Sunday, April 26, 2009

poem a day: 13 through 24

The "Poem a Day Challenge" marches on. I've had to play catch up on the Poetic Asides website as well as here. The prompts have not always been instant grabbers for me, but mostly I've been doing other things. But here's a group, with the prompts, in backward order:

April 24: a travel-related poem

Some days
the farthest I go
is to the mailbox and back.

The mailbox being
at the end of the driveway.

Which is about thirty feet long.

Which some days is just far enough,
thank you very much.

April 23: a poem of regret

For Nancy Jenks

We did not visit you
after surgery, knew
there would be plenty of time
when you came home.
We went about our ordinary days,
shopping for bargains
stopping for lattes
getting books from the library.
We’d ask friends,
“How’s Nancy doing?”
and they would say they thought
you were coming along
that your hip was mending
that you’d be healed soon.
“We should visit her.” we’d say,
but we were so busy.
Who could have imagined
a common hip surgery would lead
to our writing an obituary
for the local paper.

April 22: a work-related poem

Kindergarten Teachers

Day after day
they sing the morning song.
count heads, count blocks,
count lunches,
make calendar patterns,
sort blocks, hand out snacks,
tie shoes, zip up zippers,
show child after child
a good way to hold scissors,
hold a pencil, hold on a minute.
They read six books a day,
spread out nap mats.
pick them up fifteen minutes later.
They invent songs, read poetry,
teach the alphabet, manners,
how to flush the toilet.
Kindergarten teachers
do not work. They just
play with children
day after day.

April 21: a haiku

Kindergarten class
a garden for children
or so they say.

April 20: poem of rebirth


When I return
I plan to be water,
to be level, to flow
wherever there is
open space, settle
into the cracks in rocks,
flow easily into dark caves.

April 19: angry poem

I’ve no use for anger
for slamming doors
for cold shoulders,
for strung out grudges.
My time is better spent
with glasses half-full.

April 18: interaction

Feline stands at the base
of a tall Ponderosa Pine.
She is a statue,
frozen, her head
tilted back, her eyes fixed.
She doesn’t so much
as blink.

Squirrel perches on the trunk
faces down, twenty feet up.
He is equally still,
locked in eye contact.
His tail twitches
only slightly.

April 17: All I Want Is...

All I Want

To relive
that one moment

More than a daydream
with no new end.

A chance to know
what might have been
if only

I had stayed
one moment more.

April 16: write about a color


It sprays across the hills
in early spring. Pinpoints
on dogwood still half asleep,
wave upon wave of grassy slope
and humble weedstrewn yard,
a pointillist display on
branches of black oak.

April 15: change the title of a well-known poem

The Brownie Not Taken

Two brownies sat upon a plate;
one got left, and one got ate.

April 14: a love poem or an anti-love poem
I wrote one of each :-)

Roses are red,
Violets are blue.
I hate love poems.
How about you?


Sixty years of marriage.
She still makes his lunch,
he still makes her coffee.
It must be love.

April 13: poem about a hobby

Free Bookmarks

It started as a practicality:
free bookmarks picked up
from cashier counters
in book stores and libraries.
They would arrive in the mail
with every order from amazon,
or be tucked into books loaned
by friends or bought at book sales.
They began to appear in other places:
on restaurant counters, at the gym,
at real estate offices, conventions,
there for the taking, the advertising.
I have hundreds now, sorted by size
and find myself choosing
just the appropriate one
for every book I read.

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