Saddle Up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 3

Written by Colleen Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on TankaTuesday.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Join us for #TankaTuesday! Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

April 19, 2021

Happy April! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. As a guest of the Saddle Up Saloon, every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we will explore a different theme or image to inspire our poetry. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem. No blog? Don’t worry. Add your poem in the comments below.

Check out the poems from last month HERE

The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

This month, let’s explore end rhyme schemes in our double Ennead poems.

First, let’s learn more about end rhyme schemes. Here is a quick definition:

A rhyme scheme is the pattern of sound found at the end of lines. These rhyme schemes are given a letter, usually beginning with the letter A.

A four-line poem with a rhyme scheme is something like this:

The first line rhymes with the third line, and the second line rhymes with the fourth line. The rhyme scheme is ABAB.

Roses are red,
violets are blue,
Shakespeare is dead?
I had no clue.

Let’s use the simple Abhanga syllabic form as an example. The Abhanga is written in any number of four-line verses. The syllable count is 6-6-6-4 per stanza.

In this form, only L2 and L3 rhyme. Often, the letter x, is used to denote an unrhymed end word. This rhyme scheme is:

xaax, x = unrhymed. (Lower case letters only show the rhyming pattern).

magic is found within 
breathe deep into your core 
open your heart and soar 
find inner peace 

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

We use rhymes in many poetry forms. Rhymes aren’t always used in patterns or at the end of lines, which means not all rhyming poetry has a rhyme scheme.

We only use rhyme schemes for poems that use end rhyme—which is rhymes at the end of lines.

A rhyme is a repetition of sounds, usually the same sound, in the final stressed syllables of two or more words. Poets use rhyming for artistic effect. It makes our poetry more interesting. I enjoy the challenge of mixing syllabic poetry with end rhymes… it’s like solving a word puzzle.

Litcharts.com has an excellent discussion of end rhyme schemes you can read HERE.


For this month’s challenge, write a double ennead poem using an end rhyme scheme of your choice. You can select the theme that inspires you.

If end rhyme schemes aren’t your thing, write your double ennead based on a magical experienceOR do both! I did!

Always check your syllables with a syllable counter when composing and writing syllabic poetry. The pronunciation of words is very important to conveying a meaning in your poems. You can use sodacoffee.com as a syllable counter. There is also howmanysyllables.com, which is my favorite because you get access to synonyms as you’re composing.

My Example:

Image by dewdrop157 from Pixabay

I’m a visual person, so I found some inspiration on Pixabay.com.

The rhyme scheme in each stanza (or couplet) is xxaax, x = unrhymed, only L3 and L4 rhyme in each stanza.

“The Cherry Orchard”

down the path from the farm
the cherry orchard 
ablaze in shades of mauve... glows under the moon,
while pink katydids’ croon
anthems to the stars

break of day streaks the sky
birdsong welcomes light
dew-kissed grasses bend in the delicate breeze
wildflowers hail the bees
morning glory dawn

magic blooms in rebirth,
blush buds share secrets
life unfolds in cycles and seasons repeat
ancient helix complete
life in the orchard


©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro 

  • Write a double ennead poem using an end rhyme scheme of your choice. You can select a theme that inspires you. If end rhyme schemes aren’t your thing, write your double ennead based on a magical experience—or do both!
  • Post it on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, copy and paste your poem into the comments below.
  • Include a link back to this challenge in your post. (copy the HTTPS:// address of this post into your post).
  • Read and comment on your fellow poet’s work. Feedback from other poets is how we grow our poetry writing craft.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • I’ll visit, comment, and share your poetry on social media! I’ll share a roundup of all of your poetry on colleenchesebro.com the Saturday before the next month’s Double Ennead challenge.

Now have fun and write some magical poetry!

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45 Comments

  1. robertawrites235681907

    Hi Colleen, thank you for this lovely post. I must give this a go. I am trying to write more poetry.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks Robbie… It’s actually a fun form. The 11 syllable line in each stanza gives you extra room for creativity. I look forward to seeing your poem. <3

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thank you so for much, sharing. Much appreciated. <3

  2. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Reblogged this on Colleen M. Chesebro and commented:

    The April 2021 Double Ennead challenge is up at Carrot Ranch! Join in and have some fun writing syllabic poetry.

