On the Cusp of Consciousness (NaPoWriMo Day 16)


My brother is a rat. He crawls in the walls keeping me awake at night.
Turn off the lamp if you want to see clearly. Dreams float like feathers,
tickling my brain: the monkey on the rug eats my grapes,
a funeral procession sings flowery spring dirges while
the tempest hollers my name. Mary, Mary, quite contrary—
put your books away before the elephant hits the wall!

My brother is a water boy. The answer is hydrogen-bonding.
The question is: Why does he like me? He has many issues to deal with.
The morning sun blinds me like a spore in my nostril, so I toss myself in
with the brights to add color to my cheeks. Let rise until doubled.
The vase yawns, tired of being the monkey’s spittoon, and covets
its neighbor’s arrangement, while the pachyderm lumbers on.


Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net was to write a 10-line poem in which each line is a lie. While I considered a couple other prompt options (elegy, death, blah blah blah), the “lie” poem really intrigued me. But every time I considered it during the day, I couldn’t think of anything to write.

Then I remembered a poem I’d started years ago (close to 20–aack!). I cut some pieces and relined it to get it down to size (OK, I got to 12 lines)–and, voila! I might have figured it out! Well, at least it is an improvement on the prior umpteen versions. Yay!

April 15th (NaPoWriMo Day 15)


In keeping with this most auspicious day,
I must confess I’ve been a little lax.
I started our return and then it lay

just waiting on the last outstanding facts.
Why wait? Who knows? It’s dumb, I do admit
(a refund—we have paid our share of tax!),

when all we need to do is press Submit!

And yet one more rhyme-y poem. I can’t help it–NaPoWriMo.net told me to write a terza rima.

There. All caught up. In more ways than one.

Serious Questions (NaPoWriMo Day 14)


To George from Biff

Where does wind come from?
Where does it go?
How far does rain fall?
Would it rather be snow?

If sunlight could sleep,
would it dream of the night?
If moonlight could sing,
would its rhythm be tight?

Do flowers get happy
when it’s time to bloom?
And when it’s all over,
do they fall into gloom?

Do trees feel the pain
of leaves bursting forth?
Does Polaris realize
it helps point us north?

I don’t have those answers
but this one I do,
when asked who’s my true love
I always say you!

Almost caught up…yesterday’s poem used the NaPoWriMo.net prompt: write a poem entirely of questions, except the last line.

Apparently I get rhyme-y when I am pressed for time.

The Kindergarten Zoo (NaPoWriMo Day 13)


After learning the animals all week
the children were roarin’ to go—
lion, tiger, chimpanzee—
but someone forgot Friday’s show.

She’d planned her clothes
for the big performance day—
polka dots she chose
for her animal’s display.

But what’s this the spectators see,
neck stretching to the heights?
Could it possibly be
a giraffe with stripes?

Trying to get caught up…it’s been a busy few days. This poem came from the Day 13 prompt at Poetic Asides: write an animal poem.

I was reminded of this incident by the very cute illustrations at Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar’s blog. Check out this awesome giraffe!



Maturity (NaPoWriMo Day 12)


Maturity is a box-shaped piece of furniture
with at least one compartment—open or closed.
Maturity often has doors on the front and occasionally
a lock. Maturity may be built-in or free-standing.
A built-in maturity is usually custom made and
fixed into position. Free-standing maturity is more
commonly available and can be moved from place to place.
Maturity may be hung or suspended. Maturity which rests
is supported by some base—a plinth, feet, or a set of legs.
Some maturity contains secret compartments,
access to which is generally not obvious.

The fundamental focus of the maturity maker is the production
of maturity. Although the maturity maker may also produce
items that would not be recognized as maturity, the same
skills and techniques apply. The more serious amateurs now turn out
pieces of maturity that rival the work of professionals.

Maturity can add life to any room in your home.
It can set the aesthetic tone. However, choose wisely:
maturity can eat up your budget.

This was an interesting prompt from NaPoWriMo.net: Today’s (optional) prompt is a “replacement” poem. Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem.

Peewee (NaPoWriMo Day 11)


Look! How absurd!

Did a cousin come visit?

Perhaps Hummingbird?

Large egg and Peewee egg

Large egg and Peewee egg


Today’s prompts from the usual places were not inspiring me. And I’ve been crazy busy all day getting ready to travel tomorrow, so I thought, Eh, might have to wait and catch up on Day 11 later.

And then the mail showed up.

The mail showed up with a handwritten letter from a cousin I haven’t heard from in ages, who has been following my blog recently—excited about the NaPoWriMo challenge and enthusiastic about chickens.

What was I to do

but write another

chicken haiku?

Victoria, our Salmon Faverolle, after taking the winter off, twice this spring has attempted to lay an egg—and failed (it gets a little messy). She finally succeeded last week with the littlest egg we’ve ever gotten—1.3 ounces, which qualifies it as a “peewee” egg. That’s the smallest category I can find, smaller than Small. And of course you don’t even see Small eggs in the grocery store. You might get Medium, but are more likely to see Large, Extra-Large and Jumbo (Our Australorp Margaret, on the other hand, regularly lays Jumbo eggs, and once laid a 3.0-ounce egg—ow!). The photo is of the Peewee egg along size a Large egg (around 2.0-2.2 ounces).

Thanks to cousin Joan for today’s inspiration! :-)

Here and now (NaPoWriMo Day 10)


The sparrow flits in and out of the elbow hanging
from the rusted gutter, a gap offering egress.
The elbow has just enough bend to support
bits of leaves and pinestraw and grass,
but the elbow has lost its downspout, victim
of a redbud toppled alongside it. So as scrabbles
whisper against aluminum, bits of nest
fall past the paint trail on brick and dangling metal straps.
At the next big rain the nest will wash out.
Whatever is in it will fall. But that is the future.
This is the here. This is the here and the now.
And for now, this here is home.

Today’s poem came from two prompts: Poetic Asides’ “Write a future poem” and The Music In It inspiration “Here and Now.”

The Bus Stop (NaPoWriMo Day 9)


Ol’ William waits on St. Mary’s
just south of Peace. The CAT is late.
Too far to walk to the south side of town,
‘specially in this heat. Hottest July in history.
Miss Smith didn’t have time to drive him.
After touring the neighborhood, stopping
at the usual spots to see ’bout work,
he’d spent the afternoon at her place
pulling weeds and totin’ mulch.
She gave him some Nabs and a Coke though,
on the front porch, and two crisp twenties.
The CAT is late. The pavement wriggles
as though trying to rise up and escape.
When they gonna put a shelter here?
Nothing but a brown paper bag to cool him off,
and now the cops wanna take that, too.

Catching up on yesterday’s poem, inspired by Poetic Aside’s prompt: write a shelter poem.

White Plate On A White Tablecloth (NaPoWriMo Day 8)


after César Vallejo

I will dine in Paris, on a rainy night,
on some night I can already remember.
I will dine in Paris—without reservations—
perhaps on a Thursday, as today is, in spring.

It will be a Thursday, because today, Thursday, sitting down
at this cafe, I have an empty belly,
and today like never before I have found myself
with all the menu in front of me, to choose.

Karin Wiberg is full. Everyone fed her
though she writes no reviews to help them;
they fed her bread with butter and also wine

with her meal. These are the witnesses:
the Thursdays and the rain,
the menu, the order, the belly…


Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net was to re-write a famous poem. The suggested poem was “Black Stone on a White Stone” by César Vallejo. Here are two translations, one by Robert Bly, one by Rebecca Seiferle. (I have to admit I feel a slight bit guilty taking such a light-hearted approach to this exercise, as the original is quite dark.)