Kiss Me

It’s the first week of the month so the Living Poetry Monday Prompt is ekphrastic. This 25 foot statue recreates a famous photograph, published on the cover of Life Magazine, of a kiss in Times Square, taken on Aug. 14, 1945, It was V-J Day, or Victory in Japan Day and represented the end of WWII. The reporter didn’t get their names and over the years a lot of people have taken credit for being in the photo, not surprisingly more men then women. If you’re interested in reading more, here’s her story/Greta Zimmerman and here’s his story/Carl Muscarello. And now, my poem:

Kiss me, hard but sweet
if we are just met strangers
in celebration.

If we know each other
then persuade me to love you.
Kiss me, hard and deep.

PS: If you haven’t already signed up to be on the mailing list for the Monday prompt, what are you waiting for?

Edit: I forgot to mention that this statue is the next small town over from where I live in North Carolina. That’s about 10 miles.

It’s Bad Poetry Day!

Many thanks to my friend and fellow blogger, Pat, for alerting me that August 18 is Bad Poetry Day. So I got right on it and wrote some bad poetry:

My little eye does spy
a tasty slice of pizza pie
alas a subway rat has it
Thus, hungry, here I sit

Here’s an old one from my files. I wrote this in 2014 during the April Pome A Day challenge.

Things I Love

I love to eat.
I don’t love cooking.

I love TV.
I don’t love commercials.

I love playing games.
I don’t love losing.

I love long car rides.
I don’t love high gas prices.

I love my cat.
I don’t love her litter box.

I love poetry.
But I don’t love this poem.

I could keep going. I’ve got a whole file of bad poetry! But instead, I’ll leave you to write your own bad poem. Feel free to drop a few lines of bad verse in the comments. And if you need more inspiration, here are some pathetic yet pithy fun ones from the twitter verse.

Poetry and Community

Writing is a solitary occupation, except when it isn’t. Some types of writing lend itself to collaborative efforts, but poetry is not generally in that category, except when it is. On Saturday, Living Poetry of Raleigh held a Poetry Germination workshop. What is that? It’s when poets get together with a beverage of choice and a notebook and write to multiple prompts. Writing time is five minutes per prompt. When the bell rings, a few poets read their creations and then we go again.

What?! I can’t write a poem in five minutes. And I certainly wouldn’t read it to anyone!

Yes, you can because the goal is not perfection, or even completion. Poets who volunteer to read often end with, “That’s as far as I got.” The goal is words on a page. If you’re lucky you get a few good lines down that can be revised and/or expanded at a later time. Sitting with other like-minded poets is energizing and conducive to creativity.

This was supposed to be our triumphant return to real-life, where we would meet in the outdoor seating area of a cafe (stupid delta). However, the weather forecast forced us to go to zoom. It was a good thing too as the city was hit with an impressive thunderstorm during our meet-up.

I haven’t done much writing in weeks. It felt good to be creative again. Here’s one of the poems I wrote. The prompt was three random words chosen from the thesaurus by a roll of the dice shown above. The words are: animal, limit, chief.

I learned to draw on my big chief pad.
Limited only by imagination
I never moved past stick figures
and lumpy misshapen dogs.
Then I learned to write poetry.
Now people expose their beating hearts
on the page and animals
leap, pounce, growl,
stalk, screech and slither
alongside them.

We had several random prompts, an ekphrastic prompt and a few prompts that were actually themed submission calls found online. Disclaimer: I have no connection to these journals in any way and do not profit in any way by referring you to them. Now read through these prompts, then,

Kick Your Muse in the Butt and Start Writing!

Brink: They are looking for “work that focuses on the edge, the brink, of currency. What surrounds currency? What are the images, sounds, ideas, people, movements, and opportunities?” This is a print journal and a paying market. Submission close on August 31, and the guidelines ask for 3 to 5 poems.

3 Elements Review Issues come out 4 times a year and each one has a theme of 3 elements that must be included in the poem or story. There are new elements every quarter. Currently they are looking for these three elements are: pocket, hinge, abandon. Submissions close August 31, 2021, for the fall issue, no. 33.

Guernica: A Magazine of Art and Politics: They are looking for work for a special themed issue: Dirt. This is a paying market and submission are open through September first. I encourage you to read the complete guidelines. It’s a great introduction to the magazine. and description of their aesthetic..

Climate Crisis

My poem, Reparations, has found a home on the  Extinction Rebellion Creative Hub! They publish fiction and poetry exclusively about climate change. B. Barker’s poem Lost Worlds also went live today (a good read) which is why “write a climate crisis poem” was this week’s LP Monday poetry prompt..

Technically I’ve already done mine, but, what the heck. I wrote another one.

There’s a temperature war
going on at home.
She’s hot. He’s cold.
He’s cold. She’s hot.
The spinning dial makes us dizzy
The planet is in a climate tizzy.

