R is for ruddle- Poem: The Cave Wall

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Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

ruddle n. a red variety of ocher, used for marking sheep, coloring, etc.

v. (used with object), rud·dled, rud·dling. to mark or color with ruddle.

Today’s word was found in a slightly roundabout way. I started at raddleman which directed me to ruddleman n. a person who deals in ruddle.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that “talks.” Write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

For today’s prompt, write a dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt.

My poem

The Cave Wall

ruddle marks flurry along the cave’s wall
my only message
my only proof of existance
I mark the days, months
at first I doodled to pass the time
flowers, spirals, a cat, a little stick person
but this cough is more urgent
what to say?
not some old quote
someone else’s words
a legacy
meaningful wisdom
what has life taught me
to pass along?
Don’t get stranded
and die in a cave
wouldn’t be helpful to many
nor the next poor soul that sits here
reading my message
I decide
and the ruddle marks the wall
I doodle some spirals
I mark the days

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Rain in Portugal: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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q is for quires- Poem: Now I Lay Me

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Today’s new word:

quires n. 1. a set of 24 uniform sheets of paper. 2. Bookbinding . a section of printed leaves in proper sequence after folding; gathering.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Yesterday’s poem, Little Bee, is the featured poem on NaPoWriMo today. So exciting. Thank you.

Write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet. This is a prompt that lends itself well to a certain playfulness.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a license poem.

My poem

Now I lay me

acidic
bile building
calcium can’t conquer
dull drunks don’t drown
effervescent ellipses emit
fidgety film
gross
heart hurting
illicit illness insists
jerking jolting jarring jog
killing kiln kicks
license lost
morning
never new
obsess over oddities
plentiful patience, peeking peepers
quires quell quips
ruin reams
sleep
tortured tether
under urban upper-crust
vaulting value vanishes virtues
wintered wandering wonderment
x-ray xenomorph
yawn
zzz

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is A Trio of Tolerable Tales by Margaret Atwood.

Happy Reading and Writing!

P is for perfidy- Poem: Little Bee

little bee

Today’s new word:

perfidy n. 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery. 2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

This prompt is quite timely. Yesterday, I finished up Billy Collins’s Masterclass and there was a lovely section where he and Marie Howe discussed their elegy poems. Mr. Collins’s was “Death of a hat” and Ms. Howe’s was “What the Living Do.” When Ms. Howe finished reading her poem, I got that great WOW feeling. I can’t wait to go back and listen again, and read it when my hold gets to my library.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Take the phrase “Little (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.

My poem

Little Bee

Floating
barely a breeze
slight current moving us mountainward
the wake of a boat passing
jostles into
a rocking, lulling
deliquesce

Then
little bee
your perfidy
How
did you find
my hand?

Breaking
the flow
of a comfortable row
with a piercing
then stinging
then ache

like Sunday
in church
when I finally faced
that she would
never be there
again

I didn’t cry
when you told me
she died
a surprise call
on a sunny
afternoon

There
was a space
where her face
was replaced
reality swiftly and suddenly
stung

I keep
breathing
and flouting
and singing
before
the bee
on a leaf
in this lake

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is What the Living Do: Poems by Marie Howe.

Happy Reading and Writing!

O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

Today’s new word:

ostracon n. a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long. -from Wikipedia

In ancient Greece ostraca were used to vote which citizens should be ostracized.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

My poem

I Am a Piece

I am a piece, an ostracon
I am not broken
I am whole and of the whole
I am unique in size, shape and site
I am your surface, your history,
your judgement

I will not return to the whole
I will bare a name, carved, scarred into me
I will hold its weight upon me immemorial
I will be counted among the other ostraca
I will grow in number and strength, deciding
your fate

I have heard the reasons:
I have been abundant and plentiful
I have been accessible and pliable
I have no other useful purpose, but
I have lasted through time and space to witness
your erosion

Reading

This month, I bought myself a very rewarding birthday gift: a year of access to Masterclass. I love it! I’ve already enjoyed about half of Neil Gaiman’s class and Margaret Atwood’s class. The classes come with beautiful, unique workbooks and videos about the craft from the authors. It’s wonderful.

Yesterday, they added a poetry class by Billy Collins. Though I was not familiar with his work, in the introduction video he showed a lovely sense of humor, so I dove right in.

