Category Archives: Poetry

Two Poems


First a serious one, then a silly one.casket-3986679_640-e1551385652318.png


The Woman in the Coffin

“Doesn’t she look good?
She looks good, doesn’t she?”
I can’t answer, because I don’t agree.
The woman in the coffin is not the one I knew.

He knew her so much better than me—
Married to her for fifty-two years.
Maybe this is how she looked as she slept,
Face unlined, no worries,
And she slept much the last few months.

But when I look at this woman in the coffin,
I don’t recognize her.
Something is missing.
Her essence is gone, her spirit, her personality.
This body is just an empty shell;
Nobody’s home.

She’s moved on.
She’s with Jesus now.
No more fatigue;
No more illness;
Only joy.

A Poet’s LamentPen and pencil bokeh

I’d like my poems to rhyme
But I don’t have the time
To play with words like mockingbirds
Until I make them chime.

My poems leave me wishing
That I’d, instead, gone fishing.
My meter limps like high-heeled chimps.
I make up words, like “blishing.”

I wish I had a fairy
Or a rhyming dictionary.
My writing sounds like barking hounds
Instead of something merry.

I truly do aspire
To be what I admire:
A poet who achieves the coup
Without the rhymes all haywire.

poems © ARHuelsenbeck

My Poetry Project


I’m getting farther along on the kid’s poetry book I’m writing. Here are a few more poems:

I’m Jealousvideo game

My brother’s friend is here
And he brought the video game I like.

I want to play, too,
But they won’t let me.

It’s not fair.

I sit on the couch and watch.
They’re having so much fun.
The game is so exciting.
I can see traps coming up that they don’t even notice.
“Watch out!” I warn them,
But they tell me to shut up.
And then they die and blame me.

They make me go away.

I sit in my room and play with my Lego Death Star.
If only they’d give me a turn.
I could show them how to avoid the ogre
And beat the dragon.
My fingers itch to hold the controller.
I am such a better player than them.
It’s not fair that they get to have all the fun.

selective focus photography of boy in suit

Photo by Bryan Schneider on


Is there anything stupider
Than tying a long strip of cloth
Around your neck?

What on earth does it accomplish?
Hiding the buttons on your shirt?
Who cares? What the heck!

Why must I wear a tie at all?
Why must I wear it on picture day
Or to my uncle’s wedding on the deck?

Why is tying it so complicated?
Can’t I tie it like my sneakers?
Really, who’s going to check?

What Do Mom and Dad Do While I’m Asleep?

Why do I have to go to bed at 9:00?
I just know they’re having fun without me—
Eating ice cream and watching funny movies,
Ordering pizza and dancing cheek-to-cheek.

They’re probably playing video games
And beating my best score.
It’s not fair!
I bet they play all night.

I hear them giggling in their bedroom.
Dad must be telling Mom some jokes.
Maybe they’re laughing about me.
Why did I have to go to bed?

I’m not tired at all.
When I grow up I’ll stay up all night every night.

Creative Juice #125

Creative Juice #125

Stuff to make, thoughts to ponder.

RIP: Mary Oliver


September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019

My heart is heavy. One of America’s greatest poets.

For more about Mary Oliver, click here. And here.

Time to Rhyme

Time to Rhyme


I don’t often write verse that rhymes. Free verse comes so much easier to me. But I purposely have been trying to rhyme more. Here are a couple of rhyming poems that I’ve written recently:


I Can’t Thinkfrazzled worker

I’m so exhausted I can’t even think.
Too much to do—I need a drink!
No alcohol, so coffee will do.
A brew instead of a brewski or two.

Too many deadlines, too much mess,
Too much to practice, can’t reach success,
Too many promises, too much work,
Firm obligations I’m forced to shirk.

Depleted, consumed, fatigued and drained,
I stagger and trip; my ankle’s sprained.
Pooped and bushed, weary and spent,
My tools won’t work; my broom is bent.

