Photo Credit: Big thanks and shoutout to Ricardo Gomez Angel

The prompt for today was to write a nine-line poem. I could choose any form I wished or use a free form verse. I chose a Balassi Stanza where it looks like this:

Rhyme scheme: a. a. d. b. b. d. c..c. d

Syllable count:.. 6. 6. 7. 6. 6. 7. 6. 6. 7

Of course, I chose this form mainly because Balint Balassi is Hungarian. Also, I am taking a crash course in music theory right now, so the poem reflects the terms swimming in my head.


rhythms all frenetic,
cadences authentic
and deceptively half there.
appalachian folk tunes,
maqam modes that commune
and pulse with joy and despair.
musical collision,
lydian precision--
complexity that ensnares.

—Carla Picklo Jordan

Oh How I Love Mary!


A few things have “prompted” me writing this poem. First of all is the Mary Oliver book I picked up on Amazon.

Flipping through the book I found this amazing little poetry form used by Marianne Moore. The word syllables shape the form—five lines in each stanza with a rhyme scheme of aabbc. Each line has a set number of syllables, and the order goes like this:


This unique syllable pattern repeats for each new stanza.

And so I began.

Five different false starts later, I settled on “things”. Between cleaning my closet out while watching hoarders, and trying to get everything organized in the house before Tracy’s spine surgery, the topic seemed a natural one.

Why and how does junk continue to collect? Why is paper the bane of my existence?

I don’t know the answers, but I know that this poem is a good reminder to focus on what really matters. Investing in relationships is way better than investing in Amazon.

what really matters

take up wings
and fly into the tiny recesses
of our lives, she guesses.
now the tempest rising becomes

tasting sour
and bitter with each acquisition;
caused by our own fission—
multiplying all kinds of junk.

don’t buy. drop
your wallet and spend your time with
people, not on the myth
that buying things brings happiness.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Minimalism. What’s your take on it?

Fair Chaps Beware


Photo Credit: Carla Jeanne

Today’s challenge was to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. I had to begin with a photograph, and then find a poem in a language I didn’t know. My mission was to start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem was actually “about” my photograph.

I chose a poem in Irish (Gaelic) and used a photo I took at the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland. First is the poem in its original language, and following is my “translation”.

Faoi Chabáistí is Ríonacha 
By Celia de Fréine

In ionad bláthanna a bhronnadh ar a bhean
agus é i mbun tochmhairc,
d’fhrasaigh Risteard
bronntanais ar a máthair. I dtosach
tháinig na málaí plaisteacha, ansin na saic,
iad lán le glasraí a d'fhás sé féin
a is a athair.
Leasaithe go nádúrtha. Uiscithe faoi scáth
hoíche i rith an triomaigh.
Turnapaí ar aon mhéid le do chloigeann.
Prátaí Rí Éadbhard as ar deineadh
na sceallóga ba shúmhaire. Cabáistí
sách leathan le ceathrairíní a cheilt.
Ní raibh bean Risteaird ag súil le ceathrairíní –
iníon a leanbh sise, í tugtha go mór
do fhrithbhualadh na glúine, ar nós a máthar.


Fair Chaps Beware

Over eons the base
of the bastions
blossomed, ageless
and immune to time

like a resilient band
of brothers. I searched
those majestic rolling plains
atop the pounding sea,

and under my gaze
their angel hair
frolicked in the wind.
Let no man go adventuring,

unless he find the path;
for high and wide
the tumultuous treachery
hidden below the churning sea.

Yes, pounding against
and pounding beneath,
the salacious sea sings
her song. Come, she sings,

lay your head on my chest.
No radiant beams shine
more resiliently than I,
she croons; from here,

I lovingly rise to greet
the moon. So lest you frivolous
and foolish be, go no more
near the edge of the sea.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What your favorite place to visit?

Rainy Days


Thanks to dylan nolte @dylan_nolte for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

Today the sun was scorching and poetry had to be written, so I went searching for a new form to explore.

That’s when I discovered the “rispetto”. A rispetto is a short poetic form of Italian origin comprising of 11 syllables per line. It has 8 lines. Rispetto typically uses the ababccdd rhyme scheme.

So here is my Sunday offering. A rispetto about rain on a scorching day. Wishing all of you that respite of rain.

Rainy Days

Somewhere in my mind it is always raining—
like the sound of thundering rooftop dancing,
while cozy fires burns brightly maintaining
the mood. And all the signs are there enhancing
the idea that I am moving toward
sound so powerful it cannot be ignored.
Refreshed, re-energized, and renewed I rise—
much like flowers after that rain, I surmise.

— Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What refreshes you?

Collision Course


Give a shoutout to Clark Van Der Beken on social.

Today’s prompt: Write a “loveless” love poem. I wasn’t allowed to use the word love! And I also had to avoid the words flowers and rainbows or thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive “why”?

I had to try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings associated with the subject matter.

So what better analogy than a car wreck? A bit morbid, perhaps, but I think it works. 😉


Sometimes a car wreck
is the most telling—
Oh those crunched quarter panels,
that bashed in bumper,
that terribly trashed trunk lid,
the tetris-like profile of the wreck.

