30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 17

Is it me or this year’s challenge flying by?! What the hay??

Day 17: De-personification – Often in poems, authors will give animate qualities to inanimate objects to add color to an image or scene. See if you can write a poem about something animate (like a person, an animal, or an insect) and describe him/her/it using inanimate objects.

Getty Images photo

Getty Images photo

He stands totem-like
unflinching and unchanging 
to the world around him,
wooden

wooden in nature,
wooden in beliefs,
wooden. 

Unlike the branches he was formed from,
he does not bend, 
but he does not break, either. 

Stoically he smugly stands,
upright,
unfaltering,
un-adapting,
unknowing
that the joke 
is engrained within him. 

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Writers’ Wisdom

NewYorker.com photo

NewYorker.com photo

“In my view a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope,
even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise,
you keep writing anyway.”

Junot Díaz

NMM

Posted in On writing, Writers' Wisdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 16

Day 16: Too Hard – What kind of poem is too hard to write? A love poem? A sestina? A poem about a subject you’ve been avoiding? Write a hard poem. Don’t worry about perfection or success, just give it a go.

You were there in the hospital
the moment I took my first breath. 

You changed me, sometimes,
softly singing “Johnny B. Goode.”

You sat me down on a stone bench in the yard
and told me about my first family death. 

You took us to the beach year after year,
and we summered the way a summer should. 

By high school things changed,
and I felt I didn’t know you. 

I tried, maybe too hard,
to understand what was going on.

But by then, 
the sever was starting to cut through.

And the time of me knowing
the true you began to dawn. 

For ten years and more 
we didn’t speak,

until out of the blue
you sent an e-mail.

And then appeared at a funeral,
where my defenses were weak. 

We met for lunch,
but the conversation became stale.

Like a tiger
you changed not your stripes,

always putting others — and yourself –
before your own.

My guilt sometimes mounts
in so many different types

yet easily 
I turn myself to stone. 

I hardly know you now,
and you don’t know me

or how strong I’ve become
because I’m my mother’s daughter. 

So much you missed,
so much you won’t ever see

But to me,
it’s all just a bridge over water. 

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 15

Day 15: Peeve Therapy – Think of an annoyance you harbor against someone in your life. Maybe it’s a passerby, a co-worker–maybe it’s a loved one. Write a poem where you confront a petty grudge head on, yet poetically.

Shutterstock photo

Shutterstock photo

Like you, I’m 
charmed
awed
enraptured 
by the sights, the sounds, the smells –
lights flashing, buildings taller than you’ve ever seen, history mixed with modern day;
horns blaring, trains thundering under and above, a din unlike any other;
wafting food trucks, pungent spring blooms, a bouquet of hot garbage. 

Like you I stare, 
enveloped in this city of wonder,
with fresh eyes every time I venture about 
its streets paved with hopes, dreams and yesterdays 
but I don’t do it standing in the middle of the goddamn sidewalk,
oblivious to everyone around me who might be trying to
maintain a fitness stat,
make it to a job interview,
catch the next bus home to Wichita to hear a dying breath. 

Like you, I get it.
I know it’s a whole new world, 
“Ohmigodthere’ssomuchtosee!”
in this city of New York,
but move to the side
or brace yourself for the impact
of my shoulder,
his shoulder,
her shoulder.

Move. 
Or be moved.
Because this is the city that never sleeps,
the city that never stops. 

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, New York City, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 14

Day 14: Poetry Graffiti – Write a poem and find a way to display it publicly. Post-it notes, masking tape, sidewalk chalk, or paper and tape are all ways to do this without getting in much trouble. Post a photo or tell us about it.

Bench, Edgecombe Avenue & 151st Street, Harlem

Bench, Edgecombe Avenue & 151st Street, Harlem

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 13

Day 13: Getting to Know You – Read three poems by a poet you’re not familiar with. Choose one line from each poem and weave them into a new poem. Be sure to indicate and give credit for the borrowed lines.

I read Robert Burns’ “A Bottle and Friend,” “A Fond Kiss” and “A Red, Red Rose”

Believe me, happiness is shy 
A fond kiss, and then we sever 
And I will luve thee still, my dear

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

30-Day Poetry Challenge: Day 12

Day 12: Unwritten – Create and share a poem without using written words. Totally stumped? Sing a song, record yourself speaking your poem, make a series of visual images, use sign language, etc.

Sure not a fan of this one because I can’t draw like I used to, don’t know sign language and loathe the sound of my voice. I swear on Odin’s raven that I used the voice memo function on my phone to say it, but refuse to upload it here because of whole voice-hating thing. I put the poem below, so hopefully y’all can just turn a blind eye to the rule bending.

Late night conversations
laughing until the tears flow
sleeping until noon –
this is a weekend. 

NMM

Posted in 30-Day Poetry Challenge, 365-Day Project, Creative Pursuits, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment