Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

Triple Tricky


Triple Tricky

Who knows what each new day will bring?
Three dogs wiggling outside my door–
my feeding them, them wanting more.

The world reaches out for me and more.
Those worlds imagination  brings
come whining louder at my door.

Now and always at time’s door
I offer words and ask for more
than what, I know, the years will bring.

Agape once more, that final door brings me at last to face my fears.
I bring myself to cross its sill, still hoping there will be some more.

The WordPress prompt is “Tricky” and and NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a tritina–a poetic form that involves three three-line stanzas and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line. I cheated and used two concluding lines instead of one. This poem meets both prompts. Tricky.

Foreign Food


Foreign Food

In the garden or on the hoof,
in the lake or on the roof,
we grow it, herd it, shoot it, hook it.
Pick it, wash it, chop it, cook it.

Wherever we see food, we take it.
Stir it, spit it, fry or bake it.
In Japan is the exception.
Some ancient chef had a conception

that he would not cook the fish–
just serve it raw upon the dish.
It is a strange way to be fed–
to eat a fish that’s merely dead!

In African countries, I have found,
they build a fire on the ground
and cook their food in cauldrons there
flavored with spices hot and rare.

In Sicily, the mafia bosses
favor rich tomato sauces.
First they’re fed by wife or mother,
Then they go out and kill each other.

Mexicans use corn instead
of wheat to make their daily bread.
They fold it around beans or meat
and chilis to turn up the heat!

America’s a country where
there’s food from every country there.
What’s unique in our repast
is that we want our food here fast!

The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem about food, and the WordPress daily prompt was faraway.  I’m going to try to combine them!



Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad Tomato



Reading through a heritage seed catalogue can be a bit like reading a Reader’s Digest of adventure and human interest stories. Take, for instance, the abbreviated tale of how one tomato variety came to be saved and how it got its name. Above is an excerpt from the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange catalogue that tells this tale. Below is the poem I wrote, prompted by this entry.

Aunt Lou’s Underground Railroad Tomato

So many acts of bravery lost
to history, but at what cost?
We concentrate on acts of war
in spite of what we fight them for.
Patriotism is what we say
we’re fighting for, while day by day
young men die for corporations
and win postmortem decorations
Their sacrifice of life much praised
so profit margins may be raised.

Consider, then, the other hero
whose decorations number zero.
This hero’s grave we’re loath to mark.
The soil above his grave is stark.
His collar bore no decoration,
His passing earned him no oration.
Unnamed, unlauded, he took a train
his life and freedom to regain––
pushed up from darkness like seeds to light,
by those engaged in a selfless fight
for fairness and equality.
One more man saved. One more man free.

Those who aided him also lost––
their names like ashes lightly tossed
to fertilize the soil wherein
small shafts push up where seeds have been.
Those seeds he carried his only fare,
passed to a woman who helped him there.

The fleshy meat––tangy and pink,
its juices running down the sink
a child stands over while eating it––
teeth tearing flesh, his face well lit
by sunlight streaming in the glass
where once a hand was seen to pass
a pocketful of tomato seed––
a humble gift born out of need
to somehow give a small bit back.
Those seeds he’d carried in his pack
saved now for posterity
by one man peacefully set free.

The Prompt: Spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. http://www.napowrimo.net/day-five-3/

I think this poem is also appropriate for the WordPress daily prompt of Contrast.

September is the Cruelest Month–NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 4



IMG_0006 - Version 4

Riding in luxury on a sofa in the back of Denis’s pickup, seeing the beautiful Klamath country in style. We were driven directly under a rainbow that day, so it was on either side of us as we passed!      photo by Georgia Moriarty

September is the Cruelest Month

One cruel month is January, murdering December––
failed resolutions of last year we’re now forced to remember.

February rivals it for those with lovers missing––
conjuring up memories of  valentines and kissing.

March may come in cruelly–a lion or a ram,
but it is not the cruelest month. It goes out like a lamb.

April is the the month of rain and flowering and rhyme.
It cannot be the cruelest month. It is the most sublime.

May is not a cruel month, nor June, most surely not.
July and August are most kind––luxurious and hot.

