Conjugal Pottage, Serves Two

Photo by Sergey Norkov via Unsplash Conjugal Potage, Serves Two A dash of wisdom folded into temporary bliss, to keep itfrom curdling. Undiluted,it tends to stick in your throat.Throw in the bonesof yesterday’s rage to give it texture. Nothing is lessappetizing than mush.Do not puree each day to bits,lest you spend your eveningsmostly solo. If... Continue Reading →

The Meadow Is Filled with Stones

Photo by Tomas Robertson via Unsplash The Meadow Is Filled with Stones White stones, flat or round. Some of them boulders, some small enoughto fit in my fist—the instrument of a perfect murder. Blunt, faceless. If I kill and let the stone fallin this field, who’d ever find it? …There’s a farmhouse at the edgeof a Romanian village, lonely and thickwith shadows... Continue Reading →

Déjà vu

Nikolai Ge, What Is Truth. Christ and Pilate Déjà vu “No matter what comes into the house, a letter, today’s paper, you are convinced you have already seen it.” ~ Rosmarie Waldrop, “The Almost Audible Passing of Time” Nouns drop from their perches,seeking a lesshate-driven sentence,aiming for purpose or purchaseor mere acceptance.Freedom gives way to cages.Fewer... Continue Reading →

Sharp Dawn

Photo by Dawid Łabno via Unsplash   Sharp Dawn All night long, black moths shattered my bed with their bodies. I see your shape in the hallwaygrowing from my gnawed fingernails, bowing toward the earth. Who am I to honor you, Mother?Bring in your dog, sit by the fire. I have wine cooling in the bucket, bread and cheese on the... Continue Reading →

Pelagic Poem

A few weeks ago, I discovered the beautiful poem "Delivery Rhyme" by Dora Malech and was inspired to use it for a whimsical art project during an online workshop with my soul sister--and fellow poet and artist--Marga Fripp. Marga's gorgeous artwork, entitled "Willow Dreams, a magical sisters' adventure," can be found here. Mine is below... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 30

Photo by Autumn Mott Rodeheaver via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year, NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo will ride again!” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 30 Once again, NaPoWriMo has been a wild, exuberant, insanely rewarding experience! I'm beyond grateful to Maureen Thorson for... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 29

Photo by Guillaume de Germain via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. Let us hear how your intrepid doggo bravely answers the call to adventure whenever the leash jingles.” ~... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 28

Photo courtesy of stejarmasiv.ro . Today’s prompt is “brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests: Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 27

Photo by Christian Søgaard via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem in the form of a review. But not a review of a book or a movie of a restaurant. Instead, I challenge you to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. For example, your mother-in-law, the moon, or the year... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 26

Photo by Saud Edum via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to “fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem. Happy writing! Almanac Questionnaire Weather? Flora? Architecture? Customs? Mammals/reptiles/fish? Childhood dream? Found on the Street? Export? Graffiti? Lover? Conspiracy? Dress? Hometown memory? Notable person? Outside... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 25

Photo by Eric Muhr via Unsplash . Today’s prompt, “which you can find in its entirety here, was  developed by the poet and teacher Hoa Nguyen, asks you to use a long poem by James Schuyler as a guidepost for your poem. (You may remember James Schuyler from our poetry resource for Day 2.) This is a prompt that allows you... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 24

Photo by Ingo Doerrie via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to “write about a particular fruit – your choice. But I’d like you to describe this fruit as closely as possible. Perhaps your poem could attempt to tell the reader some (or all!) of the following about your chosen fruit: What does it look like, how does... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 23

Albrecht Dürer, Adam and Eve (1504) . Today’s prompt asks us to “write a poem about a particular letter of the alphabet, or perhaps, the letters that form a short word. Doesn’t “S” look sneaky and snakelike? And “W” clearly doesn’t know where it’s going! Think about the shape of the letter(s), and use that... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 22

Photo by Xavi Cabrera via Unsplash . Today's prompt asks us to “engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. For example, in English we say “his bark is worse than his bite,”... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 21

Photo by Wendy Scofield via Unsplash . Our daily prompt asks us to “make use of today’s resource. Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds. You may not wind... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 20

Today’s prompt asks us to manifest our gratitude for having made it to Day 20 by writing “a poem about a handmade or homemade gift that you have received. It could be a friendship bracelet made for you by a grade-school classmate, an itchy sweater from your Aunt Louisa, a plateful of cinnamon toast from... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 19

Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem based on a “walking archive.” What’s that? Well, it’s when you go on a walk and gather up interesting thing – a flower, a strange piece of bark, a rock. This then becomes your “walking archive” – the physical instantiation of your walk. If you’re unable to... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 18

Photo by Josh Sorenson via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write an ode to life’s small pleasures. Perhaps it’s the first sip of your morning coffee. Or finding some money in the pockets of an old jacket. Discovering a bird’s nest in a lilac bush or just looking up at the sky and watching the clouds... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 17

Photo by  Michał Lis via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to “move backwards in time away from such modern contrivances as podcasts. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features forgotten technology. Maybe it’s a VCR, or a rotary phone. A cassette player or even a radio. If you’re looking for a potential example, check... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 16

Photo by Chris Sabor via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem of over-the-top compliments. Pick a person, place, or thing you love, and praise it in the most effusive way you can. Go for broke with metaphors, similes, and more. Need a little inspiration? Perhaps you’ll find it in the lyrics of Cole Porter’s... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 15

Photo by Mike Marrah via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music. Try to recreate the sounds and timing of a pop ballad, a jazz improvisation, or a Bach fugue. That could mean incorporating refrains, neologisms and flights of whimsy, or repeating/inverting lines or ideas – whatever your... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 14

Photo by Matthew T. Rader via Unsplash . Today's prompt invites us “to think about your own inspirations and forebears (whether literary or otherwise). Specifically, I challenge you today to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems. These could be poems/poets/people that you strive to be like,... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 13

Photo by Carl Newton via Unsplash . “There’s a pithy phrase attributed to T.S. Eliot: “Good poets borrow; great poets steal.” (He actually said something a bit different, and phrased it a bit more pompously – after all, this is T.S. Eliot we’re talking about). Nonetheless, our optional prompt for today (developed by Rachel McKibbens, who is well-known for her imaginative and... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 12

Image from Lars von Trier's film Breaking the Waves (1996) . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a triolet. These eight-line poems involve repeating lines and a tight rhyme scheme. The repetitions and rhymes can lend themselves to humorous poems, as well as to poems expressing dramatic or sorrowful moods. And sometimes the repetitions can be used... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 11

Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash . Today’s prompt “is based on the concept of the language of flowers. Have you ever heard, for example, that yellow roses stand for friendship, white roses for innocence, and red roses for love? Well, there are as many potential meanings for flowers as there are flowers. The Victorians were particularly ga-ga for... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 10

Photo by Kym MacKinnon via Unsplash . Today’s prompt “ was first suggested to us by long-time Na/GloPoWriMo participant Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 9

Photo by Max Kukurudziak via Unsplash . Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 8

Photo by Giuseppe Martini via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to peruse the work of several twitter bots (Sylvia Plath Bot, @PercyBotShelley, @ruefle_exe, @carsonbot, @sikenpoems, and @VogonB), and “use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 7

Gas giant WASP 76b . Today's prompt encourages us to write a poem based on a news article. I chose one of the suggested articles: “Researchers Discover Faraway Planet Where the Rain is Made of Iron.” Despite the stark beauty of gas giant WASP 76b and its fascinating molten-iron rain, the resulting poem is a... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 6

Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch . Today's prompt challenges us to “write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 5

Photo by Jan Huber via Unsplash . Today's prompt, “called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course, if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 4

Photo courtesy of cbsafari.com . Today's prompt "takes its cue from our gently odd resources, and asks you to write a poem based on an image from a dream. We don’t always remember our dreams, but images or ideas from them often stick with us for a very long time. I definitely have some nightmares... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 3

Photo by Matt Hoffman via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us "to make use of our resource for the day. First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting,... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 2

Photo by Walter Sturn via Unsplash . Today’s prompt asks us to "write a poem about a specific place—a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 1

Willow, the Wonderdog, aka the Wrath of Lizards . Today is a dash-about day, so here's something quick before I dash to the woods with my patient, long-suffering dog. Yes, Willow, I love you more than poetry. You know why? Because despite what they say about dogs and prose, you ARE poetry. Today's prompt challenges... Continue Reading →

Portrait with Crows

Photo by Alexander Sinn via Unsplash : Portrait with Crows : This evening turned the day’s blaze into rain. Crows beside the window, harsh caws carving a space in my stomach. The bright spot of orange hue in front of me stays. My daughter’s painting, untouched yet by artifice, nor willed into shape. So abstract... Continue Reading →

