Sunday, April 22, 2018

NaPoWriMo, Day 22

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt (taken directly from the website):

Today, I’d like you to take one of the following statements of something impossible, and then write a poem in which the impossible thing happens:

The sun can’t rise in the west.
A circle can’t have corners.
Pigs can’t fly.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
Well, I love writing about impossible things, so I had fun with it.

Impossible Things

The sun can't rise in the west, they say
but somehow this morning it did.
A convertible sped down the highway.
driven by a big purple squid.

Flowers grew out of the ceiling
as the moon rolled across the floor.
A lion played a glockenspiel
and a goldfish began to roar.

A penguin made a pot of tea
as a walrus baked a chocolate cake.
A rhinoceros rode a motorcycle
across the surface of a lake.

Believe in six impossible things before breakfast,
at least that's what Lewis Carroll would say.
But you should believe in much more than that
for impossible things happen all day. - Jeff Barnes

Saturday, April 21, 2018

NaPoWriMo, Day 21

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem that plays with the myth of Narcissus or the theme of narcissism in some way.

Marco the Narco

Every day he religiously
polishes his mirror
in the hope that he might see
himself ever clearer.

He never passes a window
without stopping for a minute
to posture and to preen and
admire his reflection in it.

He loves spoons and chrome and puddles
and polished furniture, too.
Mirrors are his favorites but any
reflective surface will do.

He goes home every day to admire
his pictures on the shelf
and thinks of how he would enjoy
making love to himself. - Jeff Barnes

Friday, April 20, 2018

NaPoWriMo, Day 20

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem about rebellion.


I put on work boots when I wear a tuxedo
and wear underpants on my head.
People like to wear green on St. Patrick's Day,
but I make it a point to wear red.

I toast the New Year with chocolate milk
when everyone else is drinking champagne.
I wear my galoshes on sunny days
and my sunglasses whenever it rains.

When I go to see a Star Wars movie
I make sure to wear a Star Trek shirt.
I like to eat chocolate cake for dinner
and have a tossed salad for dessert.

I always put taco sauce on my pancakes
and whipped cream on my sirloin steak.
I dunk French fries in my coffee and
pour vinaigrette on my corn flakes.

I park my car in my living room
and keep my bed downstairs.
If anyone should disapprove,
it's not my problem. It's theirs. - Jeff Barnes

Thursday, April 19, 2018

NaPoWriMo, Day 19

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a paragraph about something -- an event, a scene, or whatever, and erasing or creating the words in it to create a poem.

Winter Redux

On this gray
April morning
white tree blossoms
swirl in a wind
so cold
that one might easily
mistake them
for snow. - Jeff Barnes

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

NaPoWriMo, Day 18

Today's prompt NaPoWriMo was a bit of a challenge -- to find a poem you are not familiar with, cover it with a sheet of paper, and uncover it line by line, starting with the last line and working back to the first, while writing a response to each line to create the seeds of a finished poem. I did that, but I also edited it a lot so that I had a finished poem.

The Wise Fool

The bird is a wise fool.
His song reverberates
happily in a world of woe,

free upon the wind,
free for the listening,
free as the air itself.

So giddy is he
that, unable to define his song,
he becomes one with it.

He sings the truth
of all he knows
and all he is. - Jeff Barnes

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Once again, we interrupt the stream of NaPoWriMo posts. Today is International Haiku Poetry Day, so I thought it would be cool to write a haiku.

The snow is sticking.
I just expected flurries
two weeks past Easter. - Jeff Barnes

NaPoWriMo, Day 17

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem that retells a family anecdote.

Voyage to America

My grandmother came to America
on a ship from France
with her sisters in the 1920s.

She had a shipboard romance
with a man who was
five years younger.
It was playfully flirtatious
at first, but by the time they reached
New York, they were in love
and he wanted to marry her.

Her sisters talked her out of it,
saying he was too young
for her, he was just a kid.
And so they parted and,
even though they ended up
in the same city,
never saw each other again.

She married my grandfather,
who brought her years of misery
until she finally walked out on him
at age sixty-five.

I never heard this story
until one evening
when I was thirteen and she
was reading obituaries,
as elderly people are wont to do.

She looked up from the newspaper
and said to me,
"My boyfriend died." - Jeff Barnes