#NaPoWriMo 2023 Wrap-up

Champagne flutes from Buffalo State University

Good afternoon and welcome to May first. I made it through another #NaPoWriMo with a total of 34 poems written in April. Back in February, Buffalo State asked alumni to share their sweetheart stories for Valentine’s Day and they were going to give away some Buffalo State swag to a couple loving pairs. Well Shawn and I started dating in high school, but college was the first time we attended the same school, so I wrote up our story and submitted it. We were one of the lucky couples. The goodies arrived just before we drove up to Oregon. Yesterday I asked Shawn if we had any champagne. He wanted to know why I wanted to open a champagne bottle. I told him, I’m celebrating another successful April. Then I remembered we actually have champagne flutes now and I had a reason to use them.

I hope everyone enjoyed my poems for #NaPoWriMo this year. I hope to post more blog entries throughout the rest of the year. In November, the evil twin and I will be turning 50! so it’s a big year for me and I’d like to keep the creativity found in April going through the rest of the year. Until next time, thank you to all my readers who liked and commented on my poems. I appreciate your patronage.


#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Thirty


Now that April is kaput
All the pens put away
Poets no longer struggle
Over meter and rhyme
We can finally
Relax and not stress
If our verse lies flat
Many days felt too prosy
Others weren’t as plodding

NaPoWriMo Promptand now for our last prompt of the year (still optional!) Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a palinode – a poem in which you retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. For example, you might pick a poem you drafted earlier in the month and write a poem that contradicts or troubles it. This could be an interesting way to start working on a series of related poems. Alternatively, you could play around with the idea of a palinode by writing a poem in which the speaker says something like “I take it back” or otherwise abandons a prior position within the single poem.

Good afternoon and welcome back to day thirty of NaPoWriMo where I wrote a retraction of an acrostic I wrote back in 2012 and posted Here in 2014.


Now that April is upon us
All pens are posed
Poets begin to obsess
Over every word composed

Whether we shall reach the finish
Rhyming verses all the way
Is a challenge not to diminish
Make the most of today

Onto Success!

I would say 2023 was a success as I wrote more than 30 poems even if I got a late start and I didn’t write every day. I’m not thrilled with every effort some days were definitely plodding. But if I get two or three poems I like and refine further, I chalk it up to a successful poetry month.

Twice Married – is one poem I wrote for a past napowrimo prompt and it is published in Issue 05 of Free the Verse: I Don’t Want to Talk About It. Please go check it out and read all the other great poems in the issue as well.

Thank you for coming along with me on this crazy poetic trip through April.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Nine

Sharp and Pungent Cheese

A near countless variety –
Blue, Monterey Jack, Provolone
Cheddar, Swiss, American
Some age like fine wine
while others no one
wants to meet in a dark alley.
They lie in wait
for someone to bite
who is brave enough
to try.

Sharp and pungent cheese
is not for the faint of heart
or sensitive digestive tracts.
“Just have a taste,”
pleads a block of Limburger
who has a bad rap
and sits dejected
making the whole fridge

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd here’s our daily (optional) prompt. Start by reading Alberto Rios’s poem “Perfect for Any Occasion.” Now, write your own two-part poem that focuses on a food or type of meal. At some point in the poem, describe the food or meal as if it were a specific kind of person. Give the food/meal at least one line of spoken dialogue.

Good afternoon and welcome to the last day of #NaPoWriMo where I am playing catch up. Yeah I struggled with this prompt. And I’m not exactly happy with this effort but at least I finally wrote something. Onto the final prompt of April.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Eight

Sonnet Index

At last the Poet, changed by eternity
Below the thunders of the upper deep
It will not be simple, it will not be long
No more my visionary soul shall dwell
Since there’s no help, come let us kiss
and part
To suffer, yes, but suffer and not create
Where it begins will remain a question

NaPoWriMo PromptToday, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Kell Connor. Happy writing!

Good afternoon and welcome to my index found poem. I pulled out The Making of a Sonnet again and flipped back to its index and pulled out a few of the first lines.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Seven

Palo Verde in Bloom April 2023

The Lantanas of Hope

Palo verde in bloom
later than previous years
watching the pigeons
a threesome tussles
on the neighbor’s roof
directly behind the tree.
They totter beneath
solar panels
to hide their newfound love
from the world.
We worship the lantanas of hope
to survive the detritus
once yellow petals begin
their onslaught, littering
our backyard furniture
with castoff poetry.
April –
cannot wait to discard
shedding off its winter coat
hopeful for the coming spring.

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, begin by reading Bernadette Mayer’s poem “The Lobelias of Fear.” Now write your own poem titled “The ________ of ________,” where the first blank is a very particular kind of plant or animal, and the second blank is an abstract noun. The poem should contain at least one simile that plays on double meanings or otherwise doesn’t quite make “sense,” and describe things or beings from very different times or places as co-existing in the same space.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty seven of #NaPoWriMo. I decided to write about the palo verde in our backyard again. It started to bloom a few days ago usually it has already dropped the yellow flowers all over our back porch by this time. But this year I’m still able to go outside and sit at the table without cleaning up intrusive petals. Proof we had a pretty cold winter. Officially we haven’t hit triple digits yet this year. However, we did hit 99 one day and I’m sure some thermometers did hit 100. I remember one April ours read 110 awfully early. Apparently it was April 2014 but I wrote about it for napowrimo five years later.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Six

