NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 4 – A Series of Unlikely Explanations


Day 4 of the NaPoWriMo challenge offers a very unusual prompt.  Here it is in the words right from the NaPoWriMo site, in  host Maureen Thorson’s words:  “Recently, I read an article about the Scottish science fiction writer Iain M. Banks. His books often have spaceships in them. And those spaceships have extremely odd, poetic names. Like:

Prosthetic Conscience
Irregular Apocalypse

Unfortunate Conflict of Interest
Gunboat Diplomat
Very Little Gravitas Indeed
A Series of Unlikely Explanations

So your challenge for today is to write a poem with a title drawn from one of these spaceship names.”

Now, the list of spaceship names on the site is much longer, but I stopped with “A Series of Unlikely Explanations” because it is the one that inspired a poem for me. Since the title is borrowed from a science fiction writer, I kept the science fiction theme as well.

You’ll find the poem below, and if you want to take part in these fun challenges for National Poetry Writing Month, just visit this site:



“Johnny,” said his teacher, “where’s your homework?”
“Uh …” the child replied, “well, it’s like this.”
Then calling on his great imagination,
John recited his excuses like a list.

 “I saved my book report until the last day
Because I wanted it to be so fresh;
I wanted to review again my story,
And type it so it wouldn’t be a mess.

“But when I went to print it out on paper,
The printer said that it was out of ink.
So Dad said he would go to Wal-Mart for some,
And that he would be back in just two blinks.

“I waited and I waited with my printer,
And as the hours ticked by, I fell asleep,
But did not wake until the sun disturbed me,
So quickly from my chair then I did leap.

“I went in search of Dad, but found him nowhere.
My mom said he had called to say goodbye.
He’d seen a spaceship land not far from Wal-Mart,
And with those spacemen he’d agreed to fly.

“He said it was a chance for rare adventure,
And he was sure that you would understand,
And promised that when he returns with more ink,
My book report will be a story grand! 

“I know you tell us life’s a great adventure;
Of opportunities to be aware,
So I was sure you’d want to wait ’til next week,
To have my book report to read and share.”


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