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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Curtain Call

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 30 Prompt:

Today's prompt is probably predictable if you go back to Day 1's prompt, which was about beginnings and firsts. Day 30's prompt is to write a poem about endings, finishes, finales, etc. Because we've reached the end: great job!


the last cup
the last sip
the last drop
the last voice
the last note
the last song
the last light
the last page
the last words
the last afternoon
the last stroke of the pen
the last click of the keys
the last kiss of the muse
the last time this month
I wonder whether
I can last to the end
of this challenge

TLS, April 2008

Lather, Rinse, Repeat Yourself

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 29 Prompt:

The first "Two for Tuesday" prompt is to write a poem about exercise. For most people, you either love it or hate it. If you do exercise regularly, it would be interesting to know whether you do it for the end result (that is, good health, a trim physique, etc.) or the process itself (just because it feels good to move).

Prompt #2 is a little more open-ended for people who don't have any emotions whatsoever attached to exercise. For this prompt, I want you to write a poem in the 2nd person.


open your eyes
shut off the alarm
roll out of bed
stumble to the sink
peer into the mirror
frown, smile
stick out your tongue

grab a towel
turn on the shower
undress and step
into the water

wash your body
please use soap
rinse well
turn off the water
step out of the shower

drip onto the bath mat
as you dry yourself
try not to slip
on the wet tile

apply deodorant
brush and floss your teeth
comb and dry your hair
then dress yourself

clean toothpaste
from the mirror and the sink
pick up the soap, shampoo bottle
and accoutrements
from the shower floor
put them where they belong

close the shower curtain
wipe up your wet footprints
pick up your dirty socks
toss them in the hamper
hang your wet towel over the bar

good morning star-shine
it’s a new day
and coffee is waiting
for you in the kitchen

oh, and use a clean cup

TLS, April 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008


Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 28 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a sestina.
So, what is a sestina? For those who have a few minutes to spare, please go to the following link:
http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/Sestina6x6339+Thats+Math.aspx. Once there, you can read up about what a sestina is and can be.

For those in a hurry, here's the basics on the sestina:

* It's a poem consisting of 7 stanzas.
* The first 6 stanzas have 6 lines; the final stanza has 3 lines.
* There are only 6 end words to each line throughout the 39 line poem.
* They rotate in the following pattern:

1-End Word 1
2-End Word 2
3-End Word 3
4-End Word 4
5-End Word 5
6-End Word 6

7-End Word 6
8-End Word 1
9-End Word 5
10-End Word 2
11-End Word 4
12-End Word 3

13-End Word 3
14-End Word 6
15-End Word 4
16-End Word 1
17-End Word 2
18-End Word 5

19-End Word 5
20-End Word 3
21-End Word 2
22-End Word 6
23-End Word 1
24-End Word 4

25-End Word 4
26-End Word 5
27-End Word 1
28-End Word 3
29-End Word 6
30-End Word 2

31-End Word 2
32-End Word 4
33-End Word 6
34-End Word 5
35-End Word 3
36-End Word 1

37-End Words 1 and 2
38-End Words 3 and 4
39-End Words 5 and 6

Usually, the best strategy is to pick out 6 words you think you can have fun with and that are probably somewhat flexible in how you can use them (this includes modifying a word here and there--like changing "cold" to "clod" to fit your purposes). Maybe throw in a word that is a little
unique--if you really want to challenge yourself. And remember to have fun.

Today it's cup of soup for one
eaten late, when the watch says two
I wish I had a friend or three
that could sit and visit until four
alas they all work nine to five
my friends, I have at least six

I have a meeting here at six
it's open wide to every one
who is interested in jumping into five
to ten minute writing exercises, two
by two we can write and read and four
letter words aren't censored, neither three

unless under-aged writers attend, three
chairs to a table in this café, and at six
we start...as people arrive three or four
at a time looking forward to this one
night where they can take an hour or two
and write, and share, and enjoy after five

because their hours before five
are scheduled and spoken for, and three
short breaks are not enough to
give your brain a break and eighty-six
the stress a dreaded j.o.b. can put on one
a fun gathering, though is worth waiting for

and now that the hour is nearing four
I am preparing for the group of five
or more, who will gather here for one
purpose, to write, share and read - that's three
purposes, wrapped in one, starting at six
and we will spend a beautiful two

hours together, laughing, sharing, renewing, too
we'll drink coffee or tea, and gather pens for
timed writing exercises in our journals six
to eight, we'll take ten minute blocks (two times five)
and spill ourselves out on a blank page or three
when the buzzer chimes we'll read aloud to every one

and we will listen, one and all, and smile too
as a page or three of words gives hope to write for
ten, or even five, repeating ‘til we return Monday at six

TLS, April 2008

Can You Hear Me Now?

