Category Archives: Poetry

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 19

Things got a little busy, as things are wont to. I’ve not had time to post, but I’ve kept up with the writing, which is the point, after all. 🙂 Prompts from Adele Kenny’s poetry blog have been lifesavers.

Dancing over the edge

Perhaps the wine or faint haze of cigarette
smoke made them dizzy, or the low

lighting and flicker of candles felt cave-like
and safe, or the steady throb of music

induced a kind of trance: they glided
together through song after song, inches

apart but touching, until they couldn’t
remember any other way to move.

Here are some daffodils from my yard 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.


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.

The one-third mark

We’re a third of the way through September and I’ve managed to compose a poem every day so far. Those short poems have done a good job of keeping my head in the game when I don’t have much time to write.

(Sep 9)

Willow is the emo child
of the Deciduous family,
bangs forever hanging
across her face.

(Sep 10)

This was inspired by an event in early April and a post at Formidable Woman Sanctuary: https://formidablewoman.org/2020/07/14/wardrobe-escapee-what-happened/

The pandemic in two small items of clothing

While walking on my street –
a street that goes nowhere
and leads to nothing, just circles
around the neighborhood
and back on itself – I saw
a pair of crew socks in the road
like they’d fallen off the roof
of a car or been dropped.

Separated, slumped, bedraggled,
abandoned – I felt as lost
as they appeared and as full
of unanswered questions.

It really is September…