Monthly Archives: April 2014

Thoughts on Writing a Poem a Day

Today marks the end of NaPoWriMo’s challenge to write a poem a day during April. I took the challenge (the poems are here) and I must say I found it oddly liberating.

Mainly, it liberated me from having to fuss too much over any individual poem because I knew tomorrow would offer another opportunity. It became like dipping a bucket in a stream each day. Some days the bucket brought up sparkling, fresh ideas. Other days not so much. But it always brought up something.

I usually think of daily writing more as a habit of prose writers, but I learned that I was simply writing down what flows in the stream in each of us every day and trying to say it honestly with a minimum of fuss or “art” around it. Some poems are obviously better than others, but that isn’t really the point.

If you have never tried this as a poet, I highly recommend it! And you don’t even have to wait until next April.

The No Rest Home

Mind rolled off your plate
rig in the ditch

stuck down so far
no Jesus winch could pull it out.

God damn I hate
seeing you this way.

Just dropped by
to say–

it’s okay.


I shall build up my poems
from individual nerves firing
like birds do

Poem For Carol on Her Birthday

I love you like the sea,
all typhoon
and quiet blue tide pools.

When the office smell
of indifferent men
overwhelms me–

tell me about your day
with the baby
and the fool at the billing office.

Your laughter and delight
at the human comedy
would make the moon grin,

you know?

Fore Peaks

They were always there.
I climbed past them dozens of times, unknowing.

Cut from the massif,
threatening in their way–
alive with guttural voices like wolves.

It took the deepest rain
and drifting skeins of cloud

to make them stand out
and pierce my wretched
wandering mind with wonder.

Living a Life

Living a life is not as easy as walking across a field.

–Russian proverb

Against the Grain of the Day

I want to set myself against the grain of the day.
A kitchen chair has legs that tilt in.
The seat resting on top is my day, sturdy and stable.

Yet quarter sawn or planked,
in the whorl and knot is a risen world.

Descartes saw lines and coordinates, all equidistant,
extending out beyond Alpha Centauri.

In poetry there is the view that Einstein saw through a keyhole
and Rumi saw through a window–
a view of light and love and softly shaped mystery.

Three apples rest on a plate on the kitchen table
next to the garden window. The neighbor is planting thyme.
The day is in the tools in his garden shed.