30 November 2011

Good, Bad, and Editing

I wrote every day
and kept the posts coming.
Some came out quite well,
some felt unbecoming.

Others helped me out,
can't take all the credit.
Now some of these poems
will be seeing edits.

November's last prompt from BlogHer: What did you learn from doing NaBloPoMo?
Some days are better than others for writing.
Sometimes forcing yourself to write can turn out well.
Vacations can make daily posting more difficult.
Vacations can make for great inspiration.
I have got to keep a more regular time for doing my writing.
It's nice to have writing friends.

29 November 2011

28 November 2011


In this lifetime there is no other way.
You must do your best to enjoy today
if you desire to feel truly alive.
that is what the wise men and women say.

If what you are really hoping to find
is a deeper and more meaningful life,
you have to pick yourself up and begin
to discover what will give you the drive.
It's important to remember that when
your struggle starts frustrating you again,
you should not putter about or delay.
You can never know when your life will end.

Real Toads: Rubaiyat
Four line stanza
10 syllables per line
aaba rhyming scheme

I often have trouble with form-based prompts because I don't know about what to write. This time I decided to just come up with the ending words and see where it led me. It might need some revising for more compactness and a less repitious sound.

Also shared with Poets United Poetry Pantry #77

27 November 2011


jump, roll

grab hold and spin around
get the other guy down

no matter who's won
dogs always have fun

Shared with Thursday Poets' Rally #57

Thanks to The Poetry Palace Community for the Perfect Poets Award for week 57! To see other winners for this week, visit here. I nominate Masked Are We and Myopic View.

26 November 2011

25 November 2011

Black Friday Limerick

Many people bought presents today,
waited in lines making sure to save.
But I don't have the cash
even with prices slashed.
So, all of our presents are homemade.

Dear Merchants - Limerick, Mad Kane's Humor Blog
NaBloPoMo BlogHer Prompt:
Do you like to buy presents ahead of time or right when you need to give them?

I have been doing a lot of crocheting of gifts lately, with some sewing thrown in on occasion. In fact, I wrote a poem about crochet recently: Knots. Good luck with your impending gift finding.

24 November 2011


Cuddling the dog
'til he tries helping me type.
His claws just won't work.

The all brown loves to get in my lap during computer time. I was trying to write a poem, and he insisted on helping.

23 November 2011


Half naked trees
losing their leaves
slowly undressing.

We cover up
and snuggle up
and eat it all up.

Both groups just try
ways to survive
the long winter's night.

Included in The Gooseberry Garden's Poetry Picnic Week 15

22 November 2011

Simply Receive

ABC Wednesday features the letter S this week. Thursday is Thanksgiving in the US. Here's two version of the same four line poem reflecting on themes of thanksgiving. The second includes more S words.

Simply receive the earth's blessings.
Be thankful for the harvest's bounty.
Treasure true friendship and of love
that lasts a lifetime in all its forms.

Simply secure in Earth's sacrifice,
Be satisfied with the harvest's surplus.
Sing of sincere shipmates and of love
sustained for a lifetime, in all its shapes.

21 November 2011

Stars In Love

Love is blind and lovers cannot see
why they should look where they are going.
The lover is all that has meaning,
but t'wards sorrow they went careening. 
a black hole tore the lovers apart.
Now each star has a hole in its heart.

Inspired by the story of S and R, an astral romance.

Part of Carry on Tuesday #132:
"Love is blind and lovers cannot see"
"Merchant of Venice" - Shakespeare
More Shakespeare love quotes

20 November 2011

Autumn Air

Crisp, Brisk, Invigorating. 
My nose is cold from the breeze. 
My body is warm from the sun 
and long sleeves. 
Warm yet chilled is how a day in 
autumn feels. 

I love that feeling! It's such a special sensation.

19 November 2011

Truffula Tree Haiku

Poor truffula trees
made into useless thneeds
for the Onceler's greed.

Do you remember
truffulas in November,
our dancing: limber.

Today's prompt from Patricia K. Lichen, Author
Weekend Haiku & Limericks: truffula trees

As to the second one, it's about my college's homecoming-type event, Cornhuskin'. My senior year, our class's theme was Dr. Seuss.
Our class sweatshirt:
Photo by Meghan Laurin

Another poem about Cornhuskin' here as well as some more info on Meredith College's most unique of events.

