Under the Lamppost - The FFS

 Tanka Tuesday No. 264

Create Your Own Syllabic Form 

"Create Your Own Syllabic Poetry Form & Teach Us How to Write the Form"

Oh, boy, Colleen!  This one was the most stressful, and I think I had it easy since I hauled out something I worked on a few years ago and never posted.  It was a possible U for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.  I recalled it was fairly syllabic, and found that nearly each line was 5/4/6.  So, I worked on those lines that needed work, pleasantly discovered (after missing the "inspired by..." part of the rules) that I could attribute my inspiration to another poem!  After the fact.  Oops.  You know what the hardest part of this challenge was?  Giving "my" form a name!   I guess that is pretty obvious!

Also, note that I did search for a named form with the syllable count of 5/4/6, and found none.  I also added a rhyme pattern. 

Inspired by The Snow Man by Wallace Stevens (one of my favorites if only for Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird), consisting of tercets.  Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird includes three tercets as well.

The FFS (for Five/Four/Six)

  • any even number of tercets, paired
  • the end word in the last line of each pair of tercets rhyme, a different rhyme for each pair of tercets
  • that is, rhyme pattern of  



       and so on
  • punctuation optional
  • title optional


under the lamppost

meet me, I said

we’ve alibis to make


I'm under the gun

somebody told

they know my name’s a fake


I’m underwater

I’m sinking fast

I’m pretty well undone


I take all the blame

to you alone,

but now I've got to run


I’ll be under wraps

'til this dies down

a year, no less, at least


I have been under

their watchful eyes

I'm judged to be a beast


under the table

or so I thought

now under watchful eye


be understanding

I’m overwhelmed

but not so that I’d lie


my sources ran dry

something went wrong

my plans have sprung a leak


pretend you’ve moved

asleep in bed

when asked, we never speak


I now have to go

deep underground

until the coast is clear


I have to hurry

under the gun

take this from me, my dear

©2022 Lisa Smith Nelson. All Rights Reserved

#tankatuesday #syllabicpoetry #theversesmith #FFSpoetryform #tankatuesdayno.264 




  1. That was brilliant, Lisa! I love the rhythm this created. Well done! :-)

  2. Superb Yes, Gosh so lovely. thanks

    1. Thank you so much for saying so! It's a bit of a silly thing.

  3. Thank you. I haven't had anyone mention flickering? Just what happens?

  4. I loved the rhythm and rhyme and how all elements of the poem worked so well together. Very creative!

  5. I also found this stressful, Lisa! There's something really appealing to me about how it's written in potentially limitless numbers of paired stanzas - that's something I don't believe I've come across before...

    -David [ben Alexander]


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