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 12, 2022

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček via Unsplash Today's prompt asks us to "write a poem about a very small thing. Whether it’s an atom, a button, a hummingbird’s egg, dollhouse furniture, or the mythical world’s smallest violin, I hope you enjoy your poetic adventures into the microscopic." (Full NaPoWriMo post available here.) Like yesterday, I picked an... 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 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 →

The Shape of Her Body in the Snow

Photo by Kalle Kortelainen via Unsplash The Shape of Her Body in the Snow Do I exist if I doubt? How do my newly-shaped limbs come into being? I must be here, anchoredin the movement .                                        of falling snow. Doubts float over my liquid .   ... 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 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 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 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 →

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 →

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 →

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 →

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