Beauty is what I am reaching for
The beauty of the soul
To sing with me
To dance with me
To smile with me
Not just for tonight

Beauty is what I am reaching for
Pretty simple sight
The beauty of true love
To teach me
For my life


By Tilly Rivers

Power of the lance
Lance of pain
To spear your very spirit
Leaving a hole of misery
Missing you beyond measure
Missing you beyond earthly understanding
Loving you still
Even though you’re gone

Power of the javelin
Javelin of agony
Impaling your very strength of mind
An ache of suffering
Missing you further than life
Missing you past mortal comprehension
Loving you still
Even though you’re gone

Thought I was threw the fog of pain
Power of the lance was gone
Thought I could remember you with a smile
Remember the love
Thought I could be me again
Loving life as you taught me
Thought I was over the hurt
Filling it with good memories of us

Power of the lance
Came out to grab me
Stabbing my spirit
Gorge my heart
As this the anniversary of your death
The day you were stolen from me
Loving you so much
Forever alive in me

I love you
The call has not gone
I love you
Beyond this world
To the call above
The power of the lance
Loving you so much
Even though you’re gone


Are you a ghost?
Someone I have made up in my mind
Do I love you ? Do you love me?
I suppose we will never know
I reach out and you are not there
You reach out I am a wisp of air
Maybe I am the ghost
For I can not seem to find me
And I certainly can not seem to find you
Why have our paths and hearts crossed?
Or did they cross at all?
Are you a ghost?
No- it must be real
For ghosts can be seen more often
Only reality is so painful, cold and silent
Invisible lines of hurt
Ghosts I do not fear
This silence I can not bear


We can all dwell on what we conceive to be as unfair in life.
Let the power of that misery eat and absorb who we are until we no longer, feel or even resemble the person we were once.
We can all sit and let that anger that bitterness of why me, filter into every pore, every fiber of us until we are comforted in our misery, in our pain.
Until we are justified within ourselves to feel the way we do.
Until we no longer see anything, or any one without first seeing the ugliness.
Anger, sadness, negative emotions and thoughts will never get me what and where I want, but following my own path will.
Challenges lead to positive results
I have learned that by nurturing love and it will nurture me
I believe that if you behave in the goodness of the universal energy and treat those around me with sincerity and kindness my path will be marked with the success of what is right.
I will NOT be taken down a path that does not belong to me
How easy is it to give up? To give in?
To let the negative parts of life win
Why do we let fear eat us alive until we no longer become who and what we are?

Poetry Teachings

Poetry for some seems to be a writing style that is confusing. Old world poets and critics are caught in formulas and do not understand passion. The world of words has changed, and there really is no such thing as a mistake in poetry. The most modern form, which is read the most is “Free Verse” where the emotion behind the message is what is most important and captures the readers within the folds of the verse. Another popular style of poetry is dark or gothic poetry in which the subject matter is a little ‘off kilter.”

Popular among the teenage readers is what has been referred to as “ghetto” poetry. This poetry has a rough edge and delivers messages related to drugs, the homeless and the darker side of street living.

Modern poetry or “Free Verse” is what most publishers look for. From poetry magazines, both traditional paper print versions to online venues. That being said however, I encourage poets to try all forms of poetry, if for no other reason than the challenge and joy of learning a new skill. Other publishers are poetry style or theme specific, as always before approaching any publisher, from traditional to online- research what styles are most popular. This is easily done by reading what has been published in the past.

Below is a list of Poetry types, and a brief description, this is not a complete list of all poetry types, just my personal favorites.

ACROSTIC--Acrostic poetry is created from a single word. Each letter begins a line. The sentiment of the poem usually defines the word. Any syllable count or rhyme scheme can be used.

BLANK VERSE--Unrhymed verse written in lines of matching length in regular feet. Can be written in tetrameter, pentameter, hexameter, etc, and in any traditional form: sonnet, villanelle, and so on. May be written in any meter as long as there are no end rhymes. Most often found in ten syllable lines, usually in iambic pentameter. Loosely put BLANK VERSE is a non-rhyming poem written in a standard or traditional poetry form.

CINQKU (en trio)-- CINQKU is a western version of haiku wherein there is a strict syllable count (2,3,4,6,2) making 17 syllables on 5 lines. It generally is given no title, no meter, and is free in diction and syntax.

