New verses (acrostic, iambs, minute, tanka et al)

Over the course of this year I have been experimenting with different forms of poetry/verse, from ‘free’, unmetred, unstructured forms to tanka, cinquain, minute and acrostic. In the free verse I have used rhymes, though not structured rhyme schemes, and I would submit that para rhymes, assonance and consonance  can be more effective than simply finding exact rhymes. The advantage of this strategy means a greater flexibility in what one has to say. One also avoids absurdity for having found a rhyme for its own sake. That, frankly, should be left for limericks, where it doesn’t matter. I often do not set a stanza limit at the outset, though I have been able to sense at which point I have said enough on the particular theme or captured moment.

To date I had avoided iambic forms because I had considered it unchallenging, and had preferred to focus on haiku and tanka and themes of love, loss, place, country, geopolitics, economics, politics, the scourge of English holidaymakers abroad, Brexit and even food and drink.

Having recently composed several verses in the cinquain 2-4-6-8-2 form, I then discovered that under certain poetic conditions such as the cinquain, iambs can indeed mount a challenge because one also has to choose one’s words carefully, as well as ensuring that the limits in which one is working do not result in ridiculous-sounding or grammatically absurd phrases or syntax.

I also experimented with tanka and naga-uta, so that the respective 5-7-5-7-7 and 5-7 forms became 7-5-7-5-7 stanzas, with the last stanza being a couplet of 7-7. I expect that my continuing self-taught writing career will unearth a term for this form.

I mentioned avoiding rhyme schemes. Indeed, they can pose a challenge, and in the minute form poems I have written I find that I can build around two key phrases; one for the opening of stanza one, and the other for the end of stanza three (if one follows strictly the 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4, 8-4-4-4). Indeed, the aa, bb, cc, dd, ee, ff rhyme scheme should be an enjoyable project for any lover of language and words. 

Over the course of this year (including interruptions from life’s vicissitudes and caustic members of one’s own family – who unknowingly provide a great deal of material,  the caprices and tantrums of young nephews [making me grateful to be childless] work, or no job at all) I have composed thirty new verses . A handful more will then see me self-publish on Amazon Create Space volume 5 of my verse. The first 4 to date (The Reflections series) are composed entirely in haiku/senru. As far as the latter is concerned, I have also written (last night, in fact) a three-stanza verse in the 5-7-5 form. I needed more space than the usual one stanza to express what I needed to say. It’s semi-autobiographical, you see.

Some of the verse shared here, such as The Writer series, The View From Parliament Hill, will soon be taken down from this blog page to meet the needs of publishing law and ethics. In the meantime, I will post other new verse for this page also. Thank you to all my followers and readers. I look forward to seeing more of your works. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and images.

RC Clermont   14 October 2017


Writer #2 (second stanza – of 2)

Writer #2

Am I the world’s only person
To attain the conclusion
That there’s a differentiation
Between something for which one is drilled
And that in which one is fulfilled;
Between labouring at what one loathes,
And realizing what one loves;
That the former subsidises the latter,
Till the latter becomes the corpus,
And the former superfluous –
Though it’s a crime to be lettered
In these harsher times?

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017


Writer #2 (stanza #1)


Wiping a circle in the condensation
To view a drab morning in Autumn
From one’s sombre studio salon,
One revives the aspiration
Of the literary recognition
To relieve oneself of the obligation
To travail as an automaton
In the lower ranks of one’s profession
In the perpetual delusion
That one will earn the distinction
Of other people’s expectations,
That one has achieved one’s vocation.

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017

Brexit (On England) # 2

BREXIT (On England) #2

In crappy towns of England
The peons are exploding,
For, from their daily reading,
Their empty- brained believing
The baron bigots scare -telling
Of foreigners invading.

‘We’ve got our country back’
They scream. So take a look;
The chain -store high streets,
Burger restaurants,
Fried chicken outlets,
Pubs to stand and shout,
From which to spill out fighting;
The country’s so inviting.

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017

Promised Land


Computer-scored theme,
This the corporate
World vision pitch.

Drone-footage sweeps
Of city scapes,
Fields and pastures,
Of azure skies.

Bright-faced families,
Blonde, clean-clothed, white-toothed,
Immaculately groomed,
The dream, marketed.

Whither the poisoned springs,
Ground waters, streams and rivers?
Chemical spillages,
Enviro damages?

The corrupted civil servants,
In-the-pocket politicians?
The workhouse conditions
And child slave-labourers?

The overburdened mothers,
Humiliated fathers?
The jobless degree-holders,
And zero-hours contractors?

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017

The view From Parliament Hill (#stanza 9 of 9)


Beneath this great lake
Lies once prestige real estate,
And if evoked with joyful coldness,
The once landed had become landless.
At night, those City towers no longer blaze wastefully.
When darkness falls, the only lights to see
Are those of buoys in warning,
Blinking and bobbing,
And channel- marking
Where it’s safe for daytime boating parties
And picture-taking touring barges
For navigating leisurely.


The View From Parliament Hill (stanza #8)



Further still westward
Stand England’s symbols of Church and State;
The towers of the Minster Abbey
Wherein the nation’s monarchs were annoited
To Zadok chorals and vivat, vivat,
And, standing in propinquity,
The remnants, collapsed partially,
Of Pugin’s Parliament,
And, no longer extant,
The clock tower in arrest perpetually.
No more laws of enslavement
Or of Malthusian experiment.

© Copyright RC Clermont 2017