Thursday, July 27, 2017

A Gift from My Old Man (a Curtal Sonnet Attempt)

I have no fear in posting unpolished pieces. It's part of the process.

And I like a good form challenge. I haven't mastered this one yet, but I had fun working on it. This poem was an attempt at a curtal sonnet

It just so happens I have a wonderful memory of my dad pulling over on a road trip, so he could gather cattails for my mom. 

I guess that is where this poem began, though my father was not a townie or a clowny. He was a very nice man with a great smile who helped anyone he could. 

The day after I wrote this, I was out for a hike and came across a patch of cattails. I love synchronicity. 

Cattails by Linda G. Hatton
Cattails in the Desert

A Gift from My Old Man

One humid nightfall when out for a walk,
he hoofed over to an open wet ditch
to clip cigar heads adorned by downy
fleece from atop a towering, stout stalk.
He hunched over his back without a hitch
and winked like an old, bald, toothless townie.
I got this, he said, wrapping meaty palms
around skeletal stems, when his eyes twitched
his whole body became rather frowny,
and my prince charming became a sitcom


Thursday, July 20, 2017

What to Do When Words Hide (Make Art)

I wanted to write a poem today, but the words would not cooperate. So I played with paper and pens instead to release the pent-up creative energy.

Here is my work-in-progress.

What do you do when you have trouble writing?

Photo and Artwork by Linda G. Hatton
Doodling by Linda G. Hatton


Thursday, July 13, 2017

My Life Is a Collage

I've been creating collage art for thirty-five years, so when I pondered my attraction to it, I realized that my life is a collage.

My overwhelming desire for knowledge sometimes leaves me scattered. I want to take it all in and wind up with only bits and pieces.

Right now I'm creating a collection of cards I hope to make into a book. 

Are you drawn towards an artistic medium that is representative of your personality or life?

Artwork by Linda G. Hatton
Collage Card Front

Artwork by Linda G. Hatton
Collage Card Back

(This post was in response to theme of collage on the Daily Post.)


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Still Life of Starbucks - a Poem

Photo of Heart Drawn in the Sand by Linda G. Hatton
Love over Coffee at the Beach

Still Life of Starbucks

Most people recognize where mermaids
skinny-dip underneath that famous
circular ridge crowned by coffee-
stained footprints (or sometimes
     monofin smears) to the melody
of barista love promises (that often
     bring tears). It’s served anytime
at B degrees, with a star
     and an un-
         determined number
of bucks on the side. A tight
seal holds its stormy contents
and the aroma of home
     within, while the ebony
liquid upsurge laps at craggy
tongue’s shore. Petite enough
to fit in a pocket or
the palm of a hand, but
     take heed. The number three
and a warning the contents
are too hot is largely ignored
by sleepers enchanted
     from the song
of the sirens, seeking only
a morning caffeine fix before
swimming to shore to start
a workday based not in fable,
but in the modern-day world
where they think 


Monday, May 1, 2017

The Pleasure Garden - a Poem for Day Thirty of PAD

I skipped day twenty-nine. If I wind up writing something, I will post it later. For now, here is the prompt for day thirty of the PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “The Poets,” “The Good Guys,” “The Bad Guys,” “The Last Thing She Said,” and so on.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Even the Garden Statues Come to Life

The Pleasure Garden

Undetected fairy wings 
under my footsteps
and an itty-bitty
cracked crystal ball
my future,
but I’m too busy
     getting by
to notice.

