Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2011.
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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 30 - Farewell

farewell to the
twenty-nine odd
voice mail messages
the mountain of bills
growing on the
counter alongside
dishes from some
teenage apparition
evidence of their
nocturnal raiding
in back of the fridge

farewell to the
alarm droning every
morning in that
obnoxious tone
the snooze bar
teasing, eight more
minutes of respite
before the buzz
interrupts, demands
wakefulness now
mandatory attention

farewell to the
dandelions, crabgrass
creeping, climbing
backyard jungle
the syncopation
drip, drip, dripping
from the leaky
bathroom faucet
the protestation of
the squeaky hinge
on the cabinet door

farewell as I cruise
wind buffeting my face
tires singing out
against the highway
shimmering heat
rising between
me and the sunset
freedom beckons
bid stress goodbye
greet the horizon
and chase the road

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 29 - Never

this is the song
that never ends
in a city that
never sleeps
oh never mind
it’s never too late

it will never fly
It will never work
never happen
never say never
never walk alone
will we never learn?

the never ending
story of never
never land
I’ll never grow up
I’ve never been
kissed--not like this

she never smiles
tomorrow never dies
this will never do
it never occurred
to her to never
a woman’s work
is never done

the sun never sets
I’d have never
believed it
it’s never too early
for things that
never were
they never looked
so good
I never knew
it was never enough

it’s now or never

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 28 - Sestina

Spring winds warn it's time, to make a long trip---
urgent message sent by wizened wizard.
I spy him wrapped tight, clothed in blue toga;
birch staff held aloft, drenched by driving rain.
The moon above is a silvery ellipse,
silently he shouts my magical word.

A certain power surges in the word;
magic shouted loud, an ancient cantrip---
to arc upon sound waves elliptical.
Young and old alike speak so wizardly,
syllabic power to incite the rain,
while unawares hide wrapped in wet togas.

Magicians all love to give thrills, to gas.
Proud orators too, fill the air with words,
soak the listening, watching crowd like rain,
soar on wild applause. Psychedelic trip!
They close their eyes tight---think themselves wizards,
with saucers that fly, cavort in ellipse.

Of punctuation, oddest is ellipse,
like freshman at prom, dressed in white togas,
filled both with teen angst, and tech wizardry,
versed in hip hop rhyme, writing urban words.
Text and chatspeak fly, while staid grammar trips.
Structure overflows, awash in this rain.

Sitting windowside, skies proclaim hard rain.
Clouds dance over earth's slow curving ellipse.
Storms may well cancel my make-believe trip,
from middle nowhere---to Saratoga.
I hope against hope, await weatherman's word,
watch like Dorothy's traveling sales-wizard.

Maybe I am her, off to see the Wiz---
beg a long weekend, escape from this rain.
Courage, heart, brains are granted at his word...
Note how that line ends with hopeful ellipse?
I think I may don, shiny black toga,
wave bon voyage and enjoy my road-trip!

Send me on a trip! I beseech, Wizard!
Attired in toga, I"ll dance in the rain,
ride this earth's ellipse. Speak that magic word?

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 27 - Longing

ocean floor
dark and cold below
ocean waves
dance above
swimming in between I long
to surface for air

tossed around
like a tiny craft
on the sea
of my life
by great waves and stormy winds
I’ve lost sight of shore

how I need
a lifeline secure
pull me in
hold me tight
rescue me from threatening sea
wrap me round in love

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 26 - Miscommunication

can you
hear me now?
faulty connection
dropped call
talking to
dead air
how’s your
your perception
did I lose you?
are more bars
in more places
really that good?

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 25 - Event

chrome and leather
shining in sunlight
low rumble of a thousand
engines clear their throats
raise their voices to sing
an unexpected carol
music thrumming deep
vibrates through my body

awash in a sea of people
riders, soldiers and toys
strapped to handlebars
stacked high on trailers
tucked into saddle bags
bungee tied to seats
and the ride is both short
and longer than I expected

spectators line the streets
waving from the curb
leaning over the bridge
I’d not planned to be
In a parade of celebration
overwhelmed by camaraderie
a combined sense of love
for the road ahead and giving

Christmas toys for tots
Santa’s philanthropic helpers
A procession on choppers
racers and touring bikes
bearing colors and tattoos
this too is holiday spirit
wrapped in tinsel and bows
chrome and leather

Monday, April 27, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 24 - Travel

blood flows
stream flows
river flows
clouds blow
breezes blow
winds blow
birds fly
bugs fly
kites fly
lizard creeps
baby creeps
ivy creeps
horses run
deer run
children run
engines run
life moves
moves, moves
why am I
standing still
wishing I
could go?

