PAD 2020 – Day 17

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem that features forgotten technology. I immediately thought of the cassette tapes of my youth. I still have some kicking around, with absolutely nothing to play them on.




Plan ahead. Write out the songs, then make your shortlist.

Abandon any that are too similar. Too off vibe. Think about

the mood you want, from start to finish. Each melody its own

chord in the brand-new track that is this mixtape. Start loud,

heavy, something to get the blood flowing and the ears perked.

Massage in the slow jams for aural relief, but don’t put ‘em to sleep.

Find a story and tell it. Think of your audience, always. Let ‘em feel

what you feel when you press play, when you hit the high notes,

when you belt out the chorus with your eyes closed. Dedicate it —

this passion project made of plastic and magnetic tape. Grab a good pen

and write out the track list. The start times too, if you’re really in love.

Draw a heart on the paper insert. Put their name inside. Use your best stickers.


close up photo of cassette tapes

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on

PAD 2020 – Day 15

Two weeks down! This is usually about the point in my poetry month, poem-a-day challenge that I lose some steam. I think it’s true this year too, but the fact that I’m halfway there, and haven’t (completely) run out of motivation yet is something to celebrate.

Today’s poem combines the NaPoWriMo prompt asking for a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music, with the Poetic Asides call for a “dream” poem. My favourite kind of music is definitely rock, which has apparently been true my whole life. I don’t actually like KISS as much as I did when I was wee, but I always appreciate a good guitar shred and anyone who puts it all out there on stage. There are many days when I dream of having that kind of talent and confidence.


I Wanna Rock N Roll


At age 3, my obsession was KIϟϟ.

Maybe it was the make-up,

or should I blame it on guitar riffs?

I don’t remember,

but my older siblings like to tell stories

of me trying to sing I Was Made For Lovin’ You

in my screechy, toddler voice.

I like to imagine

I did air guitar too.

I like to imagine

that even as a small child,

I dreamed

of being on a stage, leather-clad, breathing fire,

spitting blood, shooting rockets, blasting pyro

making drum kits rise off the stage like dark magic.

I like to imagine

that even though the drudgery of life,

all those inevitable responsibilities,

have tempered and tamed my inner rock star,

I hear my song and it pulls me through. *


*Last line is a lyric from “Detroit Rock City”





PAD 2019 – Day 22

Working with the NaPoWriMo prompt today to write a poem that engages with another art form. I have been watching my nine year old daughter learning and loving to play the drums, so that was the first art form that came to my sentimental, parental mind.


Beginner Beats


After your first lesson you told me

to be a drummer, you only need a body.

A heart to pulsate.

A foot to tap.

A palm to pound

Fingers to beat.


When you drum,

your entire body, small but strong,

vibrates with life tempo.


The first sound you ever heard

was the percussive thudding

of my own heart, close to you.

Sound imprinted,

on the growing soul.


Primal instruments — the drum, the heart.

Soundtrack to battle, to rally, to rise.

Thrum of liberation, running through

our blood.