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Monday, November 26, 2012

A Broken Dreamcatcher

Doll by Emma Whitlock


Her dreamcatcher failed
And a nightmare slipped through,
One that ensnared her heart and soul,
Leaving her chasing the impossible
Until flesh was cleaved from bone,
The skeletal remains of her broken heart
Dangling in the breeze.

~~~ This poem was written for a photo prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.

Man in the Moon

Moon by Petr Kratochvil


I saw your face last night, 
Hiding in the shadows of the moon, 
Watching over me 
From the far off reaches 
Of the past, 
A secret presence offering 
Faint comfort to a wistful heart, 
And I can’t help but wonder 
If you've ever seen my face
Hiding in the shadows of the moon…


~~~ This poem was written for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 7 prompt, asking us to write a circular poem.

Life of Pi

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Life is a circle, 
The wheel of fortune
Spinning on and on,
Moving me 
A little further
Down my path.
I've spent years
Trying to measure
The distance across it,
Trying to see
Just how wide
I open I need to be
To wrap myself around it,
Finally realizing
The key to this cipher
Is to know my own value…
3.1415926535


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Poetry Jam that asked us to take the title of a book on one of the New York Times best sellers lists and write a poem for it.  The book I chose was “The Life of Pi” by Yann Martel, which is #3 on the Paperback Trade Fiction list this week. This was also for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge day 19 prompt of writing a wheel poem.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Freak Show

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Ladies and gentlemen,
Boys and girls,
Children of all ages…
I invite you to step inside the Halls of Idiosyncrasy
To witness to this spectacle of the bizarre,
Deformities on public display for all to see.

First, witness the contortionist.
Watch as she manipulates
Her limbs into unnatural poses,
Far beyond the limitations
Normally required of human beings,
Shaping herself to the whims of those around her.

Here we see the sword swallower,
Ingesting every blade handed to her,
All those cutting words of sharpened steel,
Risking evisceration with every mouthful,
Her bleeding scars unseen by the outside world.

Next comes the bearded lady,
Genetics and hormones
Transforming this once-beautiful woman
Into a hirsute horror
Seeking to hide her shame
Behind scarves and veils.

Behold the snake charmer,
Whispering just the right words
To calm the wrath of the serpents
Who slither through deception
Then coil in defensive postures,
Ready to strike at any moment.

Finally we have the fire eater,
Consuming blazing words
That should never be left silent,
Determination scorched
In hopes of avoiding annihilation.

And what sets these oddities apart,
You may ask?

This display consists of only one performer…
Me.

Welcome to the freak show I call my life.


~~~ This was written for my prompt this week over at Poetry Jam about the circus.  This is also for the prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us as poets to “break the fourth wall” of writing.

Soundtrack

© Kenia Cris


the soundtrack of my life
has switched keys,
transforming into
series of preludes
played through
old tinny speakers,
gentle waves of sound
that give no clue
to the insidious motives
of the band,
yet still I dance on...


~~~~ This poem was written for the Weekend Challenge at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, giving us a choice of a form prompt or a photo prompt.  I chose a photograph by Kenia Cris, whose work can be found at her blog Poesia Torta.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Life as a Tree

Among the Tree by Jan Prikryl

Sinking roots into sacred ground,
My branches reaching toward the sky,
My duty I cannot defy.
I keep my watch without a sound.

The busy world goes rushing by
And never sees my leafy green.
Oblivious to nature’s scene,
They never stop to ponder why.

