Saturday, March 5, 2011

Secret Tricks To Being Competitive

Today was definitely a unique amalgam of prompts!

The March Challenge, in honor of the start of the Iditarod Race, was looking for works about races and competition.  Writer's Island was all about secrets and Poetry Tow Truck wanted us to choose a book and then use the book itself as the writing prompt.

In the spirit of 'winning' (thank you Charlie Sheen!) and all that other good not-so-secret competitive stuff, I'm posting four poems today.  The first two are 5/7/5 Haiku.  The third is an Irish Celtic form called Debibhidhe (pronounced jay-vee) which is a poem of quatrains with rhyming couplets and lots of alliteration.  The fourth (and final) poem is an Envelope Couplet which, although employing rhyming couplets, is actually a 6-line stanza'd poem.

Image courtesy of Picture Book

Dogsled Race

It is oft said, if
you’re not the first in the pack,
the views never change.

Image courtesy of Bravo Engraving

Tongue-in-Cheek Competitive Advice

Sure, I have advice for people starting to write. Don’t.  I don’t need the competition. ~Robert B. Parker

Think you might try?  Don’t.
Do we actually need
another poet? 

Image courtesy of Writer's Island


Of course I can keep secrets.  It’s the people I tell them to that can’t keep them. ~Anthony Haden-Guest

Secrets passed and secrets sold
are two sorts of secrets told.
Clandestine?  Covert?  Nay.
Secret mysteries?  I say,

“Listen!  Lordy!  I just heard
whisperings.  Wherefore, the word
is that so-and-so did such.
Do not tell. Shhh! Thanks so much!”


Image courtesy of Ryan D'Mello

Make bats and balls fly in the air.
Learn the tricks.  It’s in this quair.**
The stance and jugglespace, you’ll get.
Cascading’s also in this set.
So, one ball, two balls - tossed with flair…
make bats and balls fly in the air.

Make bats and balls fly in the air.
You’ll learn how-to; this book will share
High Throw, First Tricks, Over the Top,
Under the leg, The Snatch, The Chop.
Classic Three-Ball Tricks, you’ll dare.
Make bats and balls fly in the air.

Make bats and balls fly in the air.
Juggle clubs, rings anywhere!
With well-timed catch and great upswing,
hey - you can juggle anything!
This book can aid and help prepare -
make bats and balls fly in the air.

*This poem used the book Juggling by Stuart Ashman as its prompt.

**According to Webster’s 1913 Dictionary, a quair or a quire is a synonym for a book.



  1. A quire of paper is 25 sheets, so it's a very short book.

    I enjoyed the variety of your poems and their forms.

  2. Viv - I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. You learn something new every day, huh? ☼

    And thanks for the kind words.

  3. You covered nearly every type here. nicely done, all.

  4. An enjoyable plethora of poetry!

    I especially like your advice. :-)

  5. Good rhyming and good meter -- enjoyable!

  6. I like the way you use different poetic forms and that you tell your readers what they are. I keep learning new things - it's excellent:-)
    I enjoyed your humorous responses to the prompts.

  7. The more poetry forms you use, the behinder I get in writing. Love your poems, love your blog.

  8. Glad the book prompt worked for you! I like learning new vocabulary from a poem.

  9. You, dear girl, are an overachiever! Lots of good work for a Saturday.

  10. Definitely! We always need another poet.

  11. RJ, I like what you did with Donna's
    prompt. All are well done.


  12. Good job at always making me smile ;-) ---

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. DJ - thanks! And thanks for the prompts! ☼

  15. As always, RJ, your blog makes me chuckle. You have a lightness of being (not unbearable, though!) that comes through in your poetry. I couldn't pick up the gauntlet thrown by Donna... too heavy for me. Good for you! Love, Amy

  16. RJ, just read your "secret" poem again and loved it. The best way to get the word out on ANYTHING is to tell the person, "Don't tell anyone. It's a secret!"
    Here's my take,

    See ya, Amy