Category Archives: Poetry by Prescription

Check List for a Budding Poet

img_1071

Check List for a Budding Poet

If you want to be prolific,
better that you be specific,
and when you choose to state each fact,
try to make each word exact.
Don’t use time-worn words or wilted.
Avoid pretentious words or stilted.

Never try to force a rhyme.
Do not fail to take the time
to make your lines scan smoothly for,
uneven meter is a bore.
Words written for effect are hollow,
but where heart is, the head will follow.

So write your poetry from the heart.
Put your horse before the cart
and let it pull you up the hill.
Let your words express their will—
you following blindly, just to see
what the next line wants to be.

Let words of different shapes and sizes
furnish pleasure and surprises.
Make your poems resemble zoos
of striped okapis and kangaroos.
Delight yourself and then your reader.
Follow words, then be their leader

by whipping them in line and order,
shaping them within your border.
It never is too late to change
an errant line that’s out of range,
but editing is not what you
initially should seek to do.

Words give hearts tongues to share their pleasure
and their pain in equal measure.
Essayists and authors strive
to make their writings come alive.
They show us where their minds have been,
but poets put the music in.

The prompt today was “specific.”

Blank Page

The Prompt: All Grown Up—When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

P2220226

Blank Page

It stretches forever in front of me.
There, no future happens until I create it.
And that is the power of words
that rub like pieces of gravel in my shoe.
I become less of a child in bearing them,
grow to adolescence as I pry them from my shoe.
In storing them on the page, I become my own creator—
writing a new world with each decision of word.
On the page, I can, if I so choose,
grow up again and again.
Each page filled or every edit of the last
becomes another part of me
that tells the same story:
that growing enough to fill the space inside of me
never happens.

 

Chocolate-covered Potato Chips and 90210

The Prompt: Grateful and Guilty—write a thank-you note to your guiltiest pleasure

Okay, I challenge you to find a better excuse than I have for not getting posted until 7:10 at night.  I’m told by the owner of the little palapa restaurant I’ve come to after not being able to get online all day that it is probably because of yesterday’s eruption of Colima Volcano about 80 miles northeast of me.  Frustrating but exotic, no?  At any rate, here is my “real” post for the day…Judy

IMG_7969
Chocolate-covered Potato Chips and 90210

Thanks be to God for TV that’s evolved beyond Godzilla.
And thanks to him for frozen cream—both praline and vanilla.
Another pleasure is writing in bed. It’s how I start my day.
With no spouse or kids to feed, it’s where I get to stay.
I know that grandkids would be nice, but still I’m rather grateful
that being childless cuts to nil the chances they’ll be hateful.

Chocolate and potato chips, together or alone
are two more guilty pleasures for which I must atone.
I try to limit quantities that pass between my lips,
for if I eat too many, they’re displayed upon my hips.
Another guilty pleasure that’s high upon my list
is a stupid TV show that somehow I just missed

the first time that it came around and which I must admit
is really superficial, although it was once a hit.
Still, I can’t stop watching it when I am all alone—
a guilty pleasure for which I’ve found ways I can atone.
I only watch it from the pool as I do exercise—
computer balanced within view while I aerobicize.

The show I watch is Beverly Hills Nine-Zero-Two-One-Oh.
And that’s about as far as this confession’s gonna go!
I’m sure I’m shrinking brain cells, but I grow them back again
by reading hours of Marcel Proust, and then Anais Nin!
My ending comment must be this sincere beatitude:
for friends who like me as I am, I have great gratitude.

Guilty for my sins and the excesses that are mine—
grateful for the friends who still insist that I am fine
if I never turn out perfect both in looks and my behavior,
I guess the fact that they’re not perfect either is my savior.
Guiltily and gratefully, we all pass through this life,
pudgy from our excesses and battered by our strife.

But that’s how life is patterned, and we all are lucky still
that of our guilty pleasures we’re allowed to have our fill.
Thanks be to our compulsions and life’s excesses of pleasure,
for all our peccadillos end up as life’s greatest treasure.
So, thanks be again for naughty things. We both love and revile them.
With some of them we stuff our mouths. With others, We just dial them.

Pieromaniac

stock-photo-homemade-organic-berry-pie-with-blueberries-and-blackberries-139194887

Pieromaniac

At any time of day or night,
I’m always open to a bite
of pastry stuffed with something nice,
in fact, pie is my favorite vice!

I am very very very
fond of all things flavored cherry,
and of all this cherry pleasure,
pie’s the one that I most treasure.

Good for breakfast, good for lunch,
on pumpkin pie, I love to munch.
Coconut or chocolate cream?
They are my fantasy and dream.

Banana, apple—oh, and peach!
Put one of them within my reach,
and I’ll purloin a piece or two.
No pie is safe within my view.

On the window ledge or table,
I’ll grab a piece if I am able.
In a coffee shop or grandma’s kitchen,
pie’s delicious. Pie is bitchin’

At picnics, parties, celebrations,
with coffee or with small libations,
at any occasion or event,
pie is the best accompaniment.

Yet there is one aspect of pie
that I hope never meets my eye.
I don’t like pie in just one place.
Please don’t shove it in my face!

Today, I’m using the weekly challenge: Pie—The scent of pastry baking, the sound of a fork clinking on a plate… This week, make our mouths water with stories about pie.

