NaPoWriMo on the Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Today, I’d like you to challenge you to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

#17 The truth about glass shoes by Amy Cornell

I know, fairy godmother calls them slippers,
as if that mitigates their heaviness
and the awfulness of being seen-through.

High heels meant for dancing that are clear and clean, so
everyone can see my bunions and my callouses.
All that soot! Fairy magic didn’t come with a bath.
Feet ain’t pretty and that’s a fact.

And whoever thought of glass as a material
for a shoe certainly wasn’t thinking very
pragmatically. That shit is going to
break and not at a convenient time either.

I’ll hear a subtle crack, and those little tiny
splinters of glass are going to embed right in
in my arch, in the tiny pads, in between
my toes. Damn. I hurt just imagining it.

Fairy godmother was thinking
I know, let’s make the feet sparkle, dazzle,
that will surely get their attention, but they
are heavy as fuck, pardon my language.

Weighing us down. She and I.
We were looking forward to running and breathing
and here we are, pinned to the ballroom floor.
They might as well be lead.

Legend will have it that they dance as if in the clouds.
Forgetting time and falling in love.
And I will wish it were true, that he won’t step
heavily on me during the waltz at midnight.

Then suddenly: the crack of glass, the midnight chime,
my cinder girls delicate “oh shit”,
and the chaos of the horses outside
turning back to mice.

There is a minute there, when she races up the stairs
and out of the ballroom, when she loses the slipper
and runs all lopsided back for home any way she
can make it, there is a minute there,
when I am the light. I am what carries her home.

I wish it weren’t so hard for her to understand
when the prince comes calling with that
damn broken shoe.

NaPoWriMo on the Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 16: Today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.

Day 16 In the House Where I Live by Shana Ritter

In the house where I live
the bedroom is full of light and years
and years of sleeping there, the room
holds the very dust of us.

In the house where I live
the piano isn’t played but arranged
along the keyboard cover and its top
years of family photos displayed.

In the house where I live the kitchen is blue
with yellow counter tops, blue and white
plates and old cups and saucers on the walls
always a pot or pan on the stove.

In the house where I live you come in
through the screened in porch facing
west and north, birds at the feeders
the pond just beyond.

I’ve lived here the longest of anywhere
claim the slope of the ground, the trees
that surround, the long driveway leading
up the hill, here where I’ve learned stillness
here, in the house where I live.

 

NaPoWriMo on the Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

#15  What a Girl can make in 30 seconds by Allison Distler
(inspired by our YWW girls)

I don’t care what kind of day you had at the doctors,
who didn’t get it right for the 100th time. I don’t care
that its’ tax day, or presidents’ day, or bring a pie
to work day, or how many uncalled for calls came today.
I just want to play a game, mash my hand against your skin,
pin my hair – paint my face (real or imaginary) a kitten or
a troll, send up a rainbow balloon with a letter
bowtied to its’ end, I wonder where it will go? Make believe
with me a subterranean homestead, a superhero hamster,
a ship made from sparkles, a dog who saves the earth with
wisdom…..this is not a mind-set. This is not a grown up go to place like church or a quiet sitting cushion in the corner
this is…a day when an easy bake creates a brownie
for the first time, a surprise toad leaps from beneath
a branch and lands on your back, when the tangled
brush behind the shed sprouts thousands of
tiger faced flowers and the night sounds like
laughing in the milk hazy clouds.
I don’t care what went wrong on the way to the BMV,
who zoomed sideways and honked on the way
home from work, or even that dinner burned up
in the kitchen. I made a brownie in my easy bake
oven and infinite chocolate milk out of mud and
a puddle. I’ve got us covered.

NaPoWriMo on The Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 14 Write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

Day 14 – Homophones by Tracy Zollinger Turner

Stormy whether
In the late knight ours
Doesn’t feel write in January
This tail of climate change
Steels my comfort
I worry about all that is dyeing

But when I here the April storms
There is no not in my stomach
I look forward two the cent
Of May flours
They heel
My sole

NaPoWriMo on The Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 13 Write a poem about something mysterious and spooky, about something that is mysterious and spooky in a bad way (like a witch), or mysterious and spooky in a good way (possibly also like a witch? It depends on the witch, I guess!) Or just the everyday, mysterious, spooky quality of being alive.

Mysterious by Beth Lodge-Rigal

How a body keeps breathing
As the brain dies
Watery kelp dance
wavering arms reaching
Reaching for sunlight
Visible through the murk
Of your drowning
I do not understand
Or crave
Would never choose
This
Ever
Yet it seems sometimes
We are asked
To trawl the lagoon
Witness without
Diving in
To save
This most brutal
Beautiful
Moment
Find the word yes
In the depths of
An ocean of
No

NaPoWriMo for The Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 12 Write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it.

 

 

 

 

Bulova by Mary Peckham

Not the glossiest of graduation gifts—
carefully chosen luggage,
affordable, canvas, brown
(no internet to guide me)
and a small, silvered
alarm clock.
Bulova. Analog.

I’m an analog girl,
scratched-face watch with hands,
kitchen, living room clocks,
phone and appliances
so much smarter than I.
Off to England, I truly believed
I might still find the middle ages,
scullery maids and sundials.

Compact companion—
nothing fancy, just
time of day and wakeup
all I really needed—
shiny at the start
like me,
now grimy in the grooves,
corrosion on your contacts,
you witnessed every
bedtime, bottle, bedmate,
never judging,
offering always
a wake up call, a new day.

