NaPoWriMo April 27, 28 2018

Maybe it should be called National Poetry Procrastination Month?

April 27
The writing is on the wall, find a piece of graffiti or a bumper sticker and write about that line, include the line in your poem.

“The fact that no one understands you doesn’t mean you are an artist.”

I’m not understood
being an artist
isn’t about being understood
its about
making people think
and expressing myself
and the fact
is being understood
is overrated

April 28
from Chris Jarmick
“Get a list of the Best Selling Non Fiction Books (New York Times or Local Area best-sellers) Use two titles as they are in your poem and use as many of the words from the titles as you possibly can in the construction of your poem.”

milk and honey Rupi Kaur
she felt like feeling nothing r h sin
depression and other magic tricks Sabrina Benaim

milk and honey
and other magic tricks
nothing felt
like depression
she feeling magic
and milk
and honey


NaPoWriMo April 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 2018

April 21
On a lighter note, write about light. Is it a wave, is it a particle, be ‘sciency’ and write a poem about light. Try to include at least three scientific terms relating to light.

bright idea
writing about light
I don’t see
the smallest particle
of relevance
has with poetry
maybe I’ll just wave it off
as a flash in the pan idea
now its gone

April 22
from Chris Jarmick
“April 22nd – Happy 75th Birthday to Louise Glück (1942) who won the Pulitzer Prize for 1992’s Wild Iris. Honor her with your poem today. Read some of her poetry and perhaps borrow something from her to create your poem.”

“The soul is silent. If it speaks at all it speaks in dreams.” ― Louise Glück

what dream is this
the one
with the two black cats
hero twins
one hot
the other cold
something to do with physics
their names
make that relevant
if only I could remember
their names
one playful
the other sleepy
back behind the couch
on the heater
in awake retrospect
in front of the heater
is not the best place
to put a couch

April 23
from Chris Jarmick
“April 23 – William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616), author & poet, Vladimir Nabokov (1899 to 1977) and Oregon-born poet Edwin Markham (1852 to 1940) were all born this day. Can you write a poem that somehow evokes all three?”


April 24
from Chris Jarmick
“April 24th – Happy Birthday Robert Penn Warren (1905 to 1989) He was a three=time Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet and was the first U.S. poet laureate. So write a poem to remember, honor or perhaps write a Warren parody poem.”

The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world. – Robert Penn Warren

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life. – Robert Penn Warren

how does history grow
do famous figures write their own
poems or
grow corn with their names inscribed on each cob
they lack what makes the living
grow, they are
of the flow of us, you
your living may be their reflection
life grows from life

April 25
from Chris Jarmick
“Happy Birthday Ted Kooser (1939) our 13th US poet laureate. His poetry seems to be rooted in the Mid-West and captures a vanishing way of life without being overly nostalgic. So write a ‘Kooser’ poem today.”

There are mornings when everything brims with promise, even my empty cup. – Ted Kooser

and then there is today
sad droopy
falls flat
on my empty cup
oh it’s not empty
because I didn’t fill it
it’s the crack
which has leaked my morning caffeine
onto the counter and floor
the cat is doing summersaults
buzzing around the room
from her taste
but me
I’ve long since
stopped eating off the floor
though today
and this being the last of my coffee
I’m tempted

April 26
from Chris Jarmick
“Open a book to page 26. Write down the first word that is 5 letters or longer (but not a proper name). Write down the 26th word (or the first four letter word after the 26th word). In the 4rd paragraph write down the first four letter or longer word. Write down the 10th word or the one after the 10th word that is at least 4 letters long and then the next 5 letter word after that. From the end of the page… write the last 4 letter word on the page. Share your 6 words. Use one of the 6 words in the title of the poem. Write a poem at least 6 lines long using all 6 words in the body of the poem. As a bonus challenge Write two different poems with the words.”

What if my book has only 25 pages and they’re all pictures?


Brain Droppings George Carlin


some rulers
some minor details
from history
where some only hear
what they want to hear


some rulers
measure history
in centimeters
where some prefer inches
I hear one ruler forgot which was which
and banned measurement all together

Okay okay okay…
April 23
from Chris Jarmick
“April 23 – William Shakespeare (1564 to 1616), author & poet, Vladimir Nabokov (1899 to 1977) and Oregon-born poet Edwin Markham (1852 to 1940) were all born this day. Can you write a poem that somehow evokes all three?”

