Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 24

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 “Complete (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: “Complete Best Day I Ever Had,” “Complete Guide to Writing Poems,” “Completely Wrong Way,” and “Completed Set.”

Image by Philippe Nick / Unsplash

Image by Philippe Nick / Unsplash

COMPLETE RENDERING

Show me how to define the finishing.

Is it the robust bloom
reaching the point
of peak extravagance?
Or the leaves
subtly tinging their way to yellow
and falling unheralded
to the futile ground?

Maybe it’s more about
the final remnants, brown and dusty,
giving themselves over
to the next work, to the eventual feeding
of the next greedy stems.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 22

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 correspondence poem. Maybe write a poem that would fit on a postcard or in a letter. Or write a poem about correspondence school. Or jump into newer forms of correspondence like e-mail or text messaging. Of course, not all correspondence is connected to communicating; sometimes one thing corresponds to another by being similar.

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EDUCATION AT JORDAN HALL

Dear ————— and —————,
You two were called to mind today when I looked across
a deserted schoolyard to the late-day slant of sun. For
some reason I imagined all the trim, haunting words
you would have found to describe it: witty, tight
phrases resplendent in symbol, ripely figurative,
spare but worthy of complex explication.
(Just writing this I blanch at my own language, so
plodding and dense, am sure you will be tempted
to take your red pens to it.)
And yet I know better. I recall you all these
years later because you applauded the
essaying, held my robin-egg words with such
tender care, even when you had to show me the
jagged shells and point me to the emptiness I
hadn’t known was there.
Your former student,
S

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 23

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 free poem. <and/or> Write a not free poem.

Photo by Verne Ho / Unsplash

Photo by Verne Ho / Unsplash

FREE VERSE

 

Strict form & rhyme schemes aren’t for me.
I tend to find them much too twee. They
hamper creativity & suffer from ubiquity. 

I like to follow meaning more:

let my lines run free, let them scamper (happy)

through the door.

Let them caper

and frolic,

maybe gather some poppies or flop

on a mossy rock

to think

awhile.

  

There might still be some rhyme,

hidden and plain,

some internal parallels like the echoes of a

pealing bell,

but I like them to be subtle, soft—

just the gentle ricochet of

sound and thought.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 20

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 dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt. Of course, dark has several other connotations as well. An underdog is often known as a dark horse, a villain may have a dark heart, and Batman is known as the Dark Knight. Heck, when I was little, I thought Darth Vader was Dark Vader.

Photo by Jason McCann / Unsplash

Photo by Jason McCann / Unsplash

THE EYE BEGINS

In a dark time, the eye begins to see.
- Theodore Roethke

Maybe it was the solemn arch of pines
kindly bowing their tall heads
to make for me a cathedral of mottled silence.
Or maybe Abbott, or Steichen,
casting the lovely onto those
long-shadowed city buildings, those spiraling haloes of burnt matches,
the scattered tacks lying in their angled shrouds:
always drawing my eye to the hiding of the light.
It may have even been the sorrowing satin of crows
on the rusty November lawn, or the rain
swishing its skirts down an evening street.

Certainly it was the heavy grey of clouds, moving in like a soothing mother,
her quiet bulk edifying and calm, a cocoon of nurture.

All this has taught me to love the dark, taught my heart to
swell to the velvet dance of black and shade. I have seen how it
contours the light, tracing the crucial edges—here, a willing backdrop,
here, bold silhouette.
I have come to know the dark as relief—in the manner of contrast, yes—
but also as refuge: how its sequestering is a way of portioning comfort,
how it can fold itself into a welcome veil
for the tears I’m not ready to show.

The dark is promise: a freighted waiting. Cushioning the letter in an envelope,
holding the careful words; or cradling a growing seed until the explosive bloom.
Even in the empty tomb, content to be
a proclaiming absence, a silent sign the Light
has gone elsewhere to shine.

Poem-A-Day Challenge: Day 21

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 sketch poem. My initial thought is to write a poem that’s like a sketch of a moment or an object. But you can play around with sketchy people or situations. Or just sketch something else together.

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EASTER 2019

Sun shouts the day awake
He is risen indeed!
Windows & doors flung wide, cool breeze
Sprinkled doughnuts, chipper boys
Tea for me, holding tight to Lenten fast
Chirping birds, loud with glee
Car-lined street, bursting church
Stooped man, white shirt, dapper grey vest, tiny happy steps to his car
Boys play Fortnite, Mommy writes, Daddy studies

Peace
Light
Gratitude

Drive to Gramma and Poppy’s
Hyper boys, excited search
Bills peeking from books, coins on shelves, purple foil eggs on sofa arms and lamps
”Warmer / Colder” for the last few
Bookcase, Nehemiah: “Found one! Found another! And another!”
Pastel-marbled tissue, stainless steel “baskets”
UnderArmour shirts, new summer socks, mini Snickers, marzipan bars
Head outside: glittering lake, Adirondacks, crisp Chardonnay
Horde of contented coots huddled on water
Grass green and lush, tufts of bluebells, daffodils
Stretch on patchwork throw, bright cardinal, loud song, boys shooting hoops & teasing
Back inside: white-clothed table, pink & blue Easter grass, pussy willows
Ham, potatoes, asparagus, rolls, fruit
Boys quiz Unca B, NBA trivia
After-lunch scattering: Poppy nap, Daddy studying again in lakeside sun
Soft couches, dozing, Golden State vs LA
Outside again, basketball: boys, Unca B, Bella
Cheesecake for grownups, Lenten fast done
Kitchen table: silliness, giggles, old-man cranky face and widow’s peaks
Pack up food, hugs, waving goodbye
Back home: quick showers, rushed leftovers, rare evening Fortnite (Unca B!)
Spring break fades away
Boys asleep, Daddy (more) studies, Mommy writing, HouseHunters
Laundry, dishes, off to bed
Thank You, Lord, for all of it.