#TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormChallenge #Alphabetpoem was last week’s chosen form. Robert Frede Kenter, Jane Dougherty, Tim Fellows, Jane Dougherty, Spriha Kant, Sheryl Lynch, and myself.

Alphabet Poetry with textA Night in Hamilton

Aberdeen Road did you hear the expectant screaming
Backwards a bulwark who was walking
Come one and all take up your measure
Drop into the park by the lake etch your names in the trees
Each shall say in turn for we come and we go

Frozen cold by microchip factories contaminated steelwork warehouses
Gated designs in wrought iron historical handwork of tobacco merchants’ artisans
Hallelujah above and below the forged chariots

I was walking along a subsidiary canal below tall buildings neon billboard
Jesus was there too smoking a cigarette
Kenter he shouted across the asphalt yards what you up to these days?
Last days end days new days arising new beginnings afoot

Mostly I am tending to my mother
Nothing much beyond that to speak of

O raise your voices in song raise them up
Perhaps we will reach the river shore yet
Questions abound did you know each one has a dance number hat check card place in line

Rest here a while in this declivity of finality
Soon soldiers will saunter in perform a jump blues off Heaven’s truck and check names
Take away those without proper documents lock up the witnesses
Universe still spinning above the night
Veritable as we rise so we rise higher

Wealthy men gather to cart off cut blocks of ice in speed boats full of power tools
X that which can be seen view it take photographs sample noise from the universe below

Young and old the timid and bold anxious for the stadium to open come the red horses
Zachariah appears cuts a swath of fire through flower gardens a mesmeric act one

How Did It Go?

A friend of mine wrote a fantastic alphabet poem about New York City – I started mine thinking of ‘place’; in this construction, Hamilton, Ont., a once vibrant, then languishing industrial city about 2 hours from Buffalo. I grew up there, downtown. For the first four years, I lived in a huge old Georgian mansion, transformed into apartments, where my father was super. We lived on the first floor. This ‘sense-memory’ and the idea of a city-alphabet poem inspired this ecclesiastic rumination through a night-walk for End times. It was fun to create an Alphabet, even a meandering one along the edges of industrial-post industrial poetics.

-Robert Frede Kenter

Bird alphabet

Any bird can dip-dance,
each fluttering glide-hop
imitates jay-jumping.

Irreverent kettledrum-clattering—
listen, music-murdering notes
overwhelm pastoral quiet,

querulous rooks, strident-voiced,
tune unmusical vulture-songs
with xenolythic-pitched yammering,
zephyr-winged arguers born.

Kitchen memories

Apples baking,
candied dumpling-effluves,
filled grandma’s house,
indecently-delicious, just-baked.

Kitchen-longing memories,
nutmegged, orange plumcake-quetsched
remain, summer-scented,
those unctuous voloutes,
wind-borne excelsiors,
yellow-winged, zebra-dappled.

Sailing to the isle of apples

Away we sail, where apples grow,
Bound to search the western isles.
Calm sea waits for those who dare
Defy the whales and monsters there.
Echoes ring from mountain sides,
Fairies hosting with us riding,
Gerfalcons tossed from their wrists,
High among the white clouds circling,
Isle of apples, sharp eyes seeking.
Listen to the hoofbeats splashing,
Manannán’s white-maned horses racing,
Night will find us out at sea.
Owl-wings left behind us failing,
Pale dawn comes to trackless waves,
Row hard until the wind comes filling
Sails, till seals come guiding home to
Tír na nÓg, the blessed isle,
Unfolding sky and stars of youth.

(Jane says:It just occurred to me, the rules don’t state which alphabet we have to use. This is one using the Irish alphabet of 18 letters.)

How did it go?

With difficulty. The constraint of beginning with a set letter can be worked around with some head-scratching, but the possibilities for X and Z are limited, to say the least. Easy to end up with a lot of Xeroxes and herds of zebras. If I were to write another one though, I’d try and find a way of fitting Xerxes into it.

-Jane Dougherty


Armies are out on maneuvers
Battlefield lines being drawn
Constantly under bombardment
Death and disease is the norm

Each soldier has their own home town
Families waiting for news
God gets his quota of prayers
Hoping there’s nothing to lose

In wishing for intervention
Just protection to bring them home
Kill or be killed is the mantra
Leaves scars running deep to the bone

Moved like pawns on a chessboard
Nudged forward one space at a time
Or sacrificed one for another
Pretending it isn’t a crime.

Queens and Kings, bishops and castles
Rulers might finally fall
Simply replaced by another
That wishes revenge for them all

Until more young soldiers are ready
Victory lies the refrain
When hatred gets the blood flowing
Xenophobia wins once again.

Youth watches its blood leak away
Zealots thrive while families pray.

How Did It Go?

The X is always the challenge. I put it off until I’d got past half way. I never thought I’d say this, but thank goodness for Xenophobia. I’ve used the U.S. spelling of maneuvers as it looks cleaner, no other reason.

-Tim Fellows


Anyhow, I don’t tend to write long poems
Because I started out stealing moments
Closeted in my room
Determined to give voice to
Emotions I’d otherwise have to stuff with
Food I’d snuck, being called
Greedy when I was found out.
Heavy with depression
I would scrawl my feelings
Just short of plumbing their depths
Keeping secrets even from myself
Like how much I missed you
Ma, and how you used to be.
No, we didn’t know the extent
Of what you went through
Perhaps because you talked around it
Questions remained unanswered
Resentments festered
Stung with words and hands
Tears were withheld
Unacknowledged pain.
Vicarious living through offspring
Would not be my fate
Xenophobic I wasn’t
Yearning to broaden my horizons,
Zealous in pursuit of freedom, I write.

