Iron Poet #6


Iron Poet #6

Style / Meter: Any
Theme / Keyword: from the point of view of a warriors weapon

In honor of upcoming American Independence Day celebrations (July 4th), Iron Poet contemplates what it takes to become, and stay, free.

Freedom, most often, is won by the sword. Iron Poet would like to free the writer and allow any style of poem. Challengers are asked to create something from the point of view of a warrior or soldiers weapon. What would the sword think of its employment? How might a cannonball feel as it flies through the air to its doom? What is the report of the M-4 in Afghanistan really saying? Iron Poet asks that challengers be reasonable in the length of their chosen style / meter.

Johnna Murphy

“Lexington Report”

I didn’t want to start a war
Being shot from a musket is what I am for

My report rang loud as chaos unfurled
Some said it was heard around the world

Alone and forgotten in the grass
Wondering what will come to pass

As I listen to cries of “liberty!
But how can I help to set men free?

When being shot from a musket is what I am for
And I think I was used to start a war.


Jacob O’Neal

“On A Blade”

Cleave now to me, O sons of mortal men!
And cleaved to thus I’ll cleave thy foes in twain
For hearts shall quail when limb from limb I rend
So thirsting dance I ‘midst the carmine rain.

To Mars then let us sing the sweet refrain
Of death and dying, victory and song;
And what importest it, if –in the main–
Thou slayest thine own innocence with the throng?

O ne’er forsake the cause! There is no wrong
In brightest steel, in patriot dreams beguiled;
Though cost be made uncountable, march on
Unseeing that thou hast thyself thee killed.

So sheathed between thy shoulders, let me rust
Thy cleaving done, now lay thee in the dust.


D Lee Cox

“I am a pointed piece of steel”

I am a pointed piece of steel
I have no function but death
I am cold and cannot feel
lest its the warmth of blood
and a dying breath

10 thousand years
mankind refines and finds ways to kill one another
of that I am a result
the vengeance of a brother against brother

I am no judge
Yet I am the sentence for the guilty and innocents
No guilt at my hilt for the blood I’ve spilt

I have no allegiance
I carry no prejudice
For your manifest destiny
your particular mission
your duty or suspicion

No innocence deference
No justice preference
Your intent gives me no pause
Your cause, your constitutional clause

Beat me into plowshares
Bend me into alms boxes
I can wait
Mankind will always hate
Its in your nature
You are that creature


Matt Henderson


I was there by his side when he entered
and knelt in the shrine.
Bowing low, I could see that his master’s eyes
dined on my shine.

He was led to a table and
given a task,
What it entailed?
I could not ask.

I watched him for a long time and he was good
with his hands.
He was given a sword, and in a flash
he advanced

He made his cuts quickly, with
conviction and precision.
A natural swordsman, with instincts
for incisive decisions.

When he moved through the training and was done for the day
It started raining as he bowed and I heard his master say,
“There is one more thing more, that I need to see.”
And then again, I noticed he was looking at me.

He was led to a table, again for a task.
This time, I knew…there was no need to ask
Every movement of those hands I knew so well–
He was tired, but was he ready? I couldn’t tell.

No wasted motion, he grabbed me with skill…
The look in his eyes, was fixed firm like steel.
He glanced at me–shook me down and held me for the kill.
I wasn’t sure if he would do it, but I thought, “he probably will.”

He lifted me quickly, almost over his head,
Dropped me in an arc, and the canvas turned red
He smiled slightly…”Oh, that will leave a mark,” he said.
He took me in a circle and then he twisted his wrist,
I felt nothing but pressure and then it tailed off like a kiss…

He started moving me so quickly, I felt like the wind.
First I thought I was breaking, and then I felt myself bend.
He jutted and darted and slowly circled to an end.
He would raise me up again and lay me down easy–
He was spilling me with skill, and I started to grow queasy.

He was slashing in circles and boxing in squares
Every move that he made was quick, fine, and fair
Canvas taking on beauty, at least he would know I’d been there.
Then with a quick cursive movement, he turned me around,
He wiped me where I was bleeding and then he quietly put me down.

Then he smiled and he kneeled and he bowed once again.
His teacher chuckled lowly, and then broke into a grin, and said
“Same time next week, I want you to do this again.”
Then he added, “You must continue to write–for not to, would be a sin.
The sword was very good today…but you are better with that pen.”

