The zejel is a Spanish form which my Spanish friends have not heard of. They tell me though that it is pronounced the-hell, with the stress on the second syllable. (How the hell do they know?)
My example in this form is about how men can’t help thinking about sex. I hope this doesn’t offend anyone, and get me a reputation as a male chauvinist pig. As I’m always saying, the opinions expressed in the poem are not necessarily those of the poet himself. (See also my Masefield parody.) 
I checked on the web how many times a day men are reputed to think about sex. The consensus seemed to be that it was about 200. The lowest figure came from the Ladies Home Journal, which said “4 or 5”. The highest came from the film Simply Irresistible, which says 278 – apparently it uses this as a running gag. (One site actually topped this with a claim of “every 8 seconds”, which works out at 450 times an hour, but I think that writer may have been shooting from the hip, as it were.)
Anyway, here’s the poem:
Mostly, sex tops men’s agenda.
I’m not one to buck the trend – a
Red-blooded repeat offender.
Hurrying for the morning train,
Spirit not damped by teeming rain,
There’s only one thing on my brain:
All the time I think of gender.
At the office, deep in filing,
Boredom on frustration piling,
Even then, a woman smiling
Makes me feel all warm and tender.
Are you female and eighteen plus?
A good sport and adventurous?
We have a great deal to discuss.
Come back to my hacienda!
The first stanza, known as the mudanza, has three lines, rhyming aaa. All the other stanzas – as many of them as you like – have 4 lines, rhyming bbba, the a rhyme harking back to the first stanza. So the overall rhyming scheme for the poem is aaa/bbba/ccca/ddda/…
Colloquial language tends to be used, and 8-syllable lines are usual (though not obligatory), so that’s what I’ve used here. I have interpreted the term “8-syllable line” to mean “a line with 8 syllables”, and I suggest that you should do the same. However, in Spanish poetry syllable-counting works differently, and the term “8-syllable line” is liable to be interpreted as “a line in which the last stressed syllable is the seventh”; such a line might have 7 syllables, or 8, or 9, or even more. (I wonder whether the Spanish write haiku?
Pasted from <http://volecentral.co.uk/vf/zejel.htm>
Thanks to Bob Newman for his wonderful Volecentral resource site.
Example Poem
Toothless Smile      (Zejel)
The tortoise lived out on a heath
with only sage to hide beneath
his home he never could bequeath.
While I am taxed for my household
and pay and pay until I’m old,
and shall until I’m dead and cold
and I’m ensconced beneath a wreath.
My brilliant smile was once okay,
before my teeth all went away;
my progeny will have to say,
“He kept his house but lost his teeth.”
© Lawrencealot – April 16, 2014
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The Duo-rhyme, a poetic form created by Mary L. Ports, is a 10 or 12-line poem, with the first two and last two lines having the same rhyme scheme, and the center of the poem (lines #3 through #8 or #10) having their own separate monorhyme scheme.
Meter: 8 beats per line, written in iambic tetrameter (4 linear feet of iambic)
Rhyme Scheme: 10-line:aabbbbbbaa and 12-lineaabbbbbbbbaa
Example #1:
Paper Moon
A yellow, paper midnight moon,
the kind that makes young lovers swoon,
casts moonbeams on her golden hair.
Soft wind caresses, not to scare
red, blushing cheeks of maiden, fair.
A scent of lilacs fills the air.
In magic garden – would she dare
unleash her passions without care?
Unusual, the moan and croon
of wind and August, paper moon.
Copyright © 2007 Mary L. Ports
Example #2:
Oh, midnight wind with whisperings,
come tease sweet fairy’s crystal wings.
How gracefully she floats tonight
with purple billows flowing bright.
Dear, wistful spirit in the night,
through starlit mist she casts her light.
For welcomed cheek, a kiss just right
is softly placed so that one might
receive her blessings without fright;
love’s beauty sought, a soul’s delight.
To realms of wonder in my dreams
I’ll float upon the songs she sings.
Copyright © 2007 Mary L. Ports
Thanks to Shadow Poetry!
Example Poem
Come On or Come-on (Duo-rhyme)
Come on or Come-on
Oh, please tell me my pretty lass
who flirted on our way to class,
would such intentions in my head
that point directly to your bed
correctly read what was unsaid,
or was I purposely misled?
I want not to appear as crass
but do react to tits and ass.
© Lawrencealot – January 6, 2014
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Domino Ryme