18 November 2011


Over, under, around, through,
the simple little knots we do.
Repeat, two, three, four,
now you've got a shell's worth more.
If you've got knots enough
you can even stuff with fluff.
Keep it going round and round
suddenly a blanket you've found.
One little tool, one really long string:
now you've made a beautiful thing.
If you're confused by what I say,
I'm discussing the art of crochet.

I have been crocheting a lot lately, working on Yule/Christmas gifts.
A shell stitch is a group of stitches that are all worked into the same space. It's quite common in granny squares and was what mostly made up my first projects when I was learning to crochet.

17 November 2011

Moving makes an impetus

Moving makes an impetus
to clear out old things,
to find solace in release,
to no longer cling.
Seek vindication within
the personal spring.
Do not resist the changes.
Enjoy what's coming.

Three Word Wednesday CCLXVII (267)
impetus, solace,vindication

We'll be moving this Yule. I'm excited for the new place, meeting new people, and seeing new things. However, moving is always a process and generally stressful. One step I'm both dreading and looking forward to: finding stuff we no longer need and can donate.

16 November 2011

Run Away

Run away with me
through the reddening trees.
Leave rushing behind.
We'll make our own rhymes
and rhythms to suit
ourselves, world on mute.

Definitely rough, but maybe I'll play with it some more later.
For other R related poems, photos, and blog posts: ABC Wednesday Round 9 R

15 November 2011


Listen as the wind blows.
Leaves come tumbling down.
Devour their color.
They float to the ground.

14 November 2011

Never Gets It Right

Serving as we have,
it was never our intention
to run our community.
Students will continue to exist
only if the writers experience hope.
Join us.
Come to the experience in writing.
Learn and develop with the criticism.
Know that we are no journalism department.
For every issue, feedback is provided.
Access and bring forth ideas.
Is it impossible, the reality of focusing on students?
The work is for anyone who
dirtied their hands, found a book,
or shared our community:
this community of students.

Words for this poem were found here:
Meredith College's student-run newspaper, The Herald
Issue 28.5; Date 11.2.11
"The Herald Never Gets It Right: A Letter from the Editors"
Ashleigh Phillips and Emily Gamiel, Editors

13 November 2011

Grocery Limericks

I went to the store for a pickle.
Last week it cost only one nickel.
But too bad for me,
they now cost 1.03.
Why are the prices so fickle?

I went to the store for some honey,
but didn't have quite enough money.
The clerk laughed at me,
but I just don't see
why the clerk thought it was funny?

I went to the store for some garlic.
I heard it's helpful if your joints click.
I eat it each day,
and pain goes away.
I hardly even feel arthritic.

12 November 2011

Last Night

Poetry Jam suggested writing a poetic still life, whether one set up and captured by yourself or one found and enjoyed. I looked about my living room, and these objects jumped out at me, telling at least part of a story.

We decided on coffee and dessert.
Those two pair up quite nicely.
I think that you and I
pair quite nicely.

We had run out of coffee and
shouldn't eat a whole pint.
We had a few drinks
and kept talking.

We talked for hours about nothing
and everything while our
chatter blended into 
one great night.

Submitted to Poetry Picnic Week 14: What I'm Thankful For
I'm thankful for my friends and boyfriend who inspired the spirit of this poem and the beer, iceream, cute martini glass and coffee that make up the story.

11 November 2011

Death of a Twin

Today's prompt/form idea came from dVerse: Craft prose to poetry There are three steps.
1. Find a prose passage that seems poetic. You know you read some stuff that just sounds cool.
2. Break it up into more poetic lines and stanzas. Reformat it, basically.
3. Alter it to better fit your definition of poetry. A few options: even out rhyme, meter; more flowery words; clearer images.

I used a passage from Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, which I copied below the poem. I loved reading that book. It's about a pair of twins born in Ethiopia, Shiva and Marion. Their parents were an Indian nun (who died in labor) and an English surgeon (who fled shortly after their birth). They were raised by two Indian doctors at a mission hospital. Very interesting story about love, medicine and family both chosen and natural.

Death of a Twin

His body was warm. 
He never took a breath 
His expression never changed. 

I felt his pulse,
regular for a full minute.
Then it paused,
as if the heart had just realized 
the lungs had quit. 
With a final throb, he was gone. 

