#TheWombwellRainbow #Poeticformschallenge last week was a #Trimeric Enjoy examples by Robert Frede Kenters, Marian Christie, Tim Fellows, Lesley Curwen, and Jane Dougherty and read how they felt when writing one.

Poem for the Fathers (A Trimeric)

Upon facing a cold reunion
Of the night and your conversation
We entered the city slowly, dreaming
Stopping at shops by their windows

Of the night and your conversation
Stone edifices admitted to an emergency
In the broken speech of nightmares

We entered the city slowly, dreaming
Our commands acquired in The Holocene
Bay waters reached to stone edifices screaming

Stopping at shops by their windows
In the Bistros of the burning fever
We were warriors without a proper war

How Did It Go?

Rather than fitting my tropes, themes, and visions to the form, for this exploration of Charles Stone’s Trimeric (construction) 4 stanzas, four lines, 3-3-3 lines, repeating refrains, etc., I worked with some dark-motifs that are part of my ongoing work, including my current focus on nightmares, in both text and visual poetry. I enjoyed this; for me the key was creating a first stanza where each line could be a strong lead line for another stanza. I like the refrain format, it lends to a musicality, a song-like score for an anti-hymn, something dramatic, orchestral, for silent recitation.

Robert Frede Kenter


Listen to the riversong –
meltwater from mountain flanks
tumbling its own path
between resistant rocks.

Meltwater from mountain flanks
trickles down through peat and moss,
conjoins to become a burn

tumbling its own path;
tugs at roots by shaded banks,
crashes, eddies, foams.

Between resistant rocks
salmon leap against the flow,
glinting in the sun.

How Did It Go?

Another lovely form! I was immediately drawn to the descending cadences of the trimeric and its potential for subtle shifts of meaning through the stanzas. I’ve not adequately exploited this potential in my poem, which is purely descriptive, but I shall be revisiting the form in future with a view to exploring its possibilities further.

Marian Christie



The stoat slips through the jagged fence;
darting across the frozen field
her coat has not yet fully changed
to match the freshly fallen snow.

Darting across the frozen field
she sniffs the icy air and scampers on
to look for food within the farmer’s barn.

Her coat has not yet fully changed;
its reddish brown is flecked with white
but soon she will be hiding in plain sight

to match the freshly fallen snow
and clear-air frosts that January brings;
until she fades to brown again in Spring.

How Did It Go?

I like refrains so I enjoyed this format. I also enjoyed the freedom of slightly longer lines after those Celtic forms squeezed the syllable count. The rhymes are obviously not needed but they came naturally so I went with it.

Tim Fellows

January, early morning

Night is over,
light frozen at grey dawn,
a stopped clock,
its mechanism rusted.

Light frozen at grey dawn
hangs in mist wreaths
over frozen puddles,

a stopped clock
in a silent room, where
ash fills the hearth.

Its mechanism rusted,
this year grinds on,
drenched in fog.

Turn of the year

The world grinds on its hinges
with the rusty creak of rainswept trees,
black and dripping with winter,
and birds sing to ward against the cold.

With the rusty creak of windswept trees,
rain-light ruffles feathers,
ships tossed on stormy seas,

black and dripping with winter.
Horizons close, veiled in water,
endless tracts of grey,

and birds sing to ward against the cold,
to spell spring’s return and
ease the earth’s rumbling course.

How did it go?

The trimeric is a simple form, four stanzas of 4, 3, 3, 3 lines, the first line of stanzas 2, 3 and 4 repeating the corresponding line of the first stanza. No other rules. Often this form is used for short imagist poems (as in my first poem), but there’s no reason why it can’t work for denser poems (second poem). I enjoyed the trimeric and will probably use it again.

Jane Dougherty


Snow’s light is too much for ageing eyes,
fierce noons reflecting every crystal flake.
Diamond carpets frazzle optic nerves.
We turn from what is too intense to bear.

Fierce noons reflecting every crystal flake,
we dig our paths, dismantle purity,
transmute the brilliant to everyday.

Diamond carpets frazzle optic nerves.
Arrayed in baseball caps and shades
we hide from bitter inconvenience.

We turn from what is too intense to bear.
The glare of snow, weathers yet to come,
the dazzled faintness of our hearts.

How Did It Go?

I found that the repetition allowed me to develop the simple idea of snow’s harsh light to the wider conceit about how we turn from anything too hard to bear.
I wrote the first stanza without really knowing how to develop the rest.
It opened up a lot of possibilities, each first line of the following three stanzas sparking new tracks of thought.

Lesley Curwen

Bios and Links

Robert Frede Kenter

is a writer and visual artist. A Pushcart Nominee, published widely & internationally, based now in Canada, publisher of http://www.icefloepress.net. Tweets: @frede_kenter, IG:@r.f.k.vispocityshuffle

Marian Christie

was born in Zimbabwe and travelled widely before moving to her current home in Kent, southeast England. Publications include a chapbook, Fractal Poems (Penteract Press), and a collection of essays, From Fibs to Fractals: exploring mathematical forms in poetry (Beir Bua Press). Her new collection, Triangles, is forthcoming from Penteract Press in April.
Marian blogs at http://www.marianchristiepoetry.net and is on Twitter @marian_v_o.

Lesley Curwen

is a broadcaster, poet and sailor living within sight of Plymouth Sound. Her poems have been published by Nine Pens, Arachne Press, Broken Sleep and GreenInk, and later this yea

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.

Tm Fellows i

s 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.

Lesley Curwen

is a broadcaster, poet and sailor living within sight of Plymouth Sound. Her poems have been published by Nine Pens, Arachne Press, Broken Sleep and GreenInk, and later this yea

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