Iron Poet #5


Iron Poet #5:

Meter / Style: Villanelle
Theme / keyword: waste

The word “waste” itself does not have to be used. Any form of the word, synonyms, concepts, etc. may be used. The Iron Poet allows even thematic reference as opposed to the use of the actual keyword.

A villanelle is composed of 19 lines


C.S.E Greenberg

“Wasted life”

Another dollar fifty to my name,
I punch the clock to end another day.
Otherwise, everything remains the same.

Empty eyes gaze into an empty frame,
The money ebbs and flows, with bills to pay
Another dollar fifty to my name.

I laugh, I smile, I play a silly game;
Go on a date, but find no words to say,
Otherwise, everything remains the same.

I listen to people bluster and blame;
All others, their own failures to downplay.
Another dollar fifty to my name.

I’ve given up the dreams of fortune, fame.
I dream of finding love, a love who’ll stay;
Otherwise, everything remains the same.

Will others recall me, or just my name?
What will I leave behind? Some good, I pray.
Another dollar fifty to my name.
Otherwise everything remains the same.


Megan Cypress

“Get A Life”

Is this all there is to life?
Born into a chaotic society
Get a job; get a wife

Another day, another person dies
Starved to death from poverty
Is this all there is to life?

Another generation strives
To make the next day happy
Get a job; get a wife

Live a hard-working life
While the children play free
Is this all there is to life?

As we approach the end of our lives
We tell our sons the way to be
Get a job; get a wife

And at the end of their lives
They’ll tell their sons how to be
Is this all there is to life?
Get a job; get a wife


Mamie Pound

“A Little Night Music”

Thunder clapped, danced in the rain
Big black cloud blew out the light
Tree frogs blew a jazz refrain

Willows bent and danced and feigned
shadows in the failing light
Thunder clapped, danced in the rain

Waved their leaves with tiny veins
oh what rhythm, what a sight
Tree frogs blew a jazz refrain

Along the curb, tiny rivers waned
shimmered cymbals, city light
Thunder clapped, danced in the rain

Windows rattled, shook the pane
Per-cus-sion-ists caught the flight
Tree frogs blew a jazz refrain

It was gone, just like it came
One last crash of crackled light
Thunder clapped, danced in the rain
Tree frogs blew a jazz refrain


Katie Clark

“Lest We forget, a villanelle.”

Don’t close your eyes, lest you forget,
Don’t turn away from your fellow man again;
One nation indivisible are we; yet,

Divided by self-interest, self-doubt, regret,
This lonely wound wastes away, pain.
Don’t close your eyes, lest you forget:

This day, hatred collected her debt,
Torn asunder, an iron rain.
Are we one nation indivisible? Yet-

Look at the flags, waving in the sunset,
For each life lost, they stand urbane.
Don’t close your eyes, lest you forget:

The many faces of our brethren, set
Together, candles and tokens side by side lain,
One nation indivisible, are we yet?

Under the skin: same blood, same sweat;
Free to choose love or hate, hope or pain,
Don’t close your eyes, lest you forget:
One nation indivisible, we are yet.


D Lee Cox

Take care the words you choose to speak
wasted words will show your peace of mind
since balance is what you want to seek

When lasting relations you seek
choose words harmonious and considered kind
Take care the words you choose to speak

Be fair in your critique!
Avoid derision if inclined –
since balance is what you want to seek

Thoughtless words words are rarely chic
and ill words may be found unrefined.
Take care the words you choose to speak.

Admit it when you misspeak
and deny it when your quote maligned –
since balance is what you want to seek

You could appear tepid and weak
your reasoning and progress can be undermined.
Take care the words you choose to speak,
since balance is what you want to seek



The Iron Poet #3

ticktockIron Poet #3

Up til now Iron Poet has attempted to be lighthearted. Iron Poet noticed some poets took the serious road anyway. So, in a nod to thems that want to, this weeks Iron Poet is as follows:

Meter / Style: Free verse
Theme / keyword: beast
Stanzas / Lines: no more than 14

The word “beast” itself does not have to be used. Any form of the word, synonyms, concepts, etc. may be used. Speak to beasts of burden, a difficulty, a monster, or the beast within. Whatever beast you’re aware of, use it.