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 27 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a poem that is only one-half of a two-person conversation, or what I like to call the "one side of a phone line" poem. I'm not even sure how well this is going to work out, but every once in a while, it's good to stretch ourselves and experiment a little.

While you could just get to typing one side of a conversation, it might be a good idea to write down some dialogue and then, cut out the person who is the least interesting. Anyway, as with all the prompts, be sure to have fun with this one.

Hey, what’s up?
Not much.
Sitting at the
coffee shop.
Yeah, it’s my
favorite place
to people-watch.
Yeah, lots’ of them.
Mostly looking for
the bathrooms.
Lunch sound good.
The coffee shop
has soup.
Tastes like a
baked potato.
Hey, I bought
it’s your turn.
Yeah, and besides,
you invited.
See you here soon.

TLS, April 2008

In Arrears

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 26 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a poem with the title of "I'm so over (_____)." You get to choose what you're "so over" with, and write a poem about it. I'll be looking forward to reading these.

I’m So Overdue.

I feel like a library book
Or a flight home for the holidays
A vacation, a nap, coffee break

Long overdue.

I can’t seem to be on time
Late to bed, late to rise
No health, wealth or wisdom there.

I’m tardy.

And I’m not even like
That dapper white rabbit
With a very important engagement

I’m sluggish.

Behind schedule.
And so over it.

TLS, April 2008

Friday, April 25, 2008

Career Day

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 25 Prompt:

A few times this month, I've felt like the forces working around my daily life are keeping track of my prompts (most of which I had set in stone before April started). For instance, I wasn't able to get Day 13's highlights up this morning (look for them on Monday), because my Clark Kent persona as a mild-mannered editor of Writer's Market had some indexes to go over late last night. Sometimes work just gets in the way of having fun and saving the world, I guess.

Anyway, the reason that is relevant to today's prompt is that we need to write an occupational poem today. You can write about your own occupation or that of another. Had a favorite job from the past? A least favorite job? A funny story from a job? Consider these questions before tackling your poem today.

bookshelves filled
with “how to write”
a novel, memoir
poetry, romance

containers of pens
scattered in every room
reminders that
there’s work to do

a notepad in the pocket
another in my purse
a journal in every room
scribbled phrases
on napkins, receipts
the back of the phone bill

cup after cup of
warm amber tea
pajamas and socks
with pencils in my hair

this is the job I’ve chosen
or maybe it chose me
either way, I’d not trade
for any other in the world

TLS, April 2008


Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 24 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to use a photograph to create a poem. You can raid your dusty photo albums, look through your daily newspaper, scour the Internet, etc. But you must use a photograph. Them is the rules, yo!

take a bow
you deserve
all the applause
for many sticky
sloppy kisses
for many sandy
dirty feet dances
for all the laughter
all the tears
the entertainment
you’ve provided
the way you’ve
enriched my life
as a mother
as a parent
as a person
all five of you
take a bow
on your way
out into
the world of
I’ll be right here
front row center
for the reprise

TLS, April 2008


Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 23 Prompt:

Well, today's prompt is sympathetic of the fact that time continues its march
and that things continue to change and stay the same all at once. Today's prompt
is to write about getting older.

a woman
in my mirror
with lines
upon her face
someone has been
sketching while
she sleeps
each day’s page
turns and
is tossed aside
like a leaf
in the wind
and as I
stare at her
she smiles
back at me
I think she
knows a secret
she explains to me
a river doesn’t
travel its bed
lamenting that
each inch
brings it closer
to the mouth
of the ocean
it flows moment
by moment
what it was
meant to do
this is the secret
the woman
in the mirror
whispers to me
each morning
and for today
I choose to listen

TLS, April 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Only Natural

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 22 Prompt:

Today is Earth Day! Yay!