There’s a temperature war
going on at home.
leads to deprivation.
The Haves are spoiling
The Have-Nots are broiling.

There’s a temperature war
going on at home.
Garbage and gases, islands of plastic
poison the planet’s global conveyor belt.
This is a war no one can win.
Close the lid on Gaia’s coffin.


If you are a fan of the movie, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” (and really, who isn’t?) then you are thinking of the common exclamatory expression in Greece and other Mediterranean countries.

But no Dear Reader. Today I am talking about OPA, Our Poetry Archive. OPA is an international online journal. In addition to posts on their website,, they publish an annual themed anthology.

This year the theme was Midnight. If you know me, you know I’m a night owl. Actually, a doctor once told me that I probably have circadian rhythm disorder. Sounds fancy. Might be true. Of course I do have to be awake and available during the day to interact with the world, but I am basically permanently on the wrong side of the clock. But I digress. This theme was made for me. I even wrote a poem titled “Midnight” years ago. To my delight, they published all three of the poems I submitted.

The full anthology is published here. Yes, I shamelessly stole their banner image. To find mine, you can click my name in the list. Poets are in alpha order by first name. I’ll make it easy for you. Here’s the direct link to my poems. Note: If I had known that the picture they asked me to submit would have been so big on the page… Oy! At the bottom of each poet’s page is the full list of poets so you can easily browse the pages without the back button.

By the way, I knew opa was Greek but wanted to know more. In tonight’s linguist landslide of multiple websites (for verification and cross checking) I learned…

Opa is a common Mediterranean emotional expression. It is frequently used during celebrations such as weddings or traditional dancing. The word is flexible and has taken on many new meanings. It can also be used to express enthusiasm, shock or surprise. The actual meaning of “opa!” is more like “Oops” or “Whoops!” It’s used as an expression of shock and surprise, or just a way of getting someone’s attention, similar to “Hey” in English. Opa also appears in Brazil and Portugal, Albania, and other Slavic nations. Even modern Arabic speakers have borrowed it as an exclamation. They may pronounce it as “obah” because there is no letter ‘p’ in Arabic.

Who knew that one word could mean so much? Um… Duh…

How can one word do double duty
for hello and goodbye and
and anything in between?
Perhaps it’s because the word
makes us feel the warmth of connection.
Perhaps it’s the same reason why LOVE
is the biggest word in the universe.

Monku: Sparkle

Today’s poem is my Haiku response to Living Poetry’s July Visual Prompt.

I feel dull today
Fireworks were yesterday
No sparkle for me.

When B started posting blogs titled “Fraiku: title” it took me two beats too long to figure out what that was. It’s not a new form of poetry. It’s a portmanteau. Fraiku = Friday + Haiku. Today I wrote a Haiku to the LP Monday prompt and decided to call it a Monku. Actually I put a lot of thought into this. Possibly too much!

What about the rest of the week? What are the grammar rules for this? For example: When a word ends in y, to make it plural, change the y to i and add es. A singular pest is a fly. More than one of these pests are flies. There should be a system for this. Pardon me if this has been done before. Here’s what I did.

If the first syllable of the first word ends in a vowel, cut that word just before that vowel. If the first syllable has a vowel and ends in a consonant, cut the first word at the consonant and drop the first syllable of Haiku. Pronunciation is a bit subjective here, so I took at swing at that too. What follows is your guide:

Monday + Haiku = Monku – pronounced ‘muhn-ku’ of ‘monk-oo’
Tuesday + Haiku = Tueku pronounced ‘ ‘too-koo’ or Taiku pronounced ‘tie-koo’
Wednesday + Haiku = Waiku – pronounced ‘way-koo’ The ‘d’ is silent!
Thursday = Haiku = Thaiku – pronounced ‘thigh-koo’
Friday + Haiku = Fraiku – pronounced ‘fray-koo’ or ‘fry-koo’
Saturday + Haiku = Satku – pronounced ‘sat-koo’
Sunday + Haiku = Sunku – pronounced ‘sun-koo’

You’re welcome. Readers are encouraged to weigh in, below in comments.


I love postcards and have been collecting them since I was a kid. It was the one thing my mother would let me buy when we went places, and the picture was always better than anything I could have taken with my crappy flashbulb camera. Even now, I prefer to just enjoy the scenery when I go someplace and let the professionals document the place for me. I’m not shy about asking family and friends to bring me a postcard when they travel. For years I was in an informal postcard exchange program with a couple of my coworkers. We would bring each other postcards when we traveled so each of us had cubicle walls decorated with other people’s vacations. A few years ago, I decided to cull my collection. The boxes were too heavy and I was going to move, again! I had duplicates and multiples from several popular vacation spots. So I kept the best and mailed them to everyone I knew who lived in another city.

