You might expect someone who writes poetry to like long poems. More is better, right? Not for me. I feel like less is more when it comes to poetry. My favorite poems are presents of ideas and feelings the reader can unwrap by pulling on a ribbon. Otherwise, you’re really just writing a book that rhymes (or doesn’t).

I know, I know…epic poems have their place. But I rarely read them. Most of the time (and I am not making this up) if a poem is more than two pages, I don’t read it. (Cue the scandalized gasps of epic poem lovers everywhere).

Below is a poem called “Commandos” I wrote to commemorate my love of brief poems. It is written in Rubaiyat form. This is a classic form known to many readers through Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Lines 1, 2, and 4 rhyme. Line 3 sets the rhyme for lines 1, 2, and 4 in the following stanza so that the rhyme scheme is as follows:



(and so on)

“Commandos” will appear in my book, Event Horizon, which I plan to self-publish this year.

Poems over a couple pages
long go on and on for ages. 
Epic poems aren’t my preference
even if composed by sages.

I deny a lack of reverence.
This is my sincere defense: when
ranks of metric feet slow-march for
miles, I lose all sense of reference.

Then my blank mind wanders wretched
desert wastes of sere words, parched for
lack of fluid meaning.  Poems
need to be commandos, which are
in and out before you know they’re
placing charges.  Then they blow ‘em,
and concussions come with waves of
flame that leave the landscape glowing.

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Teague’s poetry has appeared in several journals and in self-published books. He blogs at and In all areas of life, Teague desires that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

6 thoughts on “Commandos

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