I think most people can agree that this planet is a good thing. However, wars are fought over how we should use it and/or live on it. So, today's "2 for Tuesday" prompts will play off the opposing sides of the environmental coin.

Prompt 1: Write a nature poem. This can about how much you love or hate nature. It can be optimistic or not so. You can write about global warming or about that time when a deer walked up so close you could almost pet it. I'll leave the specifics up to you, but it should be about nature.

Prompt 2: Write an industrial poem. This can be a poem about the benefits of transportation or the joys of urban living. It can cover technology, the comfort of cruising around in your car, etc. Of course, as with the nature poem, you can be optimistic or not so. I'll leave that up to y'all.

green leaves flutter
in the wind
while the scent
of spring floats
lazily around me
temperatures are
just warm enough
Just cool enough
to draw me outside
breathing in the beauty
All around me
I love the way
sunshine settles
across my shoulders
and the sound of birds
echoes and winds
its way to my ears
in the distance
the laughter of a child
and silky strands
of something
float in the air
it won’t be long
before fireflies return
and summer stops
to visit a while
with the smell of
fireworks and bug spray
heat radiating off
the blacktop road
it’s just easier
to feel like a child
when I’m outside
in the sunshine

TLS, April 2008

She Used to Work Here

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 21 Prompt:

Today's prompt requires that you do a little snooping. That's right: I want you to write a "snooping" poem today. Basically, you need to write a poem that incorporates a bit of overheard dialogue (can be in real life or off the television) or even a quote taken from a news story online (if you happen to be a hermit).

If you're not a recluse, then venture out to places where people are: grocery stores, malls, college campuses, cinemas, airports, post offices, etc. This is the perfect excuse for you to be among the people. And once among the people, don't worry about socializing; instead, listen until you have something that makes you want to write.

“…she’s no longer with the company.”
given up a life of contact
for a life of solitude
prefers silence to companionship

Is that possible?
Can one be happy locked away
the quiet life of a hermit
Leaving the voices behind

a quite romantic idea
returning to the simple life
no arguments, no conflict
no relationships requiring effort

I need a measure of alone time
function well when I can escape
into a cocoon of my own
But there is loneliness there

that soon becomes unbearable
my heart cries out to connect
to know and be known
“…is she any different?”

TLS, April 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Words for You

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 20 Prompt:

Now today's prompt is one you've either been eagerly anticipating and wondering, "Where the heck is it," all month, or it's one you've been quietly noting hasn't been prompted and crossing your fingers you can make it through the month without. But this kind of poem is what got me into writing poetry seriously. That's right...

...today's prompt is to write a Love poem with a capital "L" as in a loooooove poem. Think about wooing; think about being wooed; and then, write!

I hear your voice in the whisper of wind
feel your fingers on my skin
wonder, if you’re thinking about me

when I worry whether I have ‘it’ in me
whether I can accomplish
what I was made to do

I remember that you believe in me
you are fascinated by
that passion that burns in my core

you may not love words the way I do
but you love that I do
and you see that beauty in me

I watch you watching me
from the corner of my eye
and I know that I know

I will always love you
I have always loved you
and your love is all I need to know

TLS, April 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Elmer, My Forgotten Friend

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 19 Prompt:

Today's prompt will require that you use a little memory, but not your own; because for today's prompt you need to write a poem about a moment (or moments) you can't remember yourself that are about yourself. I think everyone has these stories about when you were a child, or when you were drunk, or when you were talking in your sleep, or when you were in a coma (hopefully not too many fall into this category actually).

oh how I hated worksheets
at least that’s what I’m told
bored with busy work

I really don’t remember
but my first grade teacher
and my parents recall

the day I decided to fight
back against the insult
of workbook assignments

pulling out the elmer’s
I squirted liberally
pasting pages back to back

now instead of four
I only had two dreaded
worksheet pages to do

How clever I was
I don’t even remember
whether I was punished

but I wish I had some elmer’s
to get me out of the work
I don’t want to do today

TLS, April 2008

Friday, April 18, 2008

No Connection

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 18 prompt:

Today's prompt is to take a line of my choosing and incorporate it into your poem in some way. You can use the line as the title of your poem, as the last line, as the first line, or even drop it somewhere in the middle--but you must use the line somewhere. And a special note to you "rule benders": No, you cannot break up the line into individual words or phrases. The whole line must be used, though you can definitely insert a line break or two if you wish.

