2010 November PAD- Day 22

Today’s prompt was to write a poem that takes a stand. Today was a yoga day. What else could I write about?

Taking a Stand

From Tadasana, I cross my left leg over my right,
bending at the knees slightly. I’m feeling pretty good
so far, my gaze fixed on a pine tree I can see
through the studio window. Next, I cross my left arm
under my right, bend my elbows, and snug my right
elbow into the crook of my left, my palms lightly
resting together. Slowly I lift my elbows up towards
the ceiling, trying hard to stay as rooted to my spot
as the crow that just landed on the tip of the pine.

2010 November PAD- Day 21

The prompt today was to write a permission poem.

A Shopper’s Lament

Every year from the middle of October
clear through the end of the year,
the stores have a million and one reasons why
we should drop everything and buy, buy, buy.

Try as hard as I might to resist
this annual media blitz,
the pressure really starts to mount
when days ‘til Christmas we begin to count.

But this year is going to be different,
I’m giving myself the permission
not to buy everything in sight
and I’m sure things will still be alright!

2010 November PAD- Day 20

The prompt today is to write a “what’s wrong or right” poem. I decided to write my first pantoum. In fact, I got so into the mechanics of the pantoum that I almost forgot the prompt in the process!

A White Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving but five days away
an icy chill is in the air
clouds are gathering, fleecy and gray
though snow before Thanksgiving is rare.

An icy chill is in the air,
it’s time to batten down the hatches
though snow before Thanksgiving is rare
and leaves cling from the trees in patches.

It’s time to batten down the hatches
the weather turned cold overnight
and leaves cling from the trees in patches
I wonder, is the weatherman right?

The weather turned cold overnight
they say snow is on its way
I wonder, is the weatherman right
or will we hold winter at bay?

They say snow is on its way
clouds are gathering, fleecy and gray,
or will we hold winter at bay,
with Thanksgiving but five days away?

2010 November PAD- Day 19

PAD, Day 19 prompt: write a poem with a hole in it.

Lost in Space

There’s a hole in the center of the universe
Things aren’t always what they seem
There are other colors than black and white
And this might just be all a dream

There’s a hole in the center of the universe
The laws of physics don’t always apply
Sometimes it’s hard to tell down from up
And which way to look to see the sky

Under the Harvest Moon

The Big Tent Poetry prompt this week was to write a cascade poem. Immersed as I am in the Poetic Asides November PAD Chapbook Challenge, I was hard pressed to write a cascade poem, until I realized I wrote one a few weeks ago for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge. I decided that it was recent enough!

About the subject: For 15 years, my family and I attended the Salmon Festival at Oxbow Park the second weekend of October, which celebrated the return of the fall Chinook salmon to the Sandy River to spawn. It was a wonderful family event, with kids activities, salmon viewing walks, horse-drawn carriage rides, educational booths by many environmental groups, a fish “school”, educating people about how salmon fit in with our local watersheds, and native American dancing. Oh yeah, and a salmon barbecue. For me it was an affirmation of the cycle of life, paying tribute not just to the salmon, but to the native people who have a long history of deriving their sustenance from the salmon runs. Alas, the festival is no more, a victim of budget cuts, scaled back to simply two weekends of guided walks. The salmon runs are likewise diminishing, and I fear it is only a matter of time before a way of life is irretrievably lost. My poem is in tribute to the amazing migration of the Chinook salmon.

Under the Harvest Moon

Windfall apples strewn on the lawn—
under the harvest moon, again
Chinook salmon find their way home.

The steady insistence of rain
thrums a tattoo on sodden leaves—
windfall apples strewn on the lawn.

A leaf, a branch, a silhouette—
who now hovers in shadowy dark,
under the harvest moon, again?

Swimming upstream, always upstream
(how can they know which way to go?)
Chinook salmon find their way home.

2010 November PAD- Day 18

Today’s PAD prompt is to write a “lost & found” poem. I went with a third consecutive triolet, my current favorite form. (After haiku, that is!)

Nothing is Lost

I wish I could make myself believe
that all is remembered, and nothing is lost;
that my memories, I can always retrieve,
I wish I could make myself believe.
By taking snapshots, I hope to achieve
a way of keeping memories embossed,
I wish I could make myself believe
That all is remembered, and nothing is lost.

2010 November PAD- Day 17

PAD, Day 17. Today’s prompt was to make the title “Tell Me Why (Blank)”, then write the poem. I went with a triolet again.

Tell Me Why

I often wish I could figure out why
I can’t get my teen to converse.
Half the time he forgets to reply,
I often wish I could figure out why
he can text ten friends in the blink of an eye,
but when I ask how his day went, he’s terse.
I often wish I could figure out why
I can’t get my teen to converse.

2010 November PAD- Day 16

PAD, Day 16 already. The prompt is to write a stacking poem. I briefly thought about reusing my Day 4 “containment” poem, which also references stacking Matryoshka dolls, but decided that would be cheating. Anyway, I really wanted to write another triolet— I love that form! (And I wanted to speak like Yoda.)

Stacking Up

To write a perfect triolet,
first focus on the rhyme.
Then think of something pithy to say,
to write a perfect triolet.
If you’re not careful, get stuck you may,
it happens all the time.
To write a perfect triolet,
first focus on the rhyme.

(Note: “Triolet”, being a French word, does NOT rhyme with violet, but rather with “Frito-Lay”!)

2010 November PAD- Day 15

PAD, Day 15. The prompt was to write a “just when you thought it was safe” poem. I got an idea right away, and ran with it.

You Can Run, but You Can’t Hide

Just when you thought you were safe,
along comes the big bad wolf, your worst
nightmare, huffing and puffing and just
generally threatening everything in its path.
The next thing you know, you’re lying there
amidst the rubble, staring up at the sky.
Forget about sticks and stones—
wolf’s breath can be plenty lethal.

2010 November PAD- Day 14

PAD, Day 14. The prompt was to write a crossroads poem. My favorite crossroad poem of all time is “The Road Not Taken”, by Robert Frost, and with that in mind, I composed the following triolet:

At a Crossroads

Two roads beckoned to me one day,
one heading east, and the other west.
While I stood and watched tree branches sway,
two roads beckoned to me one day.
How long I stood there, I cannot say,
unable to decide which one was best.
Two roads beckoned to me one day,
one heading east, and the other west.


(In real life, I of course opted to head west, and here I still am, decades later!)