Post-weekend Poetry 001: ‘Dactylic Pentameter’ by Phillip Ellis

Welcome to the new Post-weekend Poetry and the first poem in this new weekly series. This week’s piece is entitled ‘Dactylic Pentameter’ by Phillip Ellis.

Steadily, lightning is muttering, water is falling,
plants are replenished, the earth is renewed. As the darkness
deepens, cloudcover is passing us, over the houses
gathered in suburbs beside the dispassionate river,
steadily flowing to oceans and seas. As the darkness
settles, and broods on its nest, its children, the dreams that
night will deliver, are sleeping beneath its plumage, its
cumulonimbus mammatus, so ready to open
gusts of a breeziness. Over the river, the gusts will
ruffle the water to ripples, expressing a brooding
ruffle of feathers, like birds that will settle in coverts
under the reign of the storms of the evenings, when thunder
utters its drumming, the lightning still muttering, water
steadily falling, the patter of leaves in their ears. For,
over the heads of the river, and over the suburbs,
henlike and clucky, the storm has arrived and is brooding.

I asked Phillip what prompted this piece and he said…

The inspiration behind this poem was both metrical and physical, the first the meter used, and the second the feeling of the image of the storm considered as a brooding bird. The choice of a neutral title is deliberate, since it focuses the reader more on the techniques used, and on the meter, rather than on what the poem considers its ostensible subject.

And it was very down-to-earth, ideal for a non-poetry writer like myself. 🙂 Thank you Phillip.

Phillip A. Ellis is a freelance critic, poet and scholar, and his poetry collection, The Flayed Man, has been published by Gothic Press; Gothic Press will also edit a collection of essays on Ramsey Campbell, that he is editing with Gary William Crawford. He is working on another collection, to appear through Diminuendo Press. Another collection has been accepted by Hippocampus Press, which has also published his concordance to the poetry of Donald Wandrei. He is the editor of Melaleuca. He has recently had Symptoms Positive and Negative, a chapbook of poetry about his experiences with schizophrenia, published by Picaro Press.

You can find out more about Phillip and his writing from his blog: and Symptoms Positive and Negative:

If you’d like to submit your poem (40 lines max) for consideration for Post-weekend Poetry take a look here.

The blog interviews will return as normal tomorrow with thriller / mystery / horror / fantasy / graphic novel / sci-fi author Chaz Wood – the two hundred and sixteenth of my blog interviews with novelists, poets, short story authors, bloggers, biographers, agents, publishers and more. A list of interviewees (blogged and scheduled) can be found here. If you like what you read, please do go and investigate further. And I enjoy hearing from readers of my blog; do either leave a comment on the relevant interview (the interviewees love to hear from you too!) and / or email me.

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