NaPoWriMo Day 27

Me, myself
I lost connection

no voice
inside my head

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And today’s prompt – optional, as always — comes to us from Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet…

Me, yesterday, I lost connection with my muse. Wrote a line here and there but nothing coalesced. It’s not helpful that real life is somewhat frustrating right now. Rachael had a successful 30 hour famine. Dad picked her up Saturday afternoon and then we had a family dinner (Nonnie, Ray and Caitlin included) at PF Chang’s to celebrate her induction into NHS. After that Shawn and I went to visit my uncle. My uncle and cousin are struggling right now, and we are trying to figure out a way to help them. They let things build up so long in silence; it’s a big tangle to untie.


life changes
unable to cope

builds up
faculties lose control

frustrated alone
gasping for air

held tight
safe trembling stops

Finally I breathe ~
never let go

NaPoWriMo Day 25

National Honor Society

Rachael Hosking
inducted into NHS ring.
Their criminal ways
maintaining straight As.

Rachael's NHS membership

Rachael’s NHS membership









NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! It’s the weekend, so I’d thought we might go with something short and just a bit (or a lot) silly – the Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name. You can write about celebrities, famous people from history, even your mom (hopefully she’s got a good name for rhyming with).

I thought since one of the reasons I did not write a poem on Thursday was because I attended the NHS induction ceremony, I should get a poem out of it. My daughter is joining other infamous people like her own mother. Yes, this criminal behavior runs in the family. ;)

NaPoWriMo Day 24

This morning at 7am Rachael started her 3rd 30 hour famine. Later today she will be going to the church for the lock in. There the kids learn about children less fortunate than themselves and get a feel for what it is like to go without food just for one day. At 1PM tomorrow, the group breaks their fast usually with a sampling of the kind of food the children eat in the part of the world their 30 hour famine raised money to feed. Rachael’s fundraising page is here. Based on the previous two years, she thought $75 was a good goal. Thanks to some very generous donations she is almost at 300% of her goal. :D

Fast thirty hours
Endure hunger for one day
Decrease starvation

She has fed one child for six months so far. There is still time to donate. Who wants to help make it a year?

Yesterday I did not write a poem. :( We were busy between orthodontist appointments, getting my cousin settled out of the hospital, and then Rachael’s honor society induction.

NaPoWriMo Prompt (today) Our prompt today (optional, as always), will hopefully provide you with a bit of Friday fun. Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).

Thinking of hungry children around the world does not leave one feeling humorous so –

Stopping by Water on a Hot Summer Day

Whose water this is, I do not know
Women walk miles to fetch and carry
Clean drinking water, children in tow
Confronting real numbers is scary

Raising Awareness for access to clean drinking water

NaPoWriMo Day 22

Spring Colors

Petals caress
Blue sky – stretch out in praise.
Springtime flowers bask in sunshine

Artist Gail Goepfert. Sulphur Cosmos “friendship flowers”

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for (as always, optional) prompt! Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

Taking flight around here? My sanity. Real life is rather chaotic at the moment. But never fear Rattle Magazine has an ekphrasis challenge and the last one was about flowers. My entry did not win. Last Saturday Rattle posted the Artist’s choice(here). This Saturday they will post the editor’s choice.

Hopefully things will settle down here soon. In the meantime, Rachael is raising money to feed hungry children. Check out the fundraiser here and please consider a donation. Thank you!

NaPoWriMo Day 21

Blurred Reality

Two kinds of pills

yellow pills

shoved away hurt                                            left the mind on
blue ones
time was sheared away

Stuff dances

dancing memories

uninvited dancing stuff tickled

sashayed                  darted                    plunged
shook loose
blue                                                                                      black

Winter's Bone by: Daniel Woodrell p. 162

Winter’s Bone by: Daniel Woodrell p. 162

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Our prompt for today (optional, as always) is an old favorite – the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact. 

I don’t play well with photoshop and it looks like I was trying to erase too hard. On the plus side it gave me an excellent title. Only nine days remain of this insanity. And then summer break officially begins in a month on May 21st. Gretchen’s graduation ceremony is at 10:30 am that day. Rachael is registered for a summer class and I still have to figure out vacation plans. Meanwhile the NHS induction ceremony is on Thursday; Rachael will be filling up volunteer hours this weekend; and at some point the middle school will have its science fair and spring concert. Maybe I’ll be able to catch my breath in June.

Update: The Great Gatsby Anthology


This will be a first. Shawn and I both have poems included in this anthology.

Originally posted on Silver Birch Press:

gatsby_cover_april2015 On March 15, 2014, Silver Birch Press issued a call for submissions for poetry and prose inspired by F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby — with a plan to issue the collection in April 2015 to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the novel’s publication. We intend to issue the book soon (but have to push our release date a bit due to factors beyond our control). Thanks to the authors from around the world who contributed their work to the collection. We’ll keep you posted on the spring release date. Stay tuned — and thanks for your patience.