CINQUAIN is a formal type of poetry consisting of one five line stanza. Purists follow this guideline: The first line is usually one word, a noun. The second line is two words where the noun is described. Third line is three words consisting of action. The fourth line is four words evoking feelings, and the fifth line is a noun, usually another word for the first noun
COUPLETS--A couplet consists of two lines of poetry. Sometimes they rhyme with one another. Other times, they are connected to one or more couplets wherein a rhyme scheme emerges. And sometimes, there is no obvious rhyme scheme. In that case, the poet should remember to count the syllables in the line, or add internal rhyme and alliteration. Couplets can be in tetrameter (eight syllable lines), or rhyming couplets without metered line count.
DIMETRIC RIDDLE--Dimeter is a line of poetry with two feet. Each foot has two syllables. little poems that have three lines in a single stanza qualify as a tercet, and if each line rhymes, it is technically, also, a triplet.

DORSIMBRA--Dorsimbra poetry is made up of three quatrains. The first and twelfth lines are the same. Generally, the first quatrain is Sicilian—four lines iambic pentameter rhymed abab. The second quatrain is snappy free verse. The third quatrain is blank verse—unrhymed iambic pentameter. The best ones use enjambment, internal rhymes, and slant rhymes to bind the three stanzas.
FORM POETRY refers to any organized and defined, or formal piece of poetry that fits a specific set of guidelines. There are innumerous forms of poetry. These are generally referred to as TRADITIONAL POETRY. Fixed form poetry. Nineteen lines of any length divided into six stanzas: five tercets (aba) or triplets, and a final quatrain. As noted, the first and third lines of the initial tercet rhyme. These rhymes are repeated in each subsequent tercet and in the last two lines of the quatrain (abaa). Line one appears in its entirety as lines 6, 12, and 18. Line three reappears as lines 9, 15, and 19

FREE VERSE--Award-winning free verse contains imagery and emotion. This is not motivated by formula but passion. FREE VERSE is any poetry that does not conform to a set poetry form.

HAIKU--Most haiku are written in three lines with seventeen syllables: 5, 7, 5. They can be written in two lines, or in a lesser syllable count. Usually the top two lines flow together, and are indirectly related to the last line. Topic always includes nature. Rhyme is avoided. No title is required, but are sometimes added for publication or contesting purposes. HAIKU is a Japanese form of poetry consisting, most often, in three lines with 17 syllable counts of 5-7-5. A “ku” should not be a run-on sentence. It should have a noticeable break of syntax. Haiku is always about nature. Good haiku will give an insight or vision of the poet’s feelings about that which is depicted.

LIMERICK--A five-line poem, the limerick has a rhyme pattern of aabba. They are supposed to be humorous and bawdy, with the last line delivering a kick.

LIST POETRY-- List poetry is similar to found poetry. It, of course, must contain a list of some kind. You can set your own rhythm, and make it rhyme, if you want. Rhyme and meter are not required. The key to this form is creating a rhythm or lyrical quality. Stanzas can be of any length, and varied.

SENRYU--Senryu follows the same guidelines as haiku (three lines, 5,7,5 syllable structure), except the topic is human nature. SENRYU is a Japanese form of poetry consisting, like Haiku, in a set-up (usually) of three lines with a syllabic content of 5-7-5. It is always about human nature and the last line should be quirky, insightful, humorous or satirical.

SONNETS--Modern sonnets use contemporary language and subject matter. They consist of fourteen lines, three stanzas of four lines, and a couplet at the end. The type of sonnet depends on the rhyme scheme, whether or not each line contains iambs, and the line syllable count. Traditionally, the subjects of sonnets included romance, life, death, and faith, and exhibit emotions like torment or joy. The language was more stilted, too. Sonnets can be written on any subject and include humor and/or fantasy.

RHYMING POETRY—Rhyming poetry is a poet’s license to create their own rhyme scheme and syllables. RHYME is when two words sound alike. EXTERNAL RHYME refers to the ending words in each line of a rhyming poem. INTERNAL RHYME refers to the use of rhyming words within a piece of poetry, that doesn’t fall at the end of the line breaks. RHYMING POETRY is any piece that follows one of any number of rhyme schemes, patterns, or forms. SLANT RHYME refers to two words that sound similar. Slam/slim, Kit/Kat, and Lid/Led are examples of slant rhymes.

Rondeau-- is a French style of poetry based on the rondel (round). Standard form consists of fifteen lines in three stanzas. The first stanza is a quintet (five lines, aabba). The second stanza is a quatrain (four lines, aab, plus refrain R—which is the first half the first sentence of the first stanza). The third stanza is a sestet (6 lines rhyming aabb plus refrain R).

