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 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 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 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 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 →

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 →

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 →

Migration

Migrating Snow Geese in Pennsylvania Photo courtesy of WabbyTwaxx via Birdshare : Migration : When the season ends, we flock South to the house of unfinished poems. Tired birds, we crowd in its rooms. Though close enough, our wings barely touch. They sweep the dust off the floor, the cobwebs off the ceiling. We have never tasted... Continue Reading →

Welcome to NaPoWriMo 2018!

Image courtesy of http://www.napowrimo.net/ : The Date (Notes to Self) : Calm, cool, and collected, Poetry knocks at your door. I know you want to let him in. You should--no argument from me. But firstly, there are some things you might want to consider before cracking the door open and gazing into those dreamy eyes. That... Continue Reading →

Learning from the Swallow

Image courtesy of  www.stevegettle.com : A good part of my childhood was spent in my grandmother’s village, where I grew up believing that the mud nests the swallows built under our eaves brought us good luck. More swallow nests meant better luck. I remember the joy when yet another swallow family would choose to raise its young... Continue Reading →

Good-bye to NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2017!

Photograph by Robbie Shone, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE : Good-bye to NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo 2017! : Hello to Jus-Kee-Wri-Poe, or JUST KEEP WRITING POETRY! Every day. For a year. Or more. Hopefully many more. Many thanks to Maureen Thorson of NaPoWriMo for launching this project back in 2003. What a journey this must have been! I’ve... Continue Reading →

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