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 by Ashley Lister

I’ve courted you for eons now
And still we have not done the deed
Without trying to be highbrow
I think you know just what I need


I’ve probably mentioned the French form of the kyrielle before, but it’s one of my favourites, so I’m coming back to it here.  Typically, the kyrielle is a four-line stanza form that has a refrain in the fourth line. It’s customary for the kyrielle to contain eight syllables per line, although this doesn’t have to be presented in a specific structure, such as iambic tetrameter.  There is no prescribed limit to the number of stanzas but three is the minimum.


We’ve both held hands on moonlit nights
And you have heard me beg and plead
To have a chance at your delights
I think you know just what I need


The rhyme scheme for the kyrielle can either follow an aabB pattern, or an abaB. Because this is poetry, other variations on this rhyme scheme will always be possible.


So here we are, together now
And from our clothes we’ve both been freed
You are the field and I’m the plough
I think you know just what I need


As always, I look forward to seeing your poetry in the comments box below.



by Ashley Lister

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since I mentioned the Hávamál on this blog.  The Hávamál is a Viking poem, but it is often called a book of wisdom. Written somewhere around AD 700-900, the Hávamál is one of the more well-known Eddaic poems and, amongst other things, it contains nuggets of universal wisdom that still apply today, more than a millennia after these words were first written.

Here is an example from the Hávamál:

A man needs warmth,
the warmth of fire
and of the shining sun.
A healthy man
is a happy man
who’s neither ill nor injured.

A typical Hávamál stanza usually contains six lines or two units of three lines each. The first two lines in each unit are tied together by alliteration, and the third is also decorated with alliteration. For those who’ve forgotten: alliteration is the repetition of similar sounds, usually the sounds of initial consonants, as illustrated below:

Better a humble
house than none.
A man is master at home.
A pair of goats
and a patched roof
are better than begging.

It’s also possible to look at the stresses used in the Hávamál but, for the purposes of this exercise, I’d prefer to see writers focusing on words of wisdom and the use of alliteration.

And that’s this month’s exercise from me: produce a six line poem in the style of the Hávamál, sharing words of erotic wisdom in the comments box below. Remember to keep a tie of alliteration between lines one and two (and four and five), and to ensure that there is some alliteration across lines three and six. This is my attempt:

Naked flesh
flavoured with sweat
can easily excite.
And it aint just
an appetite for
savoury tastes that it satisfies

Have fun with this and I look forward to reading your words of wisdom.

 By Ashley Lister

I’ve mentioned triplets before.  The idea of putting three lines of poetry
together always excites me. Couplets are good for a rhyme scheme. They provide
a solid structure. But, to my mind, triplets increase the speed and seem to
allow a bigger build-up to the punchline of the poem.

Some lasses think that thongs are boss
But that opinion makes me cross
‘Cos a thong’s just fanny-dental-floss

And whilst some say the style is quaint
I would say it really ain’t
Cos a thong’s like cheese-wire on the taint

So what I’d say to every chick is
Treat yourself to some big knickers.

With this poem, I thought it might have a greater impact if
I mixed couplets with triplets. The title of the poem is ‘Big Knickers’ and the
focus is on the persona of the poem appreciating a fuller brief. Consequently,
to stress the importance of this sentiment, I thought the sedate couplet would
allow for the pace to slow down for the delivery of those two lines.

You see, when she’s ready to hit the sack
The kinkiest nymphomaniac
Does not want string across her crack

Thongs are cruel. Thongs can sting.
Thongs can be a dangerous thing.
They’re like barbed wire on the ring

Yes, whale-tails can raise most bloke’s smiles
But sit on this and think awhile
Thongs can aggravate your piles

To stop yourself from getting sick as
a cystitis parrot – wear big knickers

The poem goes on, but I’m going to cut it off there and say,
if you want to share a poem made up of a mixture of triplets and couplets, please
post them in the comments box below.

 by Ashley Lister 

 ‘Twas the night before

And all through the

My partner was laughing

‘Cause I’m hung like a

She was wearing black

And wielding a birch

And I quietly suspected

We weren’t going to

As the holiday season approaches, I thought
it might be fun to try something festive. As there’s no traditional poetic form
associated with Christmas, I figured it would be appropriate to pick a
Christmas poem and use that form.

Obviously, the first poem that came to mind
was ‘The Night Before Christmas’ (‘A Visit from St Nicholas’ by Clement Clarke
Moore). However, because I have always perceived this form as four line verses,
with an x-a-x-a rhyme scheme and variant syllable count, I figured that wouldn’t
be a sufficient challenge for the regular readers of this blog[1].

A couple of other Christmassy ditties came
to mind but it was only when I was contemplating the lyrics, I realized they
were songs. Frosty the Snowman at
first, then Rudolph the Red Nosed
. I was about to dismiss this form as being traditional song lyrics
when I realized that the form was identical to my interpretation of ‘The Night
Before Christmas’: four line verses, with an x-a-x-a rhyme scheme and variant
syllable count.

She thrashed and she
caned me

But don’t pity my plight

I knew it wasn’t just Santa

Who’d be coming tonight

never before thought
She might like CBT
But now my balls are now hanging
From her Christmas tree

So, the challenge this month is to write
something festive in this traditional form.

As always, I look forward to seeing your
contributions in the comments box below. 
And, I hope you enjoy the festive season, however you celebrate the

[1] The original poem is
written in rhyming couplets and I’ve been perceiving the caesura as the end of
the line.

 By Ashley Lister

When I make love, don’t think me crass

I’m sharing this in secret now

I like a finger up my ass

I know it does not sound highbrow

I know it sounds like I’m depraved

But ass-fingers make me say wow

And likely I am pleasure’s slave

The Terza Rima is originally an Italian form that’s been
used by Milton, Shelley, Byron, Frost and Dante Alighieri. It’s written in
tercets (three lined stanzas) with a rhyme scheme of aba bcb cdc (and so on)
until the final stanza. The final stanza can either be a single line, relating
back to the middle rhyme of the penultimate stanza, (yzy z) or it can be a
concluding couplet (xyx zz).

The structure suits iambic pentameter or iambic tetrameter and the interlocking
rhyme scheme presents a neat little form that is a challenge to write and a
pleasure to read.

And likely I am pleasure’s slave

And critics claim I have no class

But when I try to misbehave

I like a finger up my ass

As always, I look forward to seeing your poems in the
comments box below.


 by Ashley Lister

 One of the pleasures of the rictameter is that there is no
need for rhyme: it relies on a strict adherence to syllable count. (Well, as
strict as syllable counts can be given our different regional pronunciations).

I know we looked at this form back in August last year, but it’s never too soon to revisit a quality form of poetry.

Rictameter starts off with a two syllable line, moves up to a four syllable,
and then a six and an eight and a ten syllable line, before going on to an
eight syllable line, followed by a six, a four and a two syllable closure. The
final line is a repeat of the first line, so it helps if it’s something punchy
and memorable.


mouth, lips and tongue

ready to devour

yet bestowing so much pleasure

sucking, slurping, spitting or swallowing 

an overwhelm of sensation

that ends in liquid rush

and wanting more


As always, I look forward to seeing your poetry in the
comments box below.


by Ashley Lister

Happy New Year. I’m hoping 2016 brings you
everything you desire that makes your life satisfying.

We first looked at the Burns Stanza back in
October 2014. I’m looking at it again now because we’re in January and Burns
night (25th January) will be on us before we know it. And, what
better way to prepare for a Burns night celebration than to write a saucy Burns

As I mentioned when we looked at this form
before, the form did exist before Burns made it his own. It had previously been
known as the Standart Habbie or the Scottish stanza or, sometimes,
simply the six-line stave. Personally, I’m happy calling it a Burns
stanza. This is my attempt at the form.

Stanzas have six lines rhyming aaabab.
The a lines have four metrical feet and the b lines have two metrical feet.

fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Basque of leather, stockings of lace
A cold smile with no soft embrace
You hold the crop
You wield the whip. I know my place
Please never stop.

As always, I’d love to see your
interpretations of this form in the comments box below. And, if you are celebrating
Burns night this year, please eat haggis responsibly.

by Ashley Lister

Sonnet 18+

Shall I compare thee to a porno star?
Thou art more lovely and more sexy too:
I’ve yearned to have you naked in my car,
And I would really love to service you:
Sometimes you let me glimpse your muffin tops,
Your shorts reveal your sweet and cheeky cheeks,
The view’s enough to make my loins go pop,
And make me long to have more than a peek:
But I know you’re no exhibitionist,
You’d never ever play games of team tag,
Not even if I got you truly pissed,
Because, I know, you’re really not a slag,
So long as I can hope there’s half a chance,
I’ll dream about what’s there inside your pants.