So, what's the line anyway? It is: There is no connection.

No connection to what? And who is speaking? And in what context? These are questions you should ponder before tackling this prompt.

Crossed Words

seven tiles
on the rack
fingered and shuffled
as my mind works
to find a place
on the board
squares of red,
pink, green, blue
bonus points
on my mind
too many consonants
not enough vowels
between the words
phone and develop
needle and veto
there is no connection
for the letters
I have drawn
hate to pass and
lose my chance
at triple word score
but there really is
no other choice

TLS, April 2008

One Third

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 17 prompt:

So today's prompt is fairly straight forward: Write a poem in the 3rd person. You can describe a scene, an event, whatever. But there's to be no use of "I," "me," "my," etc.--not even "you" or "we." No, keep yourself completely out of this poem. I'll leave the subject of your poem up to you.


an overwhelming desire
burns in her flesh
an appetite, insatiable
shudders through her soul
to know and be known
to read and be read
to write, and feel release

tension builds, smolders
lightning, bottled up inside
like a woman absent from her lover
aching with need for his touch
his hands, his skin against hers
the mind fogs and the vision blurs

only this clear, demanding urge
pulses in her ears
her mind, her fingers
races through her body
demanding that she give it release
slice open a vein
and spill it out across the page

an elixir mixed of joy and pain
life and death, words, phrases
to feed the reader
who might need reviving
need reminding what it is
to live, to love, to feel
to fuel a passion
a lust for release

TLS, April 2008

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Real Thing

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day challenge – Day 16 prompt:

Oh yeah, the prompt for the day. Well, it's something I'm calling the "Alfred Hitchcock" poem, because I want you to write a poem that has a twist near the end. For instance, write a poem about talking to your best friend and then let us know at the end that your best friend is actually a sock puppet on your left hand--maybe even add to the intrigue by making your arch nemesis your right hand.

icy cold
a barrier
cool to the touch
making my mouth
water in anticipation
a late afternoon pick
me up just out of my
reach a red and white
strip of bright color
and four letters on
the clear obstacle
between me and
quenched thirst
if I can just
decipher this
cryptic clue
“twist to open”

TLS, April 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Cup of Words - Exercise Results 4/14/08

On Monday night, I facilitated my first writer's group at a local coffee shop near my home. I've named the group A CUP OF WORDS. Though the turnout was sparse, we enjoyed lots of timed writing exercises, and the prompts I found online were very creative. Here's a sample of my best work from last night, edited and revised after the fact, of course:

A Cup of Words
Writing Practice

Prompt : Emily Dickinson’s “Bring me the sunset in a cup…”

bring me the sunset
in a cup
warm and golden
spilling out across
the floor at my feet

I’ll stretch my toes
and soak up the heat
laugh at the splash
of light on the tile

bring me the wind
in a mason jar
sighing out into
the twilight hours
with a gentle moan

I’ll close my eyes
and let it caress
the skin of my cheek
and tickle my ear

bring me the flash
of summer fireflies
captured in the
palm of your hand
sticky and warm

I’ll whisper my secrets
with a brush of my lips
against your fingers
before you let them fly again

bring me an inky
blanket of stars
wrapped in a shawl
around my shoulders
as I sit here quietly

I’ll shine them across my page
as words line up to tell
what I could not
without your gifts

~TLS, April 14, 2008

Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 15 Prompt:

Soooo...let's get to today's prompt, which is a "Two for Tuesday" prompt actually.

Prompt #1: Write an
insult poem. There aren't really any rules attached to the insult poem, but it's usually done in good fun. If you write one, you can often open yourself up to a retaliatory insult poem. And that can lead to the equivalent of an insult poetry food fight.

