Auld Lang Syne

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Day 21 prompt

Today write about an incident that nearly "took you down" an incident that was negative, but didn't break you. 20 lines or more using the following words:

Day 20 Prompt

A day off for you poets! Happy Friday!


write a poem about leisure, vacation, or just a "bumming' day"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

so what's your excuse? Day 19 Prompt

Today is the day for being pathetic, over-the-top pathetic. Write an "excuse" poem.

Example (notice all the internal rhymers in this):

Not Me

Water clogged with debris
a gushing leak from BP and all you do
is blame. Not my fault. See. I didn't bang
the pipe to break it, didn't fail to screw
the bolts in tight or whatever. Clang, clang
and the whole thing just gave in, gave way
and now you're trying to say, somehow
I had something to do with it all. A few
congressmen looked the other way (and dang!
I did vote for them) but how is it my day
for getting blamed? Look, what is it with you
that my vote is somehow on the hook
for them not taking a serious look at rules
for oversight. Sheesh, it don't seem quite right
to blame me here. I'm just one, ya know.

Say, I gotta go fill my tank. Vacation time for me
and the family. Off to the Gulf. They say on TV
it's safe now. I believe them of course. They'd surely
tell me if things had gone from bad to worse.
Don't eat the shrimp you say? I'm okay to eat it,
after all, BP is on the job making it all better now.
When I get back I hope you will have stopped blaming
me. I'm only one damned vote you see.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Day 18, LUNE-atic Day

so here's a bit of a nutty form for you to try: a LUNE

The idea of this form was to reply to the haiku, so often misinterpreted and miswritten by Americans. The lune is also three lines, but with some different components.

1. No need for the connection to nature that is characteristic of the haiku
2. Lines are of specific length, either by # of syllables or # of words.
3. You may use 3-5-3 OR 5-3-5 when composing your LUNE. You may write a string of related LUNES to gain ground and create a longer poem.
4. Do NOT use articles (a, an, the)
5. Use any 11 words except for the following words: nice, pretty, good, bad, very, ugly

Here is my example of an extended LUNE (notice the linkages between individual LUNES that create a gestalt. Notice what happens in the final LUNE stanza.) This is a word lune 3-5-3.


Wind blows hard.
Witch moon's face rises up.
Light flies everywhere.

Light flies everywhere,
sees whatever we are doing.
No sick shadows!

No sick shadows.
Whistle, cry out at will.
Break your fast.

Break your fast:
figs, honey, hot cross buns,
sweet olive branch.

Sweet olive branch
climb hills, swim across rivers,
braid your hair.

Braid your hair.
Witch moon's face rises up.
Whistle. Cry. Out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 17 Poetry prompt.... your family

Today my maternal grandmother would be 105 (mom 85, me 65, twin daughters will be 45 this year... thus a generational 20 year span of eldest daughters on that side).

So why not write about a family member today? Go ahead and do it.

Here is a poem about my Nana (this is a fictionalized event... you do not have to tell the literal truth in order to tell a greater truth)

Lemon Cake

First you need great bowls

and a big spoon. Measuring

is easier with Nana’s teacups

the ones graduated

to your kitchen after her funeral.

It was all you wanted.

She used no recipe for lemon cake,

taught you to measure the heft

of flour in your palm, to see

how much lemon juice fills

the teacups, to know a pinch

from a smidgeon just by feel.

A pinch of cardamom, one

of nutmeg, a dusting of poppy seeds

over the wet mixture. She mixed

clockwise, said the sun travels

that way and helps the mixture

to rise just so to the rim of the pans.

For frosting, a package

of softened cream cheese, a splash

of vanilla and one of lemon juice.

Whip in half a hand of sugar

with the egg beater she got

as a wedding present in 1926.

Later, sit in your chair by the window,

listening to the rain come in gasps,

you will know her love is in the recipe

she never wrote out, the one pressed

into your hands, and in the teacup

you use tonight for tea.

Smell the lemons, smell her verbena.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Day 16 Prompt emptiness

Today is the day to write with white space. Take a stanza or two from a poem you have already written, one that seems to go ON AND ON...

Remove all articles (the, an, a) and prepositions
Remove all adjectives
Remove all conjunctions

LEAVE the spaces where you removed these (this program won't leave the spaces somehow and you will therefore see my revised poem without them... but look at what the result is anyway... pretty interesting. If you do it on paper (remember paper?) you will see a completely different result.

Change all verbs to NEW, active verbs

What is left? Post on my blog.

Here is my attempt: 1st the text unaltered

They come unbidden

to the porch, bits of straw, a berry

or even the leg bone of a baby bird

that died in the nest

dropped with one sad note.

First they dropped and flew,

then they hovered, singing

and cocking their heads

as if to enter a conversation —

as if only I spoke their language.

Birds, like lawyers of glass

came and sang their troubled cases,

me the judge and jury. Jay,

in his strident voice,

spoke first:

First, we need you to stop

the scratching music cats play,

the discordant tail beat of squirrels,

stop the deaths of our babes

from spoiled seed.


NOW, the text altered:

They buckle unbidden

porch, bits straw, berry

faltered nest

leg bone bird

spared note.

burned strangled,

hovered, singing

rustle heads

clear conversation —

I invent language.

Birds, lawyers glass

danced invented cases,

me judge jury. Jay,


trilled :

we beg you thump

music cats scrape,


uncover deaths babes


This is incredibly difficult to do well. But it's a part of the path to deep revision. SO give it a try.