What words do you hear? (NaPoWriMo Day 29)

Wind whispers my name.
It calls me to ride with petals and leaves.
It dusts me with pollen and wisteria.
The azaleas’ trumpets droop, fatigued.
Chickens eat flowering weeds—sour—
a sharp yellow note in their beaks.
Thunder takes it stance, ready to box.
Ol’ William walks by with his ragged gait,
making his way to St. Mary’s.
Thunder retreats to its corner.
Overcast day. Heavy, wet air.
The birthday will pass with no notice.
If Wind would stop, I could hear what it’s saying—
it’s all cackalacky to me.
The nitid sunshine of youth has gone.
The old tree bends. When comes the storm?
I open my wings to say Yes, I’ll dance.
Wind calls her by name—The Daughter,
The Eldest, The Poet—all names at once.
Oh, she will fly beyond her dreams.
The eloquent breeze knows her name.
Kom hit, kom hit, kom hit, kära.
Wind picks me up, and the pink azaleas.
Wind carries us home.


The Day 29 prompt from NaPoWriMo was to follow Jim Simmerman’s Twenty Little Poetry Projects. Some explanations:

  • cackalacky=Apparently this is a nickname for Carolina, origin unknown. To me, it sounds like the equivalent of “gibberish.”
  • nitid=bright, lustrous, shining, polished, glossy
  • Kom hit, kom hit, kom hit, kära. = Swedish for Come here, come here, come here, dear.

Settled (NaPoWriMo Day 28)

Sit on the porch and wave at neighbors.
Eat ginger to ease your tummy ache.
Tell the truth and you’ll sleep well at night.
Travel West, find your land, and build on it.
Listen closely to all sides before making the call.
Explode at the start, then pace yourself for the race.
Deepen your breath, stretch, and clear your mind.


Poetic Asides’s Day 28 prompt was to write a “settled” poem. I was struck with the number of uses of the word “settled.”

Incidentally, I was trying to get this full justified, but WordPress doesn’t like to cooperate on formatting sometimes, so I uploaded a pdf in case you want to see the formatting I intended:  Settled.

Monsters (NaPoWriMo Day 27)

After CG

I saw you in a dream last night.
I was lighting a photo shoot.
An industrial location.
Must’ve been a hundred people
coming through, asking questions,
commenting on the process.

You asked if I wanted to dance.

The two nights before I had snakes
in my dreams. But you weren’t in those.
Just the snakes…


Poetic Asides’ Day 27 prompt was to write a monster poem. This one appeared almost verbatim in an email. Found poems are great, aren’t they?

Water (NaPoWriMo Day 26)

Three hens huddle

underneath the dripping roost—

stones in a puddle.


The Poetic Asides prompt for April 26 was “water.” It’s been a busy few days, so I will be in catch up mode the rest of NaPoWriMo. And, you know, when in doubt, write a chicken haiku…

Anaphora through the night (NaPoWriMo Day 25)

I hear Westminster chimes each quarter hour.
I hear the fan making circles of air.
I hear the hum of insects I thought would be sleeping—
no, it’s the streetlight I hear.

I hear drunks at two, and a car revving up.
I hear rain briefly damping the night.
I hear the coffeepot dripping to wake the unwaked
and the chirping sounds of sunrise.

I hear your breath, and I hear my pulse,
and I wonder what fate they auger.
I turn off the alarm before it rings
so I can listen a little longer.


Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net was to write a poem that uses anaphora, the practice of repeating certain words or phrases. I tend to use a fair amount of anaphora in my poetry–I just didn’t know what it was called. 🙂

Another Round, Barkeep (NaPoWriMo Day 24)

I don’t got time
to listen to your life, dude.
I got a whole lotta drinks to pour.

Your life sucks,
no doubt, but we ain’t got
enough hands behind the bar.

They keep cutting us
down. It’s all we can do
to make it through the shift.

I work two jobs
’cause one won’t do it
for hourly and tips.

So if I seem rude,
I’m just too tired to hear.
Plus, you and I ain’t buds.

You need to whine
about your high-class problems?
Tell it to the suds.


Day 24’s prompt from Poetic Asides was to write a poem “Tell it to the                .”
It was supposed to be the title, but seemed to fit as a last line better in this case.

