Cleri-who?

Day 25: A Clerihew

This crazy poetic style is a four-line poem where the first line must end or consist entirely of a name, often of a famous person. The lines about them are mocking, absurd or anachronistic. The form has an AABB rhyme scheme and purposely differing meter and line lengths.

Up to Interpretation

The Beatles
were on pins and needles
to hear next
who misunderstood their lyrics.

Keat-niptions

Day 24: A Parody or Satire of a Famous Poem

Last year I satirized “humanity i hate you.” I remember cringing at the thought of writing it, but i was actually pretty happy with the results. Now I shall skewer one of Keats’ sonnets. I wrote the first, third and final stanzas yesterday and didn’t have a chance to finish it ’til today.

When I Have Fears I’ll Never Cease to Be

When I have fears I’ll never cease to be,
though free of illness, old age, pain.
it seems a very lonely place to be
if family and friends do not remain.

I’d love to see the ways we innovate
to travel in an instant ‘cross the globe.
And yet I wonder if we’ve sealed our fate.
Perhaps the future’s not a thing to probe.

When I behold the leaves turn green to gold,
the highest peaks soon ground to dusty earth
the sun’s heart emptied quickly in the cold,
and death inscribed upon the face of birth,

in empty universe alone I sigh
that I can’t live though I can never die.

In the Cards

Day 23: Write About a Card

Today’s prompt is to pick a card from any kind of deck and write about it for 5 minutes non-stop. Alas, I do not have a deck of cards at work by which to be inspired, so I just did an Internet search for cards and wrote about the first one that came up.

Stacked Deck

Ten little hearts all in a row
clothed in white, a neat array.
Lifeless, mirrored, ruby, dull.

Hearts not heart-shaped.
No ventricles or veins.
Tentative, silly, heartless.

Garden Variety

Day 22: A Pastoral Poem

Happy Earth Day! I spent my morning sorting potatoes at a local food bank with some of my coworkers, and it got me thinking about how little we reflect upon where our food comes from. I’ve written my share of idealized nature poems, and I think it’s time for a more critical approach.

Down the Garden Path

What is the root of roots,
the fruit of fruits?

Is it a faceless field
of uniform corn
and neon carrots glowing
beneath the earth,
where pesticides are dew
upon the leaves?

Is it a backyard garden
where a few timid strawberries
perk up their red heads
and tomatoes weave plated vines,
before enterprising squirrels
take a bounty?

Clean Slate

Day 21: Erasure

This is a theme every year, where you erase words from a page to create a poem. Since I haven’t used white out in over a decade, I had to resort to a black permanent maker, which makes my poem look redacted. I wrote the poem out below the image in case you have trouble reading it, but I still kept the line breaks from the original text.

20150421_224532

Backwards

autumn joined

the end of long days filled with

home

had restored

health and spirits,

spring’s

implacable

retreat

was protracted

extended

since

the world

at leisure

impossible

atmosphere

was still wavering

between

old familiar faces,

modest amiable

personality because

mistakenly

had not suspected further complications

In a State

Day 20: State Things You Know

Today’s focus is your facts and beliefs. The line between the two often blur. This poem feels like something I would’ve written for a writing contest in middle school.

Cognitive Dissonance

I’m spinning through space.
I’m sitting in place.
I’m so cold I’m numb.
I’m in the sun.
I remember with ease.
I forgot my keys.

Landay of the Free

Day 19: A Landay

I’m hoping to do catch-up today so I’m no longer a day behind on these prompts! Today’s, or really yesterday’s, prompt is to write landay: 22-syllable couplets (9 in the first line, 13 in the second) which often rhyme. The form was created by Pashtun women in Afghanistan and Pakistan and used to express themselves in secret to defy those who denied their freedom. I can’t help but think that things that frustrate me pale in comparison to verses like this:

When sisters sit together, they always praise their brothers.
When brothers sit together, they sell their sisters to others.

I chose to write about something that I find just as disturbing as that.

Brain Drain

Who is ever ashamed of cancer?
Yet when it’s “in your head” you hesitate to answer.