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 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.

August 16, 2021

Happy August! Welcome to a new Carrot Ranch double ennead monthly poetry challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at the Saloon 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.

HINT: You can find this post again by typing: double ennead challenge in the search box to the right of the Carrot Ranch banner. That will bring up the most recent challenge post. ?

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.

Poetic Inspiration

Do you search for poetic inspiration? If you do, I’d like to share a discovery with you. I’m obsessed with the Oracle… what is the oracle, you ask?


The poetry Oracle is magnetic poetry. Click the link above and choose one of the category icons in the lower online version after the first group. A series of words will appear and you can drag and drop the words into the white area to create your poetry. I often use the Oracle when I’m looking for inspiration.

The Oracle works for syllabic poetry as well. On another browser tab, I usually have a syllable counter open as I compose my poem. I type in the words to check my count.

Here are the words I received from the Poet Kit:

Now, I will drag and drop the words until I have the makings of a poem. There is a button to choose more words. I cycle through the word selection and grab words as I compose my poem. I’m conscious of syllable counts, but for now, I’ll just grab words that closely match the count.

Finally, I’ve composed the first stanza of my double ennead poem (6, 5, 11, 6, 5 syllables). I took a screenshot to share with you:

Always check your syllables with a syllable counter when composing and writing syllabic poetry. The pronunciation of words is very important to convey meaning in your poems. You can use as a syllable counter. I checked my one stanza below:

I don’t expect you to compose your entire double ennead poem using the Oracle… although the Oracle works well with longer-form freestyle or prose poetry, too. If I’m looking for inspiration when writing syllabic poetry, I enjoy the magic the Oracle sends.

This month, try experimenting with the Oracle. Write only ONE stanza of a double ennead poem and share it on your blog.

My example follows:

"Full Moon Magic"

velvet smiles let joy dance
through vast heart-sky clouds,
remember hot kisses lingering—steamy...
delicious poetry, 
warm perfumed desire

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

Experiment with the poetry Oracle. Write only ONE stanza of a double ennead poem (6, 5, 11, 6, 5 syllables) using magnetic poetry. If you’d rather write a double ennead poem, and not try out the magnetic poetry site, write about a theme of your choice.

  • Post it on your blog or in the comments if you don’t have a blog.
  • 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!

Now have fun and write some syllabic poetry!

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  1. robbiesinspiration

    A lovely post, Colleen, and a great challenge. Maybe I should try this. My poetry muse has run away, squashed by 5 WIPs on the go right now. She did pop up with several limericks the other day so that was good.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      LOL! It happens. I love the poetry Oracle. There’s always something to be created from the word choice. ??

  2. kittysverses

    I should try this, this time around. Thanks for the challenge, Colleen. 🙂

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      It’s fun to work with the Oracle and only one stanza if you wish. ??

      • kittysverses

        Ok, sure Colleen. 🙂

  3. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Reblogged this on Colleen M. Chesebro and commented:

    The August double ennead challenge is up over on This month we experiment with the poetry Oracle!

  4. D. Wallace Peach

    I’ve been fascinated by “refrigerator” poetry for a long time. I like calling it the Oracle better. 🙂 Thanks for the challenge Colleen.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      You’re so welcome! It’s great fun, Diana. I like the online site. It’s been fun seeing what the Oracle sends. ??

      • D. Wallace Peach

        It was harder than I thought it would be! Lol

  5. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    Fresh and flexible! Why not one stanza, inspired by the Oracle? Great post and challenge!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Thanks, D. The Oracle is great for inspiration. ??

  6. Jules

    I chose not to use the Oracle – but I included some ‘magnetism’ with this Double Ennead – (there’s a bunch of additional info and images at my post too for:) Attractions…

  7. denmaniacs4

    The Double Ennead Blues

    I play the poet’s game,
    test the Oracle,
    a refrigerator stuffed with scrambled words,
    crack open a few, make
    a po-omelet.

    I am a poor pigeon,
    pecking at asphalt,
    seeking creative crumbs, word seeds of order.
    Alas, it will not gel;
    Eggshells stripped my gears.

    Oracle, I tried thee,
    threw your word dice,
    kept rolling snake eyes, blurry bloodshot poets’ eyes-
    Double Ennead Blues,
    will you cry for me?

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Oh my goodness! This is brilliant! I love your humor and creativity! Bravo! ????????????

  8. Charli Mills

    The more I see the ennead, the better I can understand it, Colleen. I’ve shared with you my struggle with syntax at the level of the basic phoneme which is the construction of syllabic poetry. But you are giving me ways to break through that barrier. Why yes, I do have Magnetic poetry! I had not thought to use it as a syllabic tool. As Bill wrote, I might go crack open a few scrambled words. Thanks for this unique Carrot Ranch challenge!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Charli, the Oracle helps get your creative juices flowing. I begin my poem using magnetic poetry and then proceed to the syllable counter. Sometimes, if a word doesn’t fit into the syllable count, I chose a synonym with fewer or more syllables. Verbs often get changed into a word that works. It’s just fun to experiment. <3

      • Charli Mills

        I will give it a go!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      I think I have to approve the comment. Sorry, Diana. I’m here. 😀 <3

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Beautiful imagery! This was so fun. I love the inspiration! <3

      • nightlake

        Thank you so much, Colleen. Glad to post it before the deadline:)

  9. Colleen M. Chesebro

    Jules, combining the image from Tanka Tuesday as inspiration for your double ennead was spot on! All three stanzas resonate with the magical inspiration from the image. Bravo to you! <3

  10. Colleen M. Chesebro

    What an absolutely lovely piece of poetry. Just goes to show that a third of a double ennead (33 syllables) can stand on its own! What fun. That Oracle is like a puzzle. I have fun every visit. Thanks so much for having fun, Diana. <3


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