TANKA--Thirty-one syllables in five lines: 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. Better tanka, like all good poetry, evokes emotion. The best poetry also brings a physical image alive or titillates one or more of your senses.

TERCET--Three lines in a stanza create a tercet.

VIGNETTE POETRY--Relay a short moment in time with visual and emotional impact. Rhyme and specific meter are not required. Alliteration and internal rhyme are virtual necessities. VIGNETTE is a narrative poetry that illustrates a moment in time. It can be written in any traditional form or free verse.

VILLANELLE-- is a traditional form of poetry. Nineteen lines of any length divided into six stanzas: five tercets (aba) or triplets, and a final quatrain. As noted, the first and third lines of the initial tercet rhyme. These rhymes are repeated in each subsequent tercet and in the last two lines of the quatrain (abaa). Line one appears in its entirety as lines 6, 12, and 18. Line three reappears as lines 9, 15, and 19.

Short Glossary-

ALLITERATION generally refers to the repetition of sounds. This is what gives a poem a lyrical or musical quality.
ASSONANCE is a form of alliteration where vowel sounds are repeated.
CAESURA simply means “a break”—either a pause or interruption of breathing within a line of verse.
CONSONANCE is a form of alliteration where consonant sounds are repeated.
COUPLETS are generally ten syllable lines, grouped in two. They can, however, be two lines of any length that are grouped together.
CRYSTALLINE is a western sub-form of haiku wherein the seventeen syllables are broken into a couplet (two lines). Placement in the two lines may vary.
DIMETER is a four syllable line of poetry, said to have two feet. Each foot has two syllables.
ENJAMBMENT refers to a sentence or thought that carries through from one line to another.
FOUND poetry uses the technique of listing things that are found close to one another. Arranged in a poetic way, they can create a lyrical picture.
FOOT refers to two syllables. Pentameter, for example, is a line with ten syllables, or five feet.
IMAGERY is the term used when a picture is brought to mind by descriptive words.
LAMB is a commonly used poetic term. Put simply, it is a foot (two syllables) that have the accent on the second syllable. The opposite, where the accent is on the first syllable is a trochaic foot
NOIR haiku generally consists of subject matter not traditionally contained within formal haiku or senryu.

All of You

All of You
By Tilly Rivers

I love you
All of you
Every imperfection that you dwell upon
Every mark, blemish, nook and cranny of who you are
You’re sexy eyes
Soft chest hair
Husky voice that gives me shivers
Your smile
I love you
All of you
The hair on your back that you insist is ugly
What you view as too much tummy
Cutest ass
Clever whit
When you challenge my mind
Your brilliance
I love you
All of you
The dark side that you try so hard to hide
How I wish you would channel that sexually
Let go
Be you
Discover play
I would do anything with you
I love you
All of you
Not for only second-forever
Even in the pain, in the bad
My love is strong
I love you
All of you
I need you
Want you
With all that I am

Velvet Sky

Velvet Sky
By Tilly Rivers

Baby flower
New born bud
Waiting for the sun
Magic essence filling me
I know you are there
Beyond the dark velvet sky
Waiting for you my sun
Ever so slowly
Clicks of the clock
Each star keeps count
I know you are there
Beyond the dark velvet sky
You will come
Stay, I pray
Please, this time. Stay a little longer
I feel you even if I can not see you yet
Finger of light caressing me
Warm love
My petals open
Drinking in your glow
Filling me with smiles
Why will you go?
Stay, please
Do not send me back
Back to the dark velvet sky
I know you will be back
To fill me again
Clicks of the clock
While I sit in the dark velvet sky


Poetry-Open Mike Night

When: May 16 2008
What: Read your poetry ‘on air’ on the Features Radio Program hosted by Tilly Rivers
Time: Begins at 11 PM EST
Call in number: 718-664-6449

Details: In order to give as many people as possible a chance to read their poetry on air, we have limited the reading to ONE poem per person. You are welcome to tell everyone what your website and / or contact information is- and a small introduction--your name and location- please send listeners to your website or other contact info for a complete bio.

Be sure to spread the word—this is “open” which means new or veteran poets are welcome- and of course after the show, you can download a copy to promote your writing!

