Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Road Trip Blip

Behind us, superfluous
feral cats yowl, owls
hoot, trains maintain
distance resistance,
drivers in the fast lane complain.

[This is an Echo Verse poem.]

Photo of Car on Road by Ben C
Admire the View, Crew

Today is our second Two-for-Tuesday prompt day. Pick one prompt for your poem today, or write a poem for each prompt, or write one poem that works with both. Today’s prompts are:
  1. Write a form poem (here’s a list of 100 poetic forms for reference), and/or…
  2. Write an anti-form poem.

* * *

Friday, November 8, 2019

Oh, Fedora

I adored your
soft, wide brim
& indented crown,
your heat-pressed
your playboy
your one-

But that
was then.
Now, I’ve learned
to wear
my hair

Photo of Fedora by Peter Suneson
I Still Wear You Once in a While

For today’s prompt, pick an article of clothing, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. It could be as general as “Ankle-cut Socks” or “Bell-bottoms.” Or get more specific like “My Bearcats Hoodie” or “Reebok Pump High Top Shoes.”

* * * 

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

For Good Measure

When you nick-
named her
she built a secret
pleasure dome 
comprised of
and a whispering
walkway to sustain
hymns & mantras
she chants
to soothe herself.
She no longer takes it
that you friend-
zoned her
for life; she's been left
content, detained
in her self-made
on Earth.

Photo of the Pantheon by Paul Duvall
She's Become the Light

Today is our first Two-for-Tuesday prompt day. Pick one prompt for your poem today, or write a poem for each prompt, or write one poem that works with both. Today’s prompts are:
  1. Write a pleasure poem, and/or…
  2. Write a displeasure poem.
* * * 

Monday, November 4, 2019

One Nightstand

Hidden inside these walnut-
finished solid oak
drawers, guarded by half-
moon pulls,
live remnants
from another life-
time when you & I braved a night
together like a dovetail joint,
confessed our affection
under a single streetlight
     at Taylor & John.

But the next day
you torqued my slides
& sent me off track
when you decided
we were misaligned
     & you moved on.

Photo of Nightstand by Tracy Olson
My Nightstand is Nothing Special (to You)

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Night (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 might include: “Night Hawk,” “Night Rider,” “Night and Day,” “Night Watchman,” or even “Nightmare.”

* * * 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Granny’s Special Surprise

For my birthday, she brandished 
one long, bony finger,
summoned me in-
          side, sidled be-
          side my hungry
slathered my platter
with exceptional brownies,
crafted under super-
          vised care
of knobby knuckles
& one loose stringy
gray hair. Her smile revealed
one tooth had gone missing,
dotted out by a smear
of chocolate frosted inking.
She nodded & asked,
“How do you like them, dear?
Do you feel funny?”
I confessed I’d never
been a consumer
of nature’s sedatives
or potions.
She said, “Silly, that’s not
what I meant. These goodies
were assembled
with some of my friends
who couldn’t escape,
so I stirred them right in.
For your birthday all year,
remember this adage of three—
     see no weevils,
     hear no weevils,
     speak no weevils—
because they’ve departed,
gifting you with pure
protein & a message
from beyond."

Live life to the fullest
even if that means
hiding undercover
in somebody’s
cupboard in a sack
of flour—cowpea,
granary, or rice.
Pick your poison,
for the fate
of our family tree
that no matter your vice,
you’ll never live twice.

Photo of brownies by diamondjoy
Granny's Special-Ingredient Brownies

For today’s prompt, write a poem of threes. Your poem could be about the number three or feature three of something, for sure, but it could also do some other things. For instance, your poem could be composed of tercets (or three-line stanzas), have three syllables per line, or be a three-line poem (like a haiku or lune). Or write about tricycles or triangles or any number (though mostly the number three) of other plays on three.
* * * 

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Letter to My Other Half

Why can’t we
ever agree?
I say yes.
You say no.
I say A.
You say Z.
Some call us
but we’re a perfect
You’re the heater
to my cold hands,
the push
to my pause,
the miracle cream
to my wrinkles,
the pen
to my pad.
When we’re
old & senile,
I suppose
we’ll see
all along we agreed
on everything
A & Z.

Photo of Wolf Pack by Quapaw from FreeImages
We Make the Perfect Pack

For today’s prompt, write an alpha poem. Of course, you could write a poem about an alpha male or alpha female (or some other play on alpha this or that). Or you can move into the realm of an alphabet poem–focusing on all 26 letters or just one (or a pair).

