Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 23

The prompt: compose a triolet-iambic tetrameter, 8 lines,beginning and ending with the same couplet. Lines 1 and 4 are the same. Rhyme scheme: ABaAabAB

"The Bluebird"

The bluebird in the tree, he sings
To welcome this, a brand new day.
Here all around the springtime rings
The bluebird in the tree; he sings
And washes off our hurts and stings.
He speaks of newness here to stay.
The bluebird in the tree, he sings
To welcome this: a brand new day.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Day 22

The prompt: Write a poem inspired by earth day

"The Loquat tree"

The fruit hangs heavy from limbs.
reaching out toward the sky's ends
each fuzzy, tart morsel invites
a tongue to taste its sweet delights.
Beetles nest between waxen leaves
guarding their bounty from thieves
like me, reaching to steal
a bit of their delicious meal.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 20

The prompt: use 6 words from a list at NaPoWriMo.net. (I used squander, mercurial, salt, bilious, dunderhead, miraculous, willowy, seaweed)

"Wisdom and the Sea"

Twice he squandered mercurial salts,
that foolish, bilious dunderhead.
In his quest to mend his gaping faults
he forgot the miraculous life he led.

If she had never emerged-
that lovely, willowy, wise mermaid
(wrapped in seaweed, she upsurged)-
who knows what other mistakes he'd have made.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Day 19

The prompt: write a personal ad.

"It's Academic"

Exhausted scholar seeks creative, high capacity, motivated brain for intense study sessions.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Day 18

The prompt: begin and end with the same word

Dearest, I saw you
first among the stars.
You rose in glorious hue
and reached from afar.

You reached to hold my hand
Tightly within your own
You drew me up to stand
At the foot of the unknown

And you urged me to go on
through the darkness that was nearest.
You pulled my courage along
to the summit that was dearest.

Day 17

The prompt: say hello

A haiku for seedlings

You sprouted last week
Tender green shoots rising up
Nodding to the sun

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Day 15

The prompt: Write a Pantun- rhymed quatrains (a-b-a-b) with 8-12 syllables per line. (I'm out of order; I got behind)


The days drag by, one after another.
The work piles up higher and higher.
The towers of it threaten to smother
All the dreams to which I aspire.

Day 16

The Prompt: Do a translation. I’m pretty sure the intent was one that sounds like the original, not necessarily one that is true to the original meaning, but I stretched my translation muscles and did a true translation of a poem by African (Senegalese) poet Leopold Sedar Senghor, one of my favorite poets. I took some poetic license of my own, so please forgive any inaccuracies.

The original:

Perles blanches,
Lentes gouttelettes,
Gouttelettes de lait frais,
Clartés fugitives le long des fils télégraphiques,
Le long des longs jours monotones et gris !
Où vous en allez-vous ?

À quels paradis ? À quels paradis ?
Clartés premières de mon enfance
Jamais retrouvée...

My translation:


White pearls,
Slow droplets,
Droplets of fresh milk,
Fleeting sparks along the length of telegraph lines,
The length of long, grey, monotonous days!
Where do you go?

To what paradise? To what paradise?
First sparks of my childhood
Never found again…

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Day 12

The prompt: say something you want to say but never will.  (I kind of fudged here, because I might say these things one day. I'm not much for keeping my mouth shut)

"Dear one, I love you"

Dear one, I love you.
I love most things that you do
in your passion for life.
But I wish you'd let go of the strife
of fighting for the sake of it,
of forcing your life to split
away from the dreaded "norm."
For your heart is unique in form
and there's no need to fight.
Just sit back and rest in the light.

Day 11

The prompt: write tanka (5 lines; 5,7,5,7,7 syllables)

Some weekends I go
to visit with my parents.
They like to see me.
But what I really like best
Is their big screen and cable.

