Whittled Words – Diminishing Verse Poem



Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




Diminishing verse offers no origin and very few rules, but I enjoyed writing my example below. In fact, the main rule is this: Remove the first letter of the end word in the previous line.


For example:

Line 1 ends with the word “grad”

And line 2 ends “rad”

Then, line 3 ends “ad”

Note: There are no rules for rhymes, syllables, poem length, stanza length, etc. Just a simple removal of a letter. That said, poets can also remove sounds if they wish like “braille” to “rail” to “ale.”




Examples of Diminishing Verse Poems:



by Karen


Gorgeous blue eyes blink
Somehow two hearts link
Love letters written with disappearing ink



By PressOn

Pat would often get into a spat,
but the spattee usually got the best of Pat.
Fighting wasn’t where his ken was at
but arguing? Ah, that fit him to a T.




By Tracy Davidson

I have enough on my plate
without the doctor running late,
I can’t remember when last I ate.

My unbalanced diet he’ll likely scold,
say it’s partly why I’m always cold,
that I’m not knackered yet, just getting old.



By De Jackson


Free-falling loose like scattered stones,
we play the earth in unquiet tones.
Grounded, we’re the lucky ones.

While this stung starlight has its charms,
sorrow more than hurts; it harms.
We need a sky with open arms.




By Brad Osborne

The yarns I had heard had become rather stale

But the Captain spoke of a wonderous tale

And would be obliged if I shared of my ale


Since the detail he gave was ever so sparse

And the truth of his words, so hard to parse

I thought he must be talking out of his arse


I slid him a tankard and as story crowed

He told of all the days for which he had rowed

In search of the maiden’s love that he was owed


I laughed so hard at his tale, I slightly shat

Offered more ale and a tip of my hat

Headed home, where my clean underwear were at




I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Diminishing Verse poem. Thanks for reading!




38 Responses to “Whittled Words – Diminishing Verse Poem”
  1. Got a smile out of me!

  2. Matt P says:

    On it! Quite challenging Brad!

  3. beth says:

    Humor is wonderful in any form )

  4. kristianw84 says:

    Hahaha! Love the humor!

  5. Francisco Bravo Cabrera says:

    Most certainly enjoyed it Brad and it made me smile and lighten my mood. Thank you! Your poem was fantastic! All the best to you,

  6. Matt P says:

    This is my work, Brad. But I’m not quite sure about this one.

    15-minute morning stroll
    To the creek where I’ll troll
    Off the bed, I roll.

    Now I’m in the creek
    Hardly seeing thru the fog’s reek
    I heard rustling sound- eek!

    I want to catch some trout
    2 hours, my tries ended in a rout
    Okay, I’m out!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I think this is well done, Matt! It fits the form beautifully and provides a story with a humorous end. I don’t know that this type of restrictive form will ever lead us to think we just wrote a masterpiece, but it is good practice and does provide us with some poems that are light-hearted, humorous, and appealing. Don’t be too hard a critic of your own work. Stay safe and keep writing!

      • Matt P says:

        Okay, that’s what I thought. That there’s nothing much to this piece. But you’re right, and I had fun! Thank you, Brad. Can’t wait for the next one.

      • Brad Osborne says:

        Also take a look at the Diamante form in my previous Whittled Words post. It is fun, easy, and poignant. Thank you so very much for your support and sharing the works you create. I appreciate you and your words!

      • Matt P says:

        You’re welcome, Brad! I have 7 days til the next whittled words so I will definitely try different forms in your previous whittled words. Thanks so much for everything!

      • Brad Osborne says:

        It is truly my pleasure, Matt!

      • Matt P says:

        As it is mine.

  7. kristianw84 says:

    After your confession of its challenging form, I decided I wanted to attempt it. Challenge is also my middle name, you know. 😉

    I tried to lick clean the slate
    but I was just a little too late
    for came his reply, “I already ate.”

    This stupid dress, red and black plaid
    I thought for sure would get me laid
    Instead, it left my heart in need of aid.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Red and black plaid is my kryptonite! So well done, Kristian! It is good to know that a little challenge can stoke your fire! I wonder about the truth of “Challenge” being your middle name, but I am sure your parents often referred to you that way…🤣😂😁

      • kristianw84 says:

        Well, that’s good to know. Of course “challenge” isn’t literally my middle name. 😂🤣 My mom thought I was a challenge, especially through my teen years. My dad encouraged that independent, I do what I want when I want attitude. I think he got tired of telling the boys to leave his daughter alone, so it made him happy when he saw that fire in me, knowing I wasn’t just going to give into the first man who came along.

      • Brad Osborne says:

        That empowerment, independence, and strength is a gift to every daughter or son. You wear it well. And I love the “kiss my ass” handbag you sport as an accessory! (Hope that made you laugh) 😁

      • kristianw84 says:

        Thank you! 🤣😂🤣😂

  8. oh, Brad thank you for sharing that. I enjoyed very poem… but of course yours is special You made me laugh.
    “I laughed so hard at his tale, I slightly shat
    Offered more ale and a tip of my hat
    Headed home, where my clean underwear were at”

    Take care my dear friend. I can’t wait to lean more about you tomorrow.
    Have a lovely day Brad.

  9. Jim Borden says:

    this looks quite challenging, but to me it is one of your best. I love the humor and the skill with which you wrote this one. arse and shat in the same poem – impressive! 🙂

  10. petespringerauthor says:

    This is the first time I’ve seen this style of poetry. You poets like to invent these word challenges—I can appreciate that.

  11. jupitergrant says:

    What a great style of poem, and I particularly enjoyed your piece 😂

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] Verse Poem. So restrictive and challenging, yet fun. You can try this too. Visit Brad’s Whittled Words- Diminishing Verse Poem for the […]

  2. […] style of poetry called Diminishing Verse. I’ll make a better attempt soon. For now, check out Brad’s post for amazing poems in this […]

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