I think I understand the world and then the world

around me shifts, like I’m riding on a merry-go-round,

still in the same place I began, but the world

around me keeps on spinning and spinning,

the landscape ever changing until

I don’t know where I am

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in memo_iam: r, t, f, v, b, g

_he keys on my key­_oa_d ha_e decided _o die

i_’s _he _ , _, _, _, _, and _

see, you don’_ e_en know wha_ I mean

when _he le__e_s can’_ e_en _e seen

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Love like…


translates to a song

an endless song

spilling colors like a symphony,

like an ocean, wave after wave

rushing back to shore, again and again,

patterns repeating yet always forming different shapes

like birds in the sky, blissfully

recklessly, effortlessly,

on unconstrained wings

like your fingers are plunging into the stars

dancing, floating through the stars,

once upon a dream

NaPoWriMo – Day 30 Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems.

For this final prompt I used the poems written over these past 30 days for NaPoWriMo.

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fairies and fancy and fate

layers of life laid out in a verse

some feel like blessings, some feel like a curse

at least I can say I was born this way

and not subject to fairies and fancy and fate

it’s truly a gift to not have to wait

for a hope, for a wish, for a dream, for a kiss

NaPoWriMo – Day 29 Prompt – And here’s our prompt (optional, as always). In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.).

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were like a

bouquet. I placed

them in a vase and

watered them with hope

and tears, praying they

would never fade, but

the inevitable wilt still

came, the flowers

shriveled and left

my vase (my

heart) empty

NaPoWriMo – Day 28 Prompt – Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a concrete poem. Like acrostic poems, concrete poems are a favorite for grade-school writing assignments, so this may not be your first time at the concrete-poem rodeo. In brief, a concrete poem is one in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. For example, May Swenson’s poem “Women” mimics curves, reinforcing the poem’s references to motion, rocking horses, and even the shape of a woman’s body. George Starbuck’s “Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree” is – you guessed it – a sonnet in the shape of a potted Christmas tree. Your concrete poem could be complexly-shaped, but relatively simple strategies can also be “concrete” —  like a poem involving a staircase where the length of the lines grows or shrinks over time, like an ascending (or descending) set of stairs.

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temporary resting place

the song of wind chimes fills the air

is this home or just a temporary resting place?

place where I lay my head but not my heart

fighting for a space to belong in an ever-shifting world

world that shifts with the sands of time

each moment but a feather in the winds of change

change that is familiar and strange, cold and bittersweet

patterns repeating yet always forming different shapes

shapes the flavor of chocolate, gold, regret, and soul

restless hearts, restless feet, moving to a different rhythm

rhythm of the wind as it roams through the trees

leaving petals to cover the ground like discarded hope

hope for more than just a temporary resting place

the song of wind chimes fills the air

NaPoWriMo – Day 27 Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.

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she slumped in defeat, broken,

worn down, brought to her knees,

like a warrior who has fought a monster

and trapped it in a cage, knowing it won’t

be contained for very long, but having faced

the foe before knows how to train and prep for battle

until day by day the warrior grows stronger and is certain

the next conflict will lead to victory, but when the time comes

and the monster breaks free, it too is twice as strong, and the warrior

is just as weak as every time before, facing sure defeat, feet forced to retreat

in fear and desperation, disappointment and frustration, letting go of fleeting hope

NaPoWriMo – Day 26 Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s Paradise Lost). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.

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Lady of the Road

once upon a dream

there was a strange and moody queen,

the Lady of the Road

who required praise and odes,

to keep her mood sublime,

and everything was fine,

but now the road’s a mess,

someone didn’t pass the test,

they criticized, complained, forgot their role,

and subjected us all to these gapping potholes

NaPoWriMo – Day 25 Prompt – Today’s (optional) prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights, or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves. Whatever form your dream-visitor takes, happy writing!

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My brain is full of snarls and knots,

like earbud cords all tangled up,

I’m frazzled, dull, feel out of place,

like a blue whale launched into outer space,

I try to ignore it, but it wants to be heard,

like a doomsday preacher standing on the curb,

I close my eyes as if I could hide

in the dark from the monster lurking inside,

and that noise in the background, what is that sound?

like a timer is slowly counting down,

this migraine’s a bomb that I need to diffuse,

don’t confuse the wires, the reds and the blues,

or hope against hope it’ll just melt away,

like an ice cube in Pompeii on a volcanic day

NaPoWriMo – Day 24 Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.

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dinosaur evolution

they say that dinosaurs

evolved into birds

personally, I think

that’s quite absurd

I don’t think a T-Rex

would be concerned

with rising early

and finding a worm

or that it would be

content to feed

on fruits and nuts

and prepacked seed

and maybe I am

just getting it wrong

’cause I don’t think a roar

translates to a song

but maybe even predators

would give everything

for a chance to fly

on unconstrained wings

NaPoWriMo – Day 23 Prompt – Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

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