Poem (NaPoWriMo Day 23)

As coy as “made simple” or as “no.” Internal
dive into the con. “Simple.” “Better.” “New.”
Videos romp in silence. Damn noise, easily written.
Stay sober. Repair the place. Poor vases.
Vogue. Can sad aches repeat in sad lament?
OK. Another sign: agua. Vivid outer
voices. Core oppressed, atrophied, loaded out senseless.
Phrases come in sequence: Check him. Maze.
Depressed. Chemo. Drugs. Supposed to be simple.
Come, air. Keys. A pair has scored.
Enter us. Dead. Incant our loss. Procure
unlined night. No horizon—oasis.
Coitus—submit like lambs, rams.
O, souls, merge. Numbers rigged as new ones.
Is this coyness that passes? a quandary? or venting
of vice? Is it at last quiet in tame slumber? Come
see as Tivo sees—video to ruin the choice. Not
videos, not visions—pages you wrote.


Day 23’s prompt from NaPoWriMo was to take a poem in a language you don’t know and “translate” it by sound. This is an interesting one. I went through a very literal “sound translation” then a couple more iterations trying to turn it into something that made a modicum of sense. Here’s the original “Poema” from Nuno Júdice.

The Follow-up (NaPoWriMo Day 22)

You’re doing great.
I am really happy with your progress. But
there were those two positive nodes,
so we didn’t quite get clean margins.
We really like clean margins.
Everything else looks good though, except
those margins. Just to be safe
I think we should do a PET scan.
I don’t expect to find anything.
I don’t expect anything to light up.
But just in case.
Just in case anything does light up.
And assuming nothing lights up
then we’ll just go ahead with the radiation
because that will help make sure
we really got it.
Make sure it doesn’t come back.
Maybe even cure you.
At least for a few years. You’ll be fine.
Most people tolerate it really well.
Just a little fatigue.
And redness—like a sunburn.
That’s usually it. Though
you could get nauseated.
But that’s uncommon.
I think you will be just fine.
As soon as we get that PET scan.


Today’s prompt from Poetic Asides was to write an optimistic and/or pessimistic poem. I think I have both duly covered.

New York School (NaPoWriMo Day 21)

(Fair warning: If you read this poem out loud, you might have to wash your mouth out with soap.)

Remember that time you went with me on a business trip, George?
We stayed in Midtown right in the middle of all the New York madness.
You slept in while I went to meetings in the Fox News building, then
you got up and went walking in Times Square and got bird shit on your good
linen shirt. Fucking bird. Fuck you, you fucking bird! you kept shouting
at the sky. Well, I don’t know. I wasn’t there, maybe you didn’t shout, but
I would have expected you to shout at the fucking bird.
Whole place smells of garbage and shit, especially in summer.
Who would want to live there? A nice place to visit but…
And remember we went to shows? 9 to 5 with that woman from The West Wing—
you know, the tall one. I hear she might be gay but I think they just say that
because she’s tall. It was OK, but not as good as the movie. I mean Dolly is a hoot,
not to mention Lily and Jane. Oh boy, listen to those names—“Dolly and Lily and Jane.”
Is that generational or what? And then we went to see August, Osage County—
that was before anyone knew what it was, before Meryl and Julia had to go and turn it
into a bigass movie. Better on stage. Had that guy from Northern Exposure—
what was his name?—and Phylicia Rashad, that football players’ wife—you know,
the one who played Mrs. Cosby. And after the show we wandered around
Times Square and the neon lights were so bright I expected to run into fucking
Bob Fosse around every corner. And before the show we were eating dinner
at that famous Italian place and the service was so goddam slow we had to gulp
our wine on the way out. I mean it was a weeknight and not even busy.
And I’ll never forget standing in line at the cheap ticket place and the girl
in front of us with blue hair and her boyfriend with magenta and how they were
pierced all over the fucking place and thank god they kept their clothes on
because no one needs to be seeing that. And as we walked past Bubba Gump
and David Beckham hocking underwear on a billboard you said Don’t tell me
he ain’t packin’—that is just not natural.


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a “New York School” poem following this recipe. Now I need to go sanitize my keyboard.

Jesus Is Trending (NaPoWriMo Day 20)

(Fair warning: Religious humor ahead. Keep reading at your own risk!)

Jesus Christ is bleeding edge.
The masses follow Him like sheep,
hanging on His every word,
every verse and every tweet.

His entourage is growing large.
How much cooler can He get
than His own show and His own book?
The “Undead” star is rising yet.

The cable channels love His draw,
and all the advertisers say,
“Buy our stuff and be like Him—and
Happy Zombie Jesus Day!”


For today’s poem, two of the three prompts I’ve been monitoring for NaPoWriMo related to “family.” As it is Easter and I have made most of the obligatory holiday family phone calls, I thought I would share the family joke. Lighten up, folks. It’s humor. 😉