Through nature’s furies, I've survived,
The crashing lightning, raging fires,
But still, no matter what transpires
I’ll reemerge, refreshed, revived,

For nature always finds a way
To thrive against all likelihood.
I’ll make my stand in gnarled wood
And live to see a brighter day.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write about the temperate forest.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Season of Grief


Tree Silhouette by Peter Griffin


Her heart lies
Wounded and withering
From near fatal
Blows of mourning,
Languishing in darkness
For too many years,
Too many tears.
All seasons pass
With the turning
Of the calendar page,
But time crawls more slowly
With every loss,
Her hope dormant and waiting
For the next season to begin.

~~~ This was written for the Poetry Jam prompt of “endless seasons” or "change of season."

Friday, November 9, 2012

A Message from the Owner

Snow on Trees by David Wagner


I know you know I own this wood,
And yes, the view is awfully good
When snowflakes fall on wintry nights
On land where birches long have stood.

If you had only looked, you'd find
A wooden “No Trespassing” sign,
Hung in plain sight upon the fence
That serves as my dividing line.

From this day forth I would prefer
To keep my privacy secure,
So find another road to take,
But first, clean up your horse manure!


~~~  Written for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 8 prompt, asking us to pick a poem by a dead poet and write a response.  I chose to write to Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening," tongue very firmly in cheek of course.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Write, Not Right

Journal by Junior Libby

For more than a decade 
Pundits have spoken 
Of the great right wing conspiracy, 
Those evil capitalists 
Lurking in the shadows 
Seeking to seize power 
Regardless of the cost, 
Heartless bastards
Fueled by greed,
Willing to sacrifice
Anyone weaker
To better shape the world 
According to their insidious schemes. 

I speak of a different quest, 
My write wing conspiracy:
A mission to illustrate my vision 
Of triumph and disappointment 
Both at a personal level 
And also on a grander scale.  
Words hold power, 
And one poem at a time 
Every poet possesses
The power
To change the world.


~~~ This poem was inspired by the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 6 prompt, asking us to pen either a left poem or a right poem.



Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Three Minute Wait

Image from Wikimedia Commons


Three minutes can become an agonizing eternity 
Alone in the bathroom at 4 A.M.  
I hold that white plastic stick like a talisman, 
Praying that the tiny spark of hope 
That always resurfaces at times like this 
Would not be extinguished once again
With tears of disappointment. 
After years of dealing with a malfunctioning body 
Flooded with deceitful hormones, 
I understood that crushing emotion all too well. 
I’m afraid to breathe, 
Fighting back another wave of nausea, 
Wondering if this could just be anxiety,
Maybe a touch of the flu, 
Or perhaps something more…
My hands shake as the timer rings 
And I glance down at the indicator, 
Terrified of what I'll find.  
In that moment, 
Two pink lines showed me 
That miracles can happen, 
Even to someone like me.


~~~ This poem was written for the latest prompt from Poetic Bloomings in their poetic memoir series, asking us to write about a moment that changed our lives.  The moment that I found out I was pregnant with my daughter Emily certainly qualifies.

I was diagnosed several years with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS.)  PCOS is a hormone disorder that affects an estimated 6-10% of all women.  Besides causing infertility in women, PCOS can also cause other symptoms including high blood pressure, insulin resistance leading to diabetes,  abnormal hair growth patterns, and obesity.  PCOS is treatable with medications, diet, and exercise, but there is no cure.  You can find more information about PCOS here.
Emmy at 2 months
Emmy age 11
  



On Election Results, 2012

The Gadsden Flag.  Image from Wikimedia Commons


When political charlatans
Divide and deceive the voters,
We all lose.


~~~ This poem was written both for the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads prompt of telling who won the election in 20 words or less and the Poetic Bloomings form prompt of writing a lune.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Path to Peace

Peace by Sabine Sauermaul

Our human hearts long for peace
Yet too many cower in the face of danger,
Afraid to stand together
With the courageous conviction needed
To make peace a viable possibility.

Peace comes from strength.
The bullies and tyrants of the world 
Have no power if they have no prey;
They feed on the weakness and fear 
Of those who would acquiesce rather than fight.  
The path to peace cannot be found
In a tempest of politically correct pacifism 
That only serves to sacrifice our beliefs 
At the altar of the politically correct. 
Peace is truly the ultimate goal, 
A laudable aspiration
For any freedom-loving people,
One that we must be willing to
Work for,
Fight for,
And, if necessary,
Die for.


