Thursday, April 30, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 30!: Exercise for TOP

Just a short one today. I'm poemed out!
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My jeans
hang on the clothes line
running in place
doing front kicks
and back kicks
to the wind’s
exercise video,

knowing this is the most
exercise they are going to get.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 29 and 3WW: Opportunity-Service-Quarrel

Just Another Slap in the Face

I got home late
fatigue dripping
from my shoulders
like a backpack
slipping to the floor.

I leave it on a hook
in the closet
along with my jacket,

so happy to forget
about the quarrel
I’d had with my fourth-
block kids.

I’d taken them outside
for Journal Writing,
the weather summer nice.

But several of them
decided to take advantage
of the opportunity
to stay out, enjoy the sun,
after I said it was time
to head back inside.

They tiptoed
into the classroom
late, eyes big,
knowing they were
in trouble,

knowing they’d
let me down,
knowing I’d never trust
them again.

Finally, I was home,
time to relax,
write a poem,
and check the mail
for a letter.

But what was in there?
A bill from
Public Service of NH.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 28: Red

He’s been working
on his new motorcycle
in the cellar
for months, now.

This one started
as old Harley parts
that were just begging
to be assembled.

And that’s what
he’s been doing
one puzzle piece
at a time,

sanding and bending
and swearing
and slowly
it began

to look like
a real motorcycle,
a 1952 panhead.
A couple days ago

I asked him
to help me
fix my Xyron
sticker machine.

He examined it,
got a perplexed look
on his face,
said he was sorry,

and gave it back to me.
Then he went outside,
got his tools out and adjusted
the points on his bike.

Monday, April 27, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 27: Wordle (Piggybank)

The piggybank of our life
is full of coins:

the copper pennies
of everyday business,

the chunky nickels
of laughter,

the thin dimes
of fights,
pursed lips,
being picked up,

the quarters of compliments
and kindnesses and love

and the occasional
fifty-cent pieces
of vacations.

Each night
before bed
we empty our pockets
and slide
the loose change
into the piggybank
watching our marriage
fill up.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 26: Word for One Single Impression


It’s a razor blade
cutting slashes
in an arm,

the sun pulling
a quilt of clouds
up over her head.

It’s a husband
turning away
in bed,

a mother
getting drunk
every night,

the silent scream
from a girl
being raped.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Follow for Sunday Scribblings

As a recovering addict
I have to be careful
during vacations
not to have the TV
on channel 6
at 1pm

because that is when
Days of our Livescomes on and I don’t
want to get hooked

It started in college.
I’d get back from class
and it was nice
to sit in the TV room
with friends
and watch the happenings
in Salem.

As a newlywed,
I brought the characters
with me as I started
this new life,
hoping never
to repeat their

Once the kids
started school,
we’d get home
in the afternoon
and sit together.
Erin and Nathan took
turns getting up
to fast forward
through the commercials
in those pre-remote
VCR days.

We always got excited
when a young Carrie
was on because
I’d try to imitate
her hair-do
on Erin the next

Even after they graduated
I continued to watch.
It was like a big, fat
juicy novel
and I’d turn to a new
chapter every day.

Two years ago
I went cold turkey;
I just couldn’t take
any more of that

Oh, sure, my heart
does a little flip-flop
whenever I see their faces
on Soap Opera Digest
at the grocery store

and the occasional
commercial for it
pulls me in from
the next room

but, so far,
knock on wood,
I haven’t watched
a single episode.
Today is Saturday
after a week of being home
and I didn’t fall
off the wagon
even once.

Sometimes, it feels
like I’ve divorced
part of my family
but, most of the time,
I’m happy to be
free of cliff-hangers
and stupid decisions
and titillating sexual

and kids who grow up
from babies to teenagers
in five years
and I just couldn’t take
another Christmas
watching the Hortons
hang ornaments
with their names
on them
on that perfect tree.

Friday, April 24, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 24: Listen

I wrote this at the Unity Street Park
overlooking the river.
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The Androscoggin River
in high spring exuberance
laughing and gurgling
and schussing
drowns out the cars
going by like toys,
and the jet
unzipping the blue
sweater of the sky,
and the humming
of the leaf buds
fat and bursting,
and the dying groans
of goldenrod

The world is a pantomime,
my ears full of raging water.

NaPoWriMo Day 23: Quote for TOP

It all depends on how we look at things, and not on how things are in themselves. The least of things with a meaning is worth more in life than the greatest of things without it. ~Carl Jung
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Kylie wakes up
with a smile
on her face.

