Challenge from Margaret Simon:  Write an Analogy Acrostic.
My poem today was inspired by Shakespeare in his line, “The readiness is all!” from Hamlet.


Ready is to revival as
Eager is to experience as
Able is to adventure as
Doing is to destiny as
Yearning is to you

Challenge from Padma Venkatraman:  write a mirror poem with juxtaposition divided onto two sides of the same page.

Divided Love: A Garage Snapshot
Left…………………………………  Right
Hood to world……………….Hood to House
The New Yorker………Weekly Town Paper
Love of his life………………Love of her life
“Sugarbutt”………………………….“B Baby”

Naydeen and Jordy, pre-service teachers from Oklahoma, issued a mind-twisting prompt today to get us thinking back on our dreams. The one I share below happened years ago and still haunts me today whenever I think about it. I can still see it vividly, and it was on my mind last night as storms swept through our area. I’ve often wondered if the woman in the dream was my mother, who was succumbing to Parkinson’s Disease and my nightmare told the story from a different perspective.

Stormy Nights

The news footage
is surreal.
A woman
in her thirties
with a knee-length
dress and a pinafore
has her hands
over her face
crying desperately
accepting her fate.
The tornado swirls
in the distance
coming for her
as the reporter
narrates the horror
like a nature
I wonder:
Why doesn’t she run?
Why doesn’t she escape?
There is time to try!
She walks in a daze
waiting for it
to devour her
in her
aimless pathway
grievous wanderings
it lassos
her ankle
pulling her in
she stair-steps
to heaven
waving through
blinding tears
to those she leaves

A Mashed Potato Poem using Readings in Georgia Literature textbook from the mid-1900s.  Crediting is photographed below: 

Challenge from Stefani Boutelier:  write a Where I’m From poem.

Kim Haynes Johnson

I am from the antique bookcases of rare books,
from paperbacks, to Childcraft volumes, to modern bestsellers –
anything to prevent an introvert’s insanity.
I am from the Johnson Funny Farm in rural Georgia
and Guale, the Marshes of Glynn –
Both breathtakingly beautiful,
both rechargingly relaxing,
each wildly waving Loblolly or Spartina arms.
I am from the free-range eggs for which Chanticleer
mistakenly believes that he is necessary.
I’m from one side where everything has a place
and everything’s in it,
and the other that is full of long-lost surprises
in the heaps of clutter.
From Haynes and Jones.
I’m from the wake-up dog breath
full-face kisses of Boo Radley
the valiant nightwatch-Schnoodle
and his sidekick Schnauzer brother Fitz
who sleep with us because Mom’s last words were
“You take good care of these dogs!”
And sleep-tight nights with books piled high
throughout the house.
From “Fasten Your Seatbelt!” and
“Watch Your Speed – You Know They Hide Up Here!”
I’m from the glass house of a Southern Baptist preacher dad,
the closed curtains and deadbolted doors of a maddening mother.
I’m “Kimberly – (English) from the royal fortress meadow,”
my birth meadow the Okefenokee Swamp, cracked pecans,
a churn of homemade peach ice cream.
From Georgia Lee and Eunice and Miriam,
whose long-gone but lingering voices of dementia
prompt reluctant visits….
to the pantry….
to be sure….
I can still….
smell the peanut butter.
I am from these haunted corners –
holding on to the jagged edges of life,
sometimes remembering,
sometimes wanting to forget,
always wishing their voices were still here.

Challenge from Kate Currie:  Write a news reaction poem.  Give a headline or statement, and then your reaction.  

The Guardian reports:
“Cancelling student debt
was always
the right thing to do.
Now it’s imperative,”
says Astra Taylor 

I signed the petition.
A dear friend is months
in default.
Her student loan payment
doesn’t feed her three kids
and unemployed husband.
Don’t postpone.
Is there a pulse, Donnie?

 Challenge from author Crag Hill:  Write a Golden Shovel Poem today.

My Golden Shovel poem is taken from Mary Oliver’s poem The Poet Thinks About the Donkey, from Thirst (2006) and Devotions (2017)
Line:  On the outskirts of Jerusalem, the donkey waited.