~~~~  This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write about peace.

Just Beneath Her Surface

Girl Behind the Mask by Junior Libby

Just beneath her surface
Discontent simmers,
The secret sorrow
That fuels hidden tears
For her sacrificed dreams,
All hidden
By her delusive smile.


~~~~ This was written for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 4 prompt, which directed us to make the title of our poem “Just Beneath (blank.)”


Never Alone

Monster by Francisco Farias Jr.

In this realm
Of unnatural darkness,
Caution is demanded.
I know I am not alone.
I hear footsteps,
Perhaps a spectral silhouette
Wandering
In search of retribution
For the sins of the past,
Unseen voices
Swirling around me
In guttural whispers,
The frigid breath
Of undetected demons
Chilling my bones.
I see eyes glowing
In the pitch black,
Always watching me,
A solitary soul
Caught in evil’s sight.


~~~ This poem was written for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 3 prompt of “Write a poem that scares you.”

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Choice



The opportunity has always been there,
Tantalizingly close to my fingertips. 
The time has come 
To climb the ladder  
And grasp my guiding star.
I have the ability to choose my direction,
To make a course correction if necessary, 
And I choose to move on.

I will never be content 
To live in the shadows of life. 
I want my opportunity to blossom, 
To stand in the sun and have my day, 
To seek the applause 
I so desperately want to hear,
If only for just one moment.  
I am tired of suffering in silence. 
Let me sing once again with the breaking morn.  
I cannot continue the way things have been.  
I know that staying the course 
Is a sure path to suicide 
And I will not surrender anymore.
I will not cede my power 
To some bullying tyrant 
Holding me hostage in my own life.

This is my life.
This is my choice.

I choose me.



~~~ This poem was written in response to a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to write about choices.

Walking with Ghosts

Haunted Graveyard 1 by Junior Libby


I walk with ghosts,
The last traces of those who came before.
They float past me like forsaken servants
Of diminished usefulness,
Watching my dreams and aspirations
Dance in the fire.
I plead to Mother Earth
To hear my cries and release me
From the chains in my life.
I see the power in the flames,
The same power that lies
Dormant in myself,
Awaiting permission
To manifest into my world.
These ghosts guide me
Through spectral whispers,
Teaching me that life and death
Are much the same;
The only difference lies
In the ability of others
To see where our walk is leading.


~~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write a ghost poem that incorporated a line from another poem about ghosts.  I chose a line from Anne Sexton’s “Ghosts.”

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Rogue Gods of Domestic Chaos

Socks by Peter Griffin


They send forth their minions
Who invade under the cover of the spin cycle,
Stealing socks and spiriting them away
Into the nether regions of the laundry,
Transforming cotton-woolen blends
Into wire coat hangers,
Those distorted instruments bent
On staging a clothing coup
And seizing control of our closets,
Leaving a path of disarray
Through our carefully constructed household bliss.

And that’s why you don't have any matched socks, dear.


~~~~ This poem was written for the Poetic Asides Poem a Day Chapbook Challenge Day 1 prompt of writing a matches poem.

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Helpful Hint

Photo from Google Images


For those young men seeking romance,
Good looks don't just happen by chance.
If you want to impress,
I cannot overstress:
Remember to pull up your damned pants!


~~~ This was written for the prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write about our pet peeve.  I can’t even begin to tell you how crazy sagging pants make me!  I’m also linking this up for Open Link Monday over at IGWRT since I’m just a wee bit late with this offering.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shrapnel to the Heart

Cosma by sabine Sauermaul


my heart transformed,
now a magnet for his shrapnel, 
love, an unavoidable vortex, 
a dislocating kiss 
in the thundering wilds. 
I hang my emotions 
on the clothesline
to dry my wrenched tears,
fevered delirium 
embedded in each fiber, 
a mournful marathon 
through an auburn Tuesday night. 
he rendered me helpless, 
a phantom vapor 
chasing her siren, 
holding his howls 
close as remedy
before planting myself 
in a sheltered corner. 
a melancholy wind blows, 
swaying my grasses,  
erotic scents floating 
with stray powders 
from fairy wands.  
I float on his tides, 
a helpless captive 
to his churning waters,
the ebb and flow of his world 
determining the shape of mine. 


