Poetry Month – April 30

Best beloveds, thank you for reading my word conjurings this month. It’s been delicious for me. I have loved the moment of pulling the prompt, looking at the words, feeling a twinge of fear (Can I do it? What if I can’t?) and then settling down to let my mind and my heart go about their business. I have had to banish the worry–Will it be any good?–every day. It’s so obnoxious, that thought. It’s so paralyzing. And yet it’s always there, lurking. Grr…I share that information in case you wrestle with that lurking thought. Anyone who creates feels it. Don’t let it win. The poet Seamus Heaney said something like writing poetry is like dropping the bucket into the well every day. Some days you will pull up sludge and rocks. Somedays it’s crystal clear. The point is you have to drop the bucket. Every day. Today’s bucket dropping was prompted by my Irish pal Dennis Fagan. He didn’t know I’d been cavorting over here in poetry month. So he gave me this prompt:


Like butterscotch on a winter’s night?
He wondered.
Yes. Like that.
How about doing that one?
He said.
So I stare into a fire
a gold yellow butter fire that hopscotches
in and out of the blue, red, orange flame parts.
Only what’s really going on is spring
Full on spring with a brilliant sun that winks
in and out of deep green shadows
It hard to conjure cold nights and sweet sticky candy
On a day like today.
Or is it?
I wonder about this marvel of memory
A cache full of satellitic moments
And me a breathing transponder,
A walkie talkie relay system.
Of winter delights on a bright spring day.

Poetry Month – April 29

When I created this prompt, I’d had a conversation with a dear friend about aging, about coming to the end of our lives. She called it going home. I remember thinking how we are always headed home. Hence, the prompt. I’ve never liked the expression: old age isn’t for sissies. Like I have to toughen up for the old age journey. What if I simply walk a little slower so I can ponder each new frailty as I head home? Why not head home gently?


It started in my ear.
It clogged
every time the weather changed
or the pollen count soared.
“What’s the matter with you, my dear ear?
You’ve never backed up before.”
Not even the sound of summer cicadas, which are
very loud, by the way.
The doctor directed me behind the counter
to pills with impossibly long ingredients
to actively drain the canals which filled again and again.
Not romantic Venetian waterways, mind you
these were of the Mississippi delta sludge variety
muting every conversation up river
on porches and stoops and dance floors
even in bed ear to ear with you.
“What’s the matter, dearest ear of mine?
What are you whispering? Or shouting at me?”
I wonder if my ear flusher is simply worn out
I wonder if this fluid will noiselessly rise in my body
Up and up and up
Until I drift out to the sea.

Poetry Month – April 28

I went to the prison last night. We had a beautiful class. Our leader asked us to imagine “A day in the life of…” It could be anyone or anything and then we had to guess who or what they were. One woman was Michele Obama. Another was the camera in the dorm (a hilarious monologue). Another was a crash test dummy. As always, it was a rich class. Full of honest disclosures, laughter, love. Yes. I love these women.

The prompt I pulled today was: Four words & one adverb. I chose these words: Prison, freedom, ocean, storm, gracefully. And then I decided to write the poem without using any of those words while trying to capture their essences. Here goes:

She said
I feel comfortable in here
She said
I have everything I need
She said
My family puts money in my account
I have my tablet
I can go to commissary and get food
She said
It feels wrong to be comfortable
I said
You can’t walk out the gate
I said
Your day begins at 2 am whether you like it or not
I said
You are watched 24/7 by cameras and guards
You are strip searched
Your home is your bunk and anything in it can be taken away
I said
You get to use this time to steady yourself
Comfort is an embrace
We navigate to and

Poetry Month – April 27

The actual prompt was ‘an opportunity,’ but I got distracted by the length of the word, my cat Otis walking in the room and the fact that an opportunity may turn to shit. Fun with poetry.


takes up a lot of space for
Not a sure thing
It is the cat in the box
Schrodinger’s, right?
Alive. Dead. Asleep. Rabid.
Every speck on the spectrum
Until you answer the knock
Walk through the door
Lift the box
And then it becomes
a different kettle of fish.

Poetry Month – April 26

When I first saw this prompt, I thought of words that set particular fates in motion. Yes, I could have turned a happier ending. Could have. Didn’t.


They danced around it
With rolled eyes
Dismissive shrugs
Overbooked schedules
After all, there was an event
A proclamation
A party
Everyone watched while they said
We do
We will
We are
What will they do about them?
We can’t
We won’t
We aren’t
Avoidance yawned in the California King
Most of the time
Years passed
One child
two children
All the attendant traditions
What will they do about them?
What will they do about them?
Blessing after blessing fell on their marriage they wanted to leave
Little suffocations until
Time ran out