Friday, May 4, 2012

Poetry Challenge Fail

As you may notice by looking at the previous post, the number of poems written in April was a bit shy of one-a-day. In fact, the final completion score comes in at 20/30, which is a D in most schools. Moreover, nearly a week's worth of those poems were written together on a relaxing Sunday afternoon. I didn't actually approach poetry more than half the days in Poetry Month.

While writing daily is the main spirit of the April poetry challenge, I also failed to take advantage of the opportunity to experiment with new styles and forms. My 2011 challenge month was much more successful.

I keep promising regular posts, and if I said something like that again it would be getting redundant. Know that good intentions are still persistently paving my way, and I'm hoping that pavement leads to a happier place than it does in most versions of the idiom. (If not, I guess we will have more posts like these ones.)

Friday, April 27, 2012

rind (Poetry Month: Day 20)

thick citrus of an idea
mists the air with the smell of oranges
as i dig my thumbs into it
peeling back the initial image
eager to explore the delicious ins and outs
and underpinnings,
eager for juice to dribble
and for hands to remain sticky with remnants,
depositing residual wonderings on everything else
that i touch today.

the skin pulls away and the plump flesh emerges...
except it doesn't.
i hold an empty rind of a poem
nothing in it
and my hand is slick with superficial oils

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Texts (Poetry Month: Day 19)

I love you the most!
Of this I'll boast
from coast to coast
wherever parties have hosts
marshmallows are roast
houses haunted by ghosts
bloggers write posts
colleges hire provosts
or toasters make toast.


You have got to be the best man ever!!
I will always endeavor
through whatever
stormy weather
to love you forever.
All bad feelings I will sever
though I have them never
cause you're perfect and clever
I will love you wherever
'cause we're so happy always together.

Transcribed from actual texts. 

Poetry Month slipping by (Day 18-sort of)

I realize that i have not
kept up with posting here.
A week behind and no excuse:
I'm simply in arrears
I have no clever metaphor
nor simile nor rhyme
I should have written every day
but didn't take the time.
So now you've been neglected
but I'll try to make amends
with poems daily from now on
until the challenge ends.
I'll also plan to post some verse
written in retrospect.
Perhaps they won't be any worse
than you've come to expect.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sounds (Poetry Month 2012: Day 17)

sirens scream up the road
horns shout each other down
tires strafe the asphalt

Into this melee,
A dull-feathered soloist warbles,
Claiming the day.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Homecoming (Poetry Month 2012: Day 16)

I'm not waiting out here.
I just came to enjoy the weather,
the afternoon breeze.
I look up at every approaching car
because the sound startles me.
That's why my heart speeds up each time.

It's the best part of the day
because of the light
from the almost-setting sun,
and the twittering back and forth
between the branches--some sort
of avian reunion
from the sound of it.
Just a coincidence that
in 4 1/2 minutes
you'll be home.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April 15 (Poetry Month 2012: Day 15)

tax day
is always
an exercise
in expectations.
If you owe less
you're happy;
owe more,
But then,
more than cash,
it's the time spent
in calculations
that leads me to
budget for

Peregrination (Poetry Month 2012: Day 14)

The path beside the road
bends and bucks 
a serpentine route:
the sea throwing surfers
into shallow air.

Shadows promise a tranquil repose
safe in thoughts all your own
Don't believe it. This nature walk
makes each step
an adventure.

This poem was prompted by Robert Brewer's April 9 post on his Poetic Asides blog. He does a poetry prompt each day of April, and at least weekly through the rest of the year.

The Attic (Poetry Month 2012: Day 13)

hotter than
sand dunes an
entire house of heat and
an other things
that rise
beyond our reach
except with the help
of a drop-down

but it's too
to stay long
and we descend
to our
air conditioned

Wobble (Poetry Month 2012: Day 12)

So what do you use
if one leg's too short
& the whole table tilts
each time that you lean up against it?

Do you prop it with felt?
Poke your shoe under it each time you sit down?
Use a handy wooden shim,
or a long-unmatched sock?

Folded in half twice
a half dozen pages
wedged under wood
serve our need for now.

But when we move the table
just an inch
the whole balance that we struck before this
is completely off.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trial and Error (Poetry Month 2012: Day 11)

Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
            Wait, why are they blue?
            Shouldn’t they be violet
            Since that’s what they’re called?

Roses are Red
Violets are Violet
I think you’re cuter
Than Bella from Twilight
            wow, bad rhyme and bad poem
            maybe we should try this again

Roses are Red
Violists play the Viola
I wrote out this poem
Using Crayolas
            yeah, probably not a winner that time either.
            let’s skip the violets altogether

Roses are Red
Oranges are Orange
Blueberries are Blue
Periwinkles are Periwinkle
Grass is Green
Sheep are Fluffy
The Sun is Bright
Okra is Gross
Cheerios are Round

Roses are Red
            maybe it’s that first line that’s the problem?
Roses are             pretty             thorny
            flowers             nice gifts
            good in bouquets

Your car is bright Red,
Your scrubs Navy Blue
In marrying you
My dreams have come true

You are the best wife,
An incredible friend
You are my whole life
I’ll love you to the end

I’m not good at colors
Or rhyming with blue
But I want you to know
How much I love you.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

S'more (Poetry Month 2012: Day 10)

The past is difficult to shake.
It follows you, sticks to you.
An airhose snaking to a bathysphere.
A contrail streaking after a jet.
Marshmallow sticking to your fingers.
Oh, you can wash it off,
brush your teeth and wipe your face,
erase all traces of the s'more you ate,
but you'll still smell like campfire.
And after you shower, twice,
and it's well and truly gone,
you'll still remember the taste
and want another one.

