I didn’t care for today’s official prompt, so I chose an exercise from The Crafty Poet by Diane Lockward and wrote a catalog poem.
Cocktail Sauce to Die For
These are your strong points:
(You could have replaced me by now;
you certainly had opportunities.)
You still have a nice head of hair.
You know how to fix things.
You can name every major battle and
how many men died on either side.
You can reach things on top shelves.
You make me laugh.
You can cook.
You make the best shrimp cocktail sauce I’ve ever tasted, deliciously sour and
with just enough horseradish to make the top of my brain ache.
The inspiration for today’s poem is Day 2‘s prompt: poems and notes to you. The form is tanka, five lines with a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable rhythm scheme. My last line would fit the rules perfectly if I left the third word of the last line as men, but I wouldn’t want anyone to think they shouldn’t vote for a woman of good character.
Note to Self
Study the issues
Election Day approaches
Do due diligence
Scrutinize the candidates
Vote for (wo)men of character
I’m participating in OctPoWriMo (October: Poetry Writing Month), though I’ve missed seven days so far. . .
Today I’m using the prompt from Day 8, Moments of Madness, and the suggested form, the Blitz Poem, which is new to me, and challenged me out of my comfort zone, and maybe caused a little bit of panic. . . but it’s good to try new things, right?
Panic to Mania
Panic drives activity
Panic spawns frenzy
Frenzy wears me out
Frenzy makes me crazy
Hair turns gray
Hair pulled out
Out of sight
Out of mind
Mind is terrible
Mind is waste
Water the lawn
Water the flowers
Flowers on my grave
Cold as ice
Rush to finish
Touches of grace
Touches my heart
Bridges of Madison County
Bridges too far
Far far away
Away from here
Away from Mania
Today’s poetry prompt is love.
Married Forty-five Years
It’s silly to think I’d feel the same about you as I did then.
You don’t feel the same about me, do you?
Of course not.
Then, love was so hot it scalded.
Now, when I see you, I’m warm, warmed by your sight,
warm with contentment.
We’re together; all is right with the world, at least in our little house.
I don’t want to dwell on our memories—
They remind me of what we’ve lost…
But what’s left is more than what most people ever experience.
If I have to grow old,
I’m thankful I’m growing old with you,
my very best friend.
P.S. Actually, it was so late when I looked up the prompt, I didn’t notice love is actually tomorrow’s prompt. <sigh>
Today’s poetry prompt is unsent letters. I feel a little naked sharing this one.
For many years I was angry at you.
You were restrictive and severe with me.
I was convinced you didn’t want me to have any fun.
I didn’t think you were a very good mother.
I was determined to be a better mother than you.
I wish that when I was younger I had written down
exactly what I thought a good mother would do.
Because when I became one,
all my best intentions went out the window.
I couldn’t even remember
what I thought a good mother looked like.
I eventually realized you’d done the best you knew how.
And in a lot of ways, you did a great job.
I forgave you for what you lacked. Then I made the mistake of telling you so.
You told me you thought you had been a very good mother.
And I couldn’t answer that. You had no clue how hard it was to be your daughter.
But now I realize how good my childhood really was.
I had lots of clearly defined boundaries—
I resented those, but they helped me learn
what was right and what was wrong,
what was important and what was meaningless.
And I had areas of incredible freedom
that was appropriate for that simpler time,
freedom which I could not give my own children—
hours of unsupervised wandering around our town.
Sometimes I did things I shouldn’t have,
but the consequences were my own.
I learned to make my own decisions,
though too often I surrendered to peer pressure.
I worry that, in truth, I wasn’t a good parent.
I failed my children in some ways.
When they suffer, I worry that
I didn’t adequately prepare them for life.
Pain is inevitable.
Did I paint too rosy a picture for them?
I wish I could ask you a million questions about raising children,
but you’ve been gone fourteen years.
Why didn’t I ask you long ago?
I miss you so much, Mom.
How did I forget that October is Poetry Writing Month? I missed the first five days! Well, I’ll try to participate from this point on. My offering for today:
All my life I’ve dreamed of
Passing below the crystal pyramid
And worshipping at the altar of
The woman with the enigmatic smile.
When my moment finally came,
I wedged in shoulder to shoulder with the other pilgrims,
Jostled and hurried.
She was much smaller than I had imagined,
Enshrined in plexiglass.
An anticlimactic end to my years of anticipation and saving.
I retraced my steps and
Examined the broken figures I’d rushed past earlier,
Breathtaking gods and goddesses released from stony prisons.
My eyes caressed these less celebrated masterpieces and
My disappointment melted away.
Actually, I’ve never visited the Louvre, except virtually, but it’s on my bucket list.
I’m responding to my own prompt today.
The view from our hotel room balcony.
We never go anywhere
Comfortable at home
With our familiar bed
And our reliable routine
But for a few years
Dreamed of visiting Hawaii
Finally off to the tourist mecca we go
A hotel across from the beach
ABC on every corner
Rainbow after every shower
Early morning plant waterers and sidewalk sweepers
Late night celebrators and walk-takers
Visible from our balcony
Take-out breakfast on the beach
Fresh pineapple and spam at McDonalds
Chocolate macadamia clusters
Purchased and consumed by the boxful
Souvenir shirts (t-shirt for me,
Hawaiian print for him) worn with pride
Studying history at Pearl Harbor
Rental car circumnavigating the island
Catamaran voyage to see the dolphins
Swimming with feet protected by aqua shoes
Favorite memories of a lifetime
I made my husband pose next to this painted rock outside the Waikiki Aquarium.