Of all the pulse types, 
this was both the rarest 
and the most common.
Every pulse possesses
the potential to be absent. 

I closed my eyes and cradled him, 
his skull buttressed against mine.
I felt physically vulnerable
lying here next to him
in a way I hadn't known
when we were a continent apart.

With his death 
my biology was altered.
The heat was rapidly leaving his body. 

I lay there, my head against Shiva's, a finger resting on his carotid pulse. His body was warm. He never took a breath after the tube came out. His facial expression never changed. His pulse stayed regular for almost a minute, then it paused, as if it had just realized its lifelong partner-the lungs-had quit. His heart sped up, became faint, and then, with a final throb under my fingers, it was gone. I thought of Ghosh. Of all the pulse types, this was both the rarest and the most common, a Janus quality that every pulse possesses: the potential to be absent.
I closed my eyes and clung to Shiva. I cradled him, his skull buttressed against mine and now wet with my tears. I felt physically vulnerable in a way I'd never felt when we were a continent apart, as if with his death my own biology was now altered. The heat was rapidly leaving his body.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

10 November 2011


As you many have noticed, this post is not a poem. Do not be alarmed, you are still at JP's Poetry. As part of National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo), there are prompts Monday through Friday all month. Today's prompt asked bloggers to discuss their secret (or not so secret) passion.

For a long while, writing poetry was my secret passion. It wasn't a huge secret, but I certainly didn't volunteer to share my poetry with many people. As a kid, I often made up little songs and loved poetry units at school. I wrote some angsty stuff during my teen years, but it wasn't all bad. As college approached, things got busier at school and I didn't do much of anything related to words during my free time. If poetry came up as an option during classwork, I always chose that form of the project. Occasionally I would submit a poem to an online contest and even had half a dozen or so published in anthologies.

College was even busier. I managed to squeeze in some semi-regular journal writing, nearly daily reading of about five pages from a personal novel, and an occasional poem writing session. I wasn't feeling totally uncreative, but there was lots of science and learning happening. Plus, I was meeting new people, helping to run campus organizations, and having all kinds of new experiences.

I graduated in May 2010 and moved in with my boyfriend. Not finding much available in the way of work gave me some free time and a flexible schedule between chores. I wrote more often and read a lot more. I've even started helping to run the alumnae book club, taken up sewing, and learned how to meal plan on a budget. I heard about National Poetry Writing Month a few days before it started, and decided I'd set up a blog to help keep me accountable. I loved it. There weren't tons of visitors, but I was sharing my creativity, meeting other poets, and learning new forms and styles. After April, I wrote regularly for a while and then let life get in the way.

I'm glad to be back for another month of regular writing and posting. Sometimes I think about collecting some of my work and publishing a book. Making a little money from it would be nice, but mostly there's something magical in seeing your work published.

Mind you, poetry isn't my only passion. I love biology, especially aquatic ecology. And I enjoy helping others learn. I even have waves of other creative pursuits: sewing, painting, cooking, and crocheting. Some days are more creative than others, but creativity is an important part of life. Creating something, even if you don't think of it as art, helps replenish the soul.

What about you, do you have a secret passion? Did you or do you keep it to yourself?

09 November 2011


Questing for health
I met a quack.
I had qualms 
about his quaintness,
but I quelled them.

With a short quip
about quibbling
my query was
quite quickly dismissed.
I should have known.

In night's quiet,
I quiver to
have discovered:
that man has none!

For more Q themed poems, stories, photos, and posts of all kinds:
ABC Wednesday Round 9 Letter Q

08 November 2011

Dog's Debate

Edward Hopper's Cape Cod; click here for a larger view

The dog's debate:
to chase a rabbit
or go where called.

Margo Roby's Wordgathering
Painting Poems: Tuesday Tryouts

07 November 2011

You Choose

Life happens.
If you ignore it
or pretend that
time isn't hurtling forward,
you miss out.

Death happens.
If you ignore it
or pretend that
you can prevent getting old,
death still comes.

Life happens.
If you enjoy it
and do your best
to find happiness each day,
you will live.

Poetic Asides Poem A Day prompt: what won't wait

06 November 2011

Coke on a Hot Day

A tall glass of chilled Coke
is my Kryptonite
on scorching hot days
that bring fuzzy logic
and extra thirsty dogs.

