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 Formal & Rhyming Poetry                                    with Vera Ignatowitsch

Vera Ignatowitsch

Attempting the First Six-Day Crossing

“Captain E.J. Smith ignored or discounted a total of seven iceberg warnings

from other ships and his own crew” ~ History of the Titanic


Under the stars this cloudless night

the sea lies smooth as a marble tomb

that the ship cuts cleanly, all decks bright

under the stars. This cloudless night

the iceberg looms like a work of spite

by a god, contemptuous when men presume.

Under the stars this cloudless night

the sea lies, smooth as a marble tomb.


Published in Under Dark Waters


 Anna M. Evans’ poems have appeared in the Harvard Review, Atlanta Review, Rattle, American Arts Quarterly, and 32 Poems. She gained her MFA from Bennington College, and is the Editor of the Raintown Review. Recipient of Fellowships from the MacDowell Artists' Colony and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and winner of the 2012 Rattle Poetry Prize Readers' Choice Award, she currently teaches at West Windsor Art Center and Rowan College at Burlington County. Her sonnet collection, Sisters & Courtesans, is available from White Violet Press. She blogs at

Leaf Fall


Whatever winds encountered soon resolved

to swirling fragments, till chaotic heaps

of leaves lay pulsing by the backyard wall.

In lieu of rakes, our fingers sorted each

dry leaf into its place and built a high,

soft bastion against earth’s gravitron—

a patchwork quilt, a trampoline, a bright

impediment to fling ourselves upon.


And nothing in our laughter as we fell

into those leaves was like the autumn’s cry

of also falling. Nothing meant to die

could be so bright as we, so colorful—

clad in our plaids, oblivious to pain

we’d feel today, should we leaf-fall again.


First published in The Neovictorian/Cochlea which became The Deronda Review


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

Prearranged Union


The falcon stoops. The unsuspecting rabbit

is killed. Please come with suddenness and no

long-term relationship where we cohabit

to get to know each other better so

that, when we do commit, we know we’re suited.

No choice exists for either me or you.

Regard that painful sentence as commuted

and take me where you find me. That will do.


So, if I’m in my bed, crawl in beside me

and make our consummation quick. How sweet

if I should wake, cold-lipped, with you astride me

and know that, then and there, my life’s complete.

And may la mort, though non-petite, be short.

My Lady, Death, I'd rather we not court.


John Beaton writes metrical poetry and his work has been widely published in media as diverse as Able Muse and Gray’s Sporting Journal. He writes a monthly poetry page for the magazine Eyes on BC and served for four years as moderator of one of the internet's most reputable poetry workshops. He is a spoken word performer and a poet member of the band Celtic Chaos. His poetry has won numerous awards, including the 2015 String Poet Prize and the 2012 Able Muse Write Prize for Poetry. He was raised in the Scottish Highlands and lives in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island.



Only that note again, rising in the stillness of trees—
cicada soaring and swelling toward fullness, then falling
away—only that lack of wind in the grass, in the leaves,
that humming as though a god were near, and close to waking.

Arise, then, out of an old dream, summoned, after long slumber
under the earth, where roots nourish and intertwine. Arise
to the sharp clatter and bounce of hailstones, and thunder
announcing a time of neither dark nor light, of greenish skies

glowering in slow, pendulous fall: some long-sought breast
almost unbuttoned now, about to open, reaching to touch down
in great sprays of earth. Arise singing chaos, and the rest
will follow, while veils of rain and lightning rake the town.


First published in The Formalist


Jared Carter's most recent book is Darkened Rooms of Summer: New and Selected Poems, published by the University of Nebraska Press. He lives in Indiana.



Under our armored mirrors of the mind

Where eyes watch eyes, trying to pierce disguise,

An ape, incapable of doubt, looks out,

Insists this world he sees is trees, and tries

To find the scenes his genes have predefined.


This ape I am

Who counts “One, two, more, more”

Has lived three million years in empty lands

Where all the members of the roving bands

He’s ever met have totaled some ten score;

So all these hundred thousands in the street

With voided eyes and quick avoiding feet

Must be the mere two hundred known before.


