Poetry challenge from Anna Roseboro – Write a poem of transliteration using a piece of prose and converting it into a poem.

This poem was taken from a lengthy journal entry about ways that books throughout my life have shaped me. I took the early years of my life as my focus in order to keep the poem short – the journal entry is too long and rambling to share here, but this is my poem:

Books Shaped Me

I was blessed to be born to readers and writers.
Bedtime stories and early books shaped me.
I learned from “A Day in the Jungle” in the Bedtime Story Book that friends make us stronger.
I learned from “At the Seaside” in A Child’s Garden of Verses that the tide erases sandcastles.
I learned from Childcraft Poems and Rhymes that purple cows need friends.
I learned from “A Visit from St. Nicholas” that visions of sugarplums should keep dancing in my head.
I learned from Nancy Drew that life is a mystery.
I learned from the Boxcar children that families don’t always work out.
I learned from A Taste of Blackberries that people we love die.
I learned from the Bible that I’ll see those people again.

     -Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Anna J. Roseboro – write a Pantoum poem
about a memorable event in your life.


Racing home for your last breath
Choosing your burial plot at Christ Church Cemetery
Dodging traffic on Frederica Road
Sprinting to your bedside, car still running
Choosing your burial plot
Deciding – historic section or new?
Sprinting to your bedside
Expecting an angel to fly
Deciding – which section?
Asking for a sign the choice was right
Expecting an angel
Rejoicing your suffering was over
Asking for a sign
Dodging traffic
Racing home

   -Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Sarah J. Donovan – write a poem about a breakup
experience that you have had.


You barged in
with your Old Testament
fire and brimstone theological ideas

No women in leadership!
Bring sinners before the church!
Change your ways or leave!

Your sermons
are not preached from the heart
but downloaded and read word for word
with mispronunciations

You keep your wife at home
walled off
homeschooling your children
who do not belong with the others

You barged in as a coach
to supervise your son’s homeschool PE requirements
game interactions with less than perfect sinning public school seven-year-olds

I didn’t leave God or my church family
I left a poisoned Kool-Aid preacher
and moved along
to a church
where varied interpretations are valued
women are wanted
sinners are loved
with the same mercy and grace that Jesus showed

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Sarah J. Donovan – using the Tim O’Brien book The Things
They Carried as today’s inspiration, write a poem about something you carry.

I got inspiration for this as I was running the Atlanta Women’s 5k and thought about my feet carrying me.

Pounding Pavement

that pound early morning pavement
carry eyes
that see more beauty
than feet that don’t.

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Travis Crowder – write a poem about being outdoors

Country Porch Swing

Bees buzzing
Bluebirds baby-feeding
Cardinals cheer-cheering
Crickets chirping
Deer dawdling
Dogs dozing
Dusk day-ending
Frogs fraternizing
Hens homing
Hummingbirds hovering
Lizards lounging
Me mellowing
Pines privatizing
Rabbits rooting
Springtime symphonizing
Squirrels scolding
Swing squeaking
Wind whispering
Whippoorwills welcoming

-Kim Johnson

Poetry Challenge from Travis Crowder – Write a poem about a place you’d like to be.

I can be in my imagination….in a coffee shop…with a million different new flavor options.
Cheers! Here’s my poem for today:

Coffee Creamer Dreamers

Starbucks debut coffee creamers
Mugs of hope for java drinkers

Thin Mint Cookie
Rocky Road
Fireside S’mores, a’la mode

Whoville Pudding
Crème Brulee
Chocolate Mousse
Fruit Parfait

Whipped Cream Pastry
Banana Nut Muffin
Cupcake Fun

Baked Alaska
French Beignet
Banana Split
Ice Cream Sundae

Witty Comebacks Guaranteed
Pain-Free Childbirth, yes indeed

Apple Dumpling
Pumpkin Roll
Blackberry Cobbler
Donut Hole

Bananas Foster
Triple Mocha

Tiered Spumoni
Ice Cream Coney

Marshmallow Crème
Root Beer Float
Whoopie Pie
Buttercream Boat

Apple Crisp
Mint Oreo
Turkish Delight
Cookie Dough

Key Lime Margaritaville
Twenty Million Dollar Bill

Lady Fingers
Almond Joy
Dark Molasses
Gingerbread Boy

Nutmegged Eggnog
Wedding Cake
Caramel Turtle
Coconut Flake

Honey Fig Flan
Chocolate Frog
Stuckeys Crusted Pecan Log

Happy Marriage
Peaceful Home
Visit London, Paris, Rome

Almond Toffee
Irish Cream
Kahlua Dream

Blonde Brownie
Maple Fudge
Hershey’s Kisses
Sugar Sludge

Hot Cocoa
Whiskey Truffle
Glazed Doughnut

Cadbury Crème Egg
Pecan Pie
Peanut Brittle
Warm Buckeye

Egg Custard
Buttered Rum
Mudslide Milkshake
Cookie Crumb

Butter Beer
Nirvana Zen
Weight Loss Magic
Peace Within

Lucky Charms
Sweet Cream Bliss of Dairy Farms

Candied Pear
Anything you want in there

Dreams inside your coffee cup
Drink them down and perk right up!

