Category Archives: Writing

Topically Distracted

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Topically Distracted

When WordPress put us out to dry,
turning a deaf ear to our cry
not to suspend the Daily Post,
I think it disillusioned most.
Yet, so many rose to hear our plight
that now I labor day and night
to fulfill the prompts they host.
I fear offending if I don’t post.
So though outside the air’s a balm,
the flowers lush, the scene all calm,
I feel my obligation’s rush.
I feel each lined-up prompting’s crush.

Each jostles to be first in line
like a regular at opening time.
So though outside it’s tropical,
and therefore very topical,
I cannot feel the scene before me.
Sun, trees, water only bore me.
Even the palm trees do not sway.
No wind  rustles them today.
And though the prompt is “tropical,”
my mind is stuck on “topical.”
I must admit that I’m distracted.
With prompts, I fear, I’m over-facted!


Here are seven prompt sites that have grown up in answer to WordPress’s abandonment, plus two I’ve been posting on for some time:

https://fivedotoh.com/  Fandango’s prompt today is tropical. This is a well-set-up daily prompt site that is easy to post on. It needs followers.  Give it a try. I’d like to see it succeed. It is posted daily, just past midnight Pacific time, so if you like an early start, this is a good prompt site for you.

https://weeklyprompts.com/  This site publishes a weekly prompt.

https://flakback.wordpress.com/ Alan Grace has set up a site recycling WP prompts from two years ago. This should work out well for beginning bloggers who haven’t already done these prompts.

https://onewomansquest.org/2018/06/04/v-j-s-weekly-challenge-1-shift/  This is a once a week prompt that I used for the first time yesterday.  It was an intriguing prompt that was very unusual and fun to write to and I look forward to getting into the habit of posting there once a week. 

https://dailyaddictions542855004.wordpress.com/  Daily Addictions is another reliable and easy-to-use site that makes use of Mr. Linky.

https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/  This is a very good daily prompt site run by seven bloggers who were part of the WordPress Daily Prompt community and who wanted to see the daily prompts continue.  You’ll recognize many of the names who post there, now.  

https://gratefulsinglemoms.com/category/daily-writing-prompts/  embeecee recommends this prompt site, saying that it isn’t always a daily prompt.  I haven’t used it yet.
 
 

https://dversepoets.com/ This is another poetry prompt site I love that predated WordPress’s retirement.They post two prompts a week and make use of a Mr. Linky site to link your poems to.   

https://ceenphotography.com/  Cee posts a number of prompts, many of them photo prompts, but some that include prompts to be written as well.  Hers are the prompts I’ve followed the longest.  They are thought-provoking and she has a large following and an easy-to-use linkup page.

If you know of other prompt sites I’ve forgotten or have not yet come across, please list links to them in the comments below. 

Mentoring Poetry

Since the prompt today is “mentor,”  I am going to send you back in time three years to a poem I wrote about mentoring that I have no memory of having written, so even if you were around way back then, perhaps you’ll be ready to read it again as well.  Here is the link.

 

The prompt today is mentor.

Let There be Light

Sometimes, to get to that authentic part of ourselves where poetry resides, we have to illuminate some dark corners.

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Let There Be Light


My mind is a growling dog.
While I stew and fuss,
fulfilling lists,
she jumps the screen door,
beckoning.
Rude me, to turn my back
on the only playmate
who wants to play
the same games I do
every day, every hour,
because I fear that initial
plodding through silt
page after page
in search of the stream
of words.

Sometimes boredom
yawns so wide
that I have to enter it,
to wander its inner closet
where for decades
only cobwebs
have stirred.
In some dark corner
where I spank the dog
or search the bedside table drawers
of a lover called out at midnight,
I find the river’s source,
but then
the phone
rings and I’m off
gathering crumbs from a forest path,
leaving lost children
stranded in their own story.

Stray puppies—I collect every one,
wild orange funnel flowers
and guava
washed in an afternoon kitchen
just before the invasion
of five o’clock sunlight.
All of them I carry back
to hidden places
to rub against each other
and ignite
into the language of this place
where life goes in,
plays dress-up,
but emerges
nude,
like poetry.

 

If you’ve been following me for four years, you’ve seen this one before. The prompt word today was authentic.