Indian summers
always leave me wishin'
for a cool blue lagoon
that this Georgia peach
could jump right into.

Poetry Tow Truck #45: Have a Drink on Me
Used this Drinks' Names List to find some inspiration.
It was actually kinda nice to think about some warmth since it's been so chilly lately.

In case you're thirsty, here's some recipes:
Kryptonite, fuzzy logic, Thirsty Dog (beer brewing company)
Indian summer, blue lagoon, Georgia peach (a personal fave)

05 November 2011

Corn Parade 2011

back again.
Here to wish
our lil sis
the best of luck.
Shuck, girl, shuck!

Yesterday, Meredith College had it's annual Cornhuskin' competition. On a very simple level, Cornhuskin' is what we do for homecoming. Meredith is an all women's college, so there's not football game and no associated pep rally or tailgating parties. There is, however, a spirit week. On Friday night, the main event draws family, friends, staff, faculty, and alumnae to the ampitheatre to watch skits, dancing, apple bobbing, and giant talking props.
We also have a tradition that every other class has a special connection: Big Sis & Lil Sis. A member of the big sis class shows her lil sis around school, helps them learn about the many traditions, and even takes them around town. Evens are with evens and odds with odds.
I graduated in 2010. Our lil sis class, 2012, is the senior class this year. As the big sis class, we come back to campus to cheer our lil sis class on. It was a fabulous time! I got to see some friends, watch some awesome skits, saw an amazing apple bobbing performance, and enjoyed being back on campus again.

If you're still curious (or a bit confused), some of our students put together a lovely webpage about the history of Cornhuskin' here.

04 November 2011

Man'yoshu: I will have to wait

Your delightful breasts
tease me, beckon me forward.
I want to feel your
soft skin pressed against my own.
For now, I will have to wait.

dVerse Poets' Pub: Form for All
Man'yoshu: a widespread form in Japan during the 700s CE
Poems were declarative rather than introspective, imagistic rather than abstract.
1 of 3 topics, Somon: mutual exchanges of love or longing
1 of 2 styles, Tanka: syllable counts of 5-7-5-7-7.
Learn more about the form here.

03 November 2011

Getting Blood Drawn

The puncture
jerked me from daydream.
Do not look.
I hate blood.
Movies with lots of carnage
often make me faint.

Saw the form at Poetic Bloomings
Shadorma: a syllable count of 3/5/3/3/7/5.

Got some wordly inspiration from Three Word Wednesday
3WW CCLXV (265): carnage, jerk, puncture

02 November 2011

P is for Puppy

My puppy teaches meprofound lessons daily.
The key to inner peace:
take more time for playing!

For more P-centric Poems, Photos and other blog Posts, check out ABC Wednesday: Letter P

01 November 2011

Love Often

Love often during this
one life. You don't get
another chance at it.

"Love one another"
Last words of George Harrison, of the Beatles (1943-2001)
For more poems from this prompt: Carry On Tuesday #129
For some other famous people's last words and a video of George singing "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" check out Carry On Tuesday Plus

Note: In my more southeastern US accent, those end words rhyme a bit better. :)

Dog Park

It is now National Blog Posting Month 2011 or NaBloPoMo!
A bunch of people all decide to write a blog every day for a month. Due to popularity, it happens every month with a different theme. November is the traditional month with lots more bloggers and prizes. Here is the blogroll which (currently) has over 600 blogs!

Today when we went to the park,
One dog couldn't hold in his bark.
Another played fetch with her ball,
And one didn't move much at all.

When it started to pour,
People ran for the door.
No one wanted to play
On a cold, rainy day.

Thank you Poetry Rally!

I wrote a poem
about my dog's favorite place
Thanks for the award!

Other winners and their poems here.

I nominate LifeSpect: Tender Power for this week's award.

08 October 2011

Gravity Gave Up On Me

Earlier this morning,
I fell into the sky.
It started without warning,
and I can't figure why
gave up on me.

I swerved around a tree limb
and nearly hit a bird.
Clouds were all around me
when suddenly I heard,
"Hey there, you!
You're floating too?!"

Just as I came to a stop,
I saw a smiling face.
"We're kids gravity forgot.
You'll get used to this place.
My name's Sly,
let's share this sky."

