Fun With Pikus

Ballot Disillusionment

Vote for a
elect a thief.

Forgetful Old Age

Note for the
eject the teeth.

An Englishman’s Castle

Moat round the
protects the weak.

Bridget Jones Knew It

Doting love
you abject grief.

More Money Than Sense

Haute Couture
French Fashion Week.

Rural Idyll

Goats will roam
graze on the heath.


Tote pays bills
the bet is won.

Questionable Taste

Mirrored walls
reflect the sun.

Personal Philosophy

Task for the
have fun with puns.


Today is Pi Day, celebrating mathematics. I suspect the day is American in origin because it plays on the date March 14th and not the 14th of March. We won’t say any more about that because, as my regular readers know, my head will explode.

In honour of Pi Day, I have posted these pikus (or piku; I’m not sure what the plural of piku is, as it’s a little used poetry form).

The piku is a blend of haiku and the first three numbers of pi:

Three lines
Eight syllables: 3-1-4

So, three syllables on the first line; one syllable on the second line; four syllables on the last line.

It doesn’t have to rhyme but you can write a chain of pikus as I have done here, and make them rhyme for fun. You don’t need to include individual titles, either; I have included them for clarity (aka: cheating).

If you fancy having a go, the easiest way is to write a prose sentence and then whittle it down to its bare essentials. Please do share in the comments if you try it.

By the way, anyone who says maths and poetry shouldn’t mix has clearly never read a Fibonacci poem. I’ll post one soon.




Fun Poetry Fact #4

The poet George MacDonald wrote a poem with just two words:

The Shortest and Sweetest of Songs

Come. Home.


As far as I can recall, I don’t have a poem made up of two words; but I do have a three-word poem, a one-word poem, and a poem with no words at all.

Here’s how we do it: we cheat. We use the title to do half the work. Consider MacDonald’s title:

  • He warns us to expect a short poem.
  • The words ‘Sweetest’ and ‘Songs’ soften our view of what comes next.
  • ‘Come. Home’ just screams love and yearning because of the title.
    The poem could work with alternative titles, but would it be as good?

Mother Screaming On Her Doorstep For Her Kids

Come. Home.

Every Football Team to the FA Cup

Come. Home.

Reluctant Split

Come. Home.


You get the general idea.

To answer my own question: no, the poem wouldn’t be as good with an alternative title. MacDonald’s skill is in being somewhat vague, because he leaves the reader to fill in the gaps. As all good poetry should,



It’s All Greek to Me

Photo by Jose Antonio Gallego Vu00e1zquez on

Peer juries
The Olympics
Alarm clocks
Safe doctors
Swears Hippocrates
Maria Callas
Clock towers
Vending machines
Alexander the Great
The Spartans
Stories for movies
El Greco
Nia Vardalos
Cheap holidays

It’s all Greek to me


If you haven’t come across one before, this is a list poem. List poems are exactly what they sound like – a poem in list form. I have some rhymes and half-rhymes in this one because it’s a bit of fun.

A half-rhyme (also known as a near-rhyme or slant rhyme) is when two words sound similar but are not proper rhymes, such as elk/milk or (from the poem) cartography/geometry.



Fun In Brief

Photo by Ravi Kant on


I love short poems
like this. Three lines, seventeen
syllables: pure bliss.


A shorter
for happy time


A verse in single makes my pen tingle.


I love short form poetry: distilling what I want to say into the fewest words/lines possible is challenging but fun. If I can manage to make them rhyme, even better.

What’s your favourite poetry form?


Haiku: 3 lines/17 syllables

Piku: 3 lines/8 syllables

Monostich: 1 sentence


Fun Poetry Fact #3

E, E, Cummings (often written as e e cummings), in his collection, No Thanks, published in 1935, lists fourteen publishers who rejected him. It is said to be in the shape of an urn, but it looks like a goblet to me. I’d say that either he was suggesting his success was built on the ashes of his enemies; or he was drinking in celebration that the fifteenth time’s the charm, but in fact, he self-published the collection and this was his dedication page.

Cummings was an important, influential, and successful American poet (and more) of the 20th century, but he obviously still felt every rejection.

Blackout Poem III

For Sophie

My daughter
in the deep-heart places

her heart-strength throbs
feather fledgling, she reaches
higher and higher towards the sun

She is my daughter


You’ll have to forgive me, dear readers, but I am uncharacteristically sentimental this week, having celebrated the wedding of my eldest son and his new wife 🙂 The poems this week are my ‘welcome to the family’ gift to my new daughter-in-law (who is my old daughter-in-law, but now it’s official).

If you are wondering why her new husband barely gets a mention, that’s because he has a whole file of poems already written about him (and some even published), and because I’ve never had a daughter before. Plus, she did all the work for the wedding; all he had to do was buy a suit, write a speech, and show up (which, to be fair, he accomplished admirably). She is his reward for that distinct lack of effort; he’s not getting a poem as well; what sort of mother would I be to encourage that sort of behaviour in a husband? 😉


The Form

This is what’s known as a ‘blackout poem’.

To write a blackout poem, take a piece of text such as an article, another poem, a page from a book, a page from a newspaper – any piece of writing will do – and circle words you like, crossing out those you don’t want to use. You can keep the words you save in the order in which they appear, or move them around; it’s up to you. This poem is blacked out from an old children’s book.

Technically, this poem is also found poetry. Found poetry is when the words are already written down somewhere and you use them, or some of them, to write another poem. If you used something other than text, such as a painting or a sculpture, to inspire your poem, that would be ekphrasis (from the Greek, meaning ‘description’).

Ekphrasis and found poetry come under the umbrella term, ‘intertextuality.’ When you use one piece of art to inspire another, that’s known as intertextuality.