2021 NaPoWriMo April 23 Daring Damselfly


Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. (For details, see below.)

Chosen line:
“The damselflies pass as they would over water” from Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm,” by Carl Phillips.

Daring Damselfly

Damselfly, graceful, dainty,
iridescent, silvery green,

miniature mirage,
ephemeral dream, yet

you’re ancient, damselfly,
roamed the skies in the Permian age,

a predator, boasted an eagle’s
size, taunted dinosaurs.

You’ve survived, reinvented yourself,
a slimmed-down elf, you rise

above brook, pond, morning dew,
morphed from a nymph, you grew

savor life with humongous eyes,
surf on transparent wings.

Why of all things did you pass thru
the open window, mistaking glass

for watery sheen,
lured by a curious, fateful gleam,

fancy, neither sun nor moon,
till entranced beyond reprieve,

trapped in a luminous orb,
you lay dead among house flies,

intrepid wings no more to unfold.
I grieve, yet wanted the ending bold,

believing it’s ours to choose
invincible when we lose.

* * *

Now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). One thing that makes me want to write poetry is reading poetry. Sometimes, reading another poet’s work gives me an idea or image. And sometimes I read a poem that I want to formally respond to – whether because I agree with it, or disagree with it, or just because it starts a conversation in my head that I want to continue on the page.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. You might use a favorite (or least favorite poem) as the source for your response. And if you’re having trouble finding a poem to respond to, here are a few that might help you generate ideas: “This World is Not Conclusion,” by Peter Gizzi, “In That Other Fantasy Where We Live Forever,” by Wanda Coleman, “La Chalupa, the Boat,” by Jean Valentine, or “Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm,” by Carl Phillips.

Happy writing!









2021 NaPoWriMo April 19 Prompt to Rant


Our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. Perhaps it’s people who tailgate when driving, or don’t put the caps back on pens after they use them. Or the raccoons who get into your garbage cans. For inspiration, perhaps you might look to this list of Shakespearean insults. Or, for all of you who grew up on cartoons from the 1980s, perhaps this compendium of Skeletor’s Best Insults might provide some insight.

Happy writing!

Woke up with: “Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam”.
(“Furthermore, I consider that Carthage must be destroyed”)

Weird, I thought, did Latin ages ago, then: aha! caught by NaPoWriMo’s

Prompt to Rant!

A historic sample of a rant,
scant examples of wilful iteration
so swiftly sealed the doom
of a neighboring civilization.


“Ceterum censeo”: a repeat,
by-the-way expression, inculcates
intended aggression, irate mantra
succeeds, leads awareness astray.


Right now, too, there’s
incessant noise,
little repose, rare rejoice,
brain transmits monkey confab,
broadcasts tidbits of voice,
loose morsels of junk
picked up anyplace,
sediments, senseless funk,
shuttled along synapses,
like apses in a church
sacred pathways, meant
to spell silence, consecrate space
to spirit, wisdom’s intent,
like a birch, softly bent to the breeze,
whispers of an invisible might,
slow frequencies’ realm of ease
rather than overwhelm, peace, delight,
where the eagle of consciousness
soars above conflict and strife
and compassionately watches
over all life.


A soon forgotten, distant reign,
we quickly fall back again,
let the wild-goose chase rage on,
perennial noise, rat-race refrain.


The choice of
freedom, silence,
falls prey again
to oblivion.