Friday, April 30, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 29 & 30

Today is the last day of the April 2010 Poem A Day Challenge.
Congratulations to everyone out there who wrote a poem a day, and congratulations to everyone else who wrote at least one thing this month that they wouldn't have otherwise written.

Thank you for reading everyone!

I have some exciting news I've been waiting to share with you all.

Two of my poems are going to be published in Phati'tude Literary Magazine!!!

This is the first time I've ever been published and am really excited. I'll post a link here to the online excerpts of the magazine once it's up on their site.
For payment of my poems (oh my, I'm actually receiving payment? Like a real author?!) they're sending me two copies of the magazine. :D
I think that's rather cute. I'd almost rather have those two copies than get actual money since it's my first time in print.

Help me choose!
Robert Brewer is inviting poets who participated in his challenge to submit five of their best poems from the month to be judged for Poet Laureate. I need some perspective on my own writing. Which five poems out of all that I've posted this month should I submit? Or maybe there aren't even five good ones and I shouldn't submit anything? Feel free to vote for which poems I should submit in the comments.

Award time!
Gracia is the obvious winner of this blog's PAD challenge for not only posting poems in the comments, but being brave enough to share her poetry with the world. Thanks, Gracia!

For such bravery, wit of tongue, bearing of your heart and honesty, I hereby give you the

Poetic Perseverance Award! Congratulations!

Now, onto the last poetry of the month...

Day 29 - Write a poem with the title "And Suddenly _______"

And suddenly, there were turtles

From the moment they hatch
Sand grits against their bodies erasing any chance
they have of being slimy.
Then they have to dig their way out of the sand
using only two flippers that are weak and heavy to lift.
They heave their little selves across
the beach to the ocean, hoping nothing will
catch or eat them on the way.
For every five flops of their fins, they rest,
limbs splayed out unashamedly from their bulbous shells.
Slowly and by no means surely, they leave
dimples in the sand as they move towards the ocean.
How they know which direction the ocean is, I don't know.
But they get there.
Can you imagine how good it feels, when, after what seems
like miles of scratchy sand grinding coarsely on bellies
that were made for soft water,
and hundreds of times of lifting heavy, bumbling arms
into the air and doing hundreds of push-ups just to get
to home, and feeling the strong call,
the irresistible pull of nature to get to the ocean,
can you imagine how good it feels after all that
for a little sea turtle to feel the first wave
come up to his chin and slide under his belly?
If you ever see a sea turtle during that first wave,
even though they've been pushing themselves for
hours, when they first feel water, they move faster,
like how a baby kicks when it gets excited.
I wonder, if after eighty years of swimming,
the sea turtle remembers that first experience
of swimming on sand.

Day 30 - Write a letting go poem.

I ended up writing two poems for today, partly because it's the last day, but also because I don't feel like my first poem will make any sense to anyone except for myself, and that's not fair to other people.
So I made an effort to crank out one last poem.
(Fitting that the titles of these last two poems rhyme.) :)

Tectonics of the Soul

Standing in the middle of a sphere
of several plates, with strings
attached leading back to be held
in the hands,

Each plate is a part of life, and each
string is our hold on things.
Spinning around so fast is what
keeps the plates through centrifugal force
outstretched, creating a planet around us.

And then, like the human skull,
over time the plates begin to fuse.
Fissures close around us and the strings
become useless.

Those parts of our lives that we had difficulty
in hanging onto and keeping in place,
become solid, stable and we sigh with relief.

But when we try to let go of a piece of the world
that we don't like, after holding it in place for so long,
we find that we have no control.
It's already fused, held in place.
Eventually, there's nothing more to do,
than let all the strings fall around us
and enjoy the person we have become.

It's hard to let go

The reason things are so hard to let go,
is because when it goes away,
we know there's a bit of ourselves
it's going to take with it.
It's hard parting with one's self,
but that's the whole purpose of letting go:
It's spring cleaning
for our minds.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 22 through 28

Hi all.
Remember how I said I was getting burnt out poetry-writing wise? Well, I took a few days off from writing poems and it helped.
Now I'm back to make up for the days I missed.

