Category Archives: Challenges and Writing Prompts

island retirement

Hart Island, NY, USA
island retirement

always wanted to retire on an island,
not exactly what i had in mind but
gotta give it to this place, if disappearing
is the goal, it fits the bill, it’s a bit
crowded and noisy, but the city gave me
my own four walls, a fine pine box actually,
kinda’ reminds me of my first apartment,
damn, but we were cramped in that place,
walls thin as paper, no room to move,
the family packed in like sardines,
like this place where they stack us
three deep...some of the locals say
this place has been around for 150 years,
there’s folks here from 1918, the Spanish
Flu, from that Aids Crisis, and Yellow
Fever, this place has some history,
more than a million souls rest here they say
and now me, plopped here like a time capsule
from 2020, from COVID-19, whose time ran
out, a day past two weeks sprung from the
morgue to make room for more folks
with no one to claim ‘em, not that i don’t
have nobody, my people, they live out
of state, and i didn’t tell ‘em i was sick,
didn’t want to worry ‘em, you know
humph, wonder how long it will take
‘em to miss me, maybe they’ll find me,
maybe not, doesn’t matter much now,
peace out as they say and hey, wear a mask

~kat
For NaPoWriMo2021 Day 8 Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. My subject is inspired by the Potter’s Field on Harts Island in NYC, now being used to bury the unclaimed victims of COVID-19. Read this NY Times article. 

yippee! it’s spring!

yippee! it’s spring!

when fleas make dogs itch
and pollen makes people sneeze
welcome to bloomin’ springtime

days of rain, incessant raining
spring is sprouting and i’m annoyed,
birdsong, bee-buzz, peepers, the noise
muddy mess, yes, i’m complaining
missing sleep from daylight saving
a favorite season for some folk
i’m not impressed and that’s no joke
wake me up when summer’s over
i’m averse to heat and clover
ignore me as i bloat and choke!

~kat

For Ronovan Writes Haiku (Prompt Words: Flea & Sneeze) and Décima (Prompt: NOISE in the B rhyme line) Challenges. 
Décima description: 10 lines, 8 syllable each, rhyme scheme: ABBAACCDDC OR two stanzas of ABBA/ACCDDC.

never you mind

Meme, courtesy of QuoteMaster.org
never you mind

do
tell
you seem
to know all,
everything and more
only your way is right, i know

but consider
if you will, other
ideas
opinions
you may learn something
or not...i forgot

your mind’s not open for business
is it that you fear
being wrong
or that
i’m
right

~kat

For today’s NaPoWriMo2021 Day 7 Challenge: pick from – the shadorma, and the Fib, a combo starting with a Fib followed by the Shadorma and ending with a Reverse Fib.

The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5

The Fib is a six-line form. But now, the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. You can link multiple Fibs together into a multi-stanza poem, or even start going backwards after your first six lines, with syllable counts of 8/5/3/2/1/1.

like shooting stars

like shooting stars

soft as a whisper,
her sweet perfume
lingering in the air,
tosses wisps of my hair,
like a comet, bright,
breathtaking, for a brief
moment as she flits by,
i tilt my head to catch
the sound of her laugh,
avert my eyes when
she glances my way,
she’ll never know how
my heart flutters
when she is near...
it’s for the best,
i tell myself,
i’m not her
type anyway

~kat


NaPoWriMo2021 Day 6 Challenge:

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

You may notice the resulting poem is nothing at all like the book or the inspiring line. That is the beautiful irony of taking words or statements out of context, don’t you think?! 😉
The book I chose, one of my all-time favorites…

Old Turtle
Text by Douglas Wood
Watercolors by Chen’s-Khee Chee
and the text:
“sometimes i feel her breath as she blows by”

bananas for bananas

bananas for bananas

a banana is
the perfect fruit

ask anyone
and they’ll tell you

literally anyone...
what is it about bananas
and why are they so special

oh i can list a few reasons
how do i love thee, fair banana...

almost ripe, firm, smooth on the tongue,
a tinge of green, bittersweet

in smoothies, puddings and
in muffins and cakes and

quick breads (warm from the oven, sliced thick, slathered with fresh butter) too,
long, lean, and luscious, perfect

to eat raw, sliced or mashed,
to take along anywhere

already wrapped, delightful to peel
such a fine fruit...the banana

who wouldn’t love them

~kat
———————-
For NaPoWriMo2021 Challenge - Day 5: Find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. I chose Rita Dove’s poem, “Flirtation” (see below).

Flirtation
BY RITA DOVE
After all, there’s no need
to say anything

at first. An orange, peeled
and quartered, flares

like a tulip on a wedgewood plate
Anything can happen.

Outside the sun
has rolled up her rugs

and night strewn salt
across the sky. My heart

is humming a tune
I haven’t heard in years!

Quiet’s cool flesh—
let’s sniff and eat it.

There are ways
to make of the moment

a topiary
so the pleasure’s in

walking through.

Rita Dove, “Flirtation” from Museum (Pittsburgh: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1983). Copyright © 1983 by Rita Dove. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: The Poetry Anthology 1912-2002 (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2002)



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