Not Ready — after Dixie Chicks, Not Ready to Make Nice (a golden shovel poem)


You can tell, by the flicker in my eyes, I’m
not ready, a little bit crazy, mad 
and messy — apt to spin into a storm, as 
quickly as a flame-feathered phoenix, rising from hell 
but you see me — know my fire — and 
still you sit beside me, solid as the earth where
find my feet — ground myself. You don’t 
flinch, don’t falter.  I know you have
my back, in every eruption, every rebirth, every time.


golden shovel – Take a line (or lines) from a poem you like. Use each word as an end word in your poem. Keep the end words in order. Credit the original poet, ie. “-after (poet)”.


For today’s prompt, write a simmer down poem.
For more information, check out–




“A story just isn’t a story without a dragon.”
H.B. Bolton

dragonandgirl (2)

I have a dragon who loves me.

He is fierce, protective, and strong, often quiet and brooding. He watched me for months, smiling wryly when I flirted, his gaze sometimes burning, sometimes distant and always thoughtful. He flirted back, and yet has not been easy to read. I have been intrigued by his quiet and patient nature, and the way he captures my attention. He is a mystery, and he looks at me as though I might be magic.

I am.

“I believe in magic. Writing is my magic wand, and through my magic I create my own secret world, away from all these worries and responsibilities. Love, honesty and humanity is essential to enter this beautiful world of magic. I dwell among White magical peacocks, glowing unicorns, fire breathing turquoise dragons, talking trees, flying horses, talking wise jackals and wolves, crystal water falls, secret pathways hidden in urban gardens and books with doorways to secret worlds. You need to believe in magic to experience it.”                              ― Ama H.Vanniarachchy

Our courtship has been unconventional, and that’s fine by me. We’ve chosen to embark on this journey of learning about each other, trusting and celebrating the good things in life. He is family, as are his wife and his son. I am amazed by that depth of love and connection with each of them. In many ways he is simply a solid, strong presence in my world, who makes me laugh, and treats me well, cherishes me, encourages me, believes in me. I feel the dragon heart beating beneath the surface of his tough exterior, and I know that there’s nothing he would not do to see me smile. He has a strong sense of honor, of right and wrong. I admire that about him.

dragonandgirlmude (2)


passing (2)

We are two celestial bodies — like ships —
weighed down with stars in a vast galaxy,
bursting at the seams with a cargo
of explosive, universe-creating energy.

Yet we cannot connect long enough,
to make exchange, to offload our cargo.
We pass each other –sailing in circles,
and occasionally our shadows kiss.

Our respective holds strain, and shift,
inner-voices — sailors to man rigging,
and mend sails — they grow tired
of these circling, endless journeys.

They are tired — I — am tired,
of seeing your smile from afar,
feeling the wake of your orbit,
and yet not casting out a rope.

I long to haul you in, to pull myself
into you. but you pass so quickly,
the briefest glimpse is shadowed
in darkness. So, I busy myself —

I check my charts, devise clever signals
to launch into the sky. Your response is
always, “Soon…” as bewildered by weather,
star charts, and creaking ships as I.

Ceremonial Cranes (an out-and-about poem)


Ask Vitruvius about beauty,
and look at the exalted cranes–
common and blue, red and
mechanical–models of
mathematical mythology.
A thousand timeless folded,
flying roosting and rusty,
they are positioned for power–
craning necks to extend
an eternal inked invitation
to vigilance, a visit from
Hiroshima, a ceremonial
origami celebration that
square by square calls out,
“Be here. Be. Here.”
with gregarious vocabulary,
in Tulsa, Oklahoma or
welcome, wherever you are.


POETIC FORM: An out-and-about Poem



To earn the “Off the Shelf” badge, head to your local library or bookstore, making a mental note of things you see on your journey there — you might, for instance, see construction taking place, drive by a used car dealership, pass a printing shop or spot a group of birds  in the trees. Make one of the things you saw your research topic for the day and find five books related to that topic in your library or bookstore’s stacks. Compose a poem using only the words and phrases  found on the first five pages of each text, excluding introductory matter. Make a note of your sources and include the citations along with your completed poem. ( I used websites, and only words from the main page in each case.)

PoMoSco (Poetry Month Scouts)
Found Poetry Review’s 2015 National Poetry Month Project

– April 2015 – 213 poets joined together as a troop to earn digital merit badges for completing experimental and found poetry prompts.
– Prompts are divided into five categories – remixing, erasure, out and about, conceptual and chance operation.
– Each category offers six distinct badges to be earned.
– Poets choose their own source text.
– For more information, check out

A dear friend and fabulous poet, Von Thompson,  is a participant. When she told me about the challenge, I decided to play along at home.



Topic – Cranes

Significance on the Wind – Instagram poetry (a lai poem)


Significance on the Wind

such a cold Wednesday
windy, dark and gray
in March

so a curious jay
perched in fine display
o’er arch

pale pastel bouquet
sent it’s scent my way
a larch


(for Emy)

(provided words:  curious, Wednesday, pastel, significance)

@ConnorPenelope on Instagram



lai – 9-line poem or stanza that uses AB rhyme with this pattern: AABAABAAB. A lines use 5 syllables, B lines have 2.

A Change in the Weather (a Terzanelle poem)


I felt it when you smiled with your eyes,
an unexpected change in the weather —
a shifting in the grey and winter skies.

I noticed as we sipped our tea together,
the scent of wind and ozone on your skin,
clouded with the coming change in weather.

Your clever tease, my blush and mild chagrin
they set my pulse to flight like startled birds.
I smelled the wind and ozone on your skin.

Our kindred appetites for rhyme and words
caught up in frozen time, melted it seems.
darted between us quick, like winging birds.

My laughter flowed with yours in steady streams —
the jealous sun arrested in his climb,
slowed time to stare at us a while, it seems

You kindled curiosity sublime.
Your smile persistent, slipped into my eyes.
Though pale, the sun grew quicker in his climb —
I left you, warmed beneath the winter skies.



The Terzanelle combines the lyricism of Terza Rima with the repetition of the Villanelle, in 19 lines.Traditionally lines should be written in a consistient iambic meter.  The rhyme and refrain order is as follows:







For more information, see: Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides blog post on the Terzanelle.

Flight (a palindrome poem)


(for Tranessa)

Fly butterflies,
with wind and wings!
Peacocks all preen
their jewel-toned feathers.
See my dance,
in this rain?
In dance, my sea feathers!
Jewel-toned – there –
preen all peacock’s wings
and wind with flies.
Flutter by!



You must use the same words in the first half of the poem as the second half, but reverse the order for the second half, and use a word in the middle as a bridge from the first half to the second half of the poem – See more at:

One Thousand Black Feathers (a somonka)

blackfeather2 (3)

Today my heart storms,
my life bound and counter-bound.
One black feather, a gift
in the wind, peace — but I know
I’ve no haven; I made my chains.

I wish I could be
your shelter of wings, freedom.
Today my heart pounds
against the chains you have made.
I am black feathers, falling.




The somonka is a Japanese form. In fact, it’s basically two tankas written as two love letters to each other (one tanka per love letter). This form usually demands two authors, but it is possible to have a poet take on two personas. A refresher on the tanka: If a haiku is usually (mistakenly) thought of as a 3-line, 5-7-5 syllable poem, then the tanka would be a 5-line, 5-7-5-7-7 syllable poem. However, as with haiku, it’s better to think of a tanka as a 5-line poem with 3 short lines (lines 2, 4, 5) and 2 very short lines (lines 1 and 3). While imagery is still important in tanka, the form is a little more conversational than haiku at times. It also allows for the use of poetic devices such as metaphor and personification (2 big haiku no-no’s). Like haiku, tanka is a Japanese poetic form. (for more on the tanka, see: for more on the somonka:

Paper Loves Ink (a palindrome poem)


Ravens tell poets,
“Paper loves ink,”
(while ruffling feathers)
“like words whisper secrets.”
Stories unravel
thread by thread.
So spills ink, into
into ink spills.
“So, thread by thread,
unravel stories.”
Secrets whisper words,
like feathers
ruffling, while,
“Ink loves paper.”
Poets tell ravens.

Palindrome – Use the same words in 1st half of the poem as the 2nd half, but reverse the order for 2nd half, and use a word in the middle as a bridge between 2 halves.