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 23 - Regret

the form is Roundeau

she won’t regret, her imperfection
submits to her own soul’s inspection
believes that life’s both sweet and tart
maintains an outlook that is smart
she’s honest with her own reflection

in spite of mistakes and rejection
she gives herself love and affection
and follows the path of her heart
she won’t regret

the hour has come for circumspection
she’s ready for her resurrection
her soul cries out for a fresh start
the well worn pathway to depart
she ponders a change of direction
she won’t regret

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 22 - Work

*the form is: Villanelle

I think sometimes, this is too tough.
When minds don’t meet in the middle.
I wonder when enough’s enough.

We just can’t agree on this stuff.
Your point of view’s such a riddle.
I think sometimes, this is too tough.

You think you’re just calling my bluff.
The same old refrain on the fiddle.
I wonder when enough’s enough.

Before we storm off in a huff.
I say compromise a little.
I think sometimes, this is too tough.

Let’s not growl, our voices too gruff.
Before our two hearts become brittle.
I wonder when enough’s enough.

Hide mercy or peace in your cuff?
I’m really not seeking acquittal.
I think sometimes, this is too tough.
I wonder when enough’s enough.

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 21 - Haiku

seventeen succinct
syllables to describe my
utter exhaustion

must start the engine
desperately chase yellow lines
‘til I catch my breath

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 20 - Rebirth

now my toes just
touch the water
sitting ‘side
a tranquil pool

should I slip
beneath the surface
let the water
drag me down

do I trust myself
swim beneath these
blue green waves

‘til I kick in
break the surface
gasp for air

or perchance
I’ll find courage
plumb the depths
yet unexplored

push myself
beyond my limits
learn a whole new
way to breathe

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 19 - The Stranger

Prompt: anger

anger is a stranger
in these hours
of contentment
though I knew her
all too well only
three days ago

when hormones
were at their peak
no words of reason
could quell ire
prevent displeasure
boiling over the edge

splashing words
scorched your skin
livid scarlet wounds
begged soothing balm
of sincerity, apology
offerings of peace

in time clouds
scattered on the wind
frustration scudded
making way for love
in the shelter of you
anger is a stranger

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 18 - Storyteller

Prompt: Interaction

ancient ritual
carried forward
in the eyes
in the voice
of the storyteller
children circle
squirming bodies
pounding hearts
racing chills
plot and drama
conflict and surprise
twilight stage
fireside or bedside
stories unwind
breathless voices beg
just one more

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 17 - All I Want Is...

all I want is
this red pen
and a scrap
of paper and
plenty of ink

that’s all
I need
to get by

these and a
bit of hot tea

all I want is
a bit of hot tea
a china teacup
a pretty saucer
a dollop of honey

this red pen
and a scrap
of paper and
plenty of ink

that’s all
I need
to get by

these and a
really good book

all I want is
a really good book
with a twisting plot
believable characters
and a lamp so I
can read until dawn

a bit of hot tea
a china teacup
a pretty saucer
a dollop of honey

this red pen
and a scrap
of paper and
plenty of ink

that’s all
I need
to get by

for now, but
can you come
back in a while?

I might think of
something else
but so far
since you asked
these are
all I want

Friday, April 17, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 16 - Pick A Color

angry red rash
of questions
itchy, blistery
on pale skin
ivy, oak
poison oil
why, oh why
every year
pink tinged
on bleached
muslin sheets
little relief
for folly of
yard work

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 15 - Altered Title/New Poem

(from Winter Syntax by Billy Collins)

Spring Punctuation

vernal breezes
like commas
sigh and pause
through branches

late dandelions
explosions of white
exclamation marks
strewn across lawns

great raindrops
splatter windshields
perfect periods
making statements

waterlogged worms
in roadside puddles
parentheses left by
recent short showers

neighborhood cats
tiptoeing through
damp green clover
question mark tails

poetic lines wander
barren of symbols
as punctuation spills
into spring afternoon

