Impending Heart Attack in the Doldrums on the Anniversary of Her Death

Photo by Nikolay Loubet via Unsplash The first draft of this poem owes its existence to false alarm. What I initially believed to be a heart attack was soon diagnosed as magnesium deficiency and corrected. What could not be corrected was my mother's absence, whom I had lost the previous year. I was in deep... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 30, 2022

Photo by Ahmed Zayan via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us "to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 27, 2022

Mass graves near Mariupol, April 2022Photograph: Maxar Technologies/AFP/Getty Images Today's prompt challenges us "to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 22, 2022

Old wall in Malá Strana, Prague,April 22, 2022 Today's prompt challenges us "to write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a sound, a word, a phrase, or an image, or any combination of things." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) I'm combining two prompts into one, since I was traveling last week and missed... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMO Day 19, 2022

Photo by Vincent van Zalinge via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us "to write a poem that starts with a command. It could be as uncomplicated as “Look,” as plaintive as “Come back,” or as silly as “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.” Whatever command you choose, I hope you... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 18, 2022

Photo by Moritz Knöringer via Unsplash Today's prompt is "based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) Here's my... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 13, 2022

Original Winnie-the-Pooh drawing by E. H. Shepard I'm thrilled to be one of the featured NaPoWriMo participants today, along with the inimitable Arti Jain of My Ordinary Moments!🎉💜🥳 It was NaPoWriMo 2017 that brought me back to poetry after a long hiatus and to be recognized like this means the world to me. Many thanks... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 10, 2022

Homage to Apollinaire by Mark Chagall (1911-1912) Today's prompt "is pretty simple – a love poem! If you’re having trouble getting into the right mood for a love poem, maybe you’ll find inspiration in one of my favorites, June Jordan’s “Poem for Haruko.”' (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) I have two responses to this prompt,... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 9, 2022

Photo by Tom Gainor via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us "to write in a specific form – the nonet! A nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on until you get to the last line, which has just one syllable." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.)I've been thinking... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 8, 2022

Photo by Adrián Valverde via Unsplash Today's prompt "comes to us from this list of “all-time favorite writing prompts.” It asks you to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice. Maybe your alter-ego is a streetwise detective, or a superhero, or a very small goldfinch. Whoever or whatever your... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo Day 7, 2022

Photo by Joshua Hoehne via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us "to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying. They say that “all cats are black at midnight,” but really? Surely some of them remain striped. And maybe there is an ill wind that blows some good. Perhaps that wind just has... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo, Day 8

Photo by Johannes Plenio via Unsplash Today's prompt challenges us to "read a few poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo, Day 4

Diner, possibly located in Liminality, IN Today's prompt challenges us to "select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces. Will you pick the empty mall food court? The vending machine near the back entrance to the high school gym? The swimming pool at what seems to be... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo, Day 2

Photo by Terry Richmond via Unsplash Today's prompt offers as a resource Robert Frost’s famous poem “The Road Not Taken” and challenges us "to write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice."... Continue Reading →

NaPoWriMo 2021, Day 0

Ladle, circa 1850, Chinook, Native American, on view at the Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 746 And just like that, spring came back when winter was getting a tad too long in the tooth and she brought NaPoWriMo along with her. Many thanks to Maureen Thorson for gathering us together once more. I'm keeping my fingers... Continue Reading →

some things to watch out for in a poem

Photo by Romana Iorga some things to watch out for in a poem something big             something small          something                     with wings something hungry       or sated                       something                   that doesn’t know what it wants to die to... Continue Reading →

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 →

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 →

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