31 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 31 - We'll Dance Together

In October of 2012, I first participated in OctPoWriMo. I wrote a few poems that year about how sick my mom was with cancer and how scared I was. In November of 2012, cancer took my mom away from me. I miss her. But I know that some day we will be together again, and nothing will ever part us. Today's prompt is eternity, and we are encouraged to choose a form we tried for the first time this year and really liked, so I wrote a decuain about my mom.

We'll Dance Together

My mother loved Jesus with all her heart;
She taught me how to love by loving me
And, though I wish we never had to part,
I know someday I once again will see
Her in that land where she is fully free.
We’ll dance together on the golden streets,
Singing praise for all eternity.
Although it seemed cancer was a defeat,
To open Heaven’s door she had the key
And now, forever joy and jubilee.

30 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 30 - Where We Were

Tomorrow is the last day of OctPoWriMo, and I can hardly believe another one is almost over. Today's prompt is simplicity, and I chose to write a kyrielle about something that has been on my heart and soul a lot lately, especially in light of the current US election and the people who call themselves Christians who think Jesus wants them to hate members of the LGBTQ+ community and deny asylum to refugees. My Jesus is not that Jesus. As a church, we need to go back to the start, to the basic simplicity of "love one another."

Where We Were

Jesus said, “Love one another”;
Everyone sisters and brothers.
We’ve strayed so far, this now my prayer:
Let’s return to where we were.

We’ve complicated everything,
Drifted far from our Wellspring,
Contaminated what was pure.
Let’s return to where we were.

Our fundamental, simple base
Is merely love and joy and faith.
In light of this, now hear me roar,
“Let’s return to where we were.”

Widows, orphans, refugees
Are everyone the “least of these.”
Their troubles should compassion stir.
Let’s return to where we were.

Our Father loves us all the same
No matter if we change our names,
Or who we love, or who we are.
Let’s return to where we were.

29 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 29 - Upside Down

Just recently, I watched the Netflix original series Stranger Things where they travel to a sort of alternate reality they call "the upside down." So, when today's prompt was 'upside down', I had to reference the show. I loved the ghazal form I did a few days ago, so here is my second attempt at this fascinating form.

Upside Down

They disappeared into the dark upside down;
A monster lurked deep in the murk—upside down.

Some days it feels my life is great, I have it all together,
But then, something subverts my heart upside down.

Eleven times I took a swing and missed;
It only takes one single hit to turn the work upside down.

When I met you my life was good—I didn’t know
I was kindling you would spark—upside down.

Change can be for good or ill—turn yourself about,
Flood above the watermark and upside down.

28 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 28 - The Taste of You

Today's prompt just didn't inspire me at all, so I decided to follow from yesterday's "scent" and write a poem about taste. I chose to write a HexSonnetta today. This poem is dedicated to my husband, Mark.

The Taste of You

Coffee when I wake,
Salted avocado,
Chocolate cookie dough,
Frosted carrot cake,
A thick and juicy steak,
And savoury risotto.

And yet, above all this,
Nothing can compare
To the flavour rare
Found within your kiss.
Nothing is amiss
In this embrace we share.

Every day anew,
I love the taste of you.

27 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 27 - Cinnamon and Spice

Today's prompt is favourite scent, and the suggested form is the ghazal. I thought about it for awhile, and I guess my favourite scent is cinnamon. I like it in everything, even coffee and tea. I remember my mom making cinnamon buns when I was a kid, rolling out the dough on the dining table and spreading butter thickly over it then sprinkling it with cinnamon and brown sugar. The whole house smelled amazing while she baked them.

Cinnamon and Spice

Years ago, my mother baked with cinnamon and spice:
Sticky buns and pies and cakes with cinnamon and spice.

I love to sip a steaming mug when Autumn’s chill begins:
Tea or apple cider’s great with cinnamon and spice.

Coloured leaves and pumpkins fill my house this Fall;
I just love to decorate with cinnamon and spice.

Scents can trigger memories more than anything,
And when I think of holidays, it’s cinnamon and spice.

If I had a choice between several different scents,
Most days the one that I would take is cinnamon and spice.

26 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 26 - I Am Done For

Today's prompt is abandonment. When I started writing, it just kind of came out a Petrarchan sonnet for some reason. Since I have never been abandoned, I used the theme in a tongue in cheek way. This sonnet is dedicated to my husband, Mark. The quote in line two is Dido, and the one in line 5 is from Dante.

