#NaPoWriMo Day 2: Poem – Free Verse — “To Live” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 2, the prompt is:

“Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.”


Credit: Ben White via Unsplash.


Sometimes I’m the spirit child,

Forever pigeon- faced cooing.

Sometimes I’m one-hundred-and-one,

Lapis Luzia blue eyes and crinkled skin,

As seconds tick, shoes tap the floor.

But to whose office am I called, faded bloom or seedling?

Sometimes I am the unsinkable youth,

Glorying in winds, summer wind’s bustle at midnight.

2:00 a.m. suppers, 2:00 p.m. breakfast –swallowed with Advil;

But sometimes it’s Aspirin, to thin retirement blood.

At times 2:00 A.M. is cornpops and milk,

When chicken breasts on salads, and protein shakes are grim;

I can’t swallow cardboard, but I’m not — I’ve tastebuds functioning.

Shall I have my shake to slim my physique?

Or, drink it too keep my nutrition in-sink?

Who wants to age frail, but neither do we want to be fat,

I think we never win,

Time is outside our boundaries.

And, sometimes I’m a teenager rolling with puppies,

With floppy ears and downy fur,

Tummy bare, rounded.

Sometimes my chest flutters, absorbing nips and belly rubs,

Because in such a short time,

She wheezed and I couldn’t awake to be there.

I knew enough, in the stillness of her beauty, what no breath meant.

Age took not her thick coat,

Only transported her to Elysian Fields,

Where we could not be together.

Sometimes I’m her bouncing through fields, cornering chipmunks,

Snuggling in the pack and running for miles.

Then, I’m the patient who’s wistful at her energetic tail.

Too tired to think beyond, the glory of her life,

To stretch and tag along at first so slow,

As she springs off of trees and barks like a bandit;

But, then I’m strong enough to ferry her across death’s rivers.

Later, I’m the painter with jubilant dreams,

Charcoal smudged, thick acrylics, immersed in sunlight.

Or, am the father-tree thick, ever-growing,

Am I one-hundred-and-fifty, here first;

Branches upswept, trailing the clouds.

But, you rip me out, brutally, as a beating heart,

My roots torn, paper shredded.

You make room for your concrete, your steel,

Your building and students, who know not my ghost.

Am I anyone or anything because I was?

Am I anything, was I once?

Now, I’m the knowledge they learn flourishing,

Then, I’m deep, rich dirt.

Reminded that in all homelands,

That all our histories are layer-upon-layer,

Sediment shattered, walls reconstructed.

Fire, earth, wind, and water didn’t end us —

What does? Will they remember before?

But then, I’m the tiniest weed, and still I live,

What’s life?

Your perception of what it is to be alive?


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

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NaPoWriMo: Poem – Heirloom Seeds – Alaphabet Poem -“Various Seeds Alphabetically”


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And now, our (optional, as always) daily prompt! April is a time for planting things (at least where I am, in Washington DC – you may still be waiting for spring, or well into some other season!) At any rate, I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!

Please see NaPoWriMo for more information. Hated this prompt by the way! 

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Abundant Bloomsdale spinach: sounds tasty to me. You may think it’s odd but I like raw spinach in my salads.

Bisignano number two paste tomatoes: Not a huge fan of tomatoes unless, they’re in a sandwich, or made into tomato soup or sauce.

Cucuzzi Edible Gourd: I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a gourd; it’s not my kind of vegetable.

Dill, Long Island Mammoth: I love dill in certain dishes and foods. I especially adore dill pickles and nylsnki in dill sauce is heavenly.

Erlene’s Green Cotton: to make lovely cotton clothes out of; I love cotton in the summer to wear when it’s hot outside. Cotton breathes so it keeps you cool.

Four O’clock Don Pedro’s: mixed colours; don’t know what those are because I’m not a gardener. Flowers maybe?

German Johnson Tomato: I don’t know why there is so many kinds of Tomatos. The people in the Middle Ages thought they were poisonus you know.

Hopi Pink Flour Corn: Sounds like yummy corn to make flour with; is it truly pink?

Italiko Rosso Dandelion: Some people eat dandelions in salads, not me they’re weeds.

Jing Orange Okra seeds: I’m drawing a blank on what seedling this could be, but it sounds wonderful.

Katanya Watermelon: I wonder what this watermelon looks and tastes like? I hope it’s sweet and juicy.

Lemon Basil, Mrs Burns: This lady knew her basil; such a tasty spice in certain dishes. Is this basil lemony tasting? 

Morning Glory, Grandpa Ott’s: I believe this is a beautiful flower; I’m thinking of the song line, “What’s the story morning glory.”

Native American Po’suwaegeh Blue Corn Seed: Blue corn would be great,steamed or BBQ’d; then you can put butter and salt on it. Yum! 

Old Virginia Tomatos: Again, more tomato varieties?

Petunia, Old Fashioned Vining: They are such a pretty flower and petunias on vines, how lovely.

Quinoa, Cherry Vanilla:  I see you’re trying to make quinoa seem tasty; I hate it and Cherrry Vanilla makes it sound  grosser! 

Rosita Egg Plant: I would try this, only a bit.

Sorghum, Black Amber Cane:  1/4 lb, sugarcane I think. Love it, they make sugar from it! 

Toothache Plant: I think I’ll keep my distance.

Umbrian Cicerchia: Is it some kind of spice or maybe beans?

Vietnamese Mint or Balm: Mint is incredibly refreshing! Kills bugs around the baseboards too essential mint oil mixed in water.

Xiaohulu Gord: I’m pretty positive you cannot eat this kind of gourd.

Yarrow: What is yarrow?

Zuni gold bean: These beans sound delicious steamed with a bit of becel.

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©Mandibelle16.(2016) All Rights Reserved