* * *

Friday, November 1, 2019

Death of the Old Self

Once upon a time,
she hitchhiked toward bright,
scampered with Buddhas
& gods
because she didn’t fit in-
anyone else’s box
                    (or mind).
She drifted like ash,
disembodied thoughts
with nowhere to go
but to the fiery bottom
of burned timber,
                     & stone.
Now the dented base
of her metal urn rests
on a mantel
     & she wonders
(how she made that mistake)
     if there’s anyone
     and how she ever
    allowed herself
to snuff out
her own

Photo of Clay Vessel in Garden by Michael & Christa Richert
Spill My Ashes in the Garden Instead

For today’s prompt, write a once upon a time poem. The title of the poem could be “Once Upon a Time,” or the first words could be. Or you could do what I did in my attempt below: I pretended the words “once upon a time” preceded the first line of my poem.
* * * 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Rest in Peace

I wrote the below poem in late November when my beloved India first started showing signs of deterioration. Loyal as she was, she had trouble saying goodbye. I had trouble saying goodbye. Yesterday, we finally did.

Resisting Arrest

Dog tracks line
the kitchen floor.
They smell of
blindness &
rotten teeth.
They lead to stains
of a future,
     buried, like her
cherished bone.

The dog rests
on the bedroom
floor, too tired
to make it to her
(death) bed,

too tired
to die today. 

It’s been a day since we parted. My heart still hurts. She was my guide through loss after loss—cancer, heart failure times two, cancer, cancer, cancer, people who fit into that whole seasons, reasons, and lifetime category, and on and on it went for what seemed like forever.

I have been working a lot today but decided to take a walk. Normally I see a few rabbits when I leave my house. But today they were everywhere. Next it was the lizards. To my right, to my left.

I got a little farther and my intuition told me to take a different route. And there it was. One of the pennies my father likes to leave in my path. Then the little tree. Another symbol I associate with him.

I started to feel a little better, yet soon India popped back into my head. My heart sagged with sadness again. Until nature, magical nature, swooped in to surprise me.

Some sort of winged beetle zoomed in front of me and landed on my sleeve, causing me to look up. 

There, staring at me, was this message, hand painted on a rock: Have faith and you will never walk alone.

A Gift from #LetsRockAmerica

From Dad? From India? That part doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I felt someone watching over me, an otherworldly presence. And I know that when I walk, all those who’ve flown from my life, still walk beside me.

My Sweet India

* * * * *

Saturday, April 27, 2019

(In)Complete Edition

She’s an incomplete
travel guide-
book, bound together
with rusted
old metal clips,
jammed in the back
of the bottom
desk drawer
where no one bothers
to look anymore.
She can tell you
what to pack &
where to get a map,
so just slip open
that compartment
where you tossed
her aside.
She’ll tell you
where to go.
Just don’t expect
a divine trip
to the other side. 

Photo by Stefan R.I.
Some Say We're Already There

I'm currently swamped with work, so I'm catching up when I am able. Here is the prompt for Day Twenty-Four (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Complete (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: “Complete Best Day I Ever Had,” “Complete Guide to Writing Poems,” “Completely Wrong Way,” and “Completed Set.”

Monday, April 22, 2019

Sympathy Card (Sorry for Your Loss)

Dropped me
in that slot,
ran away,
forgot you
sent me
on my way
until that guy
on the other end
received me,
read me,
displayed me
on a shelf.

Photo of rose and card by Justine FG
It's What's inside That Counts

Yes, I know I skipped Day Twenty-One; I'm hoping to get back to it. For now, here is the prompt for Day Twenty-Two (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a correspondence poem. Maybe write a poem that would fit on a postcard or in a letter. Or write a poem about correspondence school. Or jump into newer forms of correspondence like e-mail or text messaging. Of course, not all correspondence is connected to communicating; sometimes one thing corresponds to another by being similar.


Sunday, April 21, 2019


Fill your dark
with anything
without a face,
without a heart,
without a mind.
Wonder why
you never
your way.
Wonder why
you ran
out of time.

Photo of statue by Joakim Buchwald
Are You Sure You Aren't Made from Stone?

Here is the prompt for Day Twenty (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt. Of course, dark has several other connotations as well. An underdog is often known as a dark horse, a villain may have a dark heart, and Batman is known as the Dark Knight. Heck, when I was little, I thought Darth Vader was Dark Vader.


Vanity Plate

You’re a snappy
vanity plate
one word, misspelled,
snarky, clever.

