Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo

Keep on keepin’ on

National Poetry Month is half done! If you are participating in NaPoWriMo 2015, how are you doing?

So far, I’m keeping pace, though it is difficult on some days to get something written. I’ve only “cheated” with a haiku once (I only say cheated because at 3 lines, it is among the easiest forms to spit out – not that mine is a great one.) I’ve used prompts a couple of times, but usually the day after they have been posted.

My NaPoWriMo 2015 poems are posted over at an alternative site Rudimental Words

As always, I welcome comments and thoughts.

Let’s try this again…

Because I don’t like how WordPress will not allow you to tag and categorize pages like posts, I’ve decided to move my NaPoWriMo poems over to an alternative blog, Rudimental Words. It just seems like double work to post a page, then post a blog post telling you about the page. And I wanted to keep all my NaPoWriMo stuff together, with tags and categories…but separate from Taps and Ratamacues.

Probably too much of an explanation. I’ll post a link to Rudimental Words on the side bar.

Thanks for visiting.

Popcorn thoughts of kindness

I’ve been doing a bunch of bits and pieces of things over the past week, I feel very scattered. I haven’t really had time to sit down and write much. This is OK. Life happens. I do have a lot on my mind these days.

I had some blogworthy tidbits I wanted to jot down, but they were not worthy of single posts…kind of like kernels of popcorn that presented themselves.

National Poetry Writing Month is just around the corner. I last participated in 2013 (I think). I proudly completed the entire month for the first time. Well, I’m committing to do it again in 2015. It’s a good way to stretch your poetry legs, gets some things written down, try new forms, and shake out the dust. If you are a poet, and are participating, let me know. So we’ll see how this goes.

A reminder, my very first chapter book Accidental Songs is available on Amazon. I self-published this collection. I invite you to check it out, purchase it 🙂

Spring is getting its claws in the seasonal change, judging from the number of robins that I’ve seen recently, the rapid changes in weather that are apparent, and my allergies ramping up. I’m looking forward to the green landscape though.

I happened to read this quote in my twitter feed this week,

“We’re all smart, distinguish yourself by being kind.”

This was posted in a twitter account entitled “ShitAcademicsSay”. I don’t know the origin of the quote, and have been looking for it’s primary source. The original context apparently has to do with academic publishing and review, but I see it as a more universal restatement of the golden rule. I like it.

I heard Nat King Cole’s version of Smile a few weeks ago. The music by Charlie Chaplin, John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954. It was a mantra for a few days in the bleakness of winter. I love how a verse, a song, a quote, or even a picture can present a moment of beauty and relief.

That’s it. Popcorn’s done.

That’s the allergy meds talking…

I am recovering from acute bronchitis…blech…if you ask me, not very attractive.  I’ve been coughing up from the depths of my soul for about 3 days now.   I feel marginally better today, enough to try to work, as long as I don’t need to hurry around doing anything.  I thought a blog post might be the thing to get the synapses going (trying to move past the 12 hour cough medicine and various allergy meds and general malaise).

This will definitely be filed under the not poetry section of the blog.  Writing a poem seems a bit daunting this morning, but I recall an old one that I might try to find and share…

But first, some general thoughts I pondered during my self-exile.

1.  Baseball season has arrived…and not a moment too soon.  I’ve been making my way through Ken Burns documentary “Baseball” (slowly) since last year’s world series – which I boycotted out of frustration. I’ve watch a couple of episodes over the last week. It is interesting that this sport, which has relied on its public persona as the “pastime” – there is such public love of the game with romance and tradition- has always been surrounded by political gamesmanship and questionable characters. The innocence of back-lot baseball always propels the sport forward; beyond the black sox scandal, beyond bickering ownership groups, beyond the strife of integration, beyond even steroid use. While we will pick apart the personalities and the events, for some reason, at its core, baseball will always hold some fascination with our child-like desire for simplicity. And that will keep it going.

