Tuesday, April 17, 2012

National Poetry Month #7.

I'm clearly behind now. I have my work cut out for me today!

13. Run around your house and grab 5 items that all begin with the same letter. Write a poem as an ode to one of these items or that includes these items.


Items: Beer, basket, backpack, book, bobblehead

Baskets spilling over with abundance of toys,
books scattered pell mell over the floor,
backpack bursting with unread materials,
bobbleheads gathering dust,
all need to wait
for me to finish my beer.

14. Think of the nicest thing someone ever said to you. Write a poem about a rainy day and something flooding. End the poem with the good thing someone said.


The steady pattering and buffeting wind
hasn't let up all day.
Obliged to stay indoors, little boys
press their faces against the window,
watching the slow streams
run out of the drainpipes onto the lawn.
Slowly at first, but inexorably,
a forgotten bucket fills with water.
After a dramatic, though unseen
moment of surface tension,
it runs over the edge to christen the azaleas.
This sudden flood
echoes the feeling I had upon reading
a letter from my sister some years ago.
While our love was clear,
we don't speak much of our feelings.
This made her admission to me
all the more poignant:
"I hold you up as an example for my children."

15. Write a poem that describes the wallpaper on your computer or the image on the last postcard you received.




Countless stars, pinpoints of light
representing unseen worlds
enveloped in the black, airless void
encompassing space.
A cold, inhospitable environment
made warmer by a sudden burst
of pink, white and pale blue.
Is it the birth of a new star?
The explosion of a star at the end of its life?
Or simply another mystery of the cosmos?

16. Make a list of ten images of things you have seen in the last 24 hours. Use all of them in a poem.

The first, intrepid housefly
perches on the sheet music, studying
the markings.

Dark blue yarn wraps around silvery needles
as sinuously as dancers performing
an Argentine tango.
a dark-eyed boy shrieks with delight,
revealing his face suddenly to his brother,
coming starkly into view, as in
a freshly-wiped mirror,
or as objects below a forked tongue of lightning.

Blue-eyed boy so deep in concentration
he doesn't see me coming.
He's busy digging a hole he can go in.
His brother backs in for
a patented toddler hug:
leaning forward, sitting on my lap
with my arm around him.

17. Write a poem that includes these words: bamboozled, bloodlust, bibliography. Have the title include one of these words: contradiction, constellation, cranberry.


Mr. Contradiction
He could be in the bibliography
of a book on bloodlust.
His victims bamboozled
by his gentle fa├žade,
they willingly follow him
into a velvet-lined trap.
By the time they realize
something is amiss,
it is far too late.
Their fate is sealed,
they're marked for doom
as he smiles and seals their fate.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

National Poetry Month, section 6.

11. Write a poem that begins with the last thing you can remember someone saying to you today or yesterday. See if you can use that line two or three times.


Retail Therapy
"Sure, because we NEED something."
Not so much a need as a want.
Not so much a want as a moment
to indulge oneself in a pleasure
that is solely selfish, a break
in days upon days of selfless tasks:
running after tiny, stumbling feet,
wiping constantly runny noses,
kissing boo-boos and wiping messy bottoms.
"Sure, because we NEED something."
That one moment of selfishness
refuels us for countless more
of the selfless.

12. Turn on the radio to any channel. Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear (lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.)

Traffic reports.
Kind of irrelevant these days,
a newer resident of Smalltown USA.
Sure, they're still useful
when going to visit the in-laws,
but in general, a welcomely
discarded habit.
Generally nothing but open road,
deer and other wildlife
much more common
than taillights.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

National Poetry Month, 5th installment.

In case you haven't been following my posts this month, I'm working on NaPoWriMo, sort of like NaNoWriMo for National Poetry Month: writing a poem for each day of the month of April. I've been doing them in chunks, however. Thanks to Kelli Russell Agodon for the prompts.

9. Write a poem to your favorite letter of the alphabet.





I don't particularly have a favorite letter, but I'll pick K because I have lots of special people in my life whose names involve that letter.



A kicky letter that kills boredom,
kissing the kaleidoscope
of karma, a kangaroo
keeps time with the koala,
kvetching about the kites
flying about the kitchen.
Mercifully, this k cavalcade
has kinked up and expired.

10. Write a poem about the one or all of the 7 sins that only contains seven word lines.

Seven: Deadly
You cross me, I'll never forgive you.
"You can never be too rich?" True.
Everyone should be waiting on me now.
I'm smarter and prettier than them anyway.
I want to make love to everybody.
What do they have that I don't?
Too many yummy things are never enough.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

National Poetry Month, issue 4.

7. Find a favorite recipe. Now write a poem inspired or in the style of that recipe about a family secret, yours or someone else’s.
Inspiration: Toll House Cookie recipe

Recipe for a Setback
Preheat oven to 375.
Combine hopes and dreams in a small bowl.
Mix a sense of security, excitement, love, and peace in a large mixer bowl until well combined.
Add doubts, one at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
Gradually beat in fear, then add despair.
Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto realistic cookie sheet.
After crying and/or soul searching for 9-11 minutes, scrape up what you can salvage and start again.

8. Turn your paper so that it’s in the landscape position. Write a poem about God or the universe or the horizon of the ocean with longer lines and see what happens.


No Greater Love
The longer I live, the truer I know it to be: humans are fearfully and wonderfully made.
I have been privileged to know seeming angels on this earth, as well as those who constantly challenge and hamper my progress.
I have seen those whose hearts are large enough to take in all, and those whose hearts can only contain themselves.
Lord, I know You have seen both extremes as well, and felt both utter love and bitter hatred directed at You as You walked as one of us.
To this day, You likely hear as many words of devotion as You do of derision.
I can only pray that those of us doing the praising and adoration can drown out those on the other side.
On this, the day You conquered death to bring all who know You to new life, let me reiterate how much You are loved.
This world did not deserve such a perfect sacrifice, but You showed the way for us to heal the world from the mess we've made of it.
No greater love can someone have than to lay down one's life for one's friends. You did not merely say this, but acted it out for our benefit.
Your selfless act has saved us all; all we have to do is accept Your love and try to love each other in return.

