Haiku Challenge


Changing appearance
Second picture shows contrast
Over years between

In both of these pictures, I am standing in front of the closet in my bedroom. The first one was taken quite a few years ago, but I recently had it up on Facebook to celebrate Star Trek turning 50. The second I took last week before I went out to the Phoenix art and chocolate show on Thursday. The #haikuchallenge word on twitter today is second. I have been lax in the poetry writing lately, I need to get back into it.

Shawn and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary next month. I started to fiddle with his limerick gift. The traditional gift is china. We spent a few days up in New Mexico for our 15th anniversary and toured some vineyards and actually picked up crystal souvenir wine glasses. But I still had fun with the limerick.

There was a woman being a pistol
who wrapped herself as a present coital
fifteenth anniversary
was becoming a quandary
since she found no great gift in crystal

18th anniversary limerick

19th anniversary limerick


First Day of School

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 10.01.28 AM

Gretchen smiling at Disneyland


Follow girls to bus stop
Inquire where it is
Remember first day of school
Standing with wide-eyed freshmen
Timid about making friends

The first day of school for freshmen was Monday August 3rd. Rachael didn’t start until Wednesday but she was up bright and early to walk her sister to the bus stop. Yes, I have a terrible time getting pictures of Gretchen. The Disney photographer actually caught the girl with a smile on her face when we met Elsa and Anna. I was impressed.

Since the first day is freshmen only, there were only three kids at the bus stop. I wrote my #haikuchallenge Monday about it.

Waiting at bus stop
Count how many freshmen show
My entertainment

Agua Fria starts super early 7:20am except Wednesdays which are late start. Monday only three kids showed up at the bus stop; Tuesday the first day for everyone only four kids were there. I figured high schoolers were “too cool” to ride the bus. But Wednesday when the bus picks them up at 8:15 about a dozen kids were there. Yesterday at 6:45 there was still a good number, but it went down slightly this morning. Well first week of school complete thirty-nine to go.

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 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 15


Fifteenth halfway
through month writing poems
Any tips for poets feeling

Motivation Poster from poets.org

Motivation Poster from poets.org

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I challenge you to write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self (i.e. “Dear Poem,” or “what are my quatrains up to?”; “Couplet, come with me . . .”) This might seem a little meta at first, or even kind of cheesy. But it can be a great way of interrogating (or at least, asking polite questions) of your own writing process and the motivations you have for writing, and the motivations you ascribe to your readers.

Halfway through the month yes, I’m getting frazzled but it isn’t just because of poetry. Where to find the motivation to keep going? I went over to writer’s digest to see what the PAD challenge was today. I was excited to see today’s guest judge is Alberto Rios (Arizona’s poet laureate). The prompt there was to write an adjective poem. Well I know how I’m feeling at this halfway point between poetry, MOOC, school projects, and a full house – can we say worn out. I do have my national poetry month poster to keep me going. And maybe my state poet laureate will answer my poem with some good tips. 😉

NaPoWriMo Day 12

Scotty, NO!

Enterprise flies
over volcano to
rescue Spock but Scotty misjudged

Burning imagination

Burning imagination

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt! Yesterday’s was a doozy, so today’s is much more laid-back (and optional, as always). It comes to us from Dr. Cynthia A. Cochran of Illinois College:

Here is a great prompt for anyone who likes to write descriptive prose but shudders at writing poetry–and it really works:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

All right Star Trek fans you can’t blame me for this one. Yes, I put the fire in the chimenea but the rest was all Gretchen. She brought out a box of her writings to burn. The next thing I know she’s folding paper airplanes naming them Enterprise and flying them “into” the volcano to rescue Spock. All aboard perish. Spock is the only survivor. He had a contingency plan if the shuttle couldn’t pull him out.

Does everyone know what today is? Extra poem day. 😀 It’s DEAR day. And here I am without a good Star Trek novel to read.


Beverly Cleary
Dear Mr. Henshaw her best

Sexy Man – Limerick

A husband with shopping list in hand
made a purchase totally unplanned
whatever was he thinking
his wife had no inkling
her sexy man would create such demand

My "Sexy Man" on our anniversary October 12, 2014. Litchfield Park, AZ

My “Sexy Man” on our anniversary October 12, 2014. Litchfield Park, AZ

Since Narrator Central has changed over to Narrator International, my limerick for their “whatever was he thinking” contest was reposted.  Check it out on the Narrator International website.