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 14 - Love/Anti-Love

Gerber daisy

slowly plucked


petal by petal

to satisfy

question du jour

love---love not

love not---love

answer is the same

as tomorrow

and yesterday

we do so love

Gerber daisies

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 13 - Hobby

yes, she has a hobby

is collector, connoisseur

of trinkets, baubles

she hides them away

in corners, drawers

pockets and shoe boxes

making connections with life

bit of faded ribbon

unthreaded from baby’s dress

tightly knots a golden lock

wispy infant curl

locked in a jewelry box

scrap of an envelope

faded scrawl of ink

in her grandpa’s hand

before he was grandpa

love tucked inside

to grandma, just a girl

now tucked into a bureau

a pebble—tiny, grey stone

worn fingertips smooth

plucked from holy ground

when lips first met in kiss

is worn like a badge

inside lining of her coat

fragment of English verse

lines of poetic rhyme

from flea market book

scribbled on a post-it

now call pocketbook home

she is a connoisseur, collector

of significant ephemera

she hopes her memories

will connect her with others

instead of collecting dust

when she’s finished writing them

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 12 - So We Decided To...

so we decided to ride
down the road so wide
while the spring night died
and the crickets cried
at the song of our wheels
asphalt at our heels.
the horizon steals
color from today’s light.
I’m holding on tight
to my modern day knight.
on a bike we take flight
the yellow line in sight
unfurling ahead of our tires.
we both saw the fires
burning fields like liars
devouring the grassy truth
that life consumes your youth
and leaves you long in tooth.
but tonight we don’t mind
the smoke that tries to blind
as we race ahead to find
escape from the daily grind
and if we’re so inclined
we’ll pull over and we’ll eat
at a diner on some street
tucked away somewhere discreet.
we’ll share desserts so sweet
while the waitress calls us cute
and we map the scenic route
as we ride in hot pursuit
of some fresh new way of seeing
the life we share agreeing
that riding the wind is freeing
and at least for the time being
we’ll spend the night sight-seeing.
maybe find each other there
in the smoky evening air
the wind tearing through our hair
as a springtime ride we share.

*the form is skeltonic verse, named after the poet John Skelton (1460-1529)

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 11 - Object

there’s a small brass key
bound round her neck
by a delicate and knotted
ribbon of scarlet thread

she fingers it against
her pale ivory skin
a lost and faraway look
in eyes like summer grass

as a stranger I watch her
peering at her as though
through a window on the
outside looking back in

and I ask hypothetically if
my stranger self held the key
what secret thoughts could I
unlock with a twist of my wrist

what memories would come
spilling pell-mell from the box
of treasures and baubles
and trinkets that is her mind

what does she keep hidden
in her most secret place
locked away safely there
where she goes to find solace

the mirror window reflects
distant eyes back at me
and those slender fingers
still fluttering at the key

in my separate, alter, observing self
I hide that I know what I do
that the truths inside her box
of treasures are mine as well

I watch and wonder at the smile
that tugs at the edge of her face
will she risk all to whim and chance
and give over that tiny antique key

not daring to breathe a moment
I hope beyond hope for some sign
some flicker inside her emerald eyes
that she’s ready to live for today

while I watch, entranced by the
dance at her throat pale fingers
on antique brass and scarlet ribbon
I breathe softly and whisper ‘let go…’

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 10 - Friday

Just in time,
for a quick road trip.
Let’s celebrate spring together.
Love is in the air, blooming on the side of the road.
It sounds in the hum of the tires against the pavement as the radio plays out loud.

*Fibonacci is a fairly new poetic form, based on, you guessed it, the Fibonacci sequence:

and so on and so forth...

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 9 - Memory

our first kiss was soft and warm
enhanced by a springtime wind
it felt like a gathering storm
our first kiss was soft and warm
as love began to form
I hoped it would never end
our first kiss was soft and warm
enhanced by a springtime wind

*triolet is the poetic form used here

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 8 - Routine

She boils water for morning tea.
setting out her favorite red cup.
She hums just a little off key,
wondering if the day will warm up.

Setting out her favorite red cup,
she drops the teabag in.
Wondering if the day will warm up,
she decides it’s time to begin.

She drops the teabag in.
Honey she stirs with a spoon.
She decides it’s time to begin.
She hopes for a poem by noon.

Honey she stirs with a spoon.
The blank page is staring now.
She hopes for a poem by noon.
The cat interrupts with a meow.

The blank page is staring now
She hums just a little off key
The cat interrupts with a meow.
She boils water for morning tea.

*This poetic form is 'pantoum'. Give it a try, it's like a brain-teaser for poets.

