Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sunday haiku

dreary rainy day
streams overflowing their banks
beauty and danger

Friday, April 30, 2010

From the darkness calls

On this last day of April
a call sounded in the night. 
The sky was clear,
the stars were out,
and magic called from the darkness.
We had no expectations, just a
"Wouldn't it be cool if..." attitude.
Yet there he was -
rewarding our climb up the steep hill,
he sang:
Chuck Will's Widow.
Rewarding our climb up the steep hill,
he flew:
Chuck Will's Widow.

Day 30 - last day!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

acrostic haibun

Tonight's offering is a bit of a hodge-podge.  The prompt for today was to write an acrostic poem, which means that the first letter of each line spells something when you read those letters vertically.  The twist, however, was to make the foundation of the acrostic personal, be it by using your name, the month of your birthday, your favorite color, or what have you.  I chose to use "Heather of the Hills" as the base for my acrostic poem.  That's the name of my nature blog, which is my "original" blog, and has come to be a part of my identity since I started it almost 3 years ago.

Hoping for inspiration
Every day.
Attuned to cues and clues,
Taking what is given to me.
Hearing my inner voice
Echoing in my inner mind,
Reaching for something more.

Open heart,
Full of dreams.

Turning toward new ideas,
Heralding fresh starts -
Each day an opportunity awaits.

Holding out my hand,
Imagining what could be.
Learning, laughing, loving,
Longing for me to be.
Something's coming.

I also wrote a haiku today, each line of which starts with words from an inspirational phrase that I came across on the internet this morning, just before reading today's prompt.  From the phrase "thoughts become things":

thoughts like a light bulb
become real and tangible
things of true power

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Both poems share a similar theme.  It didn't take long for me to figure out that I could actually turn the whole thing into a haibun, which I learned about thanks to my blogging friend James over at Coyote Mercury.  By its most broad definition, haibun is a combination of prose and haiku.  So, my original works convert to this:

Hoping for inspiration every day.  Attuned to cues and clues, taking what is given to me.  Hearing my inner voice echoing in my inner mind, reaching for something more.  Open heart, full of dreams.  Turning toward new ideas, heralding fresh starts - each day an opportunity awaits.  Holding out my hand, imagining what could be.  Learning, laughing, loving, longing for me to be.  Something's coming.

thoughts like a light bulb
become real and tangible
things of true power

As we near the end of NaPoWriMo, I should be wearing out, but the poems of the last two days came rather quickly.  It's been a fun ride, and I'll be sad to see this writing month come to an end.

Day 27

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just dandy (aka "The lion's mane")

Some stand tall, others fall short,
but they are all proud.
Seeds hurled forth on the slightest
of breezes,
but only after its vibrant lemon yellow is
by the black banding of a bumble bee.
A name coming from the French
- dent de lion -
translated as "tooth of the lion,"
it is not nearly as fierce as its name implies.
No, quite to the contrary.
Fields of delightful golden pompoms soon
give way 
to a dreamy white haze.
Their delicate lace fingers reach out,
seeds on parachutes,
floating to realms unknown.
They are whispers of
the summers of our youth.
Don't tell me "This is a weed."
I will counter with "This is a thing of beauty."

Today's poem does not come from a writing prompt. Rather, it was inspired by the many photos I have taken recently of dandelions in all kinds of light, in all stages of being (well, mostly). This poem has been coming on for a few days, after taking the time to study the intricacies of this fine flower. For an example of a recent photo from my dandelion collection, please see "dandelion sunset" on my photography blog.

Day 26

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday haiku

turtle in the road
destined to become roadkill
swerving car saves life

Day 25

Saturday, April 24, 2010


A poor workman always blames his tools.
Failing that, he blames his surroundings, his environment.
Excuses, all of them.
There are many excuses to not write.
I don't have time for this.
I can't think of anything to say.
It's so loud in here I can't hear myself think.
It's too quiet in here.
That dripping faucet is driving me crazy.
My pen ran out of ink.
The pencil lead broke.
My laptop caught a virus.
My eyes are crossed from exhaustion.
My mind can't put words together any more.
My fingers can't type.
Brain shutting down.
How long until day 30?

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is "find a phrase." We were directed to The Phrase Finder website to search for a phrase that rang true with us to write a poem around it. I chose the English proverb A poor workman always blames his tools. Seems appropriate for this stage of the writing month.