Friday, April 6, 2012

National Poetry Month, part the third.

6. Write a poem in two sections about two completely different things. Have the title link both items today in a surprising way.

Familiar
I.
His blue eyes widen,
teeth flash in a grin as
an infectious giggle bubbles up.
This bundle of gangly arms and legs
curled onto my lap is precious cargo,
if not the most temporarily comfortable.

These little souls entwine with my own,
grabbing hold in a way that can never be
undone without destroying myself in the process.
The adage is true, I would lay down my life
if I had to choose between them and myself.
Nothing is better than being a family.

II.
I've been here before.
I have no real memory of it,
but I'm certain I've seen this view,
browsed this shop,
traveled this road some other time.

Perhaps some unknown ancestor
was born, lived, and died here,
and now that person's story
has been lost to memory.

Maybe someday, browsing my family tree,
I will come upon that missing link
that explains my strange sense of home
being in a foreign place.

National Poetry Month, volume 2.

 Yeah yeah, I'm a few days behind, so what? :)

2. Write about a poem about a superhero coming to your house and confronting you about something. Somewhere in the poem, you have to state what your superpower is.


Doorbell rings, then predawn knocking.
This had better be real good.
A yawn, and now my eyes are popping;
Batman standing on my porch.

Brucie, why the cloak and dagger?
I'm sure I gave you my cell.
Sure, my rhymes give me some swagger,
but come on now, what the hell?

Okay, Loverboy is trying
to write something for his girl.
Pressure felt, his brain is frying
as the page remains untouched.

Bruce, I love you like a brother,
so I'll give it to you straight:
girls appreciate a lover
who can write with open heart.

Lay your soul bare, heed no caution,
big risk equals big rewards.
Let her see your true devotion,
and you'll claim her heart for keeps.

Furthermore, embrace the slant rhyme,
no use agonizing there.
Most care more about the meaning
than perfection. Now, goodnight.


3. Write a poem that is really a love letter to an old flame. To make sure it’s doesn’t slip into sappy make sure one or more of these words is in the poem: dung beetle, politician, nuclear, exoskeleton, oceanography, pompadour, toilet.

Dearest Pookie,
How I miss our time together long ago.
To me, our love remains pristine,
preserved in the ether that first choked it to death.
You rolled me across the savanna like a dung beetle
carrying its prize, its exoskeleton
gleaming in the midday sun.
You knew me like a politician
knows oceanography.
Your pompadour reminded me of a nuclear
holocaust.
Any feelings I still have for you can be exhausted
in a trip to the toilet.
Love, Me.


4. Make a list of seven words that have the same vowel sounds (like bee, treat, pepperoni, eagle) and use them in a repetitive way throughout a poem.
My words:  sigh, butterfly, multiply, cry, alive, bide, ice

I.
A sigh, like a butterfly
floating, alive, my soul's cry;
I bide while it multiplies,
scattering on the ice.

II.
Does a butterfly cry
when it finds itself alive,
after having to bide its time
in a state of ice, sighing through
multiplying cells in metamorphosis?

III.
Multiply a sigh,
then bide while it turns to ice,
alive butterfly no more,
just a cry.

IV.
A cry multiplies,
ice shatters before the biding butterfly;
The sound alive, ending with a sigh.

5. Write a poem about a weird fact or facts that you know.

Did you know?

Horses can't burp.
Chameleons don't turn plaid.
If you could care less, you actually imply that you care a little.

Audrey Hepburn smuggled resistance messages in her ballet shoes.
Hermit crabs can draw blood if provoked.
Birds are living relatives of dinosaurs.

That part of "Love Shack" is "Tin roof, rusted!"
William Faulkner was a literary genius.
It's possible to whistle backwards.

Living in the past only squanders the future.
Children are endless sources of joy.
Mahna Mahna (doot doo doo doo doo).

The last line of the last poem needs fixing. Or not. Let me know. :)
I'd love to read any responses you feel inspired to write!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

National Poetry Month.

In case y'all didn't know, April is National Poetry Month. Because of this, poets inspired by NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month, in November) have been committing to write a poem a day for the month of April (fondly monikered NaPoWriMo). Thusly, I ran over to the ol' Google to figure out if anyone had cooked up daily prompts for that purpose.

Eureka! Sure enough, a lovely writer named Kelli Russell Agodon has generously provided daily poetry prompts for the whole of NaPoWriMo. So my mission (I have chosen to accept it) is to attempt each and every one of these. I would love if you, my dear sweet readers (if you are still hanging around!) would share in this challenge with me and share your work in the comments.

So, here goes somethin'.


1. Grab the closest book. Go to page 29. Write down 10 words that catch your eye. Use 7 of words in a poem. For extra credit, have 4 of them appear at the end of a line.

My book: A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin (trying to catch up before HBO spoils the plot for me!)
Words: moonstone, lackwit, desperate, dashing, triumph, fabled, splendor, pavilion, gilded, memory

Sansa
Desperate for respect, if not affection,
She festoons herself with silk and moonstone.
Despite the prevailing opinion of the court,
she is no lackwit.
Once she dreamed of a dashing
hero, crowned in splendor,
sitting at her side under the pavilion.
Now she finds herself with only
a gilded memory;
the gold scraped off at the edge
to reveal the poisonous iron beneath.
In the fabled lion's mouth she rests, uneasy,
while her brain wracks itself for a way to triumph.


Now it's your turn. What have you got?