The Belief of Old Friends

turkey friends
Photo by Margot Suydam, Turkeys in Brookline

Poem a day #27 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a poem inspired by an entry from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (I chose the word lilo, which means a friendship that can lie dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since you last saw each other), and (2) write a “believe and/or don’t believe” poem.

I don’t believe
we were ever true
friends
certainly
we mouthed
the word list
for forever
but when
you were gone
we were gone
like a leech
ripped from a calf
after wading
through the old
fashion
water works
puncturing thin skin
clearing out clots
in my bleeding
yet still
blood sucking dry
so I had to let go
so lie low without you
so I believe

A Giraffe of A Question

Poem a day #24 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry: 1) Find a factual article about an animal, and go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else (abstract or concrete), and (2) write a “question” poem. I chose a National Geographic article on giraffes.

Fascinating questions roam in small groups or packs.
Today’s tallest can thank their towering legs, long
necks. Taller than human, they run fast over short

distances, can cruise long distances, comfortably.
Bulls battle one another by butting heads. Contests
usually end when one submits and walks away.

Females give birth standing up so the young endure
a rude welcome into the world, dropping to the ground
at birth. Yet, infants soon stand and run after birth.

Questions must travel miles to keep fed, consuming
hundreds of pounds every week. They apply height
to good advantage, browsing places few can reach.

Long tongues help them pluck tasty morsels.
Like a cow, questions regurgitate, chewing cud.
Height also helps in looking out for predators.

Yet, stature can be a disadvantage, make it dangerous
to drink at a watering hole. Bending over in awkward
positions leaves anyone vulnerable to predators.

Inspire Me

Celebrating National Poetry Month: A Poem-a-Day Challenge

Poem a day #21 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a poem that uses lines that have a repetitive set-up, and (2) write a “blank me” poem.

There’s nothing like a meandering walk in spring time.
A touch of rain falling on my shoulders feels just fine.
There’s nothing like feeling fine drops massage me.
A touch of massage from head to toe sets me free.
There’s nothing like holding freedom in my heart.
A touch of heart resting on my tongue sets a spark.
There’s nothing like the spark of a churchyard bell.
A touch of bell chime spreads in the wind like a yell.
There’s nothing like the yell freedom fighters don.
A touch of radiant light does us good if turned on.

Masking Love

Celebrating National Poetry Month: A Poem-a-Day Challenge

Poem a day #20 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a sijo, a traditional Korean poetic form, and (2) write a “love” or “anti-love” poem.


We stay, lovers too familiar. Our days spent in cramped isolation.
Our mouth covers pulled tight keep us safely masked in conversation.
Still we splurge on laughing smiles, crinkled eyes that show elation.

Turtles On the Rampage

Celebrating National Poetry Month: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #19 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a humorous rant. In this poem, the speaker may excoriate to their heart’s content all the things that get on their nerves, and (2) write an “animal title” poem.

In the words of Shakespeare,
We beseech you, dear heron:
“Away, you three-inch fool! “
You are accused of an addiction
to advertising and amazement
This arouses us to assassination
Back to back bandits on our bed of bark
we are beached and besmirched
a courtship of your countless critics
You cake and cater to champions
in circumstantial cold-blooded compromise
Dauntless in deafening discontent, we are not
disheartened, drugged nor dwindling
We are equivocal enough to elbow
your excitement and eyeball your exposure
A fashionable fixture that is flawed, you are
Yet we are frugal
gnarling only at generous and gloomy gossip
Green-eyed monsters, we grovel not before gusty
hints nor do we hobnob with the hurried
Do not impede us, impartial, invulnerable
and jaded. Just so
we label you lackluster, laughable and lonely
We will not lower our luggage to one so lustrous
and madcap. All that is majestic and marketable
you metamorphous and mimic
even in the monumental
moonbeams that mountaineers
use to negotiate. Amid the noiseless
and the obscene, you chant an outbreak
of premeditated pander and pedant
There is radiance in our rant, a remorseless
savagery that scuffles and secures
submerging even your summit of swagger.

Being Here

Thrown Away Buddha

Celebrating National Poetry Month: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #18 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words, and (2) write a “ekphrastic” poem.

Ancient statue, you sit
here and now
all alone, a mere remnant

of broken-down clay
Still you are
removed from the sacred

places where you ran
native and stood
Deposed as man-made

debris, you rest in all
your forgiving, let
dust fragments fall softly

amid charred leaves, broken
branches and stems
Cracked and weathered

by heat and rainy seasons
you watch the hours
stretch into days

Eyes glazed open
you gaze as if waiting
for all or nothing.

City Tumble

Poem a day #16 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry: 1) Write a poem in silly form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. In this form, there’s no specific number of syllables per line, but each line should be short, and should aim to have two or three stressed syllables. And the lines should rhyme. You just rhyme the same sound until you get tired of it, and then move on to another sound, and (2) write a “city” poem.

I miss New York City
It calls me, all its nitty gritty
Isn’t it a pity
I can’t make it to the Met
Yet I can refrain from fret
I’ll get a bus there yet
I’ll trudge it sight to sight
Broadway had its wild night
I bathe in its darkened light
I walk its length in hope
I even train it to Park Slope
Brooklyn Bridge is the dope
Central Park deserves a flip
Spring stroll is worth the trip
The zoo is closed, not so hip
Village bars recall past lives led
Chinatown still keeps me fed
Little Italy is far from dead
New York is no forgotten dream
I may hear ambulances scream
Residents take exit in a stream
But this city will find its feet
Summer brings a blast of heat
Tourists will claim the street.

A Familiar Story

Poem a day #15 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry:
1) Write a poem that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in a habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit, and (2) write a “a blank’ story” poem.

Numerous
Sundays construct
an engaging life

Crinkle up
your nose, paper
rustling dire news

Acrostics
in glossy magazines
puzzle you cranky

I now wonder
how a language
of puzzles passes

Under my
microscope’s eye
cells replicate, divide

Genetic impulses
shuffle information
down to daughters

Crystal blue
eyes meld brown
serve up garish hair

Analytical
minds meet, same
tendencies to yawn

Just one nuclear
family twisting
chromosomes into fresh

Parenting
cells once programmed
to split, diminish.

Alternative Words for Andromeda

The Burren

Poem a day #12 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry: 1) Write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction, and (2) write a poem using the six words: convict, great, play, race, season, and voice.

What if Andromeda

lived an alternative

history, no longer a convict

to her mother’s failing

her father’s last sacrifice

to be consumed

by a descending monster

only to be unshackled

by Perseus and married

to him in gratitude.

Was it great love at play

in the crux of her heart

or simply a race to live

one last season, a princess

at a loss for innocence?

I lean in too close

to listen to the strain

of her unspeaking

voice silent as a button

left unfastened

a chant of tapestry

never to be unfolded

yet to reveal unheralded

whispers of an alternate

nature now left untrodden

the unexpected shifts

and sparks of another

uncharted universe.

Trudy Lost

Welcome to National Poetry Month 2021: A Poem a Day Challenge

Poem a day #8 is a response to prompts from NaPoWriMo and Write Better Poetry: 1) Read a few of the poems from Edgar Lee Masters’ Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead,  and (2) write a “metaphor” poem.

I was never good
with money
did much more than splurge
on sultry dresses
to don on dates
with all the unavailable
men who cuddled me
another distant parent going
broke in fan-dangled houses.
Father, I sure showed you auctioning off the family
fortune in thoroughbreds
then left the crowd of horse
barns for my kids to clean free
since all the cash was gone
and we waited for checks.