(this is mostly a lie)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Day 10

The prompt: write an un-love poem


You put it on my car window,
bright, cheerful, yellow.
What a striking sight it made.
You tucked it under the wiper blade,
so it wouldn't blow away.
I returned later that day
and was surprised to see
what you had left for me:

Fifty dollar fine; no parking zone.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Day 9

The prompt: write something inspired by Film Noir.

"The Hook"

She slipped through that door
poised, perfect.
"I need your help"
her lips said.
but her eyes said
"I need you."

Monday, April 8, 2013

Day 8

The prompt: Write verse in "ottava rima."  The rhyming pattern: ABABABCC, traditionally in iambic pentameter, but I went for tetrameter (because I couldn't make pentameter work).


The soil is soft and fragrant now
So open up your heart's doors wide
And put fresh hands upon the plow.
Forget the bitter tears you've cried,
Release the lines upon your brow,
And look to Spring's refreshing tide.
At last, the dark has passed away
To give us now a bright new day.

Now take into your little hands
The promise of new seeds to sow.
Fear not the place in which you stand.
It is your starting place to grow
New promises in fallow land.
Start small, with just your little toe.
An inch or so will be just fine.
Today becomes your starting line.

Tomorrow you will add anew
A row, a plant, a seed, a blade;
And look back on today's work, too.
You'll see the progress that you've made:
The seedlings with new sprouts that grew
because of you and your small spade.
Farewell to tears of yesterday.
The journey starts for you today.

(Special credit to this essay in the Rabbit Room by Matt Conner for today's inspiration)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Day 7

The prompt: write a poem where each line is a declarative sentence, except for the last: a question.


There was a shooting.
There was an accident.
The cancer has spread.
I can't find a heartbeat.
The damage is too extensive.
There were complications.
The drugs stopped working.
It was the wrong place, wrong time.
We did everything we could.
It wasn't enough.


Saturday, April 6, 2013

Day 6

The prompt: Write a valediction

"Farewell to Winter"

Now the pollen lines lay dense
Around every door and fence.
And breezes sing among new buds
Over children covered in mud.

Wide windows are pushed open
To pull all that sweet freshness in
With verdant shimmering light
And the yellow-bright dust of new life.

Until November next, my friend
When we'll be sure to meet again.

Day 5: Write a quintain

I'm not happy with this, but here it is:

"A poor weatherman"

You said
the rain was done
but when I went outside
I quickly discovered your lie
I'm soaked.

I stand
dripping coldly
glaring over at you
warm in your jammies and blanket
you jerk.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Day 4

The prompt:
Take the title of your poem from an Iain Banks spaceship name

"Armchair Traveller"

The atlases were stacked
to the ceiling in some places,
and the maps were all packed;
no time for last embraces.

"Farewell, my sad and lonely hovel,"
he said, and opened a novel.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day 3

The prompt: write a "sea chantey," but I didn't.

You exhaled and my lungs expanded
          your fragrance broke over my face
          and your warmth embraced me

You opened your eyes and I saw
     this golden, shimmering earth
     full of golden, shimmering humans
                                                        with shining eyes like mine
                                                                open hands like mine
You poured out your heart and I lived.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Day 2: Tell a lie (or is it?)

A love song

If I told you I never liked the way
    the sun comes up from the depths of the ocean
at the start of each wakening day

If I told you I thought that briny sea
    with its caressing, cradling motion
never whispered a true song to me

If I told you that beautiful, life-giving mother
    never stirred me, nor taught my devotion
to waken and turn new eyes to that Other

Then I told you my heart doesn't remember
    the precious words you've spoken to me
their rhythm, their cadence, their timbre.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 1

The prompt: start with a line from another poem

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
and there I stood as long as I could.
I had to admit I was helplessly lost
As I held my GPS aloft.

"No signal" flashed in dying light
And I cursed those stupid satellites.
I shook the finicky little thing,
But all I got was a warning ring.

Curse you, Mr. Robert Frost
Who probably was never lost.
While I myself, on the other hand
Seem always in uncharted land.

So universe, please send me a sign.
I might even listen to you this time.

NaPoWriMo Day 1