Life Is Too Short to Be Afraid

Staid: adjective: sedate, respectable and unadventurous. “staid law firms”
synonyms: sedate, respectable, quiet, serious, serious-minded, steady, conventional, traditional, unadventurous, unenterprising, set in one’s ways, sober, proper, decorous, formal, stuffy, stiff, priggish

Life Is Too Short To Be Afraid

Life is too short to be afraid,
caught, traditional and staid,
serious, steady, lacking flair,
always well-clothed and never bare.
We were not meant for formal fare,
pinched and tucked with tonsured hair.

We’re meant to flap and drag and wear
with tattered bits and unkempt hair.
Life’s meant to mess us up a bit
as we make use of all of it.
Not just the parts traditional,
decorous and conditional.

Take a chance to win or fail.
Face the flood and face the gale.
Jump right in with both your feet
when adventure you chance to meet.
Go out to meet the world with grace,
hand extended, face-to-face.

In this great apple called mankind,
live in the fruit, not in the rind.
In the messy, fragrant, toothsome center
be an enjoyer, not a repenter.
Buy life full-price and not on clearance.
Live on the pith and not appearance.

For all too soon it will be over.
That field you rolled in, full of clover,
will sprout small stones that bruise your spine.
The rich mussels on which you dine
will be something you’ll have to pass
for fear that you might suffer gas.

The places where you want to go
can’t be got to when you’re slow.
You won’t have the energy
to travel fast and travel free—
to hitchhike, backpack, hop a train
when you have rheumatism pain.

So gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
“Real” life will wait another day.
Be silly and take chances now.
Forsake the contract, pledge and vow.
Too soon the walker and the cane.
You never will be young again.

The Prompt:No Time to Waste—Fill in the blank: “Life is too short to _____.” Now, write a post telling us how you’ve come to that conclusion.

 

 

Finally, A Voice!!!—A Letter from Two Bad (Misunderstood) Dogs

Today they chose my suggestion for the daily prompt! It was: Return Address—Yesterday, your pet/baby/inanimate object could read your post. Today, they can write back (thanks for the suggestion, lifelessons!). Write a post from their point of view (or just pick any non-verbal creature/object).

If you’d like to see the letter the below post answers, please go here.

dsc07914 (1)
Finally, A Voice!!
(A Letter from Two Bad (Misunderstood) Dogs)

Do you think it’s simple, giving voice to our demands
without the proper vocal chords, without your human hands?
Everytime we try to talk, you scold us and you hush us,
even though you’ve just admitted that our howls are luscious.

And lacking proper fingers, we cannot write you letters.
We aren’t given proper tools to address our “betters.”
Simply howls and growls and barks and waggings of the tail—
and yet you do not take the time to learn this doggy Braille!

If you’d listen closer, perhaps you’d understand us.
Instead you shout out, “Stop!” and “Hush!” and seek to countermand us.
Can’t you understand that we’re protecting you from prowlers?
Feral cats and owls and skunks and nearby canine howlers?

We have such curiosity, though you determine to balk us.
We wouldn’t have to rush the gate if you’d take time to walk us!
We have to climb up on the roof to get a worldly view.
We wouldn’t be there barking if you’d take us out with you!

As for the cat food, take a clue. The reason we adore it
Is ‘cause it’s smelly, wet and luscious. Dog food? We abhor it!
That cat leaves a bit to tempt us—it’s a cruel feline game!
So why not buy us cat food? It costs you just the same.

And now the final agony. The ultimate tragic hitch,
Not only can our mom not cook, but now we make her itch!
No wonder our neuroses include jostling for attention.
A mother who can’t touch us? This escaped your earlier mention.

We thought you didn’t like us so we tried to win your favor.
Your touch is what we long for even more than cat food’s savor.
And as for pooping in the yard, you never told us to
sneak behind the garden shed to have our little poo.

You seem to think we know these things, but where would we have learned?
It’s you who should have taught us, for obedience must be earned.
If you would spend more time with us, perhaps you’d finally see
there is no other creature with whom we would rather be.

The Daily Wait

For some reason, I woke up at 4:30 this morning.  Of course I knew there would be no prompt yet, but as I combed the internet for distraction, tried in vain to write to my own topic, joined NaNoWriMo and tried without success to find a photo for a cover and gave up, (who picks a cover before they write the novel?), tried to find the real website for NaBloWriMo and gave up (only to see,eventally, that they posted it with the prompt this morning).

I finally was reminded of the days I’ve sat for hours waiting for the prompt or have received a timely one only to find the link doesn’t work.  And so those other days of waiting are what inspired the seemingly unreasonable post below.  (Who for God’s sake expects a prompt at 4:30 in the morning?)  Daily Post, we do appreciate your efforts so hope you can have a sense of humor about our complaints.  One thought, though. I just discovered the feature where you can set a post to automatically publish at a certain time in the future.  Could you do this with the prompt so it would consistently be published at a certain time?

The Daily Wait

7:05, and still I wait.
Have you forgotten we have a date?
Without your promise, I might move on,
but in your game, I’m just a pawn.
You move me here and move me there.
You do not even seem to care
that I’m here online, held at the brink
as I wait for prompt or wait for link.
Daily Post, you’ve drawn us in,
addictive now as heroin.
We can’t get on with our day
until you tell us what to say!
Your hook and line is without bait,
yet still we let you seal our fate.
If you’d just post your topics sooner,
we wouldn’t have to pull a nooner!

Okay, fair is fair, so here is the real prompt for today and I promise to write about it as well:

The Prompt: The Spice of Success—if “failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor” (Truman Capote), how spicy do you like your success stories?  (My answer to this is now posted in a different post.)