Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #319

So I had to write a poem using at least three of these words:

  • paddle
  • robot
  • custard
  • quibble
  • glance
  • wrench

I generally try to overachieve by using all of them, but I just wasn’t in the mood today.  Usually, when I have to write a poem within these guidelines, it ends up being silly, so here is a silly poem for you. 

The Time and Death of Robie the Robot

Robie the Robot was the newest addition
to MacDougal’s Hamburgers and Fries.
He became Employee of the Month
for up-selling Supersize.

With a paddle for one hand,
and a wrench for the other,
he never messed up an order,
or demanded fifteen dollars an hour.
He did not need a smoke break,
he never pilfered the food,
called in sick, or came in late.

The other employees,
who saw him as a threat,
decided to do him in one day.
They recycled him into a windchime—
an effigy of sorts—
committing a felonious crime.

When the State came the next day,
to collect Secret Agent Robie Robot for service,
the workers, to avoid a charge,
ended up taking his place.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #318, Theme: Tired

When the Sun Shall Shine Through the Rain

I am like a pearl,
making a dive
through a bottle of Prell.
That was my life
for months after she came,
and nothing was ever the same.

Every morning was a struggle
to get out of bed—
sapped of the stores of energy I once had;
to sleep with abandon,
without thought or care
of a little princess with golden hair.
My time is no longer my own,
but precious are the moments that glitter like silver,
for they are more precious than gold.

Her little hand clutches mine,
and my heart catches.
My cup runneth over.
I am revived in spirit,
if not in body,
for my flesh is weak.
The time is now—
now I must turn away
from the sugar that glistens like snow,
from the lethargy of being housebound at times.
I must fight for what once was easy for me.
I must find that old physicality
in this new life.
I must find that vibrancy once again;
I must take care of myself,
as I take care of her.

I stand on solid ground,
looking upwards and all around—
away from myself,
for my priorities have shifted,
like the tectonic plates I stand upon,
and my soul is uplifted.
The magnitude of my responsibility,
hits me like a wall of cement,
for “the hand that rocks the cradle,
is the hand that rules the world.”

My Trivial (and not so trivial) Pursuits of Summer

Summery

Though I was disappointed that summer classes weren’t available in my degree program, it’s still been a pretty great summer.  I still accomplished a lot, and used some of my time somewhat wisely.  The list below pretty much sums up the season for me (so far):

  1. Binge watched the entire series of “Medium” on Netflix (I’d missed the last season, so I started with it, and worked my way back).  It’s where I got the idea of including a little note in my child’s lunch (as soon as she’s old enough to read them).
  2. Participated in the Writer’s Digest “Poem-a-Day” challenge for the month of April.
  3. Made my first live television appearance on “The Daily Brew” with my friend, Mandy, who also participated in the challenge.
  4. Applied to 250+ scholarships, winning one (so far).
  5. Learned all the verses to “London Bridge is Falling Down” and created my own sign language to go with it; introduced my daughter to sign language and have managed to remember 50+ signs, which is a real accomplishment for me.
  6. Writing my third Harlequin novel (the first two haven’t been picked up yet) for the “So You Think You Can Write” contest.
  7. Have gained several more endorsements on LinkedIn and reached All-Star status.  (We’ll see if that helps in my career search post graduation.)
  8. Revitalized my Twitter account.  (Twitter for a writer is important for gaining contacts.  However, there is a ton of spam on Twitter, so never feel like you have to follow someone back just because they followed you.)
  9. Mastered mouse-moving dexterity with my left hand (no more carpal tunnel in my dominant hand).
  10. Given up all regular soda; completely switched to Mexican Coca-Cola (made with real sugar rather than HFCS).  Right now, it’s one a day; I hope to have it down to one every other day by the end of summer.  That said, I am drinking at least a half gallon of water a day.  I’ve had to work my way up to that.
  11. Became a volunteer article writer for the Gulf Coast Kid’s House.
  12. Enrolled in a creative writing course at the local college.  I could only get into one class this semester (everything was either full, required a pre-req, or it wasn’t offered during the fall term).  I used this delay as an opportunity to take a class that excites me.
  13. Finally accepted that I will never like bananas (unless they’re in a dessert).  Same goes for sweet potatoes, avocados, and eggs.
  14. Submitted my collection of children’s nursery rhymes, “Golden Stars and Silver Linings” to Wordsong Press.
  15. Learned how to have fun for fun’s sake.  Not everything has to be a learning opportunity for my two-year-old daughter.  Making memories and having fun is a big part of childhood.  I learned from an occupational therapist that a child’s job is to do just that:  have fun.
  16. Became a quarter-finalist in the Mary Ballard Poetry Chapbook Prize contest for my collection of medical poetry, “Complexities”.  (Final results are still pending.)  Whether or not I win, I will still have completed a large body of work in a relatively short amount of time.  I am determined that every piece of writing I’ve deemed good will eventually find a home.  Every rejection is an opportunity to make a piece better.

