NPM Day 3: Rhyme Play!

For National Poetry Month, some of my poetry shelves.

Poetry Prompt for Day Three of National Poetry Month–

Rhyme Play!
Why do we assume that the rhyme has to happen at the ends of lines? Write a poem (maybe four lines, or eight, or twelve) in which the first words of the lines rhyme, instead of the last. Or make the middle word in each line rhyme. Make ALL the words rhyme? Make the first word of each line rhyme with the last word of the previous line—essentially, you’re sticking your two rhyming words together, separated only by the line break. Give yourself an extra challenge and make the first word and last word of the poem rhyme, and you’ll make it a complete circle.

What does that do to the poem when you switch up the rhyme? How does it affect the tone and the energy and the way the line moves from beginning to end?

Here’s an attempt at the last one:
When I think of how you’ve loved me,
see the thread of your tender care,
there in my self-absorbed cocoon,
crooning myself a lullaby,
I wish I had a poem to give you
to tell you how you’ve saved my heart again.


Gratitude List:
1. The fine distinctions of flavor, and the joy of concentrating on scent and flavor
2. Brown creeper sidling up the little oak
3. Delicious supper last night: Thank you, Val! I can now distinguish mocha
4. Succulents. I repotted some of my classroom succulents yesterday. I think they grew happily because I was gone for so long and didn’t overwater them
5. Spring birdsong

May we walk in Beauty!


“Sound or vibration is the most powerful force in the universe. Music is a divine art, to be used not only for pleasure but as a path to Awakening.” —Yogananda


“As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul.” —Hermes Trismegistus


“The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” —Jane Goodall


“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” —Henri Nouwen


“In the end, we’ll all become stories.” —Margaret Atwood


“Privilege is when you think something’s not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally.” —attributed to many authors


“If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” —Shirley Chisholm

Just a Minute

After yesterday’s lai, my friend Mara sent me a link to an interview with the poet Cathy Smith Bowers, who worked with another short form, the minute.

A minute is three stanzas in length, each of twenty syllables (60 total, like a minute).  The rhyme scheme is aabb, ccdd, eeff.  And the kicker is that the meter is iambic: ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum-ba-dum.  Sort of like Shakespeare, but with fewer feet.

This one’s tricky.  Even when the meter and rhyme seem to come easily, it’s a real challenge to get it to dance rather than stumble.  But Mockingbird says that you learn to dance by taking those first stumbling steps.

Out in the dawn, a misty sea
in walnut tree
a silent crow
will dream of snow

will ruffle feathers in the chill
will wait until
the first bright ray
begins the day

then with a final shake will rise
from branch to skies
and this will be
a memory

Ha!  Well, that was fun.  Mockingbird says I am not supposed to make fun of it or try to explain its inadequacy, so I’ll let it stand for today’s poem.

2013 October 081

Gratitude List:
1.  Getting a card in the mail!  Just for hello-and-I-love-you.  What a delight.  And there was a tiny picture of an artist’s palette on the back that inspired Ellis to draw and draw and draw.  Thank you, Auntie Mary!  I love you, too!
2.  New soft. warm rug underfoot
3.  Faery-light.  I don’t know another word for it–the way the vegetables glow and shine from within, even when there is no obvious light source nearby.  Yesterday, the tomatoes seemed to glow from within.  Radishes, potatoes, carrots, when they’re wet, take on a light and color that seem to be beyond the capacity of the available light to create.
4.  New perspectives.  Rearranging the furniture, literally and figuratively.
5.  The way frost outlines every leaf, every blade of grass, every bud and vein.  My children say Jack Frost is just a made-up thing, but I’ve seen some of his best work.

Beauty all around us.