and after the Last Supper, they went on
to the Garden of Gethsemane, the
agonizing prayer of one man on the outskirts
of Earth, Heaven-bound, the saltiness of
His tears of sacrificial love for all of Jerusalem
-all of the world- the cross gazing vertically, its arms the
horizontal hug of grace preserved on the back of a trailblazing donkey,
the blessed first leg of a transformational journey as sinners waited
At Christmas, I wrote this one:
Challenge from Glenda Funk:  Write a Golden Shovel Poem by taking a line from a favorite poem and letting each word of the line be the last word in the lines of the poem you create.
“An Incident in Bethlehem”
From “Incident” by Natasha Trethewey
(Taken From Native Guard, winner of the Pulitzer Prize)
Line: At the cross, trussed like a Christmas tree, a few men gathered
In a lowly stable in Bethlehem, Mary gazes with pride AT
her sweet little baby, sent to save THE
souls of sinners; in the 33-year shadow of the CROSS,
the shepherds and sheep admire Jesus in a TRUSSED
manger, crib legs that would someday stand LIKE
intersecting compass points needling Heaven and Earth, A
lasting symbol of the reason we celebrate CHRISTMAS,
The hope held in these trees – the manger, the cross, the Christmas TREE–
offers both the blessings of this life and the promise of A
more glorious one in heaven, where more than a FEW
will reflect on the Nativity sets we once admired, with wise MEN
and angels, and pray this is where we will all be eternally GATHERED.
– Kim Johnson
 Challenge from author Jennifer Jacobson:  write a glimmer poem using observations from everyday life.

Almost a Conversation

Now that the world has stopped
and my footing isn’t as sure
as it was yesterday
and Dad still can’t function
I look for the hawk
for the redbird
for the wild turkey
I listen for the music
for the seat belt beep
for the clicking of the lock
I watch the skies for telling clouds

But what I really need, Mom,
is to sit with you
to talk with you
to listen to you
to hear your voice
to smell your hair
to feel your touch
to see an ethereal you
over a cup of Earl Grey
to have a conversation
about what the truth is

 Challenge from Lauryl and Lizzie:  Write a poem in two voices – a conversation about what is thought and what is actually said.  Use italics. 

Mornings with Boo Radley and Fitz

Good morning, Boo Radley! Good morning, Fitz! Stop licking my face! Who needs to go outside?
BR: Why else would we be licking your face? Of course we need to go out.
F: Does she have dementia? She seriously asks us this every morning.

Okay, Boys. Step it up. Do your business.
BR: We both step it up every time. We can’t get these legs any higher, Mom.
F: It’s like the movie Groundhog Day and I’m Bill Murray. She ain’t right.

Good Boys! Let’s go inside. Who wants a treat?
BR: I’ll think about it. If you’re having bacon and offer me a lowly cracker, the deal’s off.
F: Me! Me! Pick me! I’ll take his cracker, too.

Okay, boys. Mom’s getting in the shower now. Go lay down.
BR: Oh, Jeez! Put that face mask over my eyes, will ya? Have you looked in the mirror lately?
F: Dang, she needs to lay off the Corona snacks. Check out that cellulite!
BR: Yeah, and she’s no true blonde, either. If her friends only knew all that we know…….
F: Aw, man! She needs a pedicure. Those toes are looking dapple. Reminds me of my ex.

Off to Zoom, boys. Find your spot and don’t bark. Settle in. I’ll be finished at lunchtime.
BR: Okay, Fitz. You watch for the squirrels and I’ll watch for deer. Let’s bark at ten for a snack.
F: Yep. You bet. I might even poop outside her door in protest of this Zooming.

PAW HIGH FIVE! And off to separate ends of the couch…..for social distancing…

Challenge from Gayle Sands – write an ekphrastic poem by going into a historical photograph and using voice to capture the story there.

Alice Paul at the Seward-Belmont House:
 – I chose this one because I KNOW that look! I’ve seen it too many times. And those were the looks that ultimately saved my life. 

The Principal and the Preacher’s Daughter

Kimberly Lynn Haynes!
Why are you back here in my office again today?
Your daddy would be so ashamed of you!
Lean across that desk.
You know how this works.

For stealing a box of chalk from Mrs. Sharpe’s class so you could play school at home.

For ripping up Dawn Taylor’s lunch tickets and hiding them in the trash and blaming April Hudson.

For writing a fake confession on April’s desk – in Mrs. Sharpe’s lipstick from her desk drawer.

For daring Marvin Pirtle to pee in the soap dish and going in the boys’ bathroom to check the evidence.

For playing a harmonica to add dramatic emphasis and trying to remain mysteriously undetected when Mrs. Myers was at the board teaching math.

For going through Mrs. Myers’ desk to take back the harmonica she took from you when you were detected.

For inciting a class chant for Randy Howard to “Take off your pants, Randy,” when his butt was itching because he forgot to rinse off the soap from his morning shower.

For climbing the fence at recess and picking the kumquats from Mr. and Mrs. Gibson’s tree and then distributing the stolen goods.

For offering to roll Karl Lewis in the tire at recess and deliberately rolling him into a tree.

For sneaking Queenie Peavy home and finishing the class read-aloud ahead of time so you could give spoilers.

And one for good measure. For being a preacher’s kid and not setting a better example. Let’s see if this can straighten you out for a day!