Tag Archives: derangement

NaPoMo 2022, Day 19

I’ve not been writing as much as I’d hoped, but I have been reading and listening to poetry, and writing when I can. This is a derangement of a poem by Wordsworth, “On the Projected Kendal and Windermere Railway.”

Against the wrong protest, constantly voice
your strong torrents: winding, speaking, passing
dead hearts, if they be human. And of nature, romance
the beautiful peace and plead for rapture’s glance,
the traveler given pause at the forest’s head.
Seen in bright threat, baffled and thrown, random
fields admit the pattern, are lured by false utility
and scorn. Who bemoans the change, ruthless
and musty, endured by this blighted parish?
Blow hope to flowers, early and pure, kept busy
in the world of youth, sown in retirement.
Schemes assault the rash, secure in the ground
of English, naked then, railed away:
it is merely the wind, kindled on the project.

‘April Queen’ daffodil, a gift from my daughter

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.

Resonated and touched

I’m catching up on my inbox reading and found some poetry (with a little derangement and omission) in Colleen Chesebro’s commentary on her own poem “Stone Ghosts.”

American carnage
(after Colleen Chesebro)

falling defeated
taste salt tears
like waves

hope flowing
feel the ripples
of change

touched deep
compelled to name
stone ghosts



sunflower july

Italian sunflower with Echinaceas

A derangement of Celtic wisdom

Derangement of a quote from Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom posted yesterday at Latitudes of a Day


Blessing for the road
after John O’Donohue

In your journey
a kindness of rhythm
will teach you
but more important
where you need to go
it will take you
if you do.

indirect, oblique
you can trust this
your future, therefore
has the map
your soul alone.

Your destiny
knows the geography of
your soul.


may chives

chives, curiously untouched by the freeze

Days 7 and 8, NaPoWriMo 2020

This is a derangement. ‘Nuff said.

Ox-eyed Does and a Pair of Morons
after John Ashbery

You is poem, the you beside down softly me set. Has poem the attitude
different or adopted, have there aren’t you then and level?
Your one eye doing into me, tease to only exist, you think. I more
than once played have been. Typewriters of chatter and steam

get to know you before, and ended open proof without days. August-long,
these greys of division. Thin as patterned rolls, dream a thing
outside, deeper, able to play. Consider I but said yes actually, we’ll play
into them a system, bringing things together. What is a level plain

that cannot, and yours be toward it? Because sad is poem, other: each miss
you miss it miss. You have, don’t you – but it has you fidget to pretend
or window a look. You taking it at look-level, planned variation
on language with a concerned poem, this.


This one speaks for itself.


Today I need a lot of help
writing. With other things
as well – lots of other things
— but today the writing has me
stymied  stumped  stupefied
stonewalled  stalled  stultified
flustered  filibustered  flummoxed
baffled  bewildered befuddled
bedeviled  blockaded  bamboozled
dizzy  dumbfounded  discombobulated
in other words,
I got nuthin’.

2020 National Poetry Month Poster-50

30 in 30, day twenty-five

sept 2017 30-30This exercise I’m calling linear derangement, in which I reverse line order rather than word order. The source is “A Procession at Candlemas,” by Amy Clampitt. (You can view the source poem at https://www.sas.upenn.edu/~cavitch/pdf-library/Clampitt_ProcessionAtCandlemas.pdf.)


In the rest-in-peace of the placental coracle,
not merely of the ego, you rediscover, almost,

sometimes wrapped like a papoose into a grief
beyond the torn integument of childbirth,

a stillness at the heart of so much whirling:
amok among the magnolias’ pregnant wands,

remorseless corpuscles, street gangs
in falling snow, a whirl of tenderness

for one straggling up Pennsylvania Avenue.
Intoning, a drum becomes the metronome:

the monk in sheepskin over tucked-up saffron
can assign a trade-in value to that sorrow

like caribou, perhaps camped here. Whose
names they went by, stumbling past

in losing everything they had, is lost even
in transhumance, once a people

of Indian Meadows. The westward-trekking
nowhere oasis wears the place name

absently, without inhabitants, this
the pristine seductiveness of money

niched into the washroom wall case.
Lip rouge, mirrors, and emollients embody

perfect, like miracles. Comb, nail clippers
in parcel gilt, plop from their housing

gumball globes, life savers cincture
cream-capped in the cafeteria showcase.

What’s fabricated? The jellies glitter
beside them, drinking what is real except

fuel pumps, the bison hulk slantwise
of freezing dark, through a Stonehenge

or clamber down, numb-footed, half in a drowse
about the self’s imponderable substance.

The sleepers groan, stir, wrap themselves
something precious, ripped: Where are we

within layers, at the core a dream of
lapped, wheelborne integument, each layer

necessary and intractable as dreaming,
fragile as ego, frightening as parturition?

30 in 30, day twenty-one

sept 2017 30-30This is a very straight-forward derangement (if such a thing is possible) of Amy Clampitt’s “The Edge of the Hurricane.” The source poem seems particularly apt given this year’s Atlantic hurricane season. (You can view the source poem here.)

Hurricane of the edge

Mangle and wring, drench — trample also —
can levity again yet notice? Serving
laundry as white-bleached moon, single; up hangs
nightfall, away. Packed wardrobe, cloud-bright, ends day: the debris of fouettés,
twirling in, upstands gales. Sibling fading and brightening, shade leaf lacewing
flying, footprints’ liquid fripperies — vaporous gusts point young
by crossed clearness of windowpanes. Mediterranean overhead opens
to begin transparencies, rinsed all afternoon by passing. Keep cumulus
Caribbean flounces of dark mud pieces, torn rain of tambourines, and lariats
with winds careening the wheeling.

30 in 30, day fourteen

sept 2017 30-30This is a derangement (an exercise from Wingbeats II) of a fragment from Edna St. Vincent Millay.

In memory

No more the broken bird beats
golden; the once-ivory box is
spoken: all your words are lovely.

Restore the secret of earth:
chemistry shall never talk
but of your music.

– from Edna St. Vincent Millay, “Memorial to D.C.: Elegy”


Deranged poetry: Langston Hughes

July imageOne of the things I (re)discovered during Lexington Poetry Month this year is how much I enjoy playing around with poems. To capitalize on the momentum and habits I’ve built up in the last few weeks, I plan to continue writing and posting daily.

In support of those intentions, I found a lovely new graphic for the month of July. I didn’t have time to paint anything since yesterday, but my daughter gave me permission to use a coloring page she made this summer.

Today’s poem is a derangement of Langston Hughes’ “Blue Monday.” (Click here to read the source poem.)

Back to the grind

Down you get, surely. Monday,
blue and old, that down-you-get Monday
will deny you anything of use.

But Sunday and Saturday sport
that-a-way. Make it late, I’ve done ate,
and working to go

downtown now.