  • Domino Rhyme  is a very clever innovation of Bob Newman which can be found at his site as well as many others on the internet. Much like a slinky, rhymes tumble from stanza to stanza, it is something he calls “remote rhyming”.The Domino Rhyme is:
    • stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
    • metered, written in a loose tetrameter. Lines should be same length.
    • rhymed. L2 and L3 of the first stanza rhyme with L1 and L4 of the next stanza and so on down until the last stanza when L2 and L3 rhyme with L1 and L4 of the first stanza. abcd befc eghf gijh … iadj.
 Thanks to Judi Van Gorder of PMO.
Domino rhyme
A poem in domino rhyme is written in four-line stanzas, within which there are no rhymes at all. However, every line rhymes with a line in another stanza. Specifically, lines 2 and 3 of each stanza rhyme with lines 1 and 4 respectively of the next stanza. The final stanza completes the loop, its lines 2 and 3 rhyming with lines 1 and 4 of the first stanza.
Here are the opening few stanzas of a poem written in this form:
from Inspiration Fails
They don’t come to me here, the girls
My self-restraint should draw. Who knows
What force might motivate them; why
Most other hermits pack them in.
My fount of inspiration flows
Most fecund when the buckie ears
Of buxom women spur it onward.
One tender bite: I versify
In buckets. But it’s many years
Since last I penned a plangent ode.
My old kerchief still bears the knot
I tied then. Why? Remembering’s hard,
For Lethe’s bitter wind has blowed,
Or current swept my thoughts away.
Some lesser poet conjured it –
He’ll be remembered; I, forgot.
This is the sequel to a poem called Inspiration Falls, and it carries on for quite a lot longer.
Why Domino rhyme?
The idea is to rhyme without the reader consciously noticing, because the rhymes are unusually far apart – what I call “remote rhyming”. With the poem laid out as above, the pattern is relatively easy to spot – but remove the gaps between the stanzas, and the reader is likely to be satisfyingly baffled.
I call this particular rhyming scheme “domino rhyme” for two reasons. First, because the rhymes ripple through the poem like toppling dominoes. Second, because one of the most popular domino games is called Fives and Threes (or Threes and Fives!) and here pairs of rhyming lines are always either five or three lines apart.
Note for Logophiles
In the example above, each stanza is built around an obscure word which does not actually appear in the poem. (This is not an essential part of the verse form!) The words are: agapetae early churchwomen who lived with celibate men; gynotikolobomassophile one who likes to nibble women’s earlobes; quipu mnemonic knots in ancient Peru; castrophrenia: the belief that enemies are stealing ones thoughts.
Similar forms
I only know of one other verse form in which every line rhymes, but all the rhymes are external. This is rimas dissolutas
 Thanks to Bob Newman.
My Example Poem
Humility Earned     (Domino Rhyme)
She does not think less of herself
for acts she did when she was young
The scars she has are not displayed
invoked, or played upon at all.
New melodies are being sung
by youngsters facing tempting threats.
She works with them in song and verse
her voice each morning an aubade.
She’s risen above her regrets,
and frets not at all ’bout her past
She harvests beauty floating by,
considers grumpiness a curse.
No opportunity’s your last
mistakes like read books on a shelf
are simply signposts for us all
take note, move on, spread wings, and fly.
© Lawrencealot – December 31, 2013
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BASIC FORM:   The Lilibonelle was created by Sol Magazine editor, Bonnie Williams.
It is:
Stanzaic: Consisting of at least 4 stanzas
Syllabic:  Lines may be of unequal, unspecified length 
Refrain:  The nth line of the 1st stanza must be the first line of the nth stanza.
Meter is optional and encouraged.
Rhyme is optional and encouraged.
Theme:  One should use an introspective or reflective theme with this form, one that conveys a loving, wistful or poignant feeling.
Those are ALL of the Requirements, although I have found on at least two other sites statements indicated that a specific  (though differing) rhyme scheme is required.
I have posted Bonnie Williams on poem (which is rhymed, but not metered) and her explanation of the form  below. 
— Larry Eberhart, penning on Allpoetry.com as Lawrencealot
The following by Bonnie Williams
BASIC FORM:   The Lilibonelle was created by Sol Magazine editor, Bonnie Williams. 
The basic form is four stanzas of four lines each, in which each line of the first stanza is consecutively repeated as the first line of each of the other stanzas, and allows for a variation where an extra final line may be included.  
