NaPoWriMo 25: Apartment Weather

My second poem for the day is about weather, from the prompt at Wild Violet: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 26


View from our window on a rainy day

Apartment Weather

Steam clouds sail by, puffed
from the laundry room below.
Each time, I forget
this weather event's
origin. Mistake them for
smooth fog, fast-moving
storm clouds, or smoke.

That instant of concern --
of wonder --
replaced by chagrin.

- April 26, 2020
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NaPoWriMo 25: Traveling North from Colorado to Montana

Today, I tried my hand at a concrete poem, in accordance with the prompt at Wild Violet, to either write about shapes or write a poem in a shape: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 25. Hopefully, I can replicate it here on LiveJournal. If you're reading it on your phone, it's probably best to turn it sideways.


View from a car window of Wisconsin's green fields and wide blue sky

Traveling North from Colorado to Montana

                       of incredible
              bowl                       clear
      blue                                       cerulean
giant                                                        sky.
  that unmatched
  at last, in person
  an arrow, to see
  northward like
  straight ahead
       winding but mostly
       distant green spaces
       past the wide-open
     us through Wisconsin
   as my husband drives
 poised at the window
And me with camera
 abloom next to a pond.
    a halo of golden daisies
      mountains blued by distance
     streaking by my window
   for blurred fields
A wish for motion
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NaPoWriMo 24: When It Rains

My second poem today is based on today's Wild Violet prompt, to write a poem based on a saying or idiom: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 24


Colorful plastic robot built with marble tubes

When It Rains

Bleary day, pushing our free time
inside (like our work time
and sleep time). When it rains,
we pour plastic tubes
from a box onto the floor.
Construct a robot
of blue, red, yellow and white.
Plunk metal marbles
into his head
to watch them race
through his internal
channels, betting
on which exit the ball
will take. Through left
or right foot, or through
the clear arms, stiff
at his sides. No sporting event
has ever thrilled us so.
We cheer and cackle
as we run these
random possibilities,
again and again. A race
of silver wonder,
wobbling back and forth
to an outcome
we cannot predict.

- April 24, 2020
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NaPoWriMo 23: Morning Swim

I'm writing two poems today to get caught up on the National Poetry Writing Month 30-day challenge. The first is about a place, based on the Wild Violet prompt to write a travel poem or a poem about a place: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 23.


Vermont lake with tall grass and small farm buildings

Morning Swim near Cabot, Vermont

Fog-shrouded, I pulled
through the shady water.
Palms pressed together, then
thrust forward, sweeping back
to my chest. Frog-kick
through cool morning.
Glasses tucked away on shore,
I peered at fuzzy landmarks,
marking the distinct bulges
that never changed. One day,
a brown shape watched
me from the water's edge,
elegant as a deer, barely
moving. Then gone.
Plants, or fish, brushed by
my legs. I thought about

how alone I was. No one
but deer to witness. And how
terrifying that was, and yet
exhilarating. My arms
never tiring. Mind sharply
sprung by the chill water.
How the tingling dawn
grew gradually
brighter, louder
as I swam into day.

- April 24, 2020
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NaPoWriMo 22: We Are Hugh

My poem today is a poem in praise of a friend whom I knew through Philcon. Sadly, he passed away early yesterday after a long battle with both cancer and, more recently, a stroke. He knew so many people, but he didn't just know their names. He remembered things about you, and actually cared. I'll never forget how he showed up for a poetry reading I did about a decade ago, one of only two friends who did so, and it meant so much for me to see some friendly faces in the audience. The last time I saw him was at Philcon 2019, passing through to get our badges. Even with everything he'd been battling, he was as cheerful and helpful as ever, always going the extra mile to make everyone around him feel important.


Hugh (second from left) at a panel at Philcon 2010

We Are Hugh
(in memory of Hugh Casey)

In the pull of his orbit, unlikely bodies
revolved in loose ellipse. Celestial sea
that we were, lucky to cross
his sharp eye, to be drawn in
for a laugh, a conversation. Or,
in better days, a hug. That light,
that voice, a safe mooring spot
despite a world that cast
so many of us out. His power --
to see you through all the posing.
To show up for you
when you least
expected it. To make the day
better, just by passing through it.

To some, good Sir, to others
friend, or helper, or just
that friendly face. A glue
holding the universe together.
Keep saying it, over and over.
We are Hugh, and better for it.

NaPoWriMo 21: Allowable Expenses

Today's poem is a list poem, as inspired by my Wild Violet prompt: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 21.


A parking meter numbered "1040," which is the number
for the personal tax form in the U.S.

