Category Archives: Response Poem

What is your favorite type of weather?

My favourite type of what?

My favourite type of feather?? Eh??

Sorry, could you speak up, the wind is howling and my hair is blowing around my face, air getting caught up in my clothes, in my breath, tickling my legs, getting under my wings. I could almost take off. Don’t you just love that?


not a haiku


i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

I love ( it )  to the depth and

breadth and height

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning, how do I love thee)


not thick brown rice and rice pilau

or mushrooms creamed on toast (!)

(Maya Angelou, the health food diner )


one thousand long slimy crocodile tongues

boiled up in the skull of a dead witch for 

20 days and nights with the eyeballs of a lizard

(Roald Dahl, james and the giant peach)


oxtails languish on an earthen dish. Here are

wishbones and pinkies; fingerbowls will absolve


( Carol Anne Duffy, a healthy meal )


i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

downhill i came, hungry, and yet not


( Edward Thomas, the owl )

i follow the aroma that rose from the kitchen

( Ravinder Kumar Soni, food for death )

ate and ate my fill

yet my mouth waters still

(Christina Rossetti, goblin market )

when i think of all the lollies i licked

and the sherbet dabs i picked

( Pam Ayres, oh, i wish i’d looked after my teeth )

the slime of all my yesterday’s 

rots in the hollow of my skull

and if my stomach would contact

(Sylvia Plath, April 18 )

asked me for a kiss

( Langston Hughes, suicides note )

to perfume the sleep of the dead   ( ….  )

( Sarojini Naidu, in the bazaars of Hyderabad )




what am I to do with this invasion, 

contamination of my pretty (?)

( Marion McCready, two daffodils lying on a window ledge )

spread it on bread

spread it on thick

wash it all down with a cold cup of sick (?)

( source unknown , remembered from school )

never – in Extremity,

it asked a crumb – of me

(Emily Dickinson, hope is the thing with feathers )


i’ll make my point – enough’s enough

( Carol Ann Duffy, boys 3, stanley )

 i repent,

(btw )

to the depth and

breadth and height 

i lament,


jam, and jelly; and bread;

are the best of food for me!

( Edward Lear, the quangle wangle’s hat )


not a haiku


Napowrimo Day 30

the final prompt

write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

Swear to god, it’s good

napowrimo day 28


What is the point of this pointy strifey life, eh?

What if is isn’t, eh?

Isn’t what?

Pointy or pointless?

I’m lost, hen!

What if is ain’t pointy, anointy, but swervy and curvy, chick?

Would you think that is cute, brutus?

What is cute, anyway?

Wait! What do you want?

Can we be just us? Be ourselves and yell when we want? Or must we be most oft quiet?

Should I wait?

Will there be some semblance of answer?

How does one stop the dribblesome questions?

How many stops are enough before stop stops up, luv?

How many spots before spots become just one long spot?

Who are you, ducky? Have a thinky. Or not…..

Are you one or two? Or more? Are you polka-dotted or cockily confident?

Can you hear me from up there on your cloud? Should we speak louder?

Wait! Don’t



btw april 28 2021


no way this is haiku!



Our prompt today (optional, as always), is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The questions could be a mix of the serious (“What is the meaning of life?”) and humorous (“What’s the deal with cats knocking things off tables?”), the interruptive (“Could you repeat that?”) and the conversational (“Are those peanuts? Can I have some?”). You can choose to answer them – or just let the questions keep building up, creating a poem that asks the reader to come up with their own answer(s).

no photographic evidence

Napowrimo day 24


I’ve come back to check on a baby one, not long birthed. Just after dusk I’m lumbering down a muddy road in the rain, past rows of shackled sufferings, their hearts swaying quietly. I’m always amazed at their numbers. I was here five hours before, when the sun was high and hot scathing on the bent backs of the exposed sufferings. Some of them are able to shelter, but i hear them.

Walking now, I can barely see the path in the glow of my phone’s flashlight. When the wooden fence post stops me short, I point my light down and follow a current of rainwater across the concrete floor until it washes up against three of the largest of them. A fourth hovers above the surface, tethered tightly by a short chain and choked by a ring of metal spikes. When the suffering tires and puts her foot down, the spikes press deeper into her skin.

My second to latest suffering is four years and two months old, still a toddler as sufferings go. This one wears the spiked chain because she tends to kick. I keeps her on the spiked shackle only during the day and takes it off at night. But it’s night now.

I ask on this nighttime visit, why her chain is still on but there is no answer.

I check on the latest one I left here, make sure it’s still here.

I come at night, when no one can see I’m gone to the place where I left them all. I come during the day, when I can get away.


definitely not a haiku


Link to the original article. Elephants


Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.


napowrimo day 8


quagmire rises to release her/his words

up to no good

no bad – birds knife at the dirt to wake 

up the dead

inside her/his head

he/she’s never slept in the depth

night/morning yawning

from an 8-foot down-echo chamber 

chill whispers come up


            rain down 

                     steady as

                               steady as



remember me

the embers of me


you buried me

while i was alive

and once again

made sure i died



remember me


tongues of me

crawl into your bed

to unsettle your raw bride

6-inches into her/his skin

shrivel galaxies hidden

everywhere aware



remember me

can never be rid of me

foolish one/twos

stamp your shoes on me

spit your 7-curses on me

time again


dismember me

remember this

statutory lying-in begins

endless as sins

lying in waiting

there’s no escape 

remember me

remember me



April 8, 2021



And last but not least, our (optional) prompt. I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.