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


Good Punk by Sabine Sauermaul

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

resist the lies 
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,  
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 

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


image by Jiri Hodan

Time adds shine 
To our memories, 
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
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

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

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.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Number

Old Telephone Booth by Jiri Hodan
image from

As the dusk faded away 
And the moon rose high 
In the midsummer night, 
His thoughts wandered 
To the faded phone number 
Scrawled in pencil 
On the back of a recipe card, 
Buried with the essentials 
In his rucksack  
But never far from his mind, 
A ten digit link 
To the life he could have had, 
The one within his grasp 
Until anger built a fence 
They could never climb.  
He could call that number, 
Beg to be forgiven,  
But after all these years 
He knows that number 
Only connects 
To an empty phone booth, 
No operator assistance available 
To trace love’s last call.

~~~ This poem was written using words from the Sunday Whirl a few weeks ago…a little late to actually link the poem up over there but still like giving them a bit of credit, great little community of writers!  I will be sharing this one over at Poetic Asides for this week’s prompt of memory poems.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Totem Face by Julie Gentry
Image from

I claim pain as my totem, 
Cloaked in both ice and inferno,
As I accept and embrace the darkness 
On my path to redemption.

~~~  This was written for a prompt over at Imaginary Garden with Real Toads asking us to discuss a power image we use often in our poetry…oh, and to do so in 25 words or less!


I don’t remember much about that day,
Just broken movie clips haunting my mind,
The orange glow of the flames in the back seat,
My tumble out the door onto the pavement,
The two women with the kind eyes
Holding me on the tiled counter
Next to the sink pouring water
Over my charred skin.

But the scars, those have stayed with me.
As a child they were all I could see
Looking in my broken mirror,
The grotesque bubbling of my skin
From my chubby fingers
up my arm to my shoulder,
So sure that everyone else saw
The hideous beast lurking
In my mirror just as I did.

Scars, at least the visible kind,
Fade with the passing of time,
And today no one even notices
If they do not already know they are there.

It’s the invisible scars
From voluntary fires
That still persist.

~~~ This poem was written in response to a prompt from Poetry Jam asking us to think about a personal challenge we have faced.  I’m also linking this up over at Poetic Asides for the prompt about memory.

~~~ Note:  The image I used with this poem actually started out as one of my senior pictures, with much editing added.