Almanac Questionnaire.1

Day Sixteen

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo:

“And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I challenge you to fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers. Happy writing!”


I decided to write to this prompt until it is finished. So each day I will post the pieces I have finished. At the end, I’ll post the completed piece.

I chose to use “Customs” as the umbrella. The custom being “Sunday Worship.” I’m not sure what the title will be as of yet.

I love writing this way. I’ll see what comes of it in a few days! I’ve put the entire list at the bottom so you can see all the “questions” and even try for yourself.


Sunday worship, a custom

child with hat and white gloves, black patent shoes
kneeling, hands folded, head bowed in supplication

guitars, women nearer the altar, kiss of peace

a pause, a long time gone

new words for old prayers, re-imaging Christ

no longer defined by Sunday or its tired form


In reverence of Redwood architecture
joining air to earth to that which lies beneath
I stand in awe of your strength
pay homage to your constancy


To be continued…


Almanac Questionnaire
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Hometown memory:
Notable person:
Outside your window, you find:
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth:
Story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find:
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear:
Picture on your city’s postcard:

New Eyes

NaPoWriMo Day Fifteen

New Eyes

And maybe in our fragile self,
that place we sometimes forget,
we will look with new eyes.

And see.DAisy

May you reach deep within
and feel safe, there are arms
to wrap around you there.

May you breathe passionately
of this gentle spring,
feel newness once again.

May you turn your face
to sun and remember
you shine even more splendidly
than this, our brightest star.

It is easy to forget when we
are in pieces needing to
be mended.
Where gaping holes
echo as something precious
no longer resides there.
Or worry pricks of what might be.

Know this day you are loved
more deeply than you can

And that
will always Be.

One Hour, Thirteen Minutes

NaPoWriMo Day Fourteen


One Hour, Thirteen Minutes

One hour, thirteen minutes before this day is done,
a snow, deep and wet, spring’s unwelcome prediction.

My eyes, my back, call to rest under deep blue down
and yet, I am shackled to one hour, thirteen minutes spun

like weaver’s cloth around my ribs, a taut contradiction
to feathered snow, deep and wet, swelling within my limits.

It will not allow me to idle in down deep and blue, a brocade gown
to costume in as I betray the last one hour, thirteen minutes.




Author’s Note:

NaPoWriMo Day 14 Prompt:

“And last but not least, our (optional) prompt! Today’s prompt comes to us from TJ Kearney, who invites us to try a seven-line poem called a san san, which means “three three” in Chinese (It’s also a term of art in the game Go). The san san has some things in common with the tritina, including repetition and rhyme. In particular, the san san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.”


Phew! I didn’t think I’d make it. As I waited for my computer to roll and spin and finally open, I saw the clock. I wondered if I would make today’s deadline.

I wanted to tackle the prompt, but these patterned poems seem to stifle me. Tonight I wouldn’t be persuaded to throw in the towel.

This was fun. And I still have fifty-eight minutes left to post.





Day Thirteen


Under my hood I have a hat.
Under that hat swirls a universe of me.
Brains atop a toadstool, rooted and sylvan.

Under my belt I am cinched to saddle.
Under that saddle, my steed. Partners
Perched gloriously in our eccentricity.

Under the sea I sleep my rune.
Under that rune an airy grave
Awash in a life well lived, a life fully given.




Author’s Note:

NaPoWriMo: (Prompt from Day 12)

Finally, our prompt for the day (optional, as always). Have you ever flipped to the index of a book and found it super interesting? Well, I have (yes, I live an exciting life!)…Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing!



Our writing group met tonight and I brought the prompt. I copied out some parts of an index from an anthology of poetry in my classroom. We each chose one paper listing seven first lines. We each chose a number from one to seven. That would be our starting line. Then we circled one word in each of the remaining lines. We wrote from there.

Here are my first line and words from The Random House Book of Poetry for Children:

Uncle, whose inventive brains, 159
Under a toadstool, 206
Under my hood I have a hat, 128
Underneath my belt, 120
Until I saw the sea, 29
Up the airy mountain, 207
Upon this cake of ice is perched, 192


Oh…tomorrow is another day. 🙂

Journey On

Day Twelve

Journey On

Rooted, grounded in
One Spirit medicine
we devise that thing called You.

Revelations of Divine love
tear down all that has been,
becomes a brain maker
in the Holy Wild,
the secret place
where we all
as a circle of friends
travel a well-worn path
into the unknown,
arm in arm.

Confidently and
we journey on.




Author’s Note:

Prompt from NaPoWriMo: A few days past.

“And now for our (optional) prompt! I know yesterday’s was a hard one for many of you, although I also was also very touched by the vulnerability and bravery displayed in your poems! But today’s prompt should be a little bit less emotionally involving — a nice chaser for yesterday. Today’s prompt comes to us from Lillian Hallberg. She challenges us to write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, and writing down titles in order (or rearranging the titles) to create a poem. Some fun images of book spine poems can be found here. If you want to take things a step further, Lillian suggests gathering a list of titles from your shelves (every third or fifth book, perhaps, if you have a lot) and using the titles, as close to the originals as possible, to create a poem that is seeded throughout with your own lines, interjections, and thoughts. Happy writing!”

I always like this challenge. It sometimes works swimmingly. Others, it just flops.

This one flowed together nicely. I used my Kindle and chose every fifth book under “Most Recently Read.” If it fell on a book of poetry that was simply an author’s name, I skipped it.

You can see what I’ve been reading on my Kindle, minus paper books and poetry of which are many.


Grounded by Diana Butler Bass
One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Villodo
That Thing Called You by Ernest Holmes
Revelations of Divine Love by Julian of Norwich
Brain Maker by David Perlmutter
The Holy Wild by Mark Buchanan
The Secret Place by Tana French
A Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy


Day Ten



Her voice trickles through heavy roar
of traffic, not like marigolds who hold their

petal memories above forgotten graves behind
concrete walls where ancestors drift in trembling

light that makes its way through cloud grey skies.
And lovers dance over bones of those remaining

under sidewalk gardens and marble columns,
turning up the volume of white space between

beats as figures trace two, now one in embrace,
and bow and turn between the jugglers’ trance.

And our ancestors smile.




Author’s Note:

This weekend I was delighted!

Three of us trotted into Capitol Hill to write poetry. Through the sponsorship of The Lighthouse Writers Workshop and Write Denver, we joined about twenty others who walked the town to write poetry. Check out Denver Poetry Map where you can read the city.

Bullhorn in hand, our leader took us to the Denver Botanic Gardens, Cheeseman Park, houses in the Cheeseman area, and a coffee house. We stopped, listened to a local poet’s poem through the bullhorn and wrote for fives minutes, then we moved on.

It rained. First big rain of the season.

And then there was Ice Cream Riot. What better way to end the day with “milk stout” scoop?  Yes. Stout. In vanilla ice cream. Oh!

Cheeseman Park and the Denver Botanic Gardens are built on top of a graveyard. Attempts were made to remove all who rested there, but as ground is turned for new projects, more ancestors are found.

One can remove bones, but spirit will be where spirit will be. We mustn’t forget.