One-of-a-kind
treasured gift
from a one-of-a-kind,
salt of the prairie-earth
no-nonsense analog gal
(felled by a one-of-a-kind
incurable whirlwind of cancers).

I have scraped
corroded battery clips,
replaced your AAs time
after time.
I can longer make you go,
but cannot let you go.

NaPoWriMo for The Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Today’s challenge is to write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually?

Day 11 – Origin Story by Allison Distler

The cold cracks my face like an egg
of snow on my nose, my legs exposed
covered only by sheer lycra mesh, and
the music’s on. My arms float like wires
suspended by angels of graceful
landing.
I know
the worst thing to do, is fall. I carry
on the ‘be calm, be calm’ girls
slight – fast racers on blades
encircle the cage of ice and we
digest the shape of the judges
eyebrows, watching like hawks on a
road sign our every
angle. My heart, not able to be frozen
pounds like an anvil to my steel ribs.
I don’t even know what
nervous is.

NaPoWriMo for The Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 10, April 10, 2019 Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon.

Weather by Beverly Wong

Partly Cloudy
20% chance of rain
Clearing in the afternoon
The clouds smatter
Pockets blue sky
A gentle mist falls silently
The sun peers through

Rain in the forecast
Storm front arrives on the coast
Gale warnings in effect
Beware of high waves
Rain is foretold in my bones
Dark clouds brood along the shore
A tempest to rival all others
Gigantic waves signal flight

Possible thunderstorms in the mountains
Heavy downpours expected
Flash flooding in lower elevations
Thor rumbles in the mountains
Casts his hammer down
Sparks illuminate the night sky
Cascade of water from the heavens
Swollen rivers spill onto the land

NaPoWriMo on the Poplar Grove Muse

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Today’s prompt asks you to engage in another kind of cross-cultural exercise, as it is inspired by the work of Sei Shonagon, a Japanese writer who lived more than 1000 years ago. She wrote a journal that came to be known as The Pillow Book. In it she recorded daily observations, court gossip, poems, aphorisms, and musings, including lists with titles like “Things That Have Lost Their Power,” “Adorable Things,” and “Things That Make Your Heart Beat Faster.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.”

Day 9 Things I carry from those who have died by Tracy Zollinger Turner

My grandfather’s dark, surgical humor

My grandmother’s bottomless anxiety and knack for on-the-spot rhymes

Together, their pre-dawn birthday morning phone calls, every year, every grandchild

Linda’s acceptance of and joy in parenting an only child

Diana’s regard for her son and mine; the way she encouraged our boys to go ahead and explore esoteric imaginary worlds and real-life mudholes – but also her tendency to continually break her own heart until it no longer happened figuratively

My Indiana grandfather’s absence; the complicated legacy that he left for my father at fifteen

My stepfather’s love of poetry and music, without all the canonical limitations

Aunt Debbie’s unrepentant love of motherhood, entertaining, and the Christmas tree ornament that Joan Rivers sent to her

My Indiana grandmother’s mental illness, especially the heavy weight it cast on my father

The way Aunt Diana would hold on to me and sway when we visited her; some imaginary music our means of communication

Michael’s joy in the dharma and compassion for people harmed by the addictions of loved ones

Paul’s pursuit of emotional sobriety and fiery twitchiness about the billionaire Koch brothers

Abby’s wickedly clever humor (even about her metastatic breast cancer), the kind way she texted me when I was grieving, the obituary that she wrote for herself, identifying unapologetically as the blissed-out, all-in mother of three girls

My great-grandmother’s large, pendulous breasts, ample enough to fling backwards, over her shoulders

Samson’s sense of total abandon while running in the woods, his tongue hanging out sideways, looking like a red-gold coyote trickster

My former mother-in-law’s unselfconscious use of homey midwestern (but unusual) observations like “that little boy is a perfectly straight line from the top of his head all the way down to the bottom of his feet”

The enthusiasm of Andyman’s full-bodied hugs and his willingness to turn toward the grieving

The way Stephanie held my hand and said “warm,” her liberal use of the word “Monkey” in ASL when children were present, and the deaf name her friends gave my son

Uncle Don’s unwitting survival in the face of campsite hippopotamuses while in remission from blood cancer

Ms. J’s inspiringly messy grace, willingness to tell people they are loved when she saw they felt unlovable, and her endless, hard-won wisdom about how to cope with painful things, cropped into pithy maxims like “find it, feel it, face it, heal it”

NAPOWRIMO on the Poplar Grove Muse

 

This month Women Writing for (a) Change-Bloomington poets are participating in National Poetry Writing Month.  Every day we will offer up a new  poem by a writer in our community.  Check back after 6:00pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Prompt # 8: Today, I’d like to challenge you to think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem.

#8 Transferable Skills for Poets by Amy Cornell

Should your open position need lots of metaphors,
I am the right person for the job.
If you need someone who is inspired by 
the break of spring, the cries of children,
or the taste of matzo ball soup, look no further.

I am constantly searching for the word,
the rhyme, the meter, the perfect allusion.
In fact, words and their usage fill my head
from the minute I wake up. If your position
requires a constant connection with the
language and the moment, where do I sign up?

And if you need someone to stare dreamily
into the stars or the clouds or their cold black
coffee and spend eternity convincing you
and your board of directors that poetry is
important and poets have transferable skills,
and if you really need to put your finger
on what is possible and how to hope and fear
and love and ponder the things that make us
whole, please hire me. You won’t regret it.