Camelot Vampires Unleashed: 12 Poems in Traditional Forms from Pat Pattison’s Poetry Workshop

Each year Berklee participates in the Intercollegiate Poetry Festival, featuring poetry from students at universities and colleges around the area. This year’s event took place on Monday, April 3rd at Salem State University, sponsored by Mass Poetry and Salem State University. Each area school is invited to send one poet to represent their institution, and Berklee’s representative this year was Stormy Hildreth, who read three poems, an English Sonnet, and Italian Sonnet and a Terza Rima.

While romance rarely ends without remorse,
There are a lucky few whose love remained
Secure, though tossed this way and that; happiness,
Forever dancing through Cupid’s charade.

But love like this is not for faint of heart,
Nor destined. Far too many fear the pain
Of losing precious passion, ripped apart,
Eternal castles lost, enduring reign

Collapsed. Splintering, it stirs the murky moat
Below; its rubble hauled away by perfumed
Delusional sweethearts who gullibly devote
Their fragile favors to a quest forever doomed.

It’s not your fault, reeling and crushed by the blow,
My dear, yours went the way most stories go.

—Stormy Hildreth

S.S. Pacific

As gentle rocking lulls my crew to bed,
A sudden crash explodes and fearsome rain
Pours down on the sea below. My sails strain
Beneath the darkness looming overhead,
My last glimmer of hope now turning to dread
As souls stumble, footing lost to steep terrain
And I tumble, beaten, battered, and broken,
Engulfed by the sea, my wooden facade

Drowned. Shivering silence reigns in an expanse
Of crystal clear waters; no schools of fish,
No glittering sunlight can pierce this deep.
Now all alone, still dazed, I take the chance
To sit motionless, submerged with the wish
To be remembered: a once glorious ship.

—Stormy Hildreth


Meandering her way among the trees,
My fluffy wanderer explores her terrain,
As whispers of spring swirl their way through leaves

That crunch beneath her tiny paws. The sun
Glitters in her ancient eyes. She trots, hair
Aglow, a soft hazelnut. Then, a run,

Bursting with sudden energy, so rare
In a dog so old, yet Bug is known for this.
Her frantic, joyous, sprint around the square

Catches the eyes of passing couples, bliss
So contagious they cannot help but smile.
These galivants all end with treats and a kiss

From mom and dad. Fifteen years she’s been this small,
The heart of a spunky lion through it all.

—Stormy Hildreth

Each student in this Spring’s iteration of Writing Poetry 2 submitted their favorite poem of the semester for inclusion here. This is Ellie Monaco’s Italian Sonnet:
A Vampire’s Valentine’s Day

Through eons watching humans play, I see
The folly. Emptied boxes line the gutter,
glittering foil in the wind, heart-shaped litter—
affections of a fickle devotee.
They cast aside genuineness, just to be
allured to spin their trifle games, the sweeter
taste of store-bought chocolates turning bitter;
Such superficiality pains me.

What happened to pure love: ravenous bloodlust,
desire, temptation, all-consuming hunger,
that monstrous feeling that gnaws at your skin,
distilled in arteries—a craving that must
be fed not with candy, but something stronger…
that romance, once alive, I fear is now gone.

—Ellie Monaco

The students really stepped up to the formal challenges, even though the course also includes Free Verse assignments, almost everyone selected traditional forms. The Terza Rima was a special favorite with its four-piece rhyme scheme counterpointing against three-line groups (tercets).
Night and Day

My sister took the dress I got for Christmas,
She said it suited her much more, and I
Just took a breath, deep, slow, with forgiveness,

With patience she has never had. I sigh,
Letting it go, she is so full of ire
I’ve always found it best to let things die.

My sunshine disposition, softer, shyer,
Pretty smiles, people pleasing tendencies,
are foil to such a shadow soul. Her fire

Runs through the inky black her enemies
Have come to fear in her threatening stare,
Not one for frivolous games or pleasantries.

I’ve softened her, she’s made me hard to scare,
I’m certain someone wise made us a pair.

—Abby Constantino

Alpha Centauri

Galactic dance of three across the stars:
A sun, a moon, a cloud, sparkle across,
the heavens, scattered particles shine afar.

Beams of light venture into darkness –lost–
Guided by stellar haze and gravity’s
pull, through the ether, a galactic toss.