And so I settled in
to live atop the clouds.
The air is a bit thin,
but at least it isn't loud.
gave up on me.

Inspired by Shel Silverstein's "Falling Up".
A new book of his poems came out recently, and I'm excited to read it!
Every Thing On It

07 October 2011


I went looking over yonder hill.
I found nothing but my love for you.
But if I never see the sun again,
over time I'll see myself wandering for what?
My mind was wandering, as it always does,
seeking the hill again, always searching for life.
You never know what you'll find, in life.

Poetry Tow Truck 40: Plaid Poem

06 October 2011

Two Families

On either side 
live families 
with young kids. 

No words make it 
through the walls, 
only thunks, shouts, 
& upstairsdownstairs. 

Memories of my own 
noise-making & amok-running 
mix with thoughts of 
future child-chasing. 

I live between two families with kids: 
my neighbors' 
and my own. 

BlogHer Prompt: Things your current home is between

05 October 2011

Trees in the Yard

I've always loved plants.
And I've always asked questions.
Behind our yard was a forest.
Or, it looked like a forest to me.

Pine trees so crowded
I couldn't see the road,
though I could hear cars
in nighttime's quiet.

Needles were always falling
into the yard, sometimes cones.
In summer, their pollen
painted everything yellow.

Why don't the pine needles fall
like the trees in the front?
Mom said they were just
different types of trees.

The front trees were in fact
three Bradford Pears.
Trees with leaves hanging
low enough to investigate.

They had beautiful, tiny,
detailed flowers I could study.
They smelled heartily.
I cherish that smell even now.

The pines were felled
to put in more houses.
The Bradfords died slowly;
the species is short-lived.

Every time I smell or see
those beautiful flowers
and when pollen coats cars,
childhood memories flow.

BlogHer Prompt: Things your childhood home is between
The front yard and the back yard :)

04 October 2011

Three Years Between Us

It was my whole lifetime,
unimaginably long.

Then it was just enough 
to be amazingly cute,
my own real live babydoll.

For a while, it was quite
intolerably annoying.
You were always on my nerves.

A few years more brought
friendly cooperation
and increased peace.

For now, we still feel
the difference,
but only occasionally.

Over our lifetimes, 
the same three years will
become increasingly smaller.

Eventually they will be
unimaginably short.

I have a younger brother who was born on my third birthday. I've always loved him, but there were long stretches where I didn't like him one bit. Fortunately, we've grown closer over the years and even enjoy spending time with each other's friends.
BlogHer Prompt: talk about siblings

03 October 2011

The Forgotten Item

Whatever I forgot last time
gets packed first.

I will forget a new thing.
I will remember it next time.

While always different
(deodorant, toothbrush,
sweater, socks),
it's always the forgotten.

BlogHer Prompt: What is something you always pack on a trip?

02 October 2011


Energy flows through every cell
of every body.

My joy is contagious.
My excitement,
my energy,
my desire to help
and to affect change
can all be felt
if you just stand near me.

Feel the love,
the peace,
the hope.

Open your body
to the vibrations.
Open your heart 
to the emotions.
Open your mind
to the new notions.

Energy flows through every cell
of every body.
Feel it.

I went to an organizational meeting tonight for Occupy Raleigh.

Occupy Wall Street is a beautiful movement gathering some awesome power and amazingly positive energy for change. The movement is spreading in the form of protests and marches happening across the country and the world. Look up your town or city and you'll probably find something nearby related to the Occupation. Check Facebook and Twitter for #Occupy and there is tons to see. The amazing energy this evening really moved me.

Today's service at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh (where I attend somewhat regularly) featured humanity's ability to share emotions and energy through proximity and movement.

Today's poem is perfect for the day I had!

Part of: NaBloPoMo October: Between

01 October 2011

Between Paychecks

With any luck, we'll make it
through the month.
We're caught up for now.
With any luck, there'll be no
no unforeseen costs.
With any luck, i'll get work.
part-time, contract,
anything will help.
With any luck, we'll find new
lodgings, lower
rent and closer to work.
With any luck, there'll be sales
on things we need.
Be sure to check the adverts.
With any luck, I'll cook meals
which are tasty
but cost mere cents per serving.
With any luck, we'll make it,
no unplanned costs,
a short term job,
a lower rent,
a well-timed sale,
and healthy food.
With any luck.

