Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Lesson in 'Thanksgiving'

I absolutely refuse to celebrate halloween (or even capitalize the word), but I most definitely celebrate Thanksgiving. And it's Thanksgiving (November 28th this year)  that's been on my mind a lot lately. Hence my new Thanksgiving poem. I'll share it with all of you and help you get into the mood with me.
Pilgrims reached the blessed shore,
But bitter winters were in store.
Death and anguish played their part.
Still, 'twas with a thankful heart
That they gathered to expound
Upon the God whose gifts abound.
We, who in their footsteps trod,
Though they lie beneath the sod,
Now do take the lesson learned
From their lives, and, in our turn,
We prepare to thank and praise;
To that same God our anthems raise.
And just as they faced troubled days,
Through hardships grievous made their ways,
So, now, such grievous times we face,
That ne'er before have taken place.
Yet from their lesson we take heart
And lift our songs with grateful hearts.
We will not bow to troubled thoughts,
Nor in the throes of fear be caught,
We have too rich a heritage.
So with forefathers we engage
To praise and sing and laugh and play
And celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

As The World Turned

I originally created this poem for a writing challenge from a blog on WordPress. The challenge is past, so I won't include the link here.


As the world turned and turned and turned,
So his heart yearned, and churned, and burned.
Day unto day and night unto night
He pondered on ways to satisfy spite.

If he could not have her – his love, his life,
He'd see to it no one else made her his wife.
He thought out his strategy, planned every move,
And finally knew how to deal with his love.

So swiftly he made his way into her room
And there, as she slept, introduced her to doom.
Then, satisfied that a lesson she'd learned,
He joined her in silent death as the world turned.


Friday, May 3, 2013

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 30 'Adieu Dear April'

For the final day of the National Poetry Writing Month challenge, I departed from my pattern. Every other day that I wrote, I followed the prompt faithfully.  But on the last day -- especially since Maureen had made it clear that the prompts were merely optional suggestions -- I decided to ignore the prompt and write what I felt. It seemed a fitting close to this challenging and inspiring week. 
More than 2000 poets from around the world took part in this adventure, and I thank Maureen Thorson for working so hard and so faithfully to provide us such a wonderful opportunity. I look forward eagerly to April of 2014.

Dear April, I bid you adieu.
It has been great fun.
To play so with meter and rhyme,
Though no prize I've won.
Still, you're the most challenging month;
You've stirred up my muse.
And most of the poems I've composed
I can put to use.
I've gone to great lengths to match prompts,
Called up gifts by command;

Stretched self to plumb depths still unreached

To create on demand.
So, April and NaPoWriMo,
I appreciate you.
And fondly, till next poets' month,
I bid you adieu!
To visit the site and connect with the poets who took part, you may visit this link:

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 29 - 'To Love'

A poem using at least five foreign words: That was the prompt for day 29 of the National Poetry Writing challenge. 
Now, since the first foreign language I actually studied was Latin, I felt it was only right to start with that. Then in my college years, I switched to French, so I felt obligated to throw in a little of that as well. And ... since I am an English teacher, it seemed quite appropriate that I use a verb conjugation as my format. Hope it gives you a smile today:
Amo: I love;
Amas: You love;

Amat: He loves;

And love, it makes the world go round, n'ecst-ce pas?
Amamus: We love;
Amatis: You love;

Amant: They love;

Mai oui, there's love enough to bless us all!
There's still time to join the fun for the last day of April:

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 28 - Poems Based on a Color

Day 28, and our prompt is to write a poem based on a color.  I've actually done that, since I wrote two poems the day we were supposed to write one that began and ended with the same word. I wrote about the color green that day. However, I didn't think it was fair to use it again for this prompt, so I have written about a different color today. Here's my totally light-hearted look at 
Yellow sun, yellow moon,
Yellow ribbon on yellow balloon;
Yellow crayons for coloring,
Yellow bird that chirps and sings.
Yellow duckies, yellow chicks,
Yellow grapefruit freshly picked;
Yellow squash ripe on the vine,
Yellow daffodils -- all mine.
Yellow hair, with cheeks so pink,
Yellow lemonade to drink;
Yellow butter drips and drops

From tender yellow corn-on-cob;
Yellow cheese - aroma strong,
Yellow beer to go along.
Yellow curtains, crisp and bright,
Yellow anti-bug porch light;
But yellow has its ugly side:
Yellow fever; could have died;
Yellow-bellied, yellow streak,
Yellow-livered, backbone weak.
And sometimes yellow can't be seen:
It hides in blue and turns to green.
You can still visit the site and find links to the bloggers who participated.

