Friday, September 24, 2010


This poem was the result of a poetry challenge that involved drawing a picture (I drew a woman singing "La La") and passing it around a circle with a new person drawing it after only seeing it for a few seconds. Kind of a "Cranium" (the board game) challenge, or a written game of "Telephone."  My drawing went around the circle  without changing too much, except that the original words "La la" which I had written next to the woman's mouth had morphed into "Blah blah." Assignment: Write a poem about what changed. So here is what I wrote, taking a few liberties with one La and and one Blah:


By the time La turned into Blah
she had left Woo-Woo so far behind
it had become Woe.  

It's so easy, we all know, 
for La to get lost, 
at least for awhile. 

And adding Tra to the La
only goes so far. About as far
as she could throw it on a gray day. 

Now she knows in her own way
it's a mood, and she wants to shake it
the way she shook a rattle and cooed
for her first born. 

But the urge to mourn is winning.
La, she has decided,
belongs at the beginning.

Karen Edmisten is in charge of the Poetry Friday round-up today. Head over to her blog to see what's up.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Poetry Friday - Time for Recess!

Girls on the Playground, Pittsburgh PA, 1950

Tricia over at The Miss Rumphius Effect continues to be my muse, via her Poetry Stretches. When she asked this week for a poem made entirely of questions, I fell into the rhythms of the playground - counting games, jump rope rhymes - and tried to capture them, with a dash of adult heartache, which is what a question mark does to me now.

Jump Rope Rhyme

Why go fast?
Why go slow?
Why say I know
when I just don't know?
Is it really why,
or is it why not?
And who is the how
and when is the what?
Clock doesn't tick?
Tick untocked?
Who will make a key
for a heart that's locked?
Is it you, is it me?
One potato, two potato,
what do I see?
Do I see a baby?
Do I see a hearse?
Do I see a lady
with an alligator purse?

The wonderful Elaine Magliaro is handling this week's Poetry Friday roundup. Head over to her blog, The Wild Rose Reader, to see what people have posted.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Poetry Friday - Contradictions


Sure, sometimes I'm in a contradictory mood. My friends might say I'm often in a contradictory mood (I'd try to contradict them - no, maybe I wouldn't.) This week, the Poetry Stretcher over at  The Miss Rumphius Effect asked us to write a poem beginning "They say..." and then to contradict what it is they say. In the comments over there, someone said they'd had a bad summer, that all hell had broken loose. Which inspired me to write some light-hearted (as opposed to dark-spleened?) contradictions.

Two Contradictions

They say all Hell breaks loose. 
I'd say some nights
it draws in tight
as a hangman's noose. 

They say that Paradise 
rolls out like Heaven-come-eleven. 
I'd say some days a pair of dice
won't do, though mint tea would be nice.
Poetry Friday this week is being hosted by Anastasia Suen over at Picture Book of the Day. Head over there to see what poems are being posted.

Game of Craps, Las Vegas, ca. 1940