I Am Done For

I swear that I will never leave, my dear;
There will be no white flag above my door;
I will be in love forevermore;
I vow that I will never disappear.
“All hope abandon ye who enter here.”
Each time I look at you, I am done for;
All other men (and women) I ignore.
I love you—just in case that isn’t clear.
I plan to sleep beside you when we’re old
And, probably, I’ll steal the covers still.
You know that you don’t really feel the cold
And I already often do get chilled.
Wrap me in your arms, tightly ahold;
Of you I never will get all my fill.

25 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 25 - Red

Today's prompt is red, and the suggested form is the Harrisham. I didn't feel like doing much with it today, so I just listed all the things I could think of that are red, and fit it into the form.


Roses and blood and kisses and fire
Saying “I love you” for the first time
Great anger or passion and scorching desire
The partner to green at Christmastime

24 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 24 - Magic is Real

Today's prompt is fantastical, and the suggested form is the Lento. I love fantasy and magic and all the trappings, and I thought about writing a short verse tale of elves and wizards, but my muse wasn't cooperating today. Instead, I wrote about the magic in all of us.

Magic is Real

Imagine that magic is real;
Within each of us it is found:
Beginning with marvelous joy
Wherein love can always abound.

Do you see the fantastic way
You have the power for good?
Few understand their own strength;
True now you know that you could.

Photo by Morgan Dragonwillow

23 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 23 - Be Free

Today's prompt isn't up yet, but back in September, they gave us all of them, and it was "undoubtedly." I chose to write a decuain today.

Be Free

He took a step into the raging sea
Where wind and waves were crashing all around.
His best Friend had said, “Come and follow Me.”
He didn’t think ‘fore he was climbing down.
Then fear appeared and told him he would drown,
And Jesus caught him up and said, “Why doubt?”
They walked upon the sea as on dry ground.
Fear will always say, “Do not come out,”
But He will hold your hand and help you see
That if you follow Him, you will be free.

22 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 22 - A Woman Scorned

Today's prompt is dangerous, and the suggested form is the trolaan. While thinking about this prompt, I remembered the famous (mis)quote, "hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."

A Woman Scorned

"Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." - William Congreve

There is no danger
Like the ire
Of seething anger:
Passionate fire.

How did it end
Up like this?
First intended
Just a kiss.

Once together
They assumed
They’d be forever;
Now he’s doomed.

No more pity.
No more joy.
Never guilty.
Never coy.

21 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 21 - In My Nature

Today's prompt is nature, and the suggested form is the terzanelle. As I often do, I went a bit off the rails; instead of talking about trees and water and whatnot, I talked about my nature. This led me into a topic that has been on my mind and heart a lot lately, and I kinda got a bit angry. 

Disclaimer: I am a Christian, but I feel like I have to call out some of my fellow Christians for the hateful things they sometimes say and do.

In My Nature

It’s not in my nature to hate anyone.
Love is love and love will win.
Why can’t we all just live in the sun?
Condemned to hell for mortal sin:
Can’t you see how you push them away?
Huddled together, looking within,
In your ivory towers you watch and pray,
Hiding away from the world outside,
Avoiding the cooties you see on the “gays.”
Don’t you remember for whom Jesus died?
Not only you and your churchgoing friends;
God loves us all; you don’t get to decide.
You probably think that I’m wrong to defend
Those who are “sinners” in your eyes.
Don’t fool yourself: I know you pretend
That you’re better than everyone you despise.
Brothers and sisters, I know those are lies.
“Love the sinner,” and yet you shun.
I’m so tired of hatred; I am so done.

20 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 20 - Stark and Severe

The prompt today is white, and the suggested form is the tetractys. When we in the West think of white, we usually think of purity and innocence, brides and christening gowns. But white is also snow and ice and emptiness. The empty page can be possibilities or writers' block. White can be a negative colour too.

Stark and Severe

And clear
Deathly pale
Stark and severe
White is not always only positive

19 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 19 - Ode to a Tree

The prompt today is tree, and the suggested poetry type is ode, which isn't a form at all, but a generic catch-all term for a poem that is written in praise of something or someone. While thinking about what to write, the song Snowbird by Anne Murray started running through my head, so I decided to use its rhyme and rhythm for my poem today.

Ode to a Tree

Beneath your leafy branches full and broad,
I stand with face uplifted for my heart is truly awed
By everything you do and all you are
For I am certain that you truly are a superstar.

When I was young, I climbed among your boughs
And, snuggled in your grasp, I felt safe enough to drowse.
Today I wish that I could once again
Ascend among your branches to a place where I remain.

Spread your branches sweeping over me,
And let me hide for just a while from harsh reality.
The days are speeding ever swiftly by,
And if I could, I’d love to stay and watch the world rush by.

