Tag Archives: writing practice

LexPoMo 2021, Day 30

We’ve reached the end of Lexington Poetry Month, so here’s my wrap-up post. I wrote a poem all but two days, and double-posted several days when my schedule got a little nutty. All in all, I consider it a pretty successful poetry month.

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

More than 2,700 poems have been posted at the time of this writing, and there are still a couple hours left! Check out the work of the 183 poets who took part this year at https://lexpomo.com/

Here’s the catfish featured in one of my later poems:

LexPoMo 2021, Day 20

We’ve reached the two-thirds mark in Lexington Poetry Month, so I thought I’d post again here on my own blog. I continue writing daily and posting at the LexPoMo site, and physical therapy has done wonders for my back.

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

Almost two thousand poems from two hundred eighty-three poets have been posted so far this year! https://lexpomo.com/

Here’s a cool orchid from an outdoor wedding we attended recently (our first post-pandemic event):

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.

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…

30 days hath September…

August wasn’t a total bust, writing-wise, but I didn’t set any records. I’ve decided it was a fallow period in which my brain rested from writing, though I did a fair amount of reading and tending to domestic matters.

September doesn’t belong to any special writing category that I know of, probably because it’s when a lot of people go back to school. But it is a 30-day month, and thus ripe for some kind of writing challenge. Indeed, a quick search turned up a boatload of September writing challenge prompts, as well as a number of generic 30-day writing challenges that fit.

In the spirit of those challenges, I’ve decided I want to write something each day this month, just to keep myself going. Work and family have demanded a lot of time of late, so I am composing in my head during small, stolen moments and trying to commit the results to memory until I can record them.

Here are the first three days’ efforts, followed by a photo from the garden.

(Sep 1)

This day has been too many
weeks long; this morning
I thought of a poem,
but now it’s gone.

(Sep 2)

Of time and timing

I have lost five poems
for every poem I’ve written
because they came to me
at inopportune moments.

(Sep 3)

Tired and frustrated,
I pen short poems that feel
like haiku but aren’t:
a new American form?

And now, the promised garden photo:

Sedum ‘Matrona’ with garlic chives. A bit of salvia ‘Black and Blue’ in the upper right, along with a couple of flies and a goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pensylvanicus).

30 in 30, day twenty-four

sept 2017 30-30Now that the world has ended, I’m rather disappointed to find that dirty dishes and loose pet hair remain.

A poem for the day after

I’m no expert
but the end of the world
seems to have gone
well enough,

better than I expected
at any rate, and without
really causing anyone great
inconvenience.

30 in 30, day seventeen

sept 2017 30-30For today’s poem, I picked up the nearest book, turned to page 17, and wrote down the first word, every seventeenth word after that, and the last word. That gave me twenty-two words, which I divided into pairs, each of which provided the first and last word of a line. Poetry by number?

Seventeen

remark on the way we hold
the line, with only perhaps
a faint idea what happened before

but maps were never
for us: they weren’t
something we turned to

I have no answers—I
can only stand here,
doorway agape, while she

prays to every foreign god
I’m the one to make it so

30 in 30, day five

sept 2017 30-30Today was another funeral for someone I know and love. There have been entirely too many of late.

At a loss

who doesn’t want to believe the rain
may be sharing their grief
or recognize in cloud cover
denial reflected a hundredfold
or understand the thunder
shudders at their own pain?

November WriMo, Day 18

It’s (inter)National Novel Writing Month (iNaNoWriMo), though we all know I’m not working on a novel. But neither am I willing to pass up a chance to ride the wonderful wave of creative energy rolling across the globe and through my own amazing community. (Shout-out to all the beautiful Bluegrass writers!) So I’ve given myself four very different writing activities to work on this month and have been able to make time for at least one of them each day.

Today’s activity is blogging, inspired by this article on poetry by A.E. Stallings. I may have to print it and carry it with me for those awkward moments when I’m called upon to talk about what I do. (For the record, I often cop out by talking about editing, which is only slightly less deadly to conversation than poetry.) Stallings hits all the salient points, and I love him for it.

  • Poetry is not useful, yet it is everywhere.
  • It transcends us and will outlast us all in some recorded form, though who will care?
  • Poetry is commercially non-viable and materially irrelevant, which makes it rather suspect.

Poetry arises from paradox, from the multiple meanings a word or image can hold. It’s a linguistic version of certain mathematical equations which seem to describe separate realities happening all at once.

Anyone who doubts the subversive, contradictory, and disreputable power of poetry needs only consider this year’s Nobel prize award for literature. It doesn’t explain much, but it makes a fantastic illustration. (Kinda like poetry.)

A.E. Stallings, “Why Bother with Poetry?” Times Literary Supplement Online, 7 Nov 2016,
http://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/public/why-bother-with-poetry/.

Day 7 poem, Fall WriMo 2016

This poem formed during the wee hours this morning, in a wakeful moment between sleep cycles. The words arranged themselves as I spoke them in my mind, and I desperately hoped, as I slipped back under, that I would remember them. I’m not certain I did, but this is a fair approximation.

arborial dreams

in sleep, our fingers still curl
as if encircling a branch
and our hands clench, gripping
as though our lives
depend on it, which they did once
upon a distant ancestor