Posts Tagged ‘ImproVerse Poetry’

Shocked Blonde And Dancing Daughters: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Sonnet

January 12, 2014

She danced with her daughters/
who had glasses like mine./
We all looked divine/
as we chugged bottled water.

We rocked to music nobody knew,/
But we all had fun,/
From me old, to them young,/
Groovin’ on ballads and classic with some Krew.

She and her daughters were all eclectic,/
With shocked hair white,/
and spangled bands shining bright,/
Moving to beats electric.

And I promised I’d write her a poem;/
A Sonnet about being a poet alone,/

(But this ain’t it.)


What Mothers Don’t Know: Revolutionary ImproVerse Free Verse Poem

May 12, 2013

A friend inadvertently spoke/created a poem for her grandkids. (You can read it here.) That typical “not knowing”, on Mother’s Day, inspired this piece. Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers who, like her, don’t know.

Like a typical mother,
She’d influenced lives
(she didn’t know);
She’d spread joy
(she didn’t know);
She’d written poetic words of wisdom
(she didn’t know);
She’d taught self-esteem and
charity-pure love and
(she didn’t know).

She’d nourished,
and comforted,
and guided,
and protected,
and grown,
and fostered,
and healed,
and helped,
and blessed
(she didn’t know).

Like mothers everywhere
and in every time,
she didn’t know
what she’d done,
and what she was doing,

And people would look
at what she did,
and exclaim:
“How could she not know?!?”
The answer is simple:
Mothers don’t need to know.
They just do.

And she still won’t know
you tell her.

My Words Grow From Your Silence: Romantic ImproVerse Free Verse Lament

May 11, 2013

I can’t call you,/
text you,/
or write you,/
so I compose/
of poems/
about you./

That has to/
when I don’t hear/
from you.

Overcoming Lonely: Romantic ImproVerse Free Verse Lament

March 24, 2013

instead of bemoaning
the fact
she won’t call,
I should prepare myself
for someone who will
reach out.

instead of worrying
why I’m not
good enough,
I should make myself
for someone who is
not only awesome,
but who believes
that I am

Because even though
I am,
I can be
more so.

And when I am
at THAT level,
it won’t matter
what I was
will it matter
how lonely I felt.

And as God is my witness,
I will never be lonely again!

How We Served Memories: Revolutionary ImproVerse Free Verse Poem

February 24, 2013

Of course she remembers
me never serving.
Of course she recalls
I left quickly from every activity,
from every meeting,
from every event.
Of course she recollects
I said “Let’s just go home.”

And of course my children remember
completely the opposite.
They recall that we stayed,
and cleaned up,
and helped put things away,
and talked to everyone,
and were frequently
among the last to leave.

Because when she,
in pain,
was with us,
my sole desire,
knowing of her pain
and her discomfort,
was to get her home
as quickly as possible;
to get her relaxed
and rested;
to serve her
the best way I knew how.

But when she wasn’t with us,
then my desire was to stay
with my children and
my friends and neighbors,
and serve,
and teach my children to serve.

So both my children’s memories
and her recollections
of how we served,
or didn’t,
are correct.

I do not have to justify
my actions
as I raised my children.
I feel vindicated,
and absolved.

I did the best
I knew how.
I know it.
My children know it.
And I know He knows it,
because He just told me.

Inventing A New Poetry Form: ImproVerse Poetry

September 6, 2012

Modern technology allows (and sometimes forces) new styles of creativity in the written word. Previously, readers of this blog have been introduced to IMprov poetry (where the writing happens spontaneously during an Instant Messaging, or IM, chat session), and ConTEXTing poetry, where the writing occures within the 160 character limits of a phone text message.

Recent advances in cell phone voice recognition technology have lead to the discovery of a new poetry form:
ImproVerse Poetry.

Simply put, ImproVerse poetry is when the poet creates either an instant message or an email and, using the dictation function on the cell phone, speaks (improvs) a poem into the phone and sends it without editing. The rules for this form follow both the rules for IMprov poetry, in that the integrity of the rough idea of the verse needs to remain intact (thus the “Improv” part), and ConTEXTing poetry, in that the number of characters should not exceed the 160 character limits of a text message. (Although modern advances in cell phone technology do allow for more characters, the messages will still split. In order to maintain the look/feel of one piece, the writer should self-enforce those limits).

However, if the writer decides to create a longer piece, (a sonnet, or even free verse, for example) that exceeds those cell phone character limits, ImproVerse does allow for that choice. The main guiding factor behind the ImproVerse style is the ability to create and compose in an improvisational style, with minimum rework in the published piece.

It is important to note that ImproVerse DOES allow for some editing to take place. This can be for one of two reasons:
1) The editing helps the ImproVerse fit into some other form or style. For example, I may have thought I ImproVersed a haiku (5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables), only to discover that my last line had 6 syllables. The rules of ImproVerse allow me to correct that error.
2) More importantly, editing may happen because of technology errors. The dictation function on most cell phones (especially, Android users are quick to point out, on iPhones!) does not always capture the meaning. IF the writer can figure out what they meant in the first place, they are allowed to make those corrections to reflect the original meaning.

To show both forms of editing, for example, an ImproVerse I sent that says:
When you have a red top you could wave at the V formation of keys and hope they don’t Bottomview was edited both by shortening it AND by correcting the dictation errors, to read:

Having a ragtop/
lets you wave at the geese V,/
hoping they don’t bomb.

(I did some additional editing and created an even better haiku; you can see both here at

Hopefully, using technology to think creatively and capture creative thoughts will encourage more people to observe, think, capture and share their thoughts in a meaningful, creative and thought-provoking way to benefit us all.