NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 30 — ‘Adieu, Dear April’


For the final day of the National Poetry Writing Month challenge, I have departed from my pattern. Every other day that I wrote, I have followed the prompt faithfully.  But today — especially since Maureen has made it clear that the prompts are merely optional suggestions — I have decided to ignore the prompt and write what I feel. It seems a fitting close to this challenging and inspiring week. 

More than 2000 poets from around the world have taken part in this adventure, and I thank Maureen Thorson for working so hard and so faithfully to provide us this opportunity. I look forward eagerly to April of 2014.



Dear April, I bid you adieu.
It has been great fun.
To play so with meter and rhyme,
Though no prize I’ve won.

Still, you’re the most challenging month;
You’ve stirred up my muse.
And most of the poems I’ve composed
I can put to use.

I’ve gone to great lengths to match prompts,
Called up gifts by command;
Stretched self to plumb depths still unreached
To create on demand. 

So, April and NaPoWriMo,
I appreciate you.
And fondly, till next poets’ month,
I bid you adieu!


NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 29 – ‘To Love’


A poem using at least five foreign words: That was the prompt for day 29 of the National Poetry Writing challenge.  (I’m running a day behind again, and will have to do day 30 today as well, since May is staring us in the face.)

Now, since the first foreign language I actually studied was Latin, I felt it was only right to start with that. Then in my college years, I switched to French, so I felt obligated to throw in a little of that as well. And … since I am an English teacher, it seemed quite appropriate that I use a verb conjugation as my format. Hope it gives you a smile today:


Amo: I love;
Amas: You love;
Amat: He loves;
And love, it makes the world go round, n’ecst-ce pas?

Amamus: We love;
Amatis: You love;
Amant: They love;
Mai oui, there’s love enough to bless us all!


There’s still time to join the fun for the last day of April:

NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 28 – ‘Yellow’


Day 28, and our prompt is to write a poem based on a color.  I’ve actually done that, since I wrote two poems the day we were supposed to write one that began and ended with the same word. I wrote about the color green that day. However, I didn’t think it was fair to use it again for this prompt, so I have written about a different color today. Here’s my totally light-hearted look at 


Yellow sun, yellow moon,
Yellow ribbon on yellow balloon;

Yellow crayons for coloring,
Yellow bird that chirps and sings.

Yellow duckies, yellow chicks,
Yellow grapefruit freshly picked;

Yellow squash ripe on the vine,
Yellow daffodils — all mine.

Yellow hair, with cheeks so pink,
Yellow lemonade to drink;

Yellow butter drips and drops
From tender yellow corn-on-cob;

Yellow cheese – aroma strong,
Yellow beer to go along.

Yellow curtains, crisp and bright,
Yellow anti-bug porch light; 

But yellow has its ugly side:
Yellow fever; could have died; 

Yellow-bellied, yellow streak,
Yellow-livered, backbone weak.

And sometimes yellow can’t be seen:
It hides in blue and turns to green.


Join the fun for the last three days of the month:


NaPoWriMo – Day 25 – A Ballad

I’m fudging just a little on today’s prompt – a ballad – because I did not write this poem today. I actually wrote it some time ago.  However, taking the definition of ‘ballad’ in its simplest form — a rhymed poem that tells a story — this piece fits the criteria perfectly. And since it’s a poem I enjoy very much myself, I decided I’d take advantage of today’s prompt to share it with you.

I should probably add that the poem is based on a true event that I read about a couple of years ago. There really was a couple that had this experience during World War II, and there actually was an operator whose kind heart helped save their romance.


I read about a Navy guy;
‘Twas during World War II;
He felt that he was so in love
But one thing he could do.

He was on leave, New England way,
And running out of time;
Snowed in, he could not meet his love.
His only hope – a dime.

So in the pay-phone booth, he dialed
The zero. Faith was high.
He told his soulful story to
The operator, Vi.

He gave the number for his love,
St. Louis her address,
And Vi said, “There’s no promises,
But I will try my best.”

So, hanging on the line out east,
The sailor heaved a sigh
And waited with a pounding heart
Till he heard back from Vi.

“I have your party, sir,” she said,
Three minutes’ worth of time.”
“Three minutes!” cried the sailor.
“That isn’t enough time!”

His darling’s voice broke through the wire,
Her voice so light and thrilled,
“What great surprise, your calling now!
I heard you’re snowed in, Bill.”

“Yes, dear, and now I can’t get there
Before my leave is through,
But there is something vital that
I have to say to you.

“You know I’ve loved you for a while;
And I have to know for sure — “
But Vi broke in just then to say,
“We’ve lost connection, sir.”

“Oh, no!” he cried. “You’ve got to help!
I’m ready to propose!
I couldn’t go back overseas
Unless I’m sure she knows!”

“I’ll try again,” Vi said, but then — 
Back on the line, so sad — 
“I can’t get you connected, sir;
The weather is so bad.

