Poetry and Prompts on Tuesday

A local friend of mine has been hosting “Poetry and Prompts” on Tuesdays for quite some time now.  (I’m thinking years.)  Except for one failed attempt, when I tried from Starbucks but didn’t realize we would be reading aloud, I hadn’t attended.  Since I decided I would be focusing much more on my writing in 2021, I made sure to go today.

The poetry prompt we used today was “Happy _______.”

Sometimes, if I have a poem rattling around in my head, I can just write one, but I usually need a structure to write poetry on demand.  My friend Heather has recently introduced me to the nonet, so I decided I would go with that for today.

A nonet is a nine-line poem which has a structure based on syllables,  The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, with each line decreasing by a syllable, all the way down to the last line, which has just one syllable.

Here is the poem I wrote:


The train rolls to a lumbering stop
The conductor drops down the step
Eager passengers detrain
We wait in line to board
Finally seated
Feel brakes let go
On my way


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Karen J. McLean

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  • “Happy Rails.” I love it! This is a cool form, and I’m also going to have to give it a try.

    I wish trains were a bigger part of our world. There’s a museum here in Huntsville that runs a two- or three-mile line a few times a year, and I enjoy it when I can (I mean, I enjoy taking my grandkids). We used to ride the train regularly when we lived in Japan, and I loved it.

    Thanks for sharing this!