Use an introspective or reflective theme with this form, one that conveys a loving, wistful or poignant feeling.
Poets must use the basic form for poems entered into competition at Sol Magazine unless a notation to the contrary is made within the contest notes.
EXPANDED FORM:  As long as there are a minimum of four lines and four stanzas, and the lines of the first stanza are used as the opening lines of the successive stanzas, the poem may be considered a Lilibonelle.
 Poets are encouraged to play with rhyme schemes, rhythm, repeated ending line, or other creative twists.
 If there are five stanzas, use five lines per stanza.  If six stanzas, use six lines per stanza.  In any case, poets may always end the final stanza with an extra line.
Stanza 1 line 1 
Stanza 1 line 2 
Stanza 1 line 3 
Stanza 1 line 4
Stanza 2 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 2 
Stanza 2 line 2 
Stanza 2 line 3 
Stanza 2 line 4
Stanza 3 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 3 
Stanza 3 line 2 
Stanza 3 line 3 
Stanza 3 line 4
Stanza 4 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 4 
Stanza 4 line 2 
Stanza 4 line 3 
Stanza 4 line 4 
Example of the Basic Form:
that sweet ringing of early morn 
alights my eyes and thrills my soul 
a wealth of love enveloping me 
filling my heart making me whole
alights my eyes and thrills my soul 
a warmth encircling from heart to toes 
trembling hearing soft sweet songs 
the melodies of loving shows
a wealth of love enveloping me 
treasure beyond compare 
when holding warm and near like this 
much closer than the air
filling my heart and making me whole 
a passion so deep we have sworn 
our love will last eternally 
as sweet ringings open each morn…
Bonnie Williams, Deptford, NJ, US
The following essay compare the Lilibonelle and the Retourne
“Lilibonelle vs. Retourne”
an essay by Roy Schwartzman, Sol Magazine’s Forms Investigator
This is a discussion of two similar yet distinct forms, the Lilibonelle and the Retourne.  The two forms operate in the same manner, with lines of subsequent stanzas generated from lines of the first stanza.  Typically both forms begin with a Quatrain, with each line of the first Quatrain becoming the first line of a subsequent Quatrain.  Thus the Lilibonelle and the Retourne look alike at this point, as the Sol Magazine encyclopedia of poetry forms indicates:
Stanza 1 line 1
Stanza 1 line 2
Stanza 1 line 3
Stanza 1 line 4
Stanza 2 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 2
Stanza 2 line 2
Stanza 2 line 3
Stanza 2 line 4
Stanza 3 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 3
Stanza 3 line 2
Stanza 3 line 3
Stanza 3 line 4
Stanza 4 line 1 repeats Stanza 1 line 4
Stanza 4 line 2
Stanza 4 line 3
Stanza 4 line 4
The Retourne, as the name indicates, is a French form.  The Lilibonelle, however, allows many more variations than the Retourne.  A Lilibonelle has no metrical restriction, but each line of a Retourne is in tetrameter, eight syllables per line.
Furthermore, a Lilibonelle may consist of stanzas that contain any number of lines as long all stanzas have the same number of lines and the lines of the first stanza are repeated according to the specified pattern.
The stanzas of Retournes are Quatrains, so a Retourne will have sixteen lines.  The Retourne is a more restrictive form, both metrically and in length.  Neither form requires a specific rhyme scheme.
Why might a poet select either or both these forms?  The repetition of lines from the initial stanza allows a single theme to be developed throughout the poem.  Since the lines appear in different stanzas, the same idea can emerge in different senses as the poem develops.  These forms also hold the potential for the ideas in each line of the first stanza to be extended later, gradually adding depth and complexity to the poem’s theme.
My example poem: which is attempted  in iambic tetrameter, with my own rhyme pattern.
Dazed and Comfortable     (Lilibonelle)
I had my life all figured out,
the girls were only games to play.
But something happened on the way,
and love changed things, there is no doubt.
The girls were only games to play
I thought before I met Marie,
each night another victory.
Whatever happened was OK.
But something happened on the way,
I’m caught, and don’t want to be free.
That cannot be,  it’s just not me!
My blacks and whites have turned to grey.
And love changed things, there is no doubt.
Marie’s now what my life’s about.
And planning now must play a role
for her happiness is my goal.
© Lawrencealot – December 3, 2013
A visual template used for the above poem.
NOTE: neither the meter, the line length, nor the rhyme pattern is required.

Inverted Refrain

  • Inverted Refrain is an invented form found at Shadow Poetry, created by the winner of their 2007 Chap Book Competition, Jan Turner and published in Faery Folk and Fireflies.
    I believe the form took its name from the rhetorical device, “inverted refrain”, originally used by the ancient Greek poet Sappho. “Inverted refrain” is a writing technique in which the syntax of a line is reversed. eg ..the Sapphic line “I know not what to do”. I am not sure that the composition instruction at Shadow Poetry exactly fits the literary definition of “inverted refrain” but the form could still be a fun challenge to conquer as long as it enhances the delivery of the poet’s thoughts,
    The Inverted Refrain as an invented verse form is:

    • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains, made up of a quatrain followed by an indented couplet.
    • syllabic, all lines are 8 syllables.
    • rhymed, rhyme scheme ababab or ababba, cdcdcd or cdcddc etc….
    • composed in the following manner, “the first four lines of a stanza create a statement from which the last 2 lines extract the meaning, and invert the way it is said.” Jan Turner @Shadow Poetry
  • Finding Faeries by Jan Turner (stanza 1) the whole poem can be read at Shadow Poetry.
    A sprinkling shine of faery dust
    is mica-layered on the rocks
    Pretending to be nature’s crust
    It really is a paradox:
    ——— A paradox of mica rocks
    ——— From faery dust on nature’s crust.
Many thanks to Judi Van Gorder of PMO (PoetryMagnumOpus) for maintaining a wonderful resouce site.
Example Poem
White Man’s Heaven      (Inverted Refrain)
He didn’t know about the Lord
so was exempt from Cath’lic hell.
The church tried bringing him aboard
but he was fallible and fell.
        Instead of finding Lord’s reward
        he now in mortal fear must dwell.
© Lawrencealot – November 28, 2013
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This septet form is taken from the musical dance form which has an alternate meter of: 3 – 4, and what could be more fitting than having a poem derived from a dance. The original Saraband was a dance of Asian origin introduced into Spain in the 16th century and later to the courts of France and Italy.
The meter follows the dance with two stanzas. The first one of 3 lines, and the second of 4 lines.
The rhyme scheme is;
a. x. a.….b. c. b. c. etc.
In the Tercet all three lines may rhyme, in the French version, only lines one and three rhyme.
The Quatrain can vary from the Spanish (shown in the example); French; b. b. c. c. or Italian; b. c. c. b., and it is not uncommon to mix Quatrains, ie. Spanish with French or Italian when writing long poems.
For the purist each line comprises of Eight (8) syllables but there are examples of Iambic and Trochaic pentameter also.
Thanks to the Poetsgarret.
Sample Poem
Dinner Music     (Saraband)
The dining room was quite hi-brow
but suddenly there came an urge;
I needed to pass gas right now!
The music playing was most loud;
I came up with a plan unflawed,
I farted with the beat,  uncowed.
Ooops! Music came from my iPod.
© Lawrencealot – November 10, 2013
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Like so many other French forms, the Retourne is all about repetition. It contains four quatrains and each line has eight syllables.
(16 lines, 8/8/8/8)
The trick is that the first stanza’s second line must also be the second stanza’s first line, the first stanza’s third line is the third stanza’s first, and the first stanza’s fourth line is the fourth stanza’s first.
Retournes do not have to rhyme. (rhyme optional)
Example Poem
I’d loved her only all my life.
She found another to her taste.
She left me– I now have no wife.
New city, no friends; joys erased.
She found another to her taste.
I begged, pleaded, asked her to stay
“I miss you, come back! what a waste,
keeping your lover is okay.”
She left me– I now have no wife.
Anquish bestirred me. I tried drink.
But quit to give my boys a life.
Work, feed the boys, cry, try to think.
New city, no friends; joys erased.
It took a long while, ‘ere I tried
to date– I was feeling disgraced
How could I ever lose my bride?
© Lawrencealot – April, 2012
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Nove Otto

