Blank verse, unrhymed iambic pentameters—the most difficult kind of English verse to write acceptably; a kind, therefore, much affected by those who cannot acceptably write any kind.

— Ambrose Bieerce, 1842-1914
Copyright © Mike Shaffer, 2009


Sacred Light

Summer lick of mist through whisper day
Ensconsed beyond the grass for sky of green
But I foretold the wind of branches tossed
When leaves descended in above the air.

Why for my acceptance never seen
Does all within its reach reach out for you
To only hear the lines lost under ground
And the thoughts which falling falls to me.

Across the water flat beside the sun
Shines a path that leads us down to naught
Not into temptation's arms to fill
But inspiration granted to your name.

Below the biting sentimental wind
stirs the words arranged in random rhyme
To see if what is written in the trees
Will ever see the sacred light of home.

With shining leaf of dreams still unfulfilled
Comes an era sadness hangs anew
And since the spells cannot predict the times
Nature's bitter language disappears.

Instincts Pure
(Breaking with tradition—comic blank verse)

Humans must be born with instincts pure
That make them crave the foods to nourish give
Especially in early years of life
For essential growth progress acquire.

To evolve through immemorial time
Survival of the fittest traits possess
And endure a hundred million years
Escaping from anthropomorphic doubts.

Primate mammals living from the earth
Developing from mortals close at hand
Ingesting bubble gum, jam, cookie dough,
Kool-Aid, ketchup, hot dogs, french fries, Coke.



A hawk encircles air above the trees
Traveling in radii so wide
Then silent, falls beyond the sky below
To sweep behind the shadow of the sun.

It marvels me that they can see so far
Lowly creatures living in the fields
I watch as one dismembers limb from limb
A soul now approaching endless sleep.



BLANK VERSE—Unusual when introduced in 16th century England but no longer popular. Name derives from fact that works have a standard meter like most rhyming poems of the time but no rhyme. Later set to music. Widely used by Shakespeare.

E W Shaffer

Poetry & Prose