I put the shade up
and see a gray,
rainy day.

“It’s so yucky
out there,”
I say to her.

She replies,
“I think
it’s beautiful.”

So, I take
another look
through the diamonds

on the window.
The clouds
are a down comforter,

jonquil spears
are drinking

and the grass
has turned

Yes, my smart
Kylie girl,
it is beautiful.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 22: List Poem of Stolen Lines

The Prompt at ReadWritePoem today is a list poem made up of 5 lines of poetry stolen from five different poems. Almost all my poetry books are at school and I only have two here. I picked up The Best American Poetry 2008 at the library the other day so my last three are from that.
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Beginnings are brutal, like this accident
of her father’s voice on the phone.
Drinks his dark rum all day, and is content.
He was drunk, disgracefully so, which is why
nothing there except stones and wind.
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Dorianne Laux “Each Sound” What We Carry
Alison Townsend “TheAddict” Persephone in America
Robert Bly “Wanting Sumptuous Heavens”

Ira Sadoff “American”

D. Nurske “The Gate of Abraham”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 21: Rite of Passage

Erin sat on the washing machine
I took the toilet seat, camera in hand
Gary stood next to Nathan
who was in front of the sink.

I can still see how gingerly
Nay spread the shaving cream
on his face, tapping it into place
creating peaks and valleys

Then came the razor with a new blade
and I held my breath
as he scraped those beautiful baby cheeks
that I had kissed and kissed and kissed

Later, I wiped away the foam
from the sink and washed
the stray hairs of my son’s childhood
down the drain.

Monday, April 20, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 20: The Bride Wore Red

The following image is the prompt at ReadWritePoem and is by pareeerica

The Bride Wore Red

and the vultures were circling,
all those old boyfriends
wanting to take bites
out of her newfound

But red is the color
of laughter
and as she ran
from the church

her husband
with his red cummerbund
and red tie,
the musical notes
of their giggling

rose in the happy air
and swept the specks
of annoying memories
out the door
of her mind.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 19: Friendship

I breathe a sigh,
pack my book bag,
and head home
after a day of teaching.

When I get home,
I wait for footsteps
on the front porch:

I lift the top
of the mailbox
and sunshine
glows out;

there is a letter
from my friend.
I carefully slit
the envelope

then sit in a warm
breeze of friendship.
There are stickers
and pictures

and poems and words
about the simple,
and frustrating, and joys,
and worries.

The best part
is our own acronym
at the end:

(Thanks for being
my friend)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 17: Language for Sunday Scribblings

Here's an acrostic of American Sentences.
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Laughter, like a wireless phone connection, rings in my heart and soul.

nnouncer of emotions like birds in trees cawing about the cold temps.

ouns and verbs marching like soldiers from lips through air to ears, hup, two, three…

estures: fingers that point and show disgust, hands saying come here or stop.

gh, ah, oh, wow, gee, ooh, ow, eek: sounds of life, words unnecessary.

uthors of books are heroes, with their backpacks of words and ideas.

azes that flow like the scent of baking bread with messages of love.

nvelopes of words we slit open to release the magic of speech.

Friday, April 17, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 17: Missing

Vitamin Sea Deficiency

The ocean
is locked in a box
in the back corner
of my brain.

I can barely see
the tiny waves
rolling over themselves

or the glints
of sun sparkling
like fireflies,
ephemeral & brief.

Soon, soon, the screen
of the ocean
will be as large
as a drive-in

and I’ll be sitting
in the audience
with my eyes
full of sea.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 16: Allure, Vivid, and Perch for 3WW

We were out hunting,
the woods all golden,

two parents and four kids
walking along a skidder trail.

I spied a bird
high on his perch,

a vivid speck against the blue.
The allure too much,

my brother tried to shoot it.
The bullet flew off to another planet.

I laughed. He turned red.
“You do it, then,” he said.

I took the gun,
spread my legs to balance,

aimed up to heaven,
and pulled the trigger.

That bird fell
right at my feet,

fat and warm.

The leaves
crunched like remorse

as we quietly made our way
back out of the woods.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 15: List and Photo Poem for TOP

First Anniversary

smiles of what have we done

an old car for the journey

making ends meet

“I loved your father so much”

a lump in the throat


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 14: Car

I started one about the old Rambler once before but it didn't go anywhere so I decided to redo it for this prompt.
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The old Rambler
my boyfriend had
was unique:
the front seat
reclined to meet
the back seat
resulting in a queen-
open space.

