Saturday, April 25, 2020

His Name Was, Yes, I Remember

Today I’ll make a list
of all I need to remember:
read Breathing the Water, ex-
     ercise, write
essays about conception,
death & dying,
achieving success,
& a poem here
& there.
That rowdy teen
inside my brain
snoozed all day & night—
gave me a break
from distraction,
gave me a chance
to feel & smell my long-gone
wanton ways.
Oh, what was my truelove’s name
from nineteen-eighty-four?
Oh, yes, I remember,
but I can only share
when playing
or dare.

[Based on the wish prompt from day four. My original poem is here:]

Photo of to-do list by Aaron Beall
Now, What Was I Going to Do Again?

For today’s prompt, write a remix poem. That is, take one (or more) of your poems from earlier this month and remix it. Make a free verse poem into a villanelle. Or condense a sestina into a haiku or senryu. Or forget form. Just completely jumble up the words…or respond to the original poem(s). As always, have fun with it.
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Friday, April 24, 2020

Phyllotaxis Spirals

into earth,
cells divide, flowers
sprout, offer bees and peeps
abundant nectar. Unpicked fruit falls back to bed
in birthing dirt, feeds seeds, prepares for life, death, metamorphosis. That’s no fib.

[Author's note: I structured my poem using the Fibonacci Sequence. However, this poem does not line up right on a cell phone. The lines should show 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, and 13 words.]

Photo of sunflower by Jasmaine Mathews
Mother Nature's Sacred Geometry

For today’s prompt, write a nature poem. Could be nature like trees, leaves, grass, birds, etc. Or your poem could tackle human nature. Another possibility is to look at the nature of technology or the interaction of planets around each other and the sun. Or well, the nature of poetry! When in doubt, just see what happens naturally.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Car & Driver & Hitchhiker

She hitchhikes rides
in your tire . . . d
every night
as cotton t(h)reads
cradle your head,
the way she did before
you . . . drove her away . . .
You haven’t seen her
cruising around,
she’s too busy
hijacking sleep
from man-ifold drivers
who hit the skids
on delivering her
de . . . man . . . ds . . .
But she’ll keep hitchhiking
rides in your mind,
the way she did before
you . . . drove her away . . .

Photo of Tire Swing by Cameron Gaut
She Invites You to Take a Ride

We’re three weeks into the challenge now, which means “Two-for-Tuesday” day today. This is the one I break out every challenge (alumni know which one I’m talking about).

For today’s prompt:
  1. Write a love poem and/or…
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Because some folks just aren’t that into love poems.

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Thursday, April 16, 2020

His Life Purpose

He bubble wraps
your delicate heart,
converts cardboard
boxes into mythical castles,
weed whacks
the blues from your
weekend distractions,
provides air for your
imaginary guitar,
strums out grief
left behind
from too many
strings attached,
rolls you up like tissue-
papered love
notes, then settles
your heart
inside a glass jar.
He makes every day
an exotic vacation.
He says he does it all
for you.

Photo of Swiss Army Knife by Davide Guglielmo
He's My Little Swiss Army Knife

For today’s prompt, write a purpose poem. Many people like to have a purpose in life. Some folks do things on purpose. And yes, sometimes it appears there is no purpose to life’s events. Whatever drives you, I hope you’re able to pair purpose (or lack of purpose) with your poetry today.

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Monday, April 13, 2020

The Prize Who Reminded

If you love me, consider
me as five days
of rain that lit a fire
inside you.

If you love me, call
me a shipwreck
who inspired you to thrive
in an unfamiliar world.

If you love me, whisper
about how I fed you remarks
& verses for each meal
to nourish your soul.

If you love me, nest-
le up with me, call me
your little hummingbird,
defend my delicate wingspan.

If you love me, cradle
your mallet shaft,
percuss my vertebrae
with the skill of a marimbist.

If you love me, remember—
consider, call, whisper,
nestle, and cradle me
while I’m still by your side.

Photo of shipwreck by Fokko Veenstra
Please Keep Us Afloat

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The (blank) Who (blank),” replace the blanks with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “The Runner Who Walked,” “The Scientist Who Decided to Make a Monster,” “The Poet Who Loved Me,” and/or “The Teacher Who Couldn’t Learn.” If you’d prefer to write about a thing instead of a person, feel free to replace the word “who” with the word “that.”

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Friday, April 10, 2020

Crystalline Traces

—the forest,
     a Himalayan salt lamp, enlightens
          stray wanderers, detoxes
               stale lifestyles, promises
                    light on the other side—

[Author's Note: I based this poem on photo number four on the prompt page.] 

Photo of salt lamps by Amophes
Can You See Your Future Inside Them?

For today’s prompt, write an ekphrastic poem. An ekphrastic poem is one that’s inspired by a work of art, whether that’s a painting, photograph, sculpture, or some other creation. I’ve included five ekphrastic prompts below. Look them over and choose one (or more) to prompt your poem today.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Box of Teeth

future self
resides inside my
father’s aged cigar box,
displayed with pride on high,
above an antique upright where immortal
composers mourn and sigh from beyond at
the terrible neglect of those grand old keys.