Prompt #2: I've been trying to avoid mentioning it, but today is Tax Day here in the States. So it's time to either file them taxes or file for an extension--or just continue procrastinating, I guess ("Whatever floats your boat," as my father would always say.). Anyway, the second prompt is to write a poem that deals with paying your taxes and/or meeting deadlines.


make me
make me freeze
make me want
to do my laundry
run my
count the ceiling tiles
anything but write
delay and fret
until the
then submit
then there’s
the whole
word count issue
don’t even
get me
started on that

TLS, April 2008

A Pain in the Neck

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 14 Prompt:

So, today's prompt is actually inspired by a song I love by Feist. The song is called "How My Heart Behaves," and the prompt for today is to write a poem with the title "How (fill in the blank) behaves"--with the poem inspired by whatever you put in that blank. For instance, you could have a poem titled "How Mr. T's mohawk behaves" or "How the homeless man on 9th Street behaves." Have fun with this one (I know you will).
How a Migraine Behaves

he sneaks up on me
while I sleep
clamps his vice
down on my brain

he steals my rest
with pulsing pain
and wakes me
to pure agony

he laughs aloud at
pills and compresses
any attempt at remedy
ignores my cries for silence

but as time passes
medication filters into
my blood stream
he has to loosen his grip

he hates to be weakened
so he complains
moments of relief
punctuated with stabs of pain

he attacks behind my eyes
interferes with my ability
to form complete thoughts
to speak with clarity

so I must wait
sit patiently
sip my hot tea
until he lets go

but as he slips away
he leaves behind a fog
my tongue still tied
and my brain still slow

his fingerprint remains
on my tortured brow
and only sleep will erase
the marks he leaves behind

TLS, April 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Musical Muse

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 13 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a poem based off your response to a song. You get to pick the song, but I ask that you please indicate which song sparked the poem. You can do this by quoting a line or two from the song between the title and poem--as I've done a few times this month; or you can just put the song title and artist in parentheses after the poem.

“Listen to the melody, ‘cause my love is in there, hiding.”
Donnie Hathaway--A Song for You.

For You

every word
every phrase
every line
every poem
every story
everything I write

has your fingerprint
the sound
of your voice
your breathing
in the silent spaces

your love moves me
to write, to pour
my words upon the page
I long to connect
to people
with my words
in an echo
of our connection

when my life is gone
and you’re reading
my journals
the words and phrases
the ink filled pages
know that it is
all of it
for you

TLS, April 2008

My Apologies

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 12 Prompt:

We're going to write an apology poem. You can apologize for ending a elationship, breaking a chair, or maybe you can even apologize for not being apologetic.

I’m sorry.

I don’t have
eight days in a week
there aren’t enough pages
to hold all the words
I have to take
a break to sleep

I’m sorry.

chocolate isn’t
calorie free
caffeine isn’t good
for me
smiling causes
wrinkles on my face

I’m sorry.

I’m a grammar snob
fretting over your and you’re
advertising printers don’t
employ full time editors
I can fall in love with a writer
who uses semi-colons – correctly.

I’m sorry.

that I’ll never catch up
on all the books to read
that I save
every single magazine
that I used all the honey
in my tea

I’m sorry.

about some of these things
but not all.

TLS, April 2008

Ancient Ritual

Poetic Asides – Poem a Day Challenge – Day 11 Prompt:

The prompt for today is to describe something--only one thing--that is either very interesting to you or something you think is often overlooked and taken for granted. I'm thinking inanimate objects here, but I'm not going to restrict you to that.

Ancient Ritual
a cup of tea
warm and steamy
cradled in my hand
warmth spreading
through my fingers
through my mouth
into my chest
the aroma
sharp and clean
a clear voice whispering
inside my head
spoon clinking
against the cup
against the saucer
amber liquid
swirling in circles
the faint hint
of berry colored
lipstick on the edge
of fine china

TLS, April 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

These are a Few of My Favorite....Places

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 10 Prompt:

Today, the poetry prompt is to write a location poem. You can write about a city, a building, a planet, etc. I suppose the poem doesn't necessarily need to be "about" the place, but the location should play an important role in the poem.


bookshelf packed with pages
paper lined with ink-black words
hardbound and fabric covered
choose your destination
Baum’s small farm in Kansas
and the Emerald City of Oz
Stevenson’s island of Treasure
Twain’s Mighty Mississippi
Verne’s Ocean in a Submarine
Tolkien’s Middle Earth
a library card, your ticket
on this imagination train
‘all aboard’ the conductor’s call
your journey begins
with the very first word

~TLS, April 2008

A Long and Winding...Word

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day Nine Prompt:

Today's prompt is to choose a word (any word) and then write a poem either about that word or using that word in different ways. Be sure to point out which word you're writing about.