Day 24

space available

Fieldside Realty -
providing safe nest boxes since 2006

It is our business at
Fieldside Realty
to offer clean, safe, and free housing
to Bluebirds and Tree Swallows each spring.

Each of our properties includes
* Handcrafted one-room oak box,
perfect for nest building and starting your family
* Stovepipe baffle for security against rodents and snakes
* Creekside access, just wingbeats away
* Free nesting material
* Some of the best bug hunting in town
* Excellent perching spots nearby

The properties are located in a friendly,
well-landscaped neighborhood.
Humans will check in on your dwellings periodically
to make sure that you are doing well
and to track the progress of your
growing family.

We hope you will consider renting from
Fieldside Realty today.
(Special appreciation given to multiple brood attempts.)

NEW LISTING: 1 duck box available for immediate occupancy

While technically written on day 24 of NaPoWriMo, this is in response to day 23's prompt "unlikely couples," where we are to "[w]rite a poem in which you combine a speaker and an event that normally don’t go together." I'm also posting this one at my nature blog because I think a lot of folks there will get a kick out of it.

Day 23

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

feline love

Sleek, slinky, sneaky.
Cute, cautious, quirky.
Stalker in the field,
stalker in my kitchen,
get that mouse - pounce!

Sunbeam napper,
Box lover,

Queen of indifference,
except when you give nose kisses.
Then you're a sweet girl
who rocks my world.

Stand up for treats,
you're light on your feet.
Tiny paw pads
knead on my heart.

I miss you, sweet girl.

This is inspired by the NaPoWriMo prompt for day 18, "meow!" where the assignment was to write a poem "featuring the cat family." Being an allergy sufferer, having cats is not a very sensible thing for me to do, but my husband and I had cats for about 4 years anyway, because I had wanted a cat since I was in college. I love them so, and was sad to give up our last cat a few years ago. This poem needs a LOT of work, but it was what I came up with quickly. I have much love and respect for felines, and I know this poem could be so much better.

I'm not officially numbering it since I already did my main piece for the day, but I'm still counting it toward my overall total of writings for the month.

An imperfect world

Me flawed?  No way!
Honor roll, best in class, A+.
Captain of this, editor of that,
valedictorian, perfect attendance.
Teach me something and I will
learn it and perform it flawlessly.
Tricky thing, perfection.
It can make you a little bit crazy,
and you don't even realize it until
you drop dinner on the floor by accident
and suddenly your world comes crashing in.
A world where mistakes aren't tolerated,
clumsiness is frowned upon,
starting over is not an option.
Get it right the first time or don't bother.
A piece of your integrity just flies
right out the door
when you mess up.
Surely others judge you as harshly
as you judge yourself, if not worse.
Tricky thing, perfection.
It can spiral out of control,
set up unrealistic expectations,
and actually make you worse at something
you really are good at.
"Letting go" are not words easily
spoken by a perfectionist's lips,
thought by a perfectionist's mind.
Perfection is not human.
It is devilish, no doubt about it.
Learning to let go,
learning that it's okay to be flawed,
is redemption.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is "Perfectly flawed," encouraging us to write about perfection and/or flaws.... but I bet you figured that out already! I didn't pull any punches on this one, wearing my heart on my sleeve as I wrote it. Kind of scary.

Day 21

catching up

I will admit, I did not write a poem yesterday. It's the first day I have actually skipped writing during NaPoWriMo (although I did finish up a post I had been working on over on my nature blog, so all is not lost).

Here is some of the stuff that I wrote but did not post last week. Haikus were the best I could muster, and even some of those aren't exactly in 5-7-5 form.

sun drenched hillside
the golden light of evening
cool clean breezes blow


birds scratch at leaf litter
hip hop jump back and forth
looking for dinner


at the forest's edge
querulous nonsense chatter
marks his territory

Day 14

golden spring sunset
incomparable palette
sparkling blue sky

Day 15

big brown bird singing
repeat repeat two by two
hiding in plain sight
(any guesses on the identity of this bird?)

sound washes over
voices rise high in the sky
dawn song awakens

Day 16

Monday, April 19, 2010


My mind
is full
my hands
are empty.
My heart
is open
my arms
are closed.
Inspiration lacking.
Destination unclear.

