A footle is a 2 line, 2 syllable trochaic monometer poem with an integral title suitable for light, witty, pertinent, topical verse.

My Example

Form: Footle

Five Fun Footles


Must write
just right

The judge
won’t fudge

Gloom ‘er

Too late
missed date!

© Lawrence Eberhart – June 10, 2015

Mad Cow

Mad Cow
Type: Structure, Metrical Requirement, Rhyme Scheme Requirement, Other Requirement, Isosyllabic
Description: Written in twelve-syllable lines, the Mad Cow is a pastoral of seven quintains.
Attributed to: Sebastian “Duke” Delorange
Origin: American
In alexandrines with rhyme scheme: ababc cdede fgfgh hijij klklm mnono eieio

Rhythm/Stanza Length: 5
Line/Poem Length:         35

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My thanks to Charles L. Weatherford for his years of work on the wonderful Poetrybase resource.

My example

Waiting for Us

The clouds: my blanket every night; the grass: my bed,
while I stand guard. I watch the sheep who are content
in mountain meadows, where they’re brought to be well fed.
I guide them all to fresher fields as each is spent,
and sometimes sing to them – to keep coyotes at bay.

I dream that soon I’ll sing to you and we will play.
The streams and breeze and I sing acappella high
above our village nestled quietly below,
and when my tune is done I pause and sometimes sigh
in counting all the weeks that yet I have to go.

The grasses sway not near as gracefully as you.
The mountain peaks, from this pastoral scene delights,
and yet, their majesty is matched by profile view
of you, when in that springtime dress that so excites.
The flowers here appear as happy volunteers:

They smile more brightly any time a storm cloud clears;
They climb the hills beyond the point the sheep have grazed,
as though to share their fragrance with the spruce and pine.
Your perfume comes to mind; again I am amazed
that, if all things go well next year, dear, you’ll be mine.

With berries every day, (or any time I wish)
and pine-nuts for my salads always near at hand,
I supplement my diet frequently with fish,
there’s plenty to enjoy; this land is really grand.
I found a lovely glen where I shall stake a claim:

a perfect place to live when I give you my name.
The game is plentiful; we’ll live well off the land
and build a farm without incurring any debt
and that will bring a peace that few can understand.
Just you and me, and Shep: a sentry and a pet.

I’ll build a cabin, small but built with plans to grow,
for there’ll be many children needing to be raised
and taught with time to rake and hoe or cook and sew.
This land presents an opportunity few get.
We had to wait, but wait we did, without regret.


© Lawrencealot – December 18, 2014

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Mad ow

Sacred Signia

Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercizes for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. …. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.
• The Sacred Signia is an invented verse form is a decastich. Introduced by Viola Berg.
The Sacred Signia is:
○ a decastich, a poem in 10 lines.
○ metric, L1,L3,L5,L7-L10 are iambic pentameter and L2,L4,L6 are iambic dimeter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme ababcbccaa.
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Her Eyes
Her Eyes (Sacred Signia)

Her eyes compel, intrigue, and they entice.
I feel controlled
at ease, yet seeking solace and advice.
I dare be bold,
when lifted by her steady knowing gaze
There is no cold
within those eyes, they’re warm and quite ablaze –
intelligent and able to appraise.
The magic’s broad and strong and yet, concise,
I need no more to know for sure she’s nice.

© Lawrencealot – September 24, 2014

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Sacred Signia


Pathways for the Poet by Viola Berg (1977) is a book for and by educators. Classic poetic forms as well as many invented forms which appear to have been invented as teaching tools or exercizes for use in workshops or classrooms are included. Some of these invented forms I have found in use in internet poetry communities, a testament to their staying power. On this page I include the metric invented forms found there in which appear to be exclusive to the community of educators from whom Ms. Berg drew her support. I have yet to find these in any other source. I have included the syllabic invented forms on a separate page. Whether classroom exercise or sharpening your skill as a writer, some of these forms can be fun to play with.

Canopus is an invented verse form which stresses a “continuous flow of thought”. This is attributed to author Clement Wood of The Complete Rhyming Dictionary and Poet’s Craft Book 1936.

Canopus is also the 2nd brightest star in Earth‘s sky, though not visible to anyone living above latitude 37 degrees north of the northern hemisphere.

