Poem with an explanation: the carburetor

the engine ran
the gas started to spray
a leak from somewhere
was causing this

things were examined
and cleaned through
and it seemed as though
it was the carburetor

at first
a gasket was changed
for this seemed logical
and was cheap and easy

the gas knob was turned
and slowly it dripped
from the carburetor

a search was made
for one that matched
from a model number
and more details

one was found
and with free shipping
it arrived
the next day

it wasn’t as easy
as the video showed
but a change was made
of the vital part

with a slight hush
the knob was turned
no gas dripped
nothing seemed wrong

the engine was run
for only a moment
it all looked right
but the smell was off

was it fixed?
was the question
it seemed all right
but who knew

the next storm
would tell


This poem is about an organ transplant.  It uses the metaphor of changing a carburetor on a generator engine to describe the ideas.

The first stanza describes the start of the problem.  A person experiences symptoms while they are doing something.  They realize it is serious and that there is a problem.

The second stanza describes the diagnosis.  In this case, a particular organ had a problem.

In the third stanza, something short of a transplant was tried.  This is described as the gasket was changed on the part instead of the part.

In the fourth stanza, a test was done after the procedure, but the problem remained.

In the fifth stanza, a search for an organ match was made.  It was difficult.

In the sixth stanza, the organ arrives.

In the seventh stanza, the recipient of the organ had seen a video of the surgery for the transplant.  They find out that the actual experience was much different than the video portrayed.

In the eighth stanza, tests are done on the person and they seem all right.

In the ninth stanza, the person recovers.  They seem all right but they feel different.

In the tenth stanza, the person questions if they are really better.

In the eleventh stanza, the person thinks that they will know if they are better the next time they experience something that tries them physically.

The idea of this poem was to use a mechanical thing as a metaphor for a physical thing in a person.

Experimental Poetry Form: three columns

Today’s experimental poetry form is called three columns.  As the name suggests, it contains three columns.  Each column has ten lines and each column should have an equal width.  Here is an example poem to illustrate the form:

The dog is going
to the vet today.
He doesn’t want to go.
He doesn’t know
he’s going to go,
but still,
he doesn’t want to go.
going to the vet,
is important.
The man is going
to the doctor today.
He doesn’t want to go.
He doesn’t know,
he’s going to go,
but still,
he doesn’t want to go.
going to the doctor,
is important.
The child is going
to the dentist today.
He doesn’t want to go.
He doesn’t know,
he’s going to go,
but still,
he doesn’t want to go.
going to the dentist,
is important.


This example poem takes the idea of the three columns further, and uses a pattern.  In each poem, the being going somewhere is changed and where they are going is changed.  Everything else is the same.  The idea in this case is to reinforce the idea about a being getting needed medical care, not knowing they are going to get it, and them not really wanting to go.

Poetry topic idea: time

Today’s poetry topic idea is time.  There are a number of ways a poet could write about time.  Some of them include writing about:

  • The past

  • The present

  • The future

  • Running out of time

  • Aging

  • A specific time

  • A specific moment in time

  • Infinity

  • The end of time

  • The relativity of time

  • Waiting

  • Too much time

  • Things that are timed

  • The time it takes to do things

  • The measurement of time

  • Telling time


Here is an example poem about time:

sitting in the room
feeling every tick
when will the door open

Bilingual Poem: Hey, what’s that?

Doctor’s visit.

Hey, what’s that?

That looks like a needle.

Tetanus shot?

No one said anything about a tetanus shot.

Hey, wait …



Visita de medico.

¿Oye, qué esa?

Ése parece como una aguja.

¿Una inyección de tétanos?

No uno habló nada de una inyección de tétanos.

Oye, espera …


Poem with an explanation: Don’t ever go


Is it play time?

Time for a walk?

Hey, what’s that?

What’s this thing?

Is this moving?

Where’s home?



This is bad.

This is bad.

What’s this place?

This doesn’t look good.

This is that place, isn’t it?


Why this place?


Was it the shoes?

The noise?


It’ll change.

It will.

Home is good.




Is it time to go?

No, that’s the wrong way!

This is bad.

This is bad.

Who’s that?


That was bad.

Who’s that?

What are they doing?



This is bad.

This is bad.

You’re not nice.

You’re not nice.

Is it time to go?




Into the thing.

It’s moving.

It’s moving.

What’s that?








It was horrible.


Don’t ever go.

Don’t ever go.


This poem follows the thoughts of a dog during a trip to the veterinarian.  The dog is simplistic in how he views things and sees things from an emotional level.  Things are either good or bad.

Although the poem is about a dog, it can be viewed as a metaphor for the human experience with medical care.  The human experience in medical care can be one of uncertainty, fear, and feeling that things are happening to you.  The dog’s experience reflects this.

The poem starts with the dog greeting his owner (Hello.)  The dog questions why his owner is there (Is it play time? Time for a walk?)

The dog has a harness put on and is taken to a car.  When he sees it, he doesn’t know what it is (Hey, what’s that?).  When he gets inside, he questions it further (What’s this thing?).

As the car starts to move, the dog questions what is happening (Is this moving?).  He wants to go back to where he was happy.  He wants to go back home.  He expresses this through a question (Where’s home?).

The dog feels a sense of abandonment from his owner.  He says Hello twice to his owner hoping to get some sort of comfort.  When he does not, he feels the negativity of his situation (This is bad.  This is bad.).

