. Elope

instead from any notion of disease.

Incurable sounds better left unsaid.

Discount the need any for expertise,

avoid all talk of what may lie ahead!

And so, we go about our day this way

evading every medical dismay.

Carol Lynn Stevenson Grellas is an award winning writer. She is an eight-time Pushcart nominee as well as a four-time Best of the Net nominee. She is the 2012 winner of the Red Ochre Press Chapbook contest with her manuscript Before I Go to Sleep. She has authored several chapbooks along with her latest full-length collection of poems: Hasty Notes in No Particular Order, published by Aldrich Press. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of online and print magazines. According to family lore she is a direct descendant of Robert Louis Stevenson.

The Hyper Texts

"some of the best poetry on the web" Vera Ignatowitsch

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