Mashup: NaPoWriMo, Gratitude Monday

It’s gratitude Monday and It’s CeCe’s birthday.  My gratitude is focused on her today.

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge:

Wright a hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that Vince himself wrote back during NaPoWriMo 2012!

Gratitude for a Daughter

A daughter
Born this day.

Face first
Forever her way.

Warm woman,
Filled with Love.

My Dreaming.
Gift of God.

Daughter, Sister.
Lover, giver, listener.




Photo Friday and #NaPoWriMo Mashup.

Today’s Challenge:

write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).

So here’s the original, a famous poem.

The Chambered Nautilus


This is the ship of pearl, which, poets feign,
   Sails the unshadowed main,—
   The venturous bark that flings
On the sweet summer wind its purpled wings
In gulfs enchanted, where the Siren sings,
   And coral reefs lie bare,
Where the cold sea-maids rise to sun their streaming hair.


Its webs of living gauze no more unfurl;
   Wrecked is the ship of pearl!
   And every chambered cell,
Where its dim dreaming life was wont to dwell,
As the frail tenant shaped his growing shell,
   Before thee lies revealed,—
Its irised ceiling rent, its sunless crypt unsealed!


Year after year beheld the silent toil
   That spread his lustrous coil;
   Still, as the spiral grew,
He left the past year’s dwelling for the new,
Stole with soft step its shining archway through,
   Built up its idle door,
Stretched in his last-found home, and knew the old no more.


Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
   Child of the wandering sea,
   Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathèd horn!
   While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—


Build thee more stately mansions, O my soul,
   As the swift seasons roll!
   Leave thy low-vaulted past!
Let each new temple, nobler than the last,
Shut thee from heaven with a dome more vast,
   Till thou at length art free,
Leaving thine outgrown shell by life’s unresting sea!

In 7th grade, I had the choice of memorizing this, or “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.”  I chose “Revere,” even though it was longer.  For one thing, it told a story, for another, I loved the rhythm.  Still “Nautilus” stuck firmly in my head.  Maybe it was 28 other students reciting it.  “Nautilus” plays a major role in my novel, A Ship of Pearl. Today, I give it a new twist.


War on Slugs

You O tiny fiend, are no friend of mine.

Unending source of sickly stringy slime.

Silent in the night, hiding shell inside a mantle.

Slinking under leaves, sliding under earth, you ramble.

You’re wicked and you’re creepy on one big massive foot.

Years alone you travel, chomping gardens as your loot.


Narcissistic loner, mating with yourself.

You’re humorless and surly, no cheerful garden elf.

Two years to be a grownup, leaving 80 offspring in your wake.

My Hostas can not bear it. You really take the cake.

Eyes and ears on tentacles above guillotines of horror.

Ugly and destructive? Or just a midnight explorer?


Poison, cremate, vise, or capture, I’m not sure what to do.

I hesitate to murder, but I’m really sick of you.

Transfer to the neighbor’s? Now that’s an ugly trick.

Dry you out and leave you? Stab you with an icepick?

Self-absorbed persona, there’s one thing you hold dear.

Left out as if mistaken: the siren call of beer.

OFOTW and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Today’s challenge:

write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

Daffodil Dance

Deep birth from mothers warmed.

Twirl hearts, sway heads, shake-a-leg Sunshine,

Death pushed aside for life reborn,

Yellow, white and green. Pink, rose, and aquamarine.

Forever New and Old juxtaposed,

Lessons of Hope and letting go.




STEM Tuesday and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Tuesday is for STEM. And April is Poetry.  Yikes!

Today’s prompt:– the erasure! This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.

National Geographic published an article, “War on Science,” which I want to share.  I put it off thinking it was too big and deep to write a poem about.  Maybe not.  I had too much to erase, so I used some poetic license. Here goes:


War of  Tribes

Dr. Strangelove        drinks only rainwater

Fluoridation                       communist plot.  1964

2013   Oregon blocked “chemicals”

                natural mineral

hardens tooth enamel.

                     We Don’t Believe You.

   Doubters    war   experts.

Diabolical agency?

  make people argumentative.

GMO     in lab  or through breeding

                                      crackle with real and imaginary hazards.

                                        Global warming is a hoax.

We Don’t Believe You

Ebola      virus with supernatural powers

A dinosaur in Eden?   All life    evolved from microbes.

Biology incomprehensible without it.

The Earth is Square    or Galileo’s round

We Don’t Believe You.

Cling to intuition     naïve beliefs.

Crave patterns, reject randomness. Absolutes rarely declared.

Humans existed since time began.

Thousands      of scientists

                                across the globe


mavericks, naysayers, controversialists and table thumpers.