Willie asked Vlad
if he had a tad
of sugar
Eddie Mark
was baking a cake
Vlad said na
he had to shake out of town
to catch a train
before it came
so no sugar
for Ed Marks cake
but bro
Bill said
you can’t go
but Vlady took his mirror
and his spear
and hit the road
the road didn’t hit back
this roads got a mean left hook
Eddie Marks cake
came out great
cause Willie found some honey
and now they’re all dead
or so I’ve been told

Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 17, 18, 19, 20 2018

Behind yet again.
The funny thing is I’ve neglected NaPoWriMo because I’ve been too busy writing 🙂
I’ve been more productive of late in my regular writing practice and more interested in riding that wave than following a prompt. And I blame this new found energy on all of the NaPoWriMo prompts I’ve been responding to. 🙂
So it’s NaPoWriMo’s fault that I’m behind on my responses to NaPoWriMo prompts…
Yeah. I’ll go with that…

April 17
Listen to a song you know you do not like, or from a style of music you don’t normally listen to and write a poem in response.

who says the wolf is hungry?
wolves are really good
at catching just about anything they want
to eat
why would you break from the crowd?
wolves hunt in packs…
as a matter of fact
I don’t think you’re hungry at all
but I will concede
you do indeed
smell like you sound

April 18
Imagine you are at the beach and you find a message in an old bottle. What does the message say? Write a response the message as a poem.

the beach
sand pebble
rocks driftwood trunks and tangled root systems
crabs scuttle beneath bigger slippery rocks
lower pebbles glisten
and stuck in the sand
some shiny bit
but pulling it up
it’s a whole bottle
something dry
rattle’s inside
barnacled over
will never open again
should I see whats inside
indecision grips me
pondering this and the sea
ans seagull
gray clouds
gray waves
and waves
and every temptation washing up
from this The sea
and suddenly I’m on my ass
on a wet log
my knee throbbing
the decision made for me
by slippery rocks
the bottle shattered beneath
and inside
Duran Duran tickets
I return them
to the ocean

April 19
From Chris Jarmick:
“4/19/18 Happy Birthday Etheridge Knight 1931 to 1991 write a poem that evokes one or more of his poems/quotes.”

“To write a blues song
is to regiment riots
and pluck gems from graves.”
Etheridge Knight

“I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life.” – Etheridge Knight

“Let all Black Poets die as trumpets,
And be buried in the dust of marching feet.” -Etheridge Knight

I’m just reminded of this other quote:

“In America the act of writing by women and people of color is an inherent political statement.”
Gary Copeland Lilley

Write on
Write on
Write on

Write On!

through fire
and fire hoses

Write On

through hate
and bullets


write on!
write on!
write on!

though the world burns
write on

through the marches to come
write on!

Write on!
Write on!
Write on!

and never give up
Never give in
write on
as if your life depended on it
because for too many
it does

be heard

for the love of God!


April 20
From Chris Jarmick:
“Channel your inner Fred Rogers (yes everyone’s favorite neighbor). Write a poem about being responsible, selfless, and loving. If you are religious write this poem from the persona of an atheist, if you are an atheist write this as a religious poem. Avoid satire and sarcasm. Try to write one sincerely.”

a long time ago
being a neighbor meant something

for me
it was always
just the people I didn’t know
who lived next door

I think Fred Rogers
spoke from some left over subconscious
tribal thought pattern
which the dominant consumer society
was unable to eradicate

I would like to have a neighbor
like Fred Rogers
someone simply sincere
and kind
with no ulterior motives

and who knows
I already do

Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 15, 16 2018

April 15
IOU, its tax time so lets write an IOU poem. The only vowels you can use are of course, I and O and U. I would suggest using them in that order repeated throughout the poem if you can, try for eight lines.

thin old unicorns run
without light or sun
while our lions purr
with brown rust in gold fur
girl-boys must fight for trust
I, you, is not us
glib old unicorns turn
sigh songs unfit for nuns

April 16
From Chris Jarmick
“If you haven’t heard, we lost Sam Hamill April 14th. He was born of unknown parents in Utah in 1942 or 1943 probably September 5th. Quite the early life but ‘poetry and Ken Rexroth saved him’. Poet, Translator, Copper Canyon Press founder, poets against the war and much much more.

Write a poem that evokes or is about Sam Hamill.”