Finger-wagging

Photo by Erik Mclean via Unsplash : Finger-wagging : Do it in pairs. If there’s no one left in the world, wag at yourself. The rules are simple: find something to wag about. Reading too much. Cheating. Bad eating habits. Lack of exercise. Exorcisms. Out of body experiences. Politics, money, religion. Seriousness or frivolity. Sleeping.... Continue Reading →

A Woman Made Entirely of Air

Photo by Laurence Demaison :   A Woman Made Entirely of Air : these days I worry about          percentages :              who knows how much          fear is enough to inflict          irreversible :              damage           who knows if merely by passing through someone’s life :   ... Continue Reading →

The Photograph

Photo by Federico Bottos via Unsplash  :   The Photograph : It doesn’t matter what we should have argued about. Talking was something we couldn’t or wouldn’t do. We walked through a meadow instead, you slightly ahead and I taking pictures of things I wanted to remember, including that bloody sunset. The flowers parted before... Continue Reading →

Falling Asleep with Carpenter Bees

Photo by v2osk via Unsplash : Falling Asleep with Carpenter Bees : The walls are thin, transparent. Angels stand at right angles. I close my eyes to see the bees breaking and entering. Honeycomb dipped in sorrow. Eyeballs rolling like grapes on my palm. I see a handful of pennies fallen through the grate. Shallow... Continue Reading →

The Rose

Photo by Neslihan Gunaydin via Unsplash : The Rose : This hand that holds the trowel, a rubber glove to hide thick-knuckled, restless fingers— you know it’s yours. Yours, also, the knobby knees, the narrow feet in muddy crocs, the loosened skin holding it all together—who knows however long? You are a waterfall of flesh and... Continue Reading →

Count Your Blessings

Photo by Taylor Ann Wright via Unsplash : Count Your Blessings : Sneer, counting the moments touched by joy, the ones currently marching like mad across your front lawn. You clearly see them for what they are—frauds, counterfeit, foolish impostors, because, let’s be real, no way in hell do you deserve what brushed by with... Continue Reading →

Writer to Writer

I’m ecstatic to join an amazing group of writers for the fall session of AWP’s Writer to Writer Mentorship Program! My mentor is the wonderfully gifted poet Erin Hoover, whose poetry collection “Barnburner” won the Elixir Press’s 2017 Antivenom Award. I’m still in arm-pinching mode and immensely grateful to Erin and AWP for picking my... Continue Reading →

The Wolves and the Crucifix

Keith Haring's wolves : The Wolves and the Crucifix : Based on Keith Haring’s “Suite of Five Prints,”—(“Two Animal Images Falling/Jumping”; “Two Figures with Crucifix”), screenprint on paper, 1982. : The wolves keep coming to my door, they keep coming. Today they hold a cross like a trophy. Ink drips from their paws onto the... Continue Reading →

The Pond

Image courtesy of Solitude Lake Management : The Pond : Writing is like fishing in that silt-choked pond behind your grandfather’s farm, where you knew you were unlikely to catch anything, since there were no fish left, only frogs, and maybe the occasional cottonmouth, which wasn’t something you hoped to reel in, and yet, here... Continue Reading →

Dreaming in Swiss (Again)

Photo by Linus Nylund on Unsplash : Happy to see my March post Dreaming in Swiss appear on the Ruminate Blog today! "For people feeling overwhelmed by life's frantic pace," says the Ruminate website, "a contemplative and imaginative space changes everything. Join our community, and let's practice staying awake together." Check them out. You won't regret it.

Out of the Labyrinth

Photo by Steinar Engeland via Unsplash : Out of the Labyrinth : In the morning the girl sits by the window, pulling dried husks of flies off the spider web. The brown spider drops from its corner on a glistening, tremulous thread, hauls itself up to inspect the damage, hairpin legs climbing the air on invisible... Continue Reading →

Poem for a Green Bottle and a Candle Held Together with Tape

Rene Magritte Explanation : Poem for a Green Bottle and a Candle Held Together with Tape : Who has ever seen darkness glowing from inside? Glass giving in to flame?  Who has ever seen my reflection in the green waves? Wax drips on cold, sinuous curves.             This is not one of Magritte’s bottles, lined up for execution.... Continue Reading →

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