Day 19

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sunday haiku

Fluffy white and blue
cotton candy up above
patchwork sky shimmers

Day 18


Soil - pilaged
Leaves - mangled
Roots - destroyed
Punished for doing your job,
you performed admirably, yet a little too well.
You took hold in the inhospitable soil
where little else would grow,
slowly choking out what few jewels did thrive.
If you had your way,
within a few years a monoculture would surely reign,
but I did not sign on for that.
Your iron fist will not take over my garden,
so the pulling begins and continues for days.
At first it is cathartic,
the removal feels justified -
Aha, there's a hosta!  Oh look, another! -
but it soon turns to remorse.
A realization that this plant was only doing its job,
covering the ground just as the label said.
It did not sign on for this.

Wow, things are just going downhill with my plant poetry, aren't they? This one is based on real life, on the true removal of a lovely but invasive Vinca plant from my flower garden. Poems from days 14-16 will be posted tomorrow - I left my notebook of poems at work by accident on Friday.

Day 17

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I'm still writing, but I'm on a self-imposed blogging blackout right now.  And right in the middle of NaPoWriMo.  The nerve, right?  I'll be back in a few days.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

My favorite pastime has become the imaginary destruction of flowers.
It comes standard with my evil twin.
I take their pictures and learn their names.
I consult guides in order to know where they like to grow.
I drool over plant catalogs and linger in nurseries,
wishing I had the space and means to buy them all.
Little do they know what I have in store for them in my mind.
Sure, I'll plant them up all neat and pretty,
spacing them in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
All the while planning how I'll painfully pluck each and every petal,
how I'll singe the roots of some and drown the roots of others.
I'll chop the tops clean off of the showiest blooms
just as they are reaching the height of beauty.
A riot of color will go up in flames,
nothing left but acrid black smoke,
no trace remaining of their original perfume.
I will count on that perfume, though,
to bring me back from the clouds, feet on the ground.
Enjoying the glorious living creatures about which
I have these very inappropriate daydreams.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt was to use a line from a Norman Dubie poem to begin a poem of our own. This turned out to be quite an interesting exercise. For those of you who read yesterday's happy floral-themed poem, this is quite a departure from that!

Day 13

Monday, April 12, 2010

Floral delights

Elvin, dwarfish, itty-bitty, wee -
these are some words used to describe thee.
Tiny flowers, close to the ground,
so hard to see unless I really look around.
Ivy, violet, just to name a few,
Each day another one springs up anew.
Striped ones, white ones, purple ones, too -
for something so small you really give a view!
A being so bold but that doesn't make a sound
makes it more special to know that I have found
a dainty thing so wonderful and free
a beauty that I wish everyone could see.

What happens when it's 9:00 at night, the prompt for the day didn't really spark anything for ya, but you've got the need to make something with a sing-song sound? Drop back and punt and write about whatever is dominant in your mind. In my case, I've been photographing spring wildflowers quite a bit lately, which provided the inspiration for this rhyming little ditty. The structure is not as solid as I would like (I was originally aiming for heroic couplets, but that proved to be a bit much), but it's better than coming up empty-handed!

Day 12

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sunday haiku

tiny jewel with wings
I dreamt I saw you last night
hummingbird beauty

I think it also works in reverse:

hummingbird beauty
I dreamt I saw you last night
tiny jewel with wings

Which way works better to your senses? (Personally, I prefer the first one, waiting until the end to reveal the subject of the poem.)

Day 11

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Saturday short one

A frosty night passes
then we all come outside
to kiss the sun
and plant flowers

Day 10

Friday, April 9, 2010


I am from Lite Brite and Etch-a-Sketch,
Tinker Toys and Legos,
Fashion Plates and Barbie.
I am from four-eyes and brace face,
bad haircuts and big eyeglasses.

I scribbled and drew,
danced and made music.
Single child,
nurtured by parents and educators,
I dreamed big dreams about what I would be.

State Fairs and band camps,
ball games and concerts;
bleachers and classrooms,
football fields and stages -
these are the places that shaped who I am.

Perfectionist and pouty,
moody and meticulous -
some things never change.

Hard-working and driven,
addicted to knowledge -
some things never change.

I am a product of myself.

Today's poem is based on a prompt shared with me by my dear friend Meg. It is a response to a wonderful poem by George Ella Lyon called "Where I'm From."  Thanks for sharing that with me, Meg!

Day 9

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Artisanal Obsession

Blue Beauty
Goddess of my kitchen counter
I bow down to thee.

Your juxtapositions -
delicate yet powerful,
industrial yet beautiful -
have nestled their way into my heart.
You add depth and complexity to my life,
to my heart, to my baking.
You are a 5-quart, 10-speed powerhouse.
You complete me.

