Poetry Marathon 2023

6:00 a.m. Hour 1

A Golden Shovel Poem

Our journey on this sphere is limited in
time. Cliché, yes, but true. I think so much about life
and its ending now that I
am old enough for a senior discount. Some say–
“I won’t write to her, let
our sister be alone. She made her choices,” but me,
I can’t. I’ll keep reaching out and come
to the end, hopefully more healed and closer.
What happens in those in-between odd and even
years that breaks relationships? if
we knew would we fix it?
It is bitterness and apathy that kills
not forgiveness and love, which I choose for me

My striking line came from “Divergence” by Diana Khoi Nguyen
“In life I say let me come closer even if it kills me”

Prompt for Hour One

7:00 a.m. Hour 2

A Lai Poem

What will fill this need?
To the voices heed?

Plant in love the seed
Grow at great speed

Spirit at last freed
Climbing up to feed
Blue Moon

I have been meaning to write a poem using the lai form, since I read one by Kat Apel here. I gave it a try using this photo as she climbs the ladder to this week’s blue moon.

Prompt for Hour Two

8:00 a.m. Hour 3

Twenty Little Poetry Projects

You are my pot of gold
The mint plant of life singing
I taste the soft breeze on my face
What would I do without Keith in Joshua Tree?
Though sometimes he’s a dipshit
“Can I have a rainbow, Mom?”
The sweet stone of freedom beams me skyward
As we walk in the desert in order for democracy to be saved.
Do you smell that basil plant singing?
I am pricked by the cactus spikes every morning for breakfast
The arc melts into the future
Keith and Ditz will dance in fragile freedom
I see the olla de oro
The pot of gold calls out to us
Golden these years

Prompt for Hour Three

9:00 a.m. Hour 4

A Pantoum on Connection

Will I be content to stay this way?
Or will I take the difficult path to connect?
With you, unperfectly perfect for me
Let’s commit together

Or will I take the difficult path to connect?
It is always tempting to remain an island
Let’s commit together
For we can offer ourselves as one

It is always tempting to remain an island
An island of selfishness and fear
For we can offer ourselves as one
One of the many, but one of our hope

An island of selfishness and fear
We can sail with our connection
One of the many, but one of our hope
After forty years, I am sure

We can sail with our connection
With you, unperfectly perfect for me
After forty years, I am sure
to be content to stay this way for more

Prompt for Hour Four

10:00 a.m. Hour 5

A Found Poem about a Crime

Accused persons

Commission of a
Crime together
in Fulton County,
Conspired and
Endeavored to
Conduct racketeering
in violation of
O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(b)
Contrary to the laws–
The good order

Prompt for Hour Five

Source: The Georgia Indictment

11:00 a.m. Hour 6

Over the Edge

I gasped at the vastness,
it seemed as large as
the parking lot at Walmart.
Only there was
no pavement and
no painted lines and
no RVs free camping and
no shopping carts running amuck and
no conspiracy theories.

In fact, there was no solid ground,
except under my feet,
and the view was breathtaking
and reminded me to stop
and reevaluate
before I fell into oblivion.

Prompt for Hour Six

Noon Hour 7

Whispers of Courage

Whispers of courage
fill each drop of rain
until they become
a force to sustain

life and fill each with
whispers of courage
breath of heaven
and strength to forage

a  future replete
with newness of life
whispers of courage
confidence in strife

the strife to overcome
and to discourage
environmental crises
whispers of courage

Prompt for Hour Seven

Viator at Writer’s Digest

1:00 p.m. Hour 8


Daylight beckons me
spilling out of darkness
the day begins with
breezes of breath
tears of joy
crags of a life
without regrets.
The birds are
playing and
humming their songs
sometimes screeching,
but always authentic.
Oh, to be like a bird
on the wing of this new day.

Inspired by Max Richter – “On the Nature of Daylight”

Prompt for Hour Eight

2:00 p.m. Hour 9

Bicycle Cruisers

so much depends upon
the teal and cinnamon cruisers
with their elk-antler handlebars
elbowed in on the cobblestone bridge
with the row houses jacketing the street
and our satisfied tremors of delight
as we clamber up onto the bikes.

First line taken from William Carlos Williams ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’.

Photo by Aswathy N

Prompt for Hour Nine

3:00 p.m. Hour 10

What is Grammy Love?

Every move you make
Every dance you shake
Every smile you give
Every day you live
I’ll be loving you

Every time you cry
When life goes awry
Every stint you’re mean
Whether dirty or clean
I’ll be loving you

Every time
Every day
Every season
Every life
Every being
I’ll be loving you
I’ll be loving you

Inspired by Sting’s “I’ll Be Watching You”.

Prompt for Hour Ten

4:00 p.m. Hour 11

The Path – A Ninette to the Mosquitos

the green
trail, we hiked–
dancing light entranced
so we forgot
to itch the
bites you

Ninette poetry form

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

Prompt for Hour Eleven

5:00 p.m. Hour 12

My Closet

I wish I had a photo of the little holes in the closet wall in our den when I was a child. After removing the rag bag and iron and spray water bottle and what-have-you, I could crawl up on the shelf into my closet; it was at about waist high to an adult. There were some decorative holes on the back of a curio shelf on the other side of the wall. They were perfectly situated for me. When I was sitting on my closet shelf, it was a perfect secret agent perch to look out at the goings-on of my family. I was the captain of a ship peering through the spyglass. I was taking detective notes. I was making subtle noises to try to get family members to wonder what they heard. It was my closet and no one could have convinced me otherwise.