It was great
for going
to the drive-in.
We’d sit way
in the back
with a quilt
over us.

And parking?
All our friends
were jealous.

So, I have
no idea
how footprints
got on the ceiling.
And when his mom
asked him
about them,
he made up
some story
about having
to hunt
for something
under the seat.

But, his red face,
as red as the Rambler,
gave it away.

His parents sold
it soon afterwards,
replacing it
with a Volkswagen

NaPoWriMo Day 13: Where Do You Come From?

I come from mountains
so close I can taste them.

I come from the valley
in between that swallows me.

I come from rock cliffs
that my nose bumps against,

walls that get closer and closer.
I come from hills of ideas rising.

I come from the exclamation
points of trees in a forest of words.

NaPoWriMo Day 12: Found Poem

From the Last Chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird
Neighbors bring food
with death
and flowers
with sickness
and little things in between.

Boo was our neighbor.
He gave us
two soap dolls,
a broken watch and chain,
a pair of good-luck pennies,

and our lives.

But neighbors give
in return.
We never put back
into the tree
what we took out of it:

we had given him nothing,
and it made me sad.

NaPoWriMo Day 11: A smile of orange

A Smile of Orange

He has his black
shirt on, the one
with flames
on the sleeves.

We’re sitting
in a bar,
he with a rum drink
he calls a Big Jake
and me with a glass
of wine.

We’re both dragging
after having painted
all day.
He takes the fruit
from his glass,
reaches over
and says,
“Here, have a smile
of orange.”

I chuckle to myself
as we let our arms
lean together,
the English teacher
and the biker.

When he leaves
to go to the men’s room,
I take my notebook
out and write
this poem.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 10: The rock Queens

The Rock Queens

Michelle 9 in her horse T-shirt
Tori 8 in pink ruffled tank
decided to sell rocks
one day
at camp.

They gathered them
from the neighbors’
gravel driveway,

made an Open sign
and another
with prices,

then stood there
with their purses
and smiles
as people walked by.

Who could resist?
Everyone got such a kick
out of them.

Even the neighbors
bought a couple
of their own
rocks back.

They made $23!

Such imaginations
and entrepreneurship.

Now, as they become teenagers
will they display these qualities
or will they be hidden
behind sulky faces
drained through cell phones
and ipods?

Will they ever
be this young
and old

Thursday, April 9, 2009

NaPoWriMo day 9: Paradise


I’m sitting in the woods
sketching a burl.
I feel the breeze
on my neck soft

like my husband’s hand
as we fell asleep
in Hawaii
with the sound
of waves rushing
onto the sand
and the wind,
that had come
all the way from China,
puffing the curtains
and brushing
butterfly kisses
on our faces.

This is paradise,
being alone in the woods.

When it’s time to leave
I walk back out
through coins
of sunlight,
picking them up
and putting them
in my pocket.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Medditation on Letter E by Danny Sheehan

I gave my Poetry-writing students this assignment this week and a couple of them asked if I could post their poems.
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Meditation on Letter E

E is eternity that awaits us
the second part of us
the evil side,
always hungry
eating people apart by their fears.

E is the emptiness
that fills the broken ones,
the eyes blind by the lies
you tell yourself.

It’s the escape we long to find,
the entrance that will save us
from the execution.

It’s the end of everything,
the eclipse
to elimination.

The Letter C by Moriah Vincent

I gave my Poetry-writing students this assignment this week and a couple of them asked if I could post their poems.
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The Letter C

Easy to mold like dough in the
hands of the chef.
Sometimes soft and silent.
C is usually a harsh letter,
cutting the tongue, sneakily
carving away one’s hopes with words
like cancer and casualties,
picking at dreams as if they were carcasses
on which the vultures and
coyotes feast;
leaving the survivors to contemplate
the quality of life of the deceased.
They find themselves empty
like a cast that has no cracked bones to support;
just a body with broken soul to contain.
C is the chief of containing bad news,
the master of chaos;
coming and going as it pleases,
living not to calm the feared
but to warn the careful,
to whisper to those who care
enough to listen.

Meditation on the Letter V for TOP & Day 8

Meditation on the letter V

V’s are arrows pointing this way and that way.
They are vases holding the verses of our lives.
V’s are hands raised in a wave, cheering.
V’s are democratic; the capital V
is the very model for the baby v.
If you know one, you know the other.
It’s a family vibe.