Mossy dreadlocks
in the trees above me
while flying ants
the grounds,
me in lotus pose,
hold me captive
for rainbow
shield bugs
     to cleanse
my chakras.

off in the distance,
a brownish-grey
mourning dove
my name,
begs me
to stay, set
an example,
gather debris,
plant seeds, help
the thicket,
teach all futures
to love and hold
it in 


Saturday, April 29, 2017

You Smell Like Bubble Gum - a Poem for Day Twenty-Eight of PAD

For today’s prompt, write a poem about a smell. Similar to Day 6’s prompt about writing a poem about a sound, today’s prompt involves thinking about the various good and bad smells that fill the world. Pick one smell (or a variety, I suppose), and write a poem.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Some Things Remind Me of That Bubble Gum

You Smell Like Bubble Gum

when I try to write,
I smell that bubble gum
I hid in my closet
in the house
where I grew up.
I remember feeling lucky. 
You’d given it to me
for Christmas
when I was sixteen.
I hadn’t seen you in years
when you made
that surprise visit
and handed
me a gift. I carried
that present upstairs
like a newborn, pondering
what lay swaddled
underneath the paper.
I ripped it open
and found gumballs
lined up side by side
like soldiers at rest.
I popped one
into my mouth
and was taken back
to our bowling alley
field trip
where the vending machine
shot out chewing gum
like bullets
from a machine gun.
It took me a year
to chew all that gum.
With each fruity ball I rolled
between my teeth, I wondered
when you’d roll back into my life.
I never got that lucky. 
The next time I saw you,
your casket reminded me
of that bubblegum


Thursday, April 27, 2017

Garden of Peace - a Poem for Day Twenty-Seven of PAD

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day; so carry around a poem in your pocket today. Or roll like me and carry a poem in your pocket every day.
For today’s prompt, use at least 3 of the following 6 words in your poem (using a word or two in your title is fine); for extra credit, try using all 6:
  • pest
  • crack
  • ramble
  • hiccup
  • wince
  • festoon
Photo of Jesus by Linda G. Hatton
I Really Did Find Him in My Garden

Garden of Peace

I scarfed down my last supper
to numb restlessness
bubbling up inside. But,
I winced. My stomach ached,
and there was no food left.
Then I found Jesus
in my garden, embedded
among the scraggly grass and pests.
He was face down, given up,
mud smeared on his back.
He seemed not to mind—his face,
although cracked, full of serenity.
I rescued him (or was it
the other way around?)—
thought I heard him ramble on
something about how
he’d sent me angel
tears and a bucketful
of hope. Said to plant seeds,
feed others, build a shrine of treasures
delivered on my daily hikes.
I said nuh-uh, I’d need a box of magic
the size of the great sea,
and my energy is better
spent festooning trinkets
     and treasures
to my bedside lamp
than on making up
for events of my past.
Still, I did what he said—sowed
my garden. And creatures big
and small came around
to nibble. Those angel tears
brought relief, watered my garden,
gave me hope 

that I’ve finally removed
my former seed coat,
and germinated
a new me. 


My Great (R)egrets - a Poem for Day Twenty-Six of PAD

Here is the prompt for day 26 of the AprilPAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a regret poem. Most people regret some action they’ve taken over the years, whether it’s saying the wrong thing, making the wrong choice, or putting off something for a tomorrow that never comes. Write about your own regrets, or the regrets of others (this is a great opportunity to write a persona poem).

Photo of Sea Gull by Linda G. Hatton
My (R)egrets Have Become Sea Gulls

My Great (R)egrets
     after Great Egret

Mine are not dazzling.
In fact, I’d rather not
give them a place
     in my head.
Mine have impressive
wingspans, but they never
     how to fly.
While mine hunt in classic heron
fashion, the only thing
they long to catch
     is my pride.
My self-
confidence has been jabbed
by their yellow bills—
warning fliers
     for all to see.
You can’t miss ‘em—
my (r)egrets suffer
     from aggression.
You’d better not mess
with them. They’d fly
slowly and powerfully
if only they’d get the nerve
     to leave the nest.
My (r)egrets are not beautiful
They compete
for nesting space
     inside my mind.
They threaten and attack
those who try
     to interfere.
So leave my (r)egrets
alone. Let them be
in their natural
until nature
over and they ascend
to someplace far
     above themselves.