Cover art by Erté

View original

NaPoWriMo Day 20

When I was Five

I know address and telephone number
We memorized them in kindergarten
3986 Nottingham Ter Hamburg, NY
716 – 649 – 0084
Was it really thirty-five years ago?

I know I saw Star Wars seven times
in a real movie theater.
Last night I saw Mark Hamill guest star
in an old episode of One Day at a Time.
Was it really forty years ago?

I know time flies when you’re having fun
How is it Han Solo has gray hair
when I’m only four
with no bloody tee or one added
Was it really in a past millennium?

Kindergarten school picture

Kindergarten school picture

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I challenge to write a poem that states the things you know. For example, “The sky is blue” or “Pizza is my favorite food” or “The world’s smallest squid is Parateuthis tunicata. Each line can be a separate statement, or you can run them together. The things you “know” of course, might be facts, or they might be a little bit more like beliefs. Hopefully, this prompt will let your poem be grounded in specific facts, while also providing room for more abstract themes and ideas.

Has everyone seen the latest Star Wars trailer? “Chewey, we’re home.” I did live on Nottingham Terrace when episode IV was released, but it was down the street from where I lived in kindergarten. And yes, yesterday I was watching One Day at a Time Schneider’s Pride and Joy and realized Mark Hamill was Schneider’s nephew. Hamill was my first celebrity crush. I find it funny my little one likes Luke Skywalker, too. Original series rocks! And no I did not cross original Star Wars with Star Trek – Scotty: N-C-C-1-7-0-1. No bloody A – B – C – or D! ;)

NaPoWriMo Day 19


Locked away inside behavioral
family does not see how this is detrimental

How am I a danger to myself
trapped within these four walls, I can only lend myself

to constant surveillance day and night
stuck inside behavioral, out of mind – out of sight.

Normal ship sails away

Normal ship sails away

Twitter has another great image of the quote.

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And for today’s prompt (optional, as always!), I’d like to challenge you to write a landay. Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy. Check out this long investigative article on landays for a fascinating look into a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down. You could try to write a single landay – a hard-hitting couplet that shares some secret (or unspoken) truth, or you could try to write a poem that strings multiple landays together like stanzas (maybe something akin to a syllabic ghazal?)

It may not be such a secret that writers are crazy. After sharing my tyburn yesterday, my sister said, “well, you yourself are rather strange”. Life is strange after my first visit to the behavioral unit of a hospital, we are given landay as a prompt?!

Anyhow on a happier note… Today is my Dad’s birthday!

Calculating score…
Happy Birthday; where was I?

And I, by no means, gave away his age. ;)

NaPoWriMo Day 18

Leary Trip

Day eighteen of bleary, weary trip
My verse becomes dreary, sneery quip

Me, myself and I at Buffalo State (alma mater)

Me, myself and I at Buffalo State (alma mater)

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (as always, optional) prompt, which takes us from 2015 back to the 1700s. After all, it’s the eighteenth of April, which means that today is the 240th anniversary of the midnight ride of Paul Revere! Today, in keeping with the theme of rush and warning, I challenge you to write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. It could historical, mythical, entirely fictional, or memoir-ical.

My journey (and it is by no means enhanced by anything more than beery) started at Buffalo State where I earned a BS in English Secondary Education in 1996. When I saw the poetry resource today – Our poetry resource for the day is The Electronic Poetry Center at the University of Buffalo, where you’ll find an extensive online library of resources devoted to electronic, digital, and formally innovative poetry. Including flarf! I knew I had to include a picture from Buffalo. Recently Shawn and I got together with fellow Buff State grads transplanted to the desert at a Coyotes/Sabres game. The first video lesson for the How Writers Write Poetry MOOC talked about bank registers as a type of journal. I noticed the other day I paid for the game with check # 1996, the year we both graduated from Buff State.

Sign for Alumni get together. Photo Credit: Nick Mahoney

Sign for Alumni get together. Photo Credit: Nick Mahoney

It popped out at me because of the MOOC. And may or may not be used in future poetry. Hope everyone enjoys the last 12 days of this poetry trip.

NaPoWriMo Day 17

Survivor Science

Nine, six
Boxes of
Spaghetti noodles
Small marshmallows, large marshmallows
Forty-five containers of non-flavored dental floss
Forty-five empty paper towel, toilet paper tubes and bamboo skewers; pasta

Three boxes each: rotelle (wheel shaped), penne, elbow and shell. Three hundred popsicle sticks!
Six bags mint lifesavers; Sixteen packs of yellow peeps
One hundred large sized rubber bands
Elmer’s glue bottles

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I want you to try to write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif).

This is taken from the list of materials needed for the next unit in eighth grade science parents were given in an email yesterday. While I was piecing the list into a Fibonacci poem, Rachael texted me. Honor Society induction is Thursday April 23rd. :D April will be going out with a full schedule. That Thursday is also Gretchen’s next orthodontic appointment. Then over the weekend Rachael will have volunteer hours to fulfill. One plus to Gretchen attending public high school, no mandatory volunteer hours.  Well Rachael will be home soon because one of her college classes was cancelled for the day. Speaking of she walked through the door as I typed this.