Tag Archives: iambic pentameter

“My Wife’s Garden”

“My Wife’s Garden”
The stems through which the water slowly runs
Contain, of course, the rain and daily suns,
But something else inside the flowers lives
That neither sun nor falling water gives.
Those petals, leaves, and roots within them hold
The loving labor, sweat, and hours untold
She joyfully provides them ev’ryday
With smiles that nurture like a solar ray.


“Abuse of Power: an Epigrammatic Definition” by Paul Burgess

“Abuse of Power: an Epigrammatic Definition” [or “Might Should Not Become Right”–a cliche rendered in heroic couplets (2 lines of rhyming iambic pentameter)]

The epigram:

“Abuse of power” is to label “JUST”
Whatever satisfies one’s whims or lust.

“Disease: a Villanelle” by Paul Burgess

This is the first villanelle I have attempted since 2006–the year in which I began an 8 year break from writing poetry. I am not sure if it is any good, but I am certain that it is a villanelle:)

Although his thoughts would make a person freeze,
He often rants about the Justice scales.
…he’s not alone in having this disease.

He’s known to translate “smoke” as “foggy breeze”—
To choose the proper phrase he rarely fails,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

A flashing dollar sign is all he sees
When shown his admen’s stylish faerie tales
He’s not alone in having this disease.

His corporation gives to charities
A nominal percentage of its sales,
Although his thoughts could make a person freeze.

The people whose support’s obtained with ease
By one who speaks of Christ, the Cross, and nails
Are not alone in having this disease.

Though spending Sundays praying on his knees,
His acts would land some poorer men in jails.
This gloomy thought could make a person freeze:
He’s not alone in having this disease.

Medusa’s Transformation from Beauty to ‘Petrifying’ Horror” [Morals from Mythology]by Paul Burgess

If Neptune rapes you and Minerva wakes,
She’ll turn your silky hair to slimy snakes.

10 Lines of Blank Verse written by Paul Burgess in 2006

When I was a sophomore in college, I was encouraged by a professor to submit this exercise to the school’s literary magazine. For reasons I have never guessed, the magazine accepted my underwhelming first attempt at blank verse.

A drunken man reclined against a curb
Recites Elizabethan sonnets while
A cop devours a box of doughnut holes;
In seconds, only crumbs remain inside.
A block away, a car’s alarm complains
Until, commanded silent, yields at once.
Another figure, clad in black, appears
A yard behind a graying Danish dog;
A leather leash restrains the aging beast
Enough to keep his feet upon the path.