C. S. E. Greenberg

Glowing, golden eyes,
splashes of light against the blackness;
dancing hypnotically as she pads,
stalking through the jungle’s depth.
They pause,
narrowing to slits as the panther readies herself…
then widen:
small moons beaming as the panther pounces!
The rabbit flees,
and the lights blur, bounce, and flicker,
as the panther chases down her prey
and catches it in her jaws.
The lights disappear as she bites down
and the rabbit dies in darkness.


Tina Biscuit

“Mid Yoken”

We feared the beasts; we kindled the fires.
We killed the beasts; we herded them home.
We tamed the beasts, and paired them in yokes.
They ploughed our fields, carried our burden.

Our burden grew; we ploughed on still deeper.
We found a new beast, and carried on stoking.
We tore up the land, looking for more.
We drilled for new blood, to keep our fires burning.

Now, out of control, we still need to grow.
Dante’s inferno rises to meet us.
The planet is screaming.
We don’t hear its cries.

The skies, they grow darker; the world short of breath.
Now, we are the beast; we are earth’s burden.


Megan Cypress

“The Beauty within the Beast”

He danced with her all night
Not knowing her intentions
For she put on a good show of being a normal lady
See, he was a beauty with a heart of gold
And she was a beast with a heart as grey as coal
She’d been burned so many times before
That she never let anyone in her heart
When she took him home that night, she had every intention of killing him
But something changed inside her when she looked into his blue eyes
She saw the same sadness inside him that she had felt for years
Instead of hurting him, she listened to him talk
The two cried together and remained best of friends
For the beast had finally found her beauty
Shining inside of Him


Laura Roberts

“Bumps in the Night”

I’ll never be your beast of burden
And you’ll never be my sweet little thing
So now that we’re clear
Let’s see what we can do
With just a few simple lines
And a bit of string.

I dare you, she said.
No, I double-dog dare you, I replied,
And with that we were off.

If that sounds like fun, you may be a beastie too.

Join us underground
Where the wild things are
Where we play all night, and sleep all day…
Dare you?


Michael Wayne Cottle

“A Timely Beast”

When I first knew the beast,
He would help me grow in ways only he could.
He healed my all of my wounds steady and sure.
Wounds of an emotional and physical nature,
Until they made pain a distant memory.
He made me as well as I would ever be.
And now the beast turns on me.
Sure, he still helps me with experience,
But now, he tears me down physically.
I can’t keep up with his changes.
He is no longer my friend.
And his arrow will steadily fly,
Long after he has put me in the ground.


Johnna Murphy

“What the hell is wrong with you??”
That question. That tone of voice.
That that stab into my core.
Nothing could penetrate deeper.

“What the hell is wrong with you?”
Nothing!  Your not supposed to see anything!!

Have you seen into my depths?  Glimpsed my worst?
“You just bring out the worst in me.” I reply.

But is that true? Maybe in that moment.
No one is totally good. You see what’s hidden when you cut deep.

Could you see all my terrible?
Leaking from the wound, mixing with the salt in my tears?

“What the hell is wrong with you?”

I don’t know, but you won’t have to see it if you don’t cut me open.


Maureen Larter.


The meadow, green and lush,
Bathed in mist.
The air crisp and fresh.
A vista with trees and
Beasts upon the rolling hills
Contentedly munching.
They look up and see me walking,
Feed tubs in hand.
They swarm towards me,
Skidding to a halt.
I place the treat within their reach
and heads once more dip down.
My beasts,
My cows.


D Lee Cox

a room far and wide
colorful light
dreams and diversions
cover the floor
cowered by the roar
of the beast
stomping and tromping about
held back by this or that
wears one too many hats
inhibition lost
careless of the cost
another round
another round
another round


Mamie Pound

“Cullman County July”

black top licks my bicycle tires,
burns my feet

cicadas buzz like five-eyed winding clocks,
timers for kudzu giants
playing red light-green light,
only moving in the dark

in the carport,
there’s a rainbow in the oil puddle
and a deep freeze
with snow
and grape popsicles

just dug potatoes piled in the corner
still wear the red dirt
that gave them life