Poetry Friday: Have you “tried a Tricube?” The Roundup is here!

It’s been a long time since I’ve hosted the Poetry Friday roundup, so I’m very excited to see everyone’s posts today!

Over the past couple of years, my children’s writing career has taken off (4 books out, and 8 more are under contract) – and with suddenly having to homeschool my two young kids due to Covid, I’ve not had nearly the amount of time I used to; hence, I’m unable to visit everyone’s posts as regularly as I used to. So my apologies!

It’s been an especially busy year so far, with two books already out. My first board book, Elliot, the Heart-Shaped Frog (Rainstorm Publishing), was published near the end of January. Once Upon Another Time (Beaming Books), co-authored with my friend Charles “Father Goose” Ghigna, which ALA’s Booklist has called “a necessary addition to picture book collections,” hit bookstores March 2.

(By the way, if you happen to have read any of my books and enjoyed them, I hope you’ll consider leaving a brief review on either Amazon or Goodreads – even just two simple sentences can be a HUGE help in increasing sales for authors and illustrators.)

But launching those was just the beginning! I’m working on revisions to another new PB from Beaming Books, scheduled for next year; I’m gearing up for a big poetry project also due out next year; I’m making plans for the launch of my next picture book, I Am Today (POW! Kids Books), which comes out this fall; AND I’ve been asked to present a writing workshop at Lit Youngstown’s 5th Annual Fall Literary Festival in Youngstown, Ohio, Oct. 7-9!

Did I mention I’m homeschooling two kids?

So you can see why time is at a premium for me these days. But I’m genuinely excited about hosting Poetry Friday today because I get to share a bunch of poetry from my readers and followers!

I first shared the Tricube form, created by author/poet Phillip Larrea, a couple of weeks ago in a post that apparently stirred a great deal of inspiration. (You can check out that post HERE) People from all over were trying out this poetic form – emailing me, posting on my Facebook page, sharing on Twitter, and even posting tricubes on their own blogs!

So I figured the logical thing to do for today’s post was to share their work here, for everyone to see!

The tricube is fairly simple in structure, as it is based on mathematics: there are 3 syllables per line, 3 lines per stanza, and 3 stanzas per poem. (multiply a number by itself three times = cubed!) Unlike math, however, a tricube is greater than the sum of its parts, as word economy is paramount, much like haiku, senryu, and tanka.

Hope you enjoy these!



Summer comes,
Blooms explode, 
Sunshine warms.

Summer’s here,
Days are hot,
Insects zoom.

Summer stays!
Sticky heat,
Humid time!

– Tonnye Fletcher


Writing Life

Writing days,
Reading nights,
Hopeful life.

Morning reads,
Coffee mugs
Start days right.

In my bed,
Day is done.

– Tonnye Fletcher





On one hand
there is joy,

the other,

Do I, then,
lead myself –
or be led?

– F. E.



And yes…even I had to write another one!

Night Spring

moon shadows
touch lightly
tender earth

gauzy clouds
quick, supple
caress sky

pond dwellers
loud and shrill
sing their souls

– Matt Forrest Esenwine


Many other folks have shared the tricubes they’ve written on their own blogs, including Buffy Silverman’s poem, “Flotilla,” Alana DeVito’s “Sunrise,” Carol Varsalona’s two springtime tricubes, Carol Wilcox’s two poems about a service dog she’s raising, and Linda Baie’s poem about me teaching my kids poetry…wow, thank you, Linda! I’m quite honored.

I hope you like these, and I hope you’ll try one of your own! (If you do, please email it to me and I might share it here)

And since it’s Poetry Friday, leave your links below in the comments and I’ll round them up Old School-style throughout the day!