Roni & Ron


Man has four daughters
Junior named – Veronica
Behold true image

NaPoWriMo PromptOur (optional) prompt for day asks you to write a portrait poem that focuses on or plays with the meaning of the subject’s name. This could be a self-portrait, a portrait of a family member or close friend, or even a portrait of a famous or historical person. If you need help delving into the meaning of your poem-subject’s name, this website may help.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty six of #napowrimo. My long time readers should know I am Ron jr. and how my mother saved me from being named Ronalda! Eight years ago I wrote about my name for the Silver Birch Press series – all about my name. I think it was the first time I wrote about it, but it was not one and done. Two years ago it was a prompt for napowrimo and I used the same last line here as the meaning of Veronica is behold true image. What do you think? Does Ron jr. look like Ron sr.? FYI – when my dad was here for Gretchen’s high school graduation in 2019, he saw my college senior portrait and yes, I have long hair in it. The photo above is from the Buffalo State Honors Convocation in the fall of 1995 and my hair is on the longish side. But when my dad was here, he asked who was in the photo. He didn’t remember me ever having long hair. I didn’t for very long; it was chopped immediately upon my return from my honeymoon. Much to Shawn’s chagrin – he swears he fell for me when I came home one afternoon and swooshed my hair. Trust me I am NOT a hair swoosher, and it is a lot easier to care for short hair.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Five

Tuesday Morning
(a love poem)

I roll over,
hoping to sleep longer
as the dog stretches
and jumps out of bed.
You get up to let her out
before making coffee.

The sun glares
through the kitchen window.
Lilies droop
in the vase on the table.

When you return
(to the bedroom)
I mope…
no one made me coffee.

I stumble from the bed
and bump into you
in our bathroom,
(You love me)
You wear me out!
(I know, but you me)

As you enter the shower
informing me you’re heading
to the store;
if I want anything,
it should be added to the list.

Then I trudge
into the kitchen
to make my own coffee.

NaPoWriMo Prompt Last but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt for the day. Begin by reading e e cummings’ poem [somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond]. This is a pretty classic love poem, so well-known that it has spawned at least one silly meme. Today’s prompt challenges you to also write a love poem, one that names at least one flower, contains one parenthetical statement, and in which at least some lines break in unusual places.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty-five of #NaPoWriMo where this qualifies as a love poem after being with someone for 32 years and a marriage of 26 years and counting.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Four

Thorny Review

Rose petals open
Facade hides vixenish thorns

Feminine allure
Seals his fate within her folds
Prick is exquisite

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our (optional) prompt, taken once more from our archives. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the form of a review. But not a review of a book or a movie of a restaurant. Instead, I challenge you to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. For example, your mother-in-law, the moon, or the year you were ten years old.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty four of #napowrimo where I tried to write a poetic review of womanhood. Okay the #haikuchallenge word today is muliebrity and I thought this would be clever, but the more I tried to get it to work the less pleased I became. Still I have a poem today so at least there’s something.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Three

Backyard Oasis in the Desert

Close to the end
sitting with you
out in the backyard.

The palo verde
yet to bloom
lays dormant from
a cold winter.

Seven more days
left in April;
I watch the green leaves
start to bud.

By now there are
usually yellow flowers
floating down on
the spring breeze.

The petals fall
all over the back porch
covering the table
and chair cushions.

this year spring tarries
and I sit and watch
the wind chime
you bought in Oregon
hanging in the mesquite tree.

The bird spins in the breeze
ominously quiet
despite its dance.

I soak in the sun
happy to be back
in my warm desert
waiting for…
the palo verde to bloom.

Tell me, love, will the memories keep me warm.

NaPoWriMo PromptFinally, here’s our optional prompt for the day! Start off by reading Arvind Krishna Mehrotra’s “Lockdown Garden.” Now, try to write a poem of your own that has multiple numbered sections. Attempt to have each section be in dialogue with the others, like a song where a different person sings each verse, giving a different point of view. Set the poem in a specific place that you used to spend a lot of time in, but don’t spend time in anymore.

Good afternoon again and welcome to day twenty three of #napowrimo where I wrote about a place I still spend a great deal of time. But if my family has their way my desert oasis will only be a memory one day. They all seem to want to move me up to frigid Oregon when we retire. Of course as I’m writing this, Robin sent a zillow ad for a house in downtown Phoenix that would allow him to walk to work. Not sure why he’s looking now as he still has 14 months of school to finish.

#NaPoWriMo 2023 Day Twenty Two

Instant Downfall

Crumbling is an instant act
A crucial form
Debilitating actions
Enfeebled muscles

Cascading cobwebs
Nerves spiral out
On a massive scale
Damaged from neglect

Ruin in totality-
Unorganized and quick
Fail in an instant, yes man can
Falling, unable to stand

NaPoWriMo PromptToday’s prompt (optional, as always, and taken from our archives) is a variation on a teaching exercise that the poet Anne Boyer uses with students studying the work of Emily Dickinson. As you may know, although Dickinson is now considered one of the most original and finest poets the United States has produced, she was not recognized in her own time. One reason her poems took a while to gain a favorable reception is their slippery, dash-filled lines. Those dashes baffled her readers so much that the 1924 edition of her complete poems replaced some with commas, and did away with others completely. Today’s exercise asks you to do something similar, but in the interests of creativity, rather than ill-conceived “correction.” Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty two of #napowrimo a day late. I took inspiration from Crumbling is not an instant’s Act; however I reversed it and made it instant and quick. I remember the first time we did this exercise- April 5, 2015. It’s not exactly a happy memory. Dickinson has always given me an uneasy vibe though.