NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 20 These Feet



Today’s prompt from FPR is quite a time-intensive one, and one that I will tackle later. This morning I have time constraints, so I decided to work with the Poetry Super Highway challenge to write a poem of place about my feet.

 Here is the prompt:

April 20, 2016: Poetry Writing Prompt – Ellen Sander

posted April 20th, 2016

Look at your feet. Are they bare, stockinged, shod? Recall some of the places your feet have been, e.g. the beach, grandparents’ home, the stairs of a school you went to. Write a “place” poem that starts with your feet.

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Ellen Sander.

My attempt:




These tootsies, cushioned and cozy,
wrapped round in sheepskin slippers,
real homebodies now but oh,
the places they’ve been!

The toes remember the tan sand beaches of Georgian Bay,
white sand of Cancun, the rough broken coral in Acapulco Bay
as the wash of tides roared in, tossed shells along the beach,
then slid back to join the deeper sea.

Acapulco, the town were the telenovela is set.

Acapulco. (Wikipedia)

They’ve suffered through the many rooms of Schönbrunn Palace
and Hampton Court, feared torture in London’s ancient Tower,
rested while we sipped a brew in a pub in Portsmouth,
sat out as inlaws danced at a rustic csárda in Budapest.

Hampton Court. View of the Great Gatehouse fro...

Hampton Court. (Wikipedia)

Soles have sweltered in unforgiving sandals wandering streets of
an August Rome, then thankful for the respite of street car ride,
Piazza Venezia to the Spanish Steps, and happy too to find running shoes
from Seoul to cushion bunions every step upon St. Peter’s marble floors.

The same old dogs walked twisted alleys along Venice’s canals,
tackled the top of Hong Kong’s Peak, curled to watch the milking of a Thai snake,
compressed themselves in ice-block boots to schuss down Mogul Alley,
and they still freeze at the touch of sole to kitchen floor back home.


Carol A. Stephen
April 20, 2016


Csárda is an old Hungarian term for tavern, from which Csárdás, the name for the traditional dance was derived.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 5 a Three-Fer

NMP-BANNER-DToday I have a poem for each of three challenges, the, Poetry Super Highway, and the Impromptu #5 from Found Poetry Review.




At NaPoWriMo

The daily prompt challenges us to consult seed catalogues and seek out heirloom plants as inspiration for a poem today.  I chose the suggested tomato plants, for the reason given: the names are so wonderful.  Here is my poem, Heirloom:

My source is an Ontario location, in order to use plants that I could actually grow here in the Ottawa area



Various heirloom tomato cultivars

Various heirloom tomato cultivars Wikipedia)


No one there is who does not love tomatoes
is what Frost should have said each spring,  as gardeners
turn to catalogues and dream their August dreams.

No Belgian chocolate for me, instead an Amazon Chocolate,
full of flavour in its flattened oval, sliced on a plate
beside the yellow-red streaks of Allegheny Sunset.

Ghosts in the shadows, silver-sheened leaves
of this year’s  prize Angoras garnish a summer salad:
yellow Apricots jostle Azoychkas and just ripe Banana Legs.

Believe It or Not, every one of them tomatoes.

Carol A. Stephen
April 5, 2016

(first line paraphrases  Robert Frost’s Mending Wall)


At Poetry Super Highway, today’s prompt was a fun write, encouraging us to write a Creation Myth poem for a kitchen item.  Here’s my attempt, a Creation Myth for Oatmeal.



In the beginning was the Flake,
flat, without colour. Flake needed substance,
to cling to its brothers, to form a greater whole.

Oatmeal directly from the packing.

Oatmeal directly from the packing. ( Wikipedia)

With the first rains from the heavens, each Flake knew joy.
Each Flake swelled into greatness as it welcomed
the worshipping moisture.

But the Flakes were not yet whole.
Their joy soon dimmed as they floated
without substance upon the waters.

Behold, the rain passed away and there came the sun.
And a second time each Flake swelled but
joy was elusive.

And the Flakes dreamed they must know water and warmth
together. They consulted Oracle who told them verily
to seek out the Lord High Bowl, that they must cluster there.