(Facts about egrets were taken from the article at the following page:


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Left Behind - a Poem for Day Twenty-Five of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty-five of the PAD Challenge:

It’s time for that final two-for-Tuesday prompt of April. Regulars probably already know what the prompt is.

Here are the two prompts for today:
  • Write a love poem. The poem could be about lovers, but also the love of family, love between friends, or even loving your job, chocolate, or music. Or…
  • Write an anti-love poem. Maybe you’re a hater; that’s fine. We’ve got the anti-love poem prompt for you.

You're Transparent to Me Now

Left Behind

You speak
     to animals,
     but you don’t tell me
     what they say.
You are
     as dangerous
as dry ice.
You scrape
my childlike hide,
     and go seek

     inside a yurt
     with dirt
for your bed.
     You’re a shipwreck
waiting to happen
     on the imaginary 
of Cathedral City.
You’ve set
     twelve thousand
     but never attained
You are
the moaning
     of a brass gong
     the cry
          of a sitar
all rolled into one.
You gallop
     like the beats
     of a tongue
You said
     you would always
     be my
sleep doctor.
You held
     my hand,
the sunrise on the crest
of Mount Batur. 
you jumped
     off a cliff,
     left me alone,
said you had
better things
     to see,
     had to do it
on your own.
So now,
you sit
     on my shelf,
a thematic dictionary,
the ensuing
     and after-
of my heart. 


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Lose and Find Yourself - a Poem for Day Twenty-Four of PAD

For today’s prompt, write a faith poem. For some people, faith means religion. For others, faith means trusting in science and mathematics. Still others, think George Michael’s “Faith” just as some immediately conjure up Faith Hill. Regardless of where you put your faith (or don’t), today’s poem gives you an opportunity to express yourself.

Photo of Birch Trees by Linda G. Hatton
We Are All Part of Nature

Lose and Find Yourself

Have faith,
she said,
in every fresh cloud-
          burst, and in the wind’s
for consoling
     your distress
with its temper-

Have faith,
she said,
when the common
nightingale sings—
how its aria
     your heart
like wings.

Have faith,
she said,
in your childhood
birch tree,
in your mind,

And when you can,
have faith,
she said,
in your reflection,
captured by sky
and sea, staring
back at your human-
          you are
consoling cloudburst,
fluttering common
     nightingale song,
(b)looming birch tree—
     all separate
and all one. 


Monday, April 24, 2017

Last Step - a Poem for Day Twenty-Three of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty-three of the PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Last (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Last Starfighter,” “Last Unicorn,” “Last Day of Summer,” “Last Cookie in the Cookie Jar,” and so on.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Sometimes It's More Fun to Drive

Last Step

Sometimes it’s hard
knowing you aren’t
where you want to be
just yet. You have
so many more steps

ahead that you can’t quite
make out success. Each day
is a struggle, won-
          dering when it will be
“your turn,” but still you

keep your chin up,
keep placing heel to toe
on the path before you,
sprinting against those
imaginary competitors,

hoping to reach that last
step, rather than being grateful
that you’re in the running—
forgetting the last step
means the end.

So instead of anticipating
your destination, groove
over each hurdle, send
love and peace
to your competition,

breathe out your struggle,
embrace your muscles, pumping,
growing. Give thanks, take pleasure,
remember, it’s an obstacle race—
and there is no beeline.


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Wolf and Mouse Learn Lessons from Each Other - a Poem for Day Twenty-Two of PAD

For today’s prompt, write a fable poem. A fable is a story that conveys a moral, usually told with animal characters.

Artwork by Linda G. Hatton
This Mouse Got Away

Wolf and Mouse Learn Lessons from Each Other

A wolf barreling
through forest dark,
felt his shape
shifting into pine
trunk and leaves
and bark,
and river stones
along dense dirt path
when he came upon 
a skittering mouse 
whose life force
he could not trespass. 