The Canopus is:
○ a heptastich, a poem in 7 lines.
○ metric, written in iambic pentameter.
○ rhymed, rhyme scheme ababcbc.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example

Pending Love  (Canapus)

My love for you was quietly ensconced
in silent hidden realms where love resides
and flourishes when touched by thought just once.
We never met where such a love abides,
but my imagination holds a view
that time will cure that fault for us; besides,
to love is next to being loved by you.

© Lawrencealot – September 3, 2014

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Cross Limerick

• Cross Limerick is an American invented form, a variation of the Limerick found in Pathways of a Poet by Viola Berg. It adds a couple of lines to the Limerick verse form.

The Cross Limerick is:
○ metered verse written in anapestic patterns. L1, L2 and L7 are trimeter (3 metric feet) and L3,L4,L5 and L6 are dimeter (2 metric feet). (anapest = da da DUM or u-u-S = unstressed , unstressed, stressed syllables.)
○ a septet. (7 lines).
○ best used for witty, whimsical, bawdy themes, light verse.
○ written with a rhyme scheme aabcbca.
○ no title is used.

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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work on this fine PMO resource.

My example poem

The girls who in short skirts walk the street
are not those that mom wants you to meet.
When they’re plying their wares
it’s with commerce in mind
they invite young men’s stares
and more if one’s inclined.
But the kindest of them can’t be beat.

© Lawrencealot – August 5, 2014
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Cross Limerick

The Trench

The Trench is an invented stanzaic form patterned after 20th century, Irish poet,Herbert Trench’s A Charge, Ode From Italy in a Time of War. Trench was known for his love poems.

The Trench is:
○ stanzaic, may be written in any number of cinquains.
○ metered, L1, L2, L4 pentameter, L3 dimeter, L5 trimeter.
○ rhymed axbab, cxdcd etc… x being unrhymed

A Charge, Ode From Italy in a Time of War by Herbert Trench 1915
If thou hast squander’d years to grave a gem
Commission’d by thy absent Lord, and while
‘Tis incomplete,
Others would bribe thy needy skill to them
Dismiss them to the street!
Should’st thou at last discover Beauty’s grove,
At last be panting on the fragrant verge,
But in the track,
Drunk with divine possession, thou meet Love
Turn at her bidding back.
When round thy ship in tempest Hell appears,
And every spectre mutters up more dire
To snatch control
And loose to madness thy deep-kennell’d Fears
Then to the helm, O Soul!
Last; if upon the cold green-mantling sea
Thou cling, alone with Truth, to the last spar,
Both castaway,
And one must perish let it not be he
Whom thou art sworn to obey!
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for years of work creating the fine PMO resource.
My example poem:

Hey, Back Off (The Trench)

I’ve too much to do to, which I postponed,
so Death delay your most relentless walk.
You hold no fear
I’ve done no deed that must be now atoned
so let me finish here.

Just hold you scythe at port my long-robed friend.
Methusalean spans I don’t require,
but take your time.
I have more verbiage that I must append
regarding mete and rhyme.

Unlike old Sisyphus I don’t repeat
yet my appointed task can never end.
I started late
and though the task can never be complete
it may be up to date.

That goal’s attainable if you but wait.
But should you rush and cross my final T’s
it’s still okay.
It’s my own fault for starting much too late
It’s started anyway.

© Lawrencealot – August 1, 2014
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The Trench

Swinburne 7776

This is an octain form patterned on Algernon Charles Swinburne’s “Before Dawn.”

I simply named this form after it’s syllable pattern since Swinburne created several distinct octave forms.

It is:

Stanzaic: consisting of any number of octains.

Metered: Iambic Trimeter.

Rhyme pattern: aaabcccb, where only the b-rhymes are masculine.

Before Dawn by Algernon Charles Swinburne

SWEET LIFE, if life were stronger,

Earth clear of years that wrong her,

Then two things might live longer,

Two sweeter things than they;

Delight, the rootless flower,

And love, the bloomless bower;

Delight that lives an hour,

And love that lives a day.

