Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 30 of NaPoWriMo and 3WW

Empty Highway Ignored
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I ignored the sign,
the one that said,
“Love me, Love me a lot.”

You were standing
on the side of the highway
near a puddle.

I drove through it
splashing dirty water
all over you

and kept on going.
The view in my rear-view
mirror was empty.

Day 29 NaPoWriMo

I Still Don’t Know April 10, 2008
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A tree with deep roots
but fly-away leaves

A whisper of wind
An empty handful

A night sky
full of holes

An ocean with waves
of death on empty sand

A white piece of paper
an unfinished poem.

Day 28 NaPoWriMo

A Forbidden Activity April 29, 2008
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She took a shower
then came downstairs
with just a towel
wrapped around her.

That how I saw
the hickey. It was
a strawberry
on the creamy meadow

just where the moon
of her breast began.
She saw me notice
and her eyes went wide.

“You let him brand you?
What are you, a cow?”
“I know, mom, I already
yelled at him.”

I knew they were having sex
but, a hickey?
That was going over
the line.

Day 27 NaPoWriMo

A Time the Lights Went Out April 29, 2008
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We were watching
the channel 13 news
at 5:30 with Kiley Bennett

He in his recliner
and me sideways
on the couch

with my legs stretched out.
There’d been a killing
in Portland, a car crash

on I-95 near mile marker 14
with two fatalities, and
tornadoes in the Midwest.

Then nothing. The screen
went black and our minds
went blank. We looked

at each other. Now what?
“Want to play cribbage?”
We got the cards and board out,
I moved closer to him
and we started playing, laughing,
smirking, swearing, chuckling.

Then the TV blinked
back on and we put
the cards away.

I returned to my couch
and the news,

Day 26 NaPoWriMo

A Wound April 10. 2008

Did you ever take
your bicycle
and position
the training wheels
so that the back wheel
of the bike
was over a hole?

Then climb on
and pedal like crazy
but not go anywhere?

My son did that
with encouragement
from some friends

only Nay somehow
got his hand in the chain.

Crunch, scream
blood, dirt
crying, yelling
blood, blood

Where was I when this was happening?
How could I let my little guy
get hurt like this?

Why hadn’t I sealed him
in a capsule
away from the monster
bicycles of life?

Day 25 NaPoWriMo

I Would Like to Make an Exchange April 1, 2008
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I would like to exchange myself
with the wind.
I could tickle trees
and play with kites

I could mess up the hair
of people I don’t like
and throw sand in their faces.

I can’t write in this damn place!

If I was the wind
I’d huff
and I’d puff
and blow this place away!

Day 24 NaPoWriMo

Finding out about Something You Weren’t Supposed to Know April 17, 2008
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This topic
is doing nothing
for me

Look at those words
lying there like
dirty gray socks,

like my husband’s
wool socks he leaves
by his recliner.

Each morning
I come downstairs
to those fat snakes.

They used to hiss
at me and try
to bite my toes.

Now, I’ve learned to walk
on by and ignore them
just like those words.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 23 NaPoWriMo

Write About a Time Someone Said No-April 1, 2008
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I say no
every time I get
too lazy
to take a walk

I say no
whenever my husband
goes to bed early
but I stay up reading

I say no every time I choose
to write a poem
instead of conversing

I say no
to some one else
every time I say
yes to me.

Day 22 NaPoWriMo

Last week was school vacation and I kind of took a blogging and writing vacation, too. Oh, I checked in every day and even wrote a poem or two but I just needed a break.

As far as NaPoWriMo, I wrote way more than 30 poems this month but I didn't write every single day. On Tuesdays and Thursdays I have my kids write poems during Journal Writing and I write with them so that was 6 poems per week just for that, never mind the ones I wrote for all the blog prompts.

I wrote this one on Thursday April 17 during Block 3. The prompt was to write about a purchase.
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I have gold
in my purse.
Every time
I open it,
I can see it

Sometimes I take
that Borders
Gift Card out
of it’s little
red envelope
and run my fingers
over its smooth

Then when I replace
it, my whole
pocketbook shines.

I’ll use it to purchase

When I stand
at the register,
the salesperson
will have to wear

Friday, April 25, 2008

Day 21 of NaPoWriMo and TOP

My Late Spring

My winter lasted forty years
and for most of that season
it was a deep freeze.

Oh, there was the usual
January thaw when we’d study
a poetry unit in elementary school

or hints of spring
when I’d teach poetry
to my students

or read poems
to my own two children.
Once, I found the coolest

book of poetry
at the library and remember
reading “The Frozen Logger”

to my logger husband.
He actually listened
and smiled afterwards.

