Ercil Form of Poetry

yellow flowers

Like a Chameleon

A summer haze
the temperature high
the air is hot as campfire blaze
the leaves that once were tender, crinkle dry–
we wait for rain
The churning clouds turn gray
no rain appears though clouds remain
then people at the churches start to pray
a rain falls clear and clean
the leaves change back to green.

© 2015 Freeda Baker Nichols

This form is an Ercil: 10 iambic lines with syllable count of 4-6-8-10-4-6-8-10-6-6
Rhyme: a-b-a-b-c-d-c-d-e-e

Poet or not, would you care to write an Ercil form of poem? I found the pattern through Poets’ Roundtable of Arkansas.

The Ercil is an invented form introduced by James Gray, created in honor of Arkansas poet, Ercil Brown.

A Poem for Mama


The wild azaleas
were bright
against the green forest.
Their limbs
snapped easily
and lay like pearls
in her small hands.

Wild Azaleas

Wild Azaleas

She hurried home.
Her mama wrapped them
with a fruit jar,
half-filled with water
from the well,
then turned to her daughter
who smiled
brighter than
all the azaleas
left in the forest.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

With Honor I Salute America

Flag of the U.S.A.With Honor I Salute America

With honor I can stand, salute the flag,
feel happy that I live where we are free.
I can be humble if I wish, or brag
of lands that lie in splendor by the sea.
I can condemn or praise our president
as he proceeds with plans not guaranteed.
I may support his cause without comment,
or bellow loudly that I’ve disagreed.
And as I worship in my church of choice
on Sundays when the sun breaks out to shine,
I pray with gratitude as I rejoice
to claim this costly freedom that is mine.
May Glory ever wave atop her stand
in every yard across my country land.

© 2014, Freeda Baker Nichols



Vow Breaker

The pink petunias hug the tree
where once I made a lover’s vow
to keep within my memory
true words I have forgotten now.

Where once I made a lover’s vow,
I wonder if another speaks
true words I have forgotten now
in sight of Banner Mountain peaks.

I wonder if another speaks
with promises of newborn love
in sight of Banner Mountain peaks
beneath pale specks of stars above.

With promises of newborn love
to keep within my memory
beneath pale specks of stars above,
the pink petunias hug the tree.

© Freeda Baker Nichols