NaPoWriMo Prompt 18

Day Eighteen On April 18, 2022 “…Last but not least, here is today’s prompt (optional, as always). It’s based on Faisal Mohyuddin’s poem “Five Answers to the Same Question.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own poem that provides five answers to the same question – without ever specifically identifying the question that is being answered.”

Five Answers to Something

Cotton socks, black, white

and tan, pairs for all occasions


tee shirts, all the colours of the rainbow

long sleeves for winter, short for summer


fleece pajamas, two pairs, with nightgowns

some with pants too, some without


sweatpants, grey, purple, navy, wheat,

sweatshirts, grey, white, and lighter grey


sweaters, striped and plain, wool and polyester,

thick stitch and thin, every kind for every sort of weather.

Carol A. Stephen

April 18, 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt Seventeen

Day Seventeen On April 17, 2022

“…here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This is a fun one – it’s a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, and it asks you to think about dogs you have known, seen, or heard about, and then use them as a springboard into wherever they take you.”


Well, I’m mostly a cat person, so…but there is one dog, lives next door. Still a puppy, but the voice is well-developed by now.

No Life for a Sled Dog

Mornings, early, he’s let out

into the yard near my kitchen window.

Not much to amuse him: a water bowl, bricks,

planters filled with dirt to scratch in.


He whines. And whines. Then breaks into a howl:

the kind of sound you hear out in the woods

when there’s wolves about. He holds a note

like an opera star: high-pitched and sorrowful.


Dog’s too big, too full of energy for a townhome.

He ought to be out running, not tied up in a sparse

yard. Not held on a short leash when it’s walk time.

I feel sad to hear him sing his dog song.


Evenings, he accompanies the piano I can hear

through the living room wall. Sometimes the sound

rises to the bedroom, but faint, and I wonder what

the words might be if he had words to sing.

Carol A. Stephen

April 17, 2022

Prompt Sixteen from Poetry Superhighway

April 16, 2022: Poetry Writing Prompt – J R Turek

Write a list poem titled “Everything is Broken” but offer no solutions to fix anything.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.”

Everything is Broken

The charger that sits on my night table won’t charge my phone.

The curtain that keeps snow off the deck, doesn’t.

The blind in my brother’s room, hangs crooked now.

My pretty green car has scuff marks on the far side where I didn’t see.

The bird feeder, destroyed over and over by something in the night.


And then there’s the body:

my heart, my kidneys, my spine, my thumbs, my wrists, my knees.

Everything hurts, everything objects when I try to use it the way I used to do.

Carol A. Stephen

April 16, 2022

NaPoWriMo Prompt 15


…”Finally, here’s our daily (optional) prompt. This one may seem counter-intuitive, but today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something you have absolutely no interest in. This isn’t quite the same, I think, as something you’re indifferent to. For example, I have absolutely no interest in investment strategy. Anytime anyone tries to tell me about it, I want to put my fingers in my ears and go “lalalalalala.” My brain tries to shut down! This is honestly kind of funny, and I think this prompt has value precisely because it invites you to investigate some of the “why” behind resolutely not giving two hoots about something.”

So, for this prompt, I did have a couple of things that make my mind go blank, but they never really made me write a poem about them…

My Mind Goes Blank

at the mere mention of numbers

that can’t be divided equally, long numbers

the kind you can’t play with in your head.


I know how to do the math; just don’t want to,

that is what calculators are for, and mental

calisthenics just hurt my grey matter.


Same for physics. No need to go on about

quantum this or theoretical that. Let the experts

twist their theories into ordinary English.


Even then. My brain just says, no thanks,

none of that needed or wanted on the voyage.

Even the words lie flat, splat on the page.


My mind just goes blank.

Carol A. Stephen

April 23, 2022