Challenge from K.A. Holt:  Pick an item in the room and write some original words to describe it:  dog walking boots, Timberlands, Michelin Tire Boy, Dumb and Dumber, waterproof bottoms, 7 1/2, Salvation Army $5 find, farm-perfect (I only used the word Farm in my title).  Choose a poem format, and a literary device, and without using any of your original words – – write a poem about it.

Format:  Etheree Poem
Literary Device:  Alliteration

Funny Farm Footwear

mud muckers
feeding-time frump
goofy galoshes
whimsical wellingtons
witty wide water waders
camel-colored chicken coop cleats
her hilarious homestead hikers
frivolously funny fieldwork footwear

Fibonacci Sequence Poems are lines of poetry comprised of the total number of syllables in the preceding pair of lines, starting with 1, for a sequence of 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so on.  

 Doodle Doo

is too loud
in the city where
airplanes, firetrucks, sirens and trains
don’t want to be wakened so early to do their jobs?
Challenge from Stacey Joy:  write a poem inspired by music.

she comes to us when we least expect it
hawks on a wire
redbirds at the feeder
wild turkeys in the yard
beeping seatbelt reminders

we were munching on popcorn
slurping cherry Icees
cocooned in our movie blankets
watching Emma
my Ansley and I

when those beloved lyrics
invoked her unticketed presence
perched right between us
arms around our shoulders

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
is laid for your faith in His excellent word
a congregational hymn at her funeral
her unwavering message to all of us

mother-daughter movies
popcorn and Icees
hymns that leave no questions
she comes to us when we least expect it

Challenge from Stacey Joy:  Write a family trait poem – – modeled after Sandra Cisneros’ “Hairs.”

Traits are randomly scattered through my family – – 
some are well-loved by everyone,
                soft grandma-hugs no one resists
others are avoided and even shunned
                barely tolerated, I’ll tell you
some stand at odd angles
                gaps of uncomfortable social distances
others stand stoically shoulder-to-shoulder
                in a steadfast show of solidarity and unity
some consider themselves high above others
                showcased with spine tattoos that proclaim things
others are falling apart at the seams
                held together by mere threads
some stick to their own homes
                rarely a rendezvous, while
others venture out
                wandering and visiting like dementia ward escapees,
                until they are found and returned home where they belong
some have unsung talents
                those obscure, never-made-popular voices that rival the famous
others drone on and on and on and on
                incessantly chattering about what isn’t mattering to anyone
some speak in ambiguous code
others tell it flat like it is – like it or not
some spill all the family secrets 
others disguise their own truths
              “asking-for-a-friend” style, never admitting anything
some are painfully shy and soft-spoken
others lead the charge and WILL NOT! be silenced
some are well-traveled
               have wined and dined and slept around with too many to count
others are pristine virgins
               untouched, undesirable as yet
all have a place in the concerted chorus –
some blending,
others transcending
                doing their best to cover those a bit off-key
unkempt books that fill my family shelves
some awake, vertical
others lazily dozing, horizontal
all waiting to be read and loved and accepted for who they are

Challenge from Glenda Funk:  Write an Etheree poem.  10 lines, with each numbered line having that many syllables in it.

Morning Standoff

raising bottom
guarding his knot toy
chinning floor, front legs flat
cutting vicious eyes at me
daring me to move a muscle
growling an invitation to die
angels fear to tread in morning standoffs

Challenge from Glenda Funk:  Write a Blitz Poem, using repeating ending words in paired lines from 1-48. Line 49 is the last word of line 48, and line 50 is the last word of line 47.

Hands of Tomorrow
Wash your face
Wash your hands
Hands that scold
Hands that hold
Hold each other
Hold our children
Children who write
Children who read
Read people
Read books
Books that inspire
Books that change
Change our world
Change our outlook
Outlook of reality
Outlook of hope
Hope that launches
Hope that heals
Heals broken lands
Heals broken people
People who suffer
People who pray
Pray for restoration
Pray for peace
Peace of mind
Peace of spirit
Spirit of humanity
Spirit of love
Love one
Love all
All who live
All who give
Give of your self
Give of your time
Time to talk
Time to listen
Listen to reason
Listen to hear
Hear our people
Hear their cries
Cries of sadness
Cries of joy
Joy for today
Joy for tomorrow
Tomorrow brings promise
Tomorrow brings unity
Unity of humankind

Let’s make Mashed Potato Poems today! Take various lines from existing poems and write them on paper strips. Rearrange into the order you like best to create a whole new poem, and credit the original poets at the end. Here’s mine:

Carefree Days

The sky is big enough for all my dreams
As long as you know how to dream
I should like to rise and go where the golden apples grow
Where she has left her fragrance like a shawl
By the craggy hill-side through the mosses bare
And then my heart with pleasure fills
and dances with the daffodils
And all I ask is a cloudless sky with the bright sun burning
To fling my arms wide in some place of the sun
Shhh…..listen carefully, and you can hear
the crickets singing
Soon, there’s a comma of a moon.

(I borrowed lines from Pat Mora, Evelyn Wade, Robert Louis Stevenson, Langston Hughes, Edna St. Vincent-Millay, Lilian Moore, Robert Frost, Robin Blackburne, William Allingham, and William Wordsworth).