NaPoWriMo: Days 3 and 4

Gone Is Winter

Gone is winter

with sharp icicles and snow,

bitter winds and subzero bite:

the teeth have fallen out.

Gone is winter,

the frosty chilly nights

and silent moonlight snows,

with listing whistling winds


white dust long across the ground.

Gone is winter’s solitude,

the chill in sunlight’s edge,

the silence of the meadows;

no, there’s spring here instead.

Melting Snow

Sad ice clumps

fade into the ground, mud;

bare gray grass.

The latter poem, which is for April 4, is a retake of the normal haiku. Being a bit of a haiku purist in that I’ve done it since I was little, I hesitate to call it even an American “haiku”. It is technically a variation of a haiku invented in America by Robert Kelley, called a lune. The format that I used (via and originally by Jack Collom)is based on three lines: 3 words, 5 words, 3 words, which fits English far better than the syllabic 5-7-5 format. Basically, it’s a way to get your haiku done fast’n’easy. Hey, no one ever said that fast food was either authentic or good for you…nothing against the lune, though. There are plenty of English haiku variations, from the lune to Allen Ginsberg’s American sentence, and most of them are the seventeen-syllable pieces that we’re used to awkwardly mouthing out and counting with fingers to write. They’re all their own unique form of poetry…but I still won’t call them haiku.

Your prompt for this fourth day of April, fellow NaPoets, is to–guess what–write a haiku! Or a lune! Or any variation, really! You can look it up or make it up, but it should have a similar structure to a haiku, capiche? Or at least something that a haiku lead you to write…prompts are all about stirring up your imagination.

Go whereforth your inspiration leads you by the hand or by the ear!



Hashtags: New Phrase, New Use, But Is It Excessive?




dreamy riding

smooth and silky,


Dip and push, slipping,

like a fish,

forward, upward,


Maneuvering so slowly,

skimming easily

over shallow rocks

and branches

and sailing

over deep pools. Look,

green abound on all four sides,

water smooth clear like glass

and reflecting

a mirror image, so still! of

trees and sky and water,

and clouds,

and the snowy geese flying overhead.

What silence but for the steady dip

of paddles pushing, sliding, moving,

and water rippling

on the bow

as we cut

and glide and sail.

Turn and stop and shoot

forward with such ease! what

was once a barrier

is so no more.


now a pathway where

two by chance may meet

and greet

the other with “fair morning!”

Cut and glide and sail,

graceful and quiet,

listen to the water’s flow

oh listen! to the water’s


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve changed style slightly for a more dreamy, nineteenth-century feel, partly because where I am, especially this summer, has quite that vibe to it. Green and flowers and trees and rivers…they call out for this. Slam poetry power is so last season. But no, I know–that’s my style, that’s me. Who am I without that particular poetry posture? (Jean Val-Jean! #LesMis) I’m pretty sure that once this old-fashioned (but tried and true!) New Englandy poetry will wear off before winter. Seriously. Hopefully. Probably. Don’t worry about it if you like it, it’s not gone for good. My creative inspiration just currently from somewhere else.

You know, speaking of hashtags, what’s up with them? They were born from the Twitter sensation, for those who don’t know; a hashtag is a “tag”, or a phrase that summarizes your post or a certain subject within it (#poetry). Sure, that’s pretty cool on the ‘net, since it’s a quick way to let other’s know what’s going on and how you feel about it, but now they’re starting to land in everyday conversation (#hottie #kewl #startofschoolfreakout #kaboom etc.) And commercials. (“So instead of #mycarsucks, you’re like #pandorastreaming…”) It isn’t really as great liberally used in the vernacular as it is online.

Maybe not, though. I hate to sound so wishy-washy, it’s like totally unprofessional (so is using “like” in a superfluous manner. That was for exaggeration), but perhaps #hashtags are becoming a meme. No, not an internet meme, they’re already that; a meme is a cultural idea or image. English is a living language, so words like “blog,” “post,” “share,” “vlog,” “status,” and yes, symbols like the number sign #, appear and evolve. Poor lonely little # has been without a meaning for years. Until the current digital era it was only used for indicating numbers, entering gated communities, and defining F# instead of G flat. (On a perfectly tuned piano, by the way, they’re two different notes, but on a conventionally tuned piano, they’re the same so that all the notes will fit) It had a lonely life, long mocked by the other symbols on the top row of the keyboard, symbols whose meaning was rich and well used. Now the hash, as it’s called in England, has come to have a beautiful new renaissance and intensely furious use, along with the caret symbol ^ (For emoticons ^.^) and the asterisk * (for emphasizing a word where italic font is *not* an option). Feel happy for the little hash, for the composite word it has been reincarnated into. #melodramatic.

So how do you feel about the hashtag? Do you like it and use it, or do you avoid it and scowl at people who say “lol #ouch #burn” (though I do admit, saying “lol” out loud–ignore the pun, please–is kind of weird)? I’d love to hear what you think. Where do I stand? It should be evident, but perhaps my wishy-washy-ness got in the way. I kind of like hashtags. English is a changing language, and unless you want it to end up like Latin people should embrace that. Well, maybe not load their speech with “#haveacoldtoday” and “#bigproject”, but at least not reject it entirely. It’s clever. It can be used in humor. Don’t crush #’s newfound glory.



Snowy Swimming: Yes, I Mean In the Snow

X’s and O’s

Delicate wetness,

soft kisses brushing your cheek in greeting

from the clouds above

since Valentine’s day

is right around the corner;

falling in tiny x’s

and o’s.

