Circus of Dreams: A Terza Rima Sonnet and Challenge

Circus of Dreams

The circus of dreams where dreamers will go,
If you’re not careful, it will steal your soul.
If you never try, then you’ll never know

If this could have made you finally whole.
You can choose to perform or be a sad clown,
Sit off to the side and long for control,

Or swing the trapeze, not cannonball frown.
When you let go, you don’t know you’ll be caught
But hold your head high and do not look down.

Though stomach will feel like it’s in a knot
To see all the lions that nip and bite
The dreamers that are now leaving distraught –

But if you teach lions to roar with delight,
Then you will know dreams and marvel of flight.

2013 © Sonya Annita Son

The Challenge

Instructions on writing a terza rima sonnet:

  1. There are a total of 14 lines consisting of four 3-line stanzas (tercets) and one rhyming couplet.
  2. The rhyming scheme is aba bcb cdc ded ee.
  3. Commonly written as ten syllables per line (Those Who Judge) or eleven syllables per line. It does not have to be a strict count (which mine no longer has).
  4. Often seen without spaces between for the sake of continuity.

Next I will highlight the patterns.

It’s the circus of dreams where dreamers will go;
If you’re not careful, it will steal your soul.
If you never try, then you’ll never know

If this could have made you finally whole.
You can choose to perform or be a sad clown,
Sit off to the side and long for control,

Or swing the trapeze, not cannonball frown.
When you let go, you don’t know you’ll be caught,
But hold your head high and do not look down.

Though stomach will feel like it’s in a knot
To see all the lions that nip and bite
The dreamers that are now leaving distraught

But if you teach lions to roar with delight,
Then you will know dreams and marvel of flight.

To participate in the challenge, either provide the link in a comment, post it in a comment, or link with a pingback to your post.  Most importantly, have some fun!

As always, your poems will be added to the challenge post along with the links to your blog and poem. If you like what you read, please follow the link in the title and “like” it there too. 🙂
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Write or Die

I write or die; all I have are my words
I search my mind for lines selectively
I present to you my unspoken heard

Lay out words organized impeccably
There are days I can hardly lift my head
My soul relies on creativity

There are days I think I’m better off dead
I need you; only you make me feel right
I can’t tell you, so I write you instead

I need you; for your love, I’ll stand and fight
I know I’m a writer not a fighter
I need you; for your love, I’ll sit and write

The world is dark; words can make it brighter
Write till I die; then be a ghostwriter;

2019 © Nobbinmaug
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God’s Poems

Heed this as we walk amongst ungodly souls
Imprisoned in evil’s stronghold of darkness
May we remember they are ours to console

Let us not fear or turn away in blitheness
Thinking we are better now we are redeemed
Lest we be the ones walking lost and aimless

Love them we must like us they are God’s poem
Fearfully and wonderfully made by Him
To become a broken mess wreaking all mayhem

Although of our Lord these souls have blasphemed
And turned away from our Father who loves them
By grace given us these souls must be esteemed

With heavenly voices like God’s seraphim
In haste let us sing to them Salvation’s hymn.

2013 © awomansaved
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Promise Me

do promise me you will always be there
even when the shadows gather their sheaves
and this dying rustle an expunged air

when the tides pick up their volcanic steam
unleashing fury on this battered shell
do promise me you will never leave me

even when my breathless heart tolls a bell
faint clanging notes of diluted sweetness
whisper of a faraway living well

let me sip of its ever cool freshness
let me drink of the warmth that is your love
oh, shield me from this threatening darkness

as my lids droop and take their final bow
promise me you will stay true to our vows

2013 © Celestine Nudanu
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Keep Faith

Beyond the horizon and to the right
you’ll find my rainbow adorning the sky
hoping your wishes keep it in sight

they say you may find a pot of gold
keep the faith because you never know
and if you dare, just stretch and be bold

This world is not meant for those who are shy;
It is for the courageous and strong
It is for those who always question with, why?

Keep track of rainbows and stars if you can
God made them for us to help keep our faith
the faith deep in your soul no one can ban

Delight in all seasons and all nature brings
You will know He is with you when a Robin sings

2013 © CMelba Christie
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My H∈art Sp∈aks

I have lost the beauty I once could see
A world of solitude engulfs my heart
Since I lost what my soul loved completely

No words can stop our fate to be apart
Someday I know we’ll meet in heaven’s bliss
Yet now I’ve to release love and restart

Too consumed to see there’s a lot I miss
Never let regret stole away the years
Soon these will perish as we share a kiss

I recall the love I felt in for years
That my soul found in life I’ve always seek
In my anguish, alone, I shed cold tears

I’ll find the words in you I cannot speak
And pray life’s despair will not make me weak

2013 © ArVhee
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The Man I Need

Will I marry a man of great beauty,
Aesthetic, prim, with billions of dollars,
Prompted with fame with which to endow me?

