TheWombwellRainbow #PoeticFormChallenge. It is weekly. Week Nine form is a #BrefDouble. I will post the challenge to create a first draft of a poetic form by the following late Sunday. Please email your first draft to me, including an updated short, third person bio and a short prose piece about the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Except when I’m working at the supermarket I am always ready to help those that get stuck. I will blog my progress throughout the week. Hopefully it may help the stumped. Also below please find links to helpful websites.

Bref Double poetic form


I try to follow in her tracks
they melt and disappear
I don’t know if it’s love or not,
except inside my head.

I try to follow scents and trails
with senses that I lack
but she is nowhere to be found;
I feel a constant dread

and search in all her favourite spots;
the places she once loved.
The cafes, river walks and cliffs;
I read the books she read.

But words will never bring her back
from sprouting grass where flowers rot.

How Did It Go?

I’m not a massive fan of this format as I wanted the rhyme on the fourth line. It may be my fault for dropping into a ballad rhythm that wasn’t required. I moved the three C rhymes to make it less clunky. I wanted to move an entire stanza but that would have seriously broken the whole rhyme scheme!  Who is it about? I have no idea.

-Tim Fellows

Reunion Tour

MAGA Jesus now returned much more gruff
from the soupy foam like irate kaiju,
turned all the water into Coors Light beer,
explained loving neighbors was démodé.

First things he applied were much bleaching creams,
endorsed Kanye’s hot takes re: money huff.
For sex workers still had a soft spot, sure…
though washing his feet was more proper way.

Assured toiling plebs in debt up to ears
their pie was still in that sky, could they wait,
once high ticket price was received in full.
Meanwhile, bring to heel womenfolk, blacks, gays.

“I wish that they’d stick to their older stuff,”
a fan bemoaned. “That’s what I paid to hear.”

How Did It Go?

Enjoyed this form immensely, a unique and unusual one am so appreciative Paul introduced to us here with his Wombwell challenge. Love how it takes the migrating, recurring line-endings one might find in a Sestina and accomplishes something similar with rhymes. I hope I applied conventions and expectations properly, the lines in the example I read were seven syllables in length, I ended up landing on an even ten being a boring fan of pentameter, could have been more adventuresome and tried an unrounded number, hope some other participants do! Wrote this the day after our local elections (positive results in Minneapolis and nationwide, by most reports), inspired by some rather disturbing posts I observed on social media. Specifically one user wrote, “Every Christian who votes Democrat tomorrow should be subject to Church discipline.” That reminded me of an infographic/meme going around, which reminded that (despite misconceptions and applications to the contrary in popular narratives) the central biblical character of the New Testament was ‘brown, Jewish, Middle-Eastern, a child refugee, poor, homeless, an advocate of loving your neighbor’. Their conservative, conflicting conception of a messiah, I thought in consequence, would make a rather terrifying and problematic figure in the event of a literal reappearance. The tragicomical result of envisioning such a tyrant is the following poem, which is written by a Green who incensed Trumpers may also take small comfort in knowing is not a great fan of the other wing of the duopolistic bird either. I’m also especially partial to this form’s interspersed rhymeless lines, the blank spots scattered throughout (distinguished as X’s, versus ABC rhymed endings). Those really allows for more coherent linear narrative and storytelling, something quite difficult to achieve in a Sestina with more stringent dictates, obligations. Enjoy!

-Jerome Berglund

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