Poetry Friday: “Jack’s Lament”

This post was originally published almost exactly 5 years ago, on Oct. 17, 2014. I’m in the process of working on two picture book manuscripts – one brand-new and one a significant revision – all while polishing poems for an upcoming anthology AND trying to get my childhood home ready to sell, now that my folks are in a nursing home. (Whew!) So time has been at a premium lately. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past!

And oh, by the way… CYBILS Awards nominations are open! I’m very excited to once again be a first-round judge for the Poetry category and have already begun sorting through some of the nominated books to see which ones I’ve read and which are new to me. There are a number of different categories, so please click the link and nominate your favorite children’s books of this past year!


poetryfridaybutton-fulllI admit it, I’ve been on a zeno binge.

The zeno is a new poetic form created by former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis, and if you have not heard about it, you can find all the details about how it was created at poet/author Michelle H. Barnes’ blog – in fact, she’s hosting Poetry Friday today!

You can see the zeno I wrote for last week’s Poetry Friday post HERE. As for today’s offering…

Jacks Lament (image)
(click to enlarge)

Catherine Flynn is hosting today’s Poetry Friday roundup, so head on over to her blog, Reading to the Core, where she is “re-making the world!”


Ordering personalized signed copies online?
Oh, yes, you can!


You can purchase personalized signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018), and nearly ALL of the books or anthologies I’ve been part of!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH a note requesting the signature and to whom I should make it out to. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it for you, and then they’ll ship it. Try doing that with those big online booksellers! (Plus, you’ll be helping to support local book-selling – and wouldn’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!


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34 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Jack’s Lament”

  1. Matt, I see you had fun with your Halloween zeno. I enjoyed Jack’s Lament. The photo got me in the mood. I also played with a pumpkin photo turned into a graphic with a five-word ditty. I am looking forward to seeing how you “find fall” this season.


    1. Thank you! It’s easier if you break it down a bit: the 1st line is 4 beats / 4 beats, then 4/2/1 from there…which is not too dissimilar to iambic (or in this case, trochaic) tetrameter.


    1. Yes! Someone picked up on that! Ha, thanks for noticing, Laura – I initially wasn’t going to write that line quite that way, but then thought the internal rhyme might work. Glad you thought so!


  2. laurashovan222

    Fun poem! Even though we’re still in boxes from our move, you can be sure I found the Halloween decorations. Good luck with the house sale, Matt.


  3. A Hallozeno poem from the past that goes all the way back to 2014. Thanks for joining me each year at my galleries, Matt. Both your zenos are lovely but this one is pure fun because it adds personification. It’s time to send me a fallish image poem for my Abundant Autumn Gallery.


  4. I love the title and the photo/Zeno combo. Poor Jack! I did enjoy seeing things from his point of view though! I’ve been writing quite a few Zenos recently–many of which have died grisly deaths. Good luck with all you have on your plate!


  5. Linda Mitchell

    Ha! I love it…did you see our string of xenos last week? Likely not considering your schedule. But, a bunch of us wrote xenos and it was fun. That one syllable rhyme is tough!


    1. Hi, Linda – I don’t think I did see that post! I’ve been terribly neglect in visiting my Poetry Friday fiends’ posts these last few months. Between my writing projects and my parents’ place and the kids, I barely have time to blink!


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