Day 17 #NPM15 – Wonderful treats for little wonders everywhere


Want to make someone giggle on command?
I had a huge crush on gymnast Nadia Comaneci.

Vinyl records are definitely worth celebrating.
Their field of vision wraps nearly all the way around their head!

The train was still going full speed when their conversation became louder.
If this pic doesn’t scream, we don’t know what does.

When even Daleks think you’re a monster, you might have a problem.
When did we become a therapy society?

Why did the chicken cross the road?
#dragonslovetacos (at least 48 grams recommended daily).

Yes, there is an American bias in the Hugo awards.
Technique tip: Use kitchen scissors to easily cut.

I never thought I’d write a science poem.
Fantastic! Thank you so much for your hard work today!

I’m doing things and stuff in the real world over the weekend.
Supervillains have no respect for anyone’s schedule.

I warned you this prompt was a little strange.


Today’s prompt came from Write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table.

Well, I quoted from Twitter and blog posts and the back of the cereal box on my breakfast table. Skipped the namechecking though. (Let me know if you really WANT to be namechecked.)

Bonus points if you can name the cereal…

Day 16 #NPM15 – Ode to my Gallus gallus domesticus


Oh, my dear Gallus gallus domesticus,
I remember your hatching—a precocial chick—
then those months as a pullet before you
matured into a hen. I want you to know
I’ve never cared about your TBC1D1 gene,
but I sure do appreciate that TSHR switch.
Operant conditioning? Couldn’t manage you
without it. I’m impressed with your beak’s
somatic sensory nerve cells.
And your 31 vocalizations—I might not
recognize them all, but I do know
Yes, my Gallus gallus domesticus,
I am grateful to your red junglefowl progenitor,
but ever so glad you can’t aviate as well.

Margaret and Daffodil

Margaret and Daffodil


Today’s prompt came from Poetic Asides: write a science poem. As I am taking Coursera’s course “Chicken Behaviour and Welfare” aka #chickenmooc, I thought I would apply my Week 1 learnings.

And now, once again, in English…


Ode to my Chicken

Oh, my dear chicken,
I remember your hatching—a hungry little fluffball—
then those months as a teenager before you
bloomed into a hen. I want you to know
I’ve never cared if you get big (we don’t plan to eat you),
but I sure do appreciate your eggs all winter.
Scratch is your favorite food—gets you back in the coop
every time. I’m impressed how your beak can pick up
oatmeal dust from the pavement.
And your 31 funny noises—I might not
recognize them all, but I do know
Yes, my dear chicken,
I am grateful to your red junglefowl ancestor,
but ever so glad you can’t fly as well.

Day 15#NPM15 – To My Poem


Poem, little poem,
would you please just write yourself?
Poem, little poem,
time to put you on the shelf.

April’s halfway done,
and I am wearing out.
If you could help this once,
I would tell no one about
your kindness…

Poem, little poem,
please don’t make me beg and plead.
Poem, little poem,
if you write yourself, I’ll read.


Today’s meta prompt came from write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of itself. Can you tell I wrote it late at night? On April 15?

Day 14 #NPM15 – Loss (blackout poem)


Death relived the race, flying
first to tragedy, next to context.
Imagine a patch, a circle with people
and flowers. Death did something good—
offered help, gave gentle assignments.
But Nature answered with violence quickly.
You wouldn’t believe the block.

So that’s the easy-reading version. A blackout poem is where you take an article (newspaper, magazine, etc.) and black out all the words except the ones you want to keep. The spacing of the words is part of the challenge. Below is a version that more closely mimics the spacing in the article this poem came from. It gets messy to read because WordPress doesn’t allow very good control of spacing (in the context of poetry).




the race


first                to                                    tragedy





a patch               a circle with




death                       did something













you wouldn’t believe

the block.

Day 13 #NPM – Riddle


Count your exemptions—is it more than one?
Aargh, I can’t wait for this task to be done.

Look at income too—do all these go into line twenty-two?
Call the IRS… No! And wait in that long queue?!

Union dues, job travel, and tax prep expense—all three!
Let us rejoice—we can deduct this fee.

And we’ve done part one, part two, part three—what no part four?
That schedule’s done! Oh, lord, there are more?

