Monthly Archives: April 2017


NaPoWriMo day 28: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem using Skeltonic verse. Don’t worry, there are no skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another.

“Oh, God of grace”
hands pressed to face
on white lilac lace
stained with disgrace
“Oh, save me my fate
Oh, God, so great
I’ve checked the dates
Oh, God, I’m late
Oh rue the day
On a bed, I lay
morals astray
with a man so fey
had his wicked way,
and me his prey…
He went away…
Oh, to thee I pray
make him stay….
HIs eyes so wild
and me so mild
undressed and beguiled
and now, with child!!
Tell me the path to take
Oh, my mistake
God, for pity’s sake!


NapoWriMo day 24: Today, I challenge you to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts.

Do not marginalise the fantastic creatures, scenes and beasties illustrated along side the medieval text. Recognise instead the intricate scribblings careful graffitied so long ago by suchlong suffering monks. Was it anarchy or dissension in the ranks, or boredom, or writer’s cramp? ( the first who dared to desecrate thus such sacred documents had the soles of his feat beaten for his art…so, it is un-written, I think)
Discover, in wonder, gold-leafed miniatures exquisitely rendered in expensive colour, richly inked, opulent mosaic caught between the manuscript pages like exotic butterflies for all eternity. And for your eyes, imagine! History preserved deserves more than a side mention, by the way.

7 elevenies

Napowrimo day 23: Our prompt for Day Twenty-Three comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us to write a double elevenie. What’s that? Well, an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is.

takes cover
under tuscan sun
shelters after winter blue

gives cover
under tuscan sun
shelter in the shadow

bullyrags me
despite the voice
trying for conciliatory tone

stuck in
the bathroom wall
part of a bigger

pulled out
leaves a gap
goofy grin temporary, honey

rises up
from marriage ashes
shaking his lovely wings

key winces
in coat pocket
left to for Goodwill

Destitute Peasant

NaPowriMo day 22: In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war.
***the prompt didn’t quite work for me today….

Eggs over easy. Bacon hypo-crispy. Laced with spinach on whole wheat, honeyed
Coffee in a cracked cup, un-noticed, slurped up, eyes glued to the news, unstuck, unfocussed, at such distance, safe, it seems
from still tilled soil, seeds and weeds, blossoms feeding beings, ground
poisoned, hatched and butchered for breakfast.

Being innocent of implication in the daily rape of my home, my planet, I profit.
(am I though?) Helpless,
I will recycle my newspaper, plant some flowers on my balcony, promise to sponsor the bees, buy organic and lick my plate in gratitude for what I reap.
Time warps. Same soil, same sun, same water
even over/under asphalt
manna nourishes us all.


Napowrimo day 21: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech.

Sit while i paint a scene of me sat here, for you
Coffee conversations around me. i can’t understand a word.
The sounds created astound me; Croatian as a foreign language, like the Adriatic,
a sea that surrounds me, in this café, by the beach.
It’s music, then, salty sweet. Let me sing you one.
i can’t mistake the man. He puts his arms around her
peels back her hair, presses his lips to her neck.
Thus nuzzled, she melts into him, unashamedly
forgets everyone else.
The music changes. Loudspeakers screech. He speaks. They separate.
And i eavesdrop, unashamedly.
Like a photographer, for you
Wind sings through the olive branches and Aleppo pines
and i listen to those conversations as well.
i’m penciled in.

Bocvice beach café, Split, Croatia. 16h30, April 21

Gabber the Flowers

Napowrimo day 18: I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates neologisms. What’s that? Well, it’s a made-up word! Your neologisms could be portmanteaus (basically, a word made from combining two existing words, like “motel” coming from “motor” and “hotel”) or they could be words invented entirely for their sound.

Wound around sound of
sneezles puzzle quinkibells
labyrinth petal spring sing song long
strung downside up cup spiral viral spider
pollen columns yellow now she sells stems
drop the snows
see the days
quill the jons
dill the daffs
bleed the hearts
lack the lies
suckle the honeys
breath the babies
lion the dandys
fox the gloves
wood the dogs
rose the prims
cockle the shells of summer murmurs
pick a peck of Spring things sung.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

NaPoWriMo day 17: Today, I challenge you to write a nocturne. In music, a nocturne is a composition meant to be played at night, usually for piano, and with a tender and melancholy sort of sound. Your nocturne should aim to translate this sensibility into poetic form!

Stratus approaches, blankets the city, muffles

the streets; the mists slips down long, lounges along the river, lifts

settles for silence; breathe and sip silver

weightless words in the dark; felt so sibilant soft

lilts like a lover’s whispers, near and close, like a gossamer coat

“I’m here, “ sings quiet nocturne. “Let us lie together, undressed

in a chorus of night caress ‘til the blesséd turn of dawn

yawns upon us”



Monsieur Gaston

Napowrimo day 11: the Bop. The invention of poet Afaa Michael Weaver, the Bop is a kind of combination sonnet + song. Like a Shakespearan sonnet, it introduces, discusses, and then solves (or fails to solve) a problem. Like a song, it relies on refrains and repetition. In the basic Bop poem, a six-line stanza introduces the problem, and is followed by a one-line refrain. The next, eight-line stanza discusses and develops the problem, and is again followed by the one-line refrain. Then, another six-line stanza resolves or concludes the problem, and is again followed by the refrain.

In his seventieth year he starts
coming later to the dinner table
keeping other diners waiting
orchestrating agitation;
an undercurrent of unhappy mutters

Monsieur, who appears. To be a gentleman indeed

For years he was most scintillating
Impeccable in wit and timing
Polite, respectful, oh so charming
Punctual disposition; facilitating
Conversation, so stimulating
Diners scrabbled for an invitation
To be assembled at this location
For such dignified articulation

Monsieur, who appears. To be a gentleman indeed.

Gentle corrosion of his facilities
Diners blessed with lesser genialities
It must be stated, the food is rated
As high gastronomy; richly plated
But as hours pass in burps and barks
Punctually, he starts to fart .  .  .

Monsieur, who appears to be a gentleman. Indeed!!