  3. Charli Mills

    Great lesson in end rhyme schemes and building up to an ennead. Love The Cherry Blossom example.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks, Charli. It’s fun to explore the creativity in this 99 syllable form. I like the bit of rhyming. It adds to the magic. ??

  4. RuthScribbles

    hiya… the link in this part doesn’t go to where I was expecting. “Litcharts.com has an excellent discussion of end rhyme schemes you can read here.”

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      I wonder why? I added it. ??????????? Ok. I’ll fix this in the morning. Thanks for letting me know.

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        I was able to reconnect the link. It works now, Ruth. <3

  5. Norah

    Love your poem, Colleen. What a great challenge – so much flexibility in the way to respond.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks, Norah. I Flexibility and creativity are part of writing poetry. It should be fun. Magic is everywhere. ??

      • Norah

        Indeed it is. 🙂

  6. Nicole Horlings

    Oooooh… a new poetry form to try… I am SOOO in!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks so much for sharing, Eloise. ??

      • eloisedesousa

        My pleasure Colleen. Once I have more time on my hands, I will definitely participate again. It’s great fun!

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        Thank you. I enjoy this form. That 11-syllable line really gives us room for creativity in each stanza. ??

  7. Jules

    Hi, Colleen,

    Here a playful little ditty;
    Animal Magnetism?

    The neighbor’s dogs are not
    The problem, though they
    Pause, and bark; the boundary, they do not cross
    The cat thinks he’s the boss
    Of all that he sees

    Twice the orange cat
    Within the last two days,
    Has left personal ‘presents’ of his presence
    I return this ‘essence’
    Of claim on my space

    Once he offered a mouse;
    A gift, not quite dead
    Where did he find the little pure white creature?
    Cat face, a smug feature,
    Now he flees from me!

    ©JP/dh

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      This is fabulous, Jules! We don’t have a fence in our backyard yet and the neighbor dogs leave me presents! I like the end rhymes. It was like solving a word puzzle to write this double ennead, wasn’t it? ??????

      • Jules

        The same neighbors dogs… attempted to cross the gully, but I sort of let them know that wasn’t acceptable. In not so many words and then built up a little berm so it wasn’t as easy to negotiate that area. Thankfully they seem to always have someone out when the dogs are out. They used to have two cats, but I haven’t seen the second one (though that one may not have been theirs?). In our area – if you don’t have a fenced in yard any animal you own dog, cat, ferret … is supposed to be on a leash. At least most folks do pick up after their pooches. Some folks have reminder signs!

        I’m not a big fan of rhyme (end or other wise) but it wasn’t to hard to play – once I figured where I wanted to go. 😉 You only had to make three couplets and they all could be different.

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        And that’s why we love our Japanese poetry! ????

    • nightlake

      This was indeed playful and very nicely done, Jules.

  8. Mr. Ohh's Sideways View

    I can’t leave poems in my blog so this is it

    Comedy Poetry
    may contain some pun
    Like bears with computers .. hairy reasoners
    These things can be fun
    But beauty is lost

    Beautiful poetry
    Has great imagery
    The sound of the creek to the rustle of leaves
    I am loving the trees
    Yawning through verses

    Middle ground can be found
    Great minds are employed
    Laughter and solace filling stanza and verse
    Are equally enjoyed
    Till green monkeys sing
    ,,
    ,,
    ,,
    Laughter is cheaper than Make-up and makes faces prettier

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Mr. Ohh, this is brilliant. I love your sense of humor sprinkled in amongst your descriptive verse. That’s great poetry! ??

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks so much! I’m thrilled you jumped into this challenge. ??

    • Jules

      Fun – I enjoyed all the verses.
      I like walks, but I’m glad not to be in school – these days.

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        I agree, Jules. School would be difficult in these trying times.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      That’s wonderful, Olivia. Carrot Ranch is a wonderful place. You should check out the flash fiction challenge, as well. <3

      • Erlyn Olivia

        Will do, Colleen.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      What a magical experience. I love how you captured the magic in your photo! The double ennead is perfect for story poetry. It has a beginning, middle, and ending verse. Well done with your end rhymes, too. <3

  9. bobokuma

    Awesome read

  10. Colleen M. Chesebro

    I left the end rhymes up to you. I definitely see magic in this poem… you got me with the green monkeys… and they sing! If you used the syllable counter tool, you’re in there. Plus stars for such great creativity… that’s what this is all about. <3

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