19 Syllable Happiness

June 7, 2017

The sun has returned after what seems like days and days of cool, rainy weather. Summer is finally in the air.

In this blog, I am going to share some poems that I have written in the last few weeks. Many are inspired by the ocean in Maine. I spent my birthday sitting on the wet rocks at the very tip of Seapoint Beach.

I learned about this form of poetry from my cousin friend, Tracey, who first inspired me to write when I was ten years old. On my annual February visit to Hawaii, where Tracey lives, we played around with this structure. I find myself writing these little poems all the time – at the beach, after meditation, looking out the window. I love how simple and spare they are.

These are 19 syllable poems in four lines, a kind of elongated Haiku. Line 1 – 7 syllables, Line 2 – 5 syllables, Line 3 – 2 syllables (or 1), Line 4 – 5 (or 6).

Since this is play, if I need 20 syllables, I do. Or sometimes I let the 19 syllables spin me where else they want to go. I have found it very settling, therapeutic and just fun. Try some yourself.


from Hawaii:


I walk alone pondering

Pacific Ocean on a gray day in Hilo, Hawaii

poems and pleasure,


sing their way to the sea.




Which way does the weather go?

from above? from the sea?


from my heart, tangled and free?



from my birthday:

on my birthday – May 12

Misty rocks rise through my bones,

water within and

without –

the ocean calls me.


after meditation:


Stand on the sill of thinking.

Jump out the window,

roll, lay

down and watch the sky.

by the ocean:


Sitting on granite, symphonic

Seapoint Beach

sea on three sides –

I breathe

sweet smelling lightness.




I don’t need a clock. I have

the wind in my hair,

the waves,

the first wisps of clouds.





  1. Ann Kellogg says:

    I wrote earlier today, Peggo, but am not sure my message went through, so I am trying again. Two things I want you to know— your poems are delightful (I will try some) and I hope that the year ahead will be a good one for you and Paul. I thought of you especially on your birthday. Boulder is as beautiful as you remember it— a world of green and brilliant blossoms, after the water-giving May snowstorm. We hope to be East in August/September, at the seashore.
    Lots of love to you both, Ann ( and Bill).

  2. Lovely words to share.

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