PAD 2020 – Day 4

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem based on an image from a dream. Several weeks ago (long before I watched Tiger King) I had a vivid dream about lions. It was one of those dreams that felt so real as I was having it, and has barely faded in its sharpness.


I Had a Dream About a Pride of Lions


loose in a field next to a Lloydminster gas station.

A young male ambled over to our car, sniffed at the crack in the door

where my daughter sat, wide-eyed and trembling, in the back seat.

Can he get in, Mommy?

And as I was telling her no, he stood, front paws on the window,

huge amber eyes staring, a thin string of saliva dangling from his fang.


an angry lion

Photo by Petr Ganaj on

PAD 2020 – Day 3

Using the 30/30 prompt offered by my local Stroll of Poets group today to write a “confession dare” poem. Came out as a sort of list poem.


Never ever have I


gone skinnydipping in the moonlight

watched Game of Thrones

kissed someone and regretted it

liked a Beyoncé song

eaten just one potato chip

wished upon a star

seen a cat I didn’t want to pet

sang in front of strangers

enjoyed doing math

used a hammer without swearing

missed my family more than I do now.

PAD 2020 – Day 2

Following the Poetic Asides prompt today, which asked for a “space” poem.  Found it difficult to come up with something cohesive, or even a title. This weird time forces me into a headspace where words don’t come as easily as they might have before. So when they do come, I feel as though they have been hard fought. It gives me appreciation for all the ways creativity works, and doesn’t work. Just another thing this present world is teaching me not to take for granted.



the space occupied by four bodies

in a small house

for three weeks

in the last gasp of winter

when snow fills

the empty streets

and the only visitor

is the neighbour’s cat

leaving paw prints

on the doorstep

like a calling card

from a more typical time.


the space between

the curtains and the window

where sunlight slips in

makes a bright spot

on the floor

like a not-so-subtle reminder

of an outside world

that exists and thrives

in absence of human interaction,

or intervention, where everything

forges on, without dwelling

on the challenge of now.




PAD 2020 – Day 1

Today’s draft combines the NaPoWriMo prompt asking for a self-portrait poem written through an action, with the Poetic Asides prompt calling for a “new world” poem.


Grocery Shopping in the New World


The future used to seem limitless

but now I can’t see past 14 days.

Two-week wait for online grocery delivery.

We have the essentials

but I indulgently crave bananas.

Is it worth braving the snow, the microbes,

the condemning looks of neighbours

as they peek out from their blinds?

I poll everyone for their needs, wants

and substitutes. Who knows which shelves

will be empty today? I add yeast to the list.

Creating a sourdough starter is an act of faith

I never needed until now.

I clear and disinfect a counter. Order everyone

to treat it like a surgery table. Do not touch.

When I return, laden with bags and worry,

I need a safe spot for cleaning. To sanitize

everything from out there before we use it

in here. Wipe boxes, scrub cans, bathe

fresh produce in a soapy sink, like I did my babies.

When I return, I’ll throw my gloves and mask

in the garbage bin. Leave my boots at the door.

Strip and carry my sullied clothes down to the laundry room.

Wash my hands, I’ve lost count how many times today.

Clean everything I think I touched.

When I return, I won’t answer my kids when they

ask me how it was. Craving some taste of the

outside world more than the chocolate ice cream

they’re watching me unload from the bag.

How can I tell them that no one smiles, not

even the ones without masks? That no one even

makes eye contact? That store aisles now

islands of solitude — only one person at a time

may survey soup selections. That every product

selection comes with risk mitigation. Strategy.

Can I reach that box of cereal at the back

without touching any others?

How long

can we last

without touching?


grocery cart with item

Photo by Oleg Magni on



It’s (Almost) Poetry Month!