“But I can hear your party, sir,
And it seems she can hear me.
If you’d want me to relay your words,
I’d do so happily.”

He heaved a sigh, wiped tear from eye,
And drew deep breath somehow.
“All right,” he said. “It’ll have to do;
I need her answer now.

“Please say, ‘ I’m so in love with you
That before I go to sea,
I’m asking you to be my wife;
Please say you’ll marry me.'”

So Vi relayed the message sweet;
He waited in a stew
‘Till Vi came back online and said,
“She’d love to marry you!”

BLUE TELEPHONENow many years have come and gone;
The couple made their home.
And in every room the pride of place
Goes to the telephone.


To join the National Poetry Month Fun, visit this link:

NaPoWriMo – Day 18, Poem # 2 — ‘Liquid Color’


This is the 18th day of National Poetry Writing Month, and the prompt today is to write a poem that begins and ends with exactly the same word. If you want to join in the fun there’s still plenty of time. Visit this site:

I was inspired on this challenge to use free verse, which I rarely use. Moreover, I was inspired to write two separate poems for this particular prompt.  This is my second poem. The first appears in its own post previous to this one.


Green is a liquid color.
It flows over my soul in a gentle way.
It runs through my feelings like a child at play.
It springs up in me like an April day.
The most liquid of colors is green.


NaPoWriMo – Day 18, Poem # 1 – ‘Ecouter’


This is the 18th day of National Poetry Writing Month, and the prompt today is to write a poem that begins and ends with exactly the same word. If you want to join in the fun there’s still plenty of time. Visit this site:

I was inspired on this challenge to use free verse, which I rarely use. Moreover, I was inspired to write two separate poems for this particular prompt.  This is my first offering. The second will be in its own post.



Nothing stirs the air.

Nothing breathes.

No vibration oscillates.

No frequency receives or carries movement.

No sensation touches auditory nerves.

There is no deafness;

There simply is no hearing,

Because there is no sound.

There is only



NaPoWriMo – Day 15 – A Pantun


Just in case we have new readers who are not familiar withNaPoWriMo, perhaps I should explain again. It’s been a couple weeks since we talked about it in detail. April is National Poetry Month, and Maureen Thorson, in Washington, D. C. hosts a blogsite that invites all poets to participate in a special challenge in celebration of that fact by writing a poem a day for the 30 days of April. Thus NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month). Maureen gives us a new prompt for each day, but the prompts are totally voluntary. We can follow them or write some other kind of poem entirely. We are only halfway through the month, so anyone can still join in the fun. Just hop over to this link and get started:

Day 15:  Pantun is a Malay form of poetry. Although it has been changed and adapted into a slightly different form by the French and English, our challenge today is to write a poem following the exact formula of the original Malay Pantun. That formula consists of a quatrain with 8-12 syllables per line and a rhyme scheme of abab. Furthermore, although there is no formal logical connection required between the two halves of each quatrain, there is supposed to be some degree of “imaginative or imagistic connection” between the two.

I decided, in the interest of time, to limit myself to one quatrain. The following has 10 syllables per line, and I think I’ve met the other requirements as well. Moreover, I’ve shared a powerful truth.


One man may wield with ease a sharp-honed sword,
And drawing blood, strike death with that long knife.
Another for his weapon chooses words,
Yet with dead aim, he too destroys a life.



NaPoWriMo – Day 13 – Along The River


The prompt for Day 13 was to take a walk and incorporate the elements of that walk into a poem.


The sun is playing hide and seek with clouds
Along the river.
The clouds are gray, but friendly, soft, and free
Along the river.

I move unhampered by the flirting breeze
Along the river,
Breathing deeply of the moistened earth
Along the river.

Quiet now invades my mind and soul
Along the river.
I’m letting go of tumbling, troubled thoughts
Along the river.

My past recedes; my future quiet rests
Along the river,
And water speaks to waters deep within,
Along the river.

I sit and contemplate historic days
Along the river:
The generations served by this same stream
Along the river.

And sense that I belong to something great
Along the river:
A part of something bigger than myself
Along the river.

And far beyond my power to understand,
Along the river,
An elemental knowing I am known —
And I am loved —
By the Creator of the river.


Here’s the link to join the fun:

NaPoWriMo Challenge – Day 12 – Saying Things We’d Never Say


Okay the challenge for day 12 is to write a poem “saying only things you’d never say” to some people in your life: parents, lovers, teachers, employers, presidents, corporate execs, etc. Well, here’s what happened when I tried it:


I’ve often thought if telling certain people off.
Imagined speaking my mind loud and clear.
But all the things I’d like to say I’d never say,
So I’ve been challenged just to say them here.

Well, one guy needs to have his head examined,
And this is what I’d like to say to him:
No — wait — I’d never say those words in real life;
They’re just too cold and mean and even grim. 