The mousepuffed up 
in the task
of cracking open
an acorn shell
refused to give him
the time of day.

Although the mouse felt 

hot breath on his neck, 
he tapped, 
he chewed,
he cursed 
in squeaks 
and chitters 
(the usual language
of such critters).

Just as the wolf said, You’ll never
break through
, the acorn
snapped apart under
those insistent chews. 

Mouse swallowed
the nut meat 

and awarded wolf
the empty shell
to prove persistence
brings about rewards.

When wolf reached down
towards the vacant 

husk, he snuck a stroke
of the rodent’s pelt,
then spun around 

and stole
that vermin’s form.

As wolf stared 

at his brand-new 
he gurgled up 

a little grumble.

Well, you’re right, 

I didn’t give in, 
so I finally broke through. 
And now I see how 


Friday, April 21, 2017

Origami Bowl - a Poem for Day Twenty-One of PAD

For today’s prompt, pick an object (any object), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Toothbrush,” “Rake,” “Pilot G2 Premium Gel Roller Pen,” or any number of other objective titles. Have fun with it.

Photo of Origami Bowl by Linda G. Hatton
A Gift from My Son

Origami Bowl

Paper edges like boat sails,
red as the tips of bottle-
brush, paints my soul 
on the desk from where stories 
grow. Its contents, 
the ocean 
in roughened form—

a shard of green soda bottle, 
edges smoothed by uncounted
licks of the sea,

a droplet of orphaned turquoise,

the start of a savings for my next
summer vacation
plunked down in coins, big
and small,

a broken seashell that fits 
in the bend of my fingers,

a charm mirrored after
a swimming creature, blue
on one side, 
my dreams on the other, 
rub it 
like a worry stone. 

I thank my son 
for his creation,
holding memories 
while he grows tall,
and further away 
from where he started,
a perfect piece 
of unfolded paper, 
floating out to sea
leaving me behind 
on the hillside
with my garden.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Edelweiss for My Father - a Poem for Day Twenty of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twenty of the April PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a task poem. The task can be some glorious duty, or it can be a seemingly small and insignificant job. Or the poem can take someone to task. It’s your task to figure it out and write it.

Photo of Mt. Shasta by Linda G. Hatton
You Live on the Mountainside Now

Edelweiss for My Father

As a child I believed you
embodied life everlasting.
But, it wasn’t true.
Your death left me
stranded, so now my task
is to unearth you,
bask in your presence
just once more. Yet,
how can I? You survive now
only on remote mountainsides
where lovers die
to get a glimpse
of your double-star formation.
Last I saw you
was the wee hours
of early September
when I snuck away
from base camp—discovered
your blooms near the end,
disinterred you, stole away
with your white, woolly petals
that I later placed inside
my bedside table alongside angel
cards and the fragile pages
of an antique bible.
Your grin has become
2-D, but the way you lifted
one side of your lip
still thrives
in my memory,
and the smell of edelweiss
envelops me in a sadness
that is life everlasting. 


Hiding Out in the Open - a Poem for Day Nineteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day nineteen of the PAD challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a memory poem. Pick a memory, any memory. It can be a significant event, but sometimes there are beautiful insignificant moments (that ironically are very significant–quite the paradox). Mine your memories to come up with something good today.

Photo of Doorway by Linda G. Hatton
I'm Watching You through the Doorway

Hiding Out in the Open

She hoofed it up the front steps,
but I must have appeared
as a statue to her, immobile
in the burgundy chair,
staring her direction
out the picture window.
She cradled an iPad,
peered into the window
above me, then glanced
around for a sign of life,
finding none.
She rang the bell,
but I’d been instructed
not to open the door
to strangers. When
she got no answer,
she investigated the space
a little more—and then
pulled her hair clip off,
shook her tresses down
around her shoulders,
fluffed some tufts,
admired her reflection.
Then she headed
on her way
to another attempt
at human contact—
hers or someone else’s—
at the next stop.