Usually April is my favourite month, but with everything going on in the world, I fear it’s going to be an especially worrying and trying 30 days. But poetry has always been my balm against the harshness of the world, and a way to work through fears, grief and other hard emotions. I’ve been feeling so uninspired to write anything lately, but I’m hoping to use this month, and the daily prompts for the NaPoWriMo challenge, to get me back into writing practice. I may not post every day, but I will certainly do my best to write every day. Part of what I’ve always loved about this poem-a-day challenge is that it pushes me to write in styles or forms I don’t usually try, and about subjects I might otherwise never think of. While in the past I’ve thought of this as simply a good creative starter, this year I think it will be a good distraction too.

Wanna read, write, and create along with me? There’s no time like the present. I think the world is doing a good job of teaching us all that lesson right now.

The NaPoWriMo early-bird prompt is to write a poem about a favourite bird. So here’s my attempt to incorporate that topic with Ginsburg’s poetic style, the American Sentence. A little like a haiku, with seventeen syllables spread out over one poetic sentence. I’ve never written one of these before, but like I just said above, there’s no time like the present.

Two magpies squawk for bread, unaware I’ve got rationing on the brain.



PAD 2019 – Day 30

The final day! Woot! To anyone who’s been reading my poems, thank you. I write and post these drafts to keep myself on track, but it’s always nice to have the kind eyes of others on them too.

Today I decided to include all three of the prompt sites I’ve been using this month. A bit of a challenge since NaPoWriMo called for a micropoem. Packing more into less. That’s what poetry’s all about in many ways. So I tried to squeeze in the Poetic Asides call for a “stop” poem and the Stroll of Poets “standing in line” prompt.


tourist rest stop



by the rocky mountains


in the bathroom line


i hear “beautiful”

in six languages



PAD 2019 – Day 29

The penultimate day of the poem a day challenge! I love the word penultimate. Today’s Stroll of Poets prompt was “room full of secrets” while the Poetic Asides prompt called for a __________ Again poem. Not sure the quickies I wrote really fulfill either prompt that well, but shhhhh….don’t tell.


whispering again

leaves plotting a quick descent

secrets of autumn



powerful people

disguised in expensive clothes

fill rooms with secrets


men with ideas

plan a covert whale mission

to harness power


* last one inspired by this kooky news story I read this morning



PAD 2019 – Day 28

Never has mixing prompts been so fitting. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem about poetry, while Poetic Asides suggested “re-mixing” a poem or poems that have been penned earlier this month. I mined the poems from earlier days for words or phrases, then blended them into this.


Uncovering a Poem


It’s there to be found when it’s time,

but it means digging.

Poking at dreams wanting to be left undisturbed.

Peeking over the gate to see what’s growing.

Snaking the imagination, back — to gather traces of memory,

forward — to plant something new. Words, the closest ones to you,

unshared, but there like family. Reflections, imprints,

the bark of a tree, texture revealed

when it’s rubbed with a pencil.

PAD 2019 – Day 27

Blending today’s Poetic Asides call for a “direction” poem with the Stroll of Poets prompt, “where the heart beats.”


Behind the sternum


is where the heart beats

in the most literal sense,

but also wherever it is that you

are closest to me.


It all comes down to impulses,

electric and erotic.

The zap of every kiss.


How fitting that it’s

about the size of a fist,

because of the punch I feel,

the pow, right in the chest

when I look at you,

remembering you’ve

chosen me.


PAD 2019 – Day 26

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem that uses repetition, while Poetic Asides suggested writing something about “evening”.  Here’s what came out of the mix:



Evening comes

faster the less you pay attention,

like everything that slips in unnoticed. Silver inch of growth

in the part of your hair,  shimmery skin cells sealing a wound,

lines on the face memorializing every frown or smile.


Evening comes

solemnly when you are not listening,

whispers of gold and pink asking you to let go

of fulgent preoccupations. A coolness in the gloaming,

offering calm restoration.


Evening comes

steadily no matter how much you long for pause,

reliable reminder of all you cannot, should not control.

Winds calm, stars test the sky with the first pricks of light,

darkness readies.