Or will I be tied to a quiet man,
Whose mind drinks the world of philosophers,
Bless me with Universe’s phenomenons?

Perhaps with a man with boundless talents,
Who would woo me in life, cunning anon…
Will I? if Fate be so kind? Why not? yet!

I know very well the man that I crave—
A soul who lives his life on what He wills;
If I were to pick one thing for a mate:

I’d pick someone who trusts what He reveals,
Someone of His character— he who kneels.

2013 © Jashaél
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Find a Way

My quest seems to end at the very centre
Of this deeply woven intricate maze,
Disguised, so innocent to enter

I penetrated its heart in a daze
An invisible wand in my hand, raised
Through the fog, mist, the shadowy grey haze

Bruising along the way, my quest unfazed
I reached out and the thin veil gave away
To reveal its truth as my eyes blazed

In such simplicity my answer lay
I was bemused, my quest was over
Now all I had to do was find my way

Back through the maze, fear to overpower
Find my way to you as fireflies hover

2013 © Madhura
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Mirkwood

Stumbling through Mirkwood, dwarves and one hobbit /
grumble coarsely at Gandalf the Greyfriend: /
“Bring us to danger and again you split!” /

“Your powers our mission could well defend, /
but again we are left naked, exposed. /
Your only advice? From the path, don’t bend!” /

Gleaming, sinister green eyes have disclosed /
creeping things that shuffle, scuffle and snort: /
who knows to what mischief they are disposed? /

“When you leave us, with whom do you consort? /
What cold furtive shadows do you pursue /
without granting your fire, our fiends to thwart?” /

Alone in the dark, our travelers stew. /
Ignore Grey counsel and heartaches ensue. //

2013 © Jen Rosenberry
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Summer Heat

T’was hot as though it were a summer’s night!
I tossed and then turned seeking his Lordship Sleep…
Heartless, elusive, though seek him I might.

I was in Morpheus’ valley deep,
When Hades call came for me to come out…
Sweat covered I was no longer asleep!

Once awake there was really little doubt,
African heat has come visiting us.
From flooding we’ll soon feel the autumn draught.

Last week snow and now the desert’s red dust!
Tis true the saying that the weather is king…
And in those nobles you cannot place your trust.

So I’ll hear the blackbirds and sparrows sing!
(Take note: I’ll remove the duvet first thing.)

2013 © Bastet
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My Spirit Brother

It seems I have been tricking myself each day
By surmising both of us are free and clear
Apparently I think, there’s no other way

For us to survive through each and every year
And to arrive at the appropriate place
A million moves to combat the shame and fear

That shadow our dreams, arising from disgrace
Today I find myself all covered in woe
For acceptance now I have given up the chase

I would protect you forever for love, but no
My spirit brother how far you have wandered
You cannot respond now it’s time I let go

Loyal and steadfast, my duty I’ve pondered
Like camels and straw our bond has been squandered.

2013 © Jambo Robyn
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Death’s Door

Once a bud waiting in beams of summer,
Dreaming of the one to bid her open.
Petals closely held and thorns to buffer.

When at long last one came to her garden,
Bursting forth, her fragrance on winds did dance.
Thorns cast aside she began to blossom.

Trusting his sweet words of love and romance,
She saw not his façade begin to fade.
August’s heat revealed all a trick perchance.

Autumn’s chill finds him gone; farewell now bade.
Thorns stand at the ready; shall fail no more.
Life soon over, she wilts as fall’s clouds shade.

His heart as frozen as the winds that roar ~
Was it him or winter that brought death’s door?

2013 © Skye
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A newly discovered sonnet by William ~Snakeswagger

My mistress’ eye is like a currant bun
Though she has problems, she is quite divine
Her bosom is bared, bold out in the sun.

I hope that what his hers is also mine?
My mistress eye looks fine as it is glass
She lost her marbles playing with a fox

She’s good at letting errors whistle past
And mending fuses in that little box.
My mistress dear I gaze upon that breast.

I see her skin is warm and she does sweat.
I too have lusted and I have confessed
But still she gambles and she places bets.

In truth I am as fickle as a weed
but each must act according to his need.

