NaPoWriMo 2021 – Poem #5

Chopping Onions

When I was younger
chopping onions
never made me cry

Back then,
special contacts – hard and rigid
protected me
from the burn

Now I understand,
my eyes – naked and unshielded
how each slice stings
eliciting tears

As I grow older,
I chop them – more and more
as if craving
the unbidden emotion
it stirs

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

NaPoWriMo 2021 – Poem #4

Bridge to Nowhere

angled pathways
extend into the void

white obscurity

enveloping the way,
winding and wooden,
layered with snow

reaching toward
mysterious spaces
beyond range of sight

only faith
blankets the steps

of those who dare to tread

NOTE: This poem is inspired by the prompt for Day #4 – write a poem inspired by a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot

NaPoWriMo 2021 – Poem #3

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.

NaPoWriMo 2021 – Poem #2

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 fruitsweet, 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 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.

NaPoWriMo 2021 – Poem #1

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 prompt for Day #1 – write a poem inspired by this animated version of “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Poem #4

There is a scar on my grandmother’s forearm.
A spiderweb of mottled flesh from elbow blossoming to wrist.

It’s been there as long as I have memory, and probably before.
One day I asked her how she got it.

Without a thought, she answered:
It was your grandfather.
He threw me through a window in one of his jealous rages.

To this, I had no reply.

NOTE: This poem is inspired by the prompt for Day #1 – write a poem that achieves sadness through simplicity.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Poem #3

From the vibrance of youth,
two people captivated by each other.
Goddess to his atheism.
Beauty to his beast.

A pastor’s daughter,
brought up by the morals of the belt.
A son, too perfect,
result of a mother’s pride wrought to extreme.

She wished for freedom.
In him, found escape.
He desired attention.
In her, found something to possess.

A marriage of worlds
apart, so different,
a union made too young-
hasty rebellion of the naïve.

Children raising children.
Schooling left undone.
His love grew sour,
like the beer on his tongue

Teens becoming parents too soon,
they barely made ends meet.
Late nights at work bred suspicion,
jealousy, and rage – forcing love to retreat.

But unhappy homes,
breed unhappy children.
One rebellious like her parents.
One striving to please a father unbending.

After the children were raised,
only bitterness and resentment remained.
A husband. A wife.
A literal ball that’s been chained.

She wishes to go.
He wants her to stay.
Before they decide a grandchild is born,
and through neglect, nearly taken away.

Together, as grandparents, they swoop in
to give the baby girl a home.
So much for happiness,
duty makes sure that no one is left alone.

Through her childhood
this girl would not see
the love lacked between them-
the coldness buried deep.

They were both there for her
in their own way,
but rarely together,
unless with family or on special days.

Over the years,
bitterness passed down.
Son and daughter
too young had died.
Now granddaughter is all that’s left
to bridge the divide.

NOTE: This poem is inspired by the prompt for Day #1 – write a poem that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.

NaPoWriMo 2019 – Poem #2

Black bird
keen eyes
robust from refuse
watches me

Sleek feathers
ruffle up fur-like
regal mantle shroud
Guardian poses

Throaty call
requesting aid
bringing in the flock
murder descends

Many eyes turn
from branches
all around, watching,
but Guardian retreats

Left behind
the flock and me
silent waiting, staring
nothing moving, but eyes

Distant call
rouses the crowd
a flurry of wings
shatters the quiet

One feather
floats to the ground
between two fingers
I turn it

Why did they come?
What did they see?
Where did they go?

NOTE: This poem is inspired by the prompt for Day #2 – write a poem that resists closure by ending on a question.


NaPoWriMo 2019 – Poem #1

Stress Relief: How to Meditate

Sit in a comfortable position
On the floor

Like a lotus?

If that hurts
Try a bolster

Or maybe a chair?

Or lie flat
Like a corpse


Now close your eyes
If it’s too bright
Dim the lights
But not too dark
Lest you fall asleep

I could actually use a nap.

Meditation is about relaxation
Not sleep

Right, relaxation here we go.

Focus on breathing
Slowly in and out
Deep belly breathing

My lungs are in my chest, not my stomach.

Don’t force it
Breathing should come naturally

Like breathing into my belly?

Let the breath flow up
From the belly into the chest
But fill the belly first!

Yeah, yeah…all about the belly.

Open the chest
Slow and steady
Count if it helps

How much longer before I feel relaxed?

4-in, hold for 2, 6-out, hold for 4
Don’t force it

Milk, eggs, bananas, cereal…

Let errant thoughts go and breathe.

Maybe some chicken for dinner?

Try to focus on your breathing
Release any tension


Breathe into those muscles
Let them melt

That twinge in my neck is getting worse. Maybe I should call the chiropractor…

Let all of your worries melt away
As you breathe
Keep relaxing, bringing attention
back to any areas of tension

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

Drop those shoulders
Let the head float up
Releasing tension from the neck

Shit! I forgot to file my taxes.

Let those distractions
Just float away

And…I forgot to feed the cat first.

Thoughts floating away
like fluffy little–

…annoying furballs?

–white clouds

The cat can wait five more minutes.

Breathe. Focus.

Is something vibrating?
My phone…mom.
Of course.
She always has the worst timing.

Don’t let distractions get in the way.
Breath. Relax. Focus.

Zzzzzt. “MAWRRR!” Zzzzzt.

But, if it’s important…

“Hey, Mom.”


“No, it’s fine.”


“Of course I’m not too busy.”

You feel better already.

: This poem is inspired by the prompt for Day #1 – provide the readers with instructions.