Tag Archives: OctPoWriMo2021

OctPoWriMo2021 Day 31 and Update


Today’s prompt is Goodbye, train.

train wreck 

low-speed train
fading in the distance
chugging off to points unknown
taking away my last opportunity for love

leaving me alone on the platform
staring at the vacant tracks

I thought that when he left I’d feel sadder

though my heart registers loss
it’s the loss of a dream
more than the loss of him

we had potential together
but he said I was holding him back
I guess we wanted different things
no, not exactly
I wanted to love him
and he already loved him(self)
no love left to send my way

maybe he will find what he’s looking for
what am I looking for
why am I standing here

our relationship was a train wreck


My intention for the month of October was to participate in two different challenges on alternating days: OctPoWriMo by writing a poem on odd-numbered days, and Octangling by drawing a zentangle design on the even-numbered days. I hoped I’d get 14 of each done.

I got mixed up and worked on the wrong challenge on some days, but I did manage to write 16 poems, and I drew 14 zentangle designs. I participated in one challenge or the other for 30 out of 31 days, probably my best October ever.

My most-liked poems this month were “Sonoran Desert, October” and “Retirement.” Have you read them yet?

The ones I liked the best were “It Was a Hospital Room,” “West Side Story,” and “disappointment and despair.”

And please, if you see anything you like on ARHtistic License, please click the “like” button. It makes my day.

OctPoWriMo2021 Day 29: Paris


Today’s prompt is Paris, and the form is rhopalic verse.

Bucket List 

ever been
to Paris, the
city of lights and
city of love; nor have
I ever seen the Eiffel
Tower or the Louvre. I’ve never
strolled along the Seine, never sailed a
toy boat in the Jardin des Tuileries,
never prayed in Notre Dame cathedral. I 
can’t even speak French. But maybe someday I will 
have the time and the means and the opportunity 
to fly across the ocean and experience all the 
wonder Paris has to offer. It’s still on my bucket list.


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 27: Constant Comment


I’m using tomorrow’s prompt: tea.

pouring tea
Constant Comment 

green or black
it deserves its own ceremony
take mine in a mug
but on special occasions
in a fine china tea cup with matching saucer
pinky up

late at night
while reading a good book
make mine chamomile
for a good night’s sleep


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 24


Oh. Man. My intention was to do a zentangle drawing on the even-numbered days of October, but I accidentally wrote a poem instead. And it’s a dark one. Oh well.

Today’s prompt is millstone.


this millstone ’round my neck is like an anchor
dragging me to the bottom of the abyss
I will never be able to extricate myself
I am doomed to drown here

it’s my own fault
I did something I knew was wrong
I have no one to blame but myself
I have no right to associate with good people
my momentary satisfaction wasn’t worth the price of my self-respect and reputation

I am my own judge and executioner
I know the only just sentence
no other recourse but to disappear
to throw myself into the depths weighted down by my guilt and shame
no longer a blight upon the earth


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 23: How Many Times?


Today’s prompt is how we honor loved ones. Although the prompt was intended to be about those who have passed on, I chose to write it about the living.

How many times? 

how many times have you walked through the door with a bouquet of flowers for me, for no special occasion
how many times have I gone to do a chore, and discover it’s already done—you did it for me
how many times have I been angry or upset, and you’ve distracted me with jokes and silliness until I laugh and forget
how many times have you made something special for me for dinner—something I like but you don’t particularly care for
how many times when I’ve had to do something physically demanding were you right there next to me, silently helping me
how many times have you reminisced with me about the old days when we first met or first dated or were first married, and told me what was running through your mind when we were just getting to know each other
how many times have you saved up for something I liked but thought was too extravagant for me ever to own
every time you do those things, I’m astounded by how much you love me


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 21: What it Takes to Write a Poem


The prompt is discipline. The form is acrostic.

What it Takes to Write a Poem 

Intentions and aspirations, requiring keeping
Seat (butt) in
Chair (Sit. Stay.)
Intent on
Poetic devices, rhyme and meter, concentration for
Long hours devoid of any joy
I accept there will be
No reward without


OctPoWriMo2021 Day Nineteen


Today’s prompt is storytelling. The form I chose is terzanelle.

I’ll Tell You Mine if You Tell Me Yours 

Do you want to hear my story?
You must listen with your heart.
Do you want to hear my story?

You must answer with your art.
There must be a compensation.
You must listen with your heart.

You’ll receive no dispensation.
Tell your story in return.
There must be a compensation

or my tale will make you burn.
Share with me your darkest secrets.
Tell your story in return.

Whisper all your shameful regrets.
I have always loved you only.
Share with me your darkest secrets.

But you left me waiting, lonely.
Do you want to hear my story?
I have always loved you only.
Do you want to hear my story?


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 15


Today’s prompt is leaves.

disappointment and despair 

the showy explosion lasts only a week or two
then the lie is exposed
the bursts of color that promised life and beauty
decay to brown
the leaves abandon their posts
fall lifeless to the ground

all that’s left are stark gray trunks and branches
indistinguishable from death
the cold dark months drag on and on
as snow reduces the landscape to black and white
like primitive television

no autumn sight-seeing for me
it’s all a scam
a build-up to nothingness


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 13: West Side Story


Today’s prompt is theater.

From the 2007 Portland Center Stage Production of West Side Story, “America.”
West Side Story 

somewhere in the wings
my son awaits his cue
his heartbeat audible to himself
out of sync with 
the latin music
the band plays

when he signed up for
the high school musical
he looked forward to acting
not knowing he’d be expected to dance

his partner’s full skirt rustles
as she wonders
will he lift me
will he drop me
or will fear so paralyze him
that I never leave the floor

the moment comes
adrenalin kicks in
he twirls the girl
and raises her to new heights
amazing even himself

after the show
his former middle school drama coaches
congratulate him on his performance
and he bursts into tears


OctPoWriMo2021 Day 9: Retirement


Today’s prompt is how to spend the weekend, but you know, when you’re retired, weekends don’t have the impact they used to–we’re on perpetual Saturday. I chose The Bop as the form.


our calendar is all weekends now
each day indistinguishable from another
no workweek to give us structure
no place we have to be
(except for doctor appointments
and routine errands)

what day is it? hell if I know

no reason to dress up
no bosses to please except each other
all the time in the world to do those things
we couldn’t do when we were working
all those things we put off for later
when our schedules wouldn’t be so full
what were those things anyway
damned if I remember

what day is it? hell if I know

we may not be accomplishing anything special
or taking those cruises we put off
the grandchildren we thought we’d have
haven’t materialized
but that’s okay
we still have each other

what day is it? hell if I know