There are certainly people in worse situations than ours, but this is what came to mind with BlogHer's NaBloPoMo October theme: Between.

14 September 2011


This poem was featured as a guest post at The Wounded Warrior on 31st August, 2011. It's a great blog with some good poetry and some writing about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. I wanted to give the poem another chance for reading and make it a little easier to find, so here it is:

When stress is high
or bad times arise,
we all have our ways
to get through the day.

Some of us laugh,
pray the moment will pass.
Some turn to drink,
bottle's gone in a blink.

Some of us cry,
and then wonder "why?"
Some of us scream,
hope it's all a dream.

Some of us smoke,
find peace in a toke.
Some meditate,
deep breathe it away.

Some of us lie,
smile, say "I'm fine."
Some need a hug,
show a little love.

So we can survive,
we cope with our lives.

Inspired by lyrics from Starsailor's "Some Of Us"
"Some of us laugh
some of us cry
some of us smoke
some of us lie
but it's all just the way
that we cope with our lives"
You can hear it here.

31 August 2011

Answers: Two Truths and One Lie

The three sentences:
1. I like mustard.
2. I enjoy going to car shows.
3. Daisies are my favorite flower.

1. Evil Twin
2. Flying Umbrella
3. Asteraceae

The first one is false. I like ketchup, not mustard.
I love going to car shows with my Dad. Despite cars not being the best thing for the environment, they can be beautiful. Amy, I appreciate your thoughtfulness on this one.
Daisies are such a happy flower! Asteraceae is the family of flowers, and I love the whole family!

Thanks for playing along!

Coping: Guest Post on The Wounded Warrior

Jan Metal Man allowed me to do a guest post for him today on his blog, The Wounded Warrior! I enjoy his poetry. He also writes about being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. From his blog description, "This is my place to offload, share and let go. Have a seat, kick off your shoes and join me. Leave your prejudices at the door, open your mind and learn." Take a look at his page, maybe enjoy some of his poetry, and let him know you've visited by leaving some comments (perhaps on my poem).

30 August 2011

Two Truths and One Lie

Today's prompt on NaBloPoMo is to tell two truths and a lie. I often get so into thinking about truths people won't believe that I can't come up with a matching lie. This time, I chose three things which have been included in previous posts. This means regular readers have an advantage, or you could do some treasure hunting by back-reading.

1. I like mustard.
2. I enjoy going to car shows.
3. Daisies are my favorite flower.

I'll post the answer in 24 hours (with the reference poems).

I'd love if you would play along, so please leave a comment. Guess which 1 sentence of mine is a lie and leave  three sentences for me to guess.

Beer Haiku

Unfinished beer:
the story too good
to stop for a drink.

Recently a friend of mine was telling us such a crazy story, she forgot she had a beer waiting to be drunk. I found the half-full beer in the morning. 

29 August 2011

Entertaining Friends

It's not a formal event.
No need to fret,
but it is their first time over.

The house is clean,
the drinks made ready,
and dinner started.

They arrive, bearing gifts.
Drinks are quickly served
and dinner is finishing up.

The presentation:
imperfectly made food
but still delicious,
maybe more so for the mistakes.

Friends often prove
all the more lovely
because they're real people,

28 August 2011

Edge of the Storm

The air feels light, less dense.
It moves with varying speeds, directions.
It has a special smell of wet.
(My kindergarten teacher said water doesn't have a smell.)

Almost imperceptibly at first
a few drops start falling,
nothing to really worry over.
(Although, Mom still called to check up on us.)

A short trip outside for the dog.
She doesn't mind the wet,
only the stronger winds.
(They're what'll give us the most trouble, anyway.)

Nothing to do but wait,
avoid being outside, 
and hope for others' safety.
(It'll pass, like everything else.)

We Write Poems #69 3+(1) form
Poetry Tow Truck #35: Rain

27 August 2011


No more summer vacation
like when I was a kid
I don't cherish summer
quite like I once did
There's still laundry and dishes
and all the other chores.
Planning a vacation
only adds even more.
So we stayed at home
to got a little rest.
Then went to enjoy the
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Fest!

