NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 23


All Dressed up for Senior Prom

Feeling Pressed

I hate when asked to write a sonnet
the formula is difficult at best
I want to spend my weekend sipping
fancy cocktails spiced with scotch bonnet
not waste my time on meter or wrest
with rhyme this form is clearly whipping
my behind. Poor poet cannot keep focus
the laundry calls while I am chipping
away these lines I’m feeling pressed
perhaps a little hocus-pocus…
Is it slipping?

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to write a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs (i.e., with a meter in which an unstressed syllable is followed by one stressed syllable, and so on). There are several traditional rhyme schemes, including the Petrarchan, Spenserian, and Shakespearean sonnets. But beyond the strictures of form, sonnets usually pose a question of a sort, explore the ideas raised by the question, and then come to a conclusion. In a way, they are essays written in verse! This means you can write a “sonnet” that doesn’t have meet all of the traditional formal elements, but still functions as a mini-essay of a sort. The main point is to keep your poem tight, not rangy, and to use the shorter confines of the form to fuel the poem’s energy. As Wordsworth put it, in a very formal sonnet indeed, “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room.” Happy writing!

Ugh! Sonnets are too formal and I was busy thinking of a different kind of formal today. But lo and behold I pecked out some lines from my keyboard. Curtal Sonnet don’t worry I’m not impressed with my effort tonight either. But aren’t those a good looking bunch of seniors dressed for prom?

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 21


The Night Watchman

My post
Standing watch
Bored out of my mind
As the clock strikes midnight, I doze
Off. How did I get gate duty on the night of the
Big ball? My friends teased me about missing all the festivities even though they are
Working, too. At least they have coffee to stay awake. Suddenly I’m roused by commotion and a coach zooms past with a girl hot on its heels.
Then I hear the order, “Close the gates!” Oh shit, too late; maybe I can slink off pretend
I was not in charge of the gate house. The prince runs up.
“Where is she?” I start to stammer
As another guard
Holds her

NaPoWriMo Prompt – today I challenge you to write a poem in the voice of minor character from a fairy tale or myth. Instead of writing from the point of view of Cinderella, write from the point of view of the mouse who got turned into a coachman. Instead of writing from the point of view of Orpheus or Eurydice, write from the point of view of one of the shades in Hades who watched Eurydice leave and then come back. Happy writing!

I decided to do a Fibonacci as 21 is a Fibonacci number. Other than that I don’t think this poem needs any explaining. I was happy to find a Cinderella palace guard picture on another WordPress blog.

Writing – Blah


When you text mom about writer’s block

Pretentious writer
had no vocabulary
blah, blah, blah, blah, blah

When you don’t know what to write and ask a poet for ideas, don’t be surprised if she answers in poetry. Okay the poetry didn’t work, so Mom started sending prompts off Writer’s Digest. One of them must have helped, because I stopped getting texts.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 20


Dad’s Birthday Present from Be-Be & Tu-Tu


Real old-fogey
Over seven decades
Grew up without television
Retired Lieutenant Colonel
Flew jets in Vietnam

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here. Happy writing!

Once upon a time… okay in 2014 we wrote a kenning. I used a couple Old Norse words in this poem so I’m not sure if the syllable count is accurate for cinquain as I don’t speak Norse, but it works for me.

True story my dad’s family did not own a TV until he was in high school. He would exclaim to my mom often, Only rich people had a TV in grammar school, Pam. My mom’s family got a television when she was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. And I’m sure everyone knows from Back to the Future there was only one television in the house. My girls think it’s strange their mother grew up without a computer. I was in high school before we had a computer and yes, it was only ONE. No everyone gets his/her own to play on. The first paper I wrote on a computer was my 20 page composition on MacBeth for AP comp when I was a senior. Rachael asked me, what did you use before then, a typewriter? Yes girl, is it that hard to fathom.

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. I would assume he enjoyed it as when I called I got the answering machine. Also the last line in my poem works twofold. He – first two letters in Heintz and Ro – first two letters in Ronald. It is a kenning for Heintz, Ronald as well as a description for my dad.

