NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 16, Take 2

I have a confession: The poem I first posted for today was something I wrote a couple of years ago. It fit today’s prompt (“write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.”) so perfectly, I couldn’t not post it. But I feel I need to post something written here-and-now, today, for NaPoWriMo. So, bonus poem for today.

The Wonder of Engineering

We learned to control fire
to generate heat
to melt stone
to create and shape metal.

We learned to dig to find oil
to distill and refine it
to control its burn
to harness its energy.

We learned to leverage forces
to coordinate mechanics
to build complex tools
to amplify our power.

Such rarified intellectual feats!
Such leaps of imagination!
Such sophisticated accomplishment!

Need to mow the lawn again.
I hope this rattle-trap contrivance
actually starts this time.


NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 16

Today’s prompt: “write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.” (

The Color of the Universe

I am the rainbowed refraction of light through the gaseous clouds that are the birthplace of the heavens.

I am the twisted distortion that your mind cannot comprehend on the precipice of the event horizon of a black hole.

I am the streaming embers of celestial destruction.

I am the ruddy reds, explosive yellows, and majestic blues of stars.

I am the violent flash of novae, the blinding brightness of pulsars.

I am the muted, dull shades of rocky worlds and the iridescent glow of gas giants.

I am the scintillating palette which bursts forth from life-bearing planets.

I am the swirl of galaxies, the chaotic mixture of all the hues that exist.

I am the Light that blazes to oppose the Darkness.

I am the color of the Universe.

I am Beige!


(Inspired by this post:

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 14

Today’s prompt: “write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms.” (

I See the Sea

I see the sea,
Where the wind blew
The blue waters into
A vale veiled with mist.
I missed the dew-shrouded grasses,
Do you remember?
Where you wear your weathered cape,
And bear the bare ground,
Where you shepherd your ewes,
And ride your winter sleigh
To patrol and protect your flock
Against predators who would slay them.
An idyllic isle, aisled with orchards.
I take to the sea, once more,
To see you again.

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 13

Today’s prompt: “write a poem about something mysterious and spooky.” (

It Starts

It starts
Tiny vibration
Echoing out
Space builds
To accommodate
Tiny vibrations
Quantum to quantum
Atom to atom
Time flows
Built from sequence
Tiny vibrations
Wave fronts
Energy to matter
Matter in
Matter grows
Time stretches
Space expands
All matter
Everything exists
Tiny vibrations
It continues

Continue reading “NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 13”

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 12

Today’s prompt: “write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it.” (

An Ugly, Worn, Scratchy Brown Couch

It’s an ugly brown couch.
That’s all.
Dull tweed,
threadbare, scratchy,
worn from
of sitting,
Steeped in
second-hand smoke,
cushions deflated,
springs poking through.
Crumbs ground
into the creases.

The couch
where we laid
on our father’s
chest, as we
fell asleep
As our parents
read to us,
teaching us
to love
stories, language,
the sound
of their voices,
the safety
of their arms.

Continue reading “NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 12”

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 11

Today’s prompt: “write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually?” (

A Brief Accounting of Who I’ve Been, Part 1

I’m five years old: When I grow up, I want to live in a library!
Our house is filled with books, still we make the trek to the library just about every day.
We’re a family or avid readers, lovers of learning.

I can’t imagine being happy living anywhere I’m not surrounded by books.

I’m in third grade: When I grow up, I want to be a cosmologist!
Yes, I know the word “cosmologist” in third grade.
I soak up astronomy and my dad’s science fiction novels.
My days are spent in school or running around, biking all over town.
My nights are spent thinking Big Thoughts:
About the Universe, the Big Bang, God, the nature of time.

I’m in fifth grade: I read a quote from Terence—
“I am human. Nothing human is alien to me.”
This becomes a mission: to know as much as I can about who we are, how and why.
I discover a deep fascination with the breadth and potential of human nature.

I want to be a writer, a storyteller, an explorer of human being.

Continue reading “NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 11”

NaPoWriMo 2019: Day 10

Today’s prompt: “write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon.” (

Raining Cats and Dogs

It’s raining cats and dogs
like a grotesque Biblical judgement,
Vicious and violent and unprecedented.

Dogs were the god of storms
and cats were witches riding the wind:
the vicious sounds of animals fighting.

The idea of household pets
hurled from the skies
and violently dashed upon the ground

Is only slightly more horrifying
than the sight of drowned animals
floating along on vicious flood waters,

Streams swollen and choked
with debris and casualties:
bloated corpses from violet nature.

It’s raining cats and dogs
but not literally, thank god,
because that would unbearable:
Vicious and violent and unprecedented.