Some of my Favorite Things about Being a Writer

DSCF0464

  1. I can do it from here to there; I can do it anywhere.
  2. It’s cheap.  I don’t have to spend a small fortune on art supplies to create my art.  Pen and paper, or a little laptop will do.
  3. Unlike photography, I don’t have to try to capture others when they’re not looking.  I can write about them without them even knowing it.
  4. I can brainstorm ideas while in bed (trying to go to sleep).
  5. It’s a great gig for introverts (like me).
  6. I can wash, rinse, repeat.  I don’t have to start all over again, like I would, for the most part, with a drawing.  I can finish the entire project, and then go back and edit.
  7. It helps me keep my vocabulary, spelling, and grammar skills sharp.
  8. I can write a book one time, and make money off of more than one copy (unlike a painting, that can only be sold once by the painter).
  9. I can kill off people I don’t like.
  10. I can live vicariously through my characters.  I can travel the world, work exciting jobs, and yes, assassinate my enemies.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #317, Theme: Remember

This is more like prose, well, it is prose (which is really non-rhyming poetry, right?).  It’s sort of based on the theory that there is no reality, only perception, and on this quote I read about memoir writing.  Though we remember things that actually happened, we all remember them differently, just like no one reads exactly the same book.

That Fuzzy Gray Area Called Memory

Remember when I was born and you were so happy?
I remember when you were born.

Remember your first day of school and you were so excited?
I remember being excited about leaving.

Remember when you were trying out for baseball and how hot it was?
I remember it being hot all the time.

Remember when you ate that hot dog and threw up all over Grandpa?
I remember throwing up all over Grandpa,
and not being able to eat hot dogs for a whole year.

Remember when you blew a bubble and got gum all in your hair?
I remember Mom crying while she shaved my head that time.
Are you sure it wasn’t a lollipop?

Remember when you graduated from high school and you were kind of sad?
I just remember being happy.

Remember when you went off to college and Mom was sad?
I remember being scared.

Remember when you met Anne and it was not quite love at first sight?
I’ve always loved Anne.

Remember your wedding day, and you were so nervous?
She was the one who was nervous.

Remember when you almost fainted while Marie was being born?
Guys don’t faint.

And the moral of this prose is simple:
This is why perfectly true memoirs are impossible to write.

Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt #316, Theme: Open

So this one seemed tough at first, but it was only after I had completed my entire draft that I thought of open marriage, open house, open book, open letter, open-ended question, etc.  However, I was very pleased with what I came up with, and I might still write another on the same theme.  A first for me!

Eyes Wide Open

I pass the mirror without even looking,
for I know I haven’t changed:
black hair, blue eyes,
both a little grayer, I am sure.
I need not see to know who I am.

I find my way to the kitchen,
where everything is just so-so.
I cannot function if it is not. 
Those that believe I am OCD,
do not know me.
My house is orderly,
so that my life may be,
for I am not The Finder of Lost Things;
after all, I lost my sense.

Night is nigh,
but I fear it not.
The dark is familiar to me,
like a friend almost.
They say one picture is worth 1000 words—
but words paint a picture for me.

I hear rain patter my roof;
I press my hand to the glass
and feel the raindrops,
leaving a trail like a snail,
or is it my imagination?
Do memories fill in the blanks
of what I no longer know?
Have my senses become in sync
with the synchrony and cacophony of Nature?

I walk outside and stand on my porch,
feeling the thunder rumble in my core,
tasting the chemicals in the rain,
smelling the honeysuckle from Mrs. O’Brien’s porch plot.
I’ve known her for twenty years,
and she hasn’t changed—
at least to me.
Everything is as wonderful as I remember it.

I feel the mist freckle my warm cheeks,
the smell of burnt fudge lingers in the air,
pregnant with that pause before the storm;
Katie Gray is cooking again—
I can almost taste the charred chocolate.
Just a step from the air-conditioned house,
to the sauna outside,
is like a sensory overload.
Simple things have become magnified.

I slip off my flip-flops—
a funny word that is,
like bellybutton and elbow.
The soft rain on the rough concrete
is an interesting juxtaposition,
for one is unyielding,
the other is not.

I hear the wooden windchimes next door,
clanging like the sound of someone clucking their tongue.
The thunder is like horses in Heaven having a race,
the lighting like chariots of fire,
like feathers brushing across my face.
The rain is like the sprinklers that go off next door,
or Missy Hanley’s dog shaking himself off after a bath.
The whole of Summer,
encapsulated in droplets.

I bend to my roses,
to nuzzle my nose in their centers,
rubbing their petals between my fingers,
petals that are like the skin of a gracefully-aging woman.
The dirt beneath is like cake crumbs.
I touch my face,
not realizing I am dirtying it,
and in my own mind,
I have never aged.
I saw myself once for the last time,
a long time ago,
and, like Marilyn Monroe,
I am forever young in my own mind,
if not the eyes of others.

A part of me died after that last time I saw myself,
and a new Tabitha Fenmore was born—
I no longer saw things as they really were,
but I heard, it seemed,
for the very first time.

I now hear the light—
a twinkle in someone’s voice,
sincerity,
joy,
pain…

The light is something I feel—
the warm sunshine,
my husband’s hands,
whose scars I cannot see,
the tongue of Mr. Baker’s dog on my hand.

The light is something I taste—
a warm peach in summertime,
a frosted glass of lemonade,
the ice tinkling the sides like a windchime.

The light is something I smell—
a new baby after a bath,
mint leaves that have been chopped finely,
and fresh cut grass after a rain.

The light is something I touch—
cotton and see-through lace,
fresh sketch paper from the art store,
and the gold of my wedding band.

It is when sleep comes that see I periwinkle—
the color that divides day from night,
the color of lavender and blue,
the color of twilight.
I am told that my art is extraordinary;
I use scented paints to tell the red from the blue,
the intensity of the scent a way to tell dark from light.

The silver lining of this cloud of blindness,
this velvet darkness,
is that I never will see ugliness.
Because of that,
I can live without fear:
Eyes.
Wide.
Open.