Poetry Friday – Poetry Marathon Update

Today is Poetry Friday and the one and only Tabatha Yeatts is hosting with a fun interview with William Blake. Thank you, Tabatha.

Last Saturday was the Poetry Marathon, and I made it! Twenty-four poems in 24 hours. All the poems are early drafts for sure. Some took five minutes or less and certainly show it, like one where I listened to YoYo Ma play while I wrote down some words, and another is a found poem from the lyrics of Abba’s “Dancing Queen.”

I followed one of the two suggested prompts for each poem during the marathon. Hour 23, the prompt was to write a poem with the title, “Tender, Tender.” I was thinking of my grandson who will turn two this weekend.

Tender, Tender

My hope for you is to be
Tender, tender–strong
And tender. To be
all you are destined to be
All the good, for which you
were created can fill the
tender spots in you.
The strong and tender
spots, filled with you,
filled with love.
This is my dream for you.


Another poem I enjoyed writing was during Hour 24. (I don’t know if I liked the poem, or if I just liked that it was the last one.) The prompt was to write about wishes.

Hour 24


My wish for all of us is to
see more sunrises.
(And each morning we see one,
we get to wish for more wishes.)
Today I am awake at dawn
because this is Poem 24–
24 hours in a day of poeming.
Would I have missed this layered sky?
Yes, this sky: where blue and
orange look so good together.
This sky was here so briefly
inviting us to drink it up.
It still would have come with
no witnesses at all. Any
other Sunday morning,
I would have missed it.
But this day, this poem
beholds the sunrise.
The birds are here too,
giving witness.
They just began their
Sunday morning
worship, rejoicing
together and alone.
My wish for you
(and for me) is to see
more sunrises–
together and alone.

The whole Poetry Marathon collection is here.

Poetry Friday – Will you teach me to write poetry?

Today is Poetry Friday. A happy birthday to all the May birthdays, including Michelle Kogan, who is hosting today.

Today we began a road trip. We’re meeting up with one of my daughters and her hubby. We’ll take the long road to Seattle to visit my other daughter (one of those May birthday folk) and her family. On the way up, I was playing poetry-writing-catch-up from the last couple of days. My husband asked me a bit about what I was doing, and then said, “Will you teach me to write poetry?” Yes! That’s easy, I said, Just keep doing what you are doing. 

He is such a good contemplator, muller of ideas, and feeler. He takes daily time to write, and when he shares with me, I always love how poetic it sounds. Next he asked to have me teach him some forms to try. I said, Of course. That’s a great idea. You’ll like forms. It’s like word games only better because you get to also create something. 

Then I shared my sibling poems with him to show what forms I’ve been working on. I’m looking forward to this vacation and some shared poetry experiences with my love. I hope he’ll let me publish one of his on my blog in the future. That’s my goal.

Here is a fun opportunity, I wanted to remind you about. The Poetry Marathon is coming up! Write a poem an hour for 12 or 24 hours. It starts Saturday morning, June 15. Sign up here by June 10.

Image by Maria Zangone from Pixabay

Poetry Friday – Clunker Exchange Poem “Unchained”

It’s Poetry Friday, and Patricia at Reverie is hosting. She has a sweet poem about one of the sugar pine seedlings she planted in the forest. Thank you, Patricia, for your lovely invitation to new and old Poetry Friday people.  

Here is my clunker poem, thanks to Linda. As soon as I saw her list of clunkers, this line jumped out at me: “only sure of light pushing her brush.” I thought of this painting my mom made when I was in college. It has always held mysteries and some answers for me about my mom and dad’s relationship. She did tell me the dark square represented my dad’s death. (He died when I was seven.)


She was unsure
before her partner
of the double chain broke
She didn’t put the darkness
into many words
only into paint
only into life and love
only sure of light pushing her brush
ever upwards

And here’s a golden shovel with the favorite part of Mary Oliver’s “The Summer Day” poem I shared on Jone’s blog last week:

I am here today and I
don’t know when I will go.
Know this: I am
exactly in the time and place of
what is graced in
a full and favorable life. A
prayer is what I give, a prayer
is an upward awe-gaze.
I am here today to rest and
do nothing better than to
know, really know, God is
how I have peace
to live the days left, to
pay homage in rapt

Sibling poems, one line, more or less (continued).

The Poetry Marathon is coming up! Write a poem an hour for 12 or 24 hours. It starts Saturday morning, June 15. Sign up here.

Finally, have you heard of Jessica Jacobs and Peter Metres? They each published a book of poetry with almost the same cover. When they learned of the other’s book cover, they started a conversation and realized they and their books had a lot more in common than just their covers. I’ve ordered both of their books after reading and watching their conversations.