I’m an old-school
bumper sticker
from a
summer vacation.

But even though
I’ve come unglued,
my peeling edges
draw more attention
to my tail
than your need
for speed

that lead to excessive
to the body shop.

Photo of street signs by Joe Rooster
We Both Have to Follow the Same Signs

Here is the prompt for Day Nineteen (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a license poem. There are many different licenses available to people. Fishing license, driver’s license, license to plate, license to kill, and marriage license. Poem doesn’t have to be about the license, but it could mention a license, happen at a licensing office, or well, use your poetic license.


Friday, April 19, 2019

Little Time

All I wanted
was a little time
to revisit Lake
Union with you, lay out
a rowboat
for us to float
the day away,
catch dragonflies
with our cameras,
zoom in to behold
their grateful smiles.

All I wanted
was a little time
to trail your footsteps
up the hillside,
scour huckleberry
bushes for berries
teeming with vital
juices, then park
myself across
the room & sip
the darkest reds
of Cabernet with you.

All I wanted
was for you to keep
your promise,
stick around
instead of leaving me
to lament
that we had
too little time.

     All I wanted
     was a little more time
with you.

Photo of rowboats by Ali Taylor
All Those Boats Are Empty Now

Here is the prompt for Day Eighteen (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Little (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: “Little Guy,” “Little Richard,” “Little Mermaid,” “Little Italy,” and “Little Words That Pack a Big Punch.” I think if you think about it for a little bit, you’ll find a big (or little) poem to write.


Thursday, April 18, 2019


is not a reason.
Please specify why
you can’t reveal
the truth, and when
you need
a quick answer,
just say yes or no,
or give me
some time
to think about it.
But before you let
them spill
from your mouth,
your words will live on
long after
your body
is gone.

Photo of dictionary by Carlos Koblischek
Know the Meanings of the Words You Speak

Here is the prompt for Day Seventeen (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Quite the Catch

When she caught 
a tiny piece
of herself
she thought had not
her mind mush-
from the natural high
of her enlightenment.

But like a butterfly
in a net, she couldn’t bear
to set it free,
for fear
it would fly
far far away,
its release,
leave her alone
with her former self.

Photo of butterfly box by meral akbulut
She Keeps Those Parts Locked Up

Here is the prompt for Day Sixteen (copied from Writer's Digest):

Time for our third Two for Tuesday of the month! Pick one prompt or use both…your choice!
  1. Write a catch poem. Catch a cold, a ball, a fish, or someone’s eye.
  2. Write a release poem. Release your anger, a ball, a fish, or someone’s head (from a head lock while wrestling, of course).

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

I Saw It Coming

Do not embrace
the days we had.
Those days have
vanished like
an apparition
of a lost
loved one at twilight.
Those days we tread
over famous landscape
paintings, traded
bits of that
which we shared
with no one else,
those days we cannot
cash in
for change.
Those days we’ve
lost; they’ve been

Do not embrace
the days we had.
Do not embrace
my face, it’s different
now—like cedar
bark worn &
chiseled from a wood-
pecker’s beak,
worn from twigs
snapped underfoot.

No, do not embrace
the days we had.
We’ve been gifted
with new days.
the days you have,
embrace your new faces.
And forget me.

Photo of woodpecker by Pedro Ibanez
I've Flown Away

Here is the prompt for Day Fifteen (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a prediction poem. Make a prediction. Write about another person’s correct or incorrect prediction. Or, you know, be unpredictable.


The State I’m In

My borders are on
lockdown. There’s no
getting through. Neither
passport nor cash nor beauty
(nor begging)
will break down
these walls. It’s taken
a lifetime to stack
this barrier
inside where I hide
from outside threats
of the human
race, which I’ve been
told I belong to
(though I suspect it's a lie
as I just can’t relate).
So back away,
you’re not getting my key.
Just back away & leave me
where you can’t find me.
Just back away & leave me
in my own self-made reality. 

Photo by Kimi Bono
The Wall Is Only In Front of Me

Here is the prompt for Day Fourteen (copied from Writer's Digest):
For today’s prompt, pick a state (or province, territory, etc.), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. A few possibilities include New York, California, Ontario, Bavaria, and Champagne. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Feel free to bend this in any direction you wish.

The Growth Chart

The view from
every angle
was of my mama’s
measurement chart
etched like an inscription
on a tombstone
into the door jamb
of the living
room, not to record
my growth
through the years,
but to report
the date of each
time someone
passed through
to the other side.