From evensong to daytime,

When April melts in Maytime,

Love lengthens out his playtime,

Love lessens breath by breath,

And kiss by kiss grows older

On listless throat or shoulder

Turned sideways now, turned colder

Than life that dreams of death.

This one thing once worth giving

Life gave, and seemed worth living;

Sin sweet beyond forgiving

And brief beyond regret:

To laugh and love together

And weave with foam and feather

And wind and words the tether

Our memories play with yet.

Ah, one thing worth beginning,

One thread in life worth spinning,

Ah sweet, one sin worth sinning

With all the whole soul’s will;

To lull you till one stilled you,

To kiss you till one killed you,

To feed you till one filled you,

Sweet lips, if love could fill;

To hunt sweet Love and lose him

Between white arms and bosom,

Between the bud and blossom,

Between your throat and chin;

To say of shame—what is it?

Of virtue—we can miss it;

Of sin—we can but kiss it,

And it’s no longer sin:

To feel the strong soul, stricken

Through fleshly pulses, quicken

Beneath swift sighs that thicken,

Soft hands and lips that smite;

Lips that no love can tire,

With hands that sting like fire,

Weaving the web Desire

To snare the bird Delight.

But love so lightly plighted,

Our love with torch unlighted,

Paused near us unaffrighted,

Who found and left him free;

None, seeing us cloven in sunder,

Will weep or laugh or wonder;

Light love stands clear of thunder,

And safe from winds at sea.

As, when late larks give warning

Of dying lights and dawning,

Night murmurs to the morning,

“Lie still, O love, lie still;”

And half her dark limbs cover

The white limbs of her lover,

With amorous plumes that hover

And fervent lips that chill;

As scornful day represses

Night’s void and vain caresses,

And from her cloudier tresses

Unwinds the gold of his,

With limbs from limbs dividing

And breath by breath subsiding;

For love has no abiding,

But dies before the kiss;

So hath it been, so be it;

For who shall live and flee it?

But look that no man see it

Or hear it unaware;

Lest all who love and choose him

See Love, and so refuse him;

For all who find him lose him,

But all have found him fair.

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My example poem

Putting Decorum Before ‘Em (Swinburne 7776)

I turned and saw you staring
and knew you were comparing
my dress with girls more daring
than shyness lets me be.
Some say my clothes are fusty,
well it’s because I’m busty
and seem to make men lusty
when there’s too much to see.

While I’m too shy for posing
and chesty flesh exposing
I find myself supposing
that I could test the guys.
I’ll lean across the table
like Greta did with Gable
and see if you are able
to look me in the eyes.

© Lawrencealot – July 31, 2014

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Swinburne 7776

The Dobson

The Dobson is named for Henry Austin Dobson (1840-1921), 19th century English poet, patterned from his The Garden Song.  Dobson was respected in his time for his use of French forms especially his mastery of the Triolet.

The Dobson is:

  • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains made up of 3 rhymed couplets.
  • metered, most often written in tetrameter.
  • rhymed, rhyme scheme aabbcc ddeeff etc.

A Garden Song by Henry Austin Dobson
HERE in this sequester’d close
Bloom the hyacinth and rose,
Here beside the modest stock
Flaunts the flaring hollyhock;
Here, without a pang, one sees
Ranks, conditions, and degrees.
All the seasons run their race
In this quiet resting place,
Peach and apricot and fig
Here will ripen and grow big;
Here is store and overplus,–
More had not Alcinoüs!
Here, in alleys cool and green,
Far ahead the thrush is seen;
Here along the soutern wall
Keeps the bee his festival;
All is quiet else–afar
Sounds of toil and turmoil are.
Here be shadows large and long;
Here be spaces meet for song;
Grant, O garden-god, that I,
Now that none profane is nigh,–
Now that mood and moment please,–
Find the fair Pierides!
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My thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the fine resource above.