To my great joy, my library system had a couple of Mr. Collins’s collections for immediate access as ebooks and one as an audiobook and a performance of Mr. Collins reading his poems on audio as well. Needless to say. This week’s inspirational reading will be Billy Collins heavy.

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

N is for nyctalopia and nympholepsy – Poem: Catch and Release

Crater Lake July 4th 2015

The hummingbird moth drinking after dark. photo by Maria L. Berg.

Today’s new word:

nyctalopia n. night blindness.

nympholepsy n. 1. an ecstasy supposed by the ancients to be inspired by nymphs. 2. a frenzy of emotion, as for something unattainable.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

It’s two for Tuesday

  1. Write a catch poem. Catch a cold, a ball, a fish, or someone’s eye.
  2. Write a release poem. Release your anger, a ball, a fish, or someone’s head (from a head lock while wrestling, of course).

My poem

Catch and Release

Catch a nympholepsy for the mundane
the light switch, the space heater, the ceiling fan

Release disinterest, boredom and shame

Catch a glimpse of the unknown
in the spiders’ webs that cling to the walls

Release dust while opening and retying the curtains

Catch my breath when I discover the long lost piece
of something I threw out long ago

Release carbon dioxide and stress with each breath

Catch nyctalopia while remembering the times spent
enjoying it before I lost that piece

Release regret, expectation and need

Catch fire with a new idea
Collect the mundane, your mundane
and turn it to gold

Release preconceived notions, cultural norms, and beauty ideals

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Hourglass Museum by Kelli Russell Agodon.

Happy Reading and Writing!

M is for maypop- Poem: Seer

Queen of Swords

Today’s new word:

maypop n. 1. the edible fruit of the passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, of the southern U.S. 2. the plant itself. 3. South Midland and Southern U.S. May apple.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a prediction poem. Make a prediction. Write about another person’s correct or incorrect prediction. Or, you know, be unpredictable.

My poem

Seer

Come into my parlor
Let me light your way
What is the burning question
That suffers you today?

For that, an easy answer
I can see here in your palm
When you see a maypop
Your true love will come along

But what is this?Let go my hand.
Stop this. Let me go!
Your touch, it burns my skin
There’s something more you desire to know

I see a coming conception
A joining of two worlds
A calculated abomination
A new hell on earth unfurled

Your union is a combination
Of demonic and divine
At this you reveal your real question
“Where is the other kind?”

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Hum (ALA Notable Books for Adults) by Jamaal May.

Happy Reading and Writing!

Fun with homonyms – Poem: Washington & The Planner Experiment April Week Three

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National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Pick a state (or province, territory, etc.), make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My poem

Washington

Mom used to tell me as we road tripped the state
that it’s like the whole country condensed in one place
There’s the ocean’s salty waves that wave from the west
to the rainforest’s trees their trunks, their thick necks
bare to the blade, our trunk full of junk jammed to fill
does not buck with the bumping we pass through
the mountains along treacherous, winding passes and
tire the tires breaking all the way down then pass
the cows ducking ducks and craning cranes
the tank tanks as heat shimmers along the blank horizon
and we worry we’ll tumble like tumble weeds in the wind
but we flow like the currently generated current
to Mom’s hometown where arid space led to space
then I retrace, re-verse in reverse
and retrain the terrain so I can see
that we’ve tripped from sea to shining sea.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Locomotion by Jaqueline Woodson. I was excited to come across this book as I really enjoyed Brown Girl Dreaming.

The Planner Experiment

How are your submissions going? I hope you’re staying motivated and reaching your goals. The project is changing slightly as I’m getting my hands on physical copies of the magazines. This week, I read Alfred Hitchcock and Fantasy & Science Fiction. They were very different and intriguing in their own ways. I hope you’ll look over my descriptions of these magazines and tell me if they are helpful.

This is the final weekend of The Writer’s Games. I’m excited that I was able to write a new story each week. It’s a practice I hope to continue. I’m looking forward to editing the new stories and finding homes for them as we continue this year-long journey.

2019 April Week Three

So how is the experiment going for you? What aspects of the planner are the most useful? What parts aren’t you using?

I’m thinking about adding the poetry editors along with the fiction editors. I also think I’ll start putting the journals that have both fiction and poetry in each of my deadline boxes. That way people that are only interested in submitting poetry will find this planner as useful as writers submitting fiction or who submit both. What do you think?

Happy Reading, Writing, Planning and Submitting!

