The Inverted Refrain, created by Jan Turner, consists of four 6-line stanzas, for a total of 24 lines.
Rhyme scheme per stanza: Lines #1-4 are abab;
Lines #5 and #6, the two inverted refrain lines, can be a,b or b,a.
Meter: 8 syllables in every line.
The first four lines of a stanza create a statement from which the last 2 lines extract the meaning, and invert
the way it was said (see Example #1 below, Finding Faeries). The last two lines of each stanza, which
are the ‘inverted refrain’, are indented as a couplet.
As a variation, the couplets in each stanza can reorganize the information in the previous four lines in a
summarized manner, and can add further description. (See Example #2 below, Surrender.)
A sprinkling shine of faery dust
Is mica-layered on the rocks
Pretending to be nature’s crust...
It really is a paradox:
A paradox of mica rocks
From faery dust on nature’s crust.
The dewy drops on mushroom caps
Are nothing less than faery tears
From rolling laughter... it’s perhaps
The greatest camouflage in years:
Perhaps the dewy mushroom caps
Are faery tears throughout the years.
The crystal glow in woodland streams
Reflects the light of faery mirth
Instead of sunshine, as it seems,
When faery showers fall to earth:
When faery mirth falls to the earth
It seems like sunshine on the streams.
The twinkling in the starry sky
Is nothing less than faery winks
That interrupt the flares on high,
Instead of nature’s moonlit blinks:
The moonlit blinks are faery winks
That twinkle high in starry sky.
Excerpt from Faery Folk & Fireflies
Copyright © 2007 Jan Turner
The early morning sun streaks light
that filters through the forest trees...
a secret sanctuary-site
in which I fall upon my knees:
in rays of light I view the height
of ancient trees in whispered breeze.
Perhaps the answer that I seek
will come to me in such a place,
for here I feel an old mystique
that holds me in a soft embrace:
to learn a truth that comes from grace
I listen for the oaks to speak.
Alone with nature I am blessed
to be attuned to all that's one;
in answer to my one request
I understand what must be done:
from nature's wisdom I attest
I must stand tall... I must not run.
I'm tall as oaks, as firm and strong,
and yet as pliant as their leaves...
I've known the answer all along;
I'll better be, though my heart grieves:
my grieving heart learns nature's song...
eternal strength that it receives.
Copyright © 2011 Jan Turner
Where Stars Abide
The sky's a velvet canopy
Above the open countryside;
Without the city lights we see
Where luminescent stars reside.
The night's a brilliant canopy;
In inky vastness stars abide.
Gaze where the bright nebulae lie;
There brave Orion wields his sword.
He's hunting in the winter sky,
Each night another conquest scored.
Orion's sword will gleam on high,
His winter victories restored.
Orion's faithful hunting hounds*
Are always ready, near his side
When with grave menace Taurus pounds,
His heavy hooves in quickness stride.
Orion's hounds, with nimble bounds,
Confront the bull, its hooves defied.
Night is the backdrop for the stage
Where twinkling constellations star,
And stories of the weak or sage
Unfold as legends from afar.
In dramas on a starry stage,
We see reflected who we are.
*Canis Major and Canis Minor
Copyright © 2007 Margaret R. Smith