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.

Write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a word, or phrase. You can even repeat an image, perhaps slightly changing or enlarging it from stanza to stanza, to alter its meaning.

Day 26  by Lisa Meuser
This breath

Including the space
behind the thoughts,
behind
all that is happening.
Notice,
return

to what is
behind the space that
holds it all.
I find breath.
Breath
finds me.

The needs
of her
him
them.
Deadlines.
Can I do it all?
In comes breath.

I return again,
trusting the one thing,
the stillness that coexists with,
holds within it, everything.
Breath.

First this.
Breath.
Then that.
Breath.
First today,
Breath.
then tomorrow,
Breath.

My mind jumps
and then returns,
back to now.
This cup of tea.
This client. This email.
This carpool.
This meal, timed right for kathrynn’s busy schedule.
And again, and again, this breath.

How complicated is a breath?
it is deliciously simple.
This moment,
this breath.
This task,
this breath.

I have been training all my life
for this moment,
for this breath,
for this moment of participation
with life.
Breath.

Will I accept this invitation?
Can I participate in this moment fully,
like the woodpecker who is
fervently engaged in breakfast, with all her being?
Does later exist to her?
Breath.

I feel the space holding it all,
and something trusts,
not the outcome, or
success, or
what will happen, only that
happening will continue.
This breath will too.
This breath.

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 25: Season Poem by Amy Lifton

Nature’s last hurrah, everything trying to outshine the other,
a richer red, a more royal purple, a brighter gold, under
the deepest clearest blue sky of all time, the sun’s warmth
most soothing, the air’s crispness most invigorating, as if to say,
enjoy it while you can, the monochromatic cold season is next.

Catalogs arrive from Saks and Fields, offering luxuriant texture:
lush mohair, thick camels hair, soft woolen tweeds and plaids,
and one special color heralded as the color of the season:
plum, eggplant, olive, russet. We go shopping, we stop for tea.

Woodsmoke drifts along currents of warm air in the cool evenings,
and the scent of burning leaves fills the late afternoons, though we
children delight in wrecking the huge leaf piles our fathers raked,
and come inside covered in flakes of leaf, bits of milkweed fluff.

We go apple picking, walk down rows of low trees laden with
red, green, and golden globes, we carve amber pumpkins, display
purple Indian corn, stuff cornucopias with garnet pomegranates,
violet grapes, tiny orange kumquats and golden bananas. What is
the one true thing of fall, if not nostalgic, abundant glory?

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 6:00 pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a poem that is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day.

Day 24,  In the Land of K by Beverly Wong  (from Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, p. 995)

Clouds of Kalongs fill the dusky red sky
Seek the ripe Kaki in the laden trees
With long brown snouts and skeletal wings
Clutch the ripe plums in their claws
Hanging upside down
Fallen Kaki strewn in bursts of fruit
The pungent scent wafts through the night air
Owl-faced Kakapo strut through
The mounds of persimmons
Glint of green wings, brown and yellow markings
Curved beaks perfect for the night feast
The lush Kanari trees burdened with heavy seeds
Limbs dangle with their offerings
The Kanarese will harvest them
To make an oil for lighting
The Kanchils stir from their rest
Their folded limbs in grassy mounds
Alert ears scan and watch the reverie
Twitchy noses, black doe eyes close
Flutter back to sleep
Kama, sings his songs of love
Sweet melodies float on whispered breeze
While Kalans dive and frolic
Their furry heads bob and skim
The surface of the gentle sea

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 6:00 pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 23 Write a Poem about an Animal.

13 Ways of Looking at a Black Dog by Mary Peckham

1. From across a green expanse
I whistle. Glancing up,
he rockets toward me.
ears tucked,
effortless energy.

2. I glimpsed you
at the furthest reach
of your shelter kennel.
All I needed.

3. Trembling, curled
between my daughter’s
slender shoulders and the wall.
Thunder rolls out overhead.

4. New healthy kibble.
Three dried peas
on the floor
beside an empty dish.

5. A bark of terror
alarms the passing
of that Great Pyrenees
from three doors down.
She has told you
she will kill you.

6. Howls of joyful
greeting, fleeting,
as each family member
returns home.
Dance of devotion.

7. Men. In hats.
With beards.
One of you,
in your cruelty,
shaped this fear.

8. Each untasted morsel
carried in stealth
under cherrywood
onto patterned, handtied
wool and silk,
for inspection.
And perhaps,
consumption.

