The Varselle is an ambiguous form invented by Linda Varsell Smith of Rainbow Communications.

  • It is stanzaic, consisting of any number of eight line stanzas.
  • It is either rhymed or not.
  • It is either syllabic or word-based.
  • It is either centered or left justified.
  • The number of (syllables or words) per line is 2/3/4/3/5/5/4/6
  • If rhymed the rhymed scheme must be ababcbca

Smith’s Examples

Oregon Spring

Spring’s too wet!
Hail is straining
patience, yet
sometimes sun streaks through.
Sun turns chills to sweat.
What can we do?
Confusion remaining.

For Kip

our dear passed son.
love-warming through years.
Can’t disremember
the joys or tears
from grief of everyone.

My Example

Form: Varselle

Don’t Feed the Cat

That brat!
We do feed
our funny furry cat;
we do indeed,
and mother nature does too!
So please neighbors, take heed,
he’ll beg from you.
Ignore him, he might get fat.

© Lawrencealot – February 12, 2015

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Beacon of Hope

Beacon of Hope 

Is a form created by Christina R Jussaume on 10/02/2009. It starts with a sestet, (Stanza of 6 lines) of 6 syllables each. Next is a triplet, (Stanza of three lines) of 12 syllables each. The next 12 lines are 8 syllables in length. The subject should be spiritual in nature and uplifting. I have used rhyme here, but I leave each Rhyme scheme up to each poet. It should be center aligned and it will appear to look like a lighthouse.

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Many Thanks to Christina R Jussaume for her work on the Poetry Styles site.

My example

Tolerant Spirit (Beacon of Hope)

Since mankind’s self-aware
and unknown causes fear
and fear leads to despair
displacing human cheer
Man felt a need for prayer
(to gods) that much was clear.
Some Fifty-five odd hundred plus (and mostly men)
have formalized beliefs to which folks say amen –
all cults though some are called religions now and then.
Sincere beliefs from visions wrought
from trances (those perhaps induced
by substances not unlike pot)
led intellect to be seduced.
With promises, some fable based
good men as well as montebanks
let sheeple have their fears erased
by rites performed and giving thanks.
I’ve felt no need to be beware
just ‘cus all answers are not here.
Continuums are every where
or not – so I’ll enjoy this sphere.