Day 22
- Write an Earth poem

When the Earth Drinks

The feeling in my stomach
the rain gives me when it's
been dry for so long,
puts me in a mesmerized state.
I feel like doing nothing but
curling up and watching
the rain patter on the window
with joy and coziness.

Day 23 - Write a poem about exhaustion.

Treated for exhaustion

I drag myself out of bed
every morning
Work hard, do busy things,
every day
Make plans, have fun
every weekend
Listen to the radio
every drive
Just to hear that another
spoiled princess millionaire
was rushed to the hospital
and treated for
I mean, really?

Day 24 - Write an evening poem.

The sun makes me sluggish

but as soon as the setting sun zips
all responsibilities behind it
leaving the entire dark night
ahead of it free from
all work,
I feel I could stay up all night
and take over the world.

Day 25 - Write a poem inspired by a song, and name the artist and the song, if possible.

Somewhere Over the Rainbow by Isreal Kamamawiwo'ole

Wishing to be over the rainbow
is better than actually being there.
Believe me.
I've been held captive by this
stupid leprechaun for
three hundred years now.
And yes, there are blue birds here.
So I guess it's not all bad.
I just wish that all those
troubles people send over here
would stop melting like lemon drops
and falling down my chimney.
Everything smells like burnt lemons.

Day 26 - Write a poem that has something to do with "More than 5 Times" (Robert changed the prompt to this because the commenting system was broken on his blog, and people had to attempt to post their poems more than five times).

Being in Love

They say insanity is marked
by individuals who repeat
the same action over again
and expect different results.

I've forgiven you
more than five times,
expecting something different.
But I must be insane.

Every time you ask for forgiveness,
just know I wouldn't change a thing.
I happen to like being driven crazy
every now and then by who you are.

Better that you're always
saying sorry for not taking out the trash,
than me having to forgive you
for something worse.

Oh, and by the way,
I can tell by your silly smile
and star-struck eyes
that, just like me,
you're a little insane too
for putting up with me.

Day 27 - Write a hopeful poem or a hopeless poem.

"Mordor. The one place in Middle-earth we don't want to see any closer. It's the one place we are trying to get to. It's just where we can't get." - Sam from The Two Towers by Tolkien

I'm on my Hero Quest, I guess

I often feel like Samwise,
having a task at hand
that I don't want to do,
but being compelled,
and even when I try
(which I never wanted
to try in the first place)
I'm thwarted.
It's the worst of days
to have problems like that.
Do not want.
But must get.
And can't get.
No, yes, no.
Oh, cruel vice of circumstance
that seems so deliciously
created for making heros!

Day 28 - Write an end of the line poem. (A person at the end of his/her line, end of a phone line, assembly line, power line, waiting lines, lines of poetry, etc.)

People at the End of the Line

When the conductor shouts
"End of the Line!" and everyone's
supposed to get off,
that's when you'll meet
the most interesting people.

When someone went to the end of the line,
they were usually trying to get
as far away as possible from something
or someone.

Damsels in distress starting a new life,
criminals planning to hide in remote little towns.
Boys and girls of all ages
escaping adventure-less circumstances
or maybe escaping to them.

Do you think I might ever
meet you there, at the end of the line?
What would be your story?
What would be mine?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

PAD Challenge - Day 21

Day 21 - Write a poem with the title "According to ________ ".

According to the apple on my desk

Today is a good day.
It's been sitting there
since yesterday and it sees
that today I packed
candy bars and fruit juice
and salty snacks for lunch.
It knows I won't eat it.
According to the apple on my desk
today is a good day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

PAD Challenge - Day 20

Hey all. We're two thirds of the way done with poetry month. I'm happy I've made it this far, but also sad to see that there are only ten days left.

I'm thinking of making the award for the best poem posted in the comments a picture that is poem specific. Since only one person has posted their poems so far (Thank you, Gracia! You rock!), it makes more sense to wait and see which one I pick and then tailoring the award to fit it. Stay tuned to see my awesome, photoshopping skills! (Or not.)

If you've been following this blog, and writing a poem a day, but just didn't want to post them in the comments, feel free to at least let me know you've been writing alongside us. Write on, fellow poets!