When they arrive at the vet, the dog questions where they are (What’s this place?).  The smell of the place fills the dog with foreboding (This doesn’t look good.)  The dog realizes where it is and questions it (This is that place, isn’t it?).  The realization fills the dog with despair (Noooooooooooo.)

The dog wonders if he is being punished (Why this place? Why?)  He questions if it is because he chewed shoes (Was it the shoes?), barked (The noise?), or anything else (Something?).

Fearing the place, and hoping for reprieve, the dog promises to change (It’ll change.  It will.)

The dog doesn’t like where he is.  He thinks of his happy place (Home is good.)  While he waits, he keeps thinking of it (Home.  Home.  Home.)

The dog and owner are then called into the examination room.  As his owner gets up, the dog think’s it is getting relief (Is it time to go?).  As the dog is lead further into the office, he realizes he isn’t going home (No, that’s the wrong way!)

When the dog goes in the office he is very scared (This is bad.  This is bad.  This is bad.)

The veterinary assistant comes in.  The dog question who it is (Who’s that?).  The assistant takes the dog’s temperature, which the dog does not like (Ahhhhhh!  That was bad.)

The veterinarian then comes in.  The dog again questions who it is (Who’s that?)  The vet then checks the dog over, which the dog doesn’t like (What are they doing?)

The vet then gives the dog two vaccinations.  Both fill the dog with pain (Ahhhhhh!  Ahhhhhh!).

The dog doesn’t like where he is (This is bad.  This is bad.)  He feels a sense of betrayal from his owner (You’re not nice.  You’re not nice.)

At this point, the dog’s owner gets up to leave with him (Is it time to go?).  The dog, in disbelief, questions if they are leaving (Leaving?)

When the dog realizes they are, he cheers (Yea!!!).  He wants his owner to hurry (Hurry.) and get into the car (Into the thing.)

As they drive away, the dog is filled with glee and it cheers (It’s moving.  It’s moving.)

As they go, the dog recognizes the area as familiar (What’s that?)  He thinks they are getting near home (Home?  Home?).  When he sees his home he cheers (Home!!! Home!!! Yea!!!).

When the dog arrives home, he greats another dog that lives with him (Hello.  Hello.)  He tells the dog of his experience (It was horrible.  Horrible!) and warns the dog to never go (Don’t ever go.  Don’t ever go.)

Experimental Poetry Form: pennies, nickels, and a dime

Today’s experimental poetry form is called pennies, nickels, and a dime.

Five pennies are equivalent to one nickel and two nickels are equivalent to one dime.  This idea is the basis of the form.

The form has four stanzas.

The first stanza is the penny stanza.  It has five lines.  Each line has one syllable.

The second stanza is the nickel stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has five syllables.

The third stanza is the two nickel stanza.  It has two lines.  Each line has five syllables.

The fourth stanza is the dime stanza.  It has one line.  That one line has ten syllables.

The idea is that the stanzas are related the same way the coins are related.

Here is an example poem:


Sitting by the bed,

in the hospital,
watching the lights glow.

They might look pretty but for the reason.

Poetry topic idea: crying

Today’s poetry topic idea is crying.  The idea of crying can be worked into poetry in many different ways.  A poet could write about:

  • Crying from sadness. This is the most obvious idea.  A poet could examine any number of sad situations and the crying that happens with them.

  • Crying from happiness. This is somewhat of the opposite of the idea above.  A poet could examine the idea of overwhelming emotion.

  • Crying from pain. The idea here would be to examine crying that has a physical cause as opposed to an emotional one.

  • Crying from laughter. Sometimes people laugh so hard they cry.  This idea could be examined.

  • Crying from fear. Sometimes people cry when they are scared of something.  A poet could examine this idea.

  • Crying from something in the eyes. The idea would be to examine the idea of tears flowing without emotion or necessarily pain (but maybe discomfort).

  • Someone else crying. The above ideas might be applied to the poet.  A poet might think of themselves crying from one of the causes.  With this idea, a poet would write about observing someone else crying.  They could look at the emotion felt seeing someone else experience emotion, pain, or discomfort.

Here is a poem using the idea of crying:


after the doctor spoke

Experimental Poetry Form: 8/30/3 with choice

The following experimental poetry form combines line count, syllable count and rhyme in a form that has some choice regarding its application.

In the form there are:

Eight lines.  The poet can choose the stanza structure for those lines.

Thirty syllables.  There is no syllable count per line requirement.  The poet can choose how many syllables are in each line under the thirty syllable restriction.

Three lines that rhyme.  The poet can choose which three of the eight lines rhyme.

Here is an example poem written in the form:


What gave you that idea?

That thick lead wall,
that’s so tall?

That’s just there …


hold on, have to run to the hall.

Poetry topic idea: ice

Today’s poetry topic idea is ice.  Ice appears in many places and situations and each comes with a different connotation for poetry.

As examples, ice can appear:

  • on roads

  • as glaciers

  • as icebergs

  • in drinks

  • in coolers

  • in freezers

  • as icicles

  • in medical settings

  • under trays of food in buffets

Each of these places and situations can be used differently in poetry.  A poet could use ice directly, as a metaphor for something or as a way to discuss an idea.

Here is an example poem using ice:

running with the cooler,
instead of sodas,
a heart