Painted in Syllables

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Through the month of November, we’re going to be having a poetry and painting theme at our Facebook page, that you are welcome to participate in here at the site as well.  Each week is a new theme, with a new opportunity to share.  I purposely chose the kinds of poems to challenge and inspire us to think about our experiences from within structures we wouldn’t otherwise set.  And as an alternative, if you find this challenge inspires you to draw, color or paint, rather than drawing from words, you can share your piece as well.

So many of us may just be looking for ways to get through the holiday season upon us, and are looking to take these last two months in smaller portions.  Here, we’ll walk together, one week at a time.  We’ll do this, we’ll move forward, together.


Week 1

Name Acrostic

Poetry that tells about your baby’s name. It uses the letters of the name for the first letter of each line.  You can write more than one poem if you have more than one baby who isn’t alive.


Week 2


A single metrical line of poetry.  Share your verse about your grief journey.

Here’s two examples:

And still, I walk on…

And she gave him back to the Lord…



Week 3

Tanka or Haiku

You don’t have to have the rules for poetry just right.  These are just different kinds of poems, that’s all.

Tanka: A Japanese poem of five lines, the first and third composed of five syllables and the other seven.  Share your tanka as a thank you – to the bereaved community for our collective support, to your baby for growing you in ways you never thought possible, or in some other way, expressing thanks for the gifts you’ve needed, that you have received along this journey, or that you look forward to receiving as we all continue to grow together.

Haiku: A little shorter, so perhaps a little easier.  A poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five morae (time of syllable).

Tanka example:

The Community

blinded in darkness                                                                                             

chasm of impossible                                                                                                                                                                                                     

grasping a flicker

a strangers familiar cry

your presence guides me


Haiku example:

Virtual Mourning

plug, wire, machine

glowing screen beckoning me

I am not alone.


Week 4


A stanza or poem consisting of four lines. Lines 2 and 4 must rhyme while having a similar number of syllables.  Write your quatrain about courage.  The courage you have needed to conjure to endure on this journey, the courage you have seen in others, or the encouragement you hope to inspire others with.

The lion of loneliness lurks too near, the dragon of despair forebodingly sneers

Taunted by demons that cast, that shun, that cloak and throw stones.

Preposterously ill-prepared to present myself before them

And yet, here I am, with but a grain of truth, enough: that I am not alone.



We’ll also be selecting one random participant from the month for a giveaway of a beautiful journal.  There are SO many acrostics being shared on the facebook wall; while we aim to post for you every poem shared on our wall this month, we might not be able to post every one – even if your isn’t posted by stillbirthday at facebook, you still qualify to enter the giveaway.  This is an extension from the original giveaway announcement posted at facebook so that we can really encourage you to use your creativity and write in one – or all – of these activities.


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  1. I always felt warmed in my heart when I thought how my baby girls name stood for this:
    H-(in) heaven….

    Thank you..


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