A Smile to Remember by Charles Bukowski

we had goldfish and they circled around and around in the bowl on the table near the heavy drapes covering the picture window and my mother, always smiling, wanting us all to be happy, told me, 'be happy Henry!' and she was right: it's better to be happy if you can but my father continued … Continue reading A Smile to Remember by Charles Bukowski


The Vampire by Charles Baudelaire

You who, like the stab of a knife, Entered my plaintive heart; You who, strong as a herd Of demons, came, ardent and adorned, To make your bed and your domain Of my humiliated mind — Infamous bitch to whom I'm bound Like the convict to his chain, Like the stubborn gambler to the game, … Continue reading The Vampire by Charles Baudelaire

Autumn River Song by Li Po

The moon shimmers in green water. White herons fly through the moonlight. The young man hears a girl gathering water-chestnuts: into the night, singing, they paddle home together. Poet: Li Po Chinese 701 – 762

The Standing Stone

The stone stands alone it seems against all weather and wane. No one to share the vicious rain. No shelter from wind or snow. Storms come and go, the stone remains, a little battered but tall and proud. The kiss of sunlight warms through, easing the cold dampness away. The love of the moon lights … Continue reading The Standing Stone

Sonnetina Uno

The first of the sonnetinas, the Sonnetina Uno is a ten-line form written in iambic tetrameter, pentameter or any other consistent meter. It is a blank verse. Example Unspeakable Need by Jez Farmer A whisper of lavender calls a dream, In gentle words that dare the heart to care As darker thoughts recall how love … Continue reading Sonnetina Uno

Stepping Stones

I sat reflecting on the stepping stone Sometimes a girl must think it out alone I thought of love, of life, and prayed to god Unanswered questions cast in earthly sin Even then faith did seem overtly odd Amid this beauty how could love be wrong When love is the pulse of all living things … Continue reading Stepping Stones

A Wink from Hesper by William Ernest Henley

A wink from Hesper, falling Fast in the wintry sky, Comes through the even blue, Dear, like a word from you… Is it good-bye? Across the miles between us I send you sigh for sigh. Good-Night, sweet friend, good-night: Till life and all take flight, Never good-bye Poet: William Ernest Henley English 1849 – 1903


A wingless flight across an open sky as she soars into the night alone for I cannot fly with her as like a tree I remain rooted to the ground she may return she may not but still, I let her fly she is mine and I gladly let her go until the day she … Continue reading Release

The Best of Jazz

He hit the downbeat, found the blues, Not to mention having no clues. The jazz man could improvise and drag, 'Bad Penny Blues' an infamous rag. Slurring between riffs with such ease, Trumpet proud he stood out from the sleaze. Vamp chords repeated for our delight, dissonance of students in bars each night. Jazz club … Continue reading The Best of Jazz


Such love, so deep it now brings only pain As tears fall silently lost in the rain Each drop washing away the vibrant hue Of memories lost in intimate days Like the roses that were once me and you As you left me did you hear my soul cry As you left me with no … Continue reading Memoria

Greenside Valley

The green valley stretched west of Glenridding, Across the view, our souls wished they’d hidden, Those last hours of love on a Lady’s Tarn We gazed into hills of yesterday’s mines, Discarded, wasted with nothing to mourn Remains that lie buried beneath the green Yet still history whispers over time But dare not speak of … Continue reading Greenside Valley


Old times appear within the here and now, I don’t know why and sure I know not how These memories are coming by return In dreams of the mountains, lakes and fells A now familiar fire started to burn Old memories stirred by notes in a book Unanswered questions turn to puzzle me My thinking … Continue reading Gobbledygook

Autumn’s Glow

The leaves made soft, rustling sounds As we walk through autumn’s glow. The equinox beckons in bounds, The harvest in its full flow. Haymaking as we made hay, A summer’s love going strong. A kiss leads to our pathway, To our world where we belong. Lover’s fall is now our tune, Before winter breaks with … Continue reading Autumn’s Glow

Within the Storm

Waking up from the wonder beyond dreams and I step out into the beautiful world the burn of sunshine on my shoulder and like the vagrant cloud crossing the blue sky I seek the gathering of the storm craving the touch of rain on my shoulder to cool the heat on my skin releasing the … Continue reading Within the Storm

A Matter of Choice

I can give you words of spiritual wise, I can tell you this is right, that is not. Faith must come from your own believing eyes, The answer you want is one I haven't got Inside your own heart seek what is true, Have trust in your own self to make your choice. This is … Continue reading A Matter of Choice


  a taut fine line between misery and death keep breathing   ©JG Farmer 2018

My Dying Day

The ambulance arrived too late today, Nothing could save me from the reaper’s hand. The time to pass into the spirit’s way, A new beginning, a different land. The car didn’t stop, it went right through me, No pain, just a thud, then I saw you there. The fear is cold, but I know I … Continue reading My Dying Day

Shelley’s Sonnet

Percy Bysshe Shelly seemed to have a fondness for interlocking stanzas, possibly a nod to French literature. In his sonnet, he follows the continental octave and sestet format, but he also links the first four lines into the second half of the octave, again the second half of the octave links into the first half … Continue reading Shelley’s Sonnet

A Single White Rose

A single white rose lies dipped in my blood, Another tragic love story closes. All tears shed form pools of sympathies flood, White the handkerchiefs that blow the noses. Words spoken in the tides wave of their grief, Solemn procession to the vaults of rest. A life cut too short by the reaper's thief, Immortal … Continue reading A Single White Rose