When you see a fluttering, wavering V above,
you know the season is about to swerve,
become severe or temperate: veering into fall
or sliding into vibrant spring: the evolution
of our living.

V stands proudly, head erect, full of values:
dignity, assertiveness, conviction, veracity,
devotion, loyalty, love.

V’s are inverted legs giving birth.
We are all alive,
the first view of us
through the V in our mother’s bent legs.
We arrived through the avenue of a V’s V

and we proclaim victory.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 7: Nicknames

The Evolution of a Nickname

The ocean,
blue sky,

just learning
to talk

My father-in-law,
“Say Grampa”
pronounced Grumpa

His German girlfriend
“Say danka,
come on, danka”

Nay is more interested
in watching the water,
seeing birds dive,

feeling the wind
in his face.
Later, his grandfather

kisses him goodbye.
“Bye bye, Gunka”
Nay says.

And Gunka
he has remained
to this day.

Monday, April 6, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 6: Response to a Photo

This is for ReadWritePoem's Day 6 prompt. We were asked to write a poem in response to the following photograph by pensiero:

And You thought You Were In Charge

Who is controlling them?
The hand of fate? I hear the clouds

Sunday, April 5, 2009

NaPoWriMo Day 5: Fifty Words

The prompt at ReadWritePoem today is to ask someone for 50 words, read them several times, leave them alone for awhile, then try to remember about 10 of them, write them down, contemplate why we recalled those particular ones, then write a poem inspired by them.

Here are the ten words I remembered from the list my friend, Anne, kindly emailed me:
insulin, syringe, donation, surf, deposit, radish, pepper, mouse, sticker,
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Three Tries

to write a poem
inspired by these

Some days I can
surf the waves of ideas
so easily

but, today, I’m just
in the ocean.

I’m a diabetic
needing a syringe
full of insulin

to balance
the sugar of

Even the donation
of these words
is not enough

of a deposit
into the bank account
of my brain

to get my mouse
moving and pepper
my computer

screen with stanzas.
Instead, I just add
a period to the last word.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Celebrate for Sunday Scribblings

I’m celebrating Saturday,
melting snow,
my husband going
to the IGA with me,
not having a cold anymore,
the smell of warm clothes
just out of the dryer,
listening to a show
featuring music by The Doors,
(“Come on baby light my fire”)
keeping up with NaPoWriMo,
(This is actually my second poem today!)
no rain,
a letter from a friend,
ham, green pepper, and cheese omelet,
cutting a lilac branch
and putting it in water to force,
Planters Cocktail Peanuts with sea salt,
a cocktail,
a good book,

NaPoWriMo day 4: Paint Colors

Snow Ballet Starring the Poetic Princess

It’s as if she dipped
her ballet slippers
in black paint

for when she moves
she leaves the calligraphy
of her heart

on the surface of the stage.
She twirls and swirls,
a snowflake

in an ice storm
and her crystals of despair
shimmer like razor blades,

slicing through the air,
shards of pain falling
to blanket the audience.

Friday, April 3, 2009

NaPoWriMo day 3: Threes

A Rainy Day Threesome

5 am
gotta get out of here
drive drive drive
Mohegan Sun Casino
$100 in my pocket

$20 on quarter machine
Another $20
Slide it in a fifty cent machine

Three Double Diamonds
turquoise turquoise turquoise
pop pop pop



Just like that

eat lunch
drive drive drive
5 pm

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Solitaire for TOP and NaPoWriMo Day 2

He ran in the house
grabbed my hand
and pulled me upstairs

to my bedroom,
a place he was not allowed.
My parents

were at work, though.
He made me sit
on the edge of my bed

and he got down
on his knees,
took the ring out.

“Will you marry me?”
he asked as he slipped
the solitaire

on my finger.
Did I even answer?
Did he ever imagine a “no”

in my mouth
ready to fly out
like scissors

and cut his smile
in two? He pulled
me up close

and “yes” got squeezed
in between
our beating hearts.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Varied, Knack, Crush for 3WW and Naisaiku

Crushed pineapple, rum,
ice, and a splash of OJ.
Blend. Cures varied ills.
Blend to cure varied ills:
ice, a splash of OJ,
crushed pineapple, rum.

NaPoWriMo Day 1: Metaphor


Sleep was a silky fish
eluding me last night.

I tried to catch it
with the net of my dreams

but it wiggled out of reach
through cloudy thoughts

then taunted me
with its wide-eyed stare.
Linda's Poems