L is for lucubration- Poem: Not Alone

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                                                                                                           from giphy

Today’s new word:

lucubration n. 1. laborious work, study, thought, etc., especially at night. 2. the result of such activity, as a learned speech or dissertation. Often lucubrations. 3. any literary effort, especially of a pretentious or solemn nature.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem about something mysterious and spooky!

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a view poem. Wherever you’re at, you have a view: maybe of a river or sunset. Maybe of a cubicle or a copy machine. Even the blind have a view of darkness, nothingness, or some other -ness. And that’s just being literal, because everyone has views on sports, politics, poetry, etc.

My poem

Not Alone

In my midnight lucubrations
when this table slips away and
I see my thoughts so clearly
I can plunder and can play

I don’t mean it as an invite
or, maybe, subconsciously, I do
to everything that must bump in the night
to take a walk on through

My sane mind knows that voices travel
on the lake and through these walls
And I’m conscious that old plumbing
can produce those moaning calls

But alone in lucubration
I get an odd sensation
that the smell of smoker’s residue
pressing on my shivering shoulder
is you

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Don’t Call Us Dead: Poems by Danez Smith

Happy Reading and Writing!

K is for kayfabe-Poem: The Art of Kayfabe

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Photo by Martin Kníže on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

kayfabe n. 1. (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object?

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Take the phrase “The Art of (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “The Art of Writing,” “The Art of Painting,” “The Art of Showing Up to Parties Fashionably Late,” and/or “The Art of Being Awesome.”

My poem

The Art of Kayfabe

Gray metal folded and forgotten in the closet
scuffed, dented, not quite trustworthy, not quite stable

Kayfabe your faces with humility,
patriotism, determination and love

Pulled out for card night and large family gatherings
a last resort when every other option is used

For you, the fans, it’s reciprocal see?
Of course, those baby-faced heroes love you.

Not spine supportive, uncushioned
uncomfortable, the back hitting blades

Kayfabe the heels with narcissism, egomania
rage, sadism and bitterness

Quickly re-folded and wall-leaned because
one would rather stand

They don’t love you.
It’s good for you to boo.

But tonight, a glorious tool, a gimmick
tonight, the star of the show

Kayfabe a romance
some boobs in his corner

On the edge of the ring made of shiny barbed wire
surrounding some things that will soon be on fire

Will they? Won’t they? She looks
mad. Did he cheat?

Unleashed in a way
that was not intended

With her sister? Her mom?
Is it true love forever?

With the same passion as helping
you reach forbidden cookies

Will she fight her sister and her mom?
A victim vs. cheaters tag team?

And acting as stage to your paper dolls
and holding your paint can, or muddy boots, or filthy cat, but mostly
those extra unseated guests

But not tonight
There won’t be a butt in this seat tonight

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Happy Reading and Writing!

J is for jequirity bean and jumbies- Poem: Origins

Abrus_precatorius_pods jequirity bean

Today’s new word:

jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius) n. 1. the poisonous scarlet and black seed of the rosary pea often used for beads

jumbie n. a type of mythological spirit or demon in the folklore of some Caribbean countries

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually? Maybe you are from Vikings and the sea and diet coke and angry gulls in parking lots. Maybe you are from gentle hills and angry mothers and dust disappearing down an unpaved road. And having come from there, where are you now?

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a dedication poem. This is a poem dedicated to a person, an animal, or an organization. Or hey, objects work too–like a poem to a rock or paper bag. Put the dedication in the title or in a line under the title (“for Mother” or “to the heart-shaped rock between the creek and the tulips”).

My poem

Origins

I come from the land of Forgotten Mangled Memories
near the town of Twisted Tradgedies
just outside the city limits of Confirmed Reality
in That Never Happened County

The house had many messy rooms
valuable trinkets–fragile, carefully selected
glared at me from every surface
collections of colors, shapes, lines and faces lingered
framed and under glass, covered and consumed
every inch of wall, protective box
each side made slightly smaller
though each world could be fallen into

Called by sound waves traveling along a string to
the ringed cans of past ears becoming
words never said, misinterpreted meanings
Emotions coat all with thick detritus
leaving nothing clear, the jequirity beans
I strung to fight the jumbies scattered
I see them everywhere
The combination of our colored lenses
tint it all a sickly hue
making us turn away and not want
to look back

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver

Happy Reading and Writing!