18 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 18 - Dancing on the Clouds

Free verse is simultaneously the easiest and most difficult form. With no set rhyme or metre, the poet can go anywhere, write anything. And there is the difficulty. I find the strictures of a form help to sharpen my focus, while free verse leaves me flailing. I used to write a lot of free verse, but it's been a while.

Today's prompt is senseless, and the suggested form is free verse, so I gave it a try. I thought about writing of things that make no sense, but then I decided to just do a nonsense poem. I've written a couple of these before, but people always find meaning in them that I never meant to include, so we'll see. Here's a poem that makes no sense at all.

Dancing on the Clouds

Give me your hand
We will walk together
Wading through the deep
Swimming in the sky
Loving one another
‘Til a’ the seas gang dry
And melting rocks
And melting clocks
Will mark our time together

17 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 17 - Savoury

Today's prompt is savoury, and the suggested form is the sonnet. This is my favourite poetry form, and I love writing them. However, most of my sonnets are serious, while today I decided to be a bit silly. It's still true, though. I do like savoury better than sweet.


I’m not a fan of super sweet confections,
I don’t really care ‘bout cake and pie,
I don’t hold for sugar much affection,
It takes so little sweets to satisfy,
But if you give me french fries, cheese, and meat,
Potato chips and popcorn: salty things,
I have a tendency to overeat,
Especially with spice to give a zing.
I’d rather eat my dinner than dessert;
Savoury will always be my pick.
And now you know the map into my heart:
Some fat, some spice, and maybe a salt lick.
Bacon is my favourite of all—
Along with spaghetti and meatballs.

Steak sandwich: yum

16 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 16 - Always Moving Forward

All the shows I've been watching lately seem to have the same theme. On Arrow, Oliver remembered his friend telling him about how the shark will die if it ever stops swimming. On The Flash, Barry learned that going backward will ruin his life. On Supergirl, Kara discovered where she wants to go and how to move forward. On Luke Cage, Pop gave Luke the advice: always forward. I think someone is trying to tell me something.

Today's prompt is in-depth, and the suggested form is the nonet. I was thinking about always moving forward, and about how we cannot see what is under the surface of deep waters, and somehow, it became a double nonet, or a reflection, or an iceberg lurking in the depths.

Always Moving Forward

We must never stop and sit inert
Should continue moving forward
Like a stream flowing onward
On toward the ocean
Never ending life
Hope forever
Always on
The surface
Always moving
Even in winter
When ice freezes over
The river will never stop
Even though we cannot see it
Always moving—it will never stop

15 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 15 - Autumn Begins

Today's prompt is blue, and the suggested form is Musette. I have never written one before, so this was a lot of fun. I decided to talk about this time of year, since it is my favourite season, and blue does make me think of falling temperatures. Even though orange, red, and brown are more the colours I think of for Fall.

I took this picture a week or so ago in my front yard

Autumn Begins

A chill
Over my skin—
I thrill.

It’s Fall;
Autumn begins:

I feel
Like I will win.

14 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 14 - Screaming at a Wall

Today's prompt is shameful, and the suggested form is the Villanelle. I love this form and the prompt really resonated with me today. Lately, I have been feeling a lot of frustration over the shameful behaviour of someone whom some of my friends still blindly support. I have gotten into a lot of arguments on Facebook over the last few weeks.

Screaming at a Wall

Sometimes it feels like might makes right
And I am screaming at a wall—
Still I rage against the coming night.

Their arguments all seem so trite,
Caught up in their leader’s thrall:
Sometimes it feels like might makes right.

I kick, I shout, I punch, I bite;
This has devolved into a brawl.
Still I rage against the coming night

He’s not able to be contrite:
A swaggering neanderthal.
Sometimes it feels like might makes right.

I no longer am polite
To their unmitigated gall.
Still I rage against the coming night

I will not give up the fight;
Pride will surely make him fall.
Sometimes it feels like might makes right;
Still I rage against the coming night.

13 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 13 - Go

Today's prompt is flow, and I took it in a little different direction. Instead of thinking about less struggle and more flow, and I kinda went completely the other way. Ooops.


Go with the flow
Don’t rock the status quo
You’ll never shine if you don’t glow
So go
Take the throw
You know
You will grow
If you don’t tiptoe
So be a tornado
Be a torpedo
Just go

12 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 12 - Sing of Care

Today's prompt is strong. I decided to challenge myself today. I really love the Blitz poem form, but I've written so many of them they're kind of getting easy. So I wrote a rhyming Blitz poem today. It was a lot of fun, and I think the lines flow even more quickly and smoothly than in a non-rhyming Blitz.

