PAD 2019 – Day 13

I was super excited to see today’s NaPoWriMo challenge asking for a “spooky” poem in honour of the 13th day! I decided to mix it with the Poetic Asides call for a poem about a “view.” The combination easily brought to mind a creepy family story that I begged to hear over and over again when I was a child.


From The Kitchen Window


Every family has their ghost stories.

My parents often talked about their first house together.

Haunted, said my Mom. Rundown, said my dad.

Cold breezes in the middle of rooms,

creaking and clacking from the attic when they tried to sleep,

and that feeling Mom couldn’t quell,  an unexplainable, eerie

presence hovering behind her whenever she stood at the kitchen sink.


She’d stare out the window while she washed vegetables or dishes,

focusing on how quickly the neighbour’s sunflowers grew, watching

kids play ball hockey on the road, waiting for my Dad to pull up

in his Chevy, come inside for supper, ask her about her day.

Waiting for him to convince her of her own vivid imagination.


Then the day they returned after two weeks away.

Pulled up to see a lawn in need of trimming, newspapers stacked on the step,

a few puddles offering proof of recent rain.

When their eyes seemed lured toward that square kitchen window,

they saw the curtains pulled back by some unseen hand,

then a swish of movement as the curtains quickly fell closed.

You had to have seen that, Mom said, frightened but relieved to have something

not reasoned away by a trick of the eye, old pipes, or a brain set spinning by loneliness.

I did, Dad replied, voice nearly a whisper.

Guess it was wondering when we’d finally be home.


PAD 2019 – Day 12

Uniting two prompts again today — Poetic Asides call to write a “The Art of _____” poem, and NaPoWriMo‘s suggestion to write a poem about a dull thing.

The Art of Polishing


the dull spoon at the front of the drawer is begging for it

luster lacking, spots of corrosion

this spoon has seen some things.


spit shine won’t work or it’d be gleaming

all the times it’s entered someone’s mouth

it needs a rub, a good honing,  friction, baby.


a vigorous reminder

that there’s silver vitality, a sexy sheen

hiding under layers of grey experience.

PAD 2019 – Day 11

Another prompt mix, taking the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem of emotional, physical or geographical origin, and the Poetic Asides call for a dedication poem.

 For All The Feline Confidantes


In the smallest bedroom

with the brightest carpet

I remember sunlight waking me

before I was supposed to leave my bed.

Then by the squeak of a door, left open a crack

to tame the night dark, I knew our black cat,

had entered to offer a morning greeting.


Strange to say a cat could be your first real friend,

but there he was — my playmate, consoler, the best listener.

On nights when my parents’ arguing spilled under closed doors,

their raised voices disturbing so much more than my sleep,

the cat’s warm body, steady purr, comforting me.


This morning I find my daughter, damp-eyed and tense,

running over worst case scenarios about a spelling test she thinks she’ll fail,

a friend who doesn’t seem to like her anymore, whether she’ll have time

to practice her drums well enough before her next lesson.

Big worries wracking a small body.

My  words of reassurance interrupted by our grey cat, pushing into the room,

jumping on her bed and curling up on her belly. She asks me to leave,

tells me she’ll be out in a minute, and as I close the door, I see her lean over,

whisper into his ear. Grateful she has a safe soul to help carry her fears.

PAD 2019 – Day 10

Today I am dealing with a computer crash and trying to recover lost  writing and info, so the poem is a bit of a quick dash. I used the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem incorporating a regional or personal weather term, and added in the Poetic Asides call for a “lone” poem.


Orphan Cloud


Lone puff of white in a summer sky,

I asked my Mom where are all the other clouds?

She said it was an orphan cloud,

solo and strong,

not lost, but exploring

the big blue,

just as we all do.

PAD 2019 – Day 9

Writing about love is hard, isn’t it? Especially when you’re not really the romantic type. So here’s my attempted response to today’s “love or anti-love” prompt from Poetic Asides.

The Non-Romantic Defines Romantic



conducive to or characterized by the expression of love


a person with romantic beliefs or attitudes.


By definition then, who isn’t this? Who hasn’t

felt this?  Only monsters  unwilling to consider

the way the features of the person most desired

adopt a kind of supernatural glow at sunset.

Or the way electrical impulses of the heart disrupt

when the person most desired brushes their hand

against your thigh. Or the way hunger of the belly

dissipates when thoughts stutter over the person

most desired and  hunger of the soul takes over.