-Sheryl Singleton Lynch (09/27/22)


Accepting the truth our relationship has crumbled
Because remaining stuck in the past doesn’t work practically
Continuing my life afresh
Doing paintings and calligraphy
Emerging as an emotionally independent single woman
Fiercely facing all the blowing gusts individually
Guttering tears have stopped flowing from my eyes now
Hollowed hopes are now pitter-pattering with desirous raindrops
Including a to-do list in my target column
Joys are smooching me now
Keeping away all the things possessing our moments together
Loving myself
Moving on toward that point where the distance between us is of leap years
No need for any love in my life anymore
Organizing all the cluttered books in my library
Praising all the good poetries of others by myself with a cup of coffee
Quitting unnecessary mental stresses
Revamping my looks, old poetries, and interior of my home
Singing my favorite songs in synchronization with my dancing heart
Teeing off my everyday smilingly
Upping euphoria and enthusiasm in my psyche
“Vivacious woman” —my tag now
Wackiness in a wizened stage is a blessing
Xeric life replaced by blossomed life
Yonder orchestra of nightingales performing my cheerful life’s song
Zippiness flowing in my life like blood in my veins

How Did it go?

I have never tried an alphabetic poem before Paul Brookes challenged all the writers to try their hands at an Alphabetic poem. So, I just wrote all the letters from A to Z in a vertically downward position with a theme in my mind as a divorced woman becoming a happy independent single woman and just went with the flow of whatever came into my heart, and the piece got finished instantly in one take.

©Spriha Kant

Bios And Links

-Robert Frede Kenter

is a writer, editor, visual artist & the publisher of Ice Floe Press. Work recently in journals incl: CutbowQ, Streetcake Magazine, Feral, WatchYrHead, Anthropocene, FeversOf, Anti-Heroin-Chic. Work appears in The Book of Penteract, an Anthology (Penteract Press, 2022), The Poets of 2020 (FeversOf Press), Pandemic Love and Other Affinities, an Anthology (Ice Floe Press). Their most recent book is EDEN (2021), a hybrid now available at Rare Swan Press.

-Jane Dougherty

lives and works in southwest France. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her poems and stories have been published in magazines and journals including Ogham Stone, the Ekphrastic Review, Black Bough Poetry, ink sweat and tears, Gleam, Nightingale & Sparrow, Green Ink and Brilliant Flash Fiction. She blogs at https://janedougherty.wordpress.com/ Her poetry chapbooks, thicker than water and birds and other feathers were published in October and November 2020.

-Spriha Kant

developed an interest in reading and writing poetries at a very tender age. Her poetry “The Seashell” was first published online in the “Imaginary Land Stories” on August 8, 2020, by Sunmeet Singh. She has been a part of Stuart Matthew’s anthologies “Sing, Do the birds of Spring” and “A Whisper Of Your Love” in the fourth and fifth series of the books from #InstantEternal poetry prompts. She has been featured in the Bob Dylan-inspired anthology “Hard Rain Poetry: Forever Dylan” by the founder and editor of the website “Fevers of the Mind Poetry and Art” David L O’ Nan. Her poetries have been published in the anthology “Bare Bones Writing Issue 1: Fevers of the Mind”. Paul Brookes has featured her poetry, “A Monstrous Shadow” as the “Seventh Synergy” in “SYNERGY: CALLING ALL WRITERS WHO ARE PHOTOGRAPHERS” on his blog “Wombwell Rainbow”. She has been featured in the “Quick-9 interview” on feversofthemind.com by David L’O Nan. Her acrostic poetry “A Rainstorm” has been featured in the Poetic Form Challenge on the blog “Wombwell Rainbow” owned by Paul Brookes. She also joined the movement “World Suicide Prevention Day” by contributing her poetry “Giving Up The Smooch” on the blog “Wombwell Rainbow”, an initiative taken by Paul Brookes. She celebrated National Poetry Day by contributing her poetry “Travel in the Laps of Nature” to the blog “Wombwell Rainbow”. She has reviewed the poetry books “Silence From The Shadows” by Stuart Matthews and “Spaces” by Clive Gresswell.

-Tim Fellows

is a writer from Chesterfield in Derbyshire whose ideas are heavily influenced by his background in the local coalfields, where industry and nature lived side by side. His first pamphlet “Heritage” was published in 2019. His poetic influences range from Blake to Owen, Causley to Cooper-Clarke and more recently the idea of imagistic poetry and the work of Spanish poet Miguel Hernandez.

-Sheryl Singleton Lynch

is a poet and essayist who lives in New York City.  Her work has appeared in several journals, as well as in seven self-published collections available through Amazon, the latest, Folks and The Adventures of Lovemore Fearless (In No Particular Order) were released Summer 2022. In a previous life Sheryl worked as a telecommunications specialist and still shows signs of being a “nerdy girl.” Visit her website at sherylsingletonlynch.weebly.com.

3 thoughts on “#TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormChallenge #Alphabetpoem was last week’s chosen form. Robert Frede Kenter, Jane Dougherty, Tim Fellows, Jane Dougherty, Spriha Kant, Sheryl Lynch, and myself.

  1. Pingback: Alphabet poetry – Jane Dougherty Writes

  2. Pingback: Alphabet Poem – Spriha Kant

  3. Pingback: Poetry Book Review of “Nature Speaks of Love and Sorrow” by Jeff Flesch reviewed by Spriha Kant – Fevers of the Mind

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