But it took all those years
for the sap in the maple
tree of my life to start flowing

with words. My god,
my roots tingled! Poems
popped out like leaves.

Today is April 25, 2008
just one month
on the calendar

into this season
but twenty years
into my own spring

and I’ve already written
thousands of gallons
of sweet maple syrup.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 20 and 3WW

Picture Reflected Stop
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The faintest chartreuse
on the gray hillsides

Rust-colored baby leaves
on our neighbor’s tree

Pregnant green buds
on the lilac bush

I stop cleaning long enough
to take a mental picture

of life reflected
in these hints of color

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 19 and ReadWritePoem

The prompt this week is to write a poem of 5-10 lines about something that brings us joy and write another poem of the same length about something that makes us mad then combine them alternating lines.

Oil and Vinegar

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Something that brings me joy

I take the curtains
out of the washing machine,
shake them, then toss them
over my shoulder

their Downy perfume
flying around the cellar.

I hang them from the clothes line
on the back porch. They kick
up their heels
and jitterbug all afternoon.


Something that pisses me off

We sit in the warm April
evening on our front porch
talking quietly about our day,

listening to kids playing,
motorcycles revving,
neighbors barbecuing.

The scent of charcoal
waltzes on the breeze.

Across the street, a guy
in a wife-beater shirt,
beer in one hand,
stands against the house
and urinates.



In the warm April evening
I take the curtains out of the washing machine
We sit and talk quietly on the front porch
Shake them, then toss them over my shoulder
listening to kids playing
their Downy perfume
motorcycles revving
flying around the cellar
neighbors barbecuing
I hang them from the clothesline
The scent of charcoal
on the back porch
waltzes on the breeze
They kick up their heels
Across the street, a guy in a wife-beater shirt
jitterbugging all afternoon
stands against the house and urinates.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Day 18 and Sunday Scribblings

Yes, I'm a day late again, dammit! Friends came to visit last night just as I was turning the computer on. By the time they left, I was too tired. So I wrote yesterday's poem this morning and will (hopefully!) write another one later today.
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I’m listening
to the sunrise
as it explodes
on the forehead
of the house
across the street.

I hear cymbals
of ideas,
the heartbeat
of drums
tattooing need,
of words
to be written.

The morning
a symphony
of possibilities
and I sit
in the audience

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 17 of NaPoWriMo and TOP

A Person
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Jon quit school

He came in
with a new hairdo.

He’d cut the top
of his mid-back length

waves to six inches
and made spikes.

He had to use glue
to make them stand straight.

In between, his head
was shaved.

He left the bottom long
but had it braided

into about twenty braids.
If he’d spent as much

time on his school work
he’d have been passing.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 16 of NaPoWriMo and 3WW

Touching Visible Stage
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I was dead
in the third act
of Our Town,
sitting on the stage
in a straight-backed
chair, staring at the
clock in the back
of the auditorium.

I could hear grown men
sniffling as Emily
relived her twelfth
birthday. I couldn’t
see her reliving it
since I was dead.

I could talk, though,
and warned her
not to go back,
to just accept
her deadness.

But she wouldn’t listen.
Her past was still
so visible to her.

After the curtain call,
I went parking
with my boyfriend
but just couldn’t get
into all the kissing
and touching
he was so intent upon.

Every time I closed
my eyes, I’d see
that clock in the back
of the auditorium,
hands moving
inexorably toward

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Day 15 NaPoWriMo (finally caught up!)

This picture came from Easy Street Prompts

I remember research
projects in high school.
Facing that many-eyed
card catalogue.

Those well-worn
index cards soft
as cotton. Fingering
through them to find

appropriate books.
Each drawer I opened
breathed freedom
into the library.

Day 14 of NaPoWriMo

This was the prompt I gave my third block kids today. The males changed it to men, of course.
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These are the Things Women Know About Love

It’s delicate lace
and can tear easily

It’s a robin’s song
in early spring

It’s a shiny penny
in the palm of a child
in a candy store

It’s the last piece
of a puzzle

It’s a geranium
with huge red flowers
in the summer

It’s a dead geranium
in the fall

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day 13 and ReadWritePoem

The prompt this week was to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. This is a follow-up poem of one I wrote a while back. You can check it out here:
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Morning Smiles

The day enters
my eyes first
then my tummy
tells me it’s time to cry.

