It Adds Up

April 2022 PAD Tally

On day 1, 2 and 3
I wrote poetry

Nothing new on 4
I finished one from before

I didn’t write on day 5
My urge to poem took a dive

I didn’t poem on day 6
except that I wrote this

Day 11, 8 and 9
I poem’d just fine

Day 7 and 10 were dilly-dally
They won’t be included in the PAD tally

Day 12 prompt, write a counting poem
Doing that now, I’m in the zone

Day 13 there’s no poem on my plate
I’m not superstitious but why temp fate

Days 14 through 18 was a successful run
On Day 29, day 19 got done

Nothing written on day 20
I’m fine with that, I’ve got poems a plenty.

Day 21, I was back in the game
This month has been great, and a little lame

Poems for day 22 and 23
were not too shabby if you ask me

Day 24 was a political rant
I was angry but I won’t recant

Nothing new on day 25
Poetically speaking I was barely alive

Day 26, 27 and 28
I’ve got poems done on my plate

Day 29 became flash fiction
It counts and that’s my opinion

Day 30 I finished with three brief lines
It’s my work, and that is fine

The April ’22 total is 28 done
come back next year for more poetry fun


It struck me as odd that the prompt for the next to last day of April’s Poem a Day challenge was, write a The Last Blank poem. I sat at the dinner table with mom discussing the prompt and, perhaps because I was eating, came up with cake. I told her the story, put a funny end on it and made her laugh. But now that I’m in the wee hours of April 30th, I decided A. it worked better as a story then a poem, and 2. it needed a different ending.

The Last Slice of Cake

Most of the guests had gone home. Two were passed out, snoring, on opposite ends of the couch. A few diehards were still drinking but heads were nodding more than elbows were bending. The living room was littered with wrapping paper, confetti, and empty solo cups; but that was nothing compared to the wreckage of the food table. Empty bottles, dip smears, and scraps of food covered it all. A bitter odor from the carpet under the table didn’t bode well for tomorrow’s clean-up efforts. The party had been a complete success.

One piece of cake sat, leaning and lonely in the frosting and crumb coated bakery box. Our eyes locked and moved as one to the cake and back to each other.

“I got one bite before I set my plate down and you confiscated it.”

“Yeah, then Kyle tackled me, and that was the end of my favorite shirt. Besides, I’m the birthday boy.”

“Well I’m the birthday girl and I ordered it so I deserve it.”

“This is the last time we do one party for both of us.”

“You are such a child.”

In an angry rush, we broke eye contact and lunged for the cake, stabbing it with plastic forks. I still didn’t get more than a bite, and he ended up shirtless, again.

Happy Birthday indeed.

Free Speech for April

Raise your hand if you’re slogging through April’s Poem a Day Challenge. I don’t care if you have only done a few, or if you have one for every day of the month so far. Just one poem written in April qualifies you to raise your hand.

I wasn’t sure how many I would be able to eek out but I’m doing better than I thought. I’ll post a tally when the month is over. In the meantime. Here’s an April poem for the prompt: “write a superhero or supervillain poem.” Mine was inspired by recent events.


You’re a mean one, Mr. M
Buying billion-dollar tech toys
shooting rockets into space
while ignoring the poverty
that your money could erase

Your brain is full of rocket fuel
Does your heart even beat?
You’ve got greed in your soul Mr. M
I wouldn’t talk to you with a
two-hundred-forty-character tweet

Do you heat your fortress
with hundred-dollar bills?
You’re a mean one Mr. M
in your house up in the hills.

If you ask the homeless and hungry
or anyone without money
none of them would deny
you’re a vile one, Mr. M
I hope someone spits in your eye

JeanMarie Olivieri

I am pleased as punch to have six of my poems published by the talented poet and publisher Susi Bocks.

I Write Her

Judith Zimmermann – Unsplash

My Failure

My complete and utter failure
as a dancer, singer, actress
has not taken away my desire to perform.
Never the top dog or celebrity,
I have no history of gutter scraping
debauchery either. I’m firmly rooted
in the middle of the pack,
dying of obscurity and boredom.

I am not beautiful

but every now and then
I step out in my pearls and lace
and show off my plain face
as though
I am

Life Hurts

Learning to walk, or ride a bike
comes with boo-boos and bruises.
Prayer or wealth cannot save you
from stubbed toes and runny noses.

As we grow so do the blows
from failures, broken hearts, and funerals.

Embrace the pain like a caterpillar
that must dissolve into goo
before it gets wings.

To reach the other side
is to receive Grace.

My scars are old friends.

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The Cruelest Month

April and National Poetry Month are here again. Let’s hope Elliott is wrong and it doesn’t become a Wasteland.

finding truth
finding ourselves
finding treasure
is a process of discovery
as painful as physical recovery

we are all onions

Under the bandage. That’s a lot of ink.
Stitches out and a lot of careful cleaning I’m finally ink free.
This is supposed to happen.

Return to the Moon

Last Friday evening, three poets from Living Poetry, attended the NC Museum of Natural History’s Sciences Astronomy Days lecture “Return to the Moon.” The headliner was Matt Funke, a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. After his talk there was a Q&A followed by our poets reading the poems they had just written during the show. I have yet to sign up for a Science Cafe but I tried my hand at a poem while watching the show on You Tube. My attempt is down below. For more poems, click the link above to watch the event. The poetry starts at the 59 minute mark but the whole presentation is interesting, even for someone with only casual interest in the topic.

Living on the Moon

The hum of life support equipment
is the white noise soundtrack
thrumming in my bones

Chief Botanist, I spend my time underground
with plants in the greenhouse
but I miss barefoot walks on the beach

My mother worries for the wrong reason
Fear of disaster has mostly been
replaced by loneliness and boredom

I used to talk to everyone that came
through on their way to outer space
but it was too depressing

Soon there will be no one left on Earth
which will be a fine time to return
I am not a space junky


Poem Shorts

When you don’t have time to write but your friend sends you pictures from dog walking and the Monday Poetry Prompt is “Frost,” you end up writing poem-lets, poem shorts, not-haikus because you can’t be bothered counting syllables, or whatever you want to call them.

The night was painted
in ombre tones of gray
Silence pierced by feet on snow
The city sleeps with a blanket of snow
lovely, dark and deep
but there are miles to go before we meet
so your kiss can melt this frost
in my heart and on my feet
this doggo love white fluff
hooman put shoes on ur paws
let’s go!

Photo credit Lillie Delott

Howl for 2022

I feel like I’ve been on hiatus for a month; but really I’ve been consumed by health issues (not mine) and the endless treadmill of laundry and chores. Last week I was talking to my Chewbacca about the January 10 Monday Poetry Prompt. When he told me the epigraph he was writing to, I knew I had to write one as well. Mostly because I just like to howl my complaints into the void and certainly not because I could do “better.” However, you can judge for yourself. Check out this well-done update and homage to the original: A 21st Century Howl.

Howl for 2022
“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed …”
~ opening line of Howl by Allen Ginsberg, 1956

I saw great minds
beaten down by anti-intellectuals
drowned out by science deniers

Howl for the brave
Howl for the honest

I saw ordinary people
leave reason, like luggage, behind
and plunge into a broth of vitriol and conspiracy

Howl for the misguided
Howl against social media

I see rich white men tell women
your body doesn’t belong to you

Howl for the pregnant and desperate
Howl for the unwanted

I see mater and millions more
lose their minds as plaque spreads
like cement, destroying memory

I see millions of people nursing
parents and spouses
the children we never wanted

Howl for the demented
Howl for the caregivers

I see privileged wealthy men
protect the right not to get a vaccine
and not protect the right to vote

Howl for the public good
Howl for the disenfranchised

Howl when you are destroyed by madness
Howl for the angry fix

Untitled Job

My motto when I worked in an office was, better late than never. I’m sure my employers didn’t agree. But here’s my response to this week’s Monday Poetry Prompt.

I have not worked
a full-time, corporate job in years
My career cut short 

Illness followed illness
My labors have been survival
It takes work to live

And now I am 
Guardian and Caretaker
of the Demented

cook, laundress, chauffeur, nurse
Saturday night spent
explaining adult diapers