“I believe the poem is a sacramental act, pure devotion to whatever may be revealed only through the music of intuition. The dance of the intellect, the dance of wild imagination, illuminates what cannot otherwise be known.” ― Sam Hamill

“I write in my notebook with the intention of stimulating good conversation, hoping that it will also be of use to some fellow traveler. But perhaps my notes are mere drunken chatter, the incoherent babbling of a dreamer. If so, read them as such.” ― Sam Hamill, The Poetry of Zen

intuition flowers
by beings
at an obscure angle

a crow calls
three times
as it flies
into gray
cloudy day

some say time is a river
time is an illusion

I think of words as illusions
meaning as truth

how to peal away words
and dive into the real

a crow calls
three times

there is no crow

its already flown away

Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 14 2018

April 14
from Chris Jarmick:
“Write two different types of Septolets today. (Sep-toe-lay) 1- 14 words – 7 lines 2- 7 lines 16 syllables.

Septolet 1: Total of 14 words in 7 lines, no line should have more than three words. The poem should relate to one subject, object, thought or feeling. The first four lines create a coherent picture or thought, the last three lines create another. Each could stand separately, but both are related.

Septolet 2: Line 1 has one syllable, Line 2 has two, Line 3 has 3, Line 4 has 4 syllables, space, Line 5 has 3, Line 6 has 2, Line 7 has one syllable. Poem should relate to one thought, feeling, object, place.”

one clump
two then three
white petals
burst open

this tree
missed spring


green leaves
this twiggy tree

it’s still


Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 2018

Wow! how did I get so far behind??!!
Does anyone care?
Do I care?


April 9
Happy Birthday Charles Pierre Baudelaire 1821 to 1867 Write a poem that embraces, imitates or honors the French poet, essayist and art critic. (from Chris Jarmick)

Evil is done without effort, naturally, it is the working of fate; good is always the product of an art. – Charles Baudelaire

Good is basic
Good is nature
Nature is not designed
around the whims of humans
is done intentionally
Evil is desire
without compassion
without awareness
of cause and effect

Art is good
Art is nature
human nature
Art is life
made free

April 10
Write an Ekphrastic poem. This means you should write a poem inspired by a piece of art or sculpture… (from Chris Jarmick)

Taco Burger

I was surprised
how good it tasted
mixing together
whatever this is
and that
too lazy
to go shopping

it turned out
a work of art

taco seasoning
ground turkey
basil oregano
a can of chili
cheese and hamburger buns

a work
of sloppy joe art
messy and good

April 11
Happy Birthday Mark Strand (April 11, 1934 to 2014) – Write a poem that evokes the 4th poet laureate of the U.S. (he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1999 for Blizzard of One). However you want to celebrate, remember Mark Strand is up to you. (from Chris Jarmick)

Each moment is a place you’ve never been. – Mark Strand

each of us is a
moment redundantly in time, time
is sickening
a sinking of
place a dread
you’ve given the world
never given anything else, never
been anything worth keeping

April 12
Pick a movie. Pick a scene from said movie. Now switch the genders of the involved characters and write a poem describing the revised scene.

Can you imagine
a woman
naked upon the cross
lamenting men
in hoods trying to catch
a cup of Her blood
Roman centurion
on horseback
her form-fitting armor
more perky than
truth underneath
she dismounts
spear in hand

April 13
Happy Birthday to Irish Poet and 1995 Nobel Prize winner, Seamus Heaney (1939 to 2013) Honor him with your poem today. (from Chris Jarmick)

“If you have the words, there’s always a chance that you’ll find the way.”― Seamus Heaney

I have words
I don’t know if they are
The words
but I have words

there is a chance
the way
will find me
not The way
but a way
far away
there is a chance
I will be found

in the dark
without hope
is found
or will find you

perhaps not The words
will find they’re way
into whatever
is beyond
the dark
(not The dark)
and light The way

Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 7, 8 2018

April 7
“is William Wordsworth’s birthday (1770- 1850). Let’s write a poem that somehow evokes Wordsworth in style or theme.” (from Chris Jarmick)

cricket upon a leaf of green
her whole heart in chirping did sing

winds blew hither and tither
but the chirping did not wither

instead it grew more sincere
and more pleasing to hear

in the green of windy spring
a lonely cricket took wing

gone somewhere unknown to me
but her song lingers in every tree

April 8
In her collection of short stories, The Compass Rose, in one story (The Author of the Acacia Seeds) Ursula K. Le Guin postulates all animals have language and have poetry, we simply have yet to learn to read it. Pick an animal and write the poem which that animal would write.

(translated from the chirping of a cricket)

edible edible edible

everything is edible!

the leaf on which I stand

the stem the roots

and even I if I’m too slow

edible edible edible

everything is edible!

Happy writing!

NaPoWriMo April 5, 6 2018

April 5
Sorry for your loss. Yep, you’re dead, sucks huh? Whats worse, it was someone else’s fault, maybe an accident, maybe murder, maybe a slapstick comedy routine gone hilariously gone wrong. However it happened, write a poem to the person who killed you.