  • First up is Buffy Silverman, who has been enjoying watching the Canada geese that have returned to her lake – and which inspired her to “try” a tricube!
  • Linda Baie also “tries” her hand at a tricube at Teacher Dance, along with a spring haiku!
  • Kids & springtime inspired Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link to write several different poems using three different forms: a fibonacci, equation poem, and yes, TWO tricubes!
  • It’s autumn in Australia, and Sally Murphy is sharing a couple of beautiful poems about Autumn Rain.
  • My friend David Harrison is celebrating a little early good news about his next poetry collection, The Dirt Book (Holiday House, which comes out in early June.
  • Robyn Hood Black’s month-long series about dewdrop haiku by Issa comes to a close with poems on Buddhism and the impermanance of life.
  • At Salt City Verse, Janice Scully offers a couple of clerihews celebrating our president and vice president.
  • Since today is the last day of April, that means it’s the last day of the annual Progresssive Poem, which Michelle Kogan has the honor of concluding! She also shares an original poem in the style of poet Linda Hogan’s poem, “Innocence.”
  • We get two poems from Tricia Stohr-Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect: her final found poem for April (about seashells) as well as her own response to the challenge of writing in the style of Hogan’s “Innocence.”
  • Not to be outdone, Sara Lewis Holmes takes on her Poetry Sisters’ challenge with her own poem in the style of “Innocence” at Read Write Believe.
  • Andromeda Jazmon offers her response to the same challenge, a poem titled “Hope,” at A Wrung Sponge.
  • At Fiction, Instead of Lies, Tanita Davis decided to take a slightly different approach to her poem based on “Innocence.”
  • And Liz Garton Scanlon’s response to the challenge shows us a thoughtful, detailed assessment of “Bamboo.”
  • Catherine Flynn shares a cento (Latin, “collage”) poem she crafted from other poems she wrote this month as well as those of other poets at her blog, Reading to the Core.
  • At Poetry Pizzazz with Alan J. Wright, Alan tackles a serious issue in Australia: misogyny, violence, and other deplorable behaviors towards women. I had no idea things were that bad Down Under!
  • Linda Mitchell offers up a golden shovel poem based on a line from Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • A rediscovered family video was the inspiration for Laura Purdie Salas‘ final equation poem of the month.
  • Bridget Magee shares several examples of spine poetry as she wraps up her month-long celebration of poetry at Wee Words for Wee Ones!
  • At Unexpected Intersections, Elisabeth Norton travels “full circle” with a shape poem about life and immigration.
  • Some absolutely incredible dual-laguage poems are awaiting at The Opposite of Indifference, where Tabatha Yeatts is wrapping up (Inter)National Poetry Month!
  • Ruth at There Is No Such Thing as a God-Forsaken town is celebrating “happiness” with select offerings from many of our Poetry Friday friends.
  • At Reflections on the Teche, Margaret Simon shares a student-made video using one of her poems as well as an original poem titled “Fifth Grade.”
  • Today is the final day of “Filling the Well” of inspiration at Today’s Little Ditty, and Michelle H. Barnes offers some Lucille Clifton poetry and a short (less than 4:00) film by Erik Wernquist, written and narrated by Carl Sagan.
  • Little Willow shares selected lines from the sensual – and sensory – poem “Sea Holly” by Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Tony Lopez.
  • Christie Wyman wraps up #NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) at Wondering and Wandering with an “Ode to Feathered Friends,” a collaboration between her and her remote kindergarteners!
  • This month Rose Capelli has been busy writing a wide variety of poems, and today she shares two free verse poems at Imagine the Possibilities.
  • At Jama’s Alphabet Soup, Jama Rattigan spotlights Nikki Giovanni’s book, Make Me Rain (William Morrow, 2020) with three powerful poems from the book.
  • Every day is a symphony in spring, according to Irene Latham, who shares her final Poetry Month poem at Live Your Poem.
  • At My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi Mordhorst shares a first draft of a poem about the five Fridays of April.
  • Carol Wilcox is sharing another poem about Rooney, a service dog she’s raising for a local canine organization, at Carol’s Corner.
  • Have you heard of the Haiku Oracle? Kortney Garrison can explain, at One Deep Drawer!
  • Since we’re enjoying springtime, Karen Edmisten decided to share “Spring Morning,” a poem by Marion Strobel.
  • Cathy L. Mere wraps up her month-long poetic tribute to “Joy” at Merely Day by Day!
  • Over at The Apples in My Orchard, Carol Labuzzetta explains how she is learning to step outside her comfort zone and also shares a school writing activity she devised while using a poem from one of Bruce Lansky’s books.
  • Speaking of apples, Meredith at The Write Apple has a poem based on a spring nature walk she took with her 2nd-grade students.
  • A conversation about a tree was what inpisred Tim Gels to write his poem, “How do you know it’s a black locust?”
  • JoAnn Early Macken has written a poem each day of Poetry Month, and today she has three gardening haiku for us!
  • And last but not least, Jone MacCulloch spotlights Lita Judge’s new book, “The Wisdom of Trees” (Roaring Brook Press)!


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I continue adding to my “Wit & Wordplay” videos ! These videos were created for parents and educators (along with their kids) to learn how to write poetry, appreciate it, and have fun with it. From alliteration and iambs to free verse and spine poetry, I’m pretty sure there’s something in these videos you’ll find surprising! You can view them all on my YouTube channel, and if you have young kids looking for something to keep busy with, I also have several downloadable activity sheets at my website.


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You can purchase personally-signed copies of Flashlight Night, (Boyds Mills Press, 2017), Don’t Ask a Dinosaur (Pow! Kids Books, 2018)and nearly EVERY book or anthology I’ve been part of!

Click any of the following covers to order!

Just click the cover of whichever book you want and send a comment to the good folks at MainStreet BookEnds in Warner, NH requesting my signature and to whom I should make it out. (alternatively, you can log onto my website and do the same thing) They’ll contact me, I’ll stop by and sign it, and then they’ll ship it! (Plus, you’ll be supporting your local bookseller – and won’t that make you feel good?)


Thank you to everyone for your support!




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66 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Have you “tried a Tricube?” The Roundup is here!

  1. PS: I meant to add CONGRATULATIONS on your EXPLODING career–so much jet fuel, so many riches! And you’re homeschooling, too? Wowee-kazowee!