The Gatherers

 

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The Gatherers

We gather a new world
every time
as we collect marks
in  black lines
on white paper,
and we have the power
of each world
that we pull around us.

I might have called this poem
“Utter Sovereignty,”
but I did not, for rulers are
sad folks, and lonely.

We are the gatherers and so
we draw to us what we need
and are never alone.
There is nothing we lack for
in this storehouse where
the shelves hold words,
the air is heavy with ideas
and the walls are covered
by imagination.

We gather words to set them free again.
This is the pattern of the world
that no one has ever broken.

Everything flying apart,
every moment of the day,
and all of us
gathering
it back together
again.

 

 

This is a rewrite of a poem written four years ago.  The prompt word today is imagination.

Work Week

IMG_3604Work Week

Monday

The day’s become unravelled. The night’s begun to fall,
yet I’ve not accomplished anything. I’ve done nothing at all
except cooking a curry and writing several drafts
of poems still uncompleted–they’re bobbing here like rafts
afloat upon my consciousness but have nowhere to go.
The words all came so quickly, but their gelling has come slow.
They want to group together in concrete communities,
but instead they’re fluttering like moths and landing where they please.

Tuesday

I’m a syllable collector, a hoarder of each word
without a purpose for them. It’s come to be absurd.
Verbs are piled up on shelves, adjectives under foot.
The gerunds hang like spiderwebs. I have no place to put
The adverbs and the articles. They leak out of my head.
When I nudge them into lumpy piles, they hide beneath the bed.
I’m going to have a housecleaning of consonants and vowels.
Collect them up in buckets and wipe them up with towels.

Wednesday

I’ll sort out all the lovely words. The ones I like, I’ll hoard,
then pile the others in tidy stacks and tie them up in cord.
I’ll keep the good ones by my desk to sort through when they’re needed.
Bad words go in the basement, unsorted and unheeded.
Then I’ll have a yard sale of unused words like “pickle”
and sell them in unsorted lots—a handful for a nickel.
Then perhaps I can make room for words more orderly
that come to me in sentences that make more sense to me.

Thursday

My muse is hyperactive, I need to tame her down.
Instead of resting close to me, she runs all over town
collecting words at random— funky words like “phat”—
so when I really need her, I don’t know where she’s at.
Then when I am sleeping, she unloads word after word
until there’s no room left for them. It has become absurd.
They’re piling up around me. They’ve reached my nose and ear.
I cannot swim my way through them. I’m smothering, I fear.

Friday

That’s why I’m calling poets, every novelist or bard
to have a drive-by of my house and stop here at my yard.
Bring a bucket and a rake. Take all the words you please,
for now they’re raining down like leaves falling from my trees.
Just gather them in armloads. I won’t find it queer. 
Better bring a wheelbarrow if you cannot park near.
You do not need to pay for them. Today they’re yours for free.
If you don’t help I fear that words will be the end of me!

Saturday

YARD SALE
Take what you wish. Please do not disturb occupant.

 

P.S. If you’d like to take any words or phrases or lines from this poem to prompt your own poem, please do.  But please, please send your poem as a comment here–or send a link.

The prompt today was unravel. The link to NaPoWriMo Day 11 is HERE.

QUERY

Query

Have you a pattern for your life
wherein you’ve cut out stress and strife,
only allowing perfection?
Is every day a new confection—
cherry pie and chocolate cake?
No rejection? No heartbreak?
No erstwhile friends or jealous crazies—
your entire life a field of daisies?
It must be great, without a doubt,
but what have you to write about?

The prompt word today was pattern.

Leftovers

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Leftovers

New words fly at me in a swarm.
They do not mean to do me harm,
but still I feel beaten and battered.
They might feel they haven’t mattered
if I do not use them all,
and yet I feel the beach’s call.
The dog is clamoring to be fed
while I am writing this instead.

The guilt of it cuts like a knife.

I’ve got to go and have a life!
I save the words already used,
and lest the others feel abused,
I leave them on the page as well
to tell the stories they might tell
If I had the time to use them.
I hope you’ll take time to peruse them:

fife  strife excel tell bell yell cell

The prompt today was swarm.