Poetry challenge from Aida Salazar:  Take an original poem you’ve written, but change words and punctuation to rewrite it in a different voice, such as a child’s voice, a comedian’s voice, a mortician’s voice, etc. 

What a fun challenge to write in another voice.  Here is my original poem:

A Second Letter

The Yellow Envelope
contains The Secret –
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Three Days Missing
After The Funeral,
as you are Learning To Walk In The Dark
there is A Hope in the Unseen
when you feel Alone
may you find Peace Like A River
Remember Me Always
i’ll be Where The Heart Is

-Kim Johnson

Here it is rewritten, in the voice of a small southern town gossipin’ woman in church:

The Grievin’ Widder

That there cheap pine box
seals the mystery she reckons she’s keepin’.

Talk of the Town! 

“A wife and at least a dozen mistresses…..”
“Poor Beverly,” they’s sayin’.

Well, let me tell you – she may be wearin’ her black dress today.

But after the funeral, she’ll go shoppin’ for
Velvet violet
Silver sequins
Glitzy gold

After the funeral,
There’ll be a rich widder runnin’ loose in the town.

Once she’s figgered right,
She’ll marry another rich ‘un –
richer’n the others.

She’ll be keepin’ her black dress ready. 

  -Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Aida Salazar:  Write a poem of a cycle or process from beginning to end – a seed or plant, birth to death or anywhere in between.

Mayan Frost

Big round waking orb
Eye opening slowly
Peering out over the blanket of pines
Ready or not to face the day

Rising slowly
Sluggish day jobber
Not quite ready to fully emerge
But still you rise

Both feet on the ground
Embracing the day
Extending full rays
Flashing a just-brushed toothy gleam
To a rapt audience

Like an over-charged cup of Starbucks
Sudden jolting glares
Blinding sunglassed drivers
Through windshields

You shine most brightly
At the height of your day
Climbing the ladder as high as it can take you
In this job
Lunch on the run – airplanes, kites, birds
Fuel for the day

Rain and clouds darken your shine
But you steal their thunder –
A light surge of effort for you

You clock out and head home
Miles to go before you sleep
Change into more comfy duds
Shed all the glinting bling

You stretch out to reflect on the day
Glimmers of hope for a brighter tomorrow
Succumb to a nightcap
Feet-first, climb under the covers
Call it a day

Big round blanketed orb,
Shooting stars patting your upturned bottom
Dreams alive in other worlds
Until tomorrow

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Aida Salazar:  write a FREE VERSE poem that describes how celestial bodies affect you


Cancer the Crab:  a sign of water – blue water
Island girl born peaceful and tranquilly crabby

Dim constellation in a quiet corner of the universe
She’s an oyster

Requires a telescope to see all his stars
Keeps her layers hidden, too

He boasts a beehive cluster of stars
Rich honey blocked by bees

Northern Donkey and Southern Donkey Stars at his heart
Explain the blue donkey at hers

Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis
She’s Double-Stubborn, too

Origin of nativity pictures – donkeys behind a manger
She’s behind that manger as well

“Blind Stars” predict poor eyesight
Bumps into walls, but prophetic like Teiresias

“Stubborn donkeys” see what others cannot see in the path –
     protect others as they resist
She perceives what others don’t

His Superearth a “diamond world”
She’s the strongest stuff on Earth

 -Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Kip Wilson – write a poem that replaces lyrics with a popular or well-known song:

First line borrowed from Mary Oliver’s “The Hermit Crab”
Poem set to the chorus of “Still, Still, Still”


Once I looked inside
All the darkness that you could not hide
I found you fear noises
Saw you shun strangers
Learned you love living
Knew you’d need nurture
Once I reached inside
I found a friend who’ll remain by my side.

-Kim Johnson

Kip Wilson’s poetry challenge:  Write a poem about a school memory – good or bad.


Wondrous whiffs of wisteria
Waft through windows
Wonder awaits!
Who’s wary?
Wordsmiths work in a worriless island wilderness
Watching watercraft and wherries
Whispers of waves
Whirlpools of wisdom
Warm-hearted wicks
Wonderful weather!