March winds
bluster and blow
as I walk
down this road
that winds through
my neighborhood

strands of hair
wind around
each other
like pieces of string
tangling in the wind
as I walk along

stepping in time
like the ticking clock
in the library
of my home

don’t let me forget
to wind it
with the brass key
when I get back there
winded but glad
I walked today

TLS, April 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Little Deer Painting - Poetry Challenge

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 8 Prompt:

Today's prompt asks you to write a poem that is inspired by one of the two paintings linked below. Please indicate the title of the painting or the artist's name somewhere in your comment as well. Of course, there is also the possibility that you could blend the two together. Hmmm...

Anyway, here are the paintings:

Painting #1:
Piazza d'Italia, by Giorgio de Chirico
Painting #2:
The Little Deer, by Frida Kahlo

I chose the painting “The Little Deer”. There is a Native American Myth told in the Oklahoma area, about a deer woman who lures men into the woods and stomps them with her hooves. I’ve heard variations on this story since I was a girl scout in grade school. This was a tough prompt to follow, but here’s my offereing:

Campfire Ghost Stories

beware the deer woman
said the chief
as we sat around
the campfire tonight

flames of shadow and light
danced across our
frightened faces

she’ll lure you
into the woods
woo you with her
batting eyelashes
stomp you with her hooves

many grandfathers
have told her story
and many young braves
have hunted her
but arrows can’t kill
though they pierce her flesh
nine times, for nine tines
on her mighty antlers

she appears a great buck
prancing through deer woods
feeding hunters’ lust for glory
beware the branch
that looks like a peace offering
it is a trap

grandfather chief
has warned us tonight
and though we think
it a silly ghost story
we will not go into
the woods alone
for many moons to come

TLS, April 2008

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Perchance to Meander

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge – Day 7 Prompt:

Today's prompt is to write a "ramble poem." That is, I want you to write a poem where you just start rambling without worrying about where you're headed. Very interesting things can happen in these poems. And don't worry about the interesting things, because they tend to just happen if you let yourself ramble.


overheard at the coffee shop
don’t want to go to prom
with him, do you want to go?
the clang of the espresso machine
daughter’s voice across a bookshelf
computer questions
my phone ringing
with my son’s voice
voice lessons, and daughter singing
random melodies and words
words, words, beloved words
words flying across the page
faster than my hands can type
falling out of my fingers
and taking their places
so effortlessly on the page
like a flood has been pent up
inside of me for a week
dealing with loss, grief
sadness and exhaustion
sleepy sillies and foggy brain
rain falling, falling, falling
outside the window
flooding, and draining
and the sun shines
through the clouds
another day dawns
life goes on
good things come
and I want to enjoy them all
starting with the hot tea
in this ceramic cup
as I sit listening
to the sounds that fill the coffee shop

TLS, April, 2008

The Hours of One Day

Poetic Asides – Poem-A-Day Challenge, Day 6 prompt:

Record events that happen to you during the day and then create a poem from them.

The Day After The Day After

dawn breaking
through the window
sleep pushed away
and reality
the absence of
a beloved grandmother
acutely felt
a cup of tea
at mama’s table
conversation and quiet
a red-fabric covered journal
a faithful friend
jotting notes
with my favorite pen
memories of her story
recorded in bits and pieces
treasured, not to be forgotten
hugs and more hugs
from aunts, uncles, cousins
tears and laughter
more stories from the past
remembering a life
well lived, well loved
stolen moments of quiet
in a crowd of forty family members
a pot of cactus on the porch
hens and chickens spreading
into a square corner
a carelessly tossed cigarette
leaning against the green
makes me smile through tears
a table full of family
all looking like her
sounding like her
missing her
remembering her
love and laughter
shared across five generations
a tired heart
a tired mind
a tired body
bidding goodnight
crawling into
borrowed sheets
borrowed bed
drifting off to sleep
with Amazing Grace
echoing in my head

TLS, April 2008

What, me worry?