Allowable Expenses

Self-employed, I should track
every penny spent to aid
my efforts, such as
computer hardware, Internet
providers, printer ink,
postage. But maybe

I should add what it cost
for the plush toys
appearing in yesterday's
poem. The clothes I wore
while writing it, the couch
I sat upon. The music
clouding my ears
but failing to obscure my son's
trumpet, that counterpoint.

Or maybe even
expense the time
when I flew to England
and brought back at least
three poems. Should I adjust
for today's dollars
the money outlaid
for childhood penny candy,
mercurochrome on scraped knee,
the retrospective cost
of living the life
that's brought me to
this point?

- April 21, 2020
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NAPOWRIMO 20: Fairy Tale, 2020

My poem today is based on this prompt from Wild Violet: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 20.


View from my window of the brick building across from ours, and blooming trees

Fairy Tale, 2020

This tale has a happy ending.
For 40 days and 40 nights, the princess
imprisoned herself in a tower,
Outside, a rain of locusts
and frogs, wearing masks.
Best to wait them out. I
am the princess. The keys
are by the front door,
but I'm waiting to see
where this story goes.

- April 20, 2020
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LJI Week 19/NaPoWrimo 19: Bathing, Six Weeks into Carrying On

My second National Poetry Writing Month poem for today is also my entry for Week 19 of LJ Idol (therealljidol). The topic for this week was "I can't get calm." I was also following my prompt for Wild Violet for today, to write a poem about sound: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 19.


A metal tub, filled to the brim, on a background of rippling water

Bathing, Six Weeks into Carrying On

Beneath the foam I sink, my ears submerged
to embryonic depths. Immersed in dampened
thumps. Redundant drub, the throb that thrums
a cadence, keeping time in measured meter.
Too fast, perhaps, from caffeine's daily nudge --
belying the alleviating heat.
Muscles decompressing, I tune into
pitter-patter drips from the loose faucet,
uneven tempo, no regularity. A pattern
of beat, lilt, bounce and flow. Dribbling
atop the drumbeat of the nervous heart.
To calm the mind, wrest back the tempo. Inhale.

NaPoWriMo 18: First

I'll be writing two poems today, to get caught up for the National Poetry Writing Month challenge of one poem a day. The first one is based on the Wild Violet prompt, asking poets to write a poem about a first: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 18


KFP as a baby, yawning in a wicker basket


You lay in a clear bassinette, a treasure
on display. Except to you,
I was on display, too. Wrapped
like an enchilada in cotton,
your wide cocoa eyes
taking my measure. I thought
about a video shown
at parenting class, about how newborns
could imitate a simple movement.

And so, I stuck my tongue out,
protruding for a second,
then withdrawn. You gazed,
intrigued. I stuck it out
again, drew it back. Was I
imagining amusement, fluttering
across your face? The third time
my tongue protruded, and you
met the motion with
a tiny tongue thrust. The first
of so many firsts for us. To think,
how little we knew
about each other then, and yet
how bottomless my love.
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NaPoWriMo 16 and 17: "Twenty Questions for My Son" and "Thirty Days and Counting"

My poems today are based on two poetry prompts from Wild Violet. The first one (NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 16 is a "Twenty Questions" poem, or a poem written completely in questions.


A chalk mosaic in pink, blue, orange and yellow

Twenty Questions for My Son

What should we do today? Should we
explore the creek, home to returning geese?
Should we play with bat and ball, providing
our own commentary? Or draw chalk butterflies,
mosaics, and spaceships? Do you want to try
the Frisbee again, flinging arms out straight?
Or strive to hit the tree with your soccer ball?
Or fling beanbags into a rope loop, tied
with your scouting skills? Are you tired
of me yet? Do you long for playground friends
and wild kid games? When I make you laugh,
does it help? Do you think about the weeks
and months ahead? Do you wonder
how long you'll be trapped at home? When you
think of this, years from now, what will you remember?
If I stepped inside your dreams, what would I see?
Are they filled with vivid landscapes, peaceful critters?
Or shadowy clouds of uncertainty? Do you waste time
thinking about past and future? Or do you live
always in the present, like I should? Do you wonder,
ever, about how we got here? Today,
tomorrow, what should we do?

- April 17, 2020

The second poem is a poem about the week, in response to the following Wild Violet prompt: NAPOWRIMO 2020 - Prompt 17.

Thirty Days & Counting

Easy to overlook, this ending
to the week. When days ooze
like syrup, why
count? Our days
are checkmarks
on a dry-erase board:
Saturday, Sunday, Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday,
Thursday, Friday.
A tick mark to distinguish
the indeterminate
minutes. Snooze,
learn, watch, create,
discuss, laugh. Look
out the sliding glass
door, where rose-colored
tree blooms daub mute color
in the gray. Each week,
begin again by erasing
what came before.

- April 17, 2020