Top 10 Reasons to Love Postcards
  1. Inexpensive — a cheap thrill
  2. Lightweight and will fit in any overstuffed suitcase
  3. Durable and will last longer than the relationship
  4. Satisfying to hold (unlike texts)
  5. They will never cause a problem getting through customs.
  6. Better photography than most people can take
  7. More fun in the mailbox then sales flyers
  8. Great bookmarks
  9. Small writing area makes it easy to lie
  10. Great way to provide an alibi

Note: For more fun facts about Kansas, see: Eisenhower’s Grave and The World’s Largest Ball of Twine.

Just for fun – As seen online:

The Backyard

I always check the Living Poetry Monday Poetry Prompt to see if it inspires something. The prompts are always accompanied by a picture. I really liked the picture this week, even more so than the actual prompt (write a backyard poem.). The odd thing, however, is that the backyard in the poem is not the backyard in the picture. Weird right? Welcome to ekphrastic poetry. where a poem can be a description or about the deeper meanings of a piece of art. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, or stories or poems.


when the light was right
she could see the future.
There was a world beyond
the fence,
the dirt,
the beer cans
and rusted parts
from a dozen iron horses.
Her small hands
clenched into fists,
holding a promise.
when she left
she would never look back.


The Award Winner

In my March 8th post, Poetry News and Notes, I mentioned that I took second place in the NCPS annual competition, Bruce Lader Poetry of Witness category (current events). Now that the annual anthology of winning poems, Pinesong, has been published, I am free to share the poem here on my blog.

Assume the Position

First position: stand in line
Learn this in kindergarten. Do it to death.
Try not to do it in a police station.

Second position: hands in the air
Use one hand if you’re a student.
Use two if you’re in front of a gun.

Third position: head between your knees
Essential for turbulent flights and hangovers.
It may also be necessary in hostage crises.

Fourth position: kneel
Do this to propose, or protest police brutality.
Do not do this on someone’s neck.

Fifth position: bend over
Touch your toes for a light stretch.
Take a deep breath for the strip search.

Microsoft is changing the default Office font and wants your help to pick a new one

I notice fonts. Do you? I’ve done my share of newsletter design and layout, and I stare at MS Word everyday so this is a big deal. Click the link above to see how you can give Microsoft your 2 cents.

Let’s End with a Bang!

It’s the last day of National Poetry Month and the last day of the Poem-a-Day Challenge. I didn’t write 30 poems, but I wrote more than 15. I read tons of poetry online, mostly from contemporary poets, but I did read some classic poetry as I claimed I would. I read John Donne (Metaphysical Poet from the late 1500’s). I also read the analysis which I needed!. As to other poetry tasks, I read my poetry at two online events, by invitation and I pursued publication by submitting to four journals. No responses yet. Whew!

And now I have two (2!) new poems for you. These are both to Robert Brewer’s April 28 prompt: For today’s prompt, write a remix poem. This has become one of my favorite prompts, because it asks us to look over what we’ve written this month and pick something (or many somethings) to poem out in a new way. Maybe your free verse becomes a sonnet or your sestina transforms into haiku. Or take a line or phrase from each of your poems this month and work it into a cohesive new creation.

But how can I do that if I don’t have 29 poems to pull from? Use someone else’s work of course! They say it’s better to ask forgiveness than ask for permission. So I took lines from two different poet bloggers I follow and assembled two poems – one for each of them. I added a bit of original material to the first one to hang her lines together, but the second poem is almost entirely his lines. Be sure to click the URL for each of them so you can go to their blog and read their original work.

When was the last time you opened a map?
Who determines our path:
us or the wind or fate?
It’s the voice that seldom leaves us alone
that pushes us out the door.

Don’t listen to words spoken
from the lip of the bottle.
Listen instead for
lighthearted laughter
as soft as lamb’s wool clouds.

Home is not the appropriate place
to find fresh winds blowing.
I begin with rivulets
and follow to where they merge
with creeks flowing into rivers.
Finally I will reach the ocean,
stand and watch each wave
as it approaches, swells, explodes, and then recedes ̶
the tide’s lap dance with the shore.

It will stay at the Ordinary Inns
favored by poets, preachers and just plain sinners
that mark the thin places
where different worlds meet.

Now is not the time for caution.

Speculative Dreaming

Cancel my appointments
I think too much

This poem is
the scab forming over a trauma
and I can’t stop picking at it

I want to drink life straight from the bowl
and sing praises to the moon
every chance I get

Whose bones are these?
I just know I want one.
Like a dog chasing a car

All that pent up tension
I won’t be keeping a social distance
Shape is trivial
Nothing will come between our lips

I will just put one word in front of the other
until I cross the finish line.

Some vessels are best left unopened
but were archaeologists to steal my computer
they’ll know where I’ve been.

Inspired by a moonless sky
I leave this poem as an apology to the future
of our relationship.