Day 20 - Write a poem that's looking back, and/or write a poem that's not looking back, like looking forward or even just simply not looking at all. Maybe the speaker is blind or something. Interpret the prompt how you wish.


It's rare, but happens predictably,
When the moon moves in front of the sun.
I point and look up in awe
at the sudden darkness.
'It's special', they say, 'to see it like this,
right in our own backyard.'
I think it's special too, only...
does anyone else, for a split second,
get afraid that the eclipse won't end?
That brief moment of darkness is looked
is looked forward to.

But what if eclipses were forever?
What if the coming event that
seems so huge and promising,
that everyone looks forward to,
that I am hanging my happiness on,
is so big it eclipses my past?

Looking forward to something so much,
I find myself in danger of forgetting my roots.
What if the future is so bright and promising
it eclipses my past forever?
Is there such a thing as
looking forward too much?

I wonder if the moon ever minds the eclipse,
ever minds that while he is feeling
the full heat and promise of the sun,
his back is a little cold.

Monday, April 19, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 17, 18, & 19

Welcome to week three of PAD Challenge!
I think I'm finally running out of poetic steam. My poems lately have been kind of blah, or at least they seem like it. Hopefully the following will not be. I am surprised that it took me 19 days, though, before I felt poetically tired. Last year it only took a week and a half!

Day 17 - Write a science poem.


Long day, achey legs,
floppy arms, too tired to move properly.
You and I
settle in to each other
for a movie with no other
to rest.
I know this movie already.
I know that the bills
need to be paid,
clothes laundered and put away.
My room needs cleaning,
the pets need to be fed,
forms must be filled out,
and tomorrow we both have to
go back to work, which means
I know I have to make lunches
tonight before bed.
I know you'll dose off
content to have me by your side
like a sweet baby with no obligations
but to be itself.
I know the dishes need doing.
I know my bank account
is low and I need to
my check book.
I know the phone bill
needs paying.
I know you need a back rub
from the day we had.
I know you are warm
and I know I'm safe
nestled in among your
I know your needs and mine,
I know we don't have much
Being self-aware,
omniscient about my entire life
is annoying.
All I want to know
is that all I want to do
is stay in your arms

Day 18 - Write a poem with the title "To _____"

With apologies to Alfred Lord Tennyson and the author of that ancient poem we all know about but have probably never read. (Reading tips: "Geat" is pronounced "Yeat". Also, this reads a lot better after you've read The Charge of the Light Brigade.)

To the hall, to the hall!

Night is come, night is come
night is come early,
quick to the hall of Hroogar
all you hold dearly:
'Grendel, monstrosity!
Run for your life' they say:
Into the walls of Heorot
came the great warriors.

'Grendel, monstrosity!'
Was there a man dismay'd?
Yes, tho' the warriors knew
Some one was with them:
Theirs to support and watch,
While hardy Beowulf fought,
Theirs just to gawk in awe
In the meade hall of Hroogar
fought Grendel, outcast.

Stench in the midst of them,
Claws desp'rately clawing them,
Jaws gaping wide at them,
Inhumanly beast;
They stormed it with shout and yell,
Boldly they tried and well,
Flashing their swords and breath
Inside that great meade hall
strong Beowulf's Geats.

Without a weaponry,
carring for chivalry,
fighting him armlessly,
Charging a beasty while
All the town wonder'd:
De-armed the scaly fright
Right from its own great might;
Geatlings and Monster
Reel'd from host'le blight,
Shatter'd & sunder'd.
Beowulf, the hero with
out any blunder.

Bloody at right of them,
Bloody at left of them,
Still then behind them
Stomping and running;
Left, Grendel for the land,
Beowulf, the monster's hand
Crumbling like stoney sand
Mounted it to the wall.
Monsters forever banned,
Poor Grendel left the hall,
Left all of Heorot.

When can his folly learn?
In confidence he burned
from his great feat.
Dragon to fight at last!
Hubris he had amassed,
Died, Beowulf the Geat.

Day 19 - Write a poem with a person's name as the title.