It's all-telling
and (mostly)temporary.
Ah, but the impact of collision—
that sudden crash of constellations,
that clashing chaos called conflict,
those cataracts clouding up clarity—

well, that can last forever.

-A Draft by Carla P Jordan

Who rocks your world?

Turning A Quadrille


Photo credit: Thanks to Liam Edwards for taking this photo.

A Quadrille is simply a poem of 44 words (excluding the title), and it can take any form. Today’s challenge was to use the word “people” in a quadrille. Sometimes I’m just “over” people; I can write it off to my introvertedness to a point, then I just have to say, “Enough is enough!”

Thanks to fellow poet Joel Mitchell who turned me on to author Richard Powers and his book, “The Overstory”. I took inspiration from the first sentence: “Let me sing to you now, about how people turn into other things.” I also merged this quadrille form with the one sentence form creating one long sentence of 44 words.


Let me sing to you now,
about how people
turn into other things—
they leave behind
the steeple and decorum,
cruising out into the world
with snarling lip—
denying justice to those
who desperately need it
and seeking accolades
where they don’t deserve it.

-A Draft poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Sometimes enough is just enough.

Birth of a Poem


Photo Credit: Thanks to Dewang Gupta @dewang for making this photo available freely on Unsplash 🎁

The prompt for today challenged me to write a poem that recounts a creation myth and so, I thought I’d let you all in on the secret world of creating poems.

You see, each poem has a unique life form. You might think that I create poems, but actually more often than not, they create themselves, the words falling in to place with rhythm and order and beauty.

Writing poetry is an act of passion—writer and poem must come together in love and single-mindedness. I imagine if there were a mystical story of the creation of a poem, it might go something like this.

in the beginning: the birth of a poem

crisp cadence of sound bytes
dancing across the page;
marginal moments light
momentous mysteries
marching on.

letters swirls like atoms
forming ionic bonds.
how i cannot fathom
those molecular fronds
marching on.

yet unknown, the story
tumbles out in stages;
rolling rhymes unfolding,
memories outrageous
marching on.

ideas shift and shape,
pulling without tether
yet binding all the same
bringing us together
marching on.

the joyous pain birthing
small words that time sustains;
rejecting or rejoicing
the simple small refrain
marching on.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

What is your passion? What keeps you marching on?

Poetry in Motion


Photo Credit: #Poetryinmotion prompt

This week the prompt was to do a poem on the theme of EXPLORATION. The prompt came in the form of an attached photo. I included the photo attached to the prompt in this blogpost.

In my own self-driven way, I added a form I have never used. Today’s form is the huitain. The huitain is actually a derivative of the French ballade. In fact, it is a complete 8-line poem composed of one ballade stanza.

Here are the guidelines for the huitain:
* 8-line stanza
* ababbcbc rhyme scheme
* Usually 8 to 10 syllables per line
The Old Compass

Like a friend who’s never wavered,
the old compass felt good in hand
with a weight I’d always favored
when facing a distant wasteland.
I knew my way was firmly planned—-
no worries sprang up in my head
about troubles I would withstand—-
for soon I’d be safe in my bed.

—a draft by Carla Picklo Jordan

Where will your compass take you today?

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 26

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani on Unsplash

With the prompt today I was challenged you to write a parody on a poem already written by another poet. I figured go big or go home, so I chose Emily Dickinson and her poem, “Tell all the truth but tell it slant”

Besides being fun, it was a challenge to mirror her tone, rhyme scheme, and form. So friends, tell your lies…and shout them out!

Here is Emily's original (beautiful) version:

Tell all the truth but tell it slant — (1263) 
Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies 
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth's superb surprise 
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind B
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —   

--by Emily Dickinson
And here is my parody poem about telling lies. 

Tell all your lies and shout them out —

Tell all your lies and shout them out —
Wearing your crooked smile
We cannot bear the truth, you know
And your tall tales beguile
As light will blind most tender eyes
Deceit will blind the heart
And faults that burn fiery and fierce
Fracture and tear apart —

- A Draft Parody Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 25


Check out this amazing time lapse video by Thomas Nelson found in this great little article about meteor showers.

The prompt for today was to write an “occasional” poem—a poem suited to, or written for, a particular occasion.

So I decided to write about a few memorable occasions. Welcome a few of my favorite memories.

Magic of Moments

I will never forget
the magic of his arrival,
relating not so much
to the nature of life,
but to the heart
of love itself—
a powerful catapult
a dance of irrevocable joy,
an electrifying connection,
an explosion of love.

Like the day
I saw her
come my way,
unfettered and
free wheeling and
free thinking, unbound
by convention
without an ounce
of pretension.

Like the moment
when a thousand
meteors exploded
in the august sky,
when wispy green fairies
twirled their skirts
behind the northern lights.

Like when the hawk
spread his wings
above our heads,
leading the way into
the flaming birch forest.

How can anyone not
believe in magic—
the humdrum, mundane
everyday magic of life?

—- A Draft Poem by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know your favorite moments in the comments below.