Against All Odds

It is totally against all odds that I finished another PAD challenge, and on time too! What with the holidays, lots of company, and the general fatigue that sets in after four consecutive weeks of daily poeming, I was on the verge of abandoning the Poetic Asides PAD Challenge several times. But I am glad to say that unlike this past April, I persevered, and if I can’t say I love every last one of my poems, at least I can say that they stretched me in many ways. I experimented with a number of different forms, including: epigraph poems, triolets, a bell curve Fibonacci, a monotetra, a tanka, a shadorma, a blitz poem, a bop, a Collom lune, a higgledy-piggledy, a limerick, a sevenling, tercet and a quatraine cascade poems, free form and prose poetry, a four and twenty, and skeltonic verse.

Today’s prompt was to write an “against all odds” poem. I went with a one-line haiku (or monoku, as they are sometimes called):


against all odds cherry blossoms

Their Story

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt is to write a poem with the title: “(blank) story”. I wrote a free form poem, which I suppose is a poetic form of sorts:

Their Story

Perhaps they met at a party,
their eyes locking across the room
or were introduced by friends
or stumbled into each other in a bookstore
a crowded elevator or a classroom.
Perhaps she wore her heart on a sleeve
or was standoffish or didn’t even notice him
at all at first, while he was on the rebound
from a failed romance or had never been in love
before or had been in love with her for months
or years or minutes. However it happened
here they are, married, thirty-two years later,
with three kids, two cats, and a house in the ‘burbs,
still telling their story.

Morning Mist

Although I’d like to think that I don’t write solely for validation, it is always sweet to learn that a haiku of mine has placed well in a competition, or has been accepted to a journal. It tells me that my words (and thoughts and feelings) have resonated with someone else. After all, isn’t that what writing is really about? I was proud to have one of my haiku receive Third Prize, in the 16th Kusamakura Haiku Competition, alongside the haiku of many other haijin I have come to admire.

morning mist…
tracing the edges
of her name
yaku 朝霧にー
Cara Holman
キャラ ホーマン

Thanksgiving Ku

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt was to write a gathering poem. Given all I have to do today, I went with a haiku (or three). Happy Thanksgiving to all my online friends who celebrate it (and happy day to all who don’t). I’m grateful for all of you!

in diminished numbers
we gather…
still we give thanks

storm clouds gathering
outside my window…
warmth within

turkey bones gathering
on our plates…
full to bursting

Over the River

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt was to write a travel poem. With all that’s going on, I felt I needed to try something I could write reasonably quickly, so I went with a sevenling again. I added a bit of rhyme scheme to it, to make it more interesting.


Over the River

They travel here
from far and near
and all points in between

to feast on turkey
and sip some chai
and reminisce over pumpkin pie

and make plans for next year.

Vegetable Wars

Today’s Poetic Asides prompt was to write a poem, using the name of a fruit or vegetable as the title. I was in the mood for a skeltonic poem, but after I wrote it, I realized I hadn’t followed the rules for the title. Oh well! The rules for skeltonic verse are simple: keep the lines short (3-6 words) and keep rhyming subsequent lines until you run out of rhymes, then switch to another rhyme and do it again.  A rhyming dictionary is essential! This is my favorite rhyming dictionary.

Vegetable Wars

On bended knees
I ask you please
to eat your peas.
I mean jeez
Money doesn’t grow on trees.

No! No! No!
Just make them go!

But don’t you know
you need them to grow,
perhaps you prefer beans
you need some greens
and that means
I’m tired of these scenes.

I don’t like beans at all.
They make my skin crawl!

How about chard?
You make this so hard!
Don’t discard
my advice to eat right.
So don’t fight,
hold on tight
and take a bite.
You just might
like veggies despite
all this ado.
It would be a coup
If only you
would eat a radish or two
so don’t be blue.
Just chew
and if you do,
you’ll soon be through.

In lieu
of a radish, I’ll have a carrot.
At least that has merit!