A Little Poetic Playfulness

SoYouHaveToWriteAPoem_FINALMy newest release, So You Have to Write a Poem: A Guide for the Non-Poetic, is, well…a guide for the non-poetic 😉 In other words, those who want (or need) to write poems and might need a wee bit of help doing so 🙂 I go through 9 different poetic forms and take my readers step-by-step through each one, demonstrating exactly how to write them. I try to make it a bit fun, using examples like the two I’ve included here – a sonnet about Doritos and a werewolf sestina. Topics a little less heavy than the normal poetry fare and hopefully a little easier to understand. After all, it’s easier to delve deeper once the basics are mastered. The point of this book is to help build that foundation. So if you love poetry and want to try your hand at learning a few, or if you are (or have) a student who just wants to pass that dratted lit class and could use a few pointers, check out So You Have to Write a Poem (available now at Amazon).
Wolf Moon

The night grew silent with the rising moon.
Yellow eyes watched from the depths of the trees.
Whimpers and howls disrupted the quiet night.
Trembling lips pulled back from sharp, pointed teeth.
Soon would come the moment for which they wait,
The one night a month when they walk as men.

Cursed and outcast, they were hunted by men.
Tonight they were safe under the bright moon.
Their leader held them back, making them wait.
Finally, they creep one by one from the trees.
The full moon’s light gleaming from exposed teeth,
Watched by the animals who share the night.

Howls turned to joyous shouts that shattered the night.
Fur sheds, bodies lengthen, wolves become men.
Laughing mouths show their blunt and normal teeth.
Men scatter, but one stays beneath the moon.
He knows she is there, just beyond the trees.
Through the long month they dream, they hope, they wait.

Each time he shifts, he’s afraid she won’t wait.
But she’s there, coming to him, his for one night.
Wrapped in each other’s arms, under the trees
His love tells him news of the world of men.
Then silent, they watch the descent of the moon.
Their time is over, the man grits his teeth.

The change begins again, fur grows, sharp teeth…
Can he dare hope that she will once more wait?
On four legs, he howls his pain at the fading moon.
In anguish, she wilts back into the night.
Amidst the cries of those who are no longer men,
They once again find refuge in the trees.

For centuries, they’ve dwelled, sheltered by the trees.
Their clothing fur, their weapons – teeth.
There IS hope, a way to live once more as men.
The way is risky, but they cannot wait.
One by one, they fade into the dark night.
The leader has seen, he hopes, his last wolf moon.

No more ties to the moon, hidden by trees.
They run through the night, baring sharp wolfish teeth.
The wait is over; soon they’ll live as men.

The Dorito Sonnet

Oh orange chip, divinely made of cheese,
You make that awesome crunching noise when chewed.
No other chip could be as good as these.
There’s nothing like those cheesy fingers, dude!
They are the stuff from which much good is made.
They bring much joy to hungry bellies, yes!
I bet with chips alone you would not fade,
For their cheese essence is just awesomeness.
Though gone we won’t forget our bag of chips.
It will live on inside for hours to come.
The taste will be remembered on our lips.
The pantry always stocked with bags, oh yum!
As long as the upholstery bears the stain,
The cheesy chips of awesome will remain.

Follow Michelle McLean:

Michelle McLean is a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl who is addicted to chocolate and Goldfish crackers and spent most of her formative years with her nose in a book. She has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and a knack for explaining complicated things to uncomplicated people. Michelle's non-fiction works include guides on how to write essays, term papers, literary analysis essays, and poetry. She also writes romance with a good dose of mystery and humor, historicals, and a paranormal here and there. When Michelle's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. She resides in PA with her husband and two children, an insanely hyper dog, and three very spoiled cats.

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