This ape I am

Believes they know me too.

I’m free to stare, smile, challenge, talk to you.


This ape I am

Thinks every female mine,

At least as much as any other male’s;

If she’s with someone else, she can defect –

Her choice, and she becomes mine to protect;

Just as each child must be kept safe and hale

For no one knows but that it could be mine.


This ape I am

Feels drugged, ecstatic, doped,

Hallucination-torn, kaleidoscoped,

That Earth’s two hundred people includes swirls

Of limitless and ever-varied girls.


This ape I am

Does not look at myself

Doesn’t know about mirrors, lack of health,

Doesn’t know fear of death, only of cold;

Mirrorless, can’t be ugly, can’t be old.


First published in Ambit


Robin Helweg-Larsen is British-born but Bahamian-raised. His education came from good schools, hitchhiking on five continents and working all over the place. His poetry has mostly been published in the UK, but also in the US, Canada, Australia and India. He lives in his hometown of Governor's Harbour on Eleuthera.

Lighthearted Verse

Your Mind


You’re the prettiest girl and the smartest.

You’re the strongest and bravest as well.

You’re head of the class

And the shape of your ass

Overcomes me. I’m under your spell.


Oh, I worship your heart and your spirit

And the best curves a lover could find.

’Cause you’re wise and you’re true

And I’m promising you

That I don’t love you just for your mind.


Chris O’Carroll is a Light magazine featured poet whose work has also appeared in Angle, Lighten up Online, Measure, The Orchards, and The Rotary Dial, among other print and online journals, and in the collections The Best of the Barefoot Muse, New York City Haiku, Poems for a Liminal Age (published in support of Doctors Without Borders), and The Great American Wise Ass Poetry Anthology.

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 please do submit your limericks and lighthearted verse as well!     Vera Ignatowitsch

The Hound and the Hawk


You gawk at the Hawk
And balk at the chalk
   While you pound on the ground in the mound.
Your hole is dug deep,
Your foot you can’t keep,
   You smack at the crack of that sound.


You watch your pitch hang
And your side feels the pang
   As the Hawk with dead eyes makes the swing.
With his might he takes flight
Out of sight in the night,
   The ball and the Hawk on a wing.


For the fat of the bat
Hits the hide for a ride
   As the roar of the crowd gives it wings.
And boy, does it soar
As it changes the score,
   Oh the grand in that slam, how it stings.


He cleans up the bases
Without any traces,
   And tips his cap on his round.
Your team had begun it,
But his team had won it,
   For one slip of the Hound on the mound.


DE Navarro 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 PoetryTM forums and the Pride in Poetry PrizeTM and Publication. He is a husband, father, mentor and friend and Banking Sr Analyst, Tech Editor/Writer. Visit DE's beautiful Website at for peace and to learn more about his work. He lives in Greater Los Angeles where he writes and publishes.

The French Braid


The hair falls loosely ‘round her face.

In total disarray it lays.

It does not flatter her at all

and gives her face a look of pall.


The aimless way by which it lies

is seen reflected in her eyes.

There is no vision that leads on,

when her day’s energy is gone.


It just exists atop her head,

wakes up, does stuff, and goes to bed.

It grows in length but nothing else,

and doesn’t shine with vital health.


Until a thought occurs to her,

and in her heart begins to stir:

Why isn’t there a thought behind

the way her hair falls down her spine?


Why should it pointlessly exist-

So random, scattered and amiss-

When there are countless lovely ways

In which her hair can warrant praise?


She grabs a lock, and then the next

and slowly starts to weave the rest.

Each strand acquires point and place,

and she, a look of focused grace.


For she has now finally found,

A way in which her hair is bound

To single, unifying goal

In which each strand plays destined role.


And now it purposefully lies,

and even in her very eyes

the dullness of The Lost does fade

behind the glow of her french braid.


Rita Dubman is a young geologist in the real world and an old and established artist at heart. She was born in Russia but grew up in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her current place of residence is fluctuating, but it is almost always with family. Rita has recently decided to pursue her heart's art for once, and hopes you will enjoy the fruits of its loving labours – her poems

The Hyper Texts

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

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