2013 © Katherine
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Cold

How can it be cold, frost nipping the air,
When all of the trees sport leaves in full flame,
Except for those that are already bare?

Those naked trees must be shiv’ring in shame
Amongst all their fashionable brothers.
“We’ve nothing to wear!” they woefully claim.

They would be warm if they had their druthers,
But the autumn wind has left them undressed,
Left to eye the bright frocks of the others.

As the temperature falls, they are distressed,
Crying out their sad plight as they shiver,
“The cold, bitter, wind puts us to the test!”

The sun drops down low, light just a sliver,
While bright leaves float away on the river.

2013 © soberflight
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Death Is Knocking

One day I heard death knocking at my door
And decided that it was not my time,
So to Mister Death I had to ignore
Because I had to finish my last rhyme;
I was in the middle of composing
A poem for someone I admire.
It’s quite rude for him to be imposing,
Forcing time to come down to the wire.
Send him away; I’m not ready to go
To heaven, or hell where there is fire!
When I am finished, Mister Death will know
And he will come knocking for me again,
So I am starting another – or ten –
And will continue to grow until then!

2013 © Lorraine Marie Reguly
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An Observation (and a Terza Rima Sonnet)

Look around the world and see all the sights,
Go hear all the sounds and smell all the smells,
Watch stars go by on the clear summer nights.

Listen to the sounds as the ocean swells,
Listen to the wind blowing through the trees,
Then learn all the lessons that all sound tells.

Smell all the fresh blossoms on the spring breeze,
Smell the smell of dinner on Christmas day,
Then learn to smell all that nobody sees.

Watch when the children come out to play,
Watch the plants as they spring through the ground,
Then learn to see true when others’ sights stray.

Study the world, observe what’s around
Then pay close attention to all that you’ve found.

2013 © Megan E. Eddy
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74 thoughts on “Circus of Dreams: A Terza Rima Sonnet and Challenge

  1. Cubby another poem challenge.
    I shall try and keep the syllable count in ind this time……lol…see how I go

    1. I don’t think the syllable count has to be very strict. I’ve seen ranges anywhere from 8 to 12 syllables in the same poem for this form, so don’t stress over the counting too much! 🙂

  2. Wow i’ve learned something new this evening, terza rima sonnet. The poem is really brilliant.

    1. You are so generous with your kindness. Thank you so much, RV. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  3. I am SO far behind in the challenges! This is an intriguing form, and I like Circus of Dreams, and the God’s Poems by awomansaved. Hopefully my dry spell will end soon…

    1. And I got so excited when I saw a long post from you in my spam box, until I saw it was my deleted post lol. I will keep the deleted poem off the blog for now as I was not very happy with it hehe. I hope inspiration comes to you soon and that the next time I see a long post, it will be in your beautiful writing. 🙂

  4. Oh thank you for sharing this, I’m learning. Actually, never did read guidelines in writing poems, I should and must start now. Thank you for liking my poem cubby. 🙂

    1. It is never too late to start learning something new. 🙂

      1. Right you are. 🙂

    1. I actually preferred yours to mine. The sonnet form really is more suitable for love poetry than for circus poetry lol. 🙂

  5. thanks for the lovely poem about the circus, for the illustration of the form, and for being thoughtful enough to like a few of my humble if fumbling efforts at poetry.

    1. I think most writers feel like fumblers as they try to figure out what they want to say and how they want to say it. The more you fumble, the better you get at fumbling, and the easier it will be to fumble gracefully. 🙂

  6. I love the last two lines, how everything comes together. So so well done…

    1. I’m so glad you thought so. 🙂

  7. Yet another brilliant poem!

    1. Thank you for such generous words. 🙂

  8. Another lovely sonnet! I’m always amazed at your creativity and the ideas you come up with every day for your poems.

    1. After reading some of the entries here, I realize how much better a sonnet works with love poetry, which makes complete sense, but for some reason it made me think of circus. This tells me that I do not have a romantic bone in my body…except when it comes to desserts. 🙂

  9. Ooooh you do like to challenge us. This is a pretty tricky rhyming structure – did you find it hard to work with? I love the end result but wonder if it took a lot of working or flowed?

    1. n.b. it doesn’t feel over laboured which my comment might imply!

      1. The 10-syllable version was much easier for me to write than the 11-syllable one. I found the rhythm trickier with the latter. It doesn’t have to be a strict count though, so you can change up the syllable count if you want. 🙂

        1. I think I’d find 11 hard. 10 feels quite natural (though I seem to naturally work at around 7 or 8. Clearly I’m a simple soul!)

