NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 6 through 8

NaPoWriMo Day 6 prompt:  “Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks.…”


A Cold April Rain 

 In the light
of day, trees
in overcoats of thick ice, their branches
droop and sway and
the tree’s trunk cracks under the weight.

in the light
of day, roads
slick-coated in grey ice, hide
under a thin layer of snow. Everything
slides west toward the sun.

in the light
of the sun, ice
turns clear, then melts, the runoff rivering
toward drains, the overflow
and puddle at curbs and in front of mailboxes.

the storm ends
and in its wake
we mourn the death of trees.

Carol A. Stephen
for April 6, 2018

Day Seven On April 7, 2018

“And now for our (optional) prompt. In our interview, Kyle Dargan suggests writing out a list of all of your different layers of identity. For example, you might be a wife, a grandmother, a Philadelphian, a dental assistant, a rabid Phillies fan, a seamstress, retiree, agnostic, cancer survivor, etc.. These are all ways you could be described or lenses you could be viewed through. Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. Now write a poem in which one of the identities from the first list contends or talks with an identity from the second list. ”

Accountant Speaks, Poet Answers Back

Poet, you lack focus and attention,
you have no sense of order, no plan, no deadline,
just write when the urge comes
and the pile of undone writing
at the end of the month is growing.  Your
nput exceeds output, the way
debt might exceed assets. You
don’t pay your dues to your poetic muse.

Accountant, don’t you see?  It isn’t
black and red, it doesn’t work
the same as 4 -2 = 2.
A poem might be 4 +2 = 6 but at its heart still- 4.

There is no balance sheet, no double-entry books,
It’s not like inflows and outflows at all.
It comes when it comes or it doesn’t
come at all. The poem isn’t a transaction.

It’s an idea, will ‘o’ the wisp,
chimera, figment, dream.

It’s a ghost you chase after.
It’s a butterfly fluttering on the wind.
Carol A. Stephen
April 7, 2018


 Day Eight On April 8, 2018

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Let’s take a leaf from Shelley’s book, and write poems in which mysterious and magical things occur. Your poem could take the form of a spell, for example, or simply describe an event that can’t be understood literally. . .


Spells for a Summer Day

Whisper the spell for smooth, taut skin
the face of youth shining back in the glass

Whisper the spell for one last love,
the one that the soul was meant to know

Whisper the spell for fairy dust, for a magic wand
and for wanderlust, far away castles that float in air

sun always shining, weather always fair
the song of the birds, the flowers of spring

Whisper the spell for everything
we wished for as children.

Be young again, free, and full of laughter
Let go the fear of what’s coming after the last day

we breathe, the last day we speak, the last
day we whisper the spells in the glass.

Carol A. Stephen
April 8, 2018


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