“Breaths” / “Despair”

An anagrammatic poem, next in line as I work my way through Robert Lee Brewer’s list of 100 poetic forms, is one that uses only letters found in the poem’s title. I’d never written one before, and it’s been an interesting exercise in letter limitations.

I found that one-liners are easy and fun…

Brave: a verb
Silent: Listen! Stillness.
Morsel: Some--more (less so) or less (more so)

That breaths offers more word choices, but the only poem I could really breathe life into is depressing…


She breathes;
He hears her as she rests.

He hears her heart
Beat at the breast.

Hears her, hates her,
Bares the sheath.

Hates her, stabs her—
“There,” he breathes.

© Stephanie Malley

That despair, far from being a cause for despair, is chock-full of possibilities, especially if you don’t care about ending up with a particularly meaningful or elegant poem.

(a rapid read)

I spied ripe pears; speared a pair.
A spider appeared (I despise spiders),
Passed, disappeared.
Appeased, I pared a pear.
Spider, as I’d dreaded, reappeared.
“Spider, dear,” I said, “speed aside.”
Spider sped.
I praised Spider, raised pear.
Spider dared a reprise, added a spider parade!
Did I despair?
I addressed spiders: “Sirs, disperse!”
Did spiders disperse?
Ired, I spread a paper, readied a spade,
Rapped, pressed, rapped, pressed.
Spiders died, as desired.
Spare a spider?
Spiders are spiders, see?
A dead spider is sad; a ripe pear, paradise.

© Stephanie Malley

Aren’t you glad I didn’t use a photo of a spider for the header? Peace to your ♥ !

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