September is the month for me that is the cruelest.
September is the month where I received my biggest test

in learning how to live alone after so many years,
conquering the loss of you. Battling my fears.

September was the month you left because you had to go––
away from planned adventures down a road you didn’t know.

Setting off alone–something you rarely did in life,
where you preferred to travel with a lover or a wife.

October found me no man’s wife, November found me gone
to take the road that we had planned. I would not be death’s pawn.

Then that December–– crueler than any month I’ll own.
That was the month I had the time to finally feel alone.


The prompt today was to write about “The cruelest month.”

Fame––NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 3



People become heroes due to leading or resisting,
whereas ordinary people have their hands full just existing.
But lately it occurs to me that people are reacting
less to who folks really are and more to how they’re acting.
To be best at anything I know would be exciting––
to earn world renown due to one’s politics or writing;
but if I had the time and nerve to simply write and ask
how each famous person really feels behind the mask
of notoriety and fame whereon they look so snappy,
the question I would ask each one is, “Are you really happy?”

Would Robin Williams tell the truth faced with this request––
or any of the others who respond at my behest?
Michael Jackson, Carly Simon, Liberace, Yeats?
All the angry politicians railing in debates?
Did Jackie Kennedy love her life? Did Natalie Wood?  Does Cher?
How does the Royal family feel faced with the world’s rude stare?
Is Dave Chappelle gleeful? Is Obama happiest for
his entrance to the White House or his walking out the door?
I can’t imagine dealing with the constant wild attention––
love offset  by hating, admiration with contention.

Is all this gross celebrity a cause for celebration?
Does it make you happy to stand up before our nation
and have some people cheering you and others rudely booing?
Do you ever wonder what it is that you are doing?
Do teenagers stalking you, waiting round every bend
make a rock star happy? Does he wish it all would end?
I know the question’s obvious as well as rude and lame,
but if you did it over, would you still go for the fame?
Are the cheering jeering crowds still fuel for your vanity
Or would you rather trade them in for simple life––and sanity?

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem in the form of a fan letter to a celebrity.

Three Lunes / Three Loons


Colored pencil drawing by Betty Petersen, photo by Judy

Yes, it’s April Fool’s Day, but it is also  the first day of NaPoWriMo, where participants are asked to write a poem a day.  This is the fourth year I’ve participated. Today’s prompt is to write a lune, a three-line poem with a 5-3-5 syllable count.  In addition, most days I’ll also be following the WordPress one-word prompt, which today is the word “colorful.”

Three Lunes

I search for yellow,
whereas blue
comes looking for me!

Life paints a black frame
around white
to draw our eyes there.

That fuchsia flower
in the pond
floats on life and death.

Three Loons

The crying of loons
in chill air
turns the water blue.





Because I’m on the road for the next five days, I am reprinting posts from this date two years ago. As soon as possible, i’ll be back to posting new posts!

(The prompt today was to write fortune cookie fortunes:)


A short dark stranger will enter your life and mow your lawn.

Your navy blue jumpsuit will never fit you again.

Your mother was right!

Your friends will all meet for dinner without you, but you will lose three pounds!

People always think that tattoo on your gums is a piece of spinach.

You have come undone.

Study up on the meaning of hand gestures before you use your next one

Your clothes do not send the message you think they do.

Your dog is a good actor. He really resents you.

Your children sometimes play Mexican Train without you.

Your friends think you cheat at cards, even though the fortune genie knows they are wrong.

Everyone wants to be you.

You want to be everyone else but yourself.

Your poetry does not really scan.

It will rain on your parade.

Someone in your neighborhood is waiting for your call.

You have a bad haircut.

Your parents lied. You have a younger brother named Dimitri who lives next to the grain elevator in Radisson, Iowa.

You are not as sexy as you think, but you are way sexier than your spouse thinks you are!

Confucius says go brush your teeth!

You often confuse work and pleasure.

Your gray sweater is unraveling at the elbow.

Your life will fall apart around you, but then new neighbors will rebuild, move in, and you will be the star of the neighborhood.

You will be the lone baby boomer who does not retire in Mexico.

Good news: your friends and family will throw you a surprise birthday party for your next birthday. Bad news: You will be surprised.