Tag Archives: free form poetry

it can’t be winter…NaPoWriMo 2019 #25

it can’t be winter…

if I believed the calendar, the wavering
in my stride, my fading memories, the
thinning of my hair and skin, I might
be convinced that it is winter, as you say
but my heart still sings sweet odes to
spring, of quiescent vales greening,
blooming buds, air fragrant with lilacs
and honeysuckle, it was only yesterday
a robin called my name and it was
dawn, I am sure of it, the day flushed
with golden haze, the breeze a-buzz
with the hum of honeybees, of gardens
laden with tubers, beans and peas,
it could be summer after all, my heart’s
refrain, a reverie of endless days, of salty
air and sand, tree leaves pitapatting in
the wind, like the sound of my children’s
tiny feet, growing heavier with each passing
day, it can’t be winter yet, I’ve still so much
to do and say, no matter that the night
is looming, there are dreams yet to
be realized, a reckoning, as chill sets
in, a letting go, a harvesting, how like
the autumn trees I cling to every turning
leaf until it’s time to let them go, now
that I mention it, it must be fall, it can’t
be winter yet…and yet…I saw a snowflake
flutter by, it caught my eye, suspended,
drifting slowly, I suspect a few more
still, and in the silent winter white perhaps
I write; I’ll weave a tapestry of spring, of
summer, and of fall, time slipping through
my hands like sand, I’m tired, I admit it,
how beautiful, how still, the muffled hills
look dressed in snow, how blessed am
I to be here still to see it ‘fore I go


For NaPoWriMo 2019 Prompt #25:
write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)


adipose complex – NaPoWriMo #18

adipose complex

in the beginning, she tasted like
mother’s milk, warm, soothing, sweet
later she was peas, skins popping, soft
centers bursting, then grainy niblets
of pear pulp dancing on my tongue,
I learned to suckle at her breasts
to assuage my longing in times of
sadness, times of fear, when grandpa
died, when mom got sick, through
homelessness, extended stays with
neighbors and distant relatives,
divorce, remarriage, divorce, empty
nests, suicide, illness, and more death,
she started to taste salty, bitter, hot,
my palate craved her sweetness, all
the more, chocolate bits and cake, lots
of cake, the more I ate the harder she
was to find, but I excused my gluttony
as ‘eating for two or three’, or ‘this
is my only vice’, ‘just one more bite’,
my angst only forced her into hiding
under expanding, ugly layers of
adipose flesh, a sick game of hide
and seek we played, of frenzied binges
then starving to see her emerge
again, however briefly, resolutions
declared yearly, only to be dashed
by valentine’s day, I miss her dearly,
but she and I are toxic twins, fighting
fiercely in futility, where no one wins,
I fear I have devoured her completely
after all these years, with nothing left but
her eyes, still recognizable, staring at me
from this old, fat woman in the mirror


For NaPoWriMo 2019 #18 Prompt: write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.


the things i would tell you, even though you already know…NaPoWriMo 2019 #15


the things i would to tell you, even though you already know…

we’re comfortable in an old shoe kind of way,
like a warm sweater on a brisk autumn evening,
comfortable like a song you know all the words to,
or a favorite book with all the best parts earmarked for keeping.
i know every mole, every hair, the where and why’s of your tattoos,
and the way your nostrils flare when you’re angry,
you’re eyes of blue have flecks of grey and black that change
depending on the weather or candlelight…or moonlight…
my shoulders  remember warmth of your embraces,
my lips, your soft kisses, tasting of tobacco and spearmint,
your heart, with its rhythmic cadence comforts me, grounds me,
your soft breasts are a place where I could rest my head forever,
if you’d let me, if we had the time…twenty years  we’ve danced this dance
reading each other’s minds, finishing each other’s sentences…
you know they said it wouldn’t last but they don’t know you like I do
like an old worn out pair of shoes we are, with a few miles left before we’re through
(this one’s for T)

For NaPoWriMo 2019 #15 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.

all i need – NaPoWriMo #7

all i need

what a luxury to give myself
permission to have a dream
without a plan, indulgence,
never was my thing, survival
has its own demands, a never
ending rut of woe where time
moves slow and years pass
fast, the things that last, they
are not things, i’ll tell you true
what moves my heart to sing,
amber turquoise skies at dawn,
lilting bird song, smiles, a gentle
touch, it really doesn’t take too
much, the simplest of all life’s
gifts, bring joy to me when days
are long, three-score and two,
i’ve lived a few and hopefully
a few to come, it is enough for
me and some, to breathe deep
and exhale slow, a moment’s
bliss, that’s all i need to know


NaPoWriMo #7 Prompt: What do you deserve? Name it. All of it. What are you ready to let go of? Name that too. Then name the most gentle gift for yourself. Name the brightest song your body’s ever held. Summon joy like you would a child; call it home. It wanders, yes. But it’s still yours. Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?



It’s Been Three Weeks, But Who’s Counting? – NaPoWriMo #3

Just Three Weeks, But Who’s Counting

it’s been three weeks, actually,
19 days, 6 hours and 27 minutes since
the spot made its villainous appearance,
19 days, 6 hours and 29 minutes since
“your doctor will be calling you,” the
technician said, careful not to spoil
the surprise…but she knew…she knew

what a wonderful day it was, it will
be etched in my memory forever, one
day I’ll say I knew her when…my
granddaughter, she was magnificent
in her school play…it wasn’t a speaking
part, mind you, but her portrayal of a
tree in the wind…it was breathtaking. I cried.

it was a voicemail on my phone,
a nurse, “doctor so and so would like you
to come in to the office this afternoon”…not
unexpected, the technician had warned
me, she had such a nice smile, kind eyes,
around my age, I’m thinking, we talked
about smart phones as she tugged my
floppy breasts onto an ice-cold plate to be
smashed for their photo shoot, “hold your
breath, 3…2…1” …funny how communication
has changed over the years…

the meeting is at 9:30 tomorrow,
I’ll assemble all the slides for the deck,
clean them up and send them to the
team for a final walk-through…btw…
I need to take a few hours this afternoon
I’ll have my phone with me if anyone
needs to reach me…

“nothing to be alarmed about just yet, but
we’ll want to run a few more tests, an
ultrasound, we can do it in the office today”

an ultrasound…I had those
when I was pregnant…now they’re
doing them in 3-D, you know. It’s like
a snapshot, well, a weird sort of
snapshot, where body parts are
sometimes elongated into distorted
shapes, but so much more advanced
than those first cloudy pictures…even so
two heads were easy to make out when
I found out I was having twins, with
a toddler and an infant already at home
I remember lying there in the dark, crying.

“We’d like you to see a specialist. Tomorrow, 9:30.
Here’s the address. They already know you’re coming.”

I’m going to miss the presentation. Maybe
we can reschedule. Although, they don’t really
need me there. Someone else can present it. No
one is irreplaceable, that’s a fact. I’ll get my
assistant to brief me on the take-aways
tomorrow afternoon. Should be able to keep
my lunch date with mom. Need to remember
to pack that book I told her she could borrow.
Great book, a really great book.

it’s been 19 days, 6 hours and 43 minutes
no news is good news, right? I keep telling myself that.
no news is good news when you’re waiting for bad news
19 days, 7 hours and 2 minutes, a message pinged from
the voice mailbox on my smart phone … doctor so and so’s
office, the nurse again, “no need to come to the office, nothing
to worry about, scar tissue was all it was”…who was worrying?

NaPoWriMo #3 Prompt: Meandering…to write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time. Perhaps, as you do, you can focus on imagery, or sound, or emotional content (or all three!)




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