9. Burrowed deep,
dreaming under duvet, under darkness,
between us,
our sheltering, still sleeping
protects him.

10. An energetic flap of ears,
travels
from tip
to tail,
announces morning.

11. A tiny snore,
counterpoint to my typing.
Constant companion.

12. Who knew
we could feel
such deep pleasure
so soon after
such loss?

13. We are
who we are.
We share
what we have.
Who could ask
for more?

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 6:00 pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Day 22 Write an ekphrastic poem that engages with another art form –anything is in bounds, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.

April 22nd Ekphrasis by Carole Clark

Art of old has always titillated
Sculptures were always so downright naked
Bosoms bared, penises dangling
So many of the paintings were enormous
Entire walls of
Saints flashing buttocks
Mythical Venuses in the buff
Kings seducing in their birthday suits
Warriors attacking in such vulnerable states
Cherubs fluttering with nary a stitch
No readers needed to understand their intent
I do believe this might have been
Condoned accepted pornography for the elites

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 6:00 pm for the Prompt of the Day and the selected resulting poem.

Write a poem that incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

Day 21 – Surreal by Tracy Zollinger Turner

In this thin layer of sleep
A wooded path leads to writhing bed of snakes
With hisses that smell of vetiver
And risk

The house is a jigsaw puzzle of every house you’ve ever lived in
Soldered to chalky brown tunnels and stark white rooms
The driveway is a bed of gravel and wild mushrooms
The back yard filled with
Weeping willows that cradle their limbs around you

Worry is a wagon wheel
With a secret compartment of bad evidence
It smells of smoking cedar
As it carries you over
Ditch after ditch

Leg over pillow
The dog is coughing again
You resist the urge to let the blue light in
Or tempt the moon with a hard stare
This is how it will be until it suddenly isn’t

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 a poem that “talks.” Try to write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life. You might incorporate overheard speech or a turn of phrase you heard once that stood out to you – the idea here is to get away from formally “poetic” speech and into the way language tends to work out loud.

April 20: Everyday Speech – The Best Word: Y’all by Amy Lifton

oh why don’t we have the word y’all in our everyday
speech here in Indiana
it’s the most useful of all words, taking the place of 
the awkward and subtly sexist you guys like in
what do y’all want to do tonight, or y’all get out your
notebooks and pens for a writing exercise, and
being more inclusive of everyone involved like in
let’s play cards at y’all’s house tonight (can there even
be two apostrophes in one word) or I’ve always wanted
to see y’all’s home movies, it is an open-hearted word
acknowledging everyone like in see y’all later or I didn’t know
y’all came to this restaurant, when you don’t mean to
single out any one certain person, or it can indicate you
don’t care who answers the question, like in
what do y’all think, and it doesn’t even differentiate
between adults and children, like y’all come over here and
see this, or which of y’all wants an ice cream right now, but
it can mean just one person, like how are y’all doin’ today,
or when a storekeeper wants to convey special welcome, like
how can I help y’all as you walk alone into a store,
it indicates membership in a tribe of friendliness
and expansiveness whenever it’s used,
both of which qualities I wish we had more of
everywhere in the world.

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 19. Write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet.

Abecedarian: What are we?  by Bev Slattery Hartford

Argyle
Bobbie
Cuffed
Darned
Elastic
Footed
Girly
Heeled
Instepped
Jocky
Knee-
Length
Mohair
Navy
Orlon
Plaid
Quaint
Rumpled
Slouchy
Tennis
Ugly
Venerable
White
X-rated
Yarn
Zany

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, I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 18 — Elegy through detail by Lauren Bryant

April in Paris, the chestnut trees
exploding in green, that keen blue sky
all the cobblestone and precious narrow streets
where cars brush my chair on the café sidewalk,
verre du vin halfway to my lips when
a man rolling his cigarette over an espresso says,
Notre Dame is on fire.
We run, twisting our way through
the jarring two-tone calls of French fire
trucks, ambulances, police
whistles shrilling louder, longer,
yellow smoke smudging out the sun.
We reach the Seine. The cathedral’s
central spire flames like a votive candle
lit for Holy Week. Seared, its
skeleton pulses, jet black against
gilded blaze. It leans, lacy and delicate,
then falls, gracefully,
into the cross-shaped lava of the church
burning below.
Thousands of us gaze as if
in devotion. Above the throbbing
rose-red inferno, a stone saint stands,
hands folded in prayer.

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.