Mar 24, 2012

Just for fun poem

I think my favorite poetry portrays unusual images for the sky, whether it's the sun, stars, clouds, etc. I finally decided to give it a go.

Nature's Hunger

Sweet, honey-drop sun
Devoured hungrily by black bear clouds
He smears his golden feast
As he licks the sweet sky clean
His ravenous stomach rumbles
In his careful search for more
Something to satisfy his hunger
Something to ease his roar
In growing anger he bellows
Gnashing his silvery teeth
Scraping his fiery claws
And shredding the sky to rags
Lunar drops pour down
Satisfying the hunger of the beast
He rolls around in pleasure
As he devours his luminous feast
He yawns in great pleasure
And sharpens his massive claws
Snarling with content
As he slowly lumbers off…
Tracking sticky prints across the tired sky.

Mar 23, 2012


The ballad was a tough poem for me to write, simply because it is a story that you tell. I racked my brain for days wondering what type of story I could tell. Nothing seemed captivating enough to me, and I think that that was what intimidated me. Love stories are no longer an interest to me, neither are historic stories. Nobody wants to read about motherhood, so what on earth was left to write about? And then I decided to just write about some parts of life that I knew.


Look at that house
It's four times the size
Of our little box
I can't help but sigh
Wonder how they afford it?
We barely make rent
Poverty, food stamps
When will it end?

He's cold and he's bald
Just barely hanging on
Cancer hit hard
And soon he'll be gone
She cries and she screams
Praying it's a bad dream
She tries to be strong
When will it end?

Life's an uphill battle
It hurts and it's scary and hard
We're bruised and we're battered
We're beaten and scarred
But we still go on
We climb and we cry
We fall then get up
And then we survive...
Stronger than before.

Mar 18, 2012

Silent Letters

You know what really irks me? All the silent letters in the English language. I was in college, working as a Writing Center consultant. I was really good at my job. Several people even told me so. Each session, I felt confident and smart...until I read a student's essay that for some cruel reason mentioned the Mojave Desert. I'm ashamed to admit that I pronounced it as Moh-jave. Want to know the sad part? I wasn't even aware that I had pronounced it wrong until the student politely (THANKFULLY!!) corrected me (pronounced Moh-hah-vee, just in case anyone's as apparently uneducated as me!)! I was horrified, humiliated, and cut down to the size of an ant's eye (they do have eyes, right?). Darned those killer silent letters!!

My co-workers and I often joked about silent letters, and for a semester, my nick-name was Roger (pronounced, of course, Ah-jer, because the R was silent). Who came up with that rule, anyway?


Acrostics are poems that spell something, using each letter to begin a different line. It can be with your own name, or with something that interests you. Personally, I love it when they contain rhymes, and that is the challenge I seek to do today. I think I'll start with my own name to get the juices flowing, and then I'll try my hand at a rhyming one. Word of warning: I have come across several misspelled acrostics, so I recommend writing your word vertically before you begin.

Kennel attendant was my first job
I washed, dried and fed and looked after each dog
Medicated cats, held birds, sprayed each room
Before pulling out the mop and the broom
Earning each paycheck with hard work and sweat
Really hard work watching over each pet
Learning so well that a vet's job's not for me
Yes, I went to college for a different degree!

Okay, so I can't help but rhyme. I'm a rhyming freak, I'll admit it. Most of my picture books are actually rhyme. Sometimes it feels so satisfying, and somehow complete if I can get my ideas to flow so rhythmically. I'll admit that it's a little infuriating that a lot of publishers find rhymes distasteful, but I think I'm going to keep on with them, just to satisfy myself. And if I ever seek to publish, then I'll write what they want. But just to let you know: when I die, people are gonna read my stuff, and they're going to wish they'd published me!

Mar 17, 2012

2 New ABC Poems

Late last night, as I sat in the dark nursing Caleb, my mind couldn't resist the temptation of writing yet another ABC poem. After I was satisfied with the result, I climbed back into bed. Unfortunately, with my mind charged from the challenge, I couldn't help but plan out another one. I fell asleep with a second poem in my head, only to awake several hours later to unconsciously finish it was as if I had missed those precious few hours of sleep to satisfy my craving for poetry. This was definitely a good challenge...that I unfortunately became obsessed with. It feels good to exercise my mind creatively again.

Quiet Sky

A beautiful cloud
From God's handiwork
It's jealous kin -
Lumbering Moon -
Navigating on prismatic,
Reflective sails
The universe veils
Wry x-pansions
Yielding zodiacs.

Fall Breeze

Burnt colors drop
Earth's fragile grandeur halted
Its jittering keepsakes lost
'Midst nocturne overtures
Painted quakes, rustling
Stormy trees undressed
Visitor - Winter - x-pected
Yawning zeal.

Mar 16, 2012

Abcedarian Poem

This type of poem is written where either the verse or each word contains the alphabet in order. Here's my first attempt:

The Life of Art

Art breathes,
Capturing divine elegance
For generations...

Helplessly intoxicating...

Just keeping life's memories
Neatly on paper
Quietly retaining sanctity,
Truly understanding values
Wistfully x-panding
Your zest

Poetry Exercises

Remember how I want to try exercising my creativity? After reading hundreds of poems daily (and feeling very jealous that these kids have SUCH amazing talents), I have really wanted to try to write some of the things that they are writing. My job at Creative Communication has really been an eye-opener for me in several aspects.