~~~  This poem was written for the prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to draw inspiration from the words of a fellow poet and to write a surrealistic poem.  My inspiration came from the line “…sheltered in the corner of your shrapnel heart” from the poem “Box Shaped Heart” by Hannah Gosselin. I’m also linking this up for this week’s prompt over at Poetry Jam and the OctPoWriMo Day 25 prompt, which both asked us to write about love.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Driven to Perform


NASCAR by Todd Ellis
photo courtesy of publicdomainpictures.net

It’s a muggy summer morning
And the fans have filled the stands,
Anticipation building 
As they await the start command.

Would-be heroes of the asphalt
Are now strapping in their cars,
To fire up those engines
And go racing toward the stars.

The drivers are all focused
On the massive task ahead,
Except for one, whose thoughts trail off
To his post-race plans instead.

The freedom that he finds in speed
Sure makes his soul take flight,
But he finds the same wild feeling
On the stage at karaoke night.

He channels thundering metal
On the track and at the shop,
But when he’s got the microphone
It’s strictly girly pop.

Mariah, Whitney, Katy,
Man, that boy can sing it all;
In a smoky bar or Victory Lane
You’ll find him standing tall. 

We know the boy’s got talent,
He can drive like Dale or Jimmie,
But he loves to belt out Winehouse 
With an extra shake and shimmy.

So when the green flag flies
He drops the pedal to the floor.
The end of that first lap
Will find them racing door-to-door.

Lap by lap the miles race by
At a frenetic pace.
He drives his crew chief crazy
While he’s humming “Poker Face.”

By the time the race is over
And he sees the checkers fly,
He’s energized to go and chase
His karaoke high.

