It’s the last day of April, the last day of National Poetry Writing Month, and the final prompt is to write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place.
come back to me I know you’re angry but please put your anger aside and remember what we’ve had together and can still have would it help to know that I’m very sorry I was wrong I shouldn’t have done it shouldn’t have said it wouldn’t have except I was hurt I wish I could erase the pain I caused you but when I thought you stopped loving me I wanted to hurt you too I was mistaken but what was I to think you became so distant you didn’t talk to me barely looked at me I didn’t know what was bothering you why didn’t you tell me I wouldn’t have though less of you I would have shared your struggles less of a burden when carried by two but you didn’t give me a chance so I told you to get out that I didn’t love you any more and you left without a word I had to hear from someone else that you lost your job like so many others during this terrible time we could have made it through would have made it through together still can so please forgive me call me come home fly home drive home hitchhike home run home walk home or call me I’ll come get you just come let me love you again
My grand total for April 2021 is twenty-seven poems. That’s what I like about challenges–they motivate me. That’s not to say that all the poems are great–they’re not. I do like the one above. It might be my favorite of the month. Another one I especially like is The Wedding Cake Knife. My most “liked” poems this month were the one I wrote about my daughter Erin, and Watching the children play in every season, which surprised me, because I considered that a throwaway poem; it felt so uninspired to me. You never know what will touch another human being. Let that be a lesson to me.
Today’s official prompt is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. I came up with a few questions and got stuck. So I checked out Writer’s Digest’s prompt, which is to look over the poems we’ve written so far this month and choose something to rework (remix). The poem I chose to rework also has a lot of questions in it, so I picked some out and added them to what I had already, and I got unstuck. 🙂 Funny how inspiration works.
Remixing questions Where do I go from here? Why do fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing? How can I circumnavigate the obstacles that separate me from my goal? How come you look more beautiful every day? Will the trash cans ever be emptied? Will this pandemic ever be over? How many more days until Christmas? Will you marry me? How many more payments until the mortgage is paid off? Will the circle be unbroken? Who wrote the book of love? Who let the dogs out? What day is it? Who ate the last piece of cake? Does this dress make my butt look fat? How about those Yankees? How is insisting on your rights (not to wear a mask, not to take a vaccine) loving your neighbor? Is this how humanity ends?
While watching this video on the site:
. . . I was hit by how much I miss having small children in my life. My own five children range in age from 31 to 42. I have no grandchildren. My second teaching career, teaching elementary general music to grades kindergarten through sixth grade, helped fill that void, but I retired seven years ago. I know there are lots of ways I could voluntarily have children in my life again, but it’s just not possible right now.
Kidlessness my arms ache to cradle a dozing infant my eyes wish to marvel at the perfection of a tiny fingernail my fingers itch to caress the fuzzy cap of hair soft and smooth as mink my ears long to hear hearty peals of childish laughter to share the joy of a surprise peekaboo my lips desire to kiss the booboos and make them all better to whisper the words that will heal bruised feelings when I hear a mother claim she’s bored at home with the kids all day I want to shout you don’t know how blessed you are don’t waste a single moment you have together how precious they are how coveted to see the world anew from the perspective of a child to wonder at a pebble or a leaf or a feather to see the spark of understanding take hold and grow to witness increasing competence every day to share life with the one I love more than myself there’s nothing better
Today’s prompt is to write a parody of a poem. I chose to spoof this one:
Dreams as Idea Source As a friend to the writer commend me the Dream. You will find it can even portend. It will tease and seduce you and feed you ice cream Or lead you into a dead end. A writer who dwells on the best-seller list (the happiest place you can be!) Says a Dream is the best idea source that exists. Then, surely, the Dream is the key. So tell all the writers to sleep with a pad And a pencil right next to your bed And capture your Nightmare— or whatever you had. (Or write down your Dreamscape instead.)
Find a factual article about an animal. Make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else. You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.
I chose an article about elephants. I replaced the word “elephants” with . . .
The Secrets of my Childhood the secrets of my childhood grow tusks that plow furrows into the soil of my existence into which I sow the despair of my longing led by a matriarch, the secrets of my childhood are organized into complex social structures that do not allow pathetic creatures like me to escape the secrets of my childhood tend to live in isolation and I am forced to dwell in the jungles of regret hidden from the outside world the secrets of my childhood need extensive land areas to survive I forage in the undergrowth for sustenance there will never be enough
Today’s prompt is to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another.
My poem is inspired by the first stanza of too sweet, by Charles Bukowski.
Supermarket Soap Opera for years, your daily routine included a trip to the grocery store where you knew every clerk by name for years, I visited the same store weekly, and knew no one though they all knew me but no one ever suspected the connection between us two— our marriage I finally learned all your favorite checkers’ names and mentioned you to them and they all said, no way; you couldn’t possibly be married to that guy I don’t know why until the day we walked in together and said, “see, we told you so”
Today’s prompt is to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.
originally drafted to promote nuclear disarmament based on the semaphore signals for N and D my generation appropriated it to stand for opposition to the war in Vietnam it came to be associated with long hair, love beads, bell bottoms, marijuana but also with two fingers forming a V and the general concept of peace
Entertain me Make me laugh with your silly jokes Make me cry with the stories of your past Make me think with the challenges of your mind Make me dream with the possibilities of your imagination Make me long for the next time we’re together Shock me with suggestions I’ll never take Embarrass me by pointing out my faults Embolden me by naming my strengths Seduce me with your sweet-talking lies Entertain me so I’ll never leave you
Today’s prompt was to write a humorous rant. I got the rant part down. I don’t think it’s very humorous, though.
Cold Call Why must telephone callers talk so fast? I’m old—I listen slowly. Please! Identify yourself and give me some context. How do I know you? Why are you calling me? Don’t ask me how I am today Before I know who you are. If you’re my pastor or my cousin I’ll give you a more complete answer than I would to a stranger. When I was a little girl my mother taught me what to say on the phone. Start with Hello, Mrs. Ladisky. This is Andrea. May I speak to Bonnie Anne, please? Do parents even teach phone etiquette anymore? When I was a little girl a phone call was a public affair that took place in the kitchen in front of your entire family. There was no privacy, and there would be a critique. You could only get as far away from familial ears as the length of the cord would allow. Nowadays, every 10-year-old has his own private cellphone, and he can’t even tell you his parents’ phone numbers. HellohelloamispeakingtoMrsHooHooHeeyouselbeck? Howareyoutoday?Iaminterestedinbuyingyourproperty locatedat1234SpectacularAvenueareyouinterestedinselling? Letmejustaskyouafewquestionstogetstarted…