You effortlessly turn butter and sugar into a
pillow of fine yellow velvet.

You blend yeast and flour, oil and water
into a heady ball of fermented goodness.

Oh and the things you can do with eggs...
make them into a frothy, foamy lather,
or luxurious golden ribbons,
even fluffy, billowy clouds.
Finally you whirl into a frenzy,
whipping my meringues higher and higher.

It never felt so good to have so much fun in the kitchen.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is "unusual love connections". The prompt offers the following: "Today, think of your current love, your current obsession or the one who got away. Now come up with five or more unusual metaphors for the object of your affection/obsession: wool scarf, cough drop, puddle, half-empty bottle of red wine… Choose your favorite of the bunch and write a poem celebrating (or trashing) your love." I mostly followed this. I'm sure most folks wrote about a person, but after perusing a few of my favorite cooking blogs today, I decided that I wanted to do a poem related to food, and I figured my Artisan series Kitchen-Aid stand mixer was an item worthy of my loving praises, and thus this poem was born.

Day 8

Thursday morn haiku

in the early dawn
relentless and tireless
the turkey gobbles

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Lady bird I will show you that I am the man for you
I offer you this tasty peanut from my beak to yours
complete with a fancy dance of love
until my rival interrupts
and drives me away

Well, here we are at the end of the first week of NaPoWriMo. I hit a wall today. The prompt didn't do much for me, and I was very uninspired today in general. We were prompted to write about humor in love, using a specific form called tanka (a Japanese poetry form that predates haiku).  I strayed quite a bit from the prompt and the form, but I did at least have a love story to tell, sad as it is.

Day 7

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Come to me for your healing -
I welcome you with open arms.
It will be simple and perfect,
a whisper of soul, of honest acceptance.
I will ground you in rock and stone,
and timeless purity.
Your ancient tears,
fragments of emotion,
will be respected.
Breathe the cool air, feel the release.
Touch the cool earth, feel the forgiveness.
You and your memories are home here,
in the calm silence of bliss.
Oh, structure of flesh and bone,
you are sacred and special.
You were made in harmony with the ancients.
I know you.
I accept you.
I love you.
Be at peace.

Today's prompt asked us to "converse with images." We were to pick an image (or images, in my case) of our liking and have a conversation with it. What would the picture say? Why is it meaningful to me? What does it make me feel or remember? What kind of mood does it invoke? As answers to these questions started to come, we were encouraged to jot down words freely and randomly, and then try to connect the dots, so to speak.
These particular images are from my own collection, and they were taken in a location that is very special and sacred to me. When I started this piece, it had a completely different tone, a different voice, a different point. The first draft was written directly in verse, and I thought it was the story the pictures wanted me to tell, but it wasn't working and I knew it. So I scrapped the first version and starting making a list of words, just as instructed in the prompt. What a miracle that was! Emotions worked their way into it, and I came up with something much more true to what the images mean to me. This has definitely been the most difficult prompt for me yet, and certainly the most rewarding.

Day 6

Tuesday haiku

Today's dawn chorus
Heavy on peepers and toads
Voices of the gods

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's nothing personal, but...

All the petty talk - words
about the weekend, the game, a trip to your grandma's.

Honestly, I don't care.

Yes, my weekend was nice, but
I don't want to tell you about it.
Not today, anyway.
Try me tomorrow - I might feel up to it then.

Want to gossip about who's not doing what at work?
Count me out.
I'm listening, but not participating
in your backstabbing nonsense.

Small talk is not on the table
for me today.
You've only said five words and already I'm tired
of your mouth -
aggravated by your need to engage me.
Don't you know it deflates me?

Can you hear my teeth gritting and
the "Shut up!" chant in my head?

I am my own best company.
I don't need your chatter to make my day work.
Just leave me alone, let me do my work,
where I can daydream but still be productive.

Please, kindly go away.
I'm having an Introvert's Monday.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt asked us to get personal. What they were trying to tease out was a way for us to make our own poetry personal (i.e. give a voice, a shape, an identity to our poetry and what it means to us), but I ended up coming up with this instead.  It's one thing to say that I'm an introvert, but it's another thing to actually put the inner dialog that comes with that territory on the page for all the world to see.  Thus, this is a personal post for me.  Also, the aloofness that surely comes off on days like the one described above might be taken personally for some...

Day 5

Monday haiku

I seem to be on a roll with the haiku lately...