They accumulate upon the dry brown

ground and hide

the tired grass with

clean whiteness, a shade

purer than anything else could ever be,

the color of its mother, the clouds,

like when they’re seen from above.

Pure soft and thick,

like the world’s heaviest fluffiest down comforter

in the entire world,

soft  and wet.

Looking out the window,

it looks like someone

spilled a gigantic bag of clumpy granulated sugar

all over the countryside.

But it’s all dirty from the floor,

so don’t

eat it.


I had an interesting thought the other day, thinking about the massive snow drifts that I’ve heard about on the East Coast. Snow is water, right? Then shouldn’t you be able to swim through it? I wanted to try that, but I think that even if I could I’d probably sink right into the bottom of the six feet and drown. Yes, I’d probably drown. I told you that snow is water, didn’t I?

Theoretically, though, swimming through snow should be possible. When you swim, you push against the water so you can move forward. When you push, the water “pushes” back at your hand and you move (think of driving at a high speed. Your car is pushing the air, but the air is also pushing back. Every force has another equally strong force opposing it, according to physics) Water molecules are very loosely connected. Snow, though, is much bigger, and is makes a stronger substance. Wouldn’t that give more force?

NOPE, not by a long shot. While pushing snow would get you to move, there is the fact that snow is soft. With a small surface area, you’d just end up shoveling the snow around. Plus, snow gives more resistance than water does as well as more friction. Even if you did manage to get a move on, you wouldn’t sustain it for long.

So swimming through the fallen snow? Impossible. Or rather, improbable. Maybe with body-boarding flippers you could do it. Or maybe you can do it anyway. I don’t know. I can’t try this out. However, my readers on the East Coast can. So if you want, if you can, bundle up, grab a buddy who has a shovel, and launch yourself into a drift. If you get stuck your buddy can shovel you out. Post a comment that shares your results.

If you also have evidence as to why or why not this would or would not work, swimming through snow, share that too. I’m open for comments. 🙂



Fog: A Poem and Post

Wisps That Are Alive

Low ceiling wispy cloud-fog,

like a blanket draped over the world.

You can touch it with your mind,

feel that staticy grey-silvery bluething,

but physically your puppeteered hand

passes through the

unbound molecules

of its heart.

A creature, alive,

but not constrained to any shape.

Senses of the mind and spirit,

parts vanishing and conjoining willy-nilly,

on an insane rhythm that sounds like a din to but the most carefully trained ear.

And that creature has a form of the mind,

thus a shape that exists

even though it’s not in this dimension;

perhaps the seventh.

But you cannot touch it with your hand

because only the mind of it holds the molecules together

so they scatter and fly, not the real creature but

the inanimate physical one,

so that it clings to your


I think that fog definitely falls on my list of favorite things. If I ever was to move away from the ocean, it would be the thing I missed the most. I love  the ocean and all things associated with it. Probably fog the most, if you were to enumerate them all. But yes, fog has a high value in my heart; how’d you guess?

During my recent vacation in the San Francisco Bay Area, I saw plenty of fog. I saw it spilling down from hills in Mill Valley like a waterfall, dominating the  Bay and adding a new level of water, and rising off the sea. This thing wafts around and even through you, infusing your mind with itself because it’s not part of this dimension. It does not follow the physical rules. It goes through something even when its molecules are separated and stays one even if it breaks and burns away.

Fog is also a beautiful part of my summers. I may have talked about this before in times long past, but it is. The fog rises from the ocean around dusk and drapes itself over the entire valley five miles inland like a massive down comforter. The moon turns the tops into a blue-silver ocean; just imagine! A fluffy blanket of clouds wisping beneath you. The moonlight falling past you like rain, and an unobscured view of the crystalline stars high above you, 360 degrees around…

Just think about that for a minute. See you next week! 🙂


Ode To My Mom

Ode To My Mom

Without you,

there would be no light.

Without you, there would be no reason

for anything


You are like a candle at night,

a bright star in a black sky,

a fruited island in the middle of a wide ocean,

a heated room

in the center of cold.

A flower in the middle

of desolation.

There’s no end to what you do for me,

to how you lovingly support me.

Therefore, there’s no end

to how much I love you,

no way to balance the love.

If you were to leave this world behind,

I’d be in horrible grief

until I met you, a long time after.


everyone says how much they love you,

and I say it as well as they.

But remember that no words can say

how much I love you

every day.

Happy Mother’s Day to you, mom, and to all the moms who are reading this. I have no more to say, because I can’t say enough.


N.P.W. Month Day 3

All Folly Desire

What in thy wishes for these items to be bestowed upon thee,

yet thou shalt lose them at the end of your days?

What in thy mind guides thee

to want these lowly things?

Let instead of thy mind

guide thee will your soul,

so that’st thou may find that which will

make all days brighter as this is in thy possession

of this thing that is now a part of thy soul.

I was inspired by Shakespeare, somewhat. It is about how you should not want something for the pure reason that it is sparkly, it looks fun, you like the name, or something. The poem can best be explained by an example: if you find yourself wanting that thing in the souvenir shop, stop. Think. Are you going to feel happier each moment you wear/look at/feel the object? If the answer is no, that’s why the speaker of the poetic lines (anyone) is puzzled at your folly desire.

This doesn’t mean to go, “Oh, I shouldn’t get this shirt, although my very heart is screeching for the colors because I love them, and they will look great on me!” I bought a shirt that is absolutely my favorite. (it was als a ‘buy one get this and such deal’ sale) If your heart calls for you to wear/use this, get it.

Most of America does not heed this rule that many wise men say. This is why so many American homes are filled with CLUTTER AND JUNK, INCLUDING MINE!