Paint it White

My love and I will build a picket fence,
private wooden gate beset blindfolding.
Protect affection, shelter from laments.

Fortress round our union guard withholding,
enclose impassioned days without regret.
Laughter lightened breath as night’s unfolding,
slow-dance in moonlight’s linen silhouette.

Shut the world away fear not invited;
our bodies join in silent pirouette,
fenced in rapture’s solitude united.


The form is a Stress Matrix Stanza/Dectet (aka Stress Checkerboard Stanza/Dectet) invented by Luke Prater. 

10 lines, 10 syllables per line.

 a-B-a | B-c-B-c | D-c-D

 Lowercase are iambic pentameter and uppercase are trochaic pentameter – they alternate the whole way, giving a perfect ‘checkerboard’ of stressed and unstressed syllables, ten lines down x ten syllables across (=100 syllables completely evenly distributed and the rhyme scheme also utterly even/symmetrical mathematically).

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16 Responses to Paint it White

  1. brian says:

    silent pirouette…keep dancing together and doing the things needed to protect that…cool write…

  2. Becky Kilsby says:

    Beautiful union of theme and form Christi.. the dance is clean and clear through words and meter. Great inspiration to try this form of Luke’s…

    Crystal language choice throughout, but this my favourite:

    slow-dance in moonlight’s linen silhouette.

    • Christi Moon says:

      thanks Becky! This was my first attempt at writing this form. Looking back at it now, I see room for improvement… maybe I will revise it a tad. At the time, I popped quite a bit of Advil and chewed quite a few tums (and there may have been swearing) over the constant shifting of the meter. Very rewarding in the end. You should give this form a try Becky! xC.

  3. wolfsrosebud says:

    Nice… do like the fence around any relationship. Better safe than sorry.

    • Christi Moon says:

      Wolfrosebud– just a virtual fence of course, but it would be nice at times to have a 10 foot high fence (and maybe a moat) to keep the rest of the world outside!

  4. Pat Hatt says:

    Protection from the world around, who knew a picket fence could do so much, nice!

  5. Steve King says:

    Very nice union of idea and form. I like very much your economy. You’ve created a lovely series of pictures here that work together.

    • Christi Moon says:

      thanks Steven– this was my first attempt at Luke’s Prater’s Stress Matrix Dectet form. The first one proved to be quite the mind-bender switching between trochaic and iambic lines! Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. hedgewitch says:

    Inventive and unique rhymes–linen silhouette just leaps off the page–and a lovely balanced, unforced feel make for a fine poem.

  7. Ann LeFlore says:

    Wow this is amazing and so well done. I can not write using this concept I love the ideas of the fence being there to hold and protect the relationship

  8. Gene says:

    Love the closeness of this, the small world of just the two, safe and secure.

  9. Luke Prater says:

    Excellent stresser! I remember it well. What a meter-maid it made of you

  10. John Richter says:

    Ooooh what a challenging, incredibly difficult form and the result it is so beautiful…… I thought I was reading a love story….. but instead I was actually viewing a masterful piece of artwork! Amazing……..

  11. ayala says:

    simply beautiful!!!!!!!

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