Th'eater (Poetry Month 2012: Day 9)

Buttery deliciousness, just enough salty savor
for one fluffy mouthful
to follow another.
Some splurge to toss their treat in sweetly burnt caramel,
or orange cheesy cheddar that lingers later for finger flavor.


Th'eater popcorn: in bags, in tubs,
in gloriously giant-sized proportions.
They turn down the lights and the whole room hushes.
Nothing to distract or interfere with this rite, this ritual,
this well-earned Friday night indulgence.
Free to enjoy the delectable, specially selectable
flavored or traditional, utterly unmissable
eminently edible, dazzlingly incredible

...and sometimes there's a movie.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Rolled Away (Poetry Month 2012: Day 8)

How shall we move the stone,
the heavy door of stone
sealed to keep us from
the object of our grief?

Look! The stone is moved,
the door is open wide,
there is nothing inside.
O heartless, cursed thief!

But then he speaks her name,
and all the fear and pain
give way to sweet relief
and joy, and true belief.

Christ risen today,
all burdens roll away.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Light as Air (Poetry Month 2012: Day 7)

I have dreamed, as you have too,
of resting on a floating cloud,
to float away to neverland
where only comfort is allowed.
This dream has been a bit delayed,
and sweet repose remains belated;
I slept last night upon a mattress
that was only half inflated.
I hope that when my cloud arrives
that my repose is less abortive
and the air inside will be
at least a little more supportive.
image credit:

Shutting the Tomb (Poetry Month 2012: Day 6)

Hands wring
Nothing but themselves to hold
Shroud laid, wrappings made
Spices, ointment, all complete
They have nothing left to them.

Empty light from the rising moon
Colder than tears, colder than stone
Seems to drown the too-warm night
in broken hopes
and dead promises.

And the stone rolls closed
on a void
that we are
still too numb to feel.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Angel (Poetry Month 2012: Day 5)

She appears softly
a blonde halo curling from her head
and with a smile lovely as wings.
She is here
a miracle standing in the doorway
my angel in flannel pajamas.

Ownership of Space

  1. Spaces are not always used for the function intended by the architect. I'm sure you can think of examples, both positive and negative. Reasons for this can include:
    An inadequate design--the space does not foster the intended use.
    A failure of communication--users do not understand the designer's intent.
    A difference of opinion--users know what the space is for but determine to do something else with it.
    This begs the question of whose vision for a space should take precedence if (when) they conflict.
    Both of these points apply to the "imaginative space" that is literature. I'll explore the first today and leave the second for another post.

    Point two: Use vs. Intent.
    In the context of literature, this boils down to "What did I get from reading this?" vs. "What did the author intend readers to experience?" The interesting follow-on questions are "Should I care what the author intended or is my personal experience independent of that?" and "When intent and experience don't align, is that the author's fault (for not writing well enough) or the reader's (for bringing their own baggage)?" A recent post author Shannon Hale's blog discussed the

    Digging (Poetry Month 2012: Day 4)

    Every night I get to live
    the childhood dream of searching
    for lost treasures of eons past.
    It's not as glamorous as I thought.
    Using the archaeologists brush,
    removing debris,
    uncovering flossilized specimens.
    All in a day's work for the
    before-bed paleodontolist.

    Looks writing these at midnight to meet the poetry month deadline doesn't always bring out my best work.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Linger (Poetry Month 2012: Day 3)

    The coffee filter
    pulls out grounds
    bereft of flavor,
    just as my mind
    retains words
    whose meaning
    I've forgotten.


    They linger,
    tangible and scented,
    staining everything
    that I touch
    for days.

    National Poetry Month! 2012!

    It's April, which means poetry every day! I'm taking the challenge again, and I hope you do too. Even if you aren't much for writing poems, I encourage you to read one every day. SavvyVerseAndWit is again hosting the NPM blog tour, so check out what those great poets are composing.

    I will be adding links to sites and poems I discover or use this month, but see also my previous links and my wrap-up from last year. There were some great ones!

    Happy Versing!

    A Shoulder (Poetry Month 2012: Day 2)

    A shoulder where I lay my head to sleep
    secure beneath the stars that stir the sky.
    A shoulder on which it is safe to cry
    surrounded by the scent of kindly pines.
    A shoulder strong enough to shrug away
    the careless burdens that I daily make.
    A shoulder is the truest kind of friend.
    Living on the shoulder of the mountain.

    Sunday, April 1, 2012

    Lovely Trees (Poetry Month 2012: Day 1)

    I thought that I would never see
    a poem lovely as a tree...
    but for any tree you care to name
    there is a poem much the same.

    A bud that glows a verdant hue:
    a simile you've heard anew.
    Discarded leaves upon the ground:
    a thousand words piled all around.
    Rough bark that rasps against your skin:
    off-rhymes worse than cliches worn thin.
    Graceful, sweeping, arching boughs:
    the poem that you're reading now.

    And then there's that arboreal trait--
    poems, too, cross-pollinate.
    The weedy form will allergize,
    hence runny nose and scratchy eyes,
    but these same symptoms can proceed
    from thoughts you inhale as you read.
    So e're composing verse again,
    consider taking Claritin.

    Inspired (on April Fools day) by Joyce Kilmer's famous "Trees"

    Sunday, January 8, 2012

    January 1

    To improve myself
    I'll set some resolutions--
    Last year's are still good.