It’s just two sides of the same coin,
You can’t tear his worlds apart,
‘Cause he’s got motor oil in his blood
And music in his heart.

~~~ This poem was written for a personal challenge from over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking me to write a poem combining car racing and karaoke.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Shadows Dance

Photo by Mary Mansfield
Yard Haunt, 2012


At twilight, when the shadows dance,
The brave of heart can take a chance
Against the specters of the night
Who wander free in manic flight,

Unhindered by our mortal glance.
At twilight, when the shadows dance,
The witches brew their magic potion,
Strengthening their dark devotion.

The air is filled with howls and screams,
The kind found in demented dreams
At twilight. When the shadows dance
And sway across the dim expanse,

A demon risen from its tomb
Will lure us toward impending doom,
Ensnaring us in fear’s grim trance
At twilight, when the shadows dance.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to write a poem about shadows.

** Note:  Oops!  I had originally labelled this as a kyrielle when in fact it is a quatern.  Fixed the labeling!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bleak Harvest

Photo by Mary Mansfield


Under the harvest moon
My fields lay barren,
A growing season lost
In the drifting confusion of my life.
The reapers stand silent
As I ponder a long winter
With nothing to fill my larder
And carry me through to the spring.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asking us to think about the “mechanical harvest.”

The Pain of Chores

Photo by Mary Mansfield


Chores are a pain.
Those words
Must have passed
My lips
A thousand times
As a child.
Dishes,
Laundry,
Vacuuming…
Who wanted
To waste time
Trapped in the house
When fun and friends
Beckoned from 
The yard,
The park,
The streets 
Of the neighborhood?

Those years
Have long gone,
And today
Chores are truly a pain,
Ten minutes 
Of vacuuming
Enough to unleash
A raging monster
Coiling around 
My spine,
Sending me writhing
Searching for ice packs,
Heating pads,
And painkillers;
Folding laundry
With numb fingers
Little more
Than origami torture
In a washable
Cotton-poly blend.
I’d trade a million 
Spaghetti-crusted pans
For just one day
When the pain of chores
Was not so literal.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Poetic Bloomings asking for poems about chores, the latest in its poetic memoir series.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Remembrances

© Margaret Bednar

Remembrances of gentle smiles
Give little reprieve to my pain,
Relentless tears that fall in vain,
No pardon from these grief-filled trials.

Sufficient reasons can't be found
To justify an early death,
A mournful heart that has no breath,
Filled with regrets, in sorrow drowned.

I’m drifting, lost, and so alone.
Stuck on a path of many ways
But none that lead to brighter days,
My anguish marked by chiseled stone.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to try out the In Memoriam Stanza, a variation on the envelope stanza.  The photograph was part of this prompt as well.  You can find Margaret Bednar's photos and poetry over at her blog Art Happens 365.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Spilling the Beans

Photograph by Mary Mansfield


In November each year, family from far and near
Would travel in their cars, vans, and trucks,
From all across the nation for Thanksgiving vacation,
A festive celebration deluxe.

Back around ‘82, if my memory holds true,
Aunt Rose was to keep us all fed,
So she chose a meal with widespread appeal,
A batch of brown beans with cornbread.

It’s quite the trick to survive cooking for twenty-five,
And Aunt Rose was well up to the mission.
With a quite happy look, Aunt Rose set out to cook
A warm pot of  some down-home nutrition.

So into the pot went the beans that she bought,
But things didn’t quite look like her plan.
“That just won’t be enough,” so she proceeded to stuff
Four more pounds of brown beans in the pan.

Now the beans that she bought to put into that pot
Were beans that had never been soaked,
And as most cooks should know, unsoaked beans tend to grow,
So Aunt Rose stirred, waited, and hoped.

To Aunt Rose’s surprise, right before her shocked eyes
Those brown beans began to swell up.
Her panic was showing as those beans just kept growing,
Filling up all her bowls, pans, and cups.

She borrowed containers from all of her neighbors,
Seeking any support she could find
To stem the great surge that began to emerge,
A crisis of the culinary kind.

Aunt Rose needed the means to dispose of those beans,
And the family clan seemed heaven-sent;
Feeding our brood took a whole lot of food
So straight into Bean-land we went.

We ate beans in the morning; even with forewarning
The pairing still came a shock.
Lord knows we weren’t ready for beans with spaghetti.
We ate those brown beans ‘round the clock.

Beans on buttered toast, beans served with pot roast,
Beans every which way we could fashion.
Bean salad and mash, bean burritos and hash,
Just the sight of more beans left us ashen.

Now the point of this tale is not to regale
Of the need for attentive bean soaking,
But to honor Aunt Rose despite her cooking woes,
And to make up for the thirty years of joking.


~~~ This poem is based on a real bean disaster suffered by my own Aunt Rose, a story that has become the stuff of family legends.  I began this poem during the Poetic Bloomings prompt asking us to write about our favorite food, but it fit so well with this week’s prompt from Poetic Bloomings wanting stories from family vacation.  The form is a Triquatrain; you can fine more information about that particular form here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bedtime Story

Dark Rose by Petr Kratochvil


She clutches her pillow as a charm
Against the unbearable stillness.
Night should bring
The mending serenity of sleep,
Not fevered paranoia
Wrought by brittle nerves
Crusted with the scars of the past.
A midnight breeze
Rustles the willow branches
Outside her window,
A sound more like the scratching
Of unsheathed claws
Waiting to pierce tender flesh.
She measures each breath carefully
With a silent prayer on her lips,
The lurking unseen demons
Waiting to explode into her room
Much less scary than
The monster sleeping next to her.


~~~~  This poem was written for my prompt this week over at Poetry Jam asking us to write about monsters.  This was partially inspired by the Day 9 OctPoWriMo prompt about sounds/noises.  I also used this week’s words from The Sunday Whirl.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A Rainy Remembrance

Sad Man and Rain by Jiri Hodan


He looks out
In the rainy morning light
And breathes her name,
Turning mist into memory
On his window pane.
He traces the shape of a heart,
So reminiscent of the curve
His fingers followed on her cheek.
He never understood
Her obsession with the rain
And its ability to mask sorrow;
Today he understands far too well.