Poetry Tow Truck: What I did with my summer vacation.
Beer, Bourbon, and BBQ Festival at my town

26 August 2011

Love Lost: Philip Levine Cento

She remembered or yearned.
“I found you whole.
I find you in these tears,
and it would do no good.
I will never make it"
Now she shakes her head,
shakes him away,
and she's herself.
Something began here
and nothing comes back.

This poem is a cento: a poem created by rearranging another writer's verses or lines. I greatly enjoyed reading many of Philip Levine's poems in order to find this poem. The lines came from the following poems:
Father (2,3)
Heaven (4)

Poems found via the plaigarist.com poetry archive

25 August 2011

Playing With Brevity

My friend Mike put together a nice guest post for me. In it, he challenged me, and any willing reader, to try Hemmingway's six word challenge. I enjoy playing with brevity, so here are a few bits of micropoetry.

6 Words:

Couch cuddling:
a dog's perfect day.

Thermostat settings:
'parka needed'
or 'naked'

Ecology: the scientific circle of life.

Death: the inescapable eventuality of life.

Everything alive
adapts or it dies.

Love lets lovers glide like birds.

Lie down. Now a little pinch...

Five fearless fighters freed fertile fields.

10 Words:

i slipped
i ache
i laugh
i am embarrassed

Chop. Fry. Add spice.
Stir. Simmer. Serve.
Eat. Drink. Enjoy.

may I be
and loved.

If you're intrigued, you can search #sixwords on twitter for lots of people trying it out. Some are quite clever.

Three Word Wednesday CCLV: adapt, glide, lie
ABC Wednesday: Letter F

24 August 2011

Six Word Stories: Guest Post by Mike Roselli

About a week ago, I remembered a story I was told in a fiction class I took at NC State. Jessica is a friend of mine, and the topic of this particular fiction seemed like it would interest her, so closely related to poetry in it's creation. I asked if I could guest blog here and share a few writings with her and her readers, so here I am!

Our story begins at the Algonquin in Manhattan, NY. Ernest Hemmingway is having lunch with other writers one afternoon at the famous Round Table. He tells them he can write a short story in just six words. Not just a six-word sentenance, but a story with a beginning, middle, and end. A story with real characters and a plot. A story that can evoke emotion from a reader. The other writers laugh, so Hemmingway tells them to ante up ten bucks a piece; if he's wrong, he'll match their money, but if he's right, the pot is his. He wrote the following six words on a napkin, passed it around, and took home the cash:

  • "For Sale: Baby shoes, never worn." - Ernest Hemmingway

Many writer's since then have taken the six-word Hemmingway challenge. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • "Gown removed carelessly. Head less so." - Joss Whedon
  • "It's behind you! Hurry before it" - Rockne S. O'Bannon
  • "Please, this is everything, I swear." - Orson Scott Card
It's harder than it looks. In many cases, writing a six-word story feels like poetry, which is why I wanted to post it on Jessica's poetry blog. Careful diction, punctuation, word tense, and even upper or lower case letters can all evoke emotion and add subtle hints on characters and plot, while minimizing words at the same time. Often, its the words you do not use that leave the biggest impact.

Here are a few I've played with over the past week. A few were inspired by other works in culture that I am fond of. Some are funny, some are serious, and some are sad. Some don't have a beginning, middle and end, but are entertaining none the less:
  • "CONFIRMD: Time Travel cannot fix typos."
  • "Colleagues discovered deadly neurotoxin. Take credit?"
  • "Writer for hire: Understands brevity now!"
  • "I promise, this investment is different."
  • "Write this down: 'Find new secretary'."
I'd like to challenge Jessica to give it a try and write a few, or to toy with the idea and it's mechanics in her poetry. I'd also like to propose the challenge to her readers. Give it a shot in the comments section!

-Mike Roselli is a graduate of the NC State Civil Engineering department. His writings about engineering can be seen on his blog at mikeroselli.net, though he bums his most creative work on other people's webpages.

23 August 2011

Pint Night

The busboy has two 
three-foot tall
of pint glasses
in one hand.

How does he balance
all that glass?

I envision him tripping.
Jagged edges 
littering the hallway
creating a 
dangerous, slippery mess.
'Caution: Wet Floor'
and "We need a broom."

he has practice.