But where is mommy?
Why doesn’t she wake up?
My diaper is wet.
I stop crying
and put my thumb
in my mouth
but it isn’t like a bottle.

Now I can hear mom
and dad sleeping
in the bed near my crib.

I cry some more
and finally mom
opens her eyes.
I start smiling
and waving my arms
but she doesn’t pick me up.

Instead she takes
a long shiny sharp
thing and puts it in her
arm. I wait.

She leaves the room
then comes back.
She props the bottle
up for me and goes
back to bed.

I can see her smiling
but not at me.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 12 and Sunday Scribblings

Writing on the weekends is hard for me. I relax and my thoughts get lazy. I'm considering this a rough draft since the ending really needs work. But, it's all I can manage right now.
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He’ll fly off a mountain
in a hang glider,
catch an updraft,
melt into the sky.

He’ll do hammerheads,
Immelmans, Cuban eights,
spins, and loops
in an open-cockpit
Stearman biplane,

turning the world
upside down,
blue earth
green sky.

He’ll tap dance
over waves
in his fishing boat
and pull 500 pound

tuna from the ocean
as easily as lifting a tire
out of the back
of his pickup.

But ask him to climb
a ladder to shovel
the snow off the roof
or paint a dormer window

and his feet become
bricks unable to move,
his heart a scared mouse
shivering in his chest.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 11 and Writers' island

Flights of Fancy

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A simple house
near the ocean
white curtains
to a rock ‘n’ roll

Big bookcases
a small TV
a poetry book
open on my

on a red bicycle
curls bouncing
under my visor

I can’t pedal
fast enough
to the beach

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 10 and TOP

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I was explaining
how Danae’s father
imprisoned her in a tower
because he’d heard
that her son
would someday kill him.

But tricky Zeus
disguised himself
as a golden rain
and got her pregnant,

I could see my students
trying to picture this:
eyes squinted
sidelong glances
at each other,
wrinkled foreheads.

Finally one brave kid
said, “Gee Ms. Jacobs,
sounds like Zeus
forgot his Trojan.”

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Day 9 NaPoWriMo and 3WW

funny remember theater
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It started with the gigantic crash
of a chandelier. Jeweled light
reflecting everywhere
and music filling every space.

My friend, her mom,
and I were at the Wang Theater
in Boston viewing
Phantom of the Opera.
The costumes were great
and the acting impeccable.

But what I remember most
is my friend’s mom
singing out loud
to all the songs.

Heads swiveled,
eyes became daggers,
throats were cleared.

But she kept right on singing,
her face a happy moon
her head tilting from
one side to the other.

It wasn’t a funny play
but I could feel a little
volcano trying to erupt
in my chest.

I covered my mouth
to hide my smile,
coughed to disguise
the sound of laughter
bursting from my throat,
and had to run
to the restroom
and use toilet paper
to wipe the tears
from my cheeks.

After the intermission
and a stern reprimand
from her daughter,
she toned it down
to just a low humming.

That’s all I remember
about my trip to the big city
and a real stage production:
a crash,
unbridled joy,
and laughter.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Day 8 NaPoWriMo

The journal-writing prompt for one of my classes today was "It's what I do in the middle of the night when I can't sleep." The following is what I came up with.

Interesting Side Note: One of the other English teachers in our school had her students make huge posters containing a poem on each. They are on the walls all over the place to help celebrate National Poetry Month.
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In the Middle of the Night

I pull my pillow
up around my head
like a taco shell

and dream spicy

images sprinkled
on my mind
like chopped tomatoes
and shredded cheese.

And if I can’t sleep
I’ll look out the window
at onion stars
and a sour cream moon.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Day 7 NaPoWriMo


I’ve been stealing pounds
from my husband.

Each day when he goes
to work in the woods,

he loses a pound or two
and I find them

in the folds of his clothes.
I don’t mean to steal them

but they are like static
and cling to me.

Soon, though, I’ll start
returning them

when he sits on his boat
all summer.

I’ll tuck them into his

after shedding them
while on my bicycle.

Day 6 and Sunday Scribblings


My mom bought an old
commode at an auction
many years ago.

She spent hours sanding
and refinishing it
to a warm honey glow.

Today it holds a tiny city
of photographs: an equestrian,
a waitress, a pilot, a manager,
two moms, and a pickle-eater.

These are the grands
and the great, the skyline
of the future.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Day 5 NaPoWriMo and Writer's Island

Lost Highway
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The snow was baby powder
swirling around my 4-Runner.

