Day Ten

NaPoWriMo Day Ten.*

“Today’s prompt is to write a hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince Gotera , the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.”

Short and sweet. Don’t blink:

bed    spring
pokes through surface


*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Ten

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Plumb Tired

Day Nine of NaPoWriMo. *

Today’s prompt:
” write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. “

As my bathroom remodel drags on, I have spent some sleepless nights worrying about things like p traps and wax ring seals and waterproof caulk. So today’s poem is a reflection of that. Herewith,

Plumb Tired

plumb tired

I couldn’t sleep a wink last night
as I lay in my bed.
The drip, drip, drip of piped in thoughts
were swirling through my head.
My bathroom is a shambles
since I tried to fix some leaks.
What started out a simple task
has now turned into weeks.
The toilet out, a new floor laid,
the sink restored to white.
I’m flushed with pride, the leaks subside.
Perhaps tonight I’ll sleep.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Nine

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Day Eight of NaPoWriMo.*

“Today’s poetry resource is a series of twitter accounts that tweet phrases from different poets’ work… Our prompt for the day (optional as always) asks you to peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots, and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem.”

I chose a line I found on @carsonbot.



“Sometimes a journey makes itself necessary,”
writes poet Anne Carson.

I’ve taken many a journey in my life.
As to which were necessary and
which were not, I do not know.
It took all of them to get me here, though.

Had I not been lured down dark pathways,
tempted into loud, gaudy marketplaces,
gotten lost in the tangles of a petulant brain,
where would I be now?

Would I be necessary?

I won’t bother asking why I’m here, and why now,,.
for what grand purpose am I intended?
That no longer concerns me.

The sun rose this morning.
I am here, now, in this place,
and my journeys continue,
by happenstance, by choice and – yes –
by necessity.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Eight

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News Flash

Day Seven of NaPoWriMo.*

Today’s prompt:  a poem based on a news article.

Hot off the press:

press sec

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Seven

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Day Six: Ekphrasis

Day Six of NaPoWriMo.*

Today’s prompt asks us to
“write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights.”

I used a different painting, Franz Marc’s “The Fox” for my poem, but with the same concept of using the subject’s point of view.

Here goes:



As cities crumbled in disrepair,
we watched from forest shadows,
not understanding what forces cause
a species to implode.

As flora died in poisoned air,
we retreated into denser woods,
left to fathom such machinations
that place greed above survival.

With no place left to seek reprieve,
we huddled amidst brambles,
hiding from blind ignorance
that sought to take our lives.

And then the whole world shattered
into a million pieces.
We raised our heads to face our death,
and instead were met with

blue skies free from factory smoke,
waters clear as young fawns’ eyes,
fish emerging from the depths.
plants burgeoning in replenished soil.

We snuggled in comforted embrace
as nature reassembled,
as order rose from chaos
under Gaia’s healing eyes.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Six. Ekphrastic poetry

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Day Five and Twenty Projects

Wow! So it’s Day Five of NaPoWriMo,* and today’s prompt is a doozy.

“It’s called the ‘Twenty Little Poetry Projects,’ and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course,  if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!”


Confused? You’re not alone.

I’m not going to list the 20 projects; that would make the prompt longer than the poem. But for those who want to attempt making sense of the poem, you can find the list here.

And so to the poem:

Sugar Cookie

You are the sugar in my cookies,
you’re the sizzle to my pop.
Were I to measure you for distance,
I wouldn’t spill a single drop.

Your cheeky smile, your limp embrace,
your heaven-scent and tactless taste;
like a songbird in Chicago,
a voice as cool as mint toothpaste.

A humdinger of a human,
every Charlie would agree;
unless of course he were a horse;
they’re so senseless, mon ami.

He’d not cramp your style on purpose,
though he’ll cramp your leg at night.
but if he did – and I digress —
it would only be for spite.

The short life of every meaning
is like the holly in a wreath;
when pigs know a storm is brewing,
they run with sticks between their teeth.

If you read this you will wonder,
will the cookie find romance?
Will the craven crumbs careen through time?
Heed my warning in advance!

Charlie horses, cookies,
songs in the key of mint toothpaste,
holly rings around the wreath,
as Chicago lays to waste.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Five

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Burnt Sky


dragon’s breath sunset
bare tree limbs in silhouette
ashes drift like snow

NaPoWriMo Day Four. Prompt: “write a poem based on an image from a dream.”

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New Reality

Day Three of NaPoWriMo.*

My offering:

New Reality

I despise the vile duplicity,
the partisan stupidity,
the rank and file idiocy that
purports to be our polity.

I’m aching for tranquility,
serenity, simplicity,
stability, integrity,
sincerity, morality.

I’ll cease my lame profanities,
I’ll work to restore sanity,
take every opportunity
to dignify humanity.

I’ll learn to live sustainably;
this planet my new deity.
I’ll protect its viability
from human greed and vanity.

I do not know my destiny.
Will I go down in infamy
or die in anonymity?
It matters not one whit to me.

I’ll fight the fight tenaciously
with love and light and empathy.
The world will right inequity,
our fate lies in our probity.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Three
I didn’t stay completely true to today’s prompt, except for the part that said, “try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using… rhyming and similar words.”

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Happy Hour

Day Two of NaPoWriMo.*

Today’s prompt:
“write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details…”

My submission:

Happy Hour

Almost six p.m. Happy hour.
Parking lot is nearly full;
it’ll be jumping inside.

Sure enough, the long, narrow, windowless room is packed.
Folks old and young. Well, not too young.
Drinking age. Mostly.

Most every seat is taken.
I shoehorn in anyway, and
sit near a bleary-eyed fellow,
drink sloshing in trembling hands.

Next to him, a woman, talkative.
Soft, brandy-colored eyes.
Voice smooth as well-aged whiskey.

Men bellied up to the long table,
retelling the day’s events.
Conquests, struggles,
anecdotes about their work mates.

Fellow at the far end checks his watch.
Pats his beer belly. Clears his throat.
Shoves his coffee out of the way.
Picks up a big blue book.
“All right, time to start the meeting.”

The room goes suddenly quiet.
“Hi, everyone. I’m Brian, and I’m an alcoholic.”
A full-throated, “Hi, Brian,” reverberates around the room.

And thus begins the AA meeting
at the Grace Episcopal Church on Second and Main.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day Two

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Dodge Ball

It’s Day One of NaPoWriMo!*

Today’s prompt: “write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances.

My offering:

Dodge Ball

An odd game, dodge ball.
I learned to play as a child,
in a windowless, cramped gymnasium
that smelled inexplicably like old wet dogs and
burnt rubber.

Unless I missed the finer nuances,
the gist of the game is hit or be hit.
Two teams at opposite ends of the court race to the center line
to acquire as many weapons — er, bouncy balls – as they can,
return to their respective territories.
then lob their missiles indiscriminately at one another.

You try to get out of the way or, if you can,
catch a missile and shoot it back at the enemy team.
Once hit by a ball, you’re “out”
and spend the remainder of the game
on the sidelines.

When all of one team’s players are “out,”
the other team wins.

I have learned, over time, that
the real way to win at dodge ball is to choose
not to play anymore.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day One

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