Monday Morning Writing Prompt

Sugawara no Michizane is revered as the god of...

Image via Wikipedia

Many of us have accepted challenges (presented in response to National Poetry Month) to write a poem a day during the month of April. Instead of compounding your (dare I say) confusion I thought it would be fun to combine a bit of poetry and flash fiction by suggesting a HAIBUN. Here’s Wikipedia’s explanation:

Haibun (Japanese: 俳文 haikai writings) is a literary composition that combines prose and haiku. The range of haibun is broad and includes, but is not limited to, the following forms of prose: autobiography, biography, diary, essay, historiography, prose poem, short story and travel literature.

For this week’s prompt, try this form, using whichever challenge you have chosen for your daily poem.

If you haven’t joined the fray, you can find poetry prompts on Big Tent Poetry, NaPoWriMo, or Poetic Asides. Links to these sites are in my blogroll. I will post mine soon.

Pre-Op Holding

Victor Dorantes in a hospital gown

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NaPoWriMo Day 1

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry:  BTP offers 7 weekly prompts for the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month. This poem is written to the prompt of undressing in a place other than a bedroom or bathroom.

Pre-Op Holding
A Rondeau

Have others died naked in this place?
I strip my clothing in disgrace
as cold consumes my body head-to-toe.
What will come next? They haven’t let me know.
I wait, imprisoned in a fear I cannot face.

No loving arms to hold me, no embrace
to sooth my shattered nerves, to dread, erase.
Have others died naked in this place?

Penetrating chill invades my inner space.
Ah, here’s the doc who’ll force me to erase
the thoughts that make me, me. Panic grows.
A needle prick and now the world slows.
Have others died naked in this place?

This is my first attempt at writing a Rondeau–a French poetic form that focuses on a rhyming scheme and a refrain. The rondeau is comprised of three stanzas:


a/a/b/refrain (the first word or phrase of the poem becomes the refrain)


The title “Pre-Op Holding” refers to a location where patients are prepared for surgery. For those of you lucky enough never to have experienced an operation, this is where they take away your clothes, garb you in an attractive hospital gown, make sure everything is in order for your procedure, start IV’s. The surgeon and anesthesiologist stop by and go over everything with you, and you may receive the first doses of meds that help you to drift into la-la land. Unlike in my poem, in this country they do explain everything to you, your loved one is allowed to wait with and you are accorded privacy.

We Are–Big Tent Poetry


Image via Wikipedia

We Are

I am the towering elm
that stretches up to touch the sky,
embracing the Divine.
I send my roots into Earth Mother’s
soul for nourishment.

You see the genus Ulmus.
My doubly serrated leaves
present asymmetric at the base
and at the apex, acuminate.
A true hermaphrodite,
I’m pollinated by the wind.

It is a lowly frog you hear.
I sing my song of praise
in good times and in bad.
To some I am a sign of
cleansing for the spirit.
I flourish in the Mother’s waters.

You see amphibian,
the order Anura.
Four thousand (more) the species.
You study my morphology, ecology.
The ease with which Earth’s toxins
permeate my skin,
pass into my bloodstream,
worries you. Me too.

I am a simple daisy, opening
to the sun and spreading joy.
The children use my petals
to discern true love.
And happy smiles welcome me
as I adorn your gardens with my colors,
your homes with my grace.

You see the Kingdom Plantae,
look beyond my beauty
to my usefulness
as cooking oil, seeds and tea.
I travel everywhere, except Antarctica.
You know my energy is stored as inulin
and that my seeds
have little endosperm or none.

We are as one, the two of us—
science and creation.
Together we must tell of Mystery,
discover Truth and save
our Mother Earth.

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry:  This week’s theme is science.

About the Dead Man and His Funeral


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About the Dead Man and His Funeral

The dead man watches the parade
unfold: faces of former students, still
boyish in his memory, smiles masking
questions of innocence defiled.
A wake is not a place, he muses,
for such considerations, such that
defy propriety suited to the occasion.

More About the Dead Man and His Funeral

He isn’t sure how it began, the day
he fell from grace, dragging them along.
Nothing heralded that it would be
anything but typical–lectures,
papers, preparations and mentor-
ing. Ah! that was it, he gasps, behind
closed doors. A hand upon a thigh
and then the tangle of emotion. ‘Twas
all it took. He bids farewell and plummets
into the flames of hell.

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry: The prompt for today was a Wordle, which prompted a poem darker than that which I usually write. Child molestation is a sad reality of life. The form is Dead Man Poetry, the Brain Child of Marvin Bell. I was able to use all the words, for a change.

Submitted as well to One Shot Wednesday:


Life Plus 5–Big Tent Poetry

A prison Cell.

Image via Wikipedia

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry:

I wrote this a few years back in response to an actual article.

Reno Gazette Journal June 24, 2006
“79-year old found guilty
of killing former boyfriend.”

ATLANTA-A 79-year-old woman
accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend
because their romance had ended was
convicted of murder Friday.
Lena Driskell was sentenced
to life in prison plus five years. She
was immediately taken into custody, and
defense attorneys said she would not
be eligible for parole for 30 years.
Driskell shot 85-year-old Herman
Winslow in June 2005 at the assisted
living home where they both resided.
After she was arrested, police said she
was angry that their romance had ended
and he was seeing another woman.

Life, Plus 5

Guess that showed the sonofabitch
85-year-old womanizer you were
pissed, were serious about monogamy.

