NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 28: A Skelton


Skeleton Skelton

The pile of bones
that each of us owns
until we die,
mourned with a sigh,
put in the earth
for second birth,
feeding worms
and all that squirms.
It’s not macabre,
it’s abracadabra.



From a prompt at, to write a Skelton, which is a poem made of short rhyming lines. There’s supposed to be a certain pattern of stresses, but I’m terrible at that. This is as formal as I get.


NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 27: Taste


The End of Lime and the Presence of Lime

Lime flavor can taste like guest soap at times,
but I’d still rather taste it than a lot of other things.
The tyranny of green apple depresses and enrages me —
both the fact of it and, no less, what it represents:
I’m an old crank who clings to memories of
scuttled flavors of Life Savers, Skittles.
If only they brought back lime, then maybe
I would be assured that I am still relevant, alive.
Yesterday, because of a lime-límon-lemon error
that I was then too polite to correct, I missed out
on a lime Italian ice, got lemon instead. I can’t say
I was disappointed with lemon, exactly, but still.
Still, though — the end of lime and the presence of lime.



From a prompt at


NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 24: Marginalia from Medieval Manuscripts


Warrior Snail


You think a snail can’t fight,
but that’s a very limited
point of view.

Some of us are quite handy
with a rapier or a cudgel
made of dew.



Today’s prompt at was to write a poem inspired by marginal artwork on medieval manuscripts. I was particularly taken with these battle snails.


NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 23: A Double Elevenie (and a Thank-You)


Before I show you the prompt I worked with from, and the resulting poem, I have to say how thrilled I was to be today’s featured poet, based on the cabbage-growing (or not growing) poem I wrote yesterday. Big thanks to poet Maureen Thorson for putting so much care into these daily prompts throughout April each year, and for the tremendous honor of having one of my poems spotlighted! Now, then:

“… an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. There are some good examples in the link above.

“A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all. It might be fun to try to write your double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.”

Monarch Season

eats milkweed
in an enclosure
inside, away from predators,

drinks nectar
in the garden
braving all the elements,


NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 22: A Georgic



Do You Have a Head for Cabbage?

Please wait two to three weeks to plant the cabbage,
during which time it will remain on your table
in its paper cup, most likely with roots snarling around
the bottom, taking up the entire cup or exceeding it.
Consider that you could just eat it now, get the whole thing
over with. You wouldn’t win the cabbage-growing contest —
or your son wouldn’t, that is — but let’s be honest:
Can you even find the thing that came home with the cabbage
from the Bonnie cabbage company, explaining the contest,
how to win that $1,000 at some point in the fall?
Spring to fall is a ridiculous length of time, in terms of
paper, its management, to say nothing of the growing of
this cabbage. Anyway, what you should do is an elaborate
daily study of light patterns from your dining-room window,
an assessment of the perfect spot, and perfect day to plant
cabbage. But there is no “perfect” here, thanks to bushes
and a palisade fence, the advancing shadow that overtakes
the scrubby shared yard. It may be best to hem and haw
over cabbage, water it like a houseplant until it’s clear
that it’s missed any chance at all, be haunted by a photo
that can never exist: your son in a plaid shirt, farmer-style,
holding up his harvested cabbage like a gruesome trophy,
a head on a pike, after a summer of fattening for the kill.




Today’s prompt at was to write a Georgic, which is an instructional and pithy agriculture poem. I decided to catch up with the cabbage plant that I wrote about earlier this month.