Things to Do with Silence

Photo by Stormseeker via Unsplash Things to Do with Silence The mouth of a well brims with silence.Quench your thirst, carry it forthwherever you go. The pathwill lead back to itsome distant tomorrow.Break your bread in silence.Words scatter like wind.Learn from the tree, its rootsgathering darkness, its branches—a harbor for birdsong and rain.Is silence a... Continue Reading →

Another Oedipus Story

Oedipus at Colonus by Jean-Antoine-Théodore Giroust, 1788 Another Oedipus Story The familiar dream follows himone busy Sunday into the thick of a crowd in a bazaar.Small words roll like pebblesin a pitcher, laughter like quickmoney from a loosened fist.He sees herds of white cows, endlesspastures, a city where the deadoutnumber the living. He sees a man he... Continue Reading →

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 5, 2022

Sisyphus by Titian (1548-1549) Today's prompt challenges us "to write a poem about a mythical person or creature doing something unusual – or at least something that seems unusual in relation to that person/creature. For example, what does Hercules do when he loses a sock in the dryer? If a mermaid wants to pick up... 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 →

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 →

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: