PAD 2020 – Day 30

For the final day (woohoo!) of Poetry Month, I followed the NaPoWriMo prompt asking for a poem about something that returns.


What Comes Back


Some returns require nothing  —

geese, poplar leaves, sunrise —

but our attention.


Other returns demand such faith:


phone call from a doctor

child taking their first solo bike ride

teenager late home from a party

lover gone away on business, mid-winter

cat, escaped out the door left carelessly open


A sense of safety,


oblivion to danger.


A feeling, warm in the chest,

that just as the grass greens,

the apple trees blossom


happiness will come home to its heart.


silhouette of flying birds

Photo by Wendy Wei on

NaPoWriMo – Day 27

I was away for the weekend and fell a little behind on posting for the poem-a-day-challenge, but I was keeping along with a few poem starts in my journal. The prompt for Day 27 asked for a poem using tarot cards and/or their imagery as inspiration. I happened to be visiting a friend that evening, who read a different sort of divination cards for me, so it was an obvious choice for poetic inspiration.

Five Joys a Day


A card falls out of the deck as I shuffle.

Dean, today my augur, laughs and sets it under a napkin.

It’ll be your fourth he says, grin across his face.

I am never sure I believe in all these mystical tools,

divination by tarot, angel cards or today, a nature-themed intuitive deck.

But I am open to the idea, or at least find it fun.

Whether it’s truth from some universal font of knowledge,

or convenient interpretation from a friend-turned-soothsayer

who knows me well, I want to believe him

when he holds up the fourth card, rosy pink,

decorated with flouncy hearts

a smiling sun

an outline of a bird

an apple tree

a wishing well

and says, You can achieve your goals if first

you find five joys a day

then sticks in a sharp pin of truth

and if you want to be truly happy

stop watching the news.


NaPoWriMo – Day 10

Got a late start today to the poem creation, and when I finally got there, I let my tired mind experiment. I attempted to follow the prompt calling for a poem of  simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once.


Mind Exercises


Imagine a mahogany dinner table, a family of five around it.

Forget it, if you can, the nightly rituals you’ve seen and lived.


See the pea green plates, a wedding gift to the parents

The dull eyes of those parents who once made each other


the wife has always hated, but they are good quality and not

tingle, who used to bite each other’s lower lips during kisses.


yet cracked or chipped, even after 18 years of use. Funny, right?

There was once an entire month where they didn’t touch at all.


How the things we care least about can be so steadfast? Like the

Shell, it was like a shell, growing over each of them. House beetles,


meal the husband made, because it’s Monday, and that’s his night,

black and prone to hiding in their own corners. Quiet, creeping


so the kids expect something simple, mostly pre-packaged — spaghetti

life. After awhile they didn’t have to try to forget, it boiled away


with a jar of bought sauce, or hot dogs with a side of carrots because

on its own, down to the dry bottom of a saucepan, the sickening smell,


you gotta have some vegetables, right? And after they’ve eaten,

smoke, clouding up the kitchen, choking down the hall to the kids’


it will be the wife who cleans up, while the others take to screens

rooms, though the parents didn’t notice because it was all so grey.


or books, for the daughter. In the kitchen the wife will sigh, and

The windows didn’t open anymore, or no one thought to try them.


the cat will meow, almost in response, but mostly because he’s hungry.

Fish, in an aquarium, floating limp at the top, but inside the tank, green


Tomorrow, or 6 months, imagine it again, but cracked, chipped and with

real plants, the son insisted on it. They swayed when the filter glugged.


a gleaming blade, because reality can slice you in half if you let it.

They started to flower, bright red buds everywhere, if you can believe it.

November PAD – Day 15

The prompt today asked for a poem titled “Stranger________.” My mind went on a bit of a meandering trip, and strange or not, I decided to follow.


Stranger days I do not recall. The newspaper’s running a story about ten waitresses working at ten different restaurants who have won the lottery this month, and five women on my block had healthy babies this week . The hares, too, have multiplied. Twenty-five count on my lawn this morning, and they’ve lost their fear of people. My daughter walked right up to one, placed a red velvet ribbon around its neck, then leaned in close to hear it whispering. She told me it’s all part of the change, and soon we’ll know, my daughter said. Any other day I’d credit her imagination, but stranger days I do not recall. Every plant in my house bloomed overnight, and the air outside smells of cinnamon. At the grocery store, every piece of fruit felt plump, perfect and unblemished. And all the shoppers broke into “Good Vibrations” at the exact same time. The harmonies were perfect. I didn’t even know I knew the words, but they knew me. And we sang ourselves out en mass into the parking lot, all knowing exactly how long to hold the final note.  An older woman began laughing when we were done, and I laughed too when I caught her soft brown eye.  We all laughed for what felt like a year, but the sun never set, so it might have been just a minute. Ahhh, she sighed, like you do when you’re spent from the best belly laugh. Have you ever felt so happy? What is it, the rapture?  I don’t know, I replied, and I really didn’t, but it was the strangest thing —  soon I was floating out of my shoes, unbuttoning my blouse, grinning as I flew up, up, up, with all the women, completely unencumbered.