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.

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.

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.

Poetry and Math and Friendship

I have writer friends and non-writer friends. No surprise there. Life would be a bit dull if all of my friends were exactly like me. Some (many) of my friends are not big poetry fans. When people tell me they don’t like poetry, they usually rush to add, “But I like yours.” It makes me laugh. I’m always happy when someone tells me they like my poetry, but it’s certainly not a requirement to be friends with me. I also hear people tell me that while they like some poetry they could never write it. Meh. I don’t agree. I think anyone can write.

Math, however, is another story. Math is hard. Math gives me agita. So when I’m asked to combine math and poetry, I sweat a bit. Yet, I did write this one to Robert Brewer’s April 11 PAD prompt: Write a prime number poem

Oh god not another math poem!

I never worry or balk at my age.
More birthdays. More cake.
But I think I will stop at 59.
Instead of years
I will Level Up.
This way every trip around the sun
will be a victory lap
towards Mastery of my life.

Speaking of Math and Poetry, I have two very dear friends who are “Math People.” One of them, Bartholomew Barker, is the rare Math Person who also writes poetry after working his day job as a programmer. (Click his name to read some of his work.) My other Math Friend, Tess Fisher, just so happens to be an extraordinarily gifted sewist. She can sew anything from underwear to formal wear and anything in between. She sews for people of all sizes and shapes and even pets. She also makes wonderful costumes and turned herself in to Fawkes from the Harry Potter series last fall. I’m amazed by her talent. She is also one of my “poetry is not for me” friends. But as it turns out, despite her claims, she can indeed write a poem. With her permission:

If I Had a Pen, by Tess Fisher

If I had a pen,
Would I write a poem?

Or would I sketch a design,
Do some math,
Or twirl it like a baton?

If I had a pen…
I would,
Anything…but write a poem.

Can’t get enough poetry? Need something to do next Monday, April 26, 2021? Join me and 9 other poets who will be reading some poems and discussing their work at the annual Poetry on Your Plate events sponsored by the town of Carrboro, Parks & Recreation. It’s normally held in person but since Covid is still around, it’s virtual. Anyone can attend. It goes from 6pm to 8pm EDT. on Zoom.

Meeting ID: 999 0536 9763
Passcode: 918850

April 12, 21

In a poem a word is not equal to its meaning as it is defined in a dictionary, because either the meaning in a poem is totally different, or it is the same but a thousand times more precise. ~ Heaven Is Not Verbose: A Notebook, by Vera Pavlova, translated by Steven Seymour.

Poetry month is almost half over. I said I would write a poem a day to the challenge, if I was inspired, or I had time, or I felt like it. I’m right on track. It’s Day 12 and I’ve written 6 poems, 2 haiku and some scraps, which may or may not work their way into a poem. I also said I was going to read some of the classic poets. I started off with Blake and then got distracted. But today I was introduced to Vera Pavlova, quoted above, .

Written in 2012, this lovely piece is a multi-pager series of notes and observations about poetry, life, and writing. It’s filled with quotable lines such as this: “Went to bed with an unfinished poem in my mouth and could not kiss.”

And this one, “I live my life moving forward on rails that I lay myself. Where do I get the rails? I dismantle the ones I have gone over.”

I encourage you to click the bold title above and read this wonderful poem and find a few lines that speak to you.

Can’t get enough poetry on zoom?

Two of my poems were selected for the Heart Beats Poetry Anthology published by Lisa Tomey of The Prolific Pulse, the busiest poet I know. The book has been launched and celebrated with two readings by contributing poets which are available here on her blog. All the poetry is great but if you just want to see what I look like and how I sound (hint: like Minnie Mouse) check out the evening session and drag on over to minute 29. Better yet, listen to all of the poetry. And buy a book! And definitely follow her blog and join her for poetry, open mic events for Mondays in April, Poet’s Coffee Table Talks and book reviews.

Need more?
Check out the poem I wrote to the astronomy prompt on Living Poetry’s Monday Prompt: Yuri’s Night.

Horoscopes and Scars

Let’s me be clear. I don’t believe in horoscopes. I just think they’re fun to read, particularly the ones written by Rob Brezsny in “Free Will Astrology,” a syndicated weekly column that appears in free weekly independent newspapers and on the web at https://freewillastrology.com/. Poet, prophet, literate dabbler. He’s not really an astrologer as much as a suggester of things that could be useful. He quotes writers, artists and others. He writes about archetypes and references Freud and Jung. I never feel like his ‘scops are something to believe. Mostly they are just entertaining.

Take this week for example, my Scorpio horoscope for the week of March 25th, 2021:
“Blobs, spots, specks, smudges, cracks, defects, mistakes, accidents, exceptions, and irregularities are the windows to other worlds,” writes author Bob Miller. I would add that all those things, along with related phenomena like fissures, blemishes, stains, scars, blotches, muck, smears, dents, and imperfections, are often windows to very interesting parts of this seemingly regular old ordinary world—parts that might remain closed off from us without the help of those blobs and defects. I suggest you take full advantage of the opportunities they bring your way in the coming weeks.

This makes me think of Wabi-Sabi and Kintsugi.
Wabi Sabi is a Japanese aesthetic that finds beauty in imperfect things. It is a beauty of things modest and humble, unconventional. Wabi is the kind of perfect beauty that is seemingly-paradoxically caused by just the right kind of imperfection. Sabi is the kind of beauty that can come only with age, such as the patina on a very old bronze statue. Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold — a metaphor for embracing your flaws and imperfections. The gold makes the pottery stronger and more beautiful. It reveals how to heal and shows you that you are better with your golden cracks,”

Looking for Wabi Sabi

Beauty in age and wear.
My old car runs despite scary noises,
dents and scrapes and petrified fries,
worse for wear inside and out.
I’m looking for Wabi Sabi.

Beauty in imperfection.
Scars and stripes on my skin,
grey hair, a pimple, an age spot.
I’m looking for Wabi Sabi.

As I tend to a surgeon’s cut
I check healing progress,
watch a new scar form.
How can I be more beautiful
with these red lines?
I must let my gold shine thru.

Rage against the spoons

Rage against the spoons

forks, knives that she insists
have to be divided into their own set
when they come out clean
even though they are used interchangeably
from whichever drawer is closest
when cutlery is required.

Rage against the overflowing shelf
of food storage containers
and pile of extra lids,
so many glasses
dishes, duplicates.

I couldn’t wait to leave home
so I could do things My Way
And now here I am
with family again
but the zip code and the territory is new.

Rage against the quirks of a plaque-addled brain.
Why must she…
Why can’t she…
This is mild! It’s only going to get worse.
Remembering how we were then
how it is now
with a senior-parent/child.

Rage against the new reality.

Umbrella Days

Monday 3/1 Living Poetry Prompt

When it rains it pours
but it’s been raining too damn long
and I need some sun.

These gray skies are seeping into my gray matter
Looking for salvation in the next weather report.

Well dear readers – looks like my recent medical crisis is NOT over. It’s been nice to be at home but I’m headed back in for infection control. I miss it here. But I’ll be back. Send good vibes.