Photo of piano by Sami Shah
Let the Music Carry You Away

For today’s prompt, write a future poem. The future is a never ending well of worry for some. Others harbor a great deal of optimism. Still others see a mixture of awesome flying cars and terrifying robot overlords. Regardless of your outlook, I hope there’s a poem in your very near future.

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Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Migraine’s His Name

He lugged his way
through the labyrinth
in pursuit of a trumpet,
but instead,
he thumped the drums,
disturbed my nerves.
If only he’d book
a gondola ride,
exit one of those
waxen Grand Canals,
take a vacation, relieve me
of the pain
of this overactive

Photo of Ear Word Art by Krystle Fleming
Through My Ear is the Only Way Out

For today’s prompt, write a trap poem. There are physical traps—like mouse traps and bear traps. But people also sometimes fall into language traps or social traps. Many competitive types in business and various games try to set traps for their competitors. Of course, for every person setting a trap, there’s likely another person trying to avoid falling into traps.

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Insomniac Dreams

Last night I saw you walk by—
your face held the grace
of twenty-one
before you replaced me the first time.
Pine needles shivered in five
overhead trees, and waves
of scarlet linen brushed over my toes.
The sound of rain falling overhead
mimicked a crackling fire,
and off in the distance, a hawk
called out that he was leaving the nest
for good.

At the last minute, you tossed me a look
over your shoulder, but I don’t know
you anymore. I only know pine trees,
scarlet waves, and thunderstorms
pretending to be something they’re not.

I saw you walk by for the last time.

Photo of red wall by Asif Akbar
Those Waves Have Built a Wall

For today’s prompt, write a moment poem. The moment could be this very moment in time. Or pick a moment from your past and dive into it. It could be a huge moment or event in your life (or the life of another). Or you could share a small, private moment–like a walk at night or solitary adventure.
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Monday, April 6, 2020

His Name Was So and So

I wish I’d made a note
of all I wanted to remember
before my brain transformed into
a faulty trash compactor.
I couldn’t halt
the great revolt
of that rowdy teen
inside my brain
from disputing
first-class advice
to preserve my precious
(yet incomplete)
fancy-free highlights.
So now I lie awake
(to garner one last thrill)
attempting to recapture
those days
of wanton ways.

Oh, what was my truelove’s name
from nineteen-eighty-four?

Photo of blank journal by Warley Rossi
That Year's Journal is Blank

For today’s prompt, write a wish poem. The poem could be about making a wish or granting a wish. It could focus on the fallout from a wish granted or denied. Or think up a wishful scene to share in your poem.
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Sunday, April 5, 2020

Can’t Follow the Sense

He said, “Follow 
the clues,” but
I have no clue
what that means.
How can I see
through the slats
in that rickety
bridge to play
games, decode
riddles, & dig
through old slides
to figure
out names?
You hid them so well,
& now how in the hell-
               o, am I to say goodbye?
Why do you want me
to figure out
who you were after
               you’ve died?

[Author's note: I wrote this from the perspective of a character in one of my novels-in-progress.]

Photo of rainbow by Alexander Chechetkin from FreeImages
You've Crossed the Rainbow Bridge

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Follow (blank),” replace the blank with a new word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “Follow the Leader,” “Follow Me on Twitter,” “Follow Your Heart,” and/or “Follow the Light.” So many things to follow or not.

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Space Girl

     In memoriam

We wafted on life
preservers in the middle
of Lake Washington
when the moon
sat high, teetering
on the edge of
a shelf ready to fall
into itself in the Cimmerian
sky. I traced the stars
of each of the Dippers,
remembering how we scooped
frozen dreams, just barely
two steps out of our teens.

     I still live
up to that handle
given me by my old dear friend
whose directional projections
now shine down from the origin
of that nickname
he loved to expound.
Out of reach, he now
safeguards me from above,
slightly less than 93
million miles away.

Photo of Space Halo by David Cowan
We Are Just Spaces Apart

For today’s prompt, write a space poem. Your poem could be about outer space or inner space. It could opine on the social spacing much of the world is currently doing. Or poets can write an ode to having the space to write or read or whatever. Honestly, I’ll be disappointed if there isn’t a Star Wars or Star Trek inspired poem today. Now, I’ll back off and give everyone plenty of space to write their poems today.

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Friday, April 3, 2020

Gloves Required

I want to go back
to the old world
when broken
skin meant wash
and dry, slather on
antibiotic cream,
slap on a Band-Aid,
and move on
with my day.

Don’t want this 
new world
where broken skin 
denotes the way 
my life 
gave in to one 
last breath.

Photo of rubber cleaning gloves by recyclthis
May We All Find Protection

For today’s prompt, write a new world poem. There are new worlds and there are new worlds. You could write a poem about discovery of an actual planet. Or maybe your new world is actually a state of mind—or a series of books! In a way, I consider each new challenge a bit of a new world. Let’s explore this one together.

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