Hours to go till I’ve done what I must,
This horrible day is a total bust—
I’ll be too late to meet my friend.
Will this busy day never end?

Hungerscale i-yunmai-617618-unsplash

The rule is “Nothing after eight.”
This rule is one I’ve come to hate,
For the ev’ning’s when I’m hungry,
Hungry as a junk-food junkie.

So snacking is off the table.
I starve as long as I’m able.
I dream of buttery popcorn
And other versions of food porn.

While reading or watching TV
And drinking my diet iced tea,
I’m craving some cookies or cake;
But instead, my sweets I’ll forsake.

And here is one in free verse. My folk dance group meets on Tuesday nights for three hours. Toward the end of the evening, some of the people get tired and want to go home. I’m usually the person pleading to go on until our time is up.

One More Dance?IMG_1267

Please, let’s not leave yet!
Let’s do another—
Maybe one from Romania,
Bulgaria, Albania.
Maybe one with grapevines
Or hassapikos.

Just one more—
One with leaps and turns
Or a quiet one that walks and sways.
One to an acapella choir of women’s voices
–or men’s.
Please, just one more dance
Or two.


All these poems are for a chapbook contest I’m entering.

Poems © ARHuelsenbeck.

2018 in Review

2018 in Review

This time last year, I dreamed that ARHtistic License would grow from 350+ to 600 subscribers. As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon), we’re almost there. If you haven’t yet joined our subscribers and you like what you see on ARHtistic License, please help us out by hitting the “Follow” button on the sidebar. Thanks, and welcome to our artistic community!

My hope for 2019 is that ARHtistic License will pass the 1,000 follower mark. It would mean a lot to me if you’d help out by spreading the word, sharing your favorite articles on your social media.

Typing on laptop glenn-carstens-peters-203007

My Top Ten Posts of 2018 tabulated by number of views. Have you seen all of these?

  1. #DC350 Rimana Heart String—This post (and the next five) includes my entry to the Diva Challenge, a weekly Zentangle challenge. I don’t participate every week, but Zentangle devotees are a very generous group who encourage each other by visiting each other’s blogs, Instagram, Flicker, and Pinterest accounts.
  2. #DC379 Holidaze
  3. #DC364 Puf
  4. #DC360 Shattuck vs. Tripoli
  5. #DC362 Somnee
  6. #DC346 Phicops & Huggins
  7. 12 Best Quilting Blogs—in my opinion.
  8. 10 Best Zentangle Sites on the Web—again, in my opinion. I’ve stumbled across some more fabulous ones since I published this list; I’ll have to update it eventually.
  9. NaPoWriMo Day 21—My poem for Day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month (April) was featured on the challenge’s official website the next day, sending lots of traffic to ARHtistic License. The downside: it was not one of my better poems for the month. I much prefer this one or pretty much any other poem I posted that month.
  10. Hawaiian Quilting with Pat Gorelangton—I wanted to write about Hawaiian quilts and had the good fortune to find a website that featured Gorelangton. I contacted her and asked if I could write about her work, and she generously consented to be interviewed via email and sent me images of her quilts to use in the article. Not only did my article get lots of views from quilters and people interested in the art of Hawaiian quilts, but Gorelangton is beloved in Hawaii, and her fans found the article, too.

But an article I wrote in 2016 got even more views this year than the Gorelangton interview. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee received 543 views in 2018 and 870 views since it was published.


Other older articles that were heavily viewed in 2018:

2. Ballet Feet—what ballet dancers suffer for their art.

3. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Dohnányi—If you’ve ever practiced these exercises, you know what I mean.

4. How to Make a Meme on a Mac—step by step instructions.

5. Yarn and Beads—about the art of the Huichol people of Mexico.

6. Escaping the Khmer Rouge: Review of Beautiful Hero by Jennifer H. Lau—This autobiographical book has won 5 awards.

7. Happy Anniversary!—wherein I celebrate the first three months of the existence of my blog.

8. Phoenix Art Museum—what my daughter Katie and I saw on a Mother’s Day excursion.

I also contribute guest posts to A Writer’s Path. Here are some of my top articles there:

1.     12 Worst Blogging Mistakes. 808 views.

