I remember waltzing with my father, on my toes spinning round and round the living room.

I remember being afraid of carousel horses sure they would launch from their station and fly right through the spinning circus roof Mary Poppins style.

I remember my yellow Chevy Luv pickup, piling the cab full of girls, boys in the back, and driving to the beach.

I remember watching the sun melt into the ocean colors filling the sky like rainbow sherbet.

I remember seeing my husband for the first time sitting on a milk crate, a meter in his hand, his head buried in an electrical panel. I couldn’t get his attention.

I remember sitting with him through chemo sessions and launching Marvel the Monkey across the infusion suite hoping his super powers included curing cancer.

I remember not remembering the last time I’d had a vacation.

I remember having more money than time. I prefer more time than money.

Cross the Line

I cross the line
With worried winded final push
Uphill slog, eye on the time
Water bottle’s empty slug
Wipe a salted brow
Ignore the blisters my toenails dug
Scamper to the music
Plug in ears, plug in my tunes
Feeling alive my gliding gate cruise
Herded storming bovine
We are off in a burst
I cross the line

Day 28 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning.

Assault on the Summit

First sound of the blast my heart skips a beat matching the pace of the crowd scampered feet

Ahead this long serpent my step in its grasp winds a headlamp lit chain as it ascends the mountain rampart

The moon on the right, the left horizon dawns in rose gold haze reminds me of sunsets from long gone beachcomber days

I know I must climb off this worn valley floor where the people stand by in great cheer and cry and cheer more

Assault on the mountain my comrades and I climb up through the clouds where the stars dot the sky

And dare I try

Long burning breaths fill my chest with piercing cold air that seems unnecessarily unnatural at this God forsaken early hour

That I had ever hoped for this, wished for, prayed for, set aside my dreams for, that anyone would chose such a journey

Seems increasingly crazed in this dim light of day where others are chatting and slapping behaving deranged

Let me go home to my spot on the couch where the cat curls on my blanket green fleece in my indented seat

Let me give way to the buckets and lists that pretend to inspire but are more to perform great feats for the crowd

There is little I need to accomplish right now that cannot be done from a friendly bar stool at my neighborhood stop

But forward I climb, my feet churning the mill follow this hidden desire to the flag topped outcrop at the top of the hill

It’s Day 27 of the NaPoWriMo challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem with very long lines.

Freedom Fries

Wind in my teeth, in my hair, man it blows
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Bug splattered shades sittin’ tight on my nose
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Me and the boys in the wide open air
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Nowhere to be ‘cause we’re already there
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Back home I’m a mister yes sir in a suit
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Full throttle in leather I’m living my truth
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

These guns that I’m blazing aren’t from iron I’ve pumped
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

But from kale salad and the garbage I’ve dumped
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

So whether it’s left, or whether it’s right
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

I’ll toast to the ride with my beer fries tonight
Rotten Potato. Rotten Potato. Rotten potato road

Welcome to Day 26 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response. (Think: Can I get an amen?, to which the response is AMEN!.)

Freedom Fries is dedicated to my husband and his riding buddies who just left this afternoon on their annual pilgrimage to the wholly Harley Run. The responses in this poem are from the bike.

Sail Away

They sailed away for a year and a day
Not knowing to where they’d return
A parrot, a pirate, a flag to inspire it
Their ship made of hope and heartburn

With yesterday’s shackles released to the wind
No clock to keep punched and no phone
A first mate, a French press, flip flops and a sundress
Unknown shores will welcome them home

Day 25 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. Today’s challenge is to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. I’ve chosen a line from The Owl and The Pussycat as my jumping off point.

Miscible Mutts

Labyrinthine trail sludged of mud and ash
Climbs high to the heavens a pyrrhic ascent
Boasting propinquity of pooch and of cramp
Dogs long in the jowl, beleaguered runners rant
Mellifluous falls near the crest break call
Canines squat for a rest lassitude sets
“Go home,” runners barrack, worming their small
Woebegone uphill stomach ached steps
Riparian wonders the dogs sally forth
When talisman or nemesis a susurrus snake
Intrudes on the runners last will, thenceforth
The mutts and found friends together crest make

Day 24 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. My poem today is inspired by two dogs, a yellow lab and Brittany spaniel that mysteriously appeared on our 20 mile canyon run yesterday. They passed us at flying speed headed down the steep technical decent at Devil’s Thumb. After splashing in the creek they began the long 10-mile return back to civilization with us.
Today’s prompt is to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words with the hope of ending up with a poem that makes the everyday seem poetic, and which keeps your poetic language grounded.

Desert Debate

The desert screams orgasmic color bloom
Sand and rock accustomed to their pallor
Green and pink, red starburst, purple blue flume
Spurs impassionate debate of color

Yellow bright claims entente with moon and sun
Blue looks skyward reflects his wetted plane
Red remembers the blood of chosen one
Then Purple laughs and calls himself the rain

Green gloats leaf and stem in support of all
Pink thinks she’s a rock star petals tender
Brown remains in claim of pterodactyl
Orange warms her sacral chakra pleasure

Rainbow flowered of egos grandiose
While sand and rock know grey will last the most

It’s a day late for Day 23 of the NaPoWriMo Challenge. I put off yesterday’s poem because 1) I love writing sonnets and 2) I was so exhausted from running 20-miles in the canyons that my mind couldn’t begin to conceive a sonnet.

So, the challenge for yesterday was to write, as you guessed, a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs (i.e., with a meter in which an unstressed syllable is followed by one stressed syllable, and so on). I chose to use the Shakespearean Sonnet rhyme scheme