2. In keeping with my improvement plan for this year, I’ve signed up to attend a local writer’s conference later this month. There are several sessions on poetry, and I’m looking forward to it. I’m hoping that some of the blogging poets whose sites I frequent will be there.

3. On a writing note, I’m considering trying to do a chap-book. Does anyone have any suggestions on doing this? Any publishing groups that focus on “not-so-well-known” names? I’m not looking to self-publish, and would appreciate the opportunity to work with someone to edit and group poems together.

4. Things that annoy and confound me: people who don’t provide the necessary assistance when their help is asked for to complete something, but then come around 6 months later and judge/find mistakes in the completed work.

5. It is national poetry month (NaPoWriMo), and while I won’t be participating this year, I do extol the wonderful aspects of poetry. Read it every chance you get and try to write some every now and then. You won’t be disappointed.

And as promised…an old poem from ca. 2005.

The Allergy Express


eating berries
Slopping through the morning, weary.

Roller coaster,
whole wheat toaster,
tastes so friggin’ ordinary.

not colitis,
has me down and out and dreary.

brain demanding
I continue literary

good hydration
for what ails me, I’m not leary.

Need more tissue
not an issue,
sneezes too preliminary.

I am dizzy,
in a tizzy
guess I slowed and became bleary.

In my station,
that the train has stopped.


Three wishes

To each of you, I wish the night
the darkness specked with pinpoint lights
creating shapes, elusive lines
drawn to what your mind defines
and wraps in warmth, all comfort due,
I wish the night to each of you.

To each of you, I wish the day
to dream of what your heart can say;
Equal dose of sun and cloud
to laugh and cry and sing aloud
the songs that ring to us as true,
I wish the day to each of you.

To each of you, I wish the dawn,
a new-found joy on lake or lawn
to greet you as a golden sight
after every day and night.
In new beginnings, each one cue
the night, the day, the dawn for you.

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 30
And it comes to an end. This is my 4th time to participate in National Poetry Writing Month, but only my second time to successfully complete the 30 days. Thanks to all who visited, commented, and liked various poems. I think I’m going to take a little break and just lurk and read for awhile. I’ll be back sometime…later.


forever, relentless
late amid a lemniscate,
the space between the lines
ever rending – surrounded
by the never ending,
closed in a space
where moonlight
skews with sunbeam queues.
banners flying underneath
the breathing of the winds bequeath
a conquest perpetually given
and in few words, love’s recognition.

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 29

even a blind squirrel

eleven times out of twelve, what I write turns out to be something totally different than what I started with. I mean, there is much word-smithing with any poem, but most times- eleven days out of twelve- the subject matter changes completely as I scrounge the floor of my brain looking for connecting thoughts to make it sound logical, beautiful, or even nonsensical. This is funny enough – trying to make something sound like it doesn’t make sense – or even silly – by perusing dictionaries or thesauruses (or is it thesauri?). “The Sauri sought to seek the soar-fly.” – I’ll remember that for later- Rooting up old phrases, or trying to describe how old phrases get rooted up…digging and digging, poking at the word order. It is not unlike scavengers looking for food, hogs looking for truffles, squirrels looking for acorns. Most of the time, they know they are looking for food, but sometimes they happen upon other things. I’m not sure how a squirrel would react if it found a penny on the ground when it was looking for acorns. It probably wouldn’t be very useful to the squirrel (or the hog), and they would ignore it. The poet – particularly one who is looking into every detail- could easily be distracted by the penny in lieu of the acorn. Now this is not useful if one is seeking acorns, and squirrels don’t write poems, but most times, eleven times out of twelve, a better poem comes from the unexpected penny.

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 28 (Catchup)


I heard a lecture
about Rembrandt,
and how he avoided
doing portrait commissions for
so long,
perhaps of the opinion
that he did not need to do them.
-and I learned he spent long hours
working on etchings-
something he enjoyed
more than painting portraits
even with long hours and excrutiating
I’ve rewritten this poem
nine times since that lecture.

NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 27