Is sloth truly such a dangerous sin?
Staring at a creature by this namesake
I can’t help but feel pity, wonder,
an utter amazement at the slow purposeful
movement – such a subtle conservation of energy.
All efforts focused on this present moment.
Is there not a diligence in this?
NOTE: This poem is inspired by a prompt from Kelly Russell Agodon – write a seven-line poem about one of the 7 Sins that only contains seven words in each of the lines.
On Today’s Agenda (From the Cat):
- Cuddle with my human until dawn arrives
- Stare at him while he sleeps, wondering when he will wake up
- Tap him on the face to see if he’s still alive
- Wait, get hungry, and tap again
- Mew incessantly when the tapping does not seem to work
- Use the litter box
- Scream like a banshee when my human forgets to feed me on time
- Use the litter box
- Get up early and look for more food
- Attack my human’s shoes to see if he feels like playing instead
- Sulk in the corner when he yells at me
- Attack my human’s couch in case he didn’t understand about the playing
- Sulk in the corner when he yells at me again
- Demand more food again
- Settle for some nice lap cuddles and petting
- Get annoyed and demand food again
- Wait until my human has cleaned my litter box and is ready to go to bed, then show him I know how to use the litter box in the bedroom. I know he loves the smell of my poop!
- Demand love when he’s trying to go to sleep. It is the best time for cuddles.
- Consider switching things up tomorrow.
NOTE: This poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #9 – write a poem in the form of a “to-do list.” The fun of this prompt is to make it the “to-do list” of an unusual person or character.
They wrote the words Beloved Son so large on my gravestone that they eclipsed my own name. Perhaps it is easier to pour grief into such a title, when a life is taken too soon. I wonder sometimes if I would have made different choices that day – swallowed first by drink, then by the water, and now by the grave. I was but a young man drunk on his own youth and feeling the invincibility of it. Among friends, on the lake, in the dark – then pulled down by all of it. Now I stare from my vantage in the grassy field of sectioned real estate with a thick gathering of gravestones behind me and a scattered few of them in front of me – overlooking, across the narrow country road, the home of my youth. The home where my parents still reside….
looking out each morning at the son who has died.
NOTE: This poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #8 – read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. When I was in high school we lost a couple of upper classmen to a drowning incident on the lake. This is a small ode to one of those young people. I chose not to include names as they are not mine to share.
playful tree beckons
wafting spicy, sweet aromas
passing seasons yield to winter
barren branches still
NOTE: This poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #7 – write a poem based on one of two syllable-based forms, the Shadorma or the Fib. I chose to do a Fib with one ascending and one descending stanza.
And the dead house burns
mold has peppered these walls
once grand and beautiful
white – or is it white-washed? – and gleaming
like bones, stripped
clean of meat, sinew, blood, and tissue
what purpose do bones have
without that which holds them together?
like the frame in this old house
bearing the weight of ages
while insulation, wiring, plaster, and paint
have fallen away
an empty house with fallow fields
that once held the fertility of promise
painting dreams never fulfilled
kerosene flows like lies
all that’s needed is a spark
…and the dead house burns
NOTE: This poem is partially inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #6 – Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. The original prompt asked you to change the title, but it fit so well with the poem that came out, I decided to keep it. The title line is pulled from the book “Into the Forest” by Jean Hegland.
Image Credit: “Our House is on Fire” by Artists Icy and Sot
When I was younger
never made me cry
special contacts – hard and rigid
from the burn
Now I understand,
my eyes – naked and unshielded
how each slice stings
As I grow older,
I chop them – more and more
as if craving
the unbidden emotion
NOTE: For today’s poem, I followed a prompt from Christina Thatcher – Read ‘cutting greens’ by Lucille Clifton. Answer this question: What is on your chopping board? Carrots, watermelon, poverty, sexism?
Image borrowed from simplejacki
Bridge to Nowhere
extend into the void
enveloping the way,
winding and wooden,
layered with snow
beyond range of sight
blankets the steps
of those who dare to tread
NOTE: This poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #4 – write a poem inspired by a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot
a shadow ahead
on the road to your brother’s
blackens road and hill,
remnants of a fire still burn,
destroying our path forward
Note: For today’s poem, I followed a prompt from the Scribophile Non-traditional poetry Group – write a Tanka poem about any subject or moment in time you like.
As the young tree bearing first fruit,
I blossomed and grew
’til my branches felt the weight of ripeness.
As the harvester seeking sweetness,
you found me and tasted
what was barely ready for picking.
With each swelling bud, burst,
bloom, and petal fall
I bore fruit – sweet, tender, green and bruised.
With each taking, you took too much.
With each giving, I lost too much.
Until you wished to taste another…
My tree grew heavy with fruit unpicked,
branches drooped and laden with sorrow,
until you came to harvest once more –
my fruit so full it fell into your waiting hands.
You caught it with the reverence
of one who had been starved.
Yet, as your demands grew greater,
my branches reached higher,
taking my fruit away from your reach.
NOTE: This poem is partially inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #2 – write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice. This poem became more about leaving a bad situation than the potential future though.
Speak to me in color
the dreary blues of your sadness,
the bursting reds of your anger,
and the bright yellows of your joy.
Allow me to listen to your emotions
letting them wash through my cells,
vibrating through my core,
and saturating my senses.
Let us feel each other in the din of silence
where a hush is as loud as a cymbal,
blackness is as bright as the dawn,
and tears are like lifeblood from the soul.
Be in me and I in you.
NOTE: This poem is inspired by the NaPoWriMo.net prompt for Day #1 – write a poem inspired by this animated version of “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.