The Final Destination

Today’s final NaPoWriMo prompt is to write directions describing how a person should get to a particular place.

The final PAD prompt is a goodbye poem.

Over at the A to Z Challenge they have a word scramble. The Janus word for today is zip which can mean energy, vim, or nothing, nada, zero

fisheye view of trees and sun

Time To Go

Goodbye. It’s time
for me to be
on my way

If only I knew
where I wanted to be

I would zip up the stairs
and burst out the door
climb into the car
and back down the drive

I could turn right or left
and loop directly back here
somehow climbing uphill
both ways

with water always at my right hand
an eagle soaring overhead

and if I venture further
past the pentacostals and jehova’s witnesses
the elementary school or the gas station
speed down the hill or up
the road will bring me here again

larger loops radiating
as if a stone dropped in the lake
on a still day
I might as well stay

An Irreplaceable View

Tonight is the Poetry & the Creative Mind Gala. It’s free.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to imagine looking through a window, any window, and describing what I see.

The PAD prompt is to write an evening poem.

Over at the A to Z Challenge they’re playing the Yes Game. My Janus word is yield which can mean; to give up, surrender, or relinquish, but also; to produce by natural process.

Today is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub where you can share your best recent poem and read and comment on all the great poetry being shared.

This is the window

with the slightly broken sill
covered in flakes of pop-corn ceiling
with semi-sheer blinds that when open
tuck up all wrinkled on one side
through this dusty, cobwebbed window
revealed by off-white sheers belted to hooks
where a speck of a beige-dotted bug climbs
there’s a once thought impossible view

because for my whole life
it was blocked by next door’s tall firs
providing cool shade lakeside
my great aunt told me
she did it on purpose
to hurt her brother next door
a family feud of unnatural proportion
wielding God’s power one sibling on another
imagine each day’s hurt never recovered

But they’re all gone now
and I can finally see past
the iron railing, the rhodie, and the hedge
to the rippling water, a dock, and a buoy
to the houses and the park, but above that
what this table was so long deprived
is the sky filled with mountain–
ignore the threatening volcano inside–
massive contrasts of blue and white
glacier and rock, snow blanketed slopes
it’s never not amazing, not one single time
I look, even hiding behind complete cloud cover
when a stranger wouldn’t know it’s there

I tried to think of any other window
where I would rather look
and suddenly, I am in the international
space station, looking down on Earth
my body is confined, but my view
through this small portal is as if
the eye of God. To see the sphere
its atmosphere floating in the void
to know the glorious insignificance
of momentary stresses, bringing
overwhelming strife, but seeing
all connection of a day in life

But there’s no coming back from that
I’ve already known what new seeing
can do, would I want to add that fractured
knowing too?

I only have this window for a ticking-clock
of time, I want to be aware, to take in each tick
of this view while it’s sublime, the years
of firs blocking the way flew so quickly by
knowing there are limits, a coming end
erases the flaws in the pane, even the
baked-on bird gifts that won’t scrape
with a blade, all I see gleams
this view holds a vivid shine

So Many Questions

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The PAD prompt is to write a remix poem. These should work well together. It’ll be interesting to look back through this month’s poems and see which questions spring to mind.

My Janus for the A to Z challenge is the letter X which can mark a spot, or delete it.

Heightened Senses

What sense would I heighten if I could?
Which sense is the villain of my story?

Which smells trigger my memories?
Are they pleasant smells or foul odors?

What color tints my vision?
What do I see in the clouds?

What is this ringing in my ears?
What voice do I hear in the dark?

Which word tastes best in my mouth?
What flavor was the glue?

What texture represents me?
Why do I step on broken glass?

How far do I want to see clearly?
Which frequencies would I choose to hear?

What are the tastes I would enhance?
Could there be a dial for only pleasant smells?

If I sign by the X and everything would be as soft as Levi,
would I heighten a sense if I could?

The “news” Makes Parody Easy

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a parody. The PAD Challenge is a title prompt: “(blank) World”.

Over at A to Z Challenge there’s a challenge to add some variety to the day. One of the options is to try a new kind of exercise. I saw cardio drumming for the first time on a mystery show from New Zealand. I have a yoga ball and drumsticks. I think I’ll give it a try.