Showed the rest of us love isn’t
reserved for sleek bodies, old
age isn’t sexless or without passion
(and should be reinvented now that
I’m sixty-something).

While you’re in prison, (which isn’t
that different from an Assisted Living
Facility or a 79-year-old body),

keep in mind you don’t need to be
defined by someone. You are enough for
life plus five years.

Perfect Family–Big Tent Poetry

Submitted   to Big Tent Poetry:         

Perfect Family

A Perfect Family lived next door—perfect mother and father—three perfect children—two boys and a girl.

They went to church every Sunday as we slept in—Bible Study on Thursday evenings while we drank beer and watched football.

They didn’t yell or curse like we did—like the couple on the other side of us—their lawn was perfectly manicured.

The oldest son went off to college and was an honor student—my son went to work after high school at an auto repair shop.

The middle daughter was the star of the soccer team—she played the violin and practiced for hours in the evening and on Saturday.

The mother didn’t work because she cared for the toddler—and began home schooling when he was five years old.

On summer evenings the father would come home from work and change into his Ralph Lauren polo shirt and barbecue steaks or ribs.

 The aroma invaded the neighborhood as the rest of us sat on our porches eating hot dogs with potato salad and baked beans.

One such evening my son was smoking a Marlboro and drinking a Bud—my daughter was pregnant and I wasn’t sure where my husband had gone.

Fireflies danced in the dusk before the shots rang out – five of them.

My dogs skittered into the house through the dog door as I grabbed the phone to call 911.

They called it a murder-suicide—the weight of perfection—too heavy to bear I guess. Everybody said so.

How to Nab a Husband Who Cooks–Big Tent Poetry

Lamb chops with mash

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Submitted to Big Tent Poetry–  where this week’s prompt is to write a how-to poem and is focused around food. Since I did manage to marry a man who does 99% of the cooking, I thought of this. On our second date, David prepared an incredible rack of lamb and was very happy when, instead of being dainty, I grabbed the bone and cleaned it. Last night for our 20th anniversary, he cooked a rack of lamb!

How to Nab a Husband Who Cooks

There’s just a few pointers I’d like to share
if a gourmet cook you’d like to snare.
Survey the aisles of your super mart
for a man who’s alone and who looks the part

of someone who eats just a little more
than he should. Follow him throughout the store.
Ask a question, “Do you know just how to cook
a rack of lamb?” (then a pleading look)

“I’m out on my own now and up till now
my cooking was simple, I don’t know how
to prepare anything that’s not in a box
or frozen stiff or stirred in a wok.”

Then listen intently to the words he speaks,
your eyes wide open, a blush on your cheeks
and with a deep sigh, wipe away a tear.
“Do you think I’m silly–I have such fear

that I’ll surely ruin this beautiful meat—
maybe it’s better I go out to eat.”
Then stop (and hope and pray) and wait
to see if he’s open to taking the bait.

And if things proceed like you wish they might
soon enough he’ll invite you to dinner some night
to sample his prowess in the chefly domain
and see if his craft is worth the champagne

that you brought to toast the auspicious event.
If you find that all else is one hundred percent
to show that you’re pleased with his culinary skill
gnaw on that lamb bone—it will give him a thrill.

Words I’ve Never Used in a Poem

Multi-coloured letters

Image by mag3737 via Flickr

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry:


Words I’ve Never Used in a Poem

Iamb (in a)
Khaki or
Muzzle (maybe)
Yellow Jag

And I doubt if I will. But who knows.

Big Tent Poetry–The Gospel According to St. John

Anikiev Gospel

Image via Wikipedia

This is submitted to Big Tent Poetry. This week’s prompt was a wordle with what seemed to me to be a most unlikely assortment of words. This was what came up for me although, granted, there were no boiler rooms in the time of Christ–that one was a stretch although, if you’ve ever been in a boiler room it is a bit reminiscent of hell. The one word I could not make happen was forklift!

Check out some great poetry for the prompt at:



The Gospel According to St. John

Time passed slowly that afternoon.
Blood flowed like lava into my cupped hand.

The man who hung upon a rough hewn tree
should have reigned over lush gardens of creation.

The night before I’d struggled to remain awake,
but now I stood by the mother until he passed

into the boiler room of hell. We remained there
to receive his body, returned it to the earth,

sealed the tomb with the clunk of a massive boulder.
After the Sabbath, the Phoenix resurfaced from the ash-pit.

Now I write his story, dipping the nib of my pen
in the sanguine ink of eternal mysteries.

Big Tent Poetry–“Neon Kisses”

The rain came down

Submitted to Big Tent Poetry:  With thanks to Mallery for the first line/prompt.





Neon Kisses

I didn’t notice the color of your jacket
or your eyes.
Battered by rain and wind
we walked side-by-side.
Neon lights reflected on wet asphalt
blinked their messages in blurred colors.

Nor did I notice where you took me
or that we had to wait for hours.
Your words hung, suspended in air
like notes of a symphonic chorus,
at times harmonic chords,
reverberated, crashing down around me.

I didn’t notice that the rain had stopped,
leaving in the air a fragrant breath
of moon-fresh night.
Nor did I grasp the fact that when you left
the cold closed in, enveloped me like a shroud.

The only thing I hold in memory:
kisses. The taste you left upon my lips,
your touch,
your smile.

I am away till Tuesday–will visit other submissions when I get home.