Porches and front stoops
People perching and talking
Sipping lemonade

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sunday haiku

Midday sun burns hot
Songbirds have fallen silent
I put on my hat

Day 4

Saturday haiku

So much stuff to do
The irony of spring time
Great days to take naps

Didn't get to post this on Saturday because we were traveling.

Day 3

Friday, April 2, 2010

Radical Word Play

The Read Write Poets got to work on
their Research Working Paper dubbed the "Radisson Witch Project."

It was regarding a Respectful Workplace Program
- located on the Road to Wigan Pier in the River West Plaza -
housing a Rotational Work Program that
tests the Real Wheel Push of tires (a Required Weather Performance).

Ratings Were Placed on the tires on Regular White Paper.
If they did not pass the Rhythmic Wave Process
they were subjected to a Repair Welding Procedure.
This required a Rad Work Permit, which is issued by a Random Weird Person.

Once the Rigid Wave Pattern is employed by a reputable welder person,
two outcomes are possible:
1.) Reliable Wheel Products will move on to a Roads Working Party, or
2.) Right Wing Pundits will send rejected wheel products to the Radioactive Waste Pile.

The Research and Writing Program will post the results to Recruitment and Workforce Planning via a Rational Web Platform on Randys Web Page.

This little bit of nonsense is inspired by the prompt given for day 2 of NaPoWriMo: the ol' acronym switcheroo.  We were advised to go to Acronym Attic and type "RWP" (the initials of ReadWritePoem, of course) in the search field, and then to peruse the resulting phrases that use the letters RWP as their first initials and incorporate them into our poem in any way we see fit.  I decided to try making a story using as many of the phrases as I could.  Of approximately 80 phrases, I used 21 - one quarter of the list... not too shabby!  This was a fun prompt to play with.  Things like this will help me expand beyond my usual "nature" repertoire.

Day 2

Thursday, April 1, 2010


The setting sun always brings a
symphony of some sort.
I sit in silence,
listening for the subtle sounds of the first notes.

Tonight's was an intimate concert where
the centerpiece was the crepuscular chanting of cardinals-
the issuing forth of chips and chatter,
the fluttering flourish of heavy wing beats,
the crisp crunch of seeds being husked.

A scuffle and skirmish of males showing off,
the silence of females observing.

I am blessed to bear witness to their rituals.

Day 1

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Goose stands on one foot
Waiting for her mate to come
On the wings of spring

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday haiku

I have very little practice writing haiku.  No time like the present to get started!

squirrel tails flicking
acrobats without a net
jumping for bird seed

Friday, March 26, 2010

Forget March Madness, what about April

I am aware of March Madness, but I'm not a big sports fan, so I don't much care about March Madness and all its little brackets and paring and whittling down.

There's another kind of madness coming up in April, though.  April is NaPoWriMo (short for National Poetry Writing Month).  What's mad about it?  Writing a poem every single day for the entire month, that's what!  I've never attempted such a thing in my life, and I suspect it will be a great challenge, but I think I'm up for it.

I want to up front with myself about this NaPoWriMo thing.  I realize that:
- It will be difficult
- I will come up with lots of excuses to not write
- I will get stuck
- I will get unstuck
- Not every poem will be a home run (honestly, I'll be happy to knock out one a week that I'm actually pleased with)
- The prompts from readwritepoem will help
- I will learn a lot
- I'll find out how it feels to push for creativity every day for a month

etc, etc.  I get the idea.  Wish me luck!

Something's coming

I paw at the ground,
Tossing aside leaf litter and rich humus -
Searching for signs of life,
Inhaling the aroma of sweet earth primordial.

The mist of morn,
Of spring new-born -
It beckons forth
And I am torn.

The fern is furtive as I fumble with the soil -
Not yet ready to burst forth, to show itself,
To leave behind the shackles of dormancy;
Still waiting for thirst-quenching rains,
And for mercy from the strains of dormancy.

Knees on the ground
I listen to the sound
Of earthworms crawling 'round -
Happy that new life will soon abound.

-my response to read write poem prompt #118


Hurry, quick, jot it down!
Something, anything, write it now!

Must write for exercise,
to stretch the brain -
Must write for exercise,
to reach, to search, to strain.

Can't worry about TV,
can't worry about time.
Must focus on the words,
it's all about the rhyme.

Practice makes perfect,
write a little each day.
But LOST is about to come on,
so I must be on my way!