Sing of Care

Hear me roar
Hear me sing
Sing of war
Sing of flying
Flying far
Flying high
High until I touch a star
High and loud my battle cry
Cry at night upon my bed
Cry until my eyes are red
Red the blood of angry men
Red a world about to dawn
Dawn the sun will rise again
Dawn the night is gone
Gone is dark and cold
Gone are dreams and goals
Goals have changed
Goals now exchanged
Exchanged for better things
Exchanged and gained
Gained now are my wings
Gained where once was chained
Chained and weighted down
Chained no longer now
Now I wear a crown
Now I do not bow
Bow only to pray
Bow not to men
Men will all betray
Men and also women
Women are the same
Women share the blame
Blame gets tossed around
Blame will help no one
One way we can be found
One way we can outrun
Outrun our weakened flesh
Outrun and find our home
Home where we’re refreshed
Home no more to roam
Roaming is a chore
Roam the wilds no more
More time to rest
More love to share
Share your best
Share and care
Caring is strong
Care will be your song

11 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 11 - Feisty Quiet

Today's prompt is lively and the suggested form is acrostic. I've always loved writing acrostics. I looked at the list of words given on the prompt page—spirited, gutsy, determined, feisty, zealous—and most of my acquaintances would say that none of them describe me at all. I am famous for being very quiet and introverted. My closest friends and family would know that I can be all of the above, however, if the right circumstances are met.

Feisty Quiet

Family know I can be spirited;
Everyone else thinks I’m always composed.
Inside my soul,
Searing control
Takes all of
Your anger transposed.

Quickly I go
Under the deeps,
Into my head,
Ever to keep
To myself.

10 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 10 - I Thank My God for Life and Breath

Today's prompt is unfolded, and the suggested form is the Wrapped Refrain. Since today is Thanksgiving Monday in Canada, I chose to write about that instead of the prompt. I have so much to be thankful for, and one day a year is hardly sufficient to remind me. Sometimes I simply have to stop and breathe because I am so thankful that I have breath. Without life, I could not be thankful for anything else.

I Thank My God for Life and Breath

I thank my God He gave me life.
I have so much, my world is rife
With blessings I cannot contain.
I know my life He will sustain.
To see His hand of mercy often leaves me awed;
I bow my head and close my eyes: I thank my God.

For life and breath and everything,
He’s given me reason to sing.
In all my days I will rejoice
For I will always have a choice.
I will be thankful ‘til the moment of my death
For love and joy, for family, for life and breath.

09 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 9 - Don't Want to Fight

I've already written a Cascade this month, but I love the form. I decided to make it a bit more challenging today, so I added rhyme. The prompt 'spiral' is cool, and I would have done it if not for something weighing on my mind. We hosted Thanksgiving dinner yesterday, and a family member made a homophobic comment that really bothered me. I'm not going to get into the details, but I had to write about it.

Don't Want to Fight

Her words are ignorant and rude
I bite my tongue and look away
I don’t want to fight today

She would think I’d gone astray
If I told her with “attitude”
Her words are ignorant and rude

And so, I focus on my food
No matter what I want to say
I bite my tongue and look away

Perhaps I’m lacking fortitude
My heart betrayed, full of dismay
But I don’t want to fight today

08 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 8 - Be Brave

Today's prompt is porous. On the prompt page it says we don't have to use the word in our poem, but "it's about where the word takes you." Then they give the dictionary definition, which includes "permeable to outside influences." This got me thinking about being influenced by others, standing strong in who I am, being brave. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately. In my real life, there are only two people who really and truly know me: my husband and my sister. They know everything about me, while my other friends and family know different levels of who I am, but not the whole picture. I don't know if this will ever change, or if it should change. But sometimes I kind of wish I could be brave and just show the world who I really am.

I used the suggested form today: the Rispetto. It was a lot of fun to write and what I wanted to say fit perfectly into the rhyme and metre.

Be Brave

“Be yourself! Be real! Be true!
Stand up tall! Be brave! Be strong!
Let me see the honest you
Singing, shouting out your song.”

I smile and nod, and yet, I hide
I don’t (yet?) have enough pride.
I’m afraid to let you see
Everything inside of me.

07 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 7 - See the Voice

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Psalm 34:8

Today's prompt is taste and the suggested form is the Rondel. The above verse has always been one of my favourites and it was the first thing that came to mind. I have always loved the idea of tasting to see something. I am not synesthetic, but as a poet, I like to imagine how a colour might sound or a sunset might taste. And the idea of tasting God is a fascinating one. I would almost call it irreverent if it wasn't right there in the Bible.