Saved by Stardust - a Poem for Day Eighteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day eighteen of the April PAD Challenge:

Here are the two prompts for today:
  • Write a life poem. The poem could be about the miracle of life, the complexity of life, the game of Life, or anything else that means life for you. Or…
  • Write a death poem. For most organisms, life leads to death. So this should be as full of possibility as the life poem.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
It Once Hung Near the Moon

Saved by Stardust

Life has been shooting
tests my way, threatening
my mobility,
emotional stability.
This morning I arose
to a fallen star
and a deceased
bee on my living
room floor. I reached
down to rescue
his carcass, give him
a proper burial,
but he crumbled under
my touch, turned
to dust. I couldn’t help
but wonder, did he fly
upwards to the sky
with such force
that he knocked
down that luminous
ball of gas for me
to catch, save
myself? Only,
I missed it—
lost in-
in my every-


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

No Rest at the Rest Home - a Poem for Day Seventeen of PAD

For today’s prompt, write a dance poem. The poem can be about the process of dancing or just somehow incorporate or reference dancing in the poem. There are so many styles of dance out there and even more occasions for dancing: school dances, daddy-daughter dances, wedding dances, people who dance when they are happy, people who dance when they are sad, people who dance in large groups, and those who dance alone. And, of course, there are so who just won’t dance for anything.

Photo of Boy in Sand by Linda G. Hatton
Dance Everywhere

No Rest at the Rest Home

For eighty-five years,
he showed his contempt
at those on dance floors,
until, confined to his couch,

he devoured
hour after hour of
So You Think
You Can Dance

The series came to a close,
leaving him inspired
to do the pony
and the pogo,
but everyone else
reflected he was near
his own end, so he’d lost
his chance
to boogie and bop.

To prove them all wrong,
he strained, he stretched,
he swayed side to side
in his de-
              composing sofa bed.
He then took my hand,
begged me to dance,
do the hitch hike
and the hornpipe,
and then
of universal 

by his side,
until he


Provisions for a Disorganized System - a Poem for Day Sixteen of PAD

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “(blank) System,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: “Weather System,” “Solar System,” “Writing System,” “Ecological System,” or any number of other takes on systems.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
Ah, Let's Just Get Takeout

Provisions for a Disorganized System

In my pantry where cans 
of green beans dated
1989 have been kicked
     into place
underneath dried lentils
and other leg-
and held prisoner
by some vile,
salad dressing, and questionable
soda crackers
in a box with one torn corner,
you’d agree that I never
managed to become
Therefore, I am not
part of the living


Haste Makes Waste - a Poem for Day Fifteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day fifteen of PAD:

For today’s prompt, write a “one time” poem. This poem could be about a once in a lifetime experience. Or it could be about something a person wants to try just one time (good or bad). Or take it where you will–as always.

Photo of Trash Can by Linda G. Hatton
Always Use the Trash Can

Haste Makes Waste

Although I can’t say
I recognize
most of my fellow
power walkers,
I can imagine
most of those
who make
waste in their haste
around here.

They are
someone who eats Pez candy,
someone who shops at Big 5,
someone who throws away
     homework, and
someone who doesn't mind
to nature’s demise.

They are
someone who drinks just half
     a McCafe,
someone who keeps no receipts,
someone who uses no coupons,
and someone who buys
     extra treats
to leave for wildlife
on the street.

I declare this,
just one time,
I'd rather meet
and greet
those draggletails
than feast
my eyes
on their
and food-


Monday, April 17, 2017

It’s for the Birds - a Poem for Day Fourteen of PAD

Yes, I'm catching up. This is my poem for day fourteen of the April PAD Challenge, and here is the prompt:

For today’s prompt, pick a popular saying and make that the title of your poem; then, write your poem. Some possible titles might include: “Blood Is Thicker Than Water,” “You Can’t Judge a Book By Its Cover,” “More Than You Can Shake a Stick At,” and so many others. 