Wretched world of warfare
Withers away welfare
Wild-eyed awakening!
Who wins?
Wards worry in windowless war-zone walls
Wielding white flags and wishes
Writing of wounded
Whirlwinds of woe
Wayward whelks


-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Kip Wilson: write a poem using ten words you highlight from any news article, to make something not so happy something happy.

The New Yorker – April 29, 2019
Dept. of Shoe Leather, “Hideous,” p. 21
Words Highlighted:
Yellow rain slicker
Red stripes
Aviator sunglasses
Slicked-back hair

The Red Sunglasses
scronched hair depends
red aviator
pummelled with plane-sized
beside the yellow
rain slicker
-Kim Johnson
*Patterned after William Carlos Williams’
“The Red Wheelbarrow”

Poetry challenge from Kip Wilson – write a poem about a historical figure with whom you’ve always been fascinated.

Washington’s Other Monument

Mom and Grandma died same day
One upstairs, one down
Two days after she was born
controversial clown
Defied T.R. and Edith, too
Told not to smoke inside
She hopped upon the White House roof 
Lit up and danced to chide
Emily Spinach slithered in her purse
She slunk with men in cars
Bookie bets were well disbursed
Bought beer in all the bars
Jumped in ship’s pool, fully clothed
Followed by Longworth
Lost the clothes, wed her betrothed
But to Borah’s child gave birth
Wedded a Republican
Learned that wasn’t wise
She herself a Democrat
Campaigned for other guys
Gossip pillow welcomer
Buried voodoo doll of Taft
Despised FDR and Eleanor
Thought them both quite daft
Alice Blue Gown, Where Art Thou?
We miss your witty tricks.
Currently inside the House
…..idiotic antics.
-Kim Johnson

*Alice Roosevelt Longworth 

Poetry Challenge from Kip Wilson:  Create a poem using book spines as the lines in the poem.

A Second Letter

The Yellow Envelope
contains The Secret –
Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
Three Days Missing
After The Funeral,
as you are Learning To Walk In The Dark
there is A Hope in the Unseen
when you feel Alone
may you find Peace Like A River
Remember Me Always
i’ll be Where The Heart Is

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Anna Roseboro – use instrumental music from a wedding to inspire a poem about a wedding you have attended. 

Marriage of an Island Bride and a Funny Farm Groom

Happily Ever After came for her at 41
Matchmakers took what had for two folks come undone
Believed the perfect pairing that neither of them thought
Until a shattered window made clear what at first was not
A Gordon Lightfoot concert and a flattened trinket ring
Led to a proposal on a City Park swing
Two families both delighted at the coming wedding day
Plans took quirky twists and turns each step of the way
A mail-order wedding dress and gold spray-painted shoes
A sight-unseen wedding band gave juicy shocking news
“Lullaby” by Bond played as the bride strode down the aisle
White tulips standing straight at first, then kneeling afterwhile
Three preachers there to tie the knot with stories, vows, and prayer
Reminding all that love eases the burdens that we bear
Pronouncement, then a sudden change of script – surprise!
The ears could hear, but faces showed confusion in the eyes
Tradition thrown aside because it didn’t quite work for us –
We chose instead recessing to Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus!
Still Amen and Hallelujah strong

– Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Anna Roseboro – write a Lazy Sonnet, one word per line, 14 lines in the scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG ending with a rhyming couplet. 

I tried for one word – – but still have too much baggage for that one-word sonnet suitcase. I also failed in my Lazy Sonnet because I added an extra set of rhymes to make it GHGH II at the ending.

Teas, Please

Pau d’arco
Chamomile Calm
Matcha Mango
Lemon Balm

Red Rooibos
Honey Yuzu
Pink Hibiscus
Oolong Voodoo

Ceylon Jasmine
Mint Darjeeling
Rose Mandarin
Honey Ginseng

Earl Gray
Pu-erh Spice
Yerba Mate
Bombay Chai

More Teas
Pretty Please

 -Kim Johnson