She called our living
the dying
room. But with each
entry of elimination,
my mother said
we all grew
a little.

Photo of woman looking at old house by Ket Quang
Her Actions Were a Grave Mistake

Here is the prompt for Day Thirteen (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a view poem. Wherever you’re at, you have a view: maybe of a river or sunset. Maybe of a cubicle or a copy machine. Even the blind have a view of darkness, nothingness, or some other -ness. And that’s just being literal, because everyone has views on sports, politics, poetry, etc


Friday, April 12, 2019

The Art of the Cycle

Swim through
Acts One, Two, and Three
of your life.
your demise.
if you ever

Photo meditating person by Fabian Nick
Enlightenment Can Break the Cycle

Here is the prompt for Day Twelve (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The Art of (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: “The Art of Writing,” “The Art of Painting,” “The Art of Showing Up to Parties Fashionably Late,” and/or “The Art of Being Awesome.”

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Greg Dubuque

He will blindside
your mind, breathe
dragons & magic
into any dreary
life. He’s got an eye
for detail. He’ll right your
left side, then do away
with logic. He’s got fire
in his fingers, liquid
on his palette. You’ll side
with his right to sweet-talk
using paint & canvas.

[Visit Greg's website to view his amazing art.]

Photo of paint supplies by Lauren Lank
From These Tools He Creates Magic

Here is the prompt for Day Four (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible painters include Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, or Pablo Picasso. Of course, you don’t have to go with the big names. You can use more obscure painters or more contemporary ones. For instance, I love the work of Judith Peck and Aaron Bir.

To the Green Man Night-Light on My Bedside Table

You were supposed
to keep me company,
fight my darkness.
Instead you remind
me of that empty room
where the light has died,
never to return. 

Photo of man by Aleksandra Banic
Is It a Light, a Man, or a Mood?

Here is the prompt for Day Eleven (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a dedication poem. This is a poem dedicated to a person, an animal, or an organization. Or hey, objects work too–like a poem to a rock or paper bag. Put the dedication in the title or in a line under the title (“for Mother” or “to the heart-shaped rock between the creek and the tulips”). I dedicate today’s prompt to all of you!

On the Streets

Brenda pours
down a storm
drain to keep

Terrion straightens
his cardboard
pulls up
his newspaper
for the night.

sightseers snap
with sidewalk

a man dies,
a woman dies
the streets,
but no one

Photo of tents by Nadine Wegner
For Them, It's Not a Vacation

[Life is challenging these days, so this challenge is extra challenging. I'm not thrilled with my poems this time, but that is why I keep practicing.] 

Here is the prompt for Day Ten (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a lone poem. Perhaps the poem is about a solitary wanderer or person who just prefers to go it alone. Or a lone winner, lone wolf, or some other solo individual. Or alternatively, I’ll accept poems that are about loans or that are about being alone.


Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Till Death Do Us Part

We said I do,
same as all the others.
But unlike some others,
even when we feel like
we don’t,
we do.

[Author's Note: This is just a poem and not a judgement about anyone else's choices.]

Photo of candles by Marco Caliulo

Let the Light Guide Your Way

Here is the prompt for Day Nine (copied from Writer's Digest):

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Or not.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Vampire Envy

Pi(e) is the luckiest

neither stake
     (and, no, not a knife)
nor blessed Bullet
     (not even cherry
      ones disguised
      as a bloody blended shake)
nor sunlight
     (or ovens set at
      400 degrees)
nor garlic
     (that tantalizing bulb
      just adds
      to the flavor)

     (can remove appeal
      can overbake)

Photo of pies by Patrick Nijhuis
All-You-Can-Eat Pi(e) Day

Here is the prompt for Day Eight (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a lucky number poem. Some people have lucky numbers, some don’t. Wherever you fall on the lucky number spectrum, you can still write a poem about the phenomenon of lucky numbers and/or luck in general.


Canine Rivalry

That old flattened
bed with stuffing erupting
from one side like a giant
puffball mushroom
never looked so cozy
until the new whipper-
snapper of a pup
wriggled her way
nudged the elder pup

Photo of two dogs in a bed by Linda G. Hatton
Sometimes They Share

I don't know why this prompt tripped me up so much. But I wanted to stay in the challenge, so I'm glad I came up with something. Ugh!

Here is the prompt for Day Seven (copied from Writer's Digest):

For today’s prompt, write a jealous poem. Maybe you’re jealous. Or maybe someone else is jealous of you–or someone else. Whether envious of another or suspicious of a partner, dive deep into this emotion today.