© Lawrencealot – November 17, 2014

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Beacon of Hope


The Octain is an invented verse form begins and ends the poem with the same word. It was created by Lillian Mathilda Svenson.The defining features of the Octain are:
an octastich, a poem in 8 lines.
syllabic, 2/4/6/8/8/6/4/3 syllables per line.
Not a typo, the last line takes 3 syllables but the last word must be the same as the first.
rhymed or unrhymed. If it is rhymed the rhyme scheme is AbcdbcdA.
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My Thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful resource at PMO
In the rhyme scheme AbcdbcdA, the capital A indicates a word refrain.
My Example
Octawhat? (Octain)
A multi-form
with rhyming or without,
was named “Octain”, ain’t that a bitch?
If naming your dog, Dog’s the norm
then I won’t kick about
an octastitch
though confused.
© Lawrencalot – April 3, 2014
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I’m not willing to call this a Spanish form, even though it could be;  it was more likely invented by a disenchanted poet tired of all of the differing and conflicting versions of Haiku popping up.  In the next three lines I’ll list everything we KNOW about the form, then some of the sources you might find interesting, including a real beautiful work by Amera.
It is stanzaic, consisting of one or more sestets
It is syllabic 3/5/3/3/7/5
Rhyme and meter are optional
The Shadorma is a Spanish poetic form made up of a stanza of six lines
(sestet)  with no set rhyme scheme.
 It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5.
It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter.
Little is known about this poetic style’s origins and history
but it is used by many modern poets today.
This variation of the haiku, which is evident by its syllable pattern,
can be seen in use in many writing venues.
The Shadorma is a poetic form consisting of a six-line stanza (or sestet). The form is alleged to have originated in Spain. Each stanza has a syllable count of three syllables in the first line, five syllables in the second line, three syllables in the third and fourth lines, seven syllables in the fifth line, and five syllables in the sixth line (3/5/3/3/7/5) for a total of 26 syllables. A poem may consist of one stanza, or an unlimited number of stanzas (a series of shadormas).
It has been suggested[by whom?] that the shadorma is not a historical poetic form as it is alleged to be by those who have recently revived and popularized it. There is no evidence of extant early Spanish poetry using this form. Further, the word shadorma does not appear in Spanish-language dictionaries, and no examples of the early usage of the form appear in poetry textbooks or anthologies. Further, there is no literary criticism regarding its history in Spanish literature. Considering this, the alleged history of the shadorma may be modern hoax or the poetic equivalent of an urban legend. However, the shadorma has been used by many modern writers[citation needed] and is a popular writing exercise in creative writing programs and workshops.
The Shadorma Joke
November 2, 2012 by Sabio Lantz
The Shadorma Joke
But who’da known it.
Started as
a small lie.
Now has widely multiplied.
Myth Poetica!
Background:  Posted for: Poets United, my “poem” above, is a “Shadorma”.   The “Shadorma” is purported to be a haiku-like Spanish poetic form with one or more stanza of six lines (sestet) with 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable lines respectively and no set rhyme scheme.
But here is the point of my poem: I can’t find any evidence for the history of this “form”. Did someone make it up?  Is it just an internet-myth and not a historical fact?  Poetry sites that I have found, just echo each other saying “Little is known about this poetic style’s origins and history but it is used by many modern poets today.”
Make Me
Close the door
And turn off the light
Come adore
Mi amore
In fantasy and delight
Come my love, explore
For so long
I’ve waited for you
Come along
We belong
Entwined in a love for two
Come… and make me strong
Close the door
And lie here with me
Make me soar
Fill my core
Come take me to ecstasy
Make me want you more
Example Poem
He Did It!
is a recent work
if you will
by a bored U.S. mail clerk
who held verse in scorn.
Haiku, hell!
They’re Japan’s, and short.
They can’t rhyme-
that’s a crime;
let this form be my retort.
This is English, sport.
Without rhyme
first, and then I tried
and here I’m
with plain alternating rhyme.
I’ll change every time.
when it’s not end-placed
Like this you
Kiss the line
below- oft called internal,
but that’s wrong you know.
sounded Spanish though
it is not.
I’m content to let it go
The form’s pretty hot.
© Lawrencealot – December 9, 2013
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      • The Tableau is an invented stanzaic form that paints a single image in keeping with the name of the form, tableau meaning picture. Created byEmily Romano who suggests the word “tableau” be included in the title. The Tableau is:
        • stanzaic, written in any number of sixains.
        • isosyllabic, 5 syllable lines.
        • rhyme at the discretion of the poet.
        • written describing a single image.
        • written with a title that includes the word “tableau”.
With thanks to Judi Van Gorder for the wonderful PMO resource.
I changed syllabic above to
      • isosyllabic 5 syllable lines, indicating all lines are the same length.
The Tableau, a poetry form created by Emily Romano in October of 2008, consists of one or more verses, each having six lines. Each line should have five beats (syllables). There is no set rhyme scheme, although rhyme may be present. The title should contain the word tableau.
Write one stanza only.
Since the dictionary states the word tableau means picture or representation, the poem should reflect this. A picture should come to mind as the poem is read.
Graveside Tableau
Sunlight cannot warm
The corpse of the bairn
Who drowned in the loch;
Stoic the father,
Silent the mother,
While a spinster weeps
Copyright © 2008 Emily Romano
My Example Poem
The Sting Tableau
Her felicity
and non-verbal cues
were evocative;
when his cash came out
then so did her badge.
© Lawrencealot – August 21, 2013

Loop Poetry

Loop Poetry is a poetry form created by Hellon. There are no restrictions on the number of stanzas nor on the syllable count for each line. In each stanza, the last word of the first line becomes the first word of line two, last word of line 2 becomes the first word of line 3, last word of line 3 becomes the first word of line 4. This is followed for each stanza. The rhyme scheme is abcb.
1. Stanzas, writers choice on the number, no rhyming, the last word, first word scheme is maintained. 
2. One long stanza, no limit on number of lines, no rhyming scheme, the last word, first word scheme is maintained.
3. Couplets mixed with 4 line stanzas, the last word, first word scheme is maintained in the stanzas. It can also be used in the couplets.
Rhyme scheme is ab, cc, defg, hh, ii, jklm, nn, oo.
Example #1:
How I See You
Eyes that don’t see
see the things that you do
do you wish me to describe
describe how I see you…
Skin so delicate
delicate as a rose
rose that will blossom
blossom as it grows.
Hair moving gently
gently you tease
tease…softly whispering
whispering summer breeze.
Voice so melodic
melodic singing birds
birds, such sweet tunes
tunes…enchant like your words.
rustling tress bare
bare as leaves fall
fall, the colour of your hair.
Your perfume..sweet fragrance
fragrance frangipani’s bring
bring back many memories
memories of spring.
Yes…I am blind
blind, yet I see
see in my mind
mind you fill will glee.
Copyright © 2009 Hellon
Example #2:
Bloody eyes
Bloody eyes..watching..waiting
waiting in gloomy shadows
shadows of night
night so…still
still they watch, still they wait
wait for you
you..the next victim
victim of evil
evil that lurks
lurks in silence
silence then…screams
screams…then silence
silence of night
night of shadows
shadows of gloom..waiting
watching..bloody eyes
Copyright © 2009 Hellon
Example #3:
Picture Frame
Looking out at the world from a picture frame
smile frozen in time.. skin of porcelain
Eyes of green meadows on a warm summer’s day
auburn hair falling cascades to disarray…
disarray like her life
life changed this young girl
girl with a past
past life..secrets hidden
around the frame wallpaper is faded
just like her life, over…jaded
smile frozen in time behind emerald eyes
there in a past entwined with lies
Lies…there were many
many secrets..haunting
haunting her now
now re-living the nightmare
Fear of a night she would rather forget
so long ago still she lives with regret
picture frame now smashed, shattered glass on the floor
just like her life, dreams are no more.
Copyright © 2009 Hellon All Rights Reserved


Too many options for this poet to choose among!