I went out with some friends last night to the Flying Saucer, a cool bar with a very wide selection of beers. Monday is Pint Night, where most stuff on tap is $3. This leads to an amazing number of

22 August 2011


Dew clings to the window screen,
blurring my view. Not that I care.
The only thing that interests me
is wallowing in my despair.
The new day only serves to remind:
my best friend died last night.

21 August 2011

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Quartz

numberless clear crystals
arranged to opacity
and varrying whites

Sorry I'm late.
A small bump in the path
tripped me up.

This small rock
(the length of my pinky)
was once part of something larger:
a mountain.
We are all small,
and yet part of the whole
of humanity.

A glint caught by
the corner of my eye
Then lost in the dirt
until a short wind
revealed it to me.
A happy discovery.

Without its own locomotion
it travelled quite far,
no quartz sources nearby.
A few minor forces
water trickling,
a short kick,
but it made it here.

Small beauties in life
like this bit of quartz
are often surprises.
Appreciate them.

Straight edges
softened with time.
Half rough and
half smooth sides.
Some parts got more wear.

Cracks & crevices
too small to notice
but for the dirt
clinging in them.
Oh, the dirty details.

looks to be a puzzle
with pieces carefully put together
and not easily pried apart

a rock hurled
a face cut
a crystal reddened
a scar formed

Chance made it cloudy,
But not unbeautiful.

Random gifts of
beauty are proof
the universe loves us.

“I found this shiny rock
just for you, Mommy.”
A little girl's
I love you.

Inspired by Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird by Wallace Stevens
We Write Poems Prompt #68
Poetry Pantry #63

20 August 2011

Birthday Cake

My brother was born 
on my third birthday.
We've gotten good 
at sharing the day.

We come up with great cake ideas.
My favorite design so far
really bothered our mom.

Anatomically correct human heart cake:
red velvet cake with black and red icing,
four lobes and a few arteries and veins.
Dad did a great sculpting job on that one.

We turned 22 and 19 that year.

I found the cake especially hilarious as I was in Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy at the time. Grossness warning: this class involved bringing a freeze-dried pig heart home over Thanksgiving break to study for my final exam. Mom found it repulsive, which of course made it more fun to have around. :-)

Free Write Friday: What's your most memorable birthday?

19 August 2011


Keep it a secret!

It was not their fault.
They could not see his face.

The winter snow
found him wishing
he could explain.
He never was given admittance. 

Found on page 121 of Camber of Culdi by Katherine Kurtz

18 August 2011


My wife gasped.
The doctor kept talking, 
my world was on mute.

I drove home on auto-pilot.
Sitting on the couch,
it finally sank in:

the embryo wasn't viable.

Three Word Wednesday CCLLV
gasp, mute, viable

17 August 2011

E is for Esperanto

ABC Wednesday this week features E. I wrote a poem in English here. Because I couldn't ignore that E is for Esperanto, I also wrote this little story(with lots of E words). I've included the translation right below.

I regularly visit lernu.net, where there are free Esperanto courses. Esperanto was created by L.L. Zamenhoff in order to be everyone's second language. It is incredibly easy to learn and is spoken by over one million people worldwide.

Give the poem a read, and you may even recognize some words.

Vi estas tre ebria.
Vi trinkis ekscesa ejlo.
Via edzino ekkoleros.
Ŝi eksedzinigos vin.

Mi havas ekskuzon.
Mi eksplikos ke mi ekmalsatis,
kaj mi trovis taverno escepta.
Tie estis eksterlandano
de la Ekstrema Oriento.
Li rakontis epopeo belega.
Mi ekvojagxis poste li finis.

Ne. Evidente nevera.
Nur apologio estos bona.
Esprimu via domaĝo.
Diru ke vi eraris.
Elpetigu ŝin:
"Havu korfavoron sur mi!"
Elbe, ŝi pardonos vin.

You are very drunk.
You drank excesses of ale.
Your wife is gonna be angry.
She is gonna divorce you.

I have an excuse.
I will explain that I got hungry,
and I found an excellent tavern.
There was a foreigner
from the Far East.
He told a beautiful epic poem.
I left right after he finished.

No. Obviously false.
Only an apology will be good.
Express your regret.
Say you made a mistake.
Implore her,
"Have mercy on me!"
Maybe, she will forgive you.

I translated a poem into Esperanto back in April, in the first week of my blog. You can check it out here.
*28 Aug: Added to Poetry Pantry #64