Poet Showcase: Robert Lee Brewer

Name: Robert Lee Brewer
Duluth, Georgia

Blogs: My Name is Not Bob and Poetic Asides

How do you know Cara?  I know Cara mainly through her participation with the Poetic Asides group on WritersDigest.com. We’re also Facebook friends, so I keep up with her that way as well.

How long have you been writing poetry? Around 20 years now, I guess, though I still feel like a beginner.

What kind of poetry do you write? I’m not affiliated with any one school or style. For me, the beauty of poetry is its diversity, and I love poking around in all of poetry’s nooks and crannies. Some of my poems try to describe a moment or a scene; other poems are just obvious attempts at playing with words and sounds.

Please share a poem:

Here’s a poem I wrote last year for a poetry reading that was received well, so I’ll probably use it again in the future.


This poem is mostly flawed.
For one, I didn’t count the syllables,
but also, it’s not particularly inspired.
At least, that’s what I’ve been told.
If I were a better speaker, I might
be able to hide its flaws in my delivery,
but I’m probably more flawed than this poem.
For instance, I’m a liar.
I snuck into this poem after hours
and measured the lines.
Words were cut.
I transplanted a perfectly healthy metaphor
into the rib cage of a younger poem,
one with a little more promise.
Believe me, I did what I could for this poem,
because I brought it into this world,
but at the end of the day, it’s not much–
just another part of me exposed to the world
that didn’t live up to its full potential.

Haiku Challenge

Earlier this month, Robert Lee Brewer announced a haiku challenge on the Poetic Asides blog. We could enter as many haiku as we chose. The only restriction, in fact, was that we had only three days to submit. I was delighted to see that I took 1st place with the following, and that this haiku will appear in a future issue of Writer’s Digest:

another biopsy-
plucking at the flowers
on my hospital gown

All of the winning entries can be read here.


The Distance Between Us

The prompt today for Poetic Asides was to write a poem from a different perspective. I wanted to try something new, so I scrolled down the list of poetic forms that Robert Lee Brewer has up on the Poetic Asides blog, and decided to try the Bop It seemed straight-forward enough, so I went with the first topic on my mind.

The Distance Between Us

She tugs at my leash
all the time-
walk, she tells me,
don’t stop
don’t dawdle
keep up with me.

it’s as though she walks with blinders

The ground is fresh
with the scents
of those
who have passed
this way before.
There are leaves to chase,
to explore.

it’s as though she walks with blinders

If only I could
make her see
that the length
of the walk
is not what matters,
but the breadth.

it’s as though she walks with blinders


I’m always open to new poetry forms. So when Robert Lee Brewer introduced the hay(na)ku sometime last year on the Poetic Asides blog,I was intrigued. And of course when earlier this month, I saw that the latest Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge was about the hay(na)ku, I absolutely had to give it a try. First though, I reprised the first hay(na)ku I ever wrote, which expressed my feelings about the brevity of the form:

hay(na)ku –
a haiku
or a sneeze?

I should digress at this point, to give the rules for this form. They are simple:

  • 3 lines
  • line 1 contains 1 word; line 2, 2 words; and line 3, 3 words

And that’s it! no syllable counts, no title, no other bells and whistles. I should also mention that I was vacationing in Arizona at the time the challenge was posted. So if the following haiku have an AZ flavor, that’s because I wrote them in car, when we were driving from Mesa to Prescott: (well, all that is, except the last one, which I wrote at the Haiku North America conference in Don Baird’s “Tai Chi Ch’uan– Waking Your Haiku Mind” workshop. I was staring at a very beautiful photo of a hummingbird at the time, which I now own.)

above clouds
above it all

into evening
the hawk’s shadow

catching thermals
slow moving clouds

silence after
the word “malignant”

the blur
of hummingbird wings

In the flurry of August submissions I sent out, I had all but forgotten about this challenge. Naturally then, it gave me even greater delight to check my Google Reader yesterday, and find that “hawks / catching thermals / slow moving clouds” had taken 1st place in the WD form challenge, and will be published in a future issue of Writer’s Digest! All the entries to the challenge can be read in the comments section  of the original post.

2010 November PAD- Day 23

Today’s prompt was to write a poem using a poetic form. I’ve already tried my hand at a cascade poem, a triolet, and a rondeau this month. This time, following Robert Lee Brewer’s fun example, I decided to write a skeltonic poem.

Snow Day

They said it might snow
but I didn’t know
what a show
the snow would put on;
starting at dawn
instead of being gone
it got cold and icy
now it seems rather dicey
(and not a bit spicy)
to venture out
and about
a set of chains;
it doesn’t take brains
to be at pains
to take care
if you dare
go out there;
but since there’s no school
why not play it cool
and don’t fool
around with the ice,
just take my advice
and think twice
heading out the door
once more.

A Lune By Any Other Name

When Robert Lee Brewer proposed a lune challenge on Poetic Asides, I just had to jump at the chance. The lune is an “American haiku” and comes in two flavors: Kelly and Collum. More on the lune form can be found on my previous blog post La Lune or at Poetic Asides.

I entered three lunes in the challenge. This  one made the Top Ten list!

a lune by any
other name
haiku just the same

These are my other two:

long summer’s eve-
watching bats in flight until
darkness subsumes them

an interpretive dance-
tree branches sway in time
to fiddlers unseen

The winning lune is a Kelly, the other two Colloms. To read the lunes that made the Top Ten List, click here. To read all lunes submitted, check out the “Comments” under the original challenge.