Category Archives: Challenge

NaPoWriMo2021 Day 12


Today I’m using the Writer’s Digest prompt: Write a poem using at least three of the following six words: convict, great, play, race, season, and voice.

Watching the children play in every season

Summer in Arizona means we can’t stay outside 
for long (too hot!) unless we’re wet. A few hours a day 
we play in the pool. I swim a lap, then sit in the shade to watch
games of Marco Polo or diving for rings. My children’s
happy voices are music to my ears.

Fall’s temperatures gradually cool until the pool
no longer sings its siren song. Off to the park to play,
to swing, to climb monkey bars, to run races.

Only an Arizonan understands
the need to wear a down jacket when the winter temperature
hits a frosty 50 degrees. Can we go somewhere there’s snow?
No. Mama doesn’t remember how to drive on icy roads.
I’ll watch you ride your bikes ‘round the cul de sac instead.

Spring is short in the desert. The blooming orange trees and wildflowers
remind us that blazing heat will return soon. Now is the time for baseball. 
It’s great when we win! Juice boxes and chips after the game.

©ARHuelsenbeck 2021

NaPoWriMo2021 Day Ten


Today’s prompt is Junk Drawer Song. The song I chose is Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye, sung here by Judy Collins and Leonard Cohen in 1976. You might as well play it in the background while you’re reading.

custody battle

no love for us this morning
I found a hair on your pillow and
it wasn’t mine

I went off to the city
you vanished into the forest
distance our common goal

I took the wrench
you took the screws
who took the sharpie

you didn’t say goodbye
neither did I
will we ever greet one another again

do you remember
when we walked together
and our feet always landed at the same time

I took the matches
you took the electrical tape
I lost the scissors

our lives ran parallel
like the shoreline and the sea
then you ran off at a tangent

my eyes were hard as flint
your eyes were soft with sorrow
we weren’t the first disparate souls to fall in love

you took the string
I paid for that screwdriver
whatever happened to the 9-volt batteries

©ARHuelsenbeck 2021

NaPoWriMo Day Nine


I used Writers Digest’s prompt today: write a persona poem for an inanimate object. A persona poem is when you write a poem in the voice of someone (or in this case something) else.

Wedding cake
The Wedding Cake Knife

I was your honored servant the day you were wed
I was so handsome; you loved me so
your soft young hand encircled my silver handle carved with lilies
your husband’s hand guided yours
my blade quickly excised the first slice of cake at your reception
oh, how the crowd applauded
it was my proudest moment

thereafter, I was always included in your family celebrations
and when people remarked on my beauty
you explained I was the very knife that cut your wedding cake
I sparkled with pride; I glowed with the memory
I performed my task with excellence

over the years, I felt myself growing weaker
yet you loved me just the same
you continued to require my presence 
whenever there was cake to serve
and it was my pleasure to comply

when your fifth child became a teenager
she asked you for an ice cream cake for her party
and you did not deny her
I tried to execute my duty
but the frozen confection was beyond my ability
I strained with the effort, aware this would be my final assignment
but I failed

my blade separated from my handle
and the party guests laughed with glee
I was ashamed

but you said, “This was a wedding gift;
it was the knife I used to cut our wedding cake.
I love this knife.”
the girls’ laughter hushed
they heard the affection and the grief in your voice
and they mourned with you

as you cast me aside
no longer the prized possession
I took comfort in knowing 
I had served you well
and my service was acknowledged and valued

©ARHuelsenbeck 2021

NaPoWriMo2021 Day Eight


Today’s Writer’s Digest prompt is metaphor.


sometimes it goes smoothly and effortlessly and
you take it for granted

but it doesn’t always move in the direction you expect
sometimes you fall when you really need to get up

sometimes your progress comes to a halt multiple times
before you reach your desired destination

sometimes it gets stuck and there’s no way of escaping
all your best efforts have no effect

you think you’re in control
but you’re really not

life is an elevator


Kammie’s Oddball Challenge: Climb, Little Vine

Arbor vine

So here’s the thing: last year, the arbor vine that draped over our pool pump fence died off, and I cut it down to the ground. But sprouts came up from the roots, and a couple of months ago, I tied some strings between them and the fence, hoping they’d twine around and find their way up. So far, no progress, but I have my fingers crossed. Here’s what they look like when they bloom:

More Oddballs.

NaPoWriMo2021 Day Seven

NaPoWriMo2021 Day Seven

Today’s prompt is to write a poem in either the shadorma or Fib form. I chose the Fib.

The Fibonacci sequence is a series of numbers which advances as the sum of the previous two numbers, starting with 0, and 1.

The Fibonacci Sequence: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…

The Fib poem is a six-line form. Its syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. Once I understood this form, I knew my subject had to be my middle daughter, who teaches high school math and has a Fibonacci spiral tattooed on her shoulder.


a leader
you amaze me with your knowledge

and scientific
limitless, multifaceted

and compassionate
you advocate for your students

a joy
my precious daughter
I love you with my heart and soul

Flower of the Day: Emu


More Flowers of the Day.

Wordless Wednesday: Mystery Plant

Mystery plant

NaPoWriMo Day Six


Today’s prompt is 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.

The line I selected is:

The sun hovered near the horizon in a final kiss before sinking ever lower. ~ from End of the Road by Karen Michelle Nut.

The Final Kiss

a busy but uneventful day ends
a fatigued me watches the sparse clouds turn golden and pink and red
against the violet sky

as the sun sinks lower
a sliver of moon appears
Venus (or is it an airplane) shines like a beacon

a swarm of stars like fireflies
twinkle across the fading purple of the heavens
and the corona lingers against the horizon 
delivering a good-night kiss
before sliding out of sight


NaPoWriMo2021 Day 5


The official prompt for the day wasn’t working for me, so I chose to use the one from Writer’s Digest, The First (blank).

The First Time I Ever Laid Eyes on You

I couldn’t not notice you
in your Andean striped bell-bottoms
and floral shirt
and your long sideburns

when we went around the room
introducing ourselves
you said you were Greg
and you were gregarious

your laugh was infectious

afterward, some of us planned to meet
at Friendly’s for an ice cream cone
you invited me to come with you
I’d just gotten my first car 
and wanted to drive myself
but you insisted 

your car’s passenger side door didn’t latch
so you tied it to the steering wheel with a length of rope
and told me I had to sit right next to you
on the bench seat so I wouldn’t fall out

not the most auspicious of beginnings
but within two years we were married
and we remain so 47 years later