See the Voice

Oh, taste and see the voice you feel
Singing softly in your soul
Sweetly, gently, He cajoles
All you have to do is kneel

Bring your hurts to Him to heal
He will mend and make you whole
Oh, taste and see the voice you feel
Singing softly in your soul

Hear the singing, ringing peal
Read the words upon the scroll
Surrender to His kind control
Sit back and let Him take the wheel
Oh, taste and see the voice you feel

06 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 6 - Taste Your Lips

Today's prompt is tantalizing and the suggested form is Loop poetry. I can't remember if I've tried this form before, but I like it. It's fun.

I have been married 7 years last month, and I still think of my husband first when I see prompts like this. I crave his touch, and I believe that I always will.

Aren't we cute?

Taste Your Lips

Let me taste your lips
Lips that smile so sweet
Sweet and soft and warm
Warm me with your heat

Hands and fingers tangle
Tangle me with you
You and I together
Together rendezvous

I am yours forever
Forever we are one
One flesh, one heart, one love
Love me—I’m undone

05 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 5 - Sharp

Today's prompt is sharp. Also today, we had our first snowfall here (it didn't stick around much, but it's wet and chilly and windy). The chill in the air made me think of sharp, biting wind. However, sharp is also an antonym for dull or flat, which are not good things. I don't want my life to be dull and/or flat. Sharps are the highs in the peaks and valleys of life and, while they aren't always good, they are necessary to keep life interesting.

My front steps today

The bite of October’s first snow
The feeling when you have to go
A half-step above
The loss of first love
A cry in a dark, quiet night
A sudden, surprising fright
Something that smarts
A lemon is tart
A man in a suit and top hat
Nothing at all dull or flat

04 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 4 - Monsters and Magic

Today's prompt is purple, and the suggested form is the Cascade. I thought about it for hours before my sister suggested (mostly joking) that I write about Hawkeye (Clint Barton) because, in the comics at least, he wears purple. I decided to write about Clint and Natasha (Black Widow) because their role as the humans among gods and superheroes fascinates me. If you've watched the Avengers movie, this poem will probably make more sense than if you haven't, though you might be able to follow along anyway. I'm not sure.

Monsters and Magic

I’ve got red in my ledger.
Monsters and magic—
Nothing we were ever trained for.

Nat goes to the villain,
Conjures some tears:
“I’ve got red in my ledger.”

Clint wakes from the nightmare again and again
Where he served the
Monsters and magic.

We stand shoulder to shoulder with gods and heroes—
Only our wits and skills to face
Nothing we were ever trained for.

03 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 3 - Star Shine

Today's prompt is sparkle. I decided to try a form I haven't tried before: the Essence. It's a very short form of only 12 syllables in 2 lines, so I doubled it to make 4 lines. The short, quick lines, and the internal rhyme in this form make me think of sparkling bubbles in champagne or ginger ale. I think it's a very appropriate form for the prompt.

Star Shine

She sings, stars shine o’erhead,
And wings are ever spread.

She smiles, and all is right.
The trials end. There is light.

02 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 2 - Tinnitus

Today's prompt is The Void, and the suggested form is the Kyrielle. I decided to write about silence, and how losing much of my hearing has affected me.


When I was twelve, my eardrum burst.
It healed, yet always, since that day,
My world is muffled, and the worst:
The ringing never fades away.

My hearing comes and goes, and I
Sometimes wish it just would stay.
“Good” days hurt, all amplified;
The ringing never fades away.

If all around is calm and still,
It grows and grows—I can’t downplay
How high-pitched, and e’ermore shrill,
The ringing never fades away.

01 October 2016

OctPoWriMo 1 - What is Time?

Today is the first day of OctPoWriMo 2016. The prompt today is "time." A couple of days ago, I found this article about the physics of time, and thought it was a fascinating look at how science views time. What does "now" really mean? It's an ephemeral concept that is constantly changing. While I write this, "now" is a different time than the "now" when you read this, yet they are both "now."

I decided to use the form Minute Poem today, since it's crafted to be a reflection of the measurement of time, so I figured it's appropriate. With 60 syllables, it's meant to take about a minute of time to read. Though, of course, I'm a super fast reader, so it takes me around 30 seconds to read it. And it took a lot more than a minute to write.

What is Time?

To say you live within the now—
Well, really, how?
When, oh, so fast
It is the past.

What is time? Can we explain?
Can human brains
E’er apprehend
And comprehend?

Always moving, never still;
I swear I will
Take time for rest
To ease the stress.