Rhopalic Verse

The Rhopalic verse is not as easy as it looks at first glance. The rules of the form are simple enough as for each line the first word is one syllable, the second is two, the third is three and so on. There are no other limits in line length or the number of stanzas. … Continue reading Rhopalic Verse


Octaves are widely known in their strict forms of variant metered rhyme schemas. However, they can also be eight-line stanzas that use one or more alternative poetic devices such as: syllable count, internal rhyme, a couplet in each stanza, meter and so on. For my example I have worked in Iambic Diameter, any rhymes are … Continue reading Octave

To the Otherside

I long to drink the moisture from your hair I crave your kiss upon this midnight air Within silence, I hunger for your love As darkness shrouds my heart again tonight I hunt for you among the stars above For in the depths of the night I feel you So close I can just about … Continue reading To the Otherside

Isolated Depravity

I found out your reasons for the phone calls, The smiles and tender words that say you care. It hurts, and my trust destroyed as love falls, Oblivion of anger leaves me bare. My scars will remain bleeding inside me, Another wall that will disguise the true self. Closing doors so none will ever again … Continue reading Isolated Depravity

Triad to Spring

As life returns I think of these things Three in number and my heart sings At the first bloom of a golden daffodil Now the seasons turn at the universe’s will And the balance of dark and light ‘Tis equinox; there be magic tonight © JG Farmer 2018 Form: Triad

Luc Bat

Luc Bat translates to six eight and that is reflected in the 6868… syllable counts of the lines. Lines 1,3,5 and so on are all 6 syllables and lines 2,4,6 and so on are 8. The rhyme scheme is easy to remember too. The last syllable of an odd line rhymes with the 6th syllable … Continue reading Luc Bat


Retreating into darkness something cries Within silent walls this in-between dies The dreams returned come from so long ago Those same old things the world said could not be But visions of truth command their own flow Sub-conscious meanderings of the self In empty shells that belong in no place The damage of years of … Continue reading Pupation

Good Morning

Voices that sing in perfect harmony as sweet as any heavenly choir and the light so golden it is as pure as any wedding band while a blade of grass dances with the elegance of a ballerina and so shall my spirit greet a new day to sing with the birds as they chorus and … Continue reading Good Morning

Malaysian Pantoum

Strict repeating forms are normally restricted by stanza count, syllable count or a cyclic repeat back to the first stanza. In it’s original Malaysian form there is no such restriction. The rhyme scheme is A1B1A2B2 B1C1B2C2 C1D1C2D2 … and so on. In it’s Malaysian format the pantoum is an ideal medium for narrative poetry that … Continue reading Malaysian Pantoum

Without Words

Through passing time a song must find its voice A casual hum or violin for choice It’s heard again on a radio show And secret dreams begin to journey back With ev’ry note the heart finds where to go I listen once more to the music play Your touch again begins to reach my soul … Continue reading Without Words

Lucky in Love

A warrior to stand behind The beauty my own eyes defined Her kiss I hold within my mind Her love the reason why I’d let my life slowly unwind To keep her safe, I’ll die For love, there is no asking price Yet demands such high sacrifice Its fate, a mere roll of the dice … Continue reading Lucky in Love

French Pantoum

  A Malaysian form that has been adapted by the French to give the popular repeating-verse of quatrains we know today. The rhyme scheme is as follows: A1 B1 A2 B2 B1 C1 B2 C2 and so on until the closing stanza completes the circle by reversing A1 and A2 Z1 A2 Z2 A1. There … Continue reading French Pantoum

Single Malt

Those harsh words linger on the vacant air The lost moments that drift beyond our care Aggressive tones are all that remain And the dream ends in another eclipse Its warmth a brief release from tension’s strain As thoughts still question how love turned to hate Intense were passions shared within our bed Tormented teasings … Continue reading Single Malt

Unspeakable Need

  A whisper of lavender calls a dream, In gentle words that dare the heart to care As darker thoughts recall how love can hurt Mechanised walls surround the patched-up heart, Before hungered lips betray the soul With more lavendered words inviting trust, A poet hides behind versed make believe, No sign the pulse is … Continue reading Unspeakable Need

Constellation Sonnet

Created by: Terry Clitheroe Meter: Decasyllabic or Pentameter Structure: Two quintains and a quatrain Rhyme Scheme: ababa ababa cdcd Example: Metaphysical Dreams by Jez Farmer A stairway that leads away from this place Where two lovers can dance among the stars Their desires meet as one in time and space As destiny unites Venus and … Continue reading Constellation Sonnet

Magic 9

The Magic 9 is said to have been created by a typing mistake on the word ‘Abracadabra’ and given my initial typing misspelt it I can quite believe that too. The form is a simple progression stanza around the first line with lines 2 and 8 also rhyming with each other. There is no limit … Continue reading Magic 9

The Making of Me

I saw him riding out upon his wheels So smartly dressed it left my heart in squeals Exquisite look, a man and proper gent No trainers on his feet but patent spats On his hands white leather gloves compliment ‘He’s eccentric’ they were the words they said I saw a hero how a man should … Continue reading The Making of Me

Night Shift

Wide awake beneath a black ink sky only thoughts for company sharing bittersweet sips of coffee feeding the words in spiralling strokes on the page thriving in the creative pool oxymorons play with juxtapositions conflicting ideas united in device and the pen throws in a delicate pause whispered in the night as the synonyms and … Continue reading Night Shift

Tug of War

A battle waits and only strength can win The old must die for the new to begin While battle worn, devoid of all but hope Beguiled by hate a soldier stakes his claim In fireside stories refusing to mope His inner resources taking up the strain As fears and doubts have left the rope too … Continue reading Tug of War