Saturday, April 25, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Today—off prompt

Perry the Platypus from Phineas and Ferb

Maybe a Flamethrower Would Help

Lying to myself 
Here in my bed, 
Watching the ceiling fan 
Over my head. 
Wonder if there’s monsters? 
Should they be fed? 
What about the ghost 
In the bedspread?
All of the signs— 
Have I misread? 
All of the clever things 
I could have said.

Bogeyman waits—
Is that asinine? 
Should I get up, 
Or should I recline? 
Don’t be a baby. 
Just grow a spine. 
Hit pause. Breathe. 
I just need time. 
I will survive 
Foolish land mines. 
So many scares 
Are cured by sunshine. 

Friday, April 24, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Write about a particular fruit – your choice, but describe this fruit as closely as possible.


Back in Cusco Peru, after two weeks of trains,
Buses and taxis and boats and airplanes.
Now seeking only a meal and a rest.
Nothing outlandish, what would you suggest? 

We went with a friend to a door in a wall
Where pizza aromas sent out a call.
We soon had a dinner too good to behold,
And a pitcher of liquid as yellow as gold.

It was fruity and citric and mellow and sweet.
From the Amazon jungle, a wonderful treat.
It is called Maracuyà, a gold passion fruit.
We all loved the flavor, there was no dispute.

The size of an egg with a pineapple zing,
Black seeds; fleshy fruit to make the tongue sing.
Many things I’ve forgot from the trip, it is true,
But I’ll always recall the gold fruit of Peru.

Thursday, April 23, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Write a poem about a particular letter of the alphabet, or perhaps, the letters that form a short word.

The Twenty-Seventh Letter 

She follows after Z. 
Most agree she is a character,
And a bit eccentric, 
But she knows how to make connections.  
When she’s Roman 
And Italic--she‘s curvaceous.

 Sometimes she’s relaxed,

 Sometimes extra curvy.

Almost always dynamic.

Occasionally traditional,

 Or peculiar.

 Palatino Italic

Or, one of my favorites, 
A true classic.
But don’t call her a dingbat. 
Dingbats are just ornamental.
By herself she is
And per se: the word.

An ampersand is a cursive form of the Latin word "et" which means "and."

Wednesday, April 22, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. Find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem.

Looking for Silver Linings 

The Czech said, “No need to walk around the porridge.” 
“Yes,” said the Frenchman, “The carrots are cooked.” 
“But there’s no need to make a bull out of a fly,” warned the Finn. 
“You’re right,” agreed the man from Japan. “Even monkeys fall from trees.” 
“Still, not all donuts come with a hole,” warned the Italian. 
“Well” Said the Swede, “There’s no cow on the ice.” 
“Yeah, no need to cry over spilt milk,” sighed the Yank. 
“We may be going bananas but there’s gotta be a light at the end of the tunnel.” 
“Yes,” agreed the German, “everything has an end, only the sausage has two.” 
“I’m not so sure,” said the Japanese. 
“If you speak of tomorrow, the rats in the ceiling will laugh.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT:  Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds.

Here's my phonic translation of Heimliche Stunde by Joachim Ringelnatz--as far as I can tell it has something to do with ghostly dreams.

Choked and Stunned 

I’m inclined to skip church or die from dampness. 
Kind of a war against geezers. 
It’s a zoo for gibbon muttering. 
Come out, dash. Shoot back or get flogged. 
He’s going to bloomin’ blow my face off! 
Meet door songs with a squeak. 
Each labor’s got a mean fruit, 
Mean whining and mean ducks.

Here's the real poem in German

Heimliche Stunde

Ein kleiner Spuk durch due Dampfheizung ging.
Keine Uhr war aufgezogen.
Ein zu fruh geborener Schmetterling
Kam auf das Schachbrett geflogen.
Es ging ein Blumenvasenblau
Mit der Sonne wie eine Schnecke.
Ich liebe Gott und meine Frau,
Meine Wohnung und meine Decke.

Monday, April 20, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: Write a poem about a handmade or homemade gift that you have received.


Mom and Dad took a break 
From milking cows twice a day, 
Traveled with a tour group 
To see—what else? More cows. 

They brought back a souvenir. 
A brightly painted whirligig 
Created out of wood. 
A little black and white cow 
And a little farmer. 

They installed it on a fence post. 
When the wind blew 
The attached windmill turned. 
The farmer went into action milking his cow. 

Years later I found it on Dad’s workbench 
The Idaho wind had been unforgiving. 
Dad was gone and now so was Mom. 
The whirligig came home with me. 

We fixed the propeller blade, 
Cleaned it up and applied a new coat of paint. 
The farmer and the cow are retired now. 
They rest by my window 
Where they can catch 
An occasional breeze.

Sunday, April 19, 2020


NaPoWriMo PROMPT: write a poem based on a “walking archive.” What’s that? Well, it’s when you go on a walk and gather up interesting thing – a flower, a strange piece of bark, a rock. This then becomes your “walking archive” – the physical instantiation of your walk.

Shooting Birds--19 April 2020 

All winter long 
The usual birds 
Who never make the long trip south. 
When summer ends, when cold winds blow 
When rivers freeze
 And don’t forget the chickadees. 
They endure the months of snow. 

In March 
When winter starts to go 
We hear the doves 
And we know 
It’s spring when
 There are
 Robins overflow. 

Out on the lake
 I saw loons
 The hawks are back.
 Kingfishers too. 

(all my photos--most taken today--19 March 2020)