Rain drops, water falls.

Sometimes it gets sloshed and spills.

Clumsy H2O.

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Things People Say

Day Nine of NaPoWriMo.

Today’s prompt is inspired by the work of Sei Shonagon, a Japanese writer who lived more than 1000 years ago. She wrote a journal that came to be known as The Pillow Book. In it she recorded daily observations, court gossip, poems, aphorisms, and musings, including lists with titles like “Things That Have Lost Their Power,” “Adorable Things,” and “Things That Make Your Heart Beat Faster.”

The prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.” What things? Well, that’s for you to decide!

And so:

Things People Say

“I understand.” A phrase often misunderstood.
If one truly understands,
there are many more effective ways to say so.
Better yet,
illustrate the understanding through actions.
Show, don’t tell.

“Are we there yet?”
Often responded to with a white lie:
If one feels compelled to ask, the answer is
most likely “no.”

“I love you.” Best said when true.
Often withheld until one’s paramour has said it first.
Show, but also tell.

“Thank you.” Not said often enough.
Tell, and show,
at minimum seventeen times per day.

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Crash for Cash

Day Eight of NaPoWriMo. The prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem.

I’ll let the phrase “crash for cash” drive my poem.

traffic 2

Crash for Cash

Put pedal to the metal,
don’t let them get away.
Faster than fast, hit the gas
if you’re gonna play.

Gotta get ahead now,
catch them in their own lane.
They won’t even know you’ve
beat them at the game.

Don’t give them time to guess;
road rage or reckless chase.
They’ll let you lead the way,
they’ll settle for second place.

Not here to win the race,
you’re here to get the prize.
Slam on the brakes, let them
hit you in the backside.

**> ~ ~ <**

They’ll say it’s your fault.
You’ll say it’s whiplash.
They say they’ll sue you.
You say you’ll take cash.

It’s how the race is run,
not about who wins the race.
Wanna know what I think?
It’s all about who sets the pace.

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Waking Up

Day Seven of NaPoWriMo. The prompt:

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?

What better gift than nature?

blanket p

Spring’s blanket of blooms

spreading of it’s own accord

Gaia arises

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Weekend Wildcard (Flashback #1: Free Fall)

WILDCARD liftingIn 2012, I began my first of many blogs, entitled “Lifting the Weight.” Seems like eons ago. I looked this week and was surprised to see the blog still sitting out there in the ether, looking none the worse for it’s many years of neglect.

I decided to repost some of the content from that site on this one.

As described in the “About” statement from my “Lifting” blog,

July 11, 2012 —
Having suffered at the hands of my own negativity for far too long, I decided it was time to claim the positive energy that is available to each of us for our own benefit and for the benefit of others. Hence, I’ve begun the process of “lifting the weight” of depression from my soul and moving into a lighter, freer space. Please join me in finding a way to a more balanced, affirming life.

I continue that journey to this day, and I must say I see much more light than darkness these days. For that I am eternally grateful. So why revisit the “me” of seven years ago? It might provide inspiration to those still weighted down. It might provide insight to me for continuing to follow the light. If you want to skip my indulgences into the past, just forego reading my Flashbacks. Don’t worry, I’ll never know, and even if I did, I wouldn’t mind.

Here’s an entry to “Lifting the Weight,” posted on July 31, 2012:

Free Fall

“Now that my storehouse has burned down, nothing conceals the moon.”
Mizuta Masahide, poet and samurai

I got depressed and lost my job. In that order. And while my depression has abated, I have yet to recover from my joblessness. I am totally clueless as to what that recovery is going to look like. Yet despite my total lack of financial security, I am finding myself feeling unusually at peace; feeling, in fact, downright serene. I’ve never felt this way before.

It’s almost like I am a dissociated observer of my own life. I am watching myself with curiosity, waiting to see what’s going to happen next. I’m not judging what got me here, not dwelling on where I currently find myself, and not stressing about where I will end up. If I weren’t so mellow, I might find my attitude a bit disconcerting.

The reality is that in losing my job, I have gained the time and freedom and ability to concentrate on myself and my health, both mental and physical. I’m not working nine hours a day at a stressful job, spending seven hours trying to de-stress from my stressful job, and then going to sleep to avoid stressing about my stress. I am able to broaden my thinking, to look around and see more, to appreciate more, and to feel more. I am gaining balance in my life as I focus on healthy eating and exercise and sorting through thoughts and emotions.

I am experiencing all of these blessings while nonetheless being in a financial free fall. In the olden day cartoons, when characters fell off a cliff and started hurtling to the canyon floor, they would serendipitously get snagged mid-fall by a gnarled branch of some sort poking conveniently out of the otherwise barren cliff side.

That is, unless the character was Wile E Coyote, in which case he invariably smacked prostrate at the base of the cliff, ending up flatter than the proverbial pancake. By the next scene, though, he was re-inflated into his usual 2-dimensional self and was ready for his next adventure, something that would probably put him at the losing end of a stick of dynamite that had been purchased by Bugs Bunny from the Acme Company. Some coyotes just can’t win.

I’m not exactly banking on the notion that I will be snagged from my demise at the last minute. I’m not really banking on anything. I’m just watching. I don’t advocate this approach to life. If I fall flat on my face, there’s no saying that I will bounce back like Wile E Coyote. Time will tell.

In the meantime, I’m going to appreciate my view of the moon.


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If and When

Day Six of NaPoWriMo. The prompt:

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of the possible… not on what has happened, or what will happen, but on what might happen if the conditions are right. Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

If that’s what you want, I guess I could do that:


If and When

you got to work in the early morning and began wondering what time I would rise from bed and what I might make for breakfast and whether I preferred my eggs scrambled or poached and did I sit at the kitchen table with the newspaper as I ate or maybe on the porch swing so I could smell the spring flowers,

would you call me and ask?

I wondered what you were thinking as you gazed silently out the car window on those hot summer days when we drove through the valley with the fields full of big round hay bales that remind me of cinnamon rolls,

would you tell me when I asked?

we walked together along the beach in the waning hours of a warm autumn day and spoke of our dreams and hopes and fears and those silly notions that pop into our minds sometimes or the songs that get stuck in our head all day or what we like most about Sunday mornings,

what might happen then?

winter comes, perhaps we can sit at home before a warm hearth, enjoying one another’s company, comfortable in our answers,

no questions asked.

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If Only

Day Five of NaPoWriMo. Lots of choices for the prompt today. I chose to write a villanelle, which is defined as such:

The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain.

Clear as mud? I thought so, too. But I gave it a go anyway.


If Only

If we only had the time –
just imagine if you would –
all the mountains we could climb.

Wouldn’t it be fine?
Leisured strolls in shaded woods
if we only had the time?

If we let the years unwind,
wove the hard times with the good,
all the mountains we could climb.

We’d pick peaches in their prime,
dine beneath the cottonwoods
if we only had the time.

If we heard the clock bells chime,
left our worries where they stood,
all the mountains we could climb!

How might our futures be defined
if we only understood?
If we only had the time,
all the mountains we could climb.

Also posting on dVerse, where the poem form for the month is the villanelle. 

Posted in daily prompt, humanity, nature, poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 17 Comments