The Blacksmith Shop

In candlelight they know my name
They say, ”Hey baby, how ya bin?
When ja get in?
The regular with water on the side?”
I love this place, I love the vibe
The pirate lore, the bartender boy next door
Forget Patty O’s, the best hurricanes are here
Piano player voodoo, and my long neck, long gone beer
The oldest bar in town, in the country (can that be right?)
One more round and I’m sure you’ll get lucky tonight
Tell them I sent you, give them a toast
And on your way out, say hi my ghost

Closing in on the end of the month. Day 29 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and today’s prompt is to write a poem in the form of a review. You can review either animate or inanimate things, real places or imaginary places. You can write in the style of an online review (think Yelp) or something more formal that you might find in a newspaper or magazine.

No Hands

Three miles left
They cry, “You’re almost there”
Greet me, you rise to meet me
Cross river in your care
Where hooves have tread
And rail cars rattled
Deliver me safely over
White water paddled
Far behind lie canyon miles
Scampered, clamored, fought and won
Dream complete day and night
And rising second sun
Now clomp and stomp
A silhouette on shadowed ridge
Towards finish line I come
As I cross No Hands Bridge

Welcome to Day 28 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem about bridges. A bridge is a powerful metaphor, and when you start looking for bridges in poems, you find them everywhere. Your poem could be about a real bridge or an imaginary or ideal bridge.

It seems appropriate to write about No Hands Bridge today as I will be finishing Western States 100 two months from today. It is the culmination of many years of running and my last big challenge. No Hands is the symbolic home stretch of the race. Once you cross it, you are almost there.
no hands

Trail Training

To go
But climb uphill

To be
Running with friends

Of Canyons
Spread before me

Scamper along
Scree covered slope

Long ahead
Until day’s end

We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo month of challenges. Day 27’s challenge is to write a hay(na)ku a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem.

The Runaway’s Groom

I can’t stop thinking about her hair
The way it trailed down her back
It left me wondering, standing there
Left me wondering if she’d be back
There wasn’t much else to say
Nowhere to go, nowhere to be
Altered here before the crowd
Boutonniere pinned to my lapel
Hushed whispers wondering loud
The white trail, the ringing bells
In the muffled silence eyes fix on me
What will he do? Moan sighs of pity
Exit, stage left, my fervent plan
Slip past the priest and parents
For I cannot abide this sham
And I am done being embarrassed

The prompt for Day 26 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge is to write a persona poem – a poem in the voice of someone else. Your persona could be a mythological or fictional character, a historical figure, or even an inanimate object

Down the Road

Sir Elton John
Sings a song with nothing but his glasses on
To Dorothy and Toto too
Obstructing their yellow brick view

It’s Day twenty-five of the NaPoWriMo Challenge and it’s the weekend, so the challenge is something short and just a bit (or a lot) silly – the Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name. You can write about celebrities, famous people from history, even your mom (hopefully she’s got a good name for rhyming with).

In Muffled Terror

Gently, let me sleep my love
Be silent, not a peep, my dove
Hordes barking high on drugs
Unleash their demons loose on us

Let me end their souls rerun
My heart and senses fantasies
Nightmare this dream, raising the gun
Will cease tormenting enemies

Dim your eyes, it’s for the best
Freed from wicked weather
Hands over your ears, head on chest
While I banish demons forever

Let us rest then, you and I
While changelings beat retreat
As the head-blown monsters cry
Survive we two that they don’t eat

And when next night begins to fall
This dream of terror darkening
In silence the screeching call
Be the mealtime bell they ring

Greetings! Day Twenty-four of the NaPoWriMo challenge brings a prompt that provides a bit of Friday fun. Today, the challenge is to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else.

I can’t explain why I so often end up writing about zombies. It’s not a favorite topic of mine, but for some reason they creep into my writing. Here’s the original poem:

In Muted Tone

By Paul Verlaine
Translated By Norman R. Shapiro

Gently, let us steep our love
In the silence deep, as thus,
Branches arching high above
Twine their shadows over us.

Let us blend our souls as one,
Hearts’ and senses’ ecstasies,
Evergreen, in unison
With the pines’ vague lethargies.

Dim your eyes and, heart at rest,
Freed from all futile endeavor,
Arms crossed on your slumbering breast,
Banish vain desire forever.

Let us yield then, you and I,
To the waftings, calm and sweet,
As their breeze-blown lullaby
Sways the gold grass at your feet.

And, when night begins to fall
From the black oaks, darkening,
In the nightingale’s soft call
Our despair will, solemn, sing

Diamond King

Oh Diamond King, my sovereign reign, with gifts abound to share
showing off all that you have to anyone who stares.
Scepter in hand, what is your plan, ruler of this land?
Twisted scoundrel mustache, divisive rubbing hands.
Your land of dazzling sparkle stones tempts me with shiny things
But last and now forever more the Giants reign my diamond kings.

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (regular playing cards, tarot cards, uno cards, cards from your “Cards Against Humanity” deck – whatever), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Now, begin free-writing based on the card you’ve chosen. Keep going without stopping for five minutes. Then take what you’ve written and make a poem from it.

From ocean view in Maui I used a random card shuffling program and drew the King of Diamonds.

king of diamonds