Poetic Asides Blog - Poem-A-Day Challenge, Day 5 Prompt:
The Day 5 prompt is to write a poem of worry. Also known as a worry poem. Anything that causes you worry can be used to help you write this poem. For instance, are you worried about clowns? Because I know I am. Write a poem about your worry of clowns.

I lie in bed
flitting around
in the corners of the room
just out of reach

I don’t think
I can capture it
too many random thoughts
I can’t corral
can’t control
can’t quiet

is my daughter
headed home from work
did she forget to call

is her car running properly?
is she driving safely?
radio blaring?
cell phone to her ear?
should I call
to check on her
would she be
mad at the intrusion?

will she remember
to lock the front door?
is the front door
locked now?
if someone tried to break in
would I hear them
with the bedroom door closed?

if I open the bedroom door
will the cat decide
to run a sprint
through the obstacle course
that is my bed?
arms and legs
sheets and blankets
flying fur
flying curses.

do I hear her car
in the drive?
will she come
to say goodnight?
will she sit on the bed
like she has done
so many times and tell me
all about her day?

is she happy?
is she scared?
excited about moving
away to school
out on her own?
will she be okay?
will she need me?

why can’t I sleep?
did I have too much
caffeine today?
will it give
me nightmares
when I
finally drift off?

is that her car
I hear in the drive?
the telephone!
my heart in my throat
her voice in my ear

on her way home
seatbelt buckled
driving safely
yes mom
see me soon


is that her car
I hear in the drive?
front door
her voice at the bedroom door
love you mom

flitting around
in the corners
of my room
just out of reach
I don’t think
I can capture it
too many
random thoughts

TLS, April, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

A Life of Amazing Grace

Poem-A-Day Challenge, Day 4, from the Poetic Asides blog:

The thankful/tribute poem can be dedicated to a person, an inanimate object, an idea, a day of the week, etc.

On Friday, April 4, 2008, my grandmother, my Mimi, graduated from here to heaven. The challenge for that day came late, and as I waited, we recieved word that finally, she was free, whole, and with her Savior.

When I read the prompt later in the day, there was no question what this poem would be about, but I spent four days with forty family members in my parent's home, listening to memories and stories, taking notes, drinking coffee and tea, and eating delicious food. Late each night as I snuck away from the crowd to my bed in mom and dad's motor home, I would try to write...but the words flew in circles, just out of reach, in my heart and head.

Knowing that eventually they would come to roost, I kept listening, kept watching, kept hugging and crying, and laughing, and eating that delicious food. Today, we laid her to rest, laughed and cried and shared stories with each other. And now, in the quiet, the words are beginning to line up.

So, what follows is my response to the Poem-A-Day Challenge, for April 4, 2008:

a life of grace
amazing grace
the melody filling
the morning air
whistled during chores
sung around a bed
softly whispered
as she slips away

faith that doesn't waver
because she was persuaded
we too, are persuaded
because she knew
we know that we know
nothing can separate us
from that love

love that welcomes
with smiles and laughter
and conversation
a kiss from moistened lips
a table full of food
dominoes and cards
surrounded by faces
who share her eyes
her smile, her hands
I see her in these faces
hear her in these voices

and now finally
memory lost is restored
she can see us
can hear us
knows us as we are
and watches us
as we carry her story
her gifts, her loved
down the road of life
passing them along
until we see her again

TLS, April 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008


Amazing Grace.

How Sweet the Sound.

I Once Was Lost.

But Now I'm Found.

I am Persuaded.

That Nothing.

Shall Seperate Me.

My Chains are Gone.

I've Been Set Free.

Like a Flood.

His Mercy Rains.

Unending Love.

Amazing Grace.

She was the most amazing woman I'd ever known. Unconditional love. Laughter. Faith and Family. She's been on hold for nearly ten years. Here, but not here. Not seeing me, not knowing me.


To be set free.

This morning, she is.

And she sees me.