It’s been almost two years on this blog since I mentioned the sonnet. I’m mentioning it again here because I love this form. The skill that comes from balancing rhyme, syllable counts and rhythm always makes me marvel at the talent on display.

The Rules:
All sonnets contain 14 lines. There are three main styles of sonnet: Petrachan, Spenserian and Shakespearian. Each one of these forms is made distinctive by its rhyme scheme.

Sonnets are usually written in iambic pentameter (that is, ten syllables made up of five unstressed/stressed pairings).

The poem above is a Shakespearian sonnet characterized by the rhyme scheme of abab cdcd efef gg. In the example above we can see the poem divided into the three quatrains (abab cdcd efef) and a final couplet (gg).

However, this month I’d like us to look at the slight variant to this form: the Petrarchan sonnet. Again, we’re looking for fourteen lines. And, again, the poem should be presented in iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme for the Petrarchan sonnet is not as fixed as the Shakespearian and, whilst the first eight lines usually begin in the following fashion, abba abba, the final sestet varies from poem to poem. On this one I’ve gone with cde cde rhyme pattern.

I can’t remember when we last had sex
I only know it’s been a long long time
But I remember that it was sublime
So let’s get you dressed up in tight latex
Where you can make my manly muscle flex
And you’ll find that I’m still well in my prime
And able to do lots more in bed than rhyme
I can roar like Tyrannosaurus Rex
But if you’d rather just drink cups of tea
Or maybe watch Netflix without the chill
If you’re thinking ‘Thanks but no thanks, Mister’.
Then I’ll respect your right to reject me
Though being celibate won’t make ill
I’ll just nip out and call on your sister

As always, I look forward to seeing your sonnets in the comments box below.

Ashley Lister

By Ashley Lister

is the ballad of poor, simple Dave

pervert whose quirks sent him straight to the grave

built a sex robot to use as a slave

he came to a sad, sticky end.

According to the Poetry Archive, “A refrain is a repeated part of a
poem, particularly when it comes either at the end of a stanza or between two

Dave fixed white goods, by way of a trade

night, on his X-Box, there were games that he played

none of this helped the poor sod to get laid.

he came to a sad, sticky end.

Refrains are popular in forms such as the villanelle and the triolet
and we can even see it being used in John McCrae’s beautiful war memorial rondeau:
‘In Flanders Fields’. Personally I think the refrain is one of the most
underrated devices in all of poetry. The repetition of a full line (or even
half a line) allows the poet to draw attention to a specific sentiment. As
writers, we can’t get away with that level of foregrounding. But, as poets, no
one bats an eyelid when we repeat and repeat and repeat.

just isn’t fair,” he’d sigh and he’d weep.

living alone like some sick sort of creep.”

he’d pull off a swift one and go back to sleep.

he came to a sad, sticky end.

As you can see, I’ve used a refrain on the final line of each verse in
my ‘Ballad of Poor Simple Dave’. This is a story told in poetic form that
follows the sad adventures of a young man who builds a sex robot. When I’ve
read this one at public performances I’ve heard audiences spontaneously join in
with that refrain and take ownership of the work. It’s humbling to be a part of
such an experience.

he made a sex robot. It wasn’t that hard.

got spares from old cookers lying round his backyard.

she was assembled he lubed her with lard.

he came to a sad, sticky end.

I won’t publish the rest of the poem here – it might not be to every
reader’s liking. But I will ask, if you feel inclined: why not post a couple of
stanzas of your own poetry that are bound by a single refrain? As always, the
comments box is below and it’s always a pleasure to read your work.

by Ashley Lister

The gwawdodyn (pronounced GWOW-DOD-IN) is a Welsh form of poetry that is
presented in a variety of different guises. Differences are argued on the presentation
of the rhyme scheme of the third and fourth lines. However, my favourite
interpretation of this form is illustrated by the poem below.

There’s no greater pleasure than
I say this whilst we’re reminiscing.
Your lips against mine: our tongues intertwined
Let’s try it: find out what you’re missing.

This version of the gwawdodyn follows this structure:

x x x x x x x x a
x x x x x x x x a
x x x x b x x x x b
x x x x x x x x a

Each x represents a syllable. Lines 1, 2 and 4 each have nine syllables,
and an ‘a’ rhyme. Line 3 has ten syllables and an internal ‘b’ rhyme.

Keep in mind there are other versions of this (and perhaps the reason I
like this one so much is because it reminds me of the limerick). As always, I
look forward to seeing your poetry in the comments box below.

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