National Poetry Month Challege - Day 25 - A Ballad

I got the last 4 poems that I did for NaPoWriMo posted onto my WordPress blog during April, but I did not get them posted here before the end of the month. Nevertheless, I will share them.
Also, I'm fudging just a little on Day 25 - the ballad - because I did not write this poem just for the April challenge. I actually wrote it some time ago.  However, taking the definition of 'ballad' in its simplest form -- a rhymed poem that tells a story -- this piece fits the criteria perfectly. And since it's a poem I enjoy very much myself, I decided I'd take advantage of the prompt and use it again.
I should probably add that the poem is based on a true event that I read about a couple of years ago. There really was a couple that had this experience during World War II, and there actually was an operator whose kind heart helped save their romance.
I read about a Navy guy;
'Twas during World War II;
He felt that he was so in love
But one thing he could do.
He was on leave, New England way,
And running out of time;
Snowed in, he could not meet his love.
His only hope - a dime.
So in the pay-phone booth, he dialed
The zero. Faith was high.
He told his soulful story to
The operator, Vi.
He gave the number for his love,
St. Louis her address,
And Vi said, “There's no promises,
But I will try my best.”
So, hanging on the line out east,
The sailor heaved a sigh
And waited with a pounding heart
Till he heard back from Vi.
“I have your party, sir,” she said,
Three minutes' worth of time."
“Three minutes!” cried the sailor.
“That isn't enough time!”
His darling's voice broke through the wire,
Her voice so light and thrilled,
“What great surprise, your calling now!
I heard you're snowed in, Bill.”
“Yes, dear, and now I can't get there
Before my leave is through,
But there is something vital that
I have to say to you.
“You know I've loved you for a while;
And I have to know for sure -- "
But Vi broke in just then to say,
“We've lost connection, sir.”
“Oh, no!” he cried. “You've got to help!
I'm ready to propose!
I couldn't go back overseas
Unless I'm sure she knows!”
“I'll try again,” Vi said, but then -- 
Back on the line, so sad -- 
“I can't get you connected, sir;
The weather is so bad.
“But I can hear your party, sir,
And it seems she can hear me.
If you'd want me to relay your words,
I'd do so happily.”
He heaved a sigh, wiped tear from eye,
And drew deep breath somehow.
“All right,” he said. “It'll have to do;
I need her answer now.
"Please say, ' I'm so in love with you
That before I go to sea,
I'm asking you to be my wife;
Please say you'll marry me.'"
So Vi relayed the message sweet;
He waited in a stew
'Till Vi came back online and said,
"She'd love to marry you!"
BLUE TELEPHONENow many years have come and gone;
The couple made their home.
And in every room the pride of place
Goes to the telephone.
The challenge is finished for this year, but you can still visit this link to find the blogs that participated and read their poetry:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 18 -- Poem # 2

This is the 18th day of National Poetry Writing Month, and the prompt today is to write a poem that begins and ends with exactly the same word. If you want to join in the fun there's still plenty of time. Visit this site:
I was inspired on this challenge to use free verse, which I rarely use. Moreover, I was inspired to write two separate poems for this particular prompt.  This is my second poem. The first appears in its own post previous to this one.

Green is a liquid color.
It flows over my soul in a gentle way.
It runs through my feelings like a child at play.
It springs up in me like an April day.
The most liquid of colors is green.