I’m So Not Ready
By Tilly Rivers

I’m so not ready to say good bye Dad
Not this good bye
The one that lasts forever
So if you don’t mind
I think I’ll just say we will see each other again one day
Not sure of the times
But it doesn’t matter
I know you’ll be there
You always have been before

I’m so not ready to say I love you for the last time
Not the last time Dad
So if you don’t mind
I think I’ll just say it over and over
Each night
Each day
Because I know you’re whispering it to me

I’m so not ready to face the world without you
Not like this Dad
I still need you
So if you don’t mind
I think I’ll just talk to you whenever I need to
Like we use too

I’m so not ready for you to leave Dad
Please don’t leave me
I know I’m all grown up now
But right now Dad
I’m still just your baby girl
So if you don’t mind
I think I’ll just keep you
Deep in my heart

I’m so not ready Dad
I can’t let go
So if your don’t mind
I think I will close my eyes and pretend your still here

I love so much
Forever your baby girl

Feel Around the Fringes
By Tilly Rivers

A need to feel around the fringes-Test the edges
Never stifle innovation-Stay in the moment
Become aware of myself-My options-My Strengths
Time to learn how to react-Circumstances that can not be changed
Time to learn how to act-In a positive way-To what can be changed
To love me-To love life-Except others have faults
Will disappoint me-Fail to live up to the mark-I have placed upon them
Learn life is about imperfection-Not perfection-For it is the mars and dents
That make us who we are-It is the weaknesses not the strengths-That become opportunities
Learning channels-A need to feel around the fringes
Discover a new-Truth around us-Hidden treasures

A Mothers Song
By Tilly Rivers

Who will write a mothers song?
The sweetest melody
Who will spin the words?

Who will put the laughter in the tune?
Or the ache of her arms wishing for a child long grown
Who will be able to express the pride?

Who will know the pain inside?
When a child cries
When they write a mothers song

Who knows the depth?
Could possibly explain
The love from a child’s cuddle

Who will write a mothers song?
The sweetest melody
Reflecting the simple joys

Who will find the musical notes?
That would match a child’s eyes
A song that will fly

Who will write a mother’s song?
Who could possibly master the over whelming love, worry, pain, and joy
A song that lifts and heals the soul

Eyes By Tilly

By Tilly Rivers

Laying in bed
Eyes wide
Thinking of you
Why aren’t you at my side?
Thoughts turn to fantasy
Skin tingles with awakening
Eyes foggy in ecstasy
Why aren’t you at my side?
My mind pretends
My touch is yours
My moan is repeated
Only craving more
Hollow touches, alone
Why aren’t you at my side?
Eyes closed
Body tingling in want
Thoughts turning to haunted desire
Wanting you so much
Why aren’t you at my side?
Need builds
My hands pleasures
Soft gasps
Heavy breaths
The night steals my voice
As I beg
I need you at my side
Laying in my bed
Eyes pools of sadness
Hollow touches
Wanting what is not mine
Roll over to my side
Closing my eyes to the darkness

Standing In Place
By Tilly Rivers

I am standing in the place
You have put me here
Frozen in time
With no sunshine nor cold winds
There is nothing but the fog of confusion
I am waiting not sure what to do

I was floating in the love
Of what was us
Did not see that you could love to much
I was foolish not to see the rules
Nor see the out stretched hand
A line I was not to cross

I am standing in the place
You have put me
Wondering how I did not know
That there were rules that were silent, invisible
Places I was not allowed to go
I am waiting not sure what to do

I was floating in the love
Of what was us
I had no idea that it was wrong
That I was not paying attention
To the arm stretched out for protection

I never knew you were not suppose to love so much
I never knew there where silent rules
I didn’t think you could ever care too much
I was wrong, and here I stand in the place
Where you put me
Now you do not want me here either

What am I to do?
The rules have changed again
I am watching, trying to learn
Not knowing where to turn
I have come to find the answer
The answer is you

I am standing in the place
Where you have put me
If you want me to move
Than instead of putting out your arm
Holding me away
It is up to you to pull me in

Breathe In the Sensations
By Tilly Rivers

Breathe in the sensations--of gratitude
Discover the consciousness--of self-assurance
Feel the beauty--of smoothness
Know the touch--of gentleness
Laugh with a--playful heart
Breathe in the sensations--of better awareness
Discover the ability--to be enhanced
Feel the empowerment --of being inspired
Express amusement--with laughter

Breath in life’s energy--Love
Gain insight into acceptance and surrender
Open to the adaptive and receptive qualities of life
That of pure energy --Freedom
Trust in loves natural folds
Be present moment to moment
In your life--breathe in the sensations

Photo: Copyright 2008-Tilly Rivers