Shared Paths

Build bonds
Time travels underfoot
Girlfriends navigating life’s trials

Shiver timbers
Whitewater fording soul
Current against linked arms

This year I find myself so far behind in the 30-day NaPoWriMo Challenge. Here it is Day 23 and I’ve probably only written ten poems. But okay, I press on anyway.

The prompt for Day 23 is to write a Double Elevenie. An Elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. A Double Elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all.


There’s no where to run, I continue to say
It’s not that kind of beach, too short, too steep to bother
Just try anyway, he insisted this day, try anyway
So I lace up my shoes and trot towards the water

In a brilliant sky day the ocean churns a low crash
Rutted deep sand seems to flatten ahead
Crabs scurry side step to clear my foot path
Keeping close watch from eyes atop of their heads

Haleakala before me and I at her feet
Her crown of ringed clouds guarding her crest
To my right easing surf in glass turquoise retreat
Banyan trees border the sand in wide arch on my left

A fortuitous sight, this must be a good sign
Leather belt bound with buckle weather beaten and strong
Sandy trophy for running wherever I find
The narrow beach curves then streches out miles long

No pack on my back, no bottle in hand
Just this smooth shell I rub between forefinger and thumb
Keeping a beat with the tide no earbuds could can
And I am grateful that I agreed to this run

In standing straight form ten poles planted in line
Their master casters crawl from low slung pitched tents
I duck my head beneath invisible filament line
That cross over the beach to the water’s clear depths

Three miles in buildings first enter my view
Yoga and crossfit pilates right there in the surf
I turn and head back salty sweat beginning to stew
And then there’s my husband an impromptu water stop crew

Again I am gone, a white lab sharing my gait
’till he turns  runs headlong into slow crashing surf
Chasing a fantom ball because he can’t wait
For the real one hidden deep in his keeper’s shirt

Long sweeping waves extend their greedy grasp
Poseiden reclaimig this portion of land
While pipers pipe piping he takes without ask
Narrowing even further this slender strip of sand

And I, I feel blessed, this day in this sand
For a the shore, these shoes and this life
But more for a man who loves me just as I am
And for this day long ago when I became his wife.

I’m a few days behind this year. This prompt was from Day 7 for the NaPoWriMo challenge. The challenge was to write a poem about luck and fortuitousness.

Discounting Naysays

And we’re back!  It’s Day One of the 2017 National Poetry Writing Month challenge.  If this is your first year following my journey of the NaPoWriMo challenge to write a poem a day for the month of April, welcome aboard. To the rest of you, welcome back!

I will be using the daily prompts from the NaPoWriMo team as inspiration for my writing.  So here we go.

Today’s prompt is to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.


Discounting Naysays

It’s step one
Two that keeps
The Voice of doubt
At bay
Closer yet to
Finish line
Three, four
While voices shout
No way. No way.

Five, six shuffle
muscle cramps
Like teenage
Girl’s Charley horse
Move seven, eight
Hustle dance
Distract the groans
To abandon hope
And course

Eight, nine, ten
Nearer every
Stride waves banner
Of the finish line
Doubters chime a
cheer eleven
Pipers piping
Claim they knew it
All the time


It’s only 62 miles, I keep telling myself
It’s only 14,000 feet up and 14,000 feet down
Only five canyons, 17 stream crossings and thousands of poison oak daggers
Just one sunrise, one high noon, one sunset, and one waning crescent moon
It’s just a race, I keep telling myself. It’s just a race
with just one finish line

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.

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.