Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 15

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Write a prediction poem. Make a prediction. Write about another person’s correct or incorrect prediction. Or, you know, be unpredictable.

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros / Unsplash

Photo by Javier Allegue Barros / Unsplash

THE CERTAINTY OF MAYBE

When I was young, nothing beat the thrill of the Magic 8 Ball.
Such hope was born in those seconds between the shaking and the waiting,
the rosy future hinging on whatever answer floated up from the bluish murk.
Doubtful
Outlook good
Reply hazy try again

We asked and shook, asked and shook,
choosing its vague ambiguity and lure of second chances
over the daisy’s stark and final dichotomy
he loves me
he loves me not
Maybe he would
but also maybe he wouldn’t—
we preferred the potential of just maybe.

But now I’ve grown up and maybe isn’t the lure it once was.
I want to know what is and what isn’t,
who’s in and who’s out,
what’s possible and what’s not.
I can deal with the reality as long I’ve got some certainty.
Yet I’m coming to realize that certainty
is the one thing I can be certain I won’t get.
It seems that maybe is as close to certain
as things will ever be.
And I’m pretty certain I’m right about that.

All signs point to yes.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 14

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Pick a state (or province, territory, etc.), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. A few possibilities include New York, California, Ontario, Bavaria, and Champagne. It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: Feel free to bend this in any direction you wish.

IMG_5394.jpg

IOWA

I’ve never thought of nostalgia as green but here I am scrolling by these perfect swells and I am reclaimed,
returned, swept into the sweet and gentle folds of the past by this clear fond sea, this
comforting sea, these rolling waves of tender, luminous green
lulling me, stretching softly in humble curves, soothing me
into a longing as fresh and vivid as these fields against the moody sky.

The farm gathers among the fringed corn like a stoic congregation, waiting for the coming storm.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 12

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Take the phrase “The Art of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “The Art of Writing,” “The Art of Painting,” “The Art of Showing Up to Parties Fashionably Late,” and/or “The Art of Being Awesome.”

Photo by Meriç Tuna / Unsplash

Photo by Meriç Tuna / Unsplash

THE ART OF FADING

Imagine a mote-flecked river,
still branch of willow on the woozy current, the inevitable drift
of the last languid tendril round the bend—
a trumpet’s final shimmer, gauzy with peace.

If only this were that,
and not an acquiescing,
not a surrender
of the bright unheard to the constant thud of power,
storm-throttled submission to the wind’s violent scrub.

You’ll see. You too will reduce yourself,
be quelled,
learn to contain your unique clamor.

For all your simmering sky they see only the departing sun.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 13

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Write a view poem. Wherever you’re at, you have a view: maybe of a river or sunset. Maybe of a cubicle or a copy machine. Even the blind have a view of darkness, nothingness, or some other -ness. And that’s just being literal, because everyone has views on sports, politics, poetry, etc.

IMG_0808.jpg

FROM WHERE I SIT

the ground is greening fast and gossiping trees bustle above.
Twitching its insouciant tuft, a grey squirrel scrabbles for harvest
in the wake of the blue jays, spring’s bright sentries, now scattered to unknown homes.
I can’t see the first wild hyacinth but I know it’s there, next to the
lavender allium waiting to make its slow slide skyward.
A rare car whispers by.
It is almost enough to startle me back to
the grimy window, the strewn bag, the
fresh blank screen, waiting
for its own bounty.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 11

April is National Poetry Month so I’m tackling the Writer’s Digest 2019 April PAD Challenge hosted by Robert Lee Brewer.

Today’s prompt: Write a dedication poem. This is a poem dedicated to a person, an animal, or an organization. Or hey, objects work too—like a poem to a rock or paper bag. Put the dedication in the title or in a line under the title (“for Mother” or “to the heart-shaped rock between the creek and the tulips”).

Photo by David Pisnoy / Unsplash

Photo by David Pisnoy / Unsplash

THIS ONE GOES OUT TO THE ONE I LOVE

1980s—you were
loud, lavish, over-the-top.
No wonder I loved you.

REM and Billy Joel,
up-sprayed bangs and Just Say No.
Tube socks, Diet Coke, Air Jordan
Thriller, Swatch Watch, and Meg Ryan.

Super Bowl Shuffle, Ms. Pac-Man,
Baby oil for the darkest tan,
Madonna, Brat Pack, Duckie, Dune,
Ms. Ride’s Challenger gone too soon.

First love, first kiss, first broken heart,
Miss Saigon, Keith Haring’s art.
Driver’s license, neon brights,
crazy earrings, Engelbreit.

Les Mis and The Limited,
the M&M comes back in red.
Debbie Gibson, Tiffany,
Pretty Woman, Agassi.

Farewell to the Berlin Wall,
Star-6-9 returns a call.
Banana clips and MTV,
Pan Am over Lockerbie.

Shoulder pads and Sassy mag,
saying we were “on the rag”.
Band Aid and Sweet Valley High,
Punk, aerobics, Lady Di.

Boiled rabbit, Wham!, E.T.,
I’ll have what she’s having please.
Top Gun and I Melt With You
Guess! jeans, gag me with a spoon.

Heavy metal, lots of blush,
Rubik’s cube and Macintosh.
Madonna, Reagan, VHS.
Acid denim and The Smiths.

Just for you, ‘80s:
This one goes out to the one
I left behind.