The Janus word for today is vault (1) A small locked box; (2) the expanse of the heavens.

My parody was inspired by a silly thing Larry Kudlow said. After watching the segment, he may have been making fun of “plant-based” as terminology and not saying the ridiculously stupid thing he appears to be saying, but my poem’s a parody and the idea is funny, so his original intent can linger as nonsense either way.

Lest a Green New World, All Must Fear the Plant-Based Beer

We’ve all been warned
it was on the “news”
from that treasured vault,
got those TV views

Do not listen to scientists
if they don’t agree
but he says there’s a study
that supports, soon we’ll see

They’re coming for our summer meats
no more family bar-b-q’s
We’ll be roasting brussel sprouts
and then what chaos ensues?

That’s right! We’ll be drinking
plant-based beers
removed of all that tasty flesh
or at least that’s what Larry hears

No more hamburger in our hops
no more bacon in the barley
no more yak shank in the yeast
might as well cancel all the parties

No fermented flank steak
or bubbly buffalo wings
Absent the Angus ale
and the joy a perfect pork-loin pint brings

How will we get a buzz without
a beefy broiled Bud
and what will tint the goggles
if there’s no sirloin in the suds?

*After writing my poem, I found this post about beers that are brewed with meat. Gross, but I felt it should be included.

Sky Awareness Week

A photograph of interesting clouds in the sky.
Practical Nephelococcygia – by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem for a particular occasion. And the Poem-a-Day prompt is to write a thought poem.

The occasion prompt inspired me to head over to National Day Calendar and see what kind of National events and “days” are happening. I was surprised by what I found.

Today is:

With that many special occasions that I won’t be celebrating for just one day, I thought I would look at what this week will be, and found:

A patch of blue sky with faint clouds.
A Patch of Blue – by Maria L. Berg 2021

A few of those got me thinking. National Work Zone Awareness might be difficult if you are observing Sky Awareness. And Every Kid Healthy may conflict with National Princess Week. However, Sky Awareness could combine with Princess Awareness if you see castles in the sky, and Medical Laboratory Professionals can be appreciated for keeping Kids Healthy and Infant Immunization. Lots to think about, but I’m kind of stuck on Sky Awareness Week. The idea that people might only be aware of the sky for one week in April is interesting and surprising. 🙂

Clouds in the sky.
An Offered Palm – by Maria L. Berg 2021

Nephelococcygia and the art of sky awareness

It’s finally here
the nationally recognized week
I’ve waited for all year

Those seven days
to lay down outside
and shift my gaze

up to the sky
and become aware
of things that fly

like jets and seaplanes
eagles and ducks
pleasantly observed until it rains

and clouds in layers
creating shapes
for nephelococcygian players

shifting and forming
fantastical beasts and faces
and castles before the storming

when I’ll run inside
but still be aware
the sky will abide

above and at week’s end
when awareness shifts
back to the earth to tend


sky unobserved like a falling tree
in the forest, eyes closed
no clouds to see

for another year
of head-in-sand
sky-falling fear

Exporting Flying Dreams

NaPoWriMo has a fun prompt where I’m to find an article about an animal and replace the animal name with an abstract or other specific concrete noun. The Poem-a-Day challenge is to write a question poem and my Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is unbending; meaning both rigid, inflexible, refusing to yield or compromise, as in “his stance against reform was unbending”; or becoming less tense, relaxing, as in “unbending a little, she confided…”

Capturing Rainbow Butterflies (2020) bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg
Capturing Rainbow Butterflies (2020) bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg

Flying Dream Felons?

Though flying dreams
are not endangered,
they are vulnerable
because their habitats
are vanishing

a concerned citizen
called authorities
after noticing boxes–
flying dream traps–
on trees in Florida

Americans aren’t the only ones
who find dreams adorable
they’re small, furry
exotic notions
valued and thought of
as pocket pets

while it is legal
to breed flying dreams,
in most cases, it’s illegal
to take them from the wild
and sell them to wildlife exporters

and flying dreams make awful pets
unbending in their
nocturnal enterprises, they
make a lot of noise at night
and they have sharp teeth

imagine how the dreams must feel
taken from their homes
and sent to foreign lands

Inspired by “Flying squirrel felons” by John Kelly, published in the Washington Post April 13, 2021.

