This is a form created by Mary Lou Healy, writing on Allpoetry.com.
The Shrinking Verse is:
Stanzaic: It consists of three or more stanzas of diminishing length written in common meter, followed by a single rhyming iambic tetrameter couplet. Usually the stanza preceding the couplet is four lines in length.
Metric: It is written in common meter (alternating lines 0f iambic tetrameter and iambic trimeter.)
Rhyme: Each stanza has its own alternating two rhymes and the final couplet rhymes aa.
Volta: The final couplet provides a turn, a twist, or a summary of the poem.
Here is the author’s example:
THE SACRIFICE (The Shrinking Stanza)
Dark forces held the earth in thrall
and morning did succumb.
In strict command, night covered all
and beat a muted drum.
But Blanche, the maid of light, did call
her white doves swift to come,
to sweep away the fearsome pall
and new day’s guitar, strum.
They gathered all the darkness in,
absorbed it, one by one,
until day’s magic could begin
to summon forth the sun.
Blanche and her flock will always win
though task is never done.
The price they pay to rescue day
is burdensome and sad;
to keep the clouded night at bay,
they’re e’er in blackness clad.
Oh, white and black, those opposites
on which time’s glass of hours sits!
(c) Oct. 17, 2015 – Mary Lou Healy
The universe in iambs beat
except when more excited
and then there may be many feet
that spring up uninvited.
When two electrons chance to meet
their meeting is high-lighted
with touches that are short and sweet
that leave mere men delighted.
God particles and nutrinos
entanglement that comes and goes
with distance unrelated
are guesses because no one knows
(’til after they’re cremated.)
But we can listen to the clatter
and some may then conclude
that changing states of God’s matter
ought be left to that dude.
Iambs will work, ‘cept when they won’t.
Should we all care? Because I don’t.
(c) Lawrencealot – October 21, 2015
In appreciation of Mary Lou’s teaching me about the sanctity of feet versus syllables, I have freely used feminine rhyme throughout.