NaPoWriMo 29: Suburbia

I know, I know – April is over, it’s May FFS – National Poetry Writing Month is so … so last month. I started a few days late and I want to come out of this with 30 poems. I actually was thinking of turning it into a 100 day project, but I’m not sure how feasible that’s going to be given everything going on between now and mid-July (middle son and nephew both graduating high school, 2 week trip to S. Korea at the end of June, and more). So … we’ll see how I feel about this in a few days. 🙂



Strip malls done tastefully, towne centers even,
with parking lots discretely hidden, ruin sunsets.
They’re all the same, with an anchor
store, nail salon, restaurant, and more. Ships
that aren’t going anywhere, but that might take you
to the American version of China or Thailand.
We all stream home to identical houses
on identical streets, knowing everyone else’s floorplan
even if it is a mirror.
Oh sure, you can personalize the little things
but don’t kid yourself: it’s all the same,
you’re all the same, the only difference between you
and your neighbor are niggling details strangers
don’t care about.


NaPoWriMo 28: Northern Summer

Northern Summer

I want to go swimming in the brook
like we used to, getting lost in time
until we couldn’t feel our fingers and toes,
only getting out when our lips turned blue.
Wrapped shivering in towels
we’d try to get warm on a rock in the sun,
talking and giggling and imagining.
The no-see-ums or the mosquitoes or the horseflies
finally chasing us home to find
only an hour or two gone
out of the longest short season: summer.

NaPoWriMo 26: A Slippery Slope

A Slippery Slope

Peculiar. Eccentric. Strange. Quirky. Odd.
Sad. Bizarre. Outrageous. Anal. Oddball.
Aberrant. Outlandish. Whimsical. Freak.
Awkward. Screw loose. Ditzy. Wacko. Gonzo.
Weird. Cuckcoo for CoCo Puffs. Meshuga.
Touched. Loopy. Crazed. Lost your marbles. Loony.
Nutso. Bonkers. Nutty. Out of your mind.
Basket case. Cracked up. Stark raving mad. Cray.
Nuts. Bananas. Off your rocker. Batty.
Certifiable. Unhinged. Cracked. Dotty.
Mad as a hatter. Batshit. Looney Tunes.
Screwy. Loco. Sick in the head. Crackers.
Crazy. Nuts. Mad. Mental. Schizo. Psycho.
Lunatic. Disturbed. Deranged. Demented.
OCD. Manic. Moody. Depressed
Of unsound mind. Insane. Mentally ill.

NaPoWriMo 25: The Trees Have Their Own Songs

The Trees Have Their Own Songs

Now that you’ve learned the songs of 100 birds,
your task is to learn the sounds of 20 trees.
It is especially easy when it rains:
“a splatter of metallic sparks”
or “a low, clean, woody thump”
or “a speed-typist’s clatter.”

This acoustic world is open to everyone,
but most of us never enter it.
Through sound, we come to know the place.

Life is about relationships;
not just networked, it is network.
The self degenerates into the network.

Roots draw nutrients from symbiotic fungi
and communicate with bacteria.
Leaves sniff the air to detect the health of neighbors
while releasing chemicals that summon
caterpillar-destroying parasites.
Photosynthetic cells harness the power of sunlight.
Seeds are dispersed by far-flying birds.

All words and phrases are from Trees Have Their Own Songs, Ed Yong, The Atlantic Monthly, April 4, 2017 


NaPoWriMo 23: The Objects She Left Behind

The Objects She Left Behind
for Emma Morano

Fame came late in life,
to the tiny two-room church-owned apartment.
Her simplicity was sculptural;
photos of her parents and siblings, some religious images,
anti-aging cream she applied every evening.
“The doctor told me to change air, and I’m still here!”
She would sneak out at night to go dancing.
A jar of grapes with grappa and sage.
“I didn’t want to be dominated by anyone.”
She kept rosaries by her bed
near a photo of her only child, buried with her.
She loved clocks that chimed like Big Ben.
She was very house-proud,
she would put newspapers on the floor
so their feet wouldn’t dirty it.
Verbania thanks you. We are proud.