NaPoWriMo 2011 Poems & Prompt for April 18, 2011 18/30

April 18, 2011

Welcome to Day 18 of NaPoWriMo…. And if Rainy Days and Mondays aren’t enough to get you down…. No no no… let me start again…

To call attention to the crisis Arts Organizations currently are enduring (Intiman Theater in Seattle cancelled the rest of its season;) NPR and PBS are under an actual attack (although they rely on very few federal dollars—the financial crisis and bad press has hurt donations and money raising efforts); worldwide war relief, disaster relief etc. which should come first have also drained funding for the arts.  This represents a very real sort of pain and loss and that often opens other doors, maybe even positive ones, but not without lots of struggle and that scary thing called change.


Let’s use some excerpts from revered works of literature, poetry and even plays and incorporate them, integrate them into your work in some manner.   There are many ways to do this.  You could take five or six excerpts from poems by Walt Whitman and create a found poem from them.  You could use a quote from Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman or Shakespeare Hamlet to begin your poem with;

Use your imagination, challenge yourself, create something interesting, poetic.    If the subject deals with loss and grieving…try to offer something positive or even hopeful in your poem as well.


By Christopher J. Jarmick

(indirectly inspired by Carl Sandburg’s Chicago  and Langston Hughes)

 No life’s no crystal stair

But all the time

I’se been a-climbin’ on,

And reachin’ landin’s,

And turnin’ corners,

And sometimes goin’ in the dark —  Mother to Son- Langston Hughes

The wicked again are hard at work

giving trillions to cover up mistakes

denying any system’s broke

while in the name of freedom and oil

blowing upstarts in foreign lands

to little bloody bits.

But this time the scraps are radioactive

the light at the end of the tunnel

can’t be seen due to collapse

and we’re so easily distracted

we don’t hear the sounds

of the hog butchers that might

free us from our plight.

I’ve seen beneath the passive  looks

the few times that they’ve blinked

And though so much of this

is just political game

the desolation in your wake

is not more of the same.

No this time the victims

are each other, ones we’ve loved

and touched.

But through my fear and doubt

in this bleak  and fearful night

I clear my throat

I find the might

to sing a hopeful song.

For in the worst of times

Americans in particular

Have played and laughed

Through heavy tears

And found new paths to build.

I’d rather not just cut and run

And think some other earthly place

Would offer any difference

I know for fact

It’s  not the case

This city is my home.

Show me any other place

And it’s likely not as right

As this city I have found

The shades of green

The special light

The sparkling Puget Sound.

Yes, times are hard

And things must change

We all evolve.

But this is where destiny

Has placed me

And as the tricksters lie and cheat

I’ll watch and wait

And plant my feet.

The tide will wash them out

Some day

And I’ll still be here

to write and say

the bastards make us stronger.

We cannot sleep

We dare not nap

They watch our every breath.

For we can smile, we can laugh

And they’ve forgotten how.

Hoard your money

Protect the rich

We’ll sing the songs

And work the plow

Then dance, and giggle

And talk too loud

And they will scratch their heads

And say;

How can they be so proud?

© 2011

My Apologies to Dylan Thomas and Henry David Thoreau

By Teresa  Jarmick

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts.—Henry David Thoreau

How soon the servant’s son

dawns only that day to which

we are awake.

Fatal blunderer consuming life getting a living

See the sky cradled in bluebird wing?

Consider the sun’s path.

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. Henry David Thoreau

Keep Writing

Poetry is Everything

© 2011


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