Try to Remember

Day 29: Poem About Things You Remember

The NaPoWriMo penultimate prompt is to write a poem about specific remembered details. I’ve decided to focus on my earliest memories.


I remember the well that wasn’t a well in our front yard.
A bottomless pile of fall leaves.
Ice cream on a red party dress.

I remember riding on shoulders.
The orange playground.
Chocolate chip cookies the size of my face.

I remember crawling up a mountain of stairs,
laughing while brushing my teeth.
The Louise Show starring my many reflections.

Backwards Glance

Day 28: Poem Written Backwards

This was last year’s final prompt: Write a poem telling a story backwards.


Unconscious bliss.
At last, a bed.
Check in, check out.
No baggage claim, suckers.
The little screamer must die.
Oh joy, a delay.
Food situation dire.
Who are these idiots who have never flown?
Jet-lagged before I’ve even left.
Drag pregnant bag towards the car.
Feline guilt trip incoming.
Ungodly hour.

A Long Time Coming

Day 27: Long-Lined Poem

The inspiration today is simply to write a poem with long lines. It’s rather the opposite of how I write for work, where one of the goals is to be concise. The example of a long-lined poet on the NaPoWriMo site was Ciaran Carson whose long lines are loosely based on haikus with all 17 syllables in one line.

In and Out

Fad diets are bland. Take my bread away and die. No hyperbole.
Buzz words are lose-lose. I don’t ideate; I create. “Active” needs no “pro.”
Fashion is too dull. Corsets are so barbaric. Why match traffic cones?

Answering the Call

Day 26: Call and Response Poem

Today’s prompt is to write a poem that involves a call and response, like a hymn or sea shanty. The calls may differ, but the answers are often similar like a refrain. It’s funny, because a sea shanty was my second ever NaPoWriMo prompt, and I don’t think I can resist writing another.

Sea Change

Why do you fish but not give back?
We take what we need. We need what we take.

Why do you make my coral white?
We take what we need. We need what we take.

Why do you make my waters black?
We take what we need. We need what we take.

Why do I not see the sunlight?
We take what we need. We need what we take.

Borrowed Words

Day 25: Start with a Line from Another Poem

My first-ever poetry prompt for NaPoWriMo was beginning a poem with a line from another poet and taking it in a completely different direction. I chose Ogden Nash last time. Today I chose Emily Dickinson.

A Word is Dead

A word is dead.
No book-hugging
etymologists staged protests.

A word is dead.
No obituary was born.
No newspaper mourned its demise.

A word is dead.
There’s no grave for tears and flowers
never plucked or shed.

A word is dead.
Its parents long gone.
Its children never knew its name.

A word is dead.

Simply Fancy

Day 24: Mix-and-Match Poem

Today’s prompt is to write a list of poetic, borderline-esoteric words with mundane, lackluster words and then combine them together in a poem. The result seems to be half anti-technology, half-nonsensical.

Braggadocio Charger

The mellifluous printer obfuscates
the winsome TV with ennui.
One desultory light bulb slumbers,
it’s luminescent shower dulled.

Poetic Fortnight

Day 23: A Sonnet

I’m going to go ahead and blame having company on being so behind on NaPoWriMo. I know, excuses, excuses.

Given that it was just Shakespeare’s birthday, I’m going to write a Shakespearean sonnet. That’s four stanzas in a strict rhyme scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG in iambic pentameter (short long, short long, short long, short long, short long). The subject is being a Florida transplant from DC. I miss the seasons.

Florida Blah

The jealousy up north is quite absurd
to wish they’d never have to feel the cold,
when six-month summers have to be endured,
and pollen, insects, weeds are manifold.

I miss hot cider in the crisp fall air,
how snug I am when bundled head to toe.
The chance of sledding now is very rare.
Here, foamy bubbles act in place of snow.

I never need to shovel or de-ice
Instead, I’m at a risk for hurricanes.
Wear dresses every day not thinking twice
and yet my love of seasons still remains.

At least I feel the cold just once each fall.
It’s better than not having it at all.