Wednesday, March 30, 2011


The was giving A and An a hard time
No one can be the greatest without me

Nobody says a greatest
or an awesomest

No, that's true, said A
while An rolled her eyes

You may be the superlative
but we're positive and comparative

We're helpful in ways
you could never be

Besides, how often does anyone
reach the peak and actually need you

The was slightly crestfallen
but that did not slow him down

It's not just that, he said
pointing at the book and the apple

True, said An, but there are many
books and apples, reaching out

for A's hand - We work together
while you're always alone

Yes, said A, you're so definite,
boxing yourself in, so limited

For everything you can do
we can do too more openly

An said, pointing at a book
and an apple sitting on a table

But, said The, you're always nearly
You're never quite exactly

A started to argue back
but An put her finger on his lips

There's no point, she said
It's just his nature

And they strolled off together
an arm around a waist

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to two prompts. The first is Unlimited at Writer's Island and the second is Nearly (#260) at Sunday Scribblings.

Musty Minutes

I was seven when my father
first began to teach me
how to make wine

Adjusting the must of the wine
was critical for a nice dry red
which is what he liked to make

The acidity had to be just right
and he showed me how to test
it and balance it if it was off

Then we'd monitor the sugar level
with a hydrometer and ensure
the degrees Brix were twenty-two

I had seen my mother make
a simple syrup in our kitchen
but father said this was not cooking

Wine was not just an extraction
from the must, but life itself,
just as the yeast was alive

And we warmed the must
to pitching temperature
so the yeast would thrive

We watched the must for a few
minutes, the bubbles rising,
the yeast working their magic

In those minutes, I began to learn
about what we had to do
and what we chose to do

* * *

This poem was written in response to Prompt #47 Musty Minutes at We Write Poems.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Spring Break

Don't get me wrong,
I'm not some college kid
wearing primary colors,
a tropical bird flashing his crest
to attract a mate,
full of beer and no worries.

Sure, I'm free of work
and preparation for a week,
an elementary school teacher
with no students to teach,
free now to read books
not intended for middle grades.

I'm free to watch documentaries
on NetFlix not about American history,
unless that's what I choose,
because I'm free to decide, not hindered
by contracts or standards or dull textbooks,
I can challenge myself to be better.

I'm free to sleep in, my alarm turned off,
free to drink my coffee slowly,
savoring it, not slamming it down
as I rush out the door, hitching
up my courage to face another commute,
free to stay out of the car all day.

But am I free from responsibility?
No, there are clothes to wash,
meals to cook, dishes to clean,
dry, and put back in the cupboards,
and my son's home with me too,
so I'm free to be a full-time dad.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to Prompt 128 to write a spring poem at Poetic Asides. I also incorporated the idea of "free" from Sunday Scribblings.

Spring Song

yesterday's rainstorm was not
an example of spring showers
what we abundantly got
was rain for hours and hours

the earthworms were out and happy
from their burrows damp and wet
even the trees were less sappy
the sparrows in nests were all set

the snails made a break for the side
of the walk oh so slowly
though I stayed dry and warm inside
my mood was all so lowly

the windows were sheeted with rain
so things outside were a blur
I wouldn't want to be a drain
with that I think you'll concur

so I'll try to lift up my mood
and sing a small silly song
I'll cook up some warm comfort food
setting things... at least not wrong

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to Prompt 128 over at Poetic Asides to write a spring poem.

Friday, March 25, 2011

car in shop

there is nothing occurring
just so-so - for there is time

the good today was short
and enough - more or less

tomorrow's service - will that
be enough - just a short time away

I can tell you are a mechanic
quick with wires and mesh

what instrument is your means
to fix the sensor - your department

while I censor the fix - and the waiting
words are my means - my morning

contrast something today
patiently - precise

I have waited for enough
the happier son sent

to the time department
while I write difficulty

later coming my posts
care and updates sold

a quick thanksgiving
that hours will be enough

coming for going
entirely waiting

finding the cause
for the waited day

somewhere an hour back circuit
not finding it in words either

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to a prompt to mix things up a bit using Poetry Toys at Big Tent Poetry. I ended up using the cut-up feature at Language is a Virus. I took one of my own blog entries, ran it through the Cut Up Machine, and then wrote the poem above. I'm not sure how successful the poem is, but it was fun to write using a technique I've never used before.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"it's hard to pull my gaze away"

it's hard to pull my gaze away
from her face
those tears

she was a young woman
when Revolver came out

she's gone now
and yet still here
not a ghost
but a reminder
of pain caused
by another
absent now too

maybe that's why she's forlorn
because he left her
the sudden filling of her heart
with young love and then
the emptiness

I remember her face now
every time I see the moon
rising in the morning sky

* * *

This poem was written in response to Prompt #46 for a Street Art Poem, inspired by the artwork of Rone.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I fell in love with a girl
from the other village
I was out with my brothers
sowing their fallow fields with salt
She was out with her sisters
sinking arrows into our sheep
We hate them and they hate us
I was supposed to rise into love
with one of my own, to belong
But I loved the way the light
gleamed off the sweat on her skin
her skin that was the wrong color
I wanted to sneak off at night
to hold her in my embrace
and look at the stars and listen
to the stories of her elders
the false myths of their sky heroes
and the pagan gods they believe in
My righteous passions would fill me
and I would conquer her, invading,
my sex touching her sex
the two others meeting as they should
But I told my brother of my love
and now I scrawl these traitorous words
on my cell wall in my own blood
which my brothers will spill tomorrow at dawn.

* * *

This poem was written in response to the prompt at Poetic Asides to write a poem in response to another poem. I wrote this poem in response to "The People of the Other Village" by Thomas Lux.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


why do we have to speak
of what is not? to talk

of a nation indivisible
when it has been divided

and many would argue
we are still separated

from each other, that we feel
incomplete, as if we weren't whole

but we are inseparable
because to divide by one

is to get what you started with
we are the solution

and the problem, but only
because we make it so

* * * * *

This poem is in response to the prompt "Inseparable" from Writer's Island.

National Poetry Month is approaching

So, here it is March 19, 2011, and I'm already anticipating writing a poem a day in April. I'm not the only one. I just did a Google search and located an article entitled "Thinking Ahead to National Poetry Month." And another one entitled "10 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month."

And I already found a post from Robert Brewer on his poetry blog about the upcoming Poem-A-Day Challenge.

I'll be looking around for other sites that will be posting prompts as well. I'll take any inspiration I can find. There are several prompts from last year at Read Write Poem that I didn't use. I didn't know about their site until April was nearly over.

I'll have spring break off from work this year during April, so that should make some of the writing easier. (You know how lazy we teachers are, only working nine months out of the year and getting every holiday off, not to mention a week for spring break and the two weeks we get off in December. I hope all my friends at Fox News won't be confused by my sarcasm.)  I'll also be working on cleaning up my novel from last year's NaNoWriMo so that I can send off for my free proof copy.

We've already finished our sessions with California Poets in the Schools, but I'll probably teach some more poetry writing lessons during April. My students have been working hard to get ready for the standardized testing again this year, so I think writing poems will be a good way to de-stress. And I want to get back to reading a poem a day during the month, to get back to my Poetry 180 project for elementary school students.

Which led me to a blog I've not seen before, but which I'm glad I discovered: 100 Scope Notes.