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 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.

Trick Poetry

The poems that I have documented for this category  include
Trick Poetry                                   (four in one – OR many more)
and  Amera’s Style                        (2 in one ), both on this page
Alliterative Acrostic Trigee     (three in one)
Egg Beater                                (2 in one)
Hourglass                                       (2 in one)
The Trigee and the Cleave        (three in one)
The Faceted Diamond              (three in one – formatted)
Multidirectional Sonnet         (2 in one)  In Everysonnet blog.
Sephalian Reverse Sonnet    (2 in one) In Everysonnet blog.
Constanza                                     (two in one)
Forward/Backwards Poetry   (two in one)
Palidrome  (two in one)
Tuanortsa  (two in one)
Xenolith  (three in one)
In First Loves, Margaret Atwood describes this “trick” poem (“I Saw a Peacock” by an anonymous British poet) as “the first poem I can remember that opened up the possibility of poetry for me.” The trick is the two ways it can be understood; read a line at a time, or read from the middle of one line to the middle of the next. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes notes that it appears in a commonplace book dated to around 1665; it seems to have been first published in the Westminster-Drollery in 1671.
I Saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail,
    I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail,
    I saw a Cloud, with Ivy circled round,
    I saw a sturdy Oak, creep on the ground,
    I saw a Pismire, swallow up a Whale,
    I saw a raging Sea, brim full of Ale,
    I saw a Venice Glass, full fifteen feet deep,
    I saw a well, full of men’s tears that weep,
    I saw red eyes, all of a flaming fire,
    I saw a House, as big as the Moon and higher,
    I saw the Sun, even in the midst of night,
    I saw the man, that saw this wondrous sight.
Write a “trick” poem using this technique.  
Each line must be able to be read separately, as well as from the middle of one line to the middle of the next.
Note: I made a simple template simply dividing your line in two parts.
Its advantage is simply that you can see separate parts and visualize how with will combine.
Note: in this poem . . each half is a complete rhyming poem,
each line can be read either way with the lines in the other column on the same line, or on the line above or below it, with rhyme in at lease one sequence.
In addition one can each of the different colored lines in a column, (either up or down) as a distinct poem.
Here is an AMERA STYLE where the bold words create a poem within a poem.
Secret place for Elves
Something we know how to do
Is build a place to hide from you
High up in the trees we climb
For scattles of years; in elfin time
So the king of elves came to me
Said build a house up in a tree
All he had to do was ask
Then the elves set to the task
A house in a tree, that’s what he said
To hide from humans that we dread
So we huddled we to whisper
To keep our plans much crisper
We need a name; what to call it?
A Tree House! That name will fit
So now our work has just begun
Hammering, singing elfin fun
A secret place high in the tree
place where no one else can see
A place to hide for another scattle
To avoid a nasty battle
A cozy place, a place to love
High up in the tree above
Secret creatures, Elves are we
Now living high up in the tree

Rhopalic Verse

A poem wherein the nTH word of every line in each stanza has N-syllables.
word 1 = 1syllable
word 2 = 2 syllables
word 3 = 3 syllables
word 4 = 4 syllables
word 5 = 5 syllables,  etc
(Syllabic, line length optional, rhyme optional, meter optional)
Example Poem
Expecting Her (Rhopalic Verse)
I’m thinking cautiously, realizing
that other’s promises evaporate
with nature’s forcible intervention.
She’ll arrive, defeating complications.
(c) Lawrencealot – April 25, 2013
Visual Template

Reverse Word

This form was invented by  Walter E. Ferguson III aka, Thunder_Speech of Allpoetry.The ONLY requirement of this form, is that you use reverse words where ever you might otherwise choose to use rhyme.  Instead of rhyming, the last words of the lines are spelled backwards (reversed) where rhymes would be.
Example Poem
Non-Olympic swimmer
I thought I’d swim a single loop
before I pulled the plug.
I jumped into our swimming pool
and promptly took a gulp.
I thought to myself “damn and rats”
and jumped out on my tarp.
I’ll never be a swimming star,
while sitting on my prat.
© Lawrencealot – September 26, 2012
Visual Template of this poem