LexPoMo 2021, Day 10

We’ve reached the one-third mark in Lexington Poetry Month, so it’s about time I posted something here on my own blog. I’ve been writing daily and posting at the LexPoMo site, trying to meet an editing deadline, and nursing a nagging back injury that prevents me from sitting more than 20-60 minutes at a stretch (depending on the day).

You can access my LexPoMo poems here: https://lexpomo.com/poet/2021/2021-04-15-150103-jennifer-barricklow/

Two hundred eighty-two other poets are also posting, so I encourage you to read some of their work as well: https://lexpomo.com/

Finally, here is a photo of lovely Dutch irises that bloomed for the first time in my yard this year.

NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 30

Today is the last day of National Poetry Writing Month, but the writing will go on! My final poem for the month was inspired by the triolet form (though it’s not a triolet) and Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning,” which was in the prompt from Adele Kenny’s poetry blog.

Praying for a dream

lift up your faces
you have a piercing need
which will not be moved
despite its wrenching pain

lift up your faces
but seek no haven
a bordered country
armed for slaughter

lift up your faces
for a new beginning
clad in peace
you have a piercing need

 

 

 

These irises were a gift from a neighbor. Thanks for reading!

 

NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 29

I’ve been writing but haven’t had time to post. The poem for today’s prompt from Adele Kenny’s poetry blog is “The Hedgehog” by Paul Muldoon. I love his line breaks and how the last stanza takes the reader somewhere much more serious than the rest of the poem portends.

Reasons to Write Poetry, No. 427

Sometimes you start writing
a poem as it comes to you
line by line, and it turns
suddenly in a direction
you didn’t expect.

 

 

Here is a gorgeous iris to thank you for reading.

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 20

A line from Mary Oliver’s “Why I Wake Early” caught my ear, thanks to the prompt at Adele Kenny’s poetry blog: wake.

Not a morning person

(after M. Oliver)

even the miserable and the crotchety
must wake, however early or late,
to the sun’s relentless cheeriness
and radioactive optimism

 

 

Some tulips and grape hyacinths would like to thank you for reading.

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 6

The last couple days’ drafts have been, well, a bit too drafty to post.
But here is a derangement of Elizabeth Bishop’s “I Am in Need of Music,” inspired by a prompt at Adele Kenny’s poetry blog: Music.

Harmonic intervention

(after E. Bishop)

Sleep; the moon floats
forever still in the sea,
fading, sinking; deep
through the heart
of cool, quiet rest
breathes a spell
made of melody.

Limbs flush, glow
and quiver in dreams
of water, falling
dead-tired to rest
in the sway of some old
song, low and liquid.

Oh, for the healing!
Clear lips, trembling
melody, bitter fingers
feel the frets
of tainted music:

I am in need.


NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 3

This is a very loose derangement of Yeats’ “When You Are Old,” inspired by a prompt at Adele Kenny’s poetry blog: Aging.

Time and sky
(after W.B. Yeats)

Stars cloud his face, hidden overhead
amid mountains that glow with the bend
and change of sorrow. The soul seeks
false love, true beauty, and grace
of moments deep in shadow. Soft eyes
dream of looks read slowly and taken
by fire, nodding and grey with sleep,
at once old and full.


NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 2

Taking a cue from my September writing challenge success – and Adele Kenny’s Tip #4 – I may not post every day this month, but I will definitely draft a poem every day. Some drafts simply aren’t ready for public viewing. 😉

Today’s poem resulted from a prompt at Adele Kenny’s poetry blog: The color red.

The next morning

Very few notice
dried blood
on the sidewalk
as it no longer
appears red.


NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 1

Welcome to National Poetry Writing Month (in the U.S. and Canada) and Global Poetry Writing Month (in the rest of the world)!

My first poem resulted from a prompt at Adele Kenny’s poetry blog: Remembrance.

Failure of memory

Year after year the magnolias bloom
too soon, and their thick creamy
petals liquefy in the late spring
freeze then drip from upturned branch
tips, hundreds of candles burnt
clear down to the socket.


NaPoWriMo Eve, 2021

On the cusp of National Poetry Month, I’m excited about focusing (a little more than usual) on poetry for the next 30 days!

I’m also sad because temperatures are expected to drop significantly below freezing the next three nights, and all the plants that have begun blooming and leafing out will be severely damaged. It may seem trivial, but the past twelve months have been difficult, and my capacity for resilience has dropped considerably.

Here are some pictures from my yard, while everything still looks beautiful and alive.

September successes

I did it! I wrote a poem every day during the month of September!

You’ll notice I didn’t post a poem for each day; in fact, I stopped posting after September 10. This was another success in that it led directly to the above-mentioned success. By letting go of posting, I freed myself from the double tyrannies of time and quality. More than once I crawled into bed and realized I hadn’t written that day, so I took a few moments to scrawl something in the back of my crossword book. This worked surprisingly well, because I found myself revising when I later transcribed those notes into my writing journal.

I didn’t produce much of great merit, but I learned valuable things about process. Many end-of-the-day scribbles captured poems that had formed in mind earlier and might otherwise have been lost. And because I periodically comb through my writing journal for inspiration, some of those phrases or ideas might yield something better down the road.

All in all, it was a good experience and one I plan to leverage come November, when I’ll piggy-back on the energy of NaNoWriMo to propel my own writing.

Happy October!

A ghost leaf (that’s what I call them) from the neighbor’s sweetgum tree.