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

Gratitude 2021

Today I’m grateful to all my friends who send me postcards. The one pictured here is a close up of Monarch butterflies from the Florida Museum of Natural History. Thank you Tess! I collect postcards and have always appreciated my friends who who send them. Now, after a recent (SHORT) trip to Myrtle Beach that appreciation has grown tremendously. It was surprisingly difficult to find postcards. The off boardwalk, easy to get to and navigate souvenir stores didn’t carry them. Boo. But I fought my way through an overcrowded shop on the boardwalk to get some for those friends. .

Caterpillar cocoons
Transforms into butterfly
Ugly or plain to beautiful
An obvious and cliché metaphor
and I am happy for the reminder!

Did you know that Monarch wings can be repaired? Unlike many species of butterflies that have very short life spans, Monarchs live for up to six months. They are so important as pollinators, anything you do to help them, helps everyone.

And then of course there’s the Living Poetry Monday Poetry Prompt: Gratitude.

At my advanced age
I still like jokes for kids.
Appreciation for the small
things in life keeps me young
at heart, like the first cup of coffee
steels me for the day.
Enjoyable, medicinal,
it burns away morning breath
better than a toothbrush
and is best drunk standing by the pot.
I’m thankful for the second cup
for breakfast, and the start of the day.

What are you thankful for? An extra slice of pie to the reader who posts an answer in poem form!

Moon-ku

1

not quite a full moon
days away from perfection
she’s lumpy like me

2

I love your round beauty
Selene!! You are hot tonight!
shine on sister mine

3

every full moon
I collect the white orbs
to be my playthings

Photo credit: Moonrise over Plymouth Bay, Catherine Penafiel

Follow the Prompts

Writing prompts are a great tool to have in your writing repertoire. Many writers have an over abundance of ideas, and they claim they don’t need writing prompts. However, many of those writers aren’t actually putting anything down on paper. A idea that comes from outside of your own brain can be just the impetus you need to Make Creation Happen. I find that to be true, but I am a poet and a quick poem or just a few lines of verse that will be used in something, is probably easier than writing a story. IDK.

Mark Paxson from Writers Supporting Writers recently (ok, like a week or so ago) posted A Writing Exercise: one word every day for seven days to be incorporated into a story. I don’t have time at this point in my life for a story and I primarily write poetry. When I mentioned that in a comment, the response was something encouraging about writing. I don’t quite remember. Anyway, here’s a poem. And since I wouldn’t want anyone to miss the point, err, prompt – I bolded the words Mark posted.

My spelling is not unrepairable
but my reputation might be irreparable
if I use double negatives.
I am an editor and these redundant
syllables require elimination.

I do my best to serve delicious
and nutritious Word Salad
But please don’t peek into my kitchen.
My frontal lobe thoughts
might be quite the shocker.

The final verse of this poem
is a reflection on my final verse.
My swan song will be written
by someone other than me.
I hope my obit writer will facilitate
my place into history.

Go where the prompt takes you

The LP Monday Poetry Prompt has taken me down the rabbit hole. I wrote a version of a poem for it then decided to write a blog post. That was hours ago. You see, I needed to look up lyrics to “I Am the Walrus” by the Beatles, then I had to find out what the hell the song means, then I had to find a walrus image, check Facebook, check email, take a quiz, check Facebook where I found a page full of memes that are all about my life. Where was I? Oh yeah, following the prompt.

I need a title for this weird little thing.

The fattest bodies move ̶
clumsy on land 
streamlined in water
The whale and walrus
the sea lion and seals
Air and water are fluids
We are also aerodynamic

I am she 
as you are she 
as you are me
and we are all together
See how they fly
I am an egg woman
I sizzle!

Now to the quiz. I hate to say this but I missed two. I’m getting rusty. 😦

Merriam-Webster Test Your Punctuation Skills

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: https://www.brinkliterary.com/submit: 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 http://3elementsreview.com/: 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: https://guernicamagazine.submittable.com/submit: 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.
Overconsumption
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.