5-foot dactylic poem with a truncated fifth foot on the odd-numbered lines. With apologies to Pterodactyls.

Dactyls are terrible lizards that fly at the mind
pounding their emphasis boldly, Jurassical pelicans
dipping through breakers, the roaring of others behind,
beating Tithonian wings like the rotors of helicons

Such a great leathery creature with talons will bind
even the boldest of poets, who long for a particle,
something more gentle to bring in a beautiful line…
Dactyls deny any space for an opening article.


Seasons of the Garden 

When Spring arrives, the flowers burst
and all the trees can quench their thirst
on rain that falls and drips off eaves
and climbs up roots to fresh green leaves.

Then summer roars and fruits grow plump
and teenage birds prepare to jump;
the air is warm and friendly now,
and when it’s done the sun will bow,

and dip a little further down
to point us to the Autumn crown
of red and orange leaves of trees
all getting ready for a freeze

for Winter is an icy quarter:
skies are clear and so’s the water.
Shrubs are huddled, trees asleep
and bulbs are stirring, buried deep…


Joe Spring lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information please visit

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6 Responses

  1. James A. Tweedie

    Pentadactyl rofl! A poem for poets. Totally pointless yet totally on point. A great start to my morning. My day has been made. Thank you, Joe, for the smile.

  2. C.B. Anderson


    You have nicely summed up the problems with dactyls, though you seem to have had no problem with them.

    • Joe Spring

      Thanks CB, that’s very kind. I truly came across them for the first time in your Garden Waltz. I enjoyed it, so tried my hand, discovered the troubles of dactyls, and came at last to Pentadactyl.
      I’m glad to be in good company having joined the society only recently.

  3. Trevor Siggers

    Hello Joe
    I love the imagery of your seasons of the garden though for us up in the northern climes the months reverse – there’s got to be a poetic line here but Mine would be much worse for weather.
    Very clever your prehistoric search for the write word in lines of strata, folded and faulted by the present digital manipulators of this precious planet of Earth with its Drakensberg and mountains of Table to scribble as yet to be imagined articles.
    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work with such a novice wordsmith but avid and admiring reader as me. Best wishes for the next.


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