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Travis Crowder – write a poem that defines something.


peaceful protection
of a cozy cabin
In a brazen blizzard

– Kim Johnson

Poetry Challenge from Travis Crowder – Write a poem that mirrors an existing poem
that you enjoy.

For I Will Consider My Dog Boo Radley

For I will consider my dog Boo Radley.
For he was rescued from the grief of neglect and abandonment.
For he was alone and starving and trembling in a crate in the back of a van.
For his rescue name was Einstein because of his wild and matted hair.
For he was chosen by Kim but bonded with Briar.
For he was re-named Boo Radley because he spent time behind a closed door.
For he is of the tribe of Schnoodle.
For his Schnoodlehood is a mixture of French and German.
For he is highly territorial about his pillows and blankets.
For when he is picked up, his ears sag down, but when he is put down, his ears perk up.
For he lives by a predictable routine of quirky habits and idiosyncrasies.
For one of his favorite games is glove wars.
For another of his favorite games is teasing keep-away.
For another of his favorite games is pant-leg-tug-of-war.
For he threatens wildlife ferociously but seeks protection from the ding of a cell phone.
For he merely tolerates his rescued brother Fitz.
For if he meets an admiring stranger he will chastise her harshly for cooing over him.
For he has an angel harping on one shoulder and a devil pitchforking on the other.
For when both of his humans are not home, his world gets tilted and he takes to his kennel.
For he lies on the back of the chair and rests his head on his humans’ shoulders to read their books and emails.
For he licks his lips to request his bedtime drink from a bathroom cup instead of a water dish.
For he punishes himself and assigns his own timeout in the kennel when he regrets his mischief.
For he is the bed police, Mirandizing anyone who moves a muscle.
For he keeps watch over his humans by night and sleeps by day.
For he puts his nose out the car window and breathes the exotic air when we go on safaris.
For he prances about the house like a show pony with his whale-spray tail.
For he catches popcorn.
For he gets tornadic zoomies indoors and rearranges all the furniture.
For he breakfasts upon plain yogurt and graham crackers in bed on weekends, lying like the Sphinx.
For he is now loved and cherished.
For he rules the Johnson Funny Farm.

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Travis Crowder:  Look back in your phone and find
an image of something that inspires a poem.


Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17
Adialeiptos in Greek
Not nonstop
Constantly recurring
Like wash, rinse, repeat
Throughout the day
Embedded in every fiber of every activity
Be relentless
Thank and ask
Don’t stop
Upon waking
In the shower
Brushing teeth
At the traffic light
In the meeting
While running
Over dinner
During Jeopardy
At the ballgame
While reading
At bedtime
In dreams

-Kim Johnson

Poetry challenge from Travis Crowder – What books have nudged you
as a reader and burned themselves into your being?  Create a poem with
snippets or lines from these books, crediting the authors.

Coffee and Conversation

When you are little and ugly, somebody carries you in church on a pillow and you come out a child of God and inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Marley was dead, to begin with.
A head is a terrible thing to waste.
The Book Lovers’ Anthology stepped out of its wrappings.
Marsh is not swamp.
It’s fruitcake weather!
When Atticus and I finally reached the top, the sky was a gorgeous charcoal gray.
We’re on our way to give a horrible, terrible monster what for!
The rabbit of Easter. He bring of the chocolate.
What is it like to be an octopus?
The fish’s arrival was choreographed by nature to by mysterious.
You will find the Dodge plot, and Anna, who understood love as few women understand it.
What did a thousand acres of Silphiums look like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo?
I also know the way the old life haunts the new.

     -Kim Johnson

Thank you, Hudson, Dickens, Roach, Hanff, Owens, Capote, Ryan, Lowery, Sedaris, Montgomery, Capuzzo, Price, Leopold, Oliver and so many others who’ve sat and had intimate conversations with me over coffee throughout the years!