It’s Not Easy to Eagle a Mergansered Verb to a Terrible Appointment

An eagle near the top of a fir tree surrounded by cones.
Big Screamy atop the fir tree – by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a response poem to another poem.

The PAD challenge is to write an appointments poem.

My Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is terrible which can mean formidable, or lousy.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt inspired me to head over to ModPo on coursera to listen to and read some of the poems discussed there. In the resources section, I took a look at ModPo Plus (part 1) and found “Popcorn-can cover” by Lorine Niedecker.

Popcorn-can Cover by Lorine Niedecker.

In this succinct poem, Niedecker uses “mouse” as a verb which reminded me of Alana’s great rant poem the other day “Just saying” on Poem Dive.

I really love how Niedecker created this connection for me: an image of the cold, scritching and scratching a hole in the wall to squeeze its whiskered nose and furry body through. So for my response, I want to try a few of these to see if I can create some great imagery by turning a noun into a verb. Plus it will have to be a terrible verb that has an appointment. 😉

  1. Inflatable sea-turtle raft
    launched from the terrible,
    slippery ramp
    so she can
    merganser all day

  1. Glittered Seahawks flip-flops
    slipped under my soles
    to cover my delicate skin
    so those sneaky shards of glass
    from last winter’s storm
    can’t tiger-muskie in

  1. This shock gasp
    squished into a swimsuit
    has an appointment
    with the chilly water
    so the dread
    can’t eagle down


A Feather in His Cap

A blue bokeh shape feather on a hat next to a headpiece.
A Feather in His Cap – bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg 2021

Today NaPoWriMo,s challenge is a metonymy prompt: “write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.”

The Poem-a-Day prompt is to write a nature poem.

Today’s Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is screen which can mean to conceal with or as if with a screen; or “to display prominently” as in screening a film.

A Feather in His Cap

There was a time
not so long ago
when a man would not leave home
without his hat

the rounded dome
with a short curved brim
made famous by a tramp
of a comedian on the silver screen

but is that a bird feather
in the band of that bowler
tucked with pride, showing
off kills or vanity?

as he fashions that fedora
that flash of color never seen
in black and white on the small
screen while detecting

but that ptarmigan
is thrilling as
he tips his trilby
and has her all aflutter

the ostrich dances
as he bows low
and swirls his cap
with foppish aplomb

as history and etiquette
melt away or we forget
caught up in the
spectacle of millinery

Fun with Repetitive Form

Poster with Camellias by Maria L. Berg 2021

I received my National Poetry Month poster in the mail today, so I thought I’d post it on my door and take some pictures with the lovely camellias already in bloom. As I was attempting this photo, the sun began to break over the roof, creating that lovely glare and reflection.

NaPoWriMo has a very interesting prompt today. The idea of “double deed” seems to be perfect for Janus words once I come up with my repetitive set-up. I had a little trouble getting started, so I used my personal universal deck for inspiration, and it worked!

The PAD prompt is a title prompt “(blank Me).”

Today’s Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is replace which can mean “to restore to a former place or position”, or “to put something new in the place of.”

Didn’t MEan to be MEan

When silence needs to be replaced
then take it into the sun and dust it off
When the dust is fine and sparkling
then pay the fine that fits the bill
When the bill arrives, don’t clip it to bits
then clip the bits to a to-fix list
When in a fix, can’t find what to wear
then wear down a mean mirror and spin until blinding
When the mean of the glare is leased as a power source
then find a new lease on life and take off
When the trajectory is off, who knows where we’ll wind up
then the wind up has potential to really go
When potential begins to go, will it
then be replaced with silence for a song

Sijo: a new form to me

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a sijo. Thank you for featuring yesterday’s perch rant.
The PAD Challenge is a two for Tuesday: 1. Write a love poem 2. Write an anti-love poem
The Janus word for A to Z challenge is qualified which can mean “limited” (as in “qualified success”); or “skilled, skillful” (as in “a qualified expert”).

pink Mylar balloon, floating on a lake
photo by Maria L. Berg 2021

Eye-catcher

Is this a qualified vessel, floating past, on the waves?
Bobbing Mylar, passion pink mystery of lost love loose
caressed by surface tension and kissed by a summer breeze