Last Challenge: Future, Sonnet, Chiasmu

A sonnet is 14 lines of verse, usually grouped into four stanzas of 4-4-3-3 lines. Sonnets used to be written in metered verse, but many modern poets forget about the meter, or at least don’t use it consistently. Sonnets also tended to be written using any number of established rhyming schemes but that, too, is no longer a formal requirement.

A chiasmus is a reversal: Laid back, with my mind on my money and my money on my mind (from Snoop Dog).

 My Body and I Face Our Future

My body, my blight, cataracts darken my sight
My body, my shame, with bunions I’m lame
My body, my bane, another sprung vein
My body, my pest, gravity lowers my chest

My body, my plight, and now cellulite
My body, my trap, a tree with no sap
My body, my curse, it’s going to get worse
My body, my shell, we’re going to hell

but my body, my all, we’ve answered the call
My body, my light, the end’s within sight
My body, my guide, I’m terrified

But my body, my source, I’ll stay the course
My friend, my body, we’ll dance to the end
Oh, body, dear, I beg of thee…..forgive me


Challenge: Landscape in a Found Poem with Enumeratio

A found poem is written using words, phrases, and/or sentences selected randomly from tweets, book titles, the poems of others, every fifth word in a newspaper article, or anything else imaginable.

If you use a list, or lists, in a poem, you are using enumeratio.

I found my words by randomly drawing them from a box of magnetized words meant to be displayed on one’s refrigerator to spur family creativity — though when a friend tried it, her children wrote nothing but derogatory sentences about one another. I bought my set at a thrift store for a quarter many years ago and had never used them until now. Most of what I say is true.

For my found poem, I added the title, conjunctions, introductory words, pronouns, and prepositions. I felt free to use other forms of the words I drew and didn’t attempt to use all of the 100 drawn.


The Landscape of Janet

I enjoy
foreign movies
black gum drops
and mountain meadows
swarmed by strong-
willed wildflowers

I believe in
hard work
too many shoes
showing my work
and doubling the garlic

I tend to
eat between meals
and think the
world will end
when I don’t sleep well

When alone
I eat cake for breakfast
scratch my head
sing in vibrato
and two-step

I hate to
polish my nails
run for planes
spit for the dentist
and shop.

I would never
pierce my nose
play hockey
have a pet turkey
buy used bowling shoes
or write another poem like this




Challenge: fingers, prose poem, assonance

Assonance is the strategic repetition of vowel sounds in close proximity to each other and is frequently used to create internal rhyming.

A Chance of Rain in the Afternoon

Throughout the day, relaxed fingers of cloud waved from a brittle brightness of sky until, at 3:00, out of the sameness of the day before and before and before, a wind swirled up and through and long, and drought-weary leaves, no will to cling, fell to fleck the yellow lawn. As a false darkness stretched below a canopy of clouds, the insistent wind caused thunderheads to collide, littering the sky with rolling-train sounds, sending skinny, witch-fingers of lightening through the clouds. The showy commotion roused no rain: the crooked, yellow fingers fled the sky; the train of thunder passed on by; and our hopeless rain-hopes waned, along with the lightening, the wind, and the thunder din.

Challenge: a ballad about a hero with anaphora or epistrophe

A ballad tells a dramatic story frequently written in four-line, rhyming verses. Anaphora is repetition of the same word (or words) at the beginning of multiple lines of verse. Epistrophe is its counterpart: repeated words appear at the end of lines.

I decided to use anaphora and write about a man who only imagined he was a hero.


The Fall of Mr. Grossman

Mr. Grossman, a mammoth without hair,
the VIP of the junior high,
announced the news with fleshy lips,
and several girls began to cry.

The teacher of the theater class,
with drama made his call,
his favored one would play the lead.
She was the best of all.

Mr. Grossman weighed three-hundred-three
and sponsored every dance.
He lumbered the floor in challenged shoes
and his signature, belly-stretched pants.

With glutinous eyes and flesh that lapped
he watched for any two locked tight,
then stepped between, and with bad breath,
banished the duo from the site.

Mr. Grossman, who lived with his mom,
and didn’t stint her dinners,
counted the votes for everything
and decided who’d be winners.

His fall came hard; his fall came quick;
‘twas prompted by his rage,
when the teacher, in an angry snit,
tried to leap from off the stage.

onto a wooden folding chair
that shattered ‘neath his weight.
Then Mr. Grossman, a whale aground,
entered an apoplectic state.

Students stared with mouths ajar
as, wearing bits of chair,
he rose and stomped toward the door;
then giggles filled the air.

Not knowing a seam had split and gaped
he turned as laughter swelled;
then at Mr. Grossman, tyrant of teens,
a rowdy student yelled,

“Mr. Grossman, shame, shame on you —
for indecent exposure and yelling,
you’re banished forever from the gym
and your mother we’ll be telling.”



Challenge: An elegy with fog and a metaphor

An elegy consists of pairs of verse, rhyming or not, with the first line being slightly longer than the second. Most elegies contain an element of longing. In the words of Ben H., who distributes and explains the daily poetry challenges, “… your elegy can be about anything, as long as it evokes a thing that’s irretrievably gone.”

Poet’s Note: Please, dear readers, believe me: On my dashboard in edit, my poem is a series of two-line verses with the first longer than the second. When published, the first line frequently wraps. For thirty despairing minutes, I tried to figure out how to use a smaller font, then, having better things to do with my Saturday, gave up and hoped you would imagine a flow of perfect two-line verses as you read my poem.


For Memorial Day and Childhood

Saturday, as I walked with friends from my 4-H group,
we heard a meadowlark’s trill.

“Listen,” our leader said, “it’s singing its song for us,
telling you Lake Shore’s a pretty little place.”

Smoldering fires twined black smoke, farmer’s fog, toward the sky,
sending our way a pungent smell, familiar since our birth:

the scent of scorched cinnamon from where our
wielding shovels, burned their irrigation ditches clean.

On Sunday, my family scurried toward a church filled with song
as sycamore trees waved encouragement and urged us on;

through it’s open windows congregational voices soared,
singing,“Welcome, Welcome, Sabbath Morning,” with joy.

Later, Bob and I bickered lazily as we looted the garden for dinner:
baby carrots clumped with earth,

leaves of lettuce, fragile as butterfly wings,
peas to boil with new potatoes.

On Monday, Mom rinsed chipped Mason jars to be filled
with the unflagging cheerfulness of buttercups,

the curvaceousness of purple iris, the fulsome fragrance of lilacs,
and white petals of daisy surrounding small suns.

Seven miles away, the cemetery waited with gentled grass,
under the freshness of skies filled with spring light,

to receive our offered flowers, our memories,
our quiet laughter, our tearful eyes.








Challenge: an acrostic with inner rhyme about trust

Eighth Grade Girls

Tell me; I won’t tell anyone. (Of course I will; it’s so much fun.)

Really, your story is safe with me.(And everyone in English III.)

Until you say so, I’ll not tell.(If you believe me, you’re crazy as hell.)

Secrets are my specialty. (I grade them for their novelty.)

Time to talk; you’ll feel better. (And I’ll remember every letter.)

My! You made-out with Bitsy’s Joe?(The one who’s pimpled and rather slow?)

Eew! What a terrible thing to do! (When I tell Bits; she’ll eradicate you.)


We Speak for the American People

C is cozy with lobbyist ploys;we get watches, trips, unbelievable toys.

O is on the everlasting take — we work hard and deserve a bigger piece of the cake.

N is nobody bends the rules better;it’s impossible to obey them to the letter.

G is greedy — we could lose next time so need to be speedy.

R is ready to open the door to donors, corporations, loopholes, and more.

E is eager to stop the other side’s win,then go on TV to smile and to spin.

S is seek no deals, offer only refusal; our re-election’s at stake, we must be brutal.

S is searching every day for riches and fun;we’re too busy to get anything done.