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
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 napowrimo.net: write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of itself. Can you tell I wrote it late at night? On April 15?
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).
first to tragedy
a patch a circle with
death did something
you wouldn’t believe
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 NaPoWriMo.net—and did you solve it??
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.
Green rank and file
in ragged formation—
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.)
A little flock of
doesn’t eat much; it
gobbled up gone.
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
under the holly bush when the
very angry chickenpapa sees his flats.
[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…
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…
I take it back. I wanted to be Alice.
She was the star of the show after all.
Who wouldn’t want to be the STAR
of the SHOW? With her curly blond hair,
blue dress and white pinafore,
CLEARLY she was the STAR.
The FOCUS of ATTENTION.
No, poor little me, I was just the CAT.
The C-A-T, CAT. I mean really,
WHO wants to be a CAT?
I’m a DOG person! Oh, that Lisa Springer,
that Lisa Springer got to be Alice,
with her curly blonde hair and
turned-up little nose that managed
to be priggish without being piggish.
Lisa. Li-sa. Al-ice. Lee-sah. Al-iss.
Lee-sah. Al-iss. She even had the right
sounds in her name! Me? Well,
I managed the syllable count.
Always the Cheshire Cat, never the Alice.
Maybe someday my White Rabbit will come.
Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net was to write a palinode, a poem in which you retract a statement made in an earlier poem. (Sounds like a great crossword clue, Brent!)
This one, well, ya know, I think it’s a true story. But apologies to Lisa Springer if I misremembered who played Alice. The name worked though, right??
I was the Cheshire Cat in my purple unitard
with orange gift-wrap ribbon taped on for stripes.
I sang ’Twas Brillig à la Al Jolson in my middle
school enthusiasm to an elementary audience.
My voice surely evaporated in the gymnasium heights.
But there I danced with my cap and cane.
And, really, shouldn’t everyone have a chance
to be the Cheshire Cat? Who doesn’t deserve
the superpower of disappearing into thin air
while your enigmatic smile lingers? How useful. How dis-
concerting. But if we can’t all be the Cheshire Cat,
perhaps we should get a shot at the Mad Hatter.
Most of us could use a little more balmy in our lives.
I could do without anymore Queens or White Rabbits,
but we could use a few more Caterpillars, eh?
I don’t know more than a handful of people who’ve
been the Cheshire Cat. I am one of the lucky few.
And so, so glad not to be Alice.
Getting caught up after a couple busy days plus an almost-24-hour internet outage. Good grief! (And how productive it was…)
Today’s poem started with a prompt from Adele Kenny to read “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. True story, the above. And I’m pretty sure y’all are wishing for a photo of that purple unitard about now…heh. Fat chance.
In the morning, when the small birds
have been chirping for hours
and it’s been light, not just gray,
for twenty, thirty minutes, I know
the hens are whining to come down
from the long night in the roost.
I pour my coffee, cinch my robe, and wrestle
the cranky garage door so I can pad
to the coop in my ripped felt clogs.
The dopes tumble down the ramp
or jump from the nest box when I let them
(it’s an adventure). They take a bite
of pellets on the way out the door
and eat weeds between stretches and flaps.
Suddenly they remember the water jar
and race to be first to scoop and swallow
then it’s off to the garden.
They are so happy to start the day,
to slake their thirst and dig right in.
I used the Day 6 prompt from NaPoWriMo.net, which was to write an aubade, a morning poem. And yes I actually wrote it yesterday, just was too tired to post it online by the time I had a draft. 🙂