Tag Archives: Word of the Day Challenge



If only we had been more patient
when our child’s skills were nascent.
Hadn’t prodded, hadn’t shoved,
that young one we so dearly loved,
had not created goals irrational
local, regional and national,
vying for ribbons and for gold,
pushing for numbers over-bold.

If we had stressed an education,
built a stabler foundation,
put less zhuzh into her clothes
and more of it in what she knows,
the cyberbullies who mocked her fall
would have had no power at all,
to instigate the wounded pride
that led her to her suicide.
But as it is, it was our sin
that did our lovely daughter in.


Prompt words are ribbon, zhuzh, numbers, nascent,foundation,cyberbullying and irrational. Image by Kirklai on Unsplash.

Culinary Differences (Coping with an Artistic Palate)

Culinary Differences
(Coping with an Artistic Palate)

I’ll admit that I’m perplexed
for my spouse is sorely vexed
because he finds my menus bland
and untouched by artistic hand.

He finds my soup so pale and thin, it
needs a bit of color in it,
so I asked him how to do
more pleasing palettes for my stew.

He painted me a portrait of
a consommé he said he’d love
with so many veggies in it
and a ruby wine to thin it.

He’d like to wrap his mouth around
colors that are more profound.
to the point where I’m perplexed
over what I should cook next.

My color combination tends
towards browns and whites of various blends. 
Might I aspire to red and yellow,
with pickled beets in lemon Jell-o?

He says my taste in food is static
whereas his is more erratic.
But, tired of his bitch and moan,
perhaps I’ll let him cook his own.

Alternate ending:  (don’t read this one, Sam)

He suggests a novel dish
of tomato aspic around fish?
The thought of it makes my lips pucker.
Perhaps I’ll just divorce the -ucker!!!


Prompts today are red and yellow, pickle, perplexed, aspire, mouth, portrait and erratic. All of the images are from Unsplash.

Detente in the Animal Kingdom

Detente in the Animal Kingdom

The queen of hippopatamuses feels a bit perplexed
for she crossed the hyenas and now she has been hexed.
They’ve jinxed her favorite swimming hole so she has to swim
in a muddy tiny pond with crocs around the rim.

When she lumbers from the pond to have her usual binge
on grass, her favorite supper, she feels a little twinge.
It seems like in the puddle where she most recently sat,
waddling through the bottom mud, dragging all her fat,

she must have nudged a bit too close to a crocodile
and snagged a bit of hippo fat on his croco-smile.
He’s swinging there behind her, his tooth hooked on her tush,
creating  a great disarray while crashing through the bush.

With her competing waddle, they’re an ecological threat,
destroying all the underbrush as they thrash and vet.
How will they resolve this problem that they cause?
First it’s necessary that they cool down and pause

to make peace with the hyenas so they can use their claws
to disentangle hippo skin from the croc’s sharp jaws,
thus restoring order and reinstating peace
so all this inter-species angst finally will cease!!!

Prompt words today are jinx, swing, perplexed,disarray, compete, twinge and hippopatamus. Image by J. Anders on Unsplash.

Defences Make Good Neighbors

Defences Make Good Neighbors

My neighbor is gregarious but I never talk back,
although I feel I’ll detonate for rejoinders I lack.
They all swell up inside me because they come too late
to be used against her in a retaliatory debate.

If only I’d known what to say before it was too dated,
but alas, past tirades can’t be rejuvenated. 
Her face and clothes are scrumptious, but her view of life is black.
She sees the worst in people, and it turn they see it back.

Every time I look at her, no matter how I try,
I only see a personage that I want to pass by.
So all her earthly beauty, her jewels and her clothing
cannot compensate for a world of mutual loathing.

Prompts for today are rejuvenate, before, scrumptious, detonate, look, black and gregarious. Image by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash.

My apologies to Robert Frost for parodying his last line of “Mending Wall.” (Good fences make good neighbors.)  Actually, eight years ago I wrote a parody of his poem as well. HERE it is if you aren’t already tired of the topic.

Perfectionist Poet

Perfectionist Poet

How I love an audience to witness my successes,
although I think much less of them when they witness my messes—
fingers marked by fountain pens, hair pulled into peaks
by those elusive phrases that my wild mind seeks.

Please don’t view me in the market when I don’t mean to be seen.
When I’ve had no time to arrange thoughts —no time to plot and preen.
There are certain safeguards  that I like to take
that are not in place yet when I’m barely awake.

So don’t observe me in the morning when I’m not in my full glory,
when my brain is tongue-tied and my thoughts are sparse and gory.
It’s my fervid wish to please, but morning thoughts are frugal.
My images are less like Frost and much more like Brueghal.

So, please come to my readings to see me at my best,
but avoid me in my daily life, please, at my behest.
I prefer you view me with every word in place
there upon the stage and with makeup on my face!!!


Prompt words today are audience, market, safeguard, fervid, glory, fountain pen, frugal. Image by John Tyson on Unsplash.



