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

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.
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


© 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 
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
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.