Well, I could put one boss I had in her place,
And make her feel so bad that she would cry
If I just told her — no — I’d never say that,
And I can’t say it even when I try.

This challenge calls on me to say in meter
The things I’d never say in speaking prose.
It asks me to go straight against my conscience
And verbally attack all of my foes.

But if these words that I am contemplating
Are words I’d “never say,” then you can see
That since I’d “never say them,” I can’t say them,
If I’m to go on being true to me.


Join the fun for the rest of April at this link:

NaPoWriMo – Day 11 – Tanka

The challenge for day 11 is to write an example of Tanka — a form of Japanese poetry that is strictly disciplined by number of lines and syllables, but has no concern with rhyme. The format consists of five lines presented in the following syllable pattern: 5-7-5-7-7- respectively. I have to admit I did not spend a great deal of time on this one — just because I did not have a great deal of time. But I did manage to stick with the exact number of lines and syllables and write something that even makes sense. So … I’m satisfied — well — maybe even a little proud.

(Join the fun here:


I’m American,
Which means I am a mixture.
My blood lines are strong:
Scottish, Polish, Cherokee.
It takes all three to make me.


Photo of Family Tree Template courtesy of the following link:




NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 10 – An “Unlove Poem”


The challenge for Day 10 is to write “an unlove poem” or a “poem of sarcastic dislike.”  So here goes: 



It’s true you quicken heartbeats when you enter rooms.
And every girl around compete’s for you.
The wilting sighs float down the street as you pass by,
And “brilliant” comes to mind at all you do.

Your smile – it’s dazzle quickly melts fair maiden hearts,
Your voice – it has a timbre all its own.
And when you stay away, we girls all miss you so;
That you return to find our love has grown.

But all our smiles and sighs have no effect on you.
And year by year you manage to stay free.
Well, I, for one, know why you never choose a love:
You’re lost in love with what your mirror sees.


There are still 20 days to go. Hop over the Maureen’s site and get started:





NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 6 – ‘Valediction To A Passing Love’


Day 6 of the National Poetry Writing Month challenge involves a prompt to write a valediction — to anyone or anything. I guess some people might think I should take this particular subject more seriously, but, for some reason, these challenges just seem to bring out the whimsy in me, so …..

casket over plot 2

Valediction to a Passing Love 

I have not loved you well,
Nor have I loved you long.
So it is with no strong regret
I sing this parting song.

Your passage through my life
Has barely touched my soul,
So mourning will not weigh me down.
In fact, I feel quite whole.

Adieu, my love, adieu.
I bid you fond goodbye.
But at your grave, for memory’s sake,
A few tears I will cry.


Photo by Susan Buck Ms:

It’s not too late to join the fun. This is just Day 6, so you can still write 25 poems in April.  Visit the link for instructions:


NaPoWriMo – Day 5 – A Cinquain – ‘Invitation’


Another first for me. I have written prose and poetry all my life, but I don’t remember ever writing a Cinquain.  That’s what I love about these challenges: They keep me out of my comfort zone.

According to the definitions I’ve found, the American Cinquain has 5 lines with the following accent pattern:
Line one has 1-2 syllables, 1 accented
Second line has 4-5 syllables, 2 accented
Third line has up to 6 syllables, 3 accented
Fourth line has up to 8 syllables, 4 accented
Fifth line goes back to 1-2 syllables, 1 accented

Below is my Cincquain. To join the fun visit here:



The sea
Beguiles me so:
Its hue, its scent, its song,
Its movements that caress my soul.
I go.


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.”


NaPoWriMo – 2013 – Day 3 — ‘The Anchor’s Away …’


Finally, I am ON TIME!  Today’s prompt is to write a “sea chanty” or “sea shanty,” depending on which historical spelling and definition you choose to favor.  Anyway, we are to write a poem with rhyme and a rhythm that can be used to keep a steady pace at physical work — and it should be connected with the sea as well. Here’s my attempt:


Heave! – Ho! Heave! – Ho!
Over the rim and into the stow;
The anchor’s away, and we have to go.
Heave Ho, Me Mates, Heave Ho!

verse 1
I had shore leave, but now ’tis done,
And I must sale at rise of sun,
To join the fight two weeks begun,
Heave Ho, Me Mates, Heave Ho!

Heave! – Ho! Heave! – Ho!
Over the rim and into the stow.
The anchor’s away, and we have to go.
Heave Ho, Me Mates, Heave Ho!

verse 2
I kissed my love and wished her well;
Said, “I must make my way to hell;
To win this war my soul I’d sell!”
Heave Ho, Me Mates, Heave Ho!

Heave! – Ho! Heave! – Ho!
Over the rim and into the stow;
The anchor’s away, and we have to go.
Heave Ho, Me Mates, Heave Ho!


Hurry over to the NaPoWriMo site and get involved: