You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.

“For today’s prompt, I want you to write a farewell poem. After all, we are saying farewell to another wonderful National Poetry Month. Say farewell to this month; say farewell to a vacation spot; say farewell to a bad relationship; say farewell to work; say farewell to school; say farewell to saying farewell even.”

Well, thank God that this challenge is finally over! I’m planning to post my final thoughts on the challenge in the next couple of days. For now, I’m just incredibly happy that it’s OVER, and that I wrote a poem EVERY SINGLE DAY this month!
a puff of breath and
the soap bubble leaves
the plastic wand behind.
it floats, carried by the wind,
until I can see it no longer.

“For today’s prompt, I want you to title your poems “Never (blank)” with you filling in the blank with a word or phrase. Then, write a poem based off your title, which could be “Never look both ways when crossing the street” or “Never blush in public” or “Never ever” or “Never write a poem with the word never in the title.” You get the idea, right?”

I didn’t get around to posting this yesterday, but I can assure you that I wrote it yesterday. (And posted it to the Poetic Asides website.)
The saddest word.
No optimism
no hope for
future change,
no chance at all.
No half-full glass –
the glass is empty
and won’t ever
be refilled.
Without hope,
there is only
and futility.
Never is
such a short word,
to encompass
so much bleak

“For today’s prompt, I want you to write a sestina…  So start figuring out your 6 end words and get writing.

“But wait! Today is Tuesday, so you have one other option. You can write a poem about the sestina (your love, hate, frustration with, etc.).”

This is a terrible poem – I’m warning you now!  🙂  I am completely undone at the idea of writing a sestina off-the-cuff;  it is a poem that takes a lot of thought and is constrained by a certain format.  So I just whine a while, and call it a poem.  Someday soon, I will write a sestina, but it won’t be today!
“Write a sestina,” he says,
and I stare at him, astonished.
A sestina is a project,
not something I can dash off
in between Tuesday chores!
First there’s the math, not my
strong point:  six lines per stanza for
six stanzas, then a seventh with
only three lines;  my head spins, thinking
of thirty-nine lines, complicated by
six words.  Choose them well, for one will
end each line, juggled ‘round in order,
until stanza seven, where two by two,
they end it all.  There is a plan –
the sestina’s only saving grace –
but you must plan to use the plan!
My brain goggles at the very
idea:  a sestina, on a Tuesday!
(Goggling, of course, is the first
barrier to writing such a poem.)
Too much to compute, too hard a
pursuit. I need a week, perhaps two!

“For <b>today’s prompt</b>, I want you to write a poem of longing. You or someone (or something) else should be pining for someone or something. Maybe a cat is longing to get outside the house. Maybe a teenager is longing to get away from his or her small town. And, of course, there’s always the longing poem of love.”

I’m lazy again today, so it’s another dog poem.  Inspired by true events.  😉
<b>Doggie Desperation</b>
He stares longingly at the
crust of pizza in my hand.
He wishes he could put a
tooth on it, gobble it down
faster than the blink of my eye.
A long string of drool stretches
from his mouth to the couch.
He waits politely, ever hopeful.
I give in, and watch it disappear,
and then he stares at me again
as if I hadn’t just given in.

“For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem involving miscommunication. It can be miscommunication between two people or misinterpretation of some sort. I will leave it up to you guys to deal with it however you want.”

Only four more days… Only four more days…
Does he hear my words when I speak?
I ask him, what kind of books are they,
and he tells me what they cost.
I ask him, what did the picture look like,
and he tells me it came from Aunt Suzie.
I ask him, which kind of file attachment was it,
and he tells me who sent it to him.
Does he hear my words when I speak?
Is my meaning lost in the space between us,
or does he deliberately misunderstand?
Every day, I question: is this
perversity or senility?
And still, I wonder.

“Only 5 more days left to go! For today’s prompt I want you to pick an event and make that event the title of your poem.”

Thank goodness it’s almost over. I’m really running on empty these days.
Grand Opening
The spay/neuter clinic is bright
and new: gleaming steel kennels
and soothing painted walls,
clean crisp lines of an exam table,
sterile and shiny operating suite.
The culmination of years of
petitioning, pleading, sometimes nagging;
many pennies, raised both
here and there, from everywhere.
At last, for the animals.

“For <b>today’s prompt</b>, I want you to write a travel-related poem. It can be human travel, the migration of swallows, the trafficking of drugs, etc. Some sort of movement from point A to point B.”

I got partway through this poem and couldn’t figure out where to go next.  My impatience is getting in the way of writing today, so this is my offering:
<b>Trapped in a Low-Income Life</b>
I dream of places both far and close by:
big cities, countryside, tiny towns
lost in rural America.
I long for Europe and for Africa,
wish myself in Southeast Asia,
even wonder about Antarctica.
A photo safari on the savannah,
a trail ride through the Andes,
an icebreaker bound for the North Pole;
if I could, I would travel anywhere,
just to see where the voyage took me.
I only leave the site of my very own life
through tv documentaries, or books,
or pretending the stories of others
could happen to me.

“For today’s prompt, I want you to write a poem of regret. Get creative with this one, but there should be some form of regret either expressed or hinted at (even if ever so slightly). You do NOT have to use the word “regret” in the poem, though it’s fine if you do.”

After today’s poem, there is only one more week to go in the challenge!

Today’s offering is another untitled draft. I’m surprised I’ve been able to put titles (at least working ones) on so many of my poems! But today, I’ve got a lot of work to do, and my mind is not leading me quickly to anything. So I’m moving on – at least I remembered to write something before the last minute today!





The town is closing in on her.
Everyone knows her secrets
and what she ate for breakfast.
Gossip travels at light speed
through the salons and offices
into hungry, waiting ears.
She just makes a decision
when the phone rings to tell her
why it won’t work and
what she should do instead.


She doesn’t know how she’s been able
to pack every suitcase she owns
without half the town showing up
on her front doorstep.
(The drawn curtains helped,
although there are seventeen
messages demanding
to know why?)


In the 2 a.m. darkness, she sneaks
into her car. As she escapes
down Main Street to the highway,
she thinks for one short moment
about her best friend from high school
who lives next door and will ache.
She aches herself at leaving only
a time-delayed goodbye email.
But she keeps driving and
turns north onto the interstate.

“For today’s prompt, I want you to write a work-related poem. Work doesn’t have to be the main feature of the poem, but I want you to “work” it in somehow. And remember: There are different types of work. Of course, there are the activities that gain you fortune and fame (or not), but then, there’s also housework, exercise, volunteering, etc. I’m sure you’ll “work” it out.”

I got so busy today that I just about forgot about the challenge! So all I’ve got to offer is a last minute experiment. It’s about rhythm, so you have to read it out loud.
think, think, think, think.
outline, read, research, read,
plan, write, research, write,
read, list, read, write, write, write,
write, write, type, type,
type, type, backspace, type,
spell-check, type, proofread, type,
re-read, edit, think, polish.
Finally, the paper is done.

“Here are the two prompts for the day (you only need to choose one, unless you’re all about pushing yourself to the limit):

“1. Write a haiku. The haiku is not just a form but a genre of poetry. (Click here to read more about the haiku.) People sometimes go into writing a haiku and end up with a senryu or a faux-ku, but it’s all good (and all poetry).

“2. Write about the haiku. I know there are some poets (in this very group even) who are anti-form. So, I’m giving them the option to write their anti-haiku manifestos. Of course, if you pay attention to this 2nd prompt, it doesn’t need to be anti-haiku; your poem could be questioning or even praising the haiku. Or something.”

Ha ha, it’s like he read my poem for yesterday and got inspired!  Too funny!  It’s a busy day for me, and my head is terribly achy, so here’s something off the top of my head…



Storm clouds, boiling black,

thunder over Green Mountain,

invading blue skies.

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