We Don’t Believe You.

Scientific knowledge used to reinforce beliefs

Science rational,                     Belief emotional.

Egalitarian and communitarians suspicious of industry

Individualists and hierarchical respect leaders.

It all comes down to high school

We want to


                                      fit in,

                                                      be liked.

Filter bubbles     information     already believed

      Supports our Tribe      Who we are.

We Don’t Believe You.

Everybody should question

                 It’s scary

                          It’s rapid.

Minds change.

It doesn’t come naturally.    Neither does democracy.

Coldblooded science,    the killer app.

We Don’t Believe You.

If you’re interested in the National Geographic article, here’s the link:  Feel free to let me know how I did capturing the essence in this poem.



Gratitude Monday and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Today is gratitude Monday and it’s still April.  So another Mashup.

 Today’s challenge: write a poem that states the things you know. For example, “The sky is blue” or “Pizza is my favorite food” or “The world’s smallest squid is Parateuthis tunicata.


The weather wafted warm and pleasant,

Daffodils sturdy and still standing wiltless.

Squares cut waiting, beg to be quilted.

Yard work complete, at least for the present.

Two lone tulips bud bright red with promise.

A dozen query letters, some advice,

 Interred with Their Bones, GREAT, to be honest.

Two kind rejections. Really. It’s nice.

Much closer to success than yesterday.

A friend is healing more each day.

Quilts, flowers, friends, books. Like lovely caresses.

Evening rain, rest, reading, wine and more blesses.



PhotoFriday and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Today’s challenge: (well, it’s actually yesterday’s challenge)

write a “social media”-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat. You might end up with a poem that seems bizarrely solipsistic (like the internet itself, maybe?), but there might also be a spark there of something live and fun and present (like the verbal equivalent of a really great animated cat .gif).

I hope my friends recognize their posts!


Day 3 of my art project.

That’s not me. It’s the Me in the past.

Perfectly imperfect.

There was a time when I blurted —

10+ ways to exercise facial muscles.

Perfectly imperfect.

Now I do it in my head.

Held our move back, just for this.

Perfectly imperfect.

Kept a kid from getting flattened in traffic,

To bring freedom to mankind.

Perfectly imperfect.

Knowledge is all around you,

get them to talk to each other.

Perfectly imperfect.

Just take a second to look.

It’s not enough to have a good mind.

Perfectly imperfect.

we must use it well.

Bon Jovi is playing overhead. Let’s do this!

Perfectly imperfect.

I’ll take that!


Keely's Birthday

OFOTW and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Today’s challenge:  write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self (i.e. “Dear Poem,” or “what are my quatrains up to?”; “Couplet, come with me . . .”) This might seem a little meta at first, or even kind of cheesy. But it can be a great way of interrogating (or at least, asking polite questions) of your own writing process and the motivations you have for writing, and the motivations you ascribe to your readers.

This seems impossible.  Oh well, What’s a challenge, without a challenge. First the outfit. I’m ready to go to my ASQ leadership meeting. I love these giant snaps on my favorite blue blazer.  If anyone has tips Continue reading

STEM Tuesday and NaPoWriMo Mashup

Believe it or not, the subject of my poem came to me as I pulled into my driveway yesterday afternoon.  Well, Laurel helped out a little by writing a poem about the Kliedescope unfolding of her lilacs.  My lilacs still look like winter-dead sticks.

Today’s challenge: write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue. Your conversant could be real people, or be personifications, as in Andrew Marvell’s A Dialogue Between the Soul and the Body, or Yeats’ A Dialogue of Self and Soul. Like Marvell, and Yeats, you could alternate stanzas between your two speakers, or perhaps you could give them alternating lines. Your speakers could be personifications, like those in Marvell and Yeats’ poems, or they could be two real people. Hopefully, this prompt will give you a chance to represent different points of view in the same poem, or possibly to create a dramatic sense of movement and tension within the poem.


Microclimate is a Real Thing

Did you ship in the snow?

Why do you ask? It’s Christmas you know.

I’m dumbfounded, nothing to say.

There’s no snow elsewhere, not even a mile away.

We live in a microclimate, that’s what I say.

Where’s the crocuses and daffodils? We see them below.

Leaves cling to oaks, meaning spring is delayed.

Two maybe three weeks of winter to go.

Warm weather eludes us, I’m afraid.

We live in a microclimate, I told you it’s so.

What that? juncos and grosbeak and orange tanagers here;

River snakes visit,feigning rattlesnake power.

Always something different, it seems rather queer.

The flora, the fauna. It’s the slope, soil, or the water.

We live in a microclimate. It’s different here.

shadows 2