Photo of Seagull by Linda G. Hatton
If Wings Could Talk

It’s for the Birds

Just once, I’d like to belong
to the world outside
my sliding door,
that place where
another reality
thrives, where
hummingbirds nest
and red-winged
blackbirds call out
to the sky, then fly away,
day, night.

Just once, I’d like to exist
among those breathing
aircraft, spread my wings,
release my beak (sharp
as needle-nosed pliers),
settle into my bed
of twigs, leaves, mud, nest-
     le to the sound of crickets,
be rocked to sleep
by my cousin,
the soaring wind.

Just once, I’d like to stretch
my wings like fingers, splash
my lining in the wake
of a cool lily pond, dip
down into a farmer’s barn,
fatten up on stolen,
scattered grain.

Just once, I’d like to fit
in with a flock of star-
lings, cause a stir,
watch passersby
drop their jaws
in delight
at my


Friday, April 14, 2017

FamILY Recipe - a Poem for Day Thirteen of PAD

Here is the prompt for day thirteen of the April PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a family poem. It could be about your family, someone else’s family, a big family, a small family. It could be about one person in the family or a group picture. Your call. Just write that poem.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
I Love Them from Mouth to Feet

FamILY Recipe

In the beginning,
I was famished,
yearned for love,
but then
my little family
grew from one
to two to three
to four. Now,
the hunger’s
emerged into
a smorgasbord of
I Love You.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

I Need Someone New in My Life - a Poem for Day Twelve of PAD

Here is the prompt for day twelve of the April PAD Challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a guilty poem. The poem can be written from the perspective of someone who is (or feels) guilty, or it can be about someone (or something) else that’s guilty. But guilty of what? Cheating on a test? Or a spouse? Or a diet? Only you know, and only your poem can reveal the truth.

Photo by Renee Choi
I'm Still Here

I Need Someone New in My Life

I’m off to build a new life story.

Scrubbed twenty years
of tears imbedded
in my wall-to-wall carpet
     Then ripped it out.

Torched forty-five years
of journal entries
in a backyard bonfire.
     Then grabbed an armful
     of binders at the Dollar Tree
     to pen forty-five years
     of new memories.

Dyed my hair.
     Chopped it off.

Crashed my car.
     Bought a scooter.

Donated my faded
to the county dump.
     Tattooed wings
    on my shoulder blades.

But later I caught myself
in that same old mirror and
though I looked distraught—
     not going to feel guilty—
I still saw me.


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Mysterious Disappearance - a Poem for Day Eleven of the PAD Challenge

Yeah, I should have gone with the other prompt. I tried to write a sonnet. I've been tweaking and tweaking . . . and I'm tired. 

So even though it needs more tweaking, I'm sleeping before my body is tweaking. 

Here are the prompts for day eleven of the April PAD Challenge:
  • Write a sonnet. (Click here if you need a refresher on sonnets.) I know some folks will say a writing a form is not a prompt, but I often use forms to prompt me into poems. And I know that some folks will say they hate traditional forms. Soooo, the other prompt is to…
  • Write an anti-form poem. Write about your dislike of poetic forms. Let it all out.

Photo by Linda G. Hatton
He's Somewhere out There

Mysterious Disappearance

His face turned up on the six o’clock news,
his stolen yacht retrieved from Santa Cruz.
The only signs a struggle had ensued,
his dull pocket knife and torn bloodied shoes.

I’d overheard him tell his senile folks,
he’d rather live without me by his side.
I begged him to stay, yet he vowed to go—
crushed my frail heart, said I wasn’t his bride.

But then he went missing and I cried out
my eyes—I was convinced he'd surely died.
Though he’d wounded me, I still loved the lout.
I never wanted to see him graveside.

Now I wonder—was it all just a ruse
to dump me because he lacked an excuse?