First, the imagery these kids create just blow me away. My favorite one so far was one student who compared the sun to a ripe orange, squeezing out its sunlight. Seriously? How does someone come up with that? That is the most beautiful image I have ever read! I have started thinking of creative metaphors, though I have nowhere near the abilities these amazing students have. I'm hoping to develop this talent through hard work and dedication.

I've really wanted to find the different types of poems these students are submitting so that I can practice, and I found a list of them on the Poetic Power website. I've included the link on the right side of this blog entitled "Poetry exercises." There are many different types of poems. I plan to write a new poem daily...or at least weekly. If you click on the link, select the grade level. Next, under "Main Categories," select "Types of Poetry." A large list of different poetry types is offered, and after choosing your desired poem, you will be prompted to select a link. Choose "How to write..."

I really urge everyone with students in grades K-12 to practice writing poems, and submit them to the contest! There are 3 poetry contests yearly, and if the poem is written well enough, well, hello publication! Creative Communication does not publish every poem submitted, but it is easier than other agencies. I really wish I would have had this opportunity when I was a student. Getting a poem or essay published is an incredible opportunity for students to get their foot in the door to a future writing career!

Another way my eyes have been opened is the ability to push through pain. I have never been athletic. At all. My idea of running was just to the bathroom. Playing sports was never fun for me because not only did I lack self-confidence, but I hated the pain and exhaustion I felt when I ran too much. Now that I am 30 years old, I am almost embarrassed (although really surprised) that athletic people feel the same pain I felt! I always attributed my discomfort to disability. If only I had known that runners, swimmers, volleyball players, and everyone else who succeeded at sports also suffer burning pain in their muscles! The difference between them and me was their desire to persevere. They pushed past the pain and grew from it. I shirked from it. Feared it. I now am more willing to try new things because I know that I, too, can persevere!

My spirituality has also been affected by my job. I read these essays by students who express their faith in God, through daily prayer, trust, and love. I realized with shame that although I had always striven to keep close to God, the absolute chaos and exhaustion of motherhood had kept me from prayer, scripture study, and dedication.
My longing to get back to where I once was was sparked by these faithful students--regardless of their faith. I envied where they were in their lives, and longed to have that relationship with God that they enjoyed. Happiness comes from this, and nothing can replace it.

Being a poetry/essay judge has been the best thing for me. Not only does it give me the needed break from the insanity of home, but it has given me a drive to improve myself in many aspects of my life. Writing is inspiring. It not only benefits the writer, but the reader's eyes become open to knowledge they never could have dreamed. Writing is art, writing is expression, writing is power.

Mar 13, 2012

Will They Remember?

The small, yellow-brick house
With only one bathroom and a dripping sink
And a front door that is impossible to close
That three generations grew up in
Will they remember?
Sitting at the kitchen table
Painting pictures, molding Play-doh, and carving pumpkins
Sitting for an hour trying to finish their dinner
Will they remember?
Walking with Daddy as he rototills the garden
Raking big piles of leaves and sifting out the walnuts
Podding peas and shucking corn on lawn chairs
And wading knee-deep in our irrigated yard
Will they remember?
Our family grows together
As we walk the Riverwalk trail on Sundays
Run on the track across the street
Drive together chasing heavy black rain clouds
And huddle on the sofa for storytime.
Will they remember?
In a small house packed with chaos
Long stories
And movies with microwave popcorn
Will my children remember how they were raised?

Mar 5, 2012

Where I Come From

At Creative Communication, we frequently receive poems that portray the lives we have lived. I've been dying to write one, so here goes:

I'm from kick-the-can and hide and seek
And moonlit talks with the neighborhood kids
From bike rides with my sister to the park
Sewing little white dolls in loose stitches
And permanent marker faces
I'm from a jar full of snails to have as friends
Only to release them into the street
From Saturdays picking raspberries and grapes
And drying apples all night long
I'm from camping in our backyard
And hiking up the mountains just blocks from my house
From oversized Bum Equipment T-shirts
And thick, greasy headbands
To getting my ears pierced
Only to see my crush wearing the same gold studs
I'm from waking up to the sounds and smells of Dad cutting the grass
To lying beneath our huge Sycamore during a windy night
I'm from a kid-filled neighborhood with my crush across the street
And my best friend just around the corner
I'm from early summertime walks before the sun came up
To trekking to Antelope Island on my bicycle
From "Ask the neighbors if we can put their leaves in our yard"
To "Don't play in the front yard; I want the snow to look nice!"
I'm from spying out the window
And sweating on my first date
Putting our cat to sleep
And moving away to college
I am from Centerville
A home I will never return to
With memories I will never forget.

Creative Process Rethought

Life has been incredibly busy the past several months. Besides having a newborn, I also started working again...the first time in about five and a half years! The job I have is so perfect: I am a poetry/essay judge for school-aged children. Not only am I able to brush up on my editing skills, but I have had my eyes opened to what really makes a poem or essay wonderful.

Some of my favorite works by students have had incredible, unusual imagery, and it has taught me that frankly, my stuff can be kinda boring! What really makes writing fun and memorable are similes and metaphors that have a twist, such as, "The sun's burning heat forced my eyes shut, eyelashes kissing my cheeks." Another poem mentioned the moon that sails across the sky. Loved it! I really am drawn to creative metaphors, and I think it would be great exercises for me to work on.

With Mommy-brain going on high gear, I know that it's not going to be easy. Sleep, I'm sorry to say, is higher priority than writing. Although...I'll be honest and confess that it comes in second to binge eating after a rough day with an ornery 4-year old.