To civilization (great mysteries
contemplating life in celestial dust)
comes the dawn of records and histories.

Of paper and pen, of iron red rust,
Mankind’s origins recorded in deep
Etches on rocks, evidence of deep lust

For life, in this intergalactic heap
Of our mother universe, fast asleep.

—Chris Fong Chew

Serendipity Pond

Elastic buildup coils around my toss-
Skipping stones across the surface tension,
The pitter-patter ripple dots the gloss;

Bad throw. Pick up a second chance … Redemption!
A cycloid constellation spots the plane;
I marvel at my rounded-wave obsession.

The rolling motion- feedback daisy chain;
I watch the circles ping from side to side-
A magic show that’s steeped in the arcane.

The croaking critters (lily-bound to ride
their liquid carousel experience)
Enjoy the knobbly junket with delight.

And if you find peaceful ponds precarious,
Go conquer boredom with a flick of the wrist.

—Jaedon Tron

Grandpa’s Gift

The fretboard—caked with grit—reveals the signs
Of where his fingers danced most often, trails
That stretch beneath the strings that hang like vines

Of bronze. Turned green and grey from tips and nails
That scuttled atop the metal canopy,
These strings bent and moaned beneath harsh finger gales

As he blew his favorite blues and sang to me.
I’d sit and listen, utterly transfixed
By the hiss of his fingers—the way the strings rang—and he’d

Sing such sad, soft songs, sweet whiskey that’s mixed
With dirt roads, lost love, and a big empty bed;
Ballads to loss, and the chances he’d missed.

He trapped all his feelings—they haunt this old wood—
He told me he loved me the only way he could.

—Hallam George

I’m a dog person

Just simply put, you’ve always been a cat.
With judgment you display as dignified,
You use me like a toy to swat and bat.

So skeptical of “strangers,” you will hide
Away your affection — or lack thereof.
Or maybe you just stash it deep inside,

To give to the chosen few you granted love.
Like other cats I’ve desperately wished to know,
The more that I try, the less you seem to give,

Hissing solely cause you see I can’t go
A stinging second with such sounds. You spit,
Chasing my attention’s sick amber glow,

But I’d rather be alone than be with that:
The mind-games that you play when you’re a cat.

—Lily Gelman

Once Upon a Lie

Once upon a time must be nothing but a lie,
Cause I’ve spent my whole goddamn life growing this
Hair and I don’t see
no prince charming coming to save me.

I get confused cause, yes. I should feel blessed,
There are mice in my apartment too, but mine live

Rent free!!!?
No custom-made dresses for me.

Ohhhh… and did you know, I was born with
Skin as white as snow? But as Miss Ariana shows,
Disney fucked up, cause yo, tans are in.

I got over that one cause a warrior girl that
looked kind of like me, showed that I should
Climb and take up some archery, but instead of an
Award saying I set China free, all I got is
Bruised arms and a
Truth is,

It’s time to crack open some wine;
Nothing but a shitty lie is once upon a time.

—Connie May

English Sonnet:


A platinum crown, disheveled, matted down,
reflects a light inside a black walled hole,
and calloused fingers, which conjure sounds hewn
from hardened magma that burns from her punk soul,

Ignite a hot adrenaline cocktail:
Dosed with sweat, abandon, fervor and swirled
with a sterling silver studded swarm of spell-
bound disrupters, laced with the rage of the world

and pulsing tones that thrash with fuzz and slosh
chaos, drenching ears in ruckus, in fire
that drowns the atmosphere in melted flesh,
and releases trapped pain to dissolve in the air.

The temple of tantrums worships the misfit
and offers them catharsis by the mosh-pit.

—Liv Dunks

I do all my own assignments in Poetry 2. I chose a Terza Rima too.


My mother used it, kneaded into dough,
a little lard to make a lighter crust
that crumbled on your tongue. She came to know

by feel (and grandma’s watchful eye) to trust
the flattening, shaping, rolling, until
you’d breathe the sweetness in. A little feast,

her cherry pies – my saliva glands still
surrender, dreaming back. Just history now,
that younger self, smiling birthday boy all

fresh and leaning into life, wondering how,
And where. And when…

The craving’s nearly gone,
now piles of piles of years those years ago

flatten, stretch out behind me, beyond my ken;
the days before me, shortening and wan.

—Pat Pattison