The Nove Otto poetry form was created by Scott J. Alcorn. It is a nine-lined poem with 8 syllables per line (isosyllabic). The rhyme scheme is as follows: aacbbcddc.
The presented rhyme scheme, no matter who wrote it, is a corruption of the accepted standard, it should be presented as aabccbddb.
I have asked Shadow Poetry to make the correction on rhyme scheme protocol.
Restated Specifications
A nine line poem, Syllabic, 8 syllables per line
Rhyme Scheme: aabccbddbExample Poem
The clatter of our daily life,
type-writers, doors, or fork and knife,
are processed- usually ignored
while we contend with mundane tasks.
“Where is the quiet?” we might ask.
To find it you must leave the horde,
and the devices built by men.
Commune with nature now and then.
Assuredly, you’ll not be bored.
© Lawrencealot – May 24, 2013
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Coraline poetry form

This is a form invented by Allpoetry’s Lisa Morris , aka Streambed

It is a modified Italian Octave  with the following specifications. 

The lines are octasyllabic, to be written preferable in iambic tetrameter,

but trochaic tetrameter may be used at the poet’s discretion.

 A poem consists of exactly two  stanzas, each being an octave. (2 octaves)

The rhyme scheme is: abbaccab


Example poem
Revised (Coraline)
For years and years I loved one wife
whose sensuality evoked
desire in every word she spoke.
I thought I’d married her for life.
My work demanded much of me
were I to climb the corporate tree;
she coped with kids and household strife
and felt her passion’d been revoked.
So she revoked our marriage vow-
became a vamp and able tease,
and found more men than me to please.
I offered work to disavow,
to change so she would stay with me;
but she enjoyed then being free.
The gloomy skies have brightened now,
a pampered wife sets me at ease.
© Lawrencealot – September 18, 2013
Visual Template (for iambic tetrameter)


The Constanza, created by Connie Marcum Wong, consists of five or more 3-line stanzas.
Each line has a set meter of eight syllables.
The first lines of all the stanzas can be read successively as an independent poem,
with the rest of the poem weaved in to express a deeper meaning.
The first lines convey a theme written in monorhyme,
while the second and third lines of each stanza rhyme together.
Rhyme scheme: abb acc add aee aff… (abbaccaddaeeaff…)
Isosyllabic: 8 syllables
See Trick Poetry
The Desert

To venture forth in desert lands
Most city folk would likely shun
but wonders grow beneath that sun.
To trek with cheer on arid sands
requires a sense of how  things fit,
for God has made an art of it.
To ramble where the cactus stands
and know that life support is found
for man if he should walk this ground
and pick their fruits with your own hands
gives one respect for synergy
which can’t be random, seems to me.
This joy a cowboy understands.
The hospitality exists
most everywhere, and life persists.

(c) Lawrencealot – April 7, 2012
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