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 7 - Dirty / Clean

Dirty >>> Clean











Friday, April 10, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 6 - What's Missing

it hits me

out of the blue

sitting at my desk

and a memory

transports you

right back here

to me

I can hear

your voice

echoing in the hall

your laughter

your footsteps

on the hardwoods

I can see

the sparkle

in your eyes

your smile

the trail

of belongings

you always left

scattered around

I wouldn’t mind

tripping over

your shoes

or gathering

your books

for just a few

more days

having you

in the house

I wouldn’t complain

if you stayed

out too late

forgot to lock

the front door

if you misplaced

the little stuff

you borrowed

or forgot to put

away the milk

if it meant

I could enjoy

a few more days

before you went away

and left me here

missing the you

that is missing

from me

Poem A Day Challenge - Day 5 - Landmark

an odd-shaped rock

rests on the hardwood

hidden just behind

our bedroom door

it’s from that riverbed

where we explored

a few years back

I remember the trip

was a last minute thing

we packed our bags

and grabbed a map

hit the open road

our getaway weekend

we discovered again

how you and I feel

walking hand in hand

through springtime woods

riding side by side

singing with the radio

chasing that next

roadside rest stop

today that rock

worn smooth by river

serves only as

a doorstop

and occasionally

from time to time

it’s a reminder

a landmark

out of place

a monument

bearing witness

to that weekend

when we escaped

and re-discovered

You and I, together

I’m ready to go

to find that lonely

odd-shaped rock

a friend or two

are you?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge Day 4 - Animal


bright red cardinal perched

on a budding branch

your winter has melted away

your cousin the robin with his

bright red breast

announcing spring for days

through the open window

a mild breeze carries

your song to my eager ears

and I smile as I begin

the seasonal cleaning

while afternoon storm clouds clear

I won’t tell if

you don’t sir

the robin need not know

that you’re my favorite

winged friend

you can believe it’s so

Friday, April 3, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge Day 3 - The Problem With __________

The Problem With My Remote

too many buttons

when I grab the thing
point and shoot…

the PAUSE button
doesn’t stop the cat
on her trek
through the milk spilled
on the dining room table

the RECORD button
doesn’t capture the teenager
sipping orange juice
straight from the carton

the GUIDE button
doesn’t help us decide
which restaurant we want
to choose for dinner

the ON DEMAND button
doesn’t pop the popcorn
and make an icy soft drink
suddenly appear

and no matter how many times
I push the MUTE button
the spouse keeps chattering away

the problem with my
remote control
is it only works
on the television
that is, as long as it
isn’t lost in the cushions

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge Day 2 - Outsider

National Poetry Month

Poem A Day Challenge Day 2 - Outsider



I blow as loudly
and fiercely as I can
against the window
I try slipping in
through that crack
beneath the door

halfway down the
chimney bricks
the smoky belch
of a burning log
Forces me back up
and out into the night

time was once
a winter storm
could steal inside
between the cracks
there in the walls

could squeeze betwixt
The loose panes
rattling in their frames

nowadays in the age
of blown insulation
and energy efficiency
I'm left howling in frustration

an outsider
banished to the wildness
of a cold, black night

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Poem A Day Challenge Prompt 1 - Origins

April 2009 PAD Challenge

Prompt 1 - A poem about origins.


Let's Eat It!

the question, for me

isn’t which came first

so much as who ate first?

I’m curious about

that fried egg

staring back at me

from my breakfast plate

who is this person

that one day thought

let’s crack an egg

cook that gooey stuff?

it will be tasty

with butter and salt!

and what about

the culinary genius

who turned ruined milk

into curds and whey

butter milk and cheese?

it’s rotten milk,

sour and a bit chunky

but hey let’s give it a taste

it might be great!

Grandma always told us

you have to par boil

and drain poke salad

three times or it’s poison

Wikipeda says it’s true

I just wonder who

figured out that

thrice-boiled trick

and did they first

watch two others get sick

and risk tasting the re-boiled

stuff one more time?

I don’t even want to know

why people in Asia

bury cabbage or eggs

and let them rot

who decided rotten food

was a epicurean delicacy

an acquired taste?

and who would want

to acquire such a taste, anyway?

not to mention

calf fries or cow brains

gizzards or tongue

or boiled crawfish heads

I just wonder how

this crazy buffet got started

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Unless otherwise attributed, all content, text or image, on this site is © TaunaLen 2005-2009.
All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent.

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