Income on Schedule C—gross profit on line five.
No, wait, that’s wrong. Will these numbers ever jive?

Golly, I think we missed a deduction on line twenty-six.
To amend or not to amend? Is last year’s mistake worth the fix?

Alternative minimum tax? No. Foreign tax? Line forty-seven.
Xeroxing days are over (thank goodness); pressing Submit will be Heaven.

Enter amount from Form 1040, line thirty-eight…
Stupid stupid date! Why in the world did I procrastinate?

On the last schedule, the last form at a quarter to nine.
Wine? Yes, pour! And then, here, “sign” (though there is no dotted line).

Electronic submission on the 15th at half past ten—
Done! For now anyway…’til next April it starts again…


I bet you can guess what I spent my weekend doing… Today’s prompt for a “riddle” poem came courtesy of—and did you solve it??

Call for Submissions – Raleigh Review


Raleigh Review is accepting poetry, flash fiction, and short fiction submissions through April 30 for the Fall 2015 issue. Raleigh Review is a biannual print publication with beautiful cover art, high-quality paper, full-color interior art, and stunning writing. We are looking for work that is emotionally and intellectually complex without being unnecessarily “difficult.” All submissions are online; there is a small fee to submit. We pay $10 per piece plus one free contributor’s copy and a discount on additional copies. See full submission guidelines at, and browse the archives while you’re there!

(Word to the wise: We are pretty full up on short fiction (1200-7500 words) so you might save it for the next submission period; still looking for flash. —Your friendly managing editor)

Raleigh Review Vol. 5, No. 1

Raleigh Review Vol. 5, No. 1

Day 12 #NPM15 – Damage


I am learning to eat sushi. My fingers
are not yet skilled at holding chopsticks.

I have not yet learned that nigiri goes
fish side down into the wasabi’d soy sauce.

My coordination does not improve
with Sapporo. I sit in the last seat

against the rice white wall, watching
as the chef slices fish and wraps rolls.

Is it true they have to make rice for years
before they get to touch the fish? Splash!

I drop my maguro in the dish of soy sauce.
Not only does it splash me, it splashes the wall.

Uffda! That will need a fresh coat. I apologize.
I am embarrassed. When I get the bill,

I stop fretting. Yamachan has done more
damage to my wallet than I have to his wall.


Today’s prompt from Poetic Asides was to write a “damage” poem.

Day 11 #NPM15 – Basic training


Green rank and file

in ragged formation—

tomato seedlings.

Tomato seedlings and two chickens

Tomato seedlings and two chickens


Today’s prompt for a season poem came from Poetic Asides. As you can tell, we are moving into tomato season! The seeds start out in little containers under lights in the garage. When they get big enough and the weather gets nice enough, they come outside to harden off before moving into bigger pots and eventually (some of them) into the ground. (Anne, right, and Margaret are on their way to the herb garden for a little dust bath. The love to loll in the warm dirt.)

Day 10 #NPM – Abecedarian


A little flock of
black Australorp
doesn’t eat much; it
eats everything.
Foliage is
gobbled up gone.
Hens have
insatiable appetites,
just like you would if you
kept pumping out an egg a day.
Let me tell you, our un-
manageable chickens are
notorious for ruining
our tomato seedlings,
prancing on them—
quit that! They
run away to
scratch in the garden or
take refuge
under the holly bush when the
very angry chickenpapa sees his flats.
What the
[x-rated language here]?!?! Look out or I’ll send
you all to a

Oh, the nice thing about writing a poem a day is that you’re forced to write some bad poems. This one comes courtesy of napowrimo and is an abecedarian, which typically has lines or stanzas that start with each letter of the alphabet sequentially.

OK, I’ll be caught up if I can manage one more poem for today…

Day 9 #NPM – How to breathe in North Carolina in the Spring


When the oak pollen falls, when the air hazes gold,
when black hens show sparkles of blond,
when windshield wipers are needed to see
through the film dropped by the frond,

when you pray for rain to clear the air
and wash the pavement clean,
when the temps are perfect for windows and breezes,
go inside and turn on the AC.


Good grief, it wouldn’t be NaPoWriMo without a pollen poem. Seriously high pollen count right now…