Posts Tagged ‘writer’s digest poem-a-day competition’

I can’t believe I actually did it

So I started out the month of April participating in the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day writing competition. I did this not because I wanted to express my poetic prowess. Hardly. I’m actually not a poet in any sence of the word. I thought this would be a good challenge to think creatively, writing in a way I don’t normally write.

Well, tonight marks the end of the competition and my last poem submission. I saved the best (by that I mean the hardest) for last. Not on purpose. It’s just that it was a specific peom structure that took some getting my head around (you can read about the rules of a sestinas poem here) . And in my book, it’s always easier to put off today what you can do at the last minute, right? But now it’s done, though maybe not correctly, and I’ve posted it for all to enjoy or criticise or ignore, whatever’s easier.

The Promise
She couldn’t wait until tonight.
In her closet hung the dress,
a gift from her mother,
a reminder of a promise.
She gazed at the stars
above, dreaming of the dance.

Everything around her seemed to dance,
The trees, the wind, even the night
sky was full of twirling stars.
She slipped into the dress,
full of hope and promise.
She went downstairs to show her mother.

She thought of her mother
as she strolled to the dance,
determined to keep her promise.
A promise to enjoy the night
wearing her mother’s dress,
the one that has never seen the stars.

Her walk was lit by the stars.
If only her mother
could have worn this dress,
the dress her mother was meant to dance
in. But she wasn’t going to be sad tonight.
She was going to keep her promise.

She thought of her promise
all the while staring at the stars.
Her mother would love this night.
She thought about her mother
and how beautiful she use to dance,
twirling in this very dress.

She danced like an angel in that dress,
feeling full of love and promise.
She continued to dance
until the sky absorbed the stars.
She thought of her mother,
wishing this was instead her night.

She walked home that night in the dress
that was her mother’s. She made a new promise;
that under the stars that someday her mother would again dance.


So I’ve been catching up with some of my poems for the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition. Monday’s prompt was to write a poem about rebirth. You can guess what my first thought was as a mother, but I didn’t want to write about blood and sweat and screaming and such (hmm, think I have some birthing issues to deal with). Instead I thought about something many moms encounter: dinner and what to make. Probably a bit of a stretch on the subject of rebirth but here it goes:

Reheat on high

Monday night’s noodles.
Tuesday night’s carrots.
Wednesday night’s chicken.
Thursday night’s mushrooms.
Toss in a bowl and
reheat on high.
Friday night’s dinner.

A therapeutic outlet

So with my daughter’s birthday happening this last weekend, I’ve fallen behind on a lot of my writing, including my Writer’s Digest entries for the Poem-A-Day competition I’ve been participating in. Well yesterday’s prompt was to write an angry poem. At first I thought this would be difficult. Not because I don’t get angry, but usually by the time I sit to write about being angry, the moment has passed.

But as I read through some of the other poem’s people submitted I was reminded of an incident that occurred to me this weekend when I was out. I was turning at an intersection, the street was clear. I was halfway through the crosswalk when a pedestrian decided to cross, at an angle, outside of the crosswalk, but in front of me. He was so annoyed with that he kicked the back of my van and put a crack in my tail light. I was furious, but I had the three kids with me so what could I do. I’ve been trying hard to behave myself when driving with the kids and this can be hard on some days.

I’ve been both inside the car and outside and I’ve encountered many pedestrians that seem to think they’re above everyone else around them. And it drives me nuts. So now I had something to write about. And actually writing about it was kind of therapeutic (sort of).

Pedestrian ass


You walk four or five abreast

letting no one get by.


You cross in the middle of the road

causing cars to swerve.


You plow your way through

knocking people without apology.


You wade out looking for your bus

stopping vehicles from turning.


You are ignorant of anyone around you.

You’re an ass.

Inspired by Shel Silverstein

Today’s poem prompt for Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition was based on taking the title from another Poet’s poem and rewriting it (and the poem to support it). I’m a big fan of Shel Silverstein. His work is so imaginative, fun and very kid friendly. Inspired by his poem ‘Sharing’ and my son, I submitted the following:


He can sleep under the table
He can sleep across the chairs.
He can sleep in the laundry basket.
He can sleep on the stairs.
He can sleep in the car
and anywhere he lays his head.
But he can’t seem to sleep
in his very own bed.


I’ve been playing catch-up with my poem’s for the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition. Yesterday’s prompt was to write a poem based on a hobby. Since I seem to spend so much time on twitter lately, I thought I could classify that as one of my hobbies.  And writing a poem about twitter, I of course had to try and write each line within 140 character limit. So here it goes:




i sit quietly in front of my glowing computer screen, reading, replying & typing messages to friends & strangers only known by screen names.


i condense my thinking, remove unwanted words like pronouns. does my meaning get lost? do you understand what i am saying in 140 characters?


if i follow you, will you then follow me? tweet me a reply and i will retweet it to others. others who follow me and may then follow you too

Some things I just can’t part with

I’m sure we all have something tucked away in a box or buried in the back of a drawer. Something that’s old or doesn’t work properly. Something that’s too small or in need of repair. Something we’ll never use, that’s just taking up space, yet we just can’t bring ourselves to get ride of it.

I have just such an item. A bath towel. A green, faded, frayed, ripped bath towel.

A family treasure? Maybe not.

A family treasure? Maybe not.

It’s not because I’m cheap and can’t afford a new one; towels are pretty inexpensive. It’s not because I’m a super sewer and plan to repair it; I don’t even think I own a needle or thread. No, I can’t seem to let go of this towel because it makes me laugh.

Okay, maybe a little background information is needed. When my husband and I were younger (before the kids, before the house, before the marriage), we shared a one-bedroom apartment together. We were lucky to have laundry facilities in the basement. We didn’t know how lucky until they weren’t working one day. So off to the laundry mat we trecked (oh, this was before our car too).

Actually it wasn’t that bad. It was a sunny day and we bought veal sandwiches from a local deli while our clothes washed. Before we knew it, our clothes were done. My husband and I each took a machine to empty and fold. As I paired socks from the dryer, it happened


I looked up at my hubby, who was folding a towel. The towel was stitched with a gather near the bottom as a design feature, I guess. He had pulled the towel out and thought it was all bunched up from being in the dryer and pulled it straight to fold it. Instead he was pulling the gather out. The towel now had little holes all along the gather stitch.

I almost peed my pants I was laughing so hard. We eventually bought new towels to replace this one, but when it came to throwing it in the garbage, I just couldn’t do it. I don’t put it out in our bathroom. But it does sit in our hall cupboard. And every time I pull it out by accident I can’t help but remember our laundry mat adventure.

I don’t know if my kids will be as thrilled about the towel when I will it to one of them.

Today’s poem prompt for the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day is about a memory and this one sprang to mind. What item(s) do you have hiding in your place that you will never part with because of the memories it stirs?

That Towel

We lived together
in a one bedroom apartment.
The washers weren’t working.

We walked together
to the laundry mat.
Hefty bags over our shoulders.

We ate together
waiting for the machines to stop.
Veal sandwiches wrapped in foil.

We worked together
emptying the dryer.
Folding clothes in a pile.


We laughed together
at the towel we tore.
Holes appearing all along the seams.

Motherly influences on my writing

I know that being a mother influences a lot of what I do, what I eat, read, talk about. Even effecting what I right. I didn’t realize how much until I started participating in the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition. Yesterday and today’s prompts had me thinking about my kids. Maybe if I was a real poet (whatever that is) my writing would be different. Or would it? I’m sure both of these poems would ring some truth in most moms. Let me know

Yesterday’s post was about ‘Clean’ or ‘Dirty’. You had to choose one and write a poem about it. And my little helper is the first thing that came to mind.

Cleaner and Cleaning

She carries her bowl,
clearing it from the table.
I follow,
picking up lost Cheerios as they
tumble and drop and roll on the floor.

She washes her hands,
pumping, pumping the soap from the dispenser.
I follow,
rinsing the jam smeared cloth,
washing crumbs and bubbles and water down the drain.

She empties the laundry basket,
putting her clean clothes away.
I follow,
unstuffing the overflowing drawer,
sorting and matching and folding the clothes into neat piles.

She is my little cleaner
and I don’t mind cleaning up after her.

Today’s prompt was writing about a routine. Well, if anyone knows about routines it’s moms. There are many routines that I don’t enjoy, like making lunches and dinner. Getting the kids ready for school. Getting the kids ready for bed. (Boy that seems like a Iot I don’t like). But the bath time, although it’s a necessity, is one that we all enjoy. It’s a great way to wind down and get ready for bed.

Three clean faces

Water thunders from the tap.
Clothes fly and drop to the floor.
Thirty little toes wiggle in the wet.
Pirates find treasure at the bottom.
Boats float on the top.
Six hands play among the man-made waves.
Toys drip in their container.
Water swirls around and around the drain.
Three beautifully clean faces smile at me.
I love bath time.

Missing a friend

Today’s Writer’s Digest poetry prompt is about something that is missing (either physically or metaphorically). Thoughts of our old cat Limburger popped into my head, even without much thought. He came into my life almost the same time my husband did. He was a birthday gift from my sister. She told me she had a gift and need to give it to me that night for fear it would go bad. I joked about her giving me Limburger cheese, thus his name.

He became quite ill and we made the very hard decision to put him down in December 2006 (the same time my youngest was born). My son was close to Limburger since he was the only male cat. He thought the boys needed to stick together and look out for each other. Even though Limburger is gone, I still feel him in the house, sometimes seeing him out of the corner of my eye. That’s what prompted my poem submission for today:


I sit in the living room
reading a book.
Was that you
walking just out of view in the hall?

I work in the office
finishing some paperwork.
Was that you
playing with the rolling pencil on the floor?

I cook in the kitchen
getting dinner ready.
Was that you
asking for a piece of cheese?

I lay in bed
trying to fall asleep.
Was that you
warming the bottom of the bed with your fur as you purr?

I know you’re gone
but you’ll always be here.

I love you.


The boys just hanging out

The boys just hanging out

Day 4, ‘animal’ poem prompt

It took me awhile, but I was able to submit my poem for Day 4 of the Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition. Looking at it now, it doesn’t seem like much, nothing that should have taken so long. I guess I had a hard time choosing an animal. The first thing that came to mind was a cat since I have so many around me as a reference, but then, everyone writes about cats. I thought of the Dodo, I just love the sound. But I couldn’t think of anything to say (and good thing because someone else actually wrote about the Dodo – and better than I ever would). So fish it is, though my original idea was to have the fish floating around dead at the end, but that never materialized. What this whole exercise tells me, though, is that I need to buy a thesaurus. I can’t believe I don’t own one already. Oh well, enjoy.

Fish in a bowl


Round and round

In a small glass bowl.


Body blasts,

Left, right, left, right,

past the blubbling, bubbling treasure chest


Fins flutter,

Back, forth, back, forth,

gracefully, without thought.


Mouth morphs,

open, close, open, close.

Are you trying to talk to me?


You stop.

You stare.

You start to swim again.


Round and round

In a small glass bowl.

Day 3: ‘The trouble with..’ prompt poem

It’s day 3 of Writer’s Digest Poem-A-Day competition. I’m not a poet, but I thought I’d try the challenge of writing a poem everyday. Today’s prompt was taking the phrase ‘The trouble with…’ and adding something to the end. That would the the poem’s title and the poem had to follow that. I thought what I wrote today was fitting for moms so I thought I’d post it here. Remember, I said I’m not a poet. Let me know what you think:


The problem with naps


My mom thinks that

I need a nap.

But I’m not tired.


I’m a circus clown,

jumping on my trampoline.

I’m an astronaut,

bouncing from one end of the moon and back again.


I can’t have a nap

and miss all that.


I’m a dancer,

twirling and twirling and twirling until I fall down.

I’m a momma bird

teaching my babies to fly, tossing them high out of my bed.


I can’t have a nap

and miss all that.


I’m a swimmer,

kicking my way across the ocean.

I’m an explorer,

hunting for gems, blanketed in the dark.


I can’t

have a nap






I’m a bear,

hiding from the cold snow.

I’m a star,

drifting, drifting.