Carrot Ranch Literary Community



Happy September! 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.

Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay

With the first day of Autumn quickly approaching on September 22nd, my thoughts naturally turn to pumpkin spice, hot apple desserts, and warm cuddly blankets. Think about how this season interacts with our five (or six) senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing.

“Your five senses help you take in information from the world around you. These senses are also a powerful tool to use when you’re writing. They help convey a message to readers by providing a strong image in their heads.” Source:

For example, think about Autumn and describe it using your five senses:

  • Taste: pumpkin spice, mulling spices, apples, pears, harvest foods, etc.
  • Touch: wet rain, cold fog, warm sunlight, soft blankets, bonfires, etc.
  • Sight: leaf piles, fall color, red gold and orange leaves, wheat sheaves, corn stalks, bales of hay, pumpkins, etc.
  • Smell: wet, moldy, wet leaves, decayed leaves, pumpkin spice, baked bread, etc.
  • Hearing: autumn rains, cool or stormy winds blowing, geese honking in migratory flocks, etc.

My example follows:

"Lady Autumn"

welcome Lady Autumn— 
wet dew on grasses,
foggy sunrise awash over the fenland
sunshine between shadows,
chilly to the touch

red-tipped maples glitter
embracing the Queen 
of all seasons, trouping their finest colors
like burnished leaves displayed
in a royal crown

nothing gilded can stay
every leaf must fall
for a vivid autumn is death's finest hour
cold rain despoils the bracts
death, decay follow

© 2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

This month, write a double ennead poem dedicated to Autumn. Pay special attention to sensory words.

  • 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 double ennead poetry!


  1. Norah says:

    Beautiful, Colleen. I love your example. You make it look so easy.

  2. I love Autumn! I think I’ll have a go at this one 🙂

  3. Reblogged this on ShiftnShake and commented:
    Head on over and see Colleen Chesebro at the Saddle Up Saloon. Below is my response to her monthly double ennead challenge. Points awarded if you see how I bent the rules of the double ennead form.

    Breathe in Autumn’s harvest.
    nature’s smudging cleanse!
    Every step a cidery press of scents
    green melting in fall fire
    summer ferns kneel brown.

    See Autumn’s praise-songs.
    Gatherings of voices!
    Choired trees exalting in crackling colored tongues
    tart air an apple bite
    wing strokes flute bell skies.

    Hear Autumn’s palette.
    Offerings of colors!
    Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes
    red leaves’ raining patter
    blue forgotten dreams.

    • You know… it’s still 99 syllables no matter how you get there. LOL! All five of your senses are on overdrive and I love it. Your imagery is stunning, D. <3

      • Aw, thanks. It’s a hard prompt to resist, this one, and all I had to do was look around me, and here it is. Autumn. I appreciate your flexibility with syllable arrangement! The double ennead’s been around long enough now, folks is sure to mess with it. 🙂

      • I need to say that in the next challenge. As long as we have 99 syllables, we should be good! LOL! 😀

      • And, it’s important to pay respects and to practice a form true to form before tweaking it. Just like any recipe. I did what I did to maintain the sort of repetitions in the beginning of the stanzas. But (mostly) adhering to the form made for a better poem, more focused and I like that I went longer than I might have but knew when to stop. I was going to try rhyming too but that was too much for me today and when you have another structure, like the repeating syllable count, it still stands as a poem. Yep, the double ennead is a thing. Good on ya, Colleen.

    • Charli Mills says:

      Your 11-word lines are a joy to the ears! My favorite was “Quicksilvered moonshadow songs of coyotes.”

    • I love this. Along with Colleen’s example above, I can really feel the cold mists when reading!

  4. […] From 20/9/21 to 20/10/21, the prompting theme/image is: ‘write a double ennead poem dedicated to Autumn. Pay special attention to sensory words: taste, touch, sight, smell, hearing.’ […]

  5. […] Saddle-up Saloon; Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge No. 8 Carrot Ranch Literary Community. […]

  6. denmaniacs4 says:

    Not quite what you asking for, Colleen, but as I sat in the Gymnasium, scrutineering for my political candidate, who won reelection, by the way, I worked on this one…The Shape of the Season-A Taste of a Canadian Fall Election

    A light sprinkling of rain,
    a hum of voices,
    a slow-moving line of Covid citizens,
    a masked electorate
    democracies feat.

    The Gymnasium is cool,
    fresh autumn air flows,
    a penetrating sound shakes the old hall.
    Rusty bolts on the move
    as hammers pound in.