I just didn’t know where to start with this
its been muddling around in my brain
for two days
and still no hope in sight
and worse
I’m behind my writing goal
once again

I just don’t know where to start with this
I keep thinking about how
and where and how
might do me in
and I know
in my darker moods
I might say thank you
but thats not where I am now

I just don’t know where to start
this prompt just keeps going in a loop
in my brain
collecting platelets
and growing as it goes
now my doctor says
its become a tumor
if I’d just written something sooner…

April 6
From Chris Jarmick:
“Happy Birthday to the California born country songwriter/singer Merle Haggard (1937 to 2016). It’s time to write a country music song lyric poem. However you take this on is up to you- Traditional, Outlaw, Experimental or some combination.”

…I just don’t know where to start with this…

Ohhhhh I gave myself a tumor
a tumor in my brain
I ain’t in any pain
I’m still mostly sane

It was all cause a poem prompt
write as I was gone
it just took too long
now I’m singing this song

Ohhhh I gabe meself a tumor
a tumor in me brain
I ain’t ninany pain
still mostly sane

It was all Chris Jarmick’s fault
sayin poetry is everything
now I’ve a tumor
cloggin up me brain

Ohhhh I’d got a tumor
cloggin up me brain

uhhhh I’s gots the tumor
and brain thing there

uh tumor
sane not brain

Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo April 2, 3, 4 2018

Oops! fallen behind already, no matter, because I’ve caught up already too.

April 2
Lana Ayers recently wrote on her Good Reads blog about the poet Philip Levine. “… Levine’s practice of the 9-syllable line (mostly), is a syllable off from what the ear is used to with the more common English 10-syllable line, giving the overall composition an uneasy bearing or forward momentum.”

I tried writing nine syllable lines, it is hard, I’m so used to fives and sevens.

So for today’s writing prompt, write at least one eight line poem consisting of 9-syllable lines.

it’s not as easy as it looks, see
that was only eight syllables long
until I added the word ‘see’ in

eight lines makes me think of quatrains so
I’m writing nine lines in stanzas of
three lines apiece, sort of fits better

this is hardly an appropriate
topic for a poem, so I may have
to write another for this prompt… see!

Okay, one more, this time I’ll try quatrains:
(also, any topic is all good for poetry!)

strange things floated underneath the ice
unnoticed by the weary marchers
each step brought them agony and hope
ice and snow an unrelenting force

strange things trudged across the bleak expanse
undaunted by the fierce elements
each step brought them closer to safety
each maddening step closer to home

I read something recently about Shackleton surviving in Antarctica… or was it the Arctic? Either way he made it and it was awesome.

April 3
Hungry for more? Write a poem which incorporates food names, without using them as food, like say ‘hotdog street’ is in the poem or a lemon sun or such. Can you list a dozen foods in a poem, can you include some interesting and specific foods too?

my doctor said
I have Pad Thai feet
and not to walk for a week

here I am crawling along
bubble gum avenue
singing hoisin songs

with my vinegar voice
scaring the plumb birds
into flight

people think I have spaghetti legs
which is not the case
its my au gratin feet

but they don’t care
they just stare their grape eyes out
thinking I’ve gone rotten in my melon

I don’t mind just keep singing asparagus lines
while the birds make licorice shapes in the sky
and the passers by jelly by

April 4
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

From Chris Jarmick:
“Happy Birthday Maya Angelou (1928 to 2014) What you write should somehow evoke Angelou’s poetry in theme, style or in tribute/homage/remembrance. What will you come up with?”

Ode to a Phenomenal Woman

like there aren’t millions of them already
titled the same
what more can I write
than you were indeed

a phenomenal sassy
unforgettable voice
saying it beautiful
what needed to be said

you’re gone now
but still
your voice
will rise
will rise
will rise

happy writing!

NaPoWriMo April 1 2018

From Poetry is Everything:

“Write a poem that would qualify as an April Fool’s Day Poem.”

Speaking of April Fool’s Day, I just posted this as a new page instead of a new post…
I think I’ll leave it for a while 🙂


everyone knows the Titanic his an iceberg and sank
but few people know of the lawsuit filed against
White Star Line by the iceberg

after all it wasn’t the iceberg’s fault


in addition to hopping in the grass
grasshoppers can also hop on concrete
but only when chalk boxes are drawn on the ground

how come no one playing hopscotch drinks scotch


when the tropical parrot fish wants a pizza
it always begins by dancing and gathering straw
if straw is unavailable

it orders carry out


happy writing!