    I love Paul Strikwerda’s rainbow poem…”the sun and the rain just got married” ~ what wonderful ending.

    And in your poem, I love that pond dwellers “sing their souls” ~ that will stay with me.


  2. Thanks for hosting, Matt. Kudos for hosting the links the old school way. I will come back later and comment. I have a wonderful interview with Lita Judge. Her new book, THE WISDOM OF TREES is fabulous.


  3. Congrats on all your books coming out and book activity! The tricubes look like a fun challenge thanks for sharing them here, the nice moon image with yours, and for hosting the roundup. I’m hosting the last stop for the Progressive Poem and also sharing a draft poem written in the style of Linda Hogan’s poem INNOCENCE, at: https://moreart4all.wordpress.com/2021/04/29/poetry-friday-progressive-poem-poem-in-the-style-of-linda-hogan/


  4. Pingback: National Poetry Month: Writing Wild, Day 30 – Reading to the Core

  5. Thank you for doing the hosting duties Matt. Thank you also for alerting us to Tricube Poetry. As one who is particularly taken by the patterns in poetry, i am rather keen to indulge in a bit of Tricube time.
    This week I am exploring a rather serious social issue currently in play in Australia-disrespectful attitudes towards women in our society. I’m trying to speak up- and out, using poetry as a vehicle for change.


  6. Matt, I love your links, the tricube poems you shared of others and your own! Many congratulations to you and your successful career. I can understand how busy your life has become but it is in a good way. May your success continue!


  7. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

    Thank you for hosting today, Matt. The tricube looks like one of those deceptively “easy” forms. I like the range of tone it can achieve despite its simplicity. I love the thoughtful introspection of “Question” but also the mindful observance of “Night Spring”. Will definitely have to give this form a try! In the meantime, I hope readers will join me for the final day of Filling the Well at Today’s Little Ditty. Today I’m pairing a quotation by Lucille Clifton with a wonder-full short film by Erik Wernquist: https://michellehbarnes.blogspot.com/2021/04/filling-well-lucille-clifton-and-erik.html


  8. Pingback: Poetry Friday: Dream House | Imagine the Possibilities

  9. Pingback: Ode to Feathered Friends #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #Poetry Friday – Wondering and Wandering

  10. Gosh, you’ve been busy, Matt. Yikes! And homeschooling? Standing ovation, my friend. I’m going to give the tricube a go, and will throw the challenge out to my Kindergarten poets, too. I’ll let you now how it goes! I’m wrapping up my NPM project — #AvianAllusions — today, with an irregular ode to feathered friends written with the help of my favorite collaborators. Thanks for rounding us all up!

    Ode to Feathered Friends #AvianAllusions #NPM #NaPoWriMo #NationalPoetryMonth #ProgressivePoem #Poetry Friday

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Three Poems from Nikki Giovanni’s Make Me Rain | Jama's Alphabet Soup

  12. Karen Edmisten

    As others have said, I’m inspired to try a tricube! Thanks for introducing me to it. Congrats on the many happy explosions in your career. Well deserved! And as someone who just wrapped up 20 years of homeschooling last spring (my youngest has been in a gap year during Covid), I hear you on the lack of time. 😀 Now that I’m coming out on the other side of homeschooling, I’m figuring out what time looks and feels like in my “new life.” 🙂

    Thanks for hosting, Matt, and again, so happy for you and all your book success!

    My contribution to Poetry Friday this week is here: https://karenedmisten.blogspot.com/2021/04/poetry-friday-spring-morning-by-marion.html

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you so much for introducing me to a new form! Congratulations on your burgeoning career. You are such a blessing to me, as I am sure you are to the wider poetry community. You have introduced me to some new poets, and made it possible to meet some of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Matt, thank you for hosting today’s Poetry Friday event. You have certainly been busy. I am excited to hear about all of your new poetry soon to be published. As for the tricube, I have seen a few of then this month as I’ve moved through blogs. The examples you shared were fun to read. I have been writing poems about JOY for 30 days. I’m looking forward to moving my poetry play back to writer’s notebook in the coming month. Today I finish poetry challenge at Merely Day by Day with Joy Awaits: http://merelydaybyday.blogspot.com/2021/04/national-poetry-month-joy-awaits-30-of.html


  15. What a lovely roundup post, Matt. I don’t think I’ve ever tried (hehe) tricubes. Congratulations on ALL your wonderful projects and books, and kudos on everything you’re accomplishing even while homeschooling. Very inspiring!


  16. authoryvonafast

    My May Day Tricube – thank you for the inspiration Matt!

    May Day Tricube

    frosted with

    Trees stand tall
    in white gowns,
    ready to wed.

    Grass hidden
    by soft, white

    Liked by 1 person

    1. authoryvonafast

      Thank you! For introducing me to the tricube! For all your posts – in spite of your busy life! And congratulations on all your writing successes!

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Pingback: Tricube Challenge #PoetryFriday – Wondering and Wandering

  18. Pingback: Counting Syllables – The Wonder of Words

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