~~~  This was written for the OctPoWriMo Day 6 prompt of “Remember.”

Chasing the Lighthouse

© Jaime Clark


I’m caught in a cerebral fog, 
An aimless drifter on stormy seas
With no map to guide my way, 
Trying to find meaning 
In this mental void, 
Wishing for 
An inspirational lighthouse
To set my thoughts 
Back on course.
I feel the void 
Echoing its lonely song 
Through my world, 
An aching that mirrors my every move.  
I’m lost in transience, 
A floating wisp of ether 
That never materializes 
Into something substantial.


~~~~ This was written for a photo prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.  This also was written for the OctPoWriMo Day 4 prompt of “Inspiration and/or Rules.”  (Yeah, playing a little catch up on the prompts!)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Junkie Poetics

Salvia by Ben Kokolas


poetry burns in my blood,
strengthening me
as I forge meaning 
from words and lines,
a luscious roll
through syntax 
and 
connotation,
an addiction I can never
walk away from
having surrendered fully
to the insanity;
but let those words 
linger unsaid in my mind 
and I shake 
in uncontrolled withdrawal,
a fraud revealed 
for all to see,
a trespasser 
into the world 
of the artist,
a shell of a writer
frantically counting
syllables on my fingers
while
muttering incoherently
of iambic pentameter,
begging for 
just one more verse,
one more fix.


~~~  This poem was written in response to a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to write about a love/hate relationship.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Tarot Stories

Candles and Cards by Katrina Joyner


In the Celtic Cross 
Each position is noteworthy, 
A glimpse into our fluid fates. 

The Tarot speak to me, 
Telling me the stories 
Hidden from others, 
Helping to light the path 
Of our own fool’s journey 
Through the world.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, asking us to delve into the magical realm.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fashionable Torture

File:Stilettoheels.jpg  from Wikimedia Commons


Cinderella was a masochist,
With feet trapped in unforgiving glass
Merely to curry favor with a prince.
The lesson remains unlearned,
We teeter about in stiletto heels,
Suffering the origami-like
Folding of flesh and bone
Just to satisfy the gods of fashion,
Our anguished steps inducing pain
In bodies shifted out of alignment,
Sadistic devices that would make
The Inquisitors of old envious.

What would they say to know
That five hundred years later
Half the populace
Volunteers for torture?


~~~~  This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write about fashion.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Need for Speed

The Winner by Todd Ellis


my heart races 
as the engines roar
raging metal beasts 
accelerating into turn one, 
then out of turn two
hurtling down the backstretch 
in a blur of paint and chrome
balancing on the edge of catastrophe
racing into turn three
separated by mere inches
at the exit of turn four
diving to the inside lane 
completing the pass 
right at the start-finish line
only three hundred more laps 
of adrenaline-fueled chaos 
chasing victory and immortality


~~~ This was written for a prompt from Poetic Bloomings asking us to write about our passion/guilty pleasure.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

resistance

Good Punk by Sabine Sauermaul


resist the poisons 
pumped 
into our weakened bodies,
man-made plagues 
set loose 
upon an unsuspecting world

resist the lies 
injected 
into our minds 
by manipulators  
seeking more sheep 
to cower 
at the feet 
of their masters

resist the misdirection 
of the magicians of power
with so much to hide,  
subterfuge 
their only armor 
against the truth

resist the invasion 
of the eyes and ears 
of the betrayers; 
gird your houses 
in silence,
for the time of battle 
approaches

there is no other option
we must resist 


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt over at Poetry Jam, asking us to examine ars poetica, didactic, and subversive poetry.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Polished

image by Jiri Hodan


Time adds shine 
To our memories, 
Enhancing 
The colors,
Softening the hard edges, 
Editing our pain.


~~~ This poem is linked up over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads for Open Link Monday.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Sunday Drive

© Margaret Bednar


Every Sunday finds her
Driving along County Road 6,
A dozen roses in the passenger seat,
Making her way to a simple stone marker
Under the swaying pines.

Some days she talks of the kids,
Her job, his mother,
Other times she sits in silence,
But each visit ends the same way,
With burgundy lips on his granite inscription
And a whispered, “I’ll always love you.”