I didn’t bother with putting
the four-wheel drive on

since the road was clear.
I was on my way to babysit

my three-month old granddaughter
and as I descended through

the notch, I could feel my heart
beating a little faster

as if I were going on a date.
With just a mile to go

I hit black ice and I was on
a carnival ride, curving

into the oncoming lane,
swerving back to mine,

not being able to straighten out,
aiming for a spot between

a telephone pole and a snow bank
opting for a ditch, instead.

Hands on wheel
I don’t want to do this
I just want to see Kylie
Down into the ditch
Upside down
Rightside up
Hands still on wheel
Stuff everywhere
I’m alive
Unhurt, I think

Later, after the ambulance
came and they checked me out

after my daughter picked me up
and I convinced her to go to work

after calling my husband
and the insurance company,

I sat with Kylie in my arms
breathing in the baby powder

scent of new life.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Day 4 NaPoWriMo

I wrote this poem in my head last night as I was listining to my aunt. I didn't get a chance to actually write the words out until today, though. Is that cheating?
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Aunt Dotty sits
on her red couch
in front of a multi-
colored granny square

When I ask, “How
did you and Uncle
George meet?"

a small sunrise
blossoms on her face.

She smiles and says,
“Well, my friend, Sarita,
and I were walking home
from downtown when

her brother pulled up
in his little coupe
and asked if we’d like

a ride. We said sure
and climbed in. The only
problem was that
there was no back seat

and her brother had
a friend with him.

So, Sarita climbed in
the middle and I sat
on George’s lap.”

Here her voice
gets deep and warm
as summer.

“After they dropped
me off, Sarita said
to George, ‘How’d

you like Dotty? Isn’t
she pretty?’ And George
answered, ‘Well, I couldn’t
see her face
but she has a soft

The were married
for over 50 years.

Day 3 and Regional

for TOP April 4, 2008

It's Saturday and I'm sitting in Border's in Portland, Maine waiting for my mother-in-law's flight to come in. I have a very low connection. Borders is a T-Mobile hot spot but I don't have an account so I'm hoping I can get this posted without losing my signal.

I wrote this poem on Thursday afternoon waiting for my mom's flight to arrive in Portsmouth, NH. She flew in for a funeral. This morning she was scheduled to fly back to Florida but we woke up to the news that Skybus had ceased operations. Luckily, I was able to get her a flight out of Manchester, NH. I dropped her off and now am in waiting mode.

Okay, enough chit chat. Here's my poem.
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Mt. Washington sits
like a gallon of milk
on a blue tablecloth

as I head south
this Thursday morning
playing hooky from school.

At Wildcat Mountain
the skiers are confetti
as they weave

down the white frosting.
The whole valley
spreads out before me

as I swerve around
Dead Man’s Curve
in Pinkham Notch.

I’m singing
“Cover of a Rolling Stone”
by Dr. Hook as loud

as I can. See the notes
flying out my cracked-
open window, landing

on the snow
and perching on the limbs
of the bare trees?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Where in the World is Linda?

Heading out for a few days to a funeral in Massachusetts. I'm determined to still write my NoPoWriMo poems and am taking my computer with me but probably won't be able to get online. I'll catch up with everyone on Sunday.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

NaPoWriMo-Day 2 and 3WW

Parallel Bounce Mysterious
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Skinny Dipping

We turn off of route 16
and follow parallel tracks
down a dirt
road to Emerald Pool.

We sit on a big
rock overlooking
the water. The sun
covers us like
an electric blanket.
The heat from the stone
is charcoal briquettes.

Soon only our clothes
are left on the ledge
as we play in the cool
water. I feel my breasts
bounce around
like bubbles.

I dive deep
into gray-green
twilight as mysterious
as outer space
as mysterious
as us,
as mysterious
as the poems
I don’t even know
I will write yet.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

NaPoWriMo-Day 1

The challenge is to write a poem a day for the thirty days of National Poetry Month.
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Well, here we go.
My computer is glowing
like a grinning puppy
waiting for a treat

and my fingers are itching
to create metaphors
that jump off the page
and stain the brains

of everyone who reads them.
So, where are all the cool
ideas hiding? Why won’t
they come out to play?

I tried three times earlier
this morning to write poems
but the words just lay there
like dead worms.

I even dreamed
about NoPoWriMo
and how much fun
it would be. But, now,

I just sit here looking
out the window
for inspiration. The trees
are still bare. Snow

covers the ground. Oh,
the sun just poked through
and is grinning like
a puppy…Hmmmm…..
Linda's Poems