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.


Poetry Friday – Recap of the Poetry Marathon

Today is Poetry Friday. Thank you to Laura Shovan for hosting us today.

Last Saturday and Sunday I participated in the Poetry Marathon. It was rewarding to complete, and fun to try to keep up with drafting a poem, posting it on a WordPress blog at their site, and then doing a little living the rest of the hour, including trying to squeeze in sleep sometimes. It was suggested we wait until after the marathon to comment on others’ poems, which was good; I’m sure there wouldn’t have been time. I did manage to write 28 poems in 24 hours.

I always keep a list of poetry prompts and mentor poems handy, so I came with that list to the 24-hour event. That was a good idea because sometimes I didn’t feel inspired with the optional prompts they provided. Here are a few of the poems I wrote, these ones inspired by this Poetry Friday community:

First there is a Zentangle, like so many of you wrote last week based on this post by Kat Apel.

After, write a chapter,
words and lines use summary.
Words describing a story,
a visual, a communicator
ready to ready thinking,
parroting powers of description
in writing.

It doesn’t mean much, haha! It was from a page in a booklet of After Reading Comprehension Activities I put together for undergrad education students one year, but the process was fun.

Next, I wrote a nonet about hunger inspired by the post Laura Shovan wrote a couple of weeks ago. It was a call for poems about World Food Day with inspiring, forward-looking messages against hunger. You can read more about this call for poems on Laura’s blog if you are interested. The deadline is September 10. 

Quivering, savage, ravaging pain
Intolerable, mean, and fierce
Hunger hollowing inside–
But…a just full world can
drive off hunger’s pangs
food for all;

I had been wanting to write a poem like Buffy Silverman’s “Rainbow-Colored Springtime.” I decided to use a Poetry Marathon photo prompt to write about taking a bath, which sounded great at 10:00 p.m. I have revised this poem since trying to make it sound better than the first attempt by using assonance and rhythm.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

Wet bath
Laze bath
End of the day bath

Rest bath
Loaf bath
Soft and pruny soak bath

Praise bath
Peace bath
All cares decrease bath

Calm bath
Moon bath
Lolling, lazy tunes bath

Warm bath
Free bath
Fears absentee bath

Release bath
Embrace bath
Tensions down the drain bath

Then, I wrote a definito poem because the Dictionary.com word of the day for Saturday was paucity. Learn more about definito poems here by Heidi Mordhorst.

When something is lacking or
more is needed,
when there is only a bit
of any particular thing,
a deficit of dimes for the coin collector,
a scarcity of snakes for the snake lover,
a shortage of shoes for your tired feet
a dearth of earths for the whole hot world–
then we can say there is a paucity of that thing.

July is Parks and Recreation Month. Did you know Kwame Alexander is putting together a community poem about Parks and Recreation? I learned about it from Kim Johnson. Here’s more information from Kim. The deadline is July 9. Here is my draft:

Everything Around You

Everything around you is
a plaything
at the park–
a magical, generous, glorious,
windowful, open stream of joy.

Sitting in the tunnels,
worn smooth from years of
children sliding, crawling, playing,
imagining, creating, resting inside.
These concrete cylinders were painted in
bright primary colors–red, blue, yellow–
free, generous, worthwhile, relaxing,
Saved from an inelegant assignment of
stopping floods in a culvert somewhere.
Instead, they
serve as playthings.
Everything around you is a plaything
at the park.

Finally, one of the prompts at the Poetry Marathon was to write a self-portrait. The mentor text was by a Polish poet named Adam Zagajewski, “Self-Portrait”.  I found it to be a great skeleton for my own poem. Have you read his work before?


By Adam Jagajewski

Between the computer, a pencil, and a typewriter
half my day passes. One day it will be half a century.
I live in strange cities and sometimes talk
with strangers about matters strange to me.
I listen to music a lot: Bach, Mahler, Chopin, Shostakovich.
I see three elements in music: weakness, power, and pain.
The fourth has no name.
I read poets, living and dead, who teach me
tenacity, faith, and pride.

Continue reading here

Last week Linda hosted Poetry Friday and offered us a clunker exchange. This was my first time with a clunker exchange, so I wasn’t sure how to play along! I did love taking the line about Susan B. Anthony and doing research about her. I wrote a septercet sandwich poem about Anthony. 

Here is my whole chapbook’s worth of Poetry Marathon poems.

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Laura Shovan. Head over there to see all the poetry others have shared today.