Haiku Challenge Sun – Moon


Night of the green moon
Sun reflects off Uranus
Inhaled too much weed

After seeing the above picture posted on Facebook, I couldn’t pass up the sun, moon haiku challenge from RonovanWrites. And well no, the moon will not be green tomorrow unless of course you celebrate National Day of Weed a little too well. 😉 If so, I will not vouch for any color you may see the moon turn. After all maybe it’s a chameleon.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 19

Ae Freslighe

In this poem we measure
precise feet and follow rhyme
done right it could be treasure
sample written in no time

Odd lines three will prevail climb
last line we need to spin, miss
back to our first female rhyme
even lines have two in this

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Many years ago, “didactic” poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. Hopefully, you’ll be able to weave the concrete details of the action into a compelling verse. Also, your “practical” skill could be somewhat mythological, imaginary, or funny, like “How to Capture a Mermaid” or “How to Get Your Teenager to Take Out the Garbage When He Is Supposed To.” Happy writing!

I hope this Ars Poetica on how to write an Ae Freslighe doesn’t stink too badly and can be followed. Here is the website I used to remember how to construct this form. I thought of using it as my first Ae Freslighe used the word didactic for its three syllable rhyme. As you can see in the poem above, I kept the syllable rhymes correct, but I did not start the poem with a two syllable word nor did I end the odd lines with three syllable words. I think the rhyming still works though.

Donuts, Donuts Everywhere…

And not a one to eat.

So Gretchen texted me after school her creative writing teacher got the donut she brought to school for her. I replied, I’d stay away from your sister when you get home. She was not happy you took the only glazed donut. Well apparently mom took too long to send this because Gretchen sent, you better not be writing a haiku. No, but now I am. 😉

Early bird gets worm
Sister missed out on breakfast
Donut for teacher


NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 18

Fibber and Molly 1937.JPG
By The ad and program were produced by NBC. – NBC Radio ad-photo from 2 page ad “Monday Night Comes to Life” from Life Magazine, April 12, 1937. NBC Radio ad,

Fibber McGee

Guess who
I am

Fibber McGee
No, try again
I don’t know

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work. Happy writing!

This is a combination as I say Fibber McGee to my children often. When I was young, my mother would say Fibber McGee, I can’t remember the context but she had used the name enough I remembered it. I remember giggling, too, because who is really named Fibber McGee. Flash forward and my girls are constantly being someone else and want their mother to guess the character. One time out of exasperation I said, I don’t know, Fibber McGee. The girls started laughing and said, that’s not a real name. I told them, I don’t know I just remember your grandma saying it. I knew they’d get a laugh out of it, because I always had. But one day I was curious enough to google the name (the handy dandy tool wasn’t around when I was a child) and sure enough grandma didn’t pull the name out of her… MOM.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 17


dictionary teacup

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to find, either on your shelves or online, a specialized dictionary. This could be, for example, a dictionary of nautical terms, or woodworking terms, or geology terms. Anything, really, so long as it’s not a standard dictionary! Now write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your specialized source. Happy writing!

Yes, I went off script today. There are only 6 words used that can be found in a dictionary for magic. By the way, if anyone needs help pulling a rabbit from their hat, umm…poem. This website has a whole list of different dictionaries. At first I was trying to find an old age dictionary – no luck. My dad’s birthday is this Tuesday, and I thought I could poke fun at his age. Then I thought of the teacup dictionary poetry form, which for prestidigitation did not work completely as planned as the 5 syllable word and 4 syllable word appear to be of the same length. But here is the second poem I wrote today.


Two digits
Real old-fogey

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 15


Rachael at 4 paws

A Place for Hope

Stuck at halfway point, I sit in kitchen
contemplating poetry, my phone rings distracting me
daughter calls for help mother pulled in two

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Because today marks the halfway point in our 30-day sprint, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates the idea of doubles. You could incorporate doubling into the form, for example, by writing a poem in couplets. Or you could make doubles the theme of the poem, by writing, for example, about mirrors or twins, or simply things that come in pairs. Or you could double your doublings by incorporating things-that-come-in-twos into both your subject and form. Happy writing!

Today is a big day. Rachael is giving her senior project presentation right as I’m typing this. Good Luck Kiddo! And meanwhile, Mom is pilfering her title. Yes, A Place for Hope is the title of the project. Rachael volunteered at a cat shelter. Their senior projects had to be something that helped the community. Rachael has to tell a panel of teachers this morning how cat shelters help the community and she has a powerpoint presentation for it. But the wi-fi is acting up and her google docs wouldn’t load so she wanted me to email her the presentation. I think everything is copacetic now. Talk about being pulled in two as I was trying to come up with a poem dealing with doubles. This is another cleave poem – two separate poems make a whole third poem. The two poems alone are kinda senryu.

This just in – They LIKED it!