~~~  This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, giving us the option of either writing a form poem (sevenling) or using a photo from the prompt for our inspiration.  The picture I chose was from Margaret Bednar, you can find her poetry and photography at her blog Art Happens 365.


Saturday, September 22, 2012

Guest Post - Adventures in Reading

My daughter Emmy
 This poem was written by my 11 year old daughter Emmy today...not for any homework assignment but just for fun.  She has graciously agreed to let me share it with everyone here.

Love of Books by Jiri Hodan

I can sail the seas with James
All on a giant peach.
I can ride the train with Harry
To find the magic within my reach.

I can solve a mystery with Sherlock
Or maybe Nancy Drew.
I can eat green eggs and ham with Sam,
Help Horton hear a who.

I can go coon hunting
With Old Dan and Little Ann.
I can go through the looking glass with Alice
Into a wonderland.

I can go to Oz with Dorothy
And get the Wicked Witch’s broom.
All of these adventures in reading
Done from the comfort of my room.

In the Spirit of Landai

By Davric (Collection personnelle (personal collection)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads this week we were introduced to the poetic form landai, a two line form of poetry written by the women of Afghanistan.  You can follow the link to learn more about this form. Here are a few of my attempts to write landai.

He wraps his sins in the cloak of tradition
But her blood still seeps through.

Her wings damaged struggling against iron bars,
She still dreams of escaping into the saffron skies.

The scars of war scorch the earth;
Tears of the hopeful will bring healing.

Even with the stones of oppression threatening destruction,
The fiery spirit of the poet will survive.

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Worst Thing

Dramatic Sky by Vera Kratochvil


The worst thing
Was not the fire,
The weeks in the hospital,
Or the scars left behind.
The worst thing
Was not the secret
I was forced to keep,
The time spent without
The most basic necessities,
Or the bullying taunts
About out of date clothes
That reeked of kerosene.
The worst thing
Was not the betrayal of trust,
The bruises on body and soul,
The pain twisting through my life,
Or the loss of my independence.

The worst thing that ever happened to me…
I stopped believing in myself.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Poetic Asides asking us to write about the worst thing that ever happened to us.

Up to Bat

Ball Field by Peter Griffin


No designated hitter 
when life pitches 
a curve, 
a slider, 
the occasional screwball;
the best tactic
is to knock the dust 
from your shoes, 
adjust your grip, 
and swing for the fences.


~~~ This poem was written in response to a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads about fences.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Fingers of Death

Dead Rose by Jiri Hodan


Death first brushed
His bony fingers
Through my world
When I was a child,
Leaving a vague sense of sadness
In a girl too young
to comprehend such finality.
As I grew older,
Those bony fingers
Touched my life again,
My grief intermingling
With teenage angst.
These days the fingers of death
Have me firmly in their grasp,
Plucking away loved ones
With unrelenting impunity,
An insidious caress
That continues to tighten
And one day will reduce me
To little more than dust.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Poetic Bloomings for their poetic memoir series, this time asking us to write about the our first experience with death.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wishes in Waiting

Close Up of Dandelion by Sharee Basinger


A thousand wishes 
Dance on the head 
Of a dandelion, 
Waiting for some dreamer
To breathe them into life.