I’m dull-witted and dysfunctional, I’m of no high degree.
I’ve no diploma in a frame. I am a refugee.
I know you think I’m no account and of the lowest order
just because the chances are I sneaked over the border.

But you’ve been on my horizon since the day that I was born.
I’m the brown girl on that other side of town you choose to scorn.
Perhaps I scrub your sinks out and walk your kids to school.
Because I do not speak your language well, you think I am a fool.

So far I’m ineffective in showing who I am.
You furtively observe my movements with your insta cam
to make sure I don’t steal from you or seduce your spouse.
You request I don’t show up again in that sexy blouse.

But I’m as smart as I am pretty and I go to school at night.
One day I will convince you that a brown girl can be bright.
One day I’ll teach your kids in school, and believe me when I do,
I’ll teach them not to be stubborn and prejudiced like you!!!!

Prompts for today are frame, refugee, account, ineffective, horizon, stubborn, dysfunctional. Image by Omar Lopez on Unsplash.

Morning-After Headaches

I thought she asked if we wanted “regular” or “little” margaritas. It turns out she was saying “liter.” Guess which we ordered?

Morning-After Headaches

The candor of the bottle brings trouble in the morning
when its repercussions start to bloom with little warning.

One’s midnight refusal to utter statements truthless
might, once daylight dawns, be considered to be ruthless.

A drunk’s stubborn insistence to reflect only reality
has been known to end relationships with a certain finality.

Hidden covetous feelings might hereby be revealed
when questioning the ethics of a friend’s investment yield.

One more lifted shot glass can cause snafus in decisions
over topics covered in the next round of derisions.

So some strategic planning should be used on one’s nights out,
regarding confidential matters that one is apt to spout.

When drinking, topics talked about must thus be planned strategically,
for pains caused by loose lips are not ones solved analgesically.



Prompt words today are bottle ,snafu, covetous, strategic, reality, stubborn, candor.

Ode to Cheetos

Ode to Cheetos

If you’ve given up on lunch
and seek a substitute with punch,

Cheetos are my favorite snacks
that can be found sealed up in sacks.
Always flavorful and munchy,
crisp and satisfyingly crunchy
between lips and teeth and gums,
enjoyable from cheeks to tums.

Though they’re often underrated,
I feel that they have been berated
by makers of crackers and chips
as well as creators of dips,
due to envy and to spite,
for citrus drinks like Squirt and Sprite
complement their spicy bite,
setting all the world to right.

So buy a bag without delay.
Do not wait another day.
You’ll be elated that you did,
and also happy that you hid
the bag so as you start to chew,
you know that it is all for you!
(Hint: Get the bag marked “Torciditos.”
They’re the premiere type of Cheetos!!!)


Prompt words today are citrus, spite, crunchy, crisp, delay, happy and berated.

Not fiction. I am addicted to these little devils and everyone I’ve introduced them to has become hooked as well. I guess I do you no favors in sharing my favorite vice. I may have to go buy some now. Fortunately, (regrettably?) a little shop I must pass on my way to or from home sells them.

Agastopia (For Bob)

(For Bob)

At my dear departed husband’s behest,
my ode extols the female breast.
In a dream world of his making,
breasts on beaches would be baking,
naked in the sun, to gold,
then, unashamed, to brown and bold.

No petty thoughts would cloud his mind,
his excitation, an artful kind,
and as he paints or sculpts or molds,
each scoop of plasticine he holds,
will take a shape of his devising,
as he works, his hands revising

all that God and nature wrought,
their perfect beauty therein caught.
While some malinger at their tasks,
a breast is all my true love asks—
to do what nature first has done
and duplicate them, one by one.


*Agastopia is the admiration of a particular body part.


Prompts today are dream world, petty, malinger, revise, excited and agastopia (the fetishestic admiration of a specific body part.)

Forgottenman reminded me of this post of more of Bob’s sculptures: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2019/07/12/mentor/


Familial One-upmanship

Familial One-upmanship

My brother has a reputation for excessive lingering.
I think he has advanced degrees in mooching and malingering.

The black sheep of the family, the brunt of all our jokes,
at forty-three he still receives an allowance from our folks.

He ruins family dinners by being loud and brash.
His favorite interactions end up in a clash.

Discussing brands of vodka or motor cars or fashions,
he’s bound to expound at great length about his latest passions.

His family is his outlet for letting off his steam.
His exquisite taste in clothing dissected seam-by-seam.

We get no word in edgewise when conversing with this brother,
so when choosing a table mate, I veer toward any other.

There’s one in every family, it’s true right down the line,
but if you’ve one you’d like to trade, I’d gladly trade you mine.

Prompt words today are discuss, outlet, malinger, clashes, brash,allowance, exquisite and vodka(I took this picture but it is not my family.  I took it at a town reunion years ago and it is used for illustrative purposes only. I don’t have any brothers, so the guy  in the poem is fictional, but you might recognize him anyway.)