2.     For Bloggers: How to Post Every Day. 543 views.

3.     20 Tools Every Writer Needs. 478 views.

4.     21 Inspirational Quotes for Writers. 416 views.

As I review my creative goals for 2018, I see that I didn’t completely achieve them, but I did make general progress.
I did a run-through of my God of Paradox manuscript with my bible study group, got some excellent feedback, and discovered some real problems that needed to be corrected. I’m almost finished with the rewrite. I’m going to see if my pastor or someone with a theology degree will read through it for me, then I’ll maybe do another rewrite if necessary, or a quick polishing, and start submitting in 2019.

The Unicornologist has been on the back burner, but never far from my thoughts. I’m hoping to solve all my plot problems and do a thorough final rewrite, then seek representation in 2019.


I’ve really stalled on recorder and guitar, hardly practicing at all in the last six months. I’ve been more faithful about piano.


I’ve written some poetry; if I can write and rewrite enough poems in the next couple of weeks, I might enter another chapbook in a contest.

I’ve made some artwork, illustrations and Zentangle. Here’s my New Year’s wish for you. Patterns used: poke leaf, fescu, chainlea, leaflet variation, brayd, herzlbee, cuke variation, verdigogh.Zentangle, hope


I had a hip replacement in July. For eight months before the surgery I suffered enough pain that I could not dance. (Heck, I could barely walk.) I am happy to say I am dancing once again and helping to teach dances in my international folk dance group.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’d like to see more of on ARHtistic License. What art- and creativity-related topics would you like me to cover? Which artists, musicians, and composers would you like profiled? Which of my articles and features do you like best? Please share in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to ARHtistic License, to hit the “Like” button below, and to share your favorite article (find links to my most popular articles above) on all your social media. Thank you, and have a happy New Year!

Guest Post: 11 Poetry Forms You’ve Never Heard Of (But Should Have)


This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.


Even if you spent most of high school English class staring out the window or at the clock, you’ve probably heard of haiku. And quatrains. And sonnets. Of course, the sonnets.


But there’s more to poetry than free verse and couplets. In fact, there are almost as many forms of poetry as there are actual poems!

How many of the poetry terms on this list have you heard of? Leave a note in our comments section.

11 Obscure Or Little-Known Types Of Poetry Forms

1. Aubade: A poem that ponders lovers separating at dawn. Example: John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”

2. Concrete: Poems that form shapes with words. Example: George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”

3. Didactic: Poems meant to instruct. Example: Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”

4. Eclogue: A poem set in a bucolic place (that often discusses urban, social, or political issues). Example: Louis MacNeice’s “Eclogue by a Five-Barred Gate”

5. Ekphrasis: Poetry that echoes specific artwork in another medium (poems about paintings or music, etc.). Example: An excerpt from Homer’s The Iliad

6. Found: A poem created from existing text. See many examples at The Found Poetry Review

 7. Ghazal: Carefully rhymed couplets musing on erotic/mystic longing. Example: Patricia Smith’s “Hip-Hop Ghazal”

8. Gnomic: Poetry that embraces aphorisms, proverbs, and maxims. Example: Robert Creeley’s “Gnomic Verses”

9. Occasional: Poem written to commemorate an event or moment in time. Example: Emily Dickinson’s “The Birds begun at Four o’clock”

10. Palinode: A poem that retracts something said in a previous poem. Example: Chaucer’s “Retraction”

11. Sestina: Six stanzas consisting of six lines each, composed in fixed verse form. A repeating set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order with each repetition. Example: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina”

Want to learn more about obscure poetry forms? Visit this fantastic website curated by The Poetry Foundation.