~~~This poem was written for a prompt over at Poetry Jam asking us to examine an object in detail.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Rebel Heart


Photograph by Don P. Northup


Her untamed her rebel heart
Still beats with the rhythms
of Souixsie and the Banshees,
the Sex Pistols,
the Clash,
her blood churning
with anarchy
as she runs the halls,
scissors in hand,
writing codes
on the wall
in invisible ink,
knowing those
who have given in
to conformity
will never understand.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to write about a rebellious female.

Bottlenecked Inspiration

Pen by Anna Langova


some days the hardest part
of writing is forcing
ideas fermenting
in my brain
past the
bottle-
neck
of 
un-
certainty
into my pen
and onto my paper
to share with the world.


~~~ This poem was written for a prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to use the word “bottleneck.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

September Blue

A Blue Sky by Jiri Hodan


There’s nothing like 
A September blue sky, 
Crisp air magnifying brilliance,
A hue more artist’s brush than nature‘s hand.  

Jet trails weave their way 
Through the September blue,
Ferrying travelers 
To places far removed 
From my prairie home, 
The distant sound of engines humming
In the background of my life.  

On a day like this, 
My mind can’t help 
But take a journey of its own, 
Back to that tragic Tuesday 
When the jet trails disappeared, 
A September blue so deep 
It seemed a mournful world 
Had a direct line to the heavens 
To make anguished grief heard. 
The panic, the anger, the fear, 
The uncertainty of the day 
Cast a cloud in my heart
Until a familiar noise arose,  
The drone of jet engines 
Echoing across the land, 
Air Force One 
Escorted by a squadron of steel angels 
Winging their way eastward, 
A trail of hope floating 
Through the September blue 
Reminding us that 
United we stand,
United we rebuild, 
United we survive.

~~~ This poem was written for my prompt over at Poetry Jam this week asking to capture a moment in time.  Seeing Air Force One fly overhead on its way back to Washington, D.C. after the terrorist attacks of September 11 was one moment I know will live in my mind forever.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A First Love Challenge

Writing by Elisa XYZ
photo from publicdomainpictures.net


Writing a poem about you,
More than twenty years removed,
Is not that hard to do.

Icy blue eyes,
Lanky frame,
Strong hands
That could not resist
My curves,
Indelible marks
In my memory.
My taste for
Biker-cowboy-badass swagger
Was first found at your lips.
Even now
I lose myself in you
When Jeff Healey plays
In a random radio moment.
The faintest wisp
Of your cologne
Makes my heart race,
My eyes desperately searching,
Only to find unknown faces
That aren’t yours.
Every emotion
From hope to heartache
Is forever tinged
With your essence,
An echoing undercurrent
That shades my entire world.

Writing a poem about you…
That’s the easy part.
The real challenge
Is writing a poem that isn’t.


~~~ This poem was written for the poetic memoir series of prompts from Poetic Bloomings.  This week we were asked to think about the first time we fell in love.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Map of Memory

Photograph © Margaret Bednar


I ricochet 
Across invisible maps,
Flooded by recollections
Of the curvaceous,
The dangerous,
The warped.
The laces of memory
Spin past me,
Yarns of every color
That call my name
From the bins of the past,
Ensnaring me
In melancholy threads,
Luring me into alcoves
That shimmer
With the uneasy remnants
Of yesterday.


~~~ This was written for a photo prompt from Imaginary Garden with Real Toads featuring the photography of Margaret Bednar.  You can find more of Margaret’s amazing work at her blog Art Happens 365.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Drought Stricken

A Sunburnt and Thirsty Plant by Sharon Apted
image from publicdomainpictures.net


Hell descended upon the prairie, bringing with it caustic heat that destroyed crops and ignited tempers.  The earth cracked as all life-giving moisture vanished.  The natives prayed for relief but their dances around sacred fires only brought sweaty frustration.  Finally, one blessed day, the heavens opened and poured out renewing rains, restoring plants, people, and faith.

Drops of revival
After an extended drought
Can soothe a parched soul.


~~~  This poem was written for the haibun challenge at Poetic Asides.  You can find more information on the hiabun form here.