And she hears me.

And she knows me.

And I hope she is proud.

I'll see you soon, Mimi.



Thursday, April 3, 2008

How About Haiku?

Day Three in the Poetic Asides Challenge.

I opened my gmail this cold, rainy morning, and found that my poetry prompt for the day was haiku. I can't help but smile. I have a special fondness for this form of poetry, and love the fact that anyone can write haiku. Even you!

So if you're reading this, I challenge you. Go check out the Poetic Asides blog, and try your hand at haiku. You'll find a quick five-point haiku overview, simple as pie. Who knows, you may surprise yourself.

In the meantime, here are some of my haiku offerings:

rain on my window
etches a transparent portrait
of my wistful gaze

spring breezes ruffle
feathers, fur, prey, hunter
she springs -- too late -- flight

a million green leaves
dancing in the wet wind
celebrate this day

~TLS, April 2008

Happy Spring everyone!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mightier than the Sword Pencil

2nd in the Poem-A-Day Challenge from Poetic Asides:

I am a pen
deep inside a purse
zipping open
zipping closed
light and darkness

the brush of fingers
grasping finally
a warm grip
touching my tip
to the blank page
dancing me along the lines
letters, words, phrases
pushed and pulled
by the passion of the writer

ink flowing out
like blood
like emotion
like life
to say something

to connect
with the page
with a reader
with a heart

so much better
than my last gig
shopping lists
signing checks
paying bills
math homework

this is why
I was hand crafted
and filled with ink
my purpose
is fulfilled

~TLS, April 2008

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hunting the Gawk

April is National Poetry Month. How appropriate is it, then, that I got my email version of the Writer's Digest Newsletter today, where I read that Robert Lee Brewer, of the Poetic Asides blog is issuing a challenge to write a poem a day. He's even providing writing prompts. Here's a clip from today's prompt:

"Since today is the first day of the month, write a poem about a first or a series of firsts. "
Today, being April first, I pondered and decided to write about just that.

The First.

Of April.

We do love to celebrate this interesting holiday around my house. In fact, we enjoy it so, that I spent an hour reading the
April Fools' Day wikipedia article aloud to my kids. You should check it out, it's both educational and entertaining.

Every year, for as far back as we can remember, Sarah has called her grandmother on April Fools' Day, to tell her that our dog ran away. Until recent years, Grandma "fell" for the ruse. Today, Sarah (20 years old) concocted an elaborate story about how she came home drunk, had to be carried into the house by friends, got into a huge fight with me, her mother, and ended up being kicked out of the house. She planned to tell Grandma that she came home today to find her belongings at the curb, along with evidence that I had also banished her dog to the curb as well. On top of all the horrible things she's been through today...you guessed it...the dog ran away.

But today, Grandma beat Sarah to the punchline.

She called to tell Sarah that her uncle had run away from home.

Much giggling ensued.

Little did Sarah know it at the time, but her parents and younger sister were at home devising the Best-April-Fools'-Day-Prank of 2008. While Sarah was at lunch, and on the phone with her grandmother, we were here, at home...changing the locks on her bedroom door, and posting an evicton notice:

I apologize for the blurriness of the photo. Here's what it says:



Due to circumstances beyond our control, we are forced to give notice of your eviction from these premises effective Tuesday, April 1, 2008 (immediately). Thank you for your understanding, and we wish you luck in all your future endeavors. Sincerely, THE MANAGEMENT.


The fine print reads:

Happy April Fools' Day!


When Sarah saw it, she laughed out loud, then begged us for the key. And we laughed at her, as we are wont to do. Her 18 year old brother, Jotham got a similar eviction notice. He simply shrugged with his usual aplomb.

So, in honor of this FIRST, I submit to you, my first poem for the April Poem-A-Day Challenge:

first of April
April fish
hunting the gawk
hoping to catch you
off your toes
made for laughter
changed locks
upside down clocks
opportunity knocks
do you answer?
take a moment
share a smile
let out a giggle
watch out
mind your step
peel your eyes
tune your ears
tomorrow is too late
today is the date
don’t wait
until next year
this memory
is worth it

~TLS, April 2008

Happy Poissin d'Avril, everyone!

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