And the Flakes sought out Lord Bowl, and climbed inside
Bowl’s vessel. For the first seven days, they waited. The eighth day
the heavens opened and behold, there fell a sun shower.

Rain poured down into Bowl. Sun heated Bowl till it glowed.
And Flakes were transformed. On the ninth day Bowl beheld
Oatmeal and it was good!

Carol A. Stephen
April 5, 2016

Breakfast of raspberries, blueberries and oatmeal.

Breakfast of raspberries, blueberries and oatmeal. (Wikipedia)

High Fiber Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Oatmeal Raisin Chocolate Chip Cookies. (Wikipedia)








Finally, the Found Poetry Review prompt, today from Sarah Blake, calls for a poem that follows the rhythm of a song.Found Poetry Review

At first, I was imagining I’d need a month to even start to tackle this one. Until I remembered the blues.  It may be a bit of a shortcut, copout or cheat to go with that, since it is a rather simple form. But it’s what I went with and on a day when the thermometer has slipped well below zero (Celsius) the lyric is appropriate!

English: Comparison of Centigrade (Celsius) an...

Centigrade (Celsius) and Fahrenheit thermometer scales (Wikipedia)

Weather Blues


Don’t want that chill wind hangin’ outside my door
Said I don’t want that chill wind hangin’ outside my door
Bringin’ me blue fingers like it done before

It brings me the shivers, it brings me cold feet
Yeah, it bring me the shivers, an’ it bring me cold feet
Cold bringin’ me down when the weather ain’t sweet

Don’t want that chill wind hangin’ round my door
No, I don’t want chill wind hangin’ round my door
If it ain’t good for springtime, don’t want it no more

Wind blows in the mornin’, and all afternoon
I said it blows in the mornin’, and all afternoon
It ain’t good for springtime, and it ain’t good for June

Fridays it blows in, blows all weekend too
yeah Fridays it blows in, blows all weekend too
Come Monday morning, man, colour me blue

Don’t want that chill wind hangin’ outside my door
Said I don’t want that chill wind hangin’ outside my door
Bringin’ me blue fingers like it done before


Carol A. Stephen
April 5, 2016



Poetry Superhighway 2015 Day 7 Old Timey Snake Gods

Day 7 poetry prompt from Poetry Super Highway reads:  Find the book closest to your immediate location. Open to page 45. Go to the fourth sentence on the page. The first six words are the first line of your poem.
GO!  Submitted by Emily Vieweg.

I’ve had a book on my desk awhile, waiting for mye to write some ancestor poems, and that is my source text. The first six words of sentence 4, page 45: Religious prejudice also survived, although less
The source: Life Below Stairs in the 20th Century, Pamela Horn, 2001, 2003 Sutton Publishing

So, religion can be a difficult subject at the best of times. I just let the words take me where they wanted to go. When I found myself writing less formally, I made a couple of edits to the first few lines but other than that, first draft here.

Old Timey Snake Gods

Religious prejudice has also survived, although less
commonly among carnivores. Cats tolerate a lot
long as they got a warm spot to curl them tails around.
Consider theyselves top deities anyways.
’Specially them blue-eyed Siamese—
when they’s not actin’ like pups.

Dogs still howl at the same moon as mother coyote
and brother wolf. Get enough of ‘em together,
they’d holler the silver lady right down to Earth.

It’s the Animalia chordata, the reptilians. They’re
bad for it, still pointin’ their forked tongues, still the hiss and
gossip about the fallin’-out from the Garden of Eden.

Snakes. Not like us. You look at ‘em sideways and
they does their own sidewindin’ dance. Or squeezin’ the life outta
some poor little rat not quick enough leavin’ the nest.

One night I seed ‘em all wound round each other
hissin’ and a windin’, lordy, lordy, make yer blood
run cold as their own.

I betcha when we ain’t lookin’, they’s walkin’ around
tall on their rattles and wearin’ some fancy snake-god clothes.
I prayed on it the once, but nothin’s changed much. We still got
snakes hereabouts. Windin’ and a hissin’. Watch yer step out here.

Carol A. Stephen
April 7, 2015

Snakes Black

Snakes Black (Photo credit: Wikipedia)