C.S. Lewis

Pockets of imagination
Hiding in this tiny world;
You found them, and put your hand in,
Then you ripped them open.
Spilled their contents on the page,
lacing it with charm and wit
and well turned phrase.
Thanks to you my children will
never lack to know the value
of the imagination.

Friday, April 16, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 15 & 16

Day 15 - Write a poem about deadlines (because, you know, it's tax season. I obviously am not very good at deadlines as I'm posting this a day late!)

This poem requires a little insider information as to what I'm talking about, but most of the people who read this blog should know what I mean. I couldn't think of anything that had to do with an actual deadline, so this is what I came up with. (It's a line that's named death. Close enough, right?)

The Black Line of Death

My brother's team is climbing, climbing
all his quizzers jumping, jumping.
For first place are hoping, hoping,
To stay above the black line of death.

Quiz masters are asking, asking,
Team members are quoting, quoting,
Score keepers are watching, watching,
To see who falls below the black line of death.

Time out! Coaches are coaching, coaching.
Time in. Audience is waiting, waiting.
Proud parents are video taping,
Regardless of the black line of death.

Geeks, the laptops repairing, repairing,
Helpers, the quiz boxes are packing, packing.
Quizzers, the chairs are stacking, stacking.
And still is looming the black line of death.

Worship team is playing, playing,
TFC, awards are giving, giving.
All the quizzers smiling, smiling,
who stayed above the black line of death.

Day 16 - Write a poem having to do with death.

The Alien Planet

Dear friends and family,
I recently visited an alien planet.
It was the weirdest thing I've ever seen.
There were plants as tall as houses,
and aliens most strange.

I could never quite tell if
The air was toxic.
Some aliens were deathly afraid of it.
Others breathed in all they could get of it.
I, myself, chose to keep my helmet on.

The planet and the aliens were one.
They covered it almost entirely
with strips of manufactured rock.
I wonder if they were trying to bind it
and hold parts of it together.

They have a peculiar ritual
that isn't a ritual at all.
The right of passage is something
that happens to all of them
yet they are always surprised when it happens.

They are never prepared either.
They are always sad when it happens.
You'd think they would remember
Every day to prepare for such an important thing.
I know I did. I always looked forward to growing up.

But anyways, on this alien planet
I got to see this ritual.
They are very primitive, and they have
No idea what happens after someone has
gone through the right of passage.

If you ever visit there, I'd suggest
It as an educational trip only.
It's no vacation, but it has opened my eyes
To how forgetful a race could possibly be.
I hope to take my children to Earth someday.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

PAD Challenge - Day 14

Yesterday's poems were quite heavy handed I think. I enjoy writing lighter poetry than dealing with the big issues like love and hate.

Day 14 prompt - Write a poem with the title "_____ island"

Make me an Island

If I show up to work with a paper cup
with a white, plastic top,
don't be deceived!
I've been drinking caffeine!

In five minutes I'll tell you
all the wonderful things I know.
In ten minutes I'll be crabby.
In thirty my mood will be rainy.

If you see me chug like a CEO,
You should quickly make me
Into an island, isolated, bare,
So I can spin and quirk on my own
without igniting anything.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PAD Challenge - Day 13

Hi everyone!

The prompt for today was quite challenging for me. Hope it helps you crank out some great poems.

Two prompts for today: Write a love poem, or write an anti-love poem.

Love poem:

I'm just sayin'...

At the risk of being lumped in
with hippies, evangelists, and scammers,
scary people, bad romance novels,
emotionals, sentimentals, and broken records,
country songs, greeting card companies,
fiery preachers and little sisters everywhere,
I want to tell you,
it's okay to fall in love with
something that makes you feel
like you're crazy for believing in it.
It's okay to take a leap of faith
even when you're scared to death.
It's okay to think that maybe the whole
Jesus thing is interesting enough to check out.
I'm just sayin'
He's available anytime if you want to talk.

Anti-love poem:

I, Fear

I'll keep you busy for years
trying to find freedom.
I planted the idea in your head
years ago that your freedom was
in danger and you had to be vigilant
to protect it.

Now you're huddled in a corner
holding freedom to your breast
like a little child,
gun trained on any threat, keeping
constant watch. You are more diligent
Than I had hoped for.

You're afraid of everything now.
Afraid to get a job because
It takes away your freedom.
Afraid to join a religion,
Afraid to commit to responsibility.
Yes, you've been more vigilant than I'd hoped.

I've got you so busy shooting at
doors of opportunity
that you don't even know
love is knocking at several of them.

Raise your gun, keep it steady.
Here's some more amo.
Don't let those doors swing open.
Protect your freedom from love
at all costs.
Keep my sworn enemy at bay
and I will give you what you need
to fight forever.

You and me, we can go far with your freedom.
We'll be here in this corner for years
doing nothing but shooting
at those Wiley opportunities to love.

Monday, April 12, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 10, 11, 12

Day 10 - Write a horror poem or a poem somehow linked to scarriness.

Winter and Peanut Butter

Peanut butter crusted hands
Try to run through my hair.
I wince, squinting, trapping the hair
that's static-plastered to my eyes
inside my eye-lids.

My hair clings to the side of my face
And across my dry-cracking lips.
My lips sting as I try to lick them,
But the hair gets caught on my tongue
And drawn back in with it.

A few more tummy-curdling lurches
and it's worked its way down my throat.
My throat which itches and tickles
To cough, but to cough I suck in,
Drawing the hair longer into me.

Long, thin and dry tentacles
Scratch at me inside and I can't get them out.
Sticky hands grab the violating stalk
And pull it out, making my throat
Feel like a scab picked off.

My eyes water as I brush the hair
From my face with my parched hands.
It renews its attack and clings even more
Until I've finally had enough.

Tomorrow, the peanut butter's being thrown out.
Tomorrow, I'm getting a hair cut.
Tomorrow, I'm using conditioner.
Tomorrow, I'm wearing sunglasses because

when the sticky hands pulled the hair
out of my mouth and face,
the strands trapped under my eyelid
whipped across my cornea and gave me
a paper cut on the eyeball.

Day 11 - Make the title of the poem "The Last _____"

The Last Printing

No more wasting trees or recycling reams.
We all have electronics now.
I'm in charge of printing the last piece
of paper that will ever be printed on.

The paper will say something official about the event.
Paper is now outlawed unless you have a permit
for things like Origami and Scherenschnitte.

Cameras and Reporters are circled around
and Earth activists are cheering across the country.
Someone has started a printer-bonfire.

In the years to come, there will be gifts,
expensive gifts of paper acquired from
businesses with permits specifically designed
to produce economy-friendly mementos of the past.

The Last Printing is framed and has an image
of the American Flag. It sits in a glass cage
in between a cuneiform tablet and one of those
pesky little cell phones we used to carry.

Day 12 - Pick a city and make that the title of your poem.


Skeptical about having to spend gas to drive
all the way to Winona for a job interview.
A job that might not work out and we might not
be happy with, my fiance and I started off with headaches.

As soon as we hit the town, we knew
we wanted to live there, would take any job,
would move in an instant.

It was in a valley, with quaintness
wrapped all the way around a lake,
and a train that ran alongside us
as if we were part of someone's model train show.

So far away from everyone and everything
we had generally known. But the job
plus the beauty could make everything turn out.
But in the end we only had half of that equation.

Friday, April 9, 2010

PAD Challenge - Days 8 & 9

Oops! I missed a day! Sorry 'bout that. Two for one this post!

Day 8 - Choose a tool, make it the title of your poem, and write.


I can’t get over how endearing they are.

Sturdy, underneath me,

at the times when changes were being made.

When the walls were changing color,

when mistakes and broken boards

were being fixed,

when life was covered in dust and chaos

the ladder stood solid underneath me.

Supporting familiarity

Mixed with the odd creative feeling

Of painting, even though painting white walls

Requires no creativity at all,

Makes me regard it as a friend

Who always wants to do something together.

Even if its just being propped up against the house

And I stand on the topmost sticker that says

“Not a step”

just to feel the breeze sway me gently.

Day 9 - Artists do self-portraits all the time to gain artistic perspective about the human face. Poets are word artsits, so write a poem about yourself.


The woman-girl poses like a Vermeer

Staring out the window,

Not knowing her hooked nose and

Sharp cheek bones make her look

Like the witch from Narnia.

Her regal head drops on her hand

Forgetting all proper posture

While imagining things outside.

Her other hand is paused on the keyboard

That she’s supposed to be typing on.

Blonde hair that could be full

If she brushed it flows around her shoulders

A little scraggly.

With shrewd features and a little mirth in the eyes

No one knows what to make of her

Except that she’s there.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

PAD Challenge - Day 7

Prompt for today: Write a poem with the title "Until ____".

Until The Guests Leave

Until the guests leave,
there's no telling
What will happen.
A goblet could chip or crack.
I might say something stupid
Or hear something stupid.

The wife could undermine our marriage,
Or the husband start an argument.
These are touchy people.
Anything might happen.

Until the guests leave,
I watch the trinkets closely.
Was that antique teacup moved?
Did someone touch the TV screen
With greasy fingers?

Until the guests leave,
I think if I uncross my legs
They won't consider me lady-like.

Until the guests leave,
I have to keep brushing that pesky strand
Of hair out of my face.
I'm sitting straight as can be,
smiling, looking directly, friendly,
at whoever is talking.

Someone made a joke.
I don't know what it was,
I was too busy counting the cookies
out the corner of my eye
Making sure we wouldn't run out
And seeing if there were enough
for me to take one more.

I laugh along with them,
certain that's what I would have done
If I had been paying attention.
But don't laugh too long.
I don't know how funny it actually was.
I reach for a cookie.

So does the husband. No problem.
There will still be enough
If my husband and the other wife want one.
But he takes two!
The cookie is already in my hand.
There's not enough for everyone.

I can't put it back. I can't eat it.
They might think I'm a greedy hostess.
I put it on a napkin
And set it on my husband's knee.
Now if he wants one, there's enough.

Until the guests leave,
I must ignore my aching back.
I can't adjust. Don't want to draw attention.

Until the guests leave,
I keep blinking as a way
To keep me occupied, counting the blinks.
No! Stop that! They'll see.
They'll think something's wrong with my eye.

Do you know how hard it is
To keep from blinking once you're aware of it?
I know, because the guests won't leave!

I think the conversation
Is getting a little too intense.
I need to cause something to happen.

I stand up, hoping it will signal to them
That one of us is tired,
And they should call it a night.
I don't even know what they're talking about.

I begin to clean up from supper.
The wife comes and gives me a hand.
At last! Things are starting to wrap up.
But it takes four hours to get them out the door.

I slump in the living room,
Legs straight out, back bent.
Hair hanging in my face,
And scratching all the little itches
That've been bugging me all night.
I couldn't scratch them and be rude
Until the guests left.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

PAD challenge - Day 6

Because of the unique format of the poetry prompt today, I strongly suggest you head over to Robert Brewer's blog if you're into the whole prompt thing.

Prompt for the day - Write an Ekphrastic poem (looks like an Elephant sneezed on my keyboard, doesn't it?)

An Ekphrastic poem is one that is based off of or centered around or describes, etc. a non-literary work of art. So paintings, sculptures, etc. If you choose a visual piece other than what Robert posted, please feel free to post a link to it in the comments.

I chose one of the ones that Robert posted: Flying Witches.

I was dumb enough to imagine flying.
I was mad enough to imagine weightless flight.
I was blind enough to think it was possible.

The light intruded on my imagination,
Trying to banish the witches flying above me
As I imagined them lifting me up, up into bliss.
The witches turned their back on the light
And we went right on imagining.

Now as I crawl into my space suit and prepare
To be launched towards the moon
I see the wizards and witches working last minute
Details on the spacecraft. They are scientists
Who were dumb enough to imagine flying.
Mad enough to imagine weightless flight.
Blind enough to think it was possible.

Here I go. They are lifting me up again.

(Note: No, I don't advocate witch craft. The witches in the painting represent imagination and at the time of the painting, it was thought that imagining impossible things was a sign of madness, blindness, and dumbness. So while I would rather imagination be represented by something other than witches, I'm still an advocate of people using their imaginations.)

Here's a prompt from my own mind, if it helps you think of what to write:
Write a poem about plastic. It's many uses, its annoying habit of melting when you accidentally put it on a hot stove, whatever. I'll be thinking about this one and will try to post a poem about plastic in the comments. Have fun writing!

Monday, April 5, 2010

April PAD Challenge - Day 5

Happy Easter!
I didn't get a chance to post 'cause of the holiday, so now I'll play catch up. Feel free to submit your poems from previous days on any blog post in April.

The source of the daily prompts can be found here at Poetic Asides.

Day 2 - Write a 'water' poem, or poem with water in it.

(Note: This poem is meant to be read out loud. I originally had all sorts of marks indicating tone and breath but decided it was too hard to make them appear here. Maybe someday I'll get around to recording it, but for now, just realize its not your traditional poem.)

Coming Home After

Ferdinand Magellan was a maritime sailor in 1521.
He started the first successful attempt to
Circumnavigate the earth.

Circumnavigate, as you might know, means to go all the way around
And come back.

He was looking for a way to get to spices, to get ahead, find his niche in the economy.
He didn't come back.

There was a battle in the Philippines and he died.
But his crew took up the slack,
took leadership and came back.

They finished the voyage and when they came home,
only 18 of the 227 men, strong good men
Met their children at the dock,
Lay with their wives that night,
Rejoiced at seeing familiar sights
After an unsure journey.

And I, a Minnesota College student in 2008,
started her first attempt to circumnavigate the drain.
I thought I knew what truth meant and was
Sure I could stand up to any professor,
Any digressor,
And shine like no one had seen before.

Like Magellan, I wanted a faster route to a happier life.

And as I sat in my lectures, feet on the floor,
edge of my seat,
mind an open door, beat-
ing as if it had its own heart...

Right from the start
Truth: became fiction.
Love: became diction and not passion.
There was no conviction.

My life began circling the drain.
Caught like a ship in a maelstrom,
Like a bug in a toilet bowl,
Like what mindlessness does
to the soul,
How the Earth soaks up rain.
And you know what I learned?

I died. In too many battles against foreign thoughts,
Even when I ought
To have given up I didn't and fell defending.
The 227 men inside me pulled on the ropes, and rigged the rigging.

I found the strongest parts of me were left behind.
Those who chose to fight and stave off the enemy
Stayed behind and --
Continue to sentry
The wary passages in my mind.

But I did come back.

The Magellan in me left and died,
But there was a remnant that carried on:
and it wasn't the parts I thought.

Only 18 came home, came back.
But I'm sure as they unloaded the ship that night,
Under a starry dome,
Safe from the deranged,
Walked around the town, met families and friends,
They didn't say they were home.
They said they were changed.

Day 3 - Write a poem with the title "Partly _______ "

I got this prompt mixed up in my head and instead wrote a poem titled "Probably ____". I suppose Partly could work just as well here.

Partly Special

I was handed an emerald box
By a talking badger in the woods.
I'm the secret heir to a throne and
I have ridiculously gorgeous hair.
I was sent on a quest to save some people
And I'm also wondering how to find my identity.

The emerald box contains the answer
To all of my problems.
But only if I know how to use it.
You might pass me by on the street,
But you should know I'm the kind of stranger
Who is partly special.

Day 4 - Write a history poem.

The Murderer's Song

A finch sings from his cage in my room.
It's a beautiful song.
And yet I feel like ignoring him.
I dress, eat breakfast, then go back upstairs
For something I forgot.
As I pass by his cage, I finally sit down and listen
And forget that he was the bully who
Killed my three other birds.
I forget to fault him for his birdie instincts
And just listen.
Is he sorry? Is his song an attempt at atonement?
Or is it just another instinct, to sing when the sun is up?
His little birdie body ruffles with the last notes
And no matter his history,
I feel an impulse to forgive him.

Day 5 - Write a TMI poem (Too Much Information)

RT@TMI Plz stop

My friend just ate a ham sandwich.
I know 'cause she posted a tweed.
Poetic perspective? Or Petty collective?
Whatever. It took seconds to read.