“aab…” Poetry Mystery Form–Try It!


The Mystery

Last fall, I discovered an aab, ccd, eef…poetry form when I was working on my Mt. Rainier poetry book and I gave it a try. Because I enjoyed working with it, I attempted to dig up the information about it to share with you, but can’t find it anywhere. So here, from memory, are the instructions for the “mystery” form and my example.

aab, ccd, eef…Mystery Poetry Form

The basic unit of the form is a stanza consisting of a couplet (two rhyming lines) followed by a single unrhymed line. That third, unrhymed line is often a new thought–a conclusion, a comparison, a summing up, or a twist on the couplet.

This type of poem can be a single stanza in length or as many stanzas as you would like to make it. The rhyme scheme for any stanza in this form can be completely independent of the rhyme scheme of the first stanza, thus my description–aab, ccd, eef…

My Example


Like water trickling ever downward without being taught,
You experience life’s moments ceaselessly through thought.
Writing is thinking.

Like opening your front door to the street,
You note cars, the weather, and people to greet.
Writing is noticing.

Like a jeweler creating with pearls and gold,
Idea meets idea and a story is told.
Writing is connecting.

The hardest part of writing–“What shall I say?”
Is something you do every waking second of your day.
Writing sings the music of your mind.

“I get by with a little help from my friends.”*

As I am still recovering from my blasted concussion, I have given up on my search for the name of this form. If you know what it is called, could you please share with me and your fellow readers in the comments below?

Thanks so much! I hope you have enjoyed your National Poetry Month.

*The Beatles




April is National Poetry Month–A New Haiku

Tree BlossomNational Poetry Month Plans

Pre-concussion, I had hoped to blog new poetry forms each week in April. So much for planning!

However, I cannot let National Poetry Month pass without honoring it in some way, and so, I revisit a form well-known and well-loved (at least by me)–the Haiku.

The Wonders of Haiku

Haiku is a wonderful form for the busy writer. It is short enough that you can compose and revise it in your head while you’re washing the bathtub, exercising at the gym, commuting to work, or–oops!–hit by inspiration in the middle of your work day.

I love it for capturing moments in my life. I sometimes use it as a form of concentrated journaling.

Haiku Form 

As you probably learned by the fourth grade, Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. It consists of 3 lines containing:

  • 1st line: 5 syllables
  • 2nd line: 7 syllables
  • 3rd line: 5 syllables

and that’s it!

What you may not know about Haiku

However, that is not all of it. Traditionally, haiku is nature themed, but as I already explained above, a writer can use it for whatever theme he or she chooses.

While the 5-7-5 pattern is pounded ruthlessly into our heads as schoolchildren, did you know it is not strictly necessary. You can very slightly from the pattern, as long as your haiku reflects the basic form.

And did you know, the third line is intended to be something special? It is a place to make the connection between ideas or to conclude or sum up your thinking.

My Haiku, April 2015

Our Apple Tree

Billowing blossoms,
Pink, aglow with sunlight,
My healing companion.

My Plan for Getting Healthy and Staying Healthy

Framed Magenta FlowerPost-Concussion Update

I am at the end of week five of my post-concussion syndrome recovery. My headaches, while still constant, register at about a 1.5 or 2 on a 10 point scale–that is much improved. I can now read to my heart’s content (Yay!!!), as long as the reading material is not too abstract.

I am starting to feel impatient.

This week I will try writing.

Getting Healthy 

So what has got me this far? A whole new way of thinking. It came to me as a little rhyme:

Do not rush.

Do not hurry.

Bloom where you’re planted,

And do not worry.

Not terribly original, I know, but it has helped me to be patient through these long, uncomfortable, exhausting, inactive weeks.

And Staying Healthy

I’m going to take this little ditty with me as I begin to return to my everyday activities.

Looking back on the early months of the new year, I recall my discontent with myself and the way I was managing my life. There was too much to do, I was always striving, and I was overwhelmed.

Over the last decade, God has developed a pattern of forcing me to sit still when I get so driven I am making myself crazy. The little “trip” that resulted in this concussion seems to have been another such incident. (I wish I could get better at listening when he says “Slow down.”) And this time, I had to sit very still, for a long, long time.

To recover, because of the exhaustion and pain, I had to learn to move s-l-o-w-l-y. I have practiced it enough now to know rushing around just increases my stress. And as I sat still I realized, if I truly believe as I profess to, being content with where I am needs to be part of my faithful living. Furthermore, worrying cannot change anything. I need to trust my God, and I do.

What about you? Is there anything you need to adjust about your approach to daily living? What does blooming where you’re planted mean to you? Is it possible to live more slowly and turn our backs on worry?

It will be interesting to see what I can manage to hold true to as I slowly re-enter my life over the next few weeks.