My Example poem
Banana Peels (The Dobson)
Banana Peels
Bothersome banana peels
Getting underneath my heels
Possibly an oversight
or a trick that’s not polite.
Comics slide on them for fun,
clowns as well are not outdone.
© Lawrencealot – June 22, 2014
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The Dobson


The Deco created by Mark Andrew J Terry of Allpoetry is:
a 21 line poem
Stanzaic, consisting of 3 sestets and a tercet in that order (24 lines)
Syllabic, where the first three stanzas are 7/8/8/8/8/6
and the last is 7/8/6
Rhymed: Abaccb dBdeeB fBfeeb Aba
Line 1 is catalectic trochaic tetrameter
Lines 2 -5 iambic pentameter, and
Line 6 iambic trimeter
Refrain required: line 2 repeats in every stanza, and
line 1 repeats in line 20
My example poem
Borrowed Roses (Deco)
Borrowed Roses
Roses, pretty in a vase
were wasting their perfume I thought.
I purloined some to give to Grace.
She giggles when she is surprised
and shows a sparkle in her eyes.
That was the joy I sought.
Roses sitting all alone
were wasting their perfume I thought
and that I could not quite condone
when Grace would grin and maybe shriek
then hold my hand and kiss my cheek.
What if I did get caught?
Roses that were not deployed
were wasting their perfume I thought.
A rose was meant to be enjoyed.
Since pretty roses can’t misspeak
and mean the same in French or Greek
a life-long love was bought.
Roses, pretty in a vase
Were wasting their perfume I thought.
You should have seen her face.
© Lawrencealot – June 18, 2014
Picture credit: From Google pics, all rights belong to photographer.
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The Swinburne

      • The Swinburne is a stanzaic form patterned after Before the Mirror by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1837-1909).The Swinburne is:
        • stanzaic, written in any number of septets.
        • metric, L1,L3,L5, & L6 are trimeter, L2 & L4 are dimeter, and L7 is pentameter.
        • rhymed ababccb dedeffe etc, L1 & L3 have feminine or falling rhyme.
This named form was documented by Judi Van Gorder, on her most wonderful resource site: Poetry Manum Opus, in a section about poetry form named after English poets.
Note: In addition to the specifications above, it is also required that the sixth syllable in Line 7 rhyme with lines 5 and 6.

Before the Mirror
WHITE ROSE in red rose-garden
Is not so white;
Snowdrops that plead for pardon
And pine for fright
Because the hard East blows
Over their maiden rows
Grow not as this face grows from pale to bright.
Behind the veil, forbidden,
Shut up from sight,
Love, is there sorrow hidden,
Is there delight?
Is joy thy dower or grief,
White rose of weary leaf,
Late rose whose life is brief, whose loves are light?
Soft snows that hard winds harden
Till each flake bite
Fill all the flowerless garden
Whose flowers took flight
Long since when summer ceased,
And men rose up from feast,
And warm west wind grew east, and warm day night.
“Come snow, come wind or thunder
High up in air,
I watch my face, and wonder
At my bright hair;
Nought else exalts or grieves
The rose at heart, that heaves
With love of her own leaves and lips that pair.
“She knows not loves that kissed her
She knows not where.
Art thou the ghost, my sister,
White sister there,
Am I the ghost, who knows?
My hand, a fallen rose,
Lies snow-white on white snows, and takes no care.
“I cannot see what pleasures
Or what pains were;
What pale new loves and treasures
New years will bear;
What beam will fall, what shower,
What grief or joy for dower;
But one thing knows the flower; the flower is fair.”
Glad, but not flushed with gladness,
Since joys go by;
Sad, but not bent with sadness,
Since sorrows die;
Deep in the gleaming glass
She sees all past things pass,
And all sweet life that was lie down and lie.
There glowing ghosts of flowers
Draw down, draw nigh;
And wings of swift spent hours
Take flight and fly;
She sees by formless gleams,
She hears across cold streams,
Dead mouths of many dreams that sing and sigh.
Face fallen and white throat lifted,
With sleepless eye
She sees old loves that drifted,
She knew not why,
Old loves and faded fears
Float down a stream that hears
The flowing of all men’s tears beneath the sky.

Algernon Charles Swinburne
Example poem
Caretaker      (The Swinburne)
When forced to go and going
with all due haste,
you leave already knowing
there must be waste.
I never, as a boy
expected old man’s joy
at seeing an old toy I had misplaced.
The things you leave behind you
are not all done.
They’re simply tasks assigned to
another one.
When your life takes a turn
the habits you adjourn
may tickle Time who spurns a lack of fun.
© Lawrencealot – May 8, 2014