    From eleven to one
    scrutineering fun,
    carrot, banana, orange, nary a gun
    under grey cloudy skies
    we shall overcome.

    • An autumn election from our northern neighbors certainly works for me! Thank goodness it worked out. I personally felt a sense of relief. It’s brilliant imagery which is what I was looking for. 🧡🍂

  7. […] CR Double Ennead #8 This month, write a double ennead poem dedicated to Autumn. Pay special attention to sensory words. …think about Autumn and describe it using your five senses: (I think I’ve touched on the senses all though not specifically…And have used autumn as a season of life to fit with the other prompts) 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. […]

  8. Jules says:

    I saddled sideways and went in a slightly different direction… (I think I’ve touched on the senses, all though not specifically…And have used autumn as a season of life to fit with the other prompts):

    Esprit Egression

    Esprit Egression
    (Double Ennead)

    In the autumn of life
    The inkwell was still
    in use by the paper thin skinned hand that now
    shook just a little more
    while filling the page

    Letters scritchity scratched
    Black India Ink
    Ran, danced, echoed memories real and
    Imagined from the pen
    Capturing moments

    Until the cold winter
    Arrived leaving just
    The bare bones to drape on the author’s desk chair
    Would fame come now that death
    Had taken all else?

    © JP/dh

    Esprit: sprightliness of spirit or wit; lively intelligence.
    Egression: egress; a going out

    • That’s fabulous, Jules! I like where you went with the prompt! Yes… I love the imagery in your words. This: “…paper thin skinned hand…” tells us the age of the person writing without saying they are x number of years old. I love this description. <3

    • Charli Mills says:

      Fame awaits the bold and the dead, Jules. I think perhaps fame after life would be the easier transition for paper-skinned author who has inked quietly through life undisturbed by paparazzi.

      • Jules says:

        You reminded me of a book I read of a gal who avoided the paparazzi – a writer, who then went disguised to her families hotel just to keep tabs on them – to make sure that they weren’t taking advantage of her largess. Complicated murder mystery – but the family had a replica of the authors house to give tours etc.

  9. I love your poem, Colleen, and I love the lead up to Halloween in the USA.

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Okay, Colleen, I chose courage over comfort. I broke out of my prose-only familiarity and counted lines and actually enjoyed the pattern. Not sure if I got what I set out for but it’s my first. Thanks for our inspiration!

    In the Shadow of Pumpkin Lattes & Fall Sightseeing by Charli Mills

    pumpkin spiced hot coffee
    lures locals to drive
    thru the steel girders of the Keweenaw lift bridge
    defying construction
    zones and stalled traffic

    cars emit fuel fumes waiting
    to hum across the
    water that divides the peninsula
    where colorful autumn leaves
    beckon fall tourists

    the taste of pumpkin spice
    erases the thought
    that it wasn’t worth the costs to cross the bridge
    denial or excess
    we thrill to burn gas

  11. […] ✖ written for: Saddle-up Saloon, Double Ennead Challenge #8 […]

  12. WildChild47 says:

    Lovely poem Colleen 🙂 it certainly captures the essences and ambiance of Autumn, in all her/its complexity.

    I’m not a huge fan of syllabic poetry, but I did spend some time tinkering with this new-to-me form and came up with several different versions/ideas. I’m not sure I managed to really dig into Autumn from a sensory perspective – too many aspects to consider, but nonetheless, it was an interesting experience and form to try. Thanks for hosting the challenge 🙂

  13. You’re most welcome. Syllabic poetry, like flash fiction, teaches us how to dabble in precise word choice. Of course, my favorites are the Japanese forms, haiku, tanka, etc. I like inferred meanings in poetry and there can be more than one way of interpreting the words. Syllabic poetry isn’t for everyone, but I’m thrilled you gave it a chance.

  14. […] of 33 syllables in a 6/5/11/6/5 pattern for a total off 99 syllables. The challenge is hosted by Colleen Chesebro over at Carrot Ranch. It runs once a month and I invite you to check it out. Colleen’s prompt this month was […]

  15. […] invites us to write a Double Ennead about autumn. Click HERE for the […]

  16. my link is here^ my muse left me. I decided to submit anyway. hopefully next month (few days?) my muse and i will be working together again!

  17. […] poem inspired by Colleen’s Monthly Double Ennead Challenge #8 – click through on this link, if you’d like to join in on this one! The prompt was to use your […]

  18. […] Follow the link to the challenge HERE […]

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