Prompt for Hour Twelve


6:00 p.m. Hour 13

Retired Teacher

There once was a woman in J.T.
who gets to hike & sip iced tea.
She made her mark
retired with a spark,
now she’s a school absentee.

Prompt for Hour Thirteen

7:00 p.m. Hour 14

Prompt for Hour Fourteen

8:00 p.m. Hour 15

The Unhoused Woman Notices the Housed Woman

Maybe I should make a new
sign for tomorrow. Today
I got enough dog food
and water to last awhile.

(Actually, how am I going to carry this bag of dogfood
when the store closes and I have to go “home”?)

She looked at me
and saw my sign,
“Need dog food and water”
and the dogfood and water
that someone bought me earlier.
She kept walking. I
do need another sign,
but what if she stopped and talked to me?

It’s pretty hot out here, I know.
She just got out of her A/Ced
car and she went into Von’s–
they have A/C too.

It’s hot out here.

9:00 p.m. Hour 16

Dictionary Entry

Poetry Marathon



  1. to create confidence
  2. to whisper creativity
  3. to meet and bless a worldwide poetry community
  4. to climb expectations

as in We’ve been Poetry Marathoning for 15 hours so far.

1. a chapbook full of admirable achievements
Bring on the Poetry Marathon! 

2. a day of hope in the life of a poet
It’s been a Poetry Marathon day.

3. a gift of love from Caitlin and Jacob
Thank you for that Poetry Marathon.


10:00 p.m. Hour 17

Stop Kaleidoscoping Me

I’m a beautiful form watcher
or as the Greeks would say
Kalos – eidos – scopos
I know you love my
reflective symmetry,
but stop grinding my wheel!

Prompt for Hour Seventeen

11:00 p.m. Hour 18

The Crows are Back

They arrived at dusk.
It was light
enough to see them gather
and crowd in along
the electrical wiring
above the ancient
Road house.
When the little old woman
fell, they swooped in on her doing
what carrion crows do, even
she’s yet to die
and begin the rotting process.

Midnight Hour 19

Yellow Sand

It’s an eerie chromatic primary land
where red are trees and yellow is sand

1:00 a.m. Hour 20

Disrupted Sleep

Going to bed every night is such a treat
I lotion up my body, floss and brushes
Then jump in bed, nestle up to sleep
But today, every hour my alarm rushes

2:00 a.m. Hour 21


Running :
for cover :
into the ground :
around in circles :
running a temp : a foul :
a tab : hot and cold :
on empty : wild :
out the clock :


3:00 a.m. Hour 22

Appian Way Pizza

Not to be confused with the road in Italy,
this Appian Way came in a box.
Not a pizza box, but a box right on the pantry shelf.
“Make your own for only 55¢” was their slogan.
It was always a special night
if our parents were going out
and we got to make our own pizza.

Weekend Event - Pizza: 1954 Appian Way Pizza Kit: vintage_ads — LiveJournal


4:00 a.m. Hour 23

A World Away

The soldiers rally on, working to defeat the intruders.

After a late night invasion, the attack is doubled.
The forces surround the invaders, like skin tight around a sphere

The capture are conquer, divide, and dismember
They are sent out to do the bidding of King Acid.
In the world of Stomach, battles fire up, then cool.


Cherita poem


5:00 a.m. Hour 24

Hope is…

something I always write about.
In fact, in a quick search, I used hope in
three poems in the last 24 hours: here and here and here
(And seven times the last time I did a Poetry Marathon.
And, on my blog, don’t get me counting. I seem to include
Hope more than anything else.) Hope is here,
the perfect little handful of a word.
A perfect world-full remedy to heal our brokenness.
If we lose hope, we’ll fall out of the sky,
plucked like Emily’s thing without the feathers.

Let’s keep hope.


8 thoughts on “Poetry Marathon 2023

  1. Denise, I am impressed that not only you kept writing, but each poem seems to build upon a theme for your life as you come to accept aging, adore nature, speak out about injustice, and love, love, love. Thanks for posting all the prompts. What stamina for writing you have!

    1. Thank you so much, Margaret. I appreciate that you read them. There were some interesting and challenging prompts. I hope you’ll find something you like.

  2. Denise, I read and savored each of these. Your poems are exquisite, and you provide us with a primer for practice! (A gift, truly…and maybe a “try-it-on Tuesdays” resource?!)
    Love that you end this marathon with hope; everything should end that way.
    Most people watch twenty-four hours disappear.
    You’ve marked each one here,
    and make me think of the 8,760 poems
    that might be born each year.

    1. Ah, Trish, a poem in the comment! Thank you so much. That is a lovely thought–that every hour can hold a poem. Writing one every hour really makes you accept the fact that they don’t have to be good or edited! Haha! Thank you so much for reading them.

  3. So much variety! My Closet, Redacted, Yellow Sand, and A World Away are some of my favorites.

    1. Tabatha, thank you so much for looking over my day’s worth of poems! You are sweet. It’s funny what your brain comes up with in the middle of the night, e.g. yellow sand.

  4. Wow Denise, you did it, congrats! 🎉🎈🎊 Love that little mosquito trail poem and the image, “My Closet” and that you rallied through!!!

  5. Yes, you did it! These are cool, Denise. “Running” is the perfect 2 am poem; more than once, I’ve had to get up because my brain won’t stop running through the day, week, year, etc.

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