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 Formal & Rhyming Poetry                                                 with Vera Ignatowitsch

The Desk

 for Jeremy


There is a child I used to know

who sat, perhaps, at this same desk

where you sit now, and made a mess

of things sometimes.

I wonder how

he learned at all . . .


He saw T-Rexes down the hall

and dreamed of trains and cars and wrecks.

He dribbled phantom basketballs,

shot spitwads at his schoolmates’ necks.


He played with pasty Elmer’s glue

(and sometimes got the glue on you!).

He earned the nickname—“teacher’s PEST.”


His mother had to come to school

because he broke the golden rule.

He dreaded each and every test.


But something happened in the fall—

he grew up big and straight and tall,

and now his desk is far too small;

so you can have it . . .

One thing, though—

one swirling autumn, one bright snow,

one gooey tube of Elmer’s glue . . .

and you’ll outgrow this old desk, too.


First published in TALESetc.


Michael R. Burch’s poems have been translated into nine languages and set to music by the composers Alexander Comitas and Seth Wright. Burch’s poems, essays, articles and letters have appeared more than 2,000 times around the globe in publications which include TIME, USA Today, BBC Radio 3, The Hindu, Kritya, Gostinaya, Light, The Lyric, Measure, Angle, Black Medina, The Chariton Review, Poet Lore, The Chimaera, Poem Today, Verse Weekly, ByLine, Unlikely Stories and Writer’s Digest—The Year’s Best Writing. He also edits and publishes

Dreams of Half-Dome


I'm giving up the struggle piecefully —

and no, that's not a typo. Ankles fail.

And you can fix them, but it's pick-a-joint:

too many parts have reached the breaking-point

and each requires a different surgery,

and each one hurts.


They told us fairy tales

of saving for retirement, so we did.

And we were carefully insured for sick

but not for chronic. Now we're thoroughbreds

with dreams of racing, and in retrospect

we should have done it then. We had no time

for long vacations when we could have climbed

the granite mountains of Yosemite:

and now we can't, and want to —




Kathryn Jacobs is a poet, professor, and editor of The Road Not Taken. Her fifth book, Wedged Elephant, was published last year by Kelsay Press.

Lighthearted Verse & Limericks


The Car Not Taken


Two unlocked cars, black and red, looked good,

And sorry I could not steal them both

And be one felon, at length I stood

Looking at one as long as I could.

To leave one behind I was quite loath.


A coin toss guided me. I took

The red one (I hoped) the better car

Because it was newer. One last look

At the black car. It was time to hook

My new ride up, then vamoose afar.


The car not taken, with keys in sight,

was a beauty in metallic black.

I thought I'd sneak back that same night 

And claim this vision of delight,  

But—Darn it!—I never made it back.


I'm telling my story with a sigh

And have told it numerous times since.

Two unlocked cars looked good, and I

Took the newer one. I do see why,

To me, in jail, it's made no difference.


published in Parody Magazine and Verse-Virtual.

Janice Canerdy is a retired high-school English teacher from Potts Camp, Mississippi. She has been writing poetry since early childhood. Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Lyric Magazine, Parody Magazine, Westward Quarterly, Light, Lighten Up Online, Whispering Angel Books, and Mississippi Poetry Society's Contest Journal(s). "During my long career as a teacher, I really enjoyed writing parodies of the famous poems I taught, renditions I didn't share with the kids."

Melted Candles


The women whose lustful flames flicker

Change lovers as often as knickers;

     But candles who've melted

     Are chastity-belted,

And know that a key is much quicker.


The countryside poets are giddy,

While bitter are those of the city;

     I like the frisky

     Ones who drink whiskey,

As sober ones aren't as witty.



Bethany van Sterling’s works have been published in webzines such as The Drabble, Friday Flash Fiction, and Midnight Circle, and in anthologies such as History Will Be Kind (The Copperfield Review, 2015), Crossing Over (Thirteen O'Clock Press, 2015), and First Steps (Madrid Writers' Club Anthology, 2014). She resides in Madrid, Spain.


The waking hours devolve into daydreams
while fantasy informs the afternoon;
reality is rarely what it seems.

And one need not go to any extremes
to perceive the truth of this; very soon
waking hours will devolve into daydreams.

Perception will drift to merge within schemes
and plans materializing rough hewn;
reality is rarely what it seems.

The workday weighs down pulling at the seams
of escapist hopes from which no one's immune;
waking hours will devolve into daydreams.

Projections leap out to flow in thought streams
that flood the mind then dissolve into ruin;
reality is rarely what it seems.

Visions arise in animated memes
as thoughts appearing like mist are left strewn;
the waking hours devolve into daydreams.
Reality is rarely what it seems.


Michael C. Seeger is a poet and educator residing in the Coachella Valley near Palm Springs, California. Prior to his life as a middle school English instructor, he worked as a technical writer for a baseball card company and served as a Marine infantry officer during Desert Storm.  He considers poetry a passion and writing generally a way of life. Michael’s poems have only recently been published, though he’s written many and stands ready to embrace the opportunity of being so honored.



I'm burning every bridge I've built,

I'm praying for stormy weather.

I'm sawing my assistants in half

but can't put them back together.


To those with whom I should build a nest

I'm bidding a fond farewell,

I'm ignoring an uneasy stomach

for one more ride on the carousel.


Once I've placed a rabbit in my hat

and kept it safely encaged,

I'll forget how to let it out;

silence as I leave the stage.





The final night on Earth

will go down like any other,

we'll find a way not to say

what we mean to one another.


The conclusion of the storyboard,

the last remaining square.
Free from the burden of the words

we no longer have to share.





A Starbucks coffee

in your hand,

six dollars out your purse.

You live this routine working day

exactly as rehearsed.

Jack Arkell is an English poet and short fiction writer currently working and writing in Busan, South Korea. He has appeared as a featured artist at poetry events across the UK and Korea. His work can be found by searching 'Jack Arkell - Poet' on Facebook.

Lighthearted Verse

Disabled List


An injured groin leaves no player the same,

so managers be careful with your calls.

Start that pitcher prematurely next game,

and your star will throw far too many balls.


Ode to Lost Contact Lens


Dear contact lens, where

have you landed?

Exposed to air,

you’ll leave me stranded.

Like a fish out of its bowl,

so much is at stake.

By morning you’ll roll

into a sad cornflake.

Nicholas Froumis practices optometry in the Bay Area. His writing has appeared in Gravel, Right Hand Pointing, The Penwood Review, WestWard Quarterly, and Ground Fresh Thursday. Recently, he was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He lives in San Jose, CA with his wife, novelist Stacy Froumis, and their daughter.

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

The Hyper Texts

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

Archive of Formal & Rhyming Poetry pages by issue:

​July 2017    June 2017     May 2017     April 2017     March 2017    February 2017    January 2017

December 2016    November 2016    October 2016

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