NaPoWriMo National Poetry Writing Month Day8 Prompt for Tuesday, April 8, 2014 Posted April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

“I am the poet of the poor, because I was poor when I loved;

since I could not give gifts, I gave words.”
― Ovid

Welcome to Day 8 of the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge. We have just past the first week of the challenge to write 30 poems in 30 days. A challenge open to all to write a poem a day. Writer’s write and while some wait for inspiration (and occasionally create remarkable works) most develop their inspirations and creativity through discipline and practice. Lots of practice. And this NaPoWrimo challenge is great practice for the amateur as well as professional writer/poet.

Below the prompt meant for tomorrow you’ll find what I came up for the April 7th Prompt.

PROMPT for April 8th 2014

Prompt: Hobo Poem

Write a poem about a real or imagined Hobo, or from the perspective and in the voice of a Hobo.


Hobo’s became an established name for migratory workers or homeless vagabonds just prior to 1890. They are not tramps or bums who work only when forced to, but itinerant workers. Some Hobos were also known as road men. After the civil war, many men found low pay work as laborers building the U.S. railroad. They became known for travelling by rail (hopping freight trains to get from place to place). The origination of the term Hobo is not known, but said to be from the NorthWest (although some claim it comes from a slang out of the Hoboken, New Jersey rail road yards. Hobo’s held their first convention in St. Louis in 1889, (National Tourist Union 63) which establishing the Hobo code of conduct. Hobo’s were common during the years around the Great Depression Years 1928 to 1938. There are still Hobo Conventions held most years in various parts of the U.S. and Canada where people identifiying themselves as current or former Hobos gather together and also elect a ceremonial Hobo King and Queen. Famous Hobos have included writers like Jack London, Mark Twain, George Orwell, poets like Carl Sandburg, actors (Robert Mitchum), fighter Jack Dempsey, a Supreme Court Justice, legendary musician Woody Guthrie and many others. The term originated in the Western—probably.


“One evening as the sun went down
And the jungle fire was burning
Down the track came a hobo hiking
And he said, “Boys I’m not turning-
I’m heading for a land that’s far away,
Beside the crystal fountain.
So, come with me; we’ll go and see
The Big Rock Candy Mountain.”


The Big Rock Candy Mountain, a famous old hobo poem.


Note: Last year a project I was honored to be involved in combined poetry, Butoh dance movements, music and performance pieces based on several real life activities that happened involving trains like ‘the orphan trains, the chapel car. We performed a set of approximately 3 hours worth of various material in rotation at the Snoqualmie Train Depot. A slightly revised version will be repeated this year at the Issaquah Train Station (and possibly also at the Snoqualmie location again). It is called the Suitcase Project. . As part of it one of the characters I play is a Hobo poet. I’ve written several original Hobo poems for the project. And will be writing a few more new ones this year. Why not start the process by making it a NaPoWriMo prompt?

What I wrote for yesterday’s prompt:
Prompt: Art Deco


Poem Starter 1407
By Christopher J. Jarmick


Art Deco light museum:
Geometric patterns
Accessorized by RuPaul’s
glitziest drag queens.


Art Deco Memory
By Christopher J. Jarmick


Decanting fine wine
into crafted fruit glass pitcher
Set on fine white linen
as if our meal was at
high priest alter
we can almost hear
the fading strains of
Charleston and Lindy dancers
before the banks
But in our fantasy
lights perform
behind ruby shell covers
surrounded by glittering gold
And frosted glass.
And if you ever need to remember
look at the Chrysler building spire
It’s lavishly ornamental geometric shapes
A seven layered chrome silver crown for a king
or bridal cake design
atop the New York skyline.

Copyright© Christopher J. Jarmick 2014


Keep writing!!!

Read more about National Poetry Month 2014 and NaPoWrimo in my 3 Part Series here:

The root of the word Poetry is from the Greek ποιέω (poieō), “‘I
make’”). , poiesis, meaning a “making” or ‘creation’


Poetry is Everything



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