Or the way the voice of the person most desired

becomes the most pleasing vibration to pass through

the inner ear. Or the way scribes of every language,

every age, have fumbled for millennia to write a single

phrase that can capture the emotion stirred when the

person most desired looks at you and moves their

mouth into that gratifying shape known as a smile.

PAD 2019 – Day 8

Today I mixed up prompts by accidentally reading the Poetic Asides call for a “lucky number” poem as simply a “luck” poem. I mashed in my local Stroll of Poets prompt for “a good day” poem, and this is what popped out.


A Good Day


A good day starts

by believing luck is on your side.

That fortune’s picked a favourite.

That you were born under a good sign.

That some resident of Heaven is smiling upon you.

A good day starts

the night before, when you spot the flash of light

blitzing through the dark. The shooting star

Ptolemy said, is an assurance that the Gods

are paying attention.

A good day starts

by spying a four-leaf clover, stroking a rabbit’s foot

rolling a seven, having a ladybug land on your shoulder.

By recognizing all these things as happy accidents

and still  feeling worthy of your own happiness.

PAD 2019 – Day 7

Pulling another prompt two-for with Poetic Asides call for a “jealous” poem, and the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem about “gifts and joy.”

On three hours of sleep


How jealous am I of the gifts a sunrise offers?

I’m green like the grass, wishing I could rise so triumphantly.

No birdsong in my croaky first words.

No glisten of dew around my puffy eyes.

Yet I awake to a home zinging with energy,

the rhythm of quick footsteps, uncontained giggles,

and a cat willing to exchange a nuzzle

for the sound of a can opening.

I’m envious of the Sunday morning slumberers,

shrouded in warm quilts and undisturbed dreams.

But I am here. Now. Doing. Experiencing.

Reminding myself that present is a wonderfully loaded word.

PAD 2019 – Day 6

The NaPoWriMo prompt today asked for a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” while the Poetic Asides prompt suggested making “After” the first word of the poem’s title. After some thought, this is what came out. Not sure if it works, but why not try?

After the mind-bending movie


If time travel is possible, should I go forward or backwards?

If this is a simulation, who started it?

If there are multiple universes, how many have coffee?

If everything that’s ever been or will be is happening now, where did I set my keys?

If space is intrinsically expansive, why did my jean size go up again?

If there are many versions of me, are all of them allergic to nuts?

If time is an illusion, why am I always late?

If there are infinite possibilities, why do I always chose you?

PAD 2019 – Day 5

Today I mixed the “stolen” theme of the Poetic Asides prompt with a Stroll of Poets prompt asking for a “roadside attraction” poem. First thing that came to mind was the numerous roadside zoos I used to see when I lived in Ontario.


At the Jungle Wildlife Park


Small road off the busy road,

a line of cars snaking forward,

packs  of tourists inside,

restless but contained.


Dads wearing exhausted faces

as kids come pouring out of backseats

feet stirring up gravel as they sprint

for the sign they’ve been teased by

for the last fifteen clicks — a leopard’s face

inside a giant black paw.


Promises beyond the gate:

big cats, big thrills, big fun.

Nature as you’ve never seen it before.


parrot sitting on a metal bar

lemur dangling from an old tire

puma batting a basketball

tiger cub sleeping on a rocking chair


Step back from the cage

unless you’re here for the photo.

Half-price today for kids ten and under.

Hold a wolf pup or monkey,

don’t forget to smile.

What a steal for the chance to

see something so wild.


PAD 2019 – Day 4

Today I combined the Poetic Asides prompt to use an artist’s name as a title, with my local Stroll of Poets prompt to make a “10 Things” poem. I’ve always been inspired by Monet’s art, and especially love the “Camille Monet et un enfant au jardin” painting (image below). As I’ve aged, I have come to see the painting differently than I once did.

10 things about Monet’s “Mother and Child”


It’s the flowers I always remember.

The beauty in shades of red, and all the white that suggests an ideal day.

The mother is Monet’s wife, Camille.

No one else appears in his paintings as often as Camille.

The Child is only identified as “Child.”

I imagine the texture of the grass, the feel of Camille’s dress, the softness of the child’s hair.

I wish I knew what book the child looks at.

I see my  own mother in Camille, never attending to just one thing.

I stare at the faces of mother and child, obscured in indistinct brushstrokes.

I wonder why it’s the flowers I always remember.