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 18 -- Poem # 1

This is the 18th day of National Poetry Writing Month, and the prompt today is to write a poem that begins and ends with exactly the same word. If you want to join in the fun there's still plenty of time. Visit this site:
I was inspired on this challenge to use free verse, which I rarely use. Moreover, I was inspired to write two separate poems for this particular prompt.  This is my first offering. The second will be in its own post.
Nothing stirs the air.
Nothing breathes.
No vibration oscillates.
No frequency receives or carries movement.
No sensation touches auditory nerves.
There is no deafness;
There simply is no hearing,
Because there is no sound.
There is only

Monday, April 15, 2013

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 15 - A Pantun

Day 15: Pantun is a Malay form of poetry. Although it has been changed and adapted into a slightly different form by the French and English, our challenge today is to write a poem following the exact formula of the original Malay Pantun. That formula consists of a quatrain with 8-12 syllables per line and a rhyme scheme of abab. Furthermore, although there is no formal logical connection required between the two halves of each quatrain, there is supposed to be some degree of "imaginative or imagistic connection" between the two.
I decided, in the interest of time, to limit myself to one quatrain. The following has 10 syllables per line, and I think I've met the other requirements as well. Moreover, I've shared a powerful truth.
One man may wield with ease a sharp-honed sword,
And drawing blood, strike death with that long knife.
Another for his weapon chooses words,
Yet with dead aim, he too destroys a life.
We're only half-way through National Poetry Month, so it's not too late to join the fun:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 13 - 'Along The River'

The prompt for Day 13 was to take a walk and incorporate the elements of that walk into a poem.
The sun is playing hide and seek with clouds
Along the river.
The clouds are gray, but friendly, soft, and free
Along the river.
I move unhampered by the flirting breeze
Along the river,
Breathing deeply of the moistened earth
Along the river.
Quiet now invades my mind and soul
Along the river.
I'm letting go of tumbling, troubled thoughts
Along the river.
My past recedes; my future quiet rests
Along the river,
And water speaks to waters deep within,
Along the river.
I sit and contemplate historic days
Along the river:
The generations served by this same stream
Along the river.
And sense that I belong to something great
Along the river:
A part of something bigger than myself
Along the river.
And far beyond my power to understand,
Along the river,
An elemental knowing I am known --
And I am loved --
By the Creator of the river.

Here's the link to join the fun:

Friday, April 12, 2013

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 12 - Saying Things We'd Never Say

Okay the challenge for day 12 is to write a poem "saying only things you'd never say" to some people in your life: parents, lovers, teachers, employers, presidents, corporate execs, etc. Well, here's what happened when I tried it:

I've often thought of telling certain people off.
Imagined speaking my mind loud and clear.
But all the things I'd like to say I'd never say,
So I've been challenged just to say them here.

Well, one guy needs to have his head examined,
And this is what I'd like to say to him:
No -- wait -- I'd never say those words in real life;
They're just too cold and mean and even grim.

Well, I could put one boss I had in her place,
And make her feel so bad that she would cry
If I just told her -- no -- I'd never say that,
And I can't say it even when I try.

This challenge calls on me to say in meter
The things I'd never say when speaking prose.
It asks me to go straight against my conscience
And verbally attack all of my foes.

But if these words that I am contemplating
Are words I'd "never say," then you can see
That since I'd "never say them," I can't say them,
If I'm to go on being true to me.

Join the fun for the rest of April at this link:

National Poetry Month Challenge - Day 11 - Tanka

The challenge for day 11 is to write an example of Tanka -- a form of Japanese poetry that is strictly disciplined by number of lines and syllables, but has no concern with rhyme. The format consists of five lines presented in the following syllable pattern: 5-7-5-7-7- respectively. I have to admit I did not spend a great deal of time on this one -- just because I did not have a great deal of time. But I did manage to stick with the exact number of lines and syllables and write something that even makes sense. So ... I'm satisfied --- well --- maybe even a little proud.

(Join the fun here:


I'm American,
Which means I am a mixture.
My blood lines are strong:
Scottish, Polish, Cherokee.
It takes all three to make me.