          1. Hehe that doesn’t make you simple 🙂

            1. Oh it’s not JUST that that makes me simple cubby 😉

  10. Well done my faithful Challenger! 😉

  11. Beautifully written a pleasure to read

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  12. Fantastic sonnet, Cubby! The poem itself is a challenge. 😉 And you taught me a word: nary… xD

    1. It’s the first time I used “nary”, but it is a good word. And yes, the poem itself is a challenge hehe. 😉

  13. Great poem and yes, I was one of your e-mail subscribers…love how you put up a challenge and see you’ve already got oodles of responses! Good show indeed! So, now let me get to work and see if I too can do honor to your work!

    1. Yes, people seem to really love a challenge as this was one of the more challenging forms, in my opinion. You do me great honor just by participating in the challenge and showcasing your talent for all of us to appreciate. 🙂

      1. Well, I certainly like your challenges, first of all you don’t just plop it off, but explain how the form works, which is really a great. I’ve probably done a terza rima somewhere along the line, just catagorized it under general sonnet, but this time I actually stopped and looked what I was doing. Thanks ever so much, for the challenge and for your wonderful encouraging feedback.

  14. Reblogged this on Bastet and Sekhmet's Library and commented:
    Cubby of Reowr has put up this lovely Challenge! Have a go at a Terza Rima Sonnet!

  15. Enchanting Cubby! I want tickets 🙂

    1. Every dreamer gets a ticket to go. 🙂

  16. I loved your poems!! I tried too this time! 🙂 Here’s my link:
    http://madmusingz.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/find-a-way-3/

  17. Hi Cubby! So glad you offered this challenge! Here’s my humble entry: http://blogitorloseit.com/2013/10/26/mirkwood-terza-rima-sonnet/ — thanks for the fun and for the excuse to use this photo – which I’ve been hoarding for quite a while!

  18. The perfect circus act has to be the trapeze. Flying through life and wondering if there’s a safety net. Clowns scare the bejaysus out of me. Lovely analogy. x

    1. I agree, clowns are pretty freaky hehe. 🙂

  19. Incredible, once again. You do amaze me. I loved the circus theme. Here is my offering….if I messed up, please feel free to let me know. I checked and double checked, but this one had my brain in knots, too. lol Thank you, Sonya. http://thesanctuaryofmyheart.com/2013/10/26/deaths-door-a-terza-rima-sonnet/

    1. There is no such thing as messing up on a challenge. You did a remarkable job with it. 🙂

  20. I always am amazed with your challenges but I could never attempt them
    .today for the first time I tried and tried and I did get something out of it. Have a look and tell me is it worth it or something just like that…
    http://wordshire.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/terza-rima-sonnet-ill-be-there/

  21. Lorraine Marie Reguly October 30, 2013 — 6:29 am

    LOL I just tried this, and did it in ten minutes. Each line has ten syllables, too. Here it is:

    Death Is Knocking

    One day I heard death knocking at my door
    And decided that it was not my time,
    So to Mister Death I had to ignore
    Because I had to finish my last rhyme;
    I was in the middle of composing
    A poem for someone I admire.
    It’s quite rude for him to be imposing,
    Forcing time to come down to the wire.
    Send him away; I’m not ready to go
    To heaven, or hell where there is fire!
    When I am finished, Mister Death will know
    And he will come knocking for me again,
    So I am starting another – or ten –
    And will continue to grow until then!

    My blog is new, as you know, and is called Poetry Perfected. The main link is http://poetryperfected.wordpress.com

    Thanks for this!

    1. Thank you for such a lovely terza rima sonnet. I apologize for being 5 years late in posting it to the main blog.

    1. I think you did a great job with this form! I find it a very tricky form to work with. Loved your subject matter too. And my sincere apologies for being so late in responding.

      1. Thank you! And I’m so glad to see you active again. I’ve really missed reading your poetry.

        1. Aww, that’s really sweet. I’m happy you are still here. 🙂

  22. lovely lovely poems, but I think my favorite has to be the one by Jashael, The Man I Need…just phenominal! what’s their website called?? would like to check em out!

    1. I am who I am and because I can. Next question. 🙂

      1. Do you like strawberries?

        1. Chocolate-covered, yes.
          Plain, sometimes.
          Glazed/sweetened, no.

          1. Mmm… Chocolate-covered strawberries.
            Compote?

              1. Isn’t that the grossest thing anyone can do with fruit? I hate when I order something with fruit, and they bring compote.

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