Middle of Nowhere Productions

The Deonistic Rule Set

The Deonistic Rule set is a series of rules that form a type of poetry known as Deonistic Poetry. There are several Deonistic rule and all are very vague and general in nature. This gives a great deal of creativity to the author than the Haiku from which the Deonistic rule set is loosely derived.


The Deonistic rule set was created in the year 2002 following the creation of a series of poems that loosely resembled Haiku poetry. The Deonistic poems allow the author to explore ideas in a similar way to Haiku but without the limits on vocabulary imposed by the complex syllable system that defines Haiku.

Rule 1: The 90-Degree Rule

The 90-degree rule is the most fundamental rule of the Deonistic poems. It is a formalization of the theory that any idea, story, observation etc once formed can not only be turned around but be completely discarded as a new idea, story line, observation etc is formed in its place. The trick that the Deonistic poems perfect is to discard the old idea and form the new at any part of the poem while still maintaining the poems flow and structure.
A prime example is the poem Bus ride:

Is Different from tomorrow
Or yesterday for that matter
Waiting for a bus
I know I am in trouble
I only have 3 cents

Here the poem begins with an observation on time provides two important points with the observation before completely discarding them to tell the reader of the users conundrum.

Rule 2: Variations of Rule 1

The advantage of the Deonistic rule set is their adaptability in the hands of a skilled poet. This is not more clearly illustrated than in rule 2 simply know as variations of rule 1. This rule states that the location of the event outlined in rule 1 does not necessarily have to occur in the middle of the poem. In fact it quite often occurs at the end even in the last line. The poem my book changes on the second last line:

My Book
Is blue
With pokadots
Reading it is hard
With a hatchet in your head

Another important point bought up in the poem my book is how the poem changes theme while still actually relating back to the main line. While the fact that the author has a hatchet in his head has nothing to do with his book the poem still draws a line of similarity with the line Reading it is hard.

Rule 3: Structure

The structure of a Deonistic poem should remain true to its haiku origins. Therefore it should in general e no more than 10 lines. Also short statements should be alone while long observations should be made in pairs. However rule 3 is the most vague of all the rules and very few poems remain true to it.

Rule 4: Content

In general a Deonistic poem begins with an observation, discards it and tells you a story.

A tree
That has green leaves
And blue frogs
A rustling noise
Much happiness
Much rejoicing
Fred has come home.

Here and observation is made about a tree before telling the story of Fred's return. Of course as with all rules the poem does not have to be an observation followed by a statement but can be in any form at the discretion of the author.

True Deonistic poems by there very nature DO NOT MAKE SENSE. Poems it is quite acceptable to use the 4 Deonistic Rules in a sensical poem. The author may wish to use 1, 2, 3, or 4 of the rules. This will not be a true Deonistic poem but will be said to be simply applying the Deonistic rule set.


The true beauty of the Deonistic rule set is that once learned the author could at his/her discretion bend change or mould the rules as he/she sees fit. Feel free to use 8 rule 1 changes in a 400-line poem that makes perfect sense. This choice is up to the author. The mark of a good Deonistic poem is not how it adapts the poem to suit the rules but how it adapts the rules to suit the poem.

Some examples:

I am
Doing it know
Look someone else that is not jimmy carter

The rule set
90 degrees
A hatchet
I'm sorry I'm treading on your septum

It's illegal
So wrong
Look Freddy mercury

The soft wind blows
Stirring leaves
A zephyr comes
Sorry your call could not be connected
To a waterfall populated by curlers

I have a dole
To lean against a pole
When I was small
I have discovered
That I've uncovered
Fred has yellow skin

More then y
So magic is time
So pristine
Caloo caloo calay

Don't let him hear you
Your stock is now worth $45 per share

I can't recall
Why my gall
Looks like a squall
I only have 3 toes

The window
It is translucent
Why o why must I die
Look peter is holding three trees

Before a crowd
I stand to speak
My hands tremble
My eyes tweak
A frog goes by
Holding a pie

The pool
So serene
The emperor speaks
Look a meteor

My computer
Has been turned off
For two days
I think its dead
But it could just be me
And this hatchet in my head

The morning
It's quiet
No sound
So loud
Damn my head turned into a bucket

Snakes everywhere
No place to breath
Damn my new ovens on fire

A hotel
That I stayed at
Fridges inside
Stocked with little bottles of wine
I have to find Cornelius
I don't know where he is
But I think he's stolen my elf

Basketball size seven
I want to go to heaven
And find Mister Devon
I can't seem to place
My new case
My walrus has a toothache

Fat chubby man
Who ate out of a can?
Who ate all my cans?

Swimming cookbooks
Not the most reliable
Cheese was here this morning

Hey where's the beef?
Hey we are the beef
Hey where's the chief?
I can't find my teeth
Individual and the state
Is great
If you have a date
Unless your date
Is a date
I can't find my chicken

In the street
Was fine
Where the hell did the pilgrims go?

Auto shapes
Taste great with crepes
I'm missing my left ventricle
I think it's on my tentacle
Or maybe I have a missing chimney
Oh god that shoe shiners got my new curling broom.

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