PAD 2022 – Day 11

Today’s prompt called for a poem about “a very large thing.” Yesterday, on Twitter, I saw an amazing video of a colossal sturgeon swimming in a Canadian lake. I took my title from the comments, and used the Canadian Encyclopedia entry on sturgeon to create this blackout poem.

Serpent Legend





in fresh rivers, lakes

some venture

into brackish water.

An ancient group,

            fossils with long snout

            toothless mouth

            tail, long and slender.

They grow slowly

            attain great size.

Female sturgeon


            where the current is



            on the bottom

            their protruding, sucking


Flesh —


            Fetch a high price.

Vulnerable. Declining.

See also Endangered Animals

Photo by Egor Kamelev on

PAD 2020 – Day 7

One week into Poetry Month and I’ve written a poem (sometimes more than one) each day! Considering how creatively stunted and numb I’ve felt lately, I’m happy that any words are rising to the surface. Thinking about how to revise them into good words is a May problem.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem based on a news article. It was a bit of a chore to find a story that wasn’t about the pandemic, but then I hit upon this interesting one about discovering the age of whale sharks. But, true to my nature, I ended up turning it into something with an undertone of doom.

This one is an erasure poem taken directly from the text of the article. I don’t do those often, because I find them extremely challenging, but this month is all about experimentation and breaking out of comfort zones (without leaving your house), right?


Endangered Creatures


Whale sharks swim in mystery.

Count lines in the vertebrae

like rings in a tree trunk.

Reasons behind age, what persists —


every living thing decays

the older the creature, the less you find


The hard part is these intensely vulnerable humans.

Why they exploit.

Scientists believe they      humans      can be helped.

Cooperation is key to survival.

This is a good news story after all.


whale shark