I [Gary, not Jamie] have been seriously pursuing excellence in acrostic poetry for more than eleven years. The most excellent, the Holy Grail, of acrostic poetry is an array of words with a flawless meter and rhyme scheme, with something important to say, well said, in the content of the poetry, and with the acrostic words providing the ideally meaningful title of the poem.

This may seem like an odd pursuit to be throwing over a decade’s effort toward its furtherance. But if you want to be not merely a poet, nor even a Capital-P Poet, but the absolute best P*O*E*T it is in you to be, writing acrostic poetry makes sense. You are challenged to find words to fit the array, and the words you find may be new to you. They then become part of your arsenal. And it is even possible, as has happened today on my page, that you are compelled to bring into being words that did not yet exist. That may seem like cheating, but did you know that the name Wendy did not exist until J. M. Barrie, creator of Peter Pan, invented it?

Notice, though, how few words there are in the dual array above. How there are always three letters between acrostic elements. This is as minimal as I can possibly get with double and triple acrostic.  Let us unfold and enhance the array:

Photon Refractor

1: Photon


2: Refractor


A photon is an infinitesimal thing that may or may not be visible light, depending on its frequency. PHO is something to eat. TON is a measure of heaviness. A photon has a rest mass of zero.

Prest? It’s a variant of Pressed, just as Blest is a variant of Blessed. Helio? Relates to the Sun, to mythology, and to the flower Heliotrope. Onion? It may remind people of getting to the truth, as a typical onion has many peelable layers.

A refractor is something that alters the path of a…particle? wave? Wavicle. REF is short for Referee. RAC is a versatile acronym. Here is a partial list, courtesy of The Free Dictionary:

RAC Recovery Audit Contractors (CMS, Medicare program)
RAC Religious Action Center
RAC Rent-A-Center
RAC Real Application Cluster
RAC Royal Automobile Club (UK)
RAC Railway Association of Canada
RAC Rural Assistance Center
RAC Royal Agricultural College (Cirencester, UK)
RAC Rent-A-Coder (freelancer matching service)
RAC Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
RAC Regional Advisory Council (Canada)
RAC Recombinant-DNA Advisory Committee
RAC Rotaract
RAC Research Advisory Committee
RAC Ratchet and Clank (gaming)
RAC Recent Average Credit (distributive computing)
RAC Royal Armoured Corps
RAC Room Air Conditioner
RAC Retirement Annuity Contract (UK)
RAC Reliability Analysis Center
RAC Rubber Association of Canada

It also may be pronounced “rack” which may be defined as an organizational substrate for an array of things. Above this paragraph is a RAC rack.

It is also “car” backwards.

As for Tor, it is “a hill or rocky peak” according to any number of sources. It is also a paperback book publisher specializing in the otherworldly.

Resurrection is coming back to life. Ecstatico is kind-of Spanglish for “being in a joyously energized place.” Felicitor has Happiness as its root and “one who brings about” as a suffix.

When you get this minimal, some of the heavy meaning-lift will be done by the reader. An analogous creation that comes to my mind is “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” a painting by Pablo Picasso. The first time I saw the painting I was repelled. It seemed ugly. Ugly colors, variably attentive anatomy, weird color and composition choices. But it has historical significance, and has been called “the first truly Cubist painting.” And the more you live with it visually, the more a word emerges from the mist: Extraordinary.

© 2018, Gary W. Bowers (One With Clay / Image and Text)

Poet and Artist, Gary W. Bowers

Poet and Artist, Gary W. Bowers

Gary Bowers (One With Clay) is one of our triple-threat poets: poetry, art and humor.  Words like “quick-witted” and “pithy” come to mind. He is adapt at combing his talents in a unique and engaging way.  Gary is a frequent contributor to The Poet by Day, Wednesday Writing Prompt and look for something from him in the December issue of The BeZine. There’s lots more of Gary’s poetry, art and unique style to be enjoyed on Gary’s blog,where he often acknowledges other creatives. Recommended. J.D.

My (Jamie) intro to acrostics is I believe well-known among Roman and Orthodox Catholics, perhaps by other Christian sects as well.  It is from the Greek for Jesus Christ, Son of God Our Savior. The initials spell ΙΧΘΥΣ, that is “fish.” The sign of the fish or the “Jesus fish” was adopted by early Christians as a secret symbol.

Ιησούς    I  esous   Jesus
Χριστός   CH ristos  Christ
Θεού      TH eou     of God
Υἱός      Y  ios     son
Σωτήρ     S  oter    saviour 
Courtesy of Wikipedia


Poet and writer, I was once columnist and the associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation Press, The River Journal, The Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woma


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