Archive for the ‘NaPoWriMo’ Category


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 23, 2017

April 22, 2017

DAY 23  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Sunday, April 23, 2017


“Poetry: the best words in the best order.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Welcome to Day 23 of our new habit of writing each and every day. . .

Prompt 23 –   Write a poem revealing an ugly truth.


“I want to see thirst

In the syllables,

Tough fire

In the sound;

Feel through the dark

For the scream.”

Pablo Neruda


Prompt 21– suggested you use at least 5 completely made-up nonsense/sound words  in a poem at least 8 lines in length.



By Christopher J. Jarmick


Blop  glazz moosic blaring from the coffee shop

Sheila stepped around a baby cartager.


She was floomicked

What did she step on?


The bisighcle swerned scraping the paper stand box.

Greeeshhh!  DuhOhhngah!

Sheila somehow didn’t spilfer a drit of her LaLaTay.


Keep Writing!

Pablo Neruda

pablo neruda pd wiki


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 22, 2017

April 21, 2017

DAY 22  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Saturday, April 22, 2017


“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

John Keats


It’s  Earth Day!   So we have an appropriate prompt suggested by Brendan McBreen today.


But first, a reminder for those in the Western Washington area.


Award-winning writer-poet-publisher Paul Hunter will be visiting BookTree (bookstore in Kirkland) with his brand new book on April 22nd at 4 p.m.!  Hunter Facebook Event Page  


“If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence

we could rise up rooted, like trees.”

Rainer Maria Rilke


Day 22nd Prompt from Brendan McBreen

Find twelve words related to geology, now use them in a love poem (or anti-love poem).


“I lean to you, numb as a fossil. Tell me I’m here.”

Sylvia Plath

Prompt 20 suggested by Brendan suggested using at least six homonyms in a poem.

Here is what I wrote:


Lying down

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Left out on the foot of the bed

was the long letter where I learned

about the mean lie you didn’t mean

for me to see.  I saw the name Chris,

not realizing it was addressed to another

with the same name until I began reading.

This was more than I could live with-

another wound that would not heal.


I lie on the couch longing to meet someone

who won’t live a lie, appreciates learned left-brain

thinking romantics, who likes walking barefoot

in the rain, (on the sand by the sea perhaps)

going with me to live poetry readings.



Keep Writing!


Rainer Maria Rilke

rainer maria Rilke 1900 pd



NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 21, 2017

April 20, 2017

DAY 21  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Friday, April 21, 2017


“April is the cruelest month, breeding

lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

memory and desire, stirring

dull roots with spring rain.”

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


NaPoWriMo is 2/3 rds done.  Just 10 more to go.  If you are just beginning… welcome.  Roll up your sleever and start writing!


Prompt 21 – 

Use at least 5 completely made-up nonsense/sound words  in a poem at least 8 lines in length.


“in a world

full of

temporary things


you are

a perpetual


Sanober Khan


Prompt 19  suggested that you look at words on boxes of snacks, cereal, frozen foods.  Choose three at a time exactly as you find them.  (Even ingredients)

Here is what I wrote:

Not A Poem about Salted Caramel Popcorn

By Christopher J. Jarmick


No artificial ingredients – cream milk, salt.

Your green eyes reading; molasses, vanilla extract, non-GMO corn meal.

Let’s prevent cross-contamination,

keep our love pure and deliciously addictive

Enjoy life and ingredients we can pronounce.

Keep believing the stars have aligned.

A little sweet, a little salty,

melt in my mouth.


Keep Writing!

T.S. Eliot

t s eliot


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 20, 2017

April 19, 2017

DAY 20  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Thursday, April 20, 2017


“A poet’s work . . . to name the unnamable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep.”

Salman Rushdie


Welcome to Day 20.    There is work to be done.  Make it fun when you can.


Prompt 20

Today’s prompt was suggested by Brendan McBreen

Write a poem which includes at least six homonyms, words which are pronounced the same but spelled different. Use as many as you can.


“Whatever the imagination seizes as Beauty must be truth -whether it existed before or not”

John Keats


Prompt 18 was suggested by Brendan McBreen It suggested to Reinvent the wheel, write a poem that goes in a circle but takes you somewhere else. Begin and end the poem with the same line, however try to make it so the context of the poem changes the meaning of the first line by the time you get to the end.

Here’s what I wrote:

Not about a face in the mirror

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Twice, I have changed my reflection

‘the face and I’

What I see,

what you saw;



No matter how close to the truth of me

I sometimes get,

it’s a reflection

of what I think;


from what

you saw.

What I forget

you rememberm

what is faded and black and white

to you may still be vivid and in full color;

or maybe,

this too,

all a tale I weave

for an audience of one;

a concocted tale of partial truths,

a character sketch,

an implanted memory,

a cover-up

of some ugliness,

best to deny.


Twice, I have changed my reflection.




Salmon Rushdie

Salman Rushdie 2014 cc wiki




NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 19, 2017

April 18, 2017

DAY 19  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Wednesday, April 19, 2017

“Poetry is a life-cherishing force. For poems are not words, after all, but fires for the cold, ropes let down to the lost, something as necessary as bread in the pockets of the hungry.”

Mary Oliver


Welcome to Day 19.   Although I have little time to relax and write with so much going on in running a bookstore, I steal a few minutes here and there and find that focusing even for a few minutes on writing has much needed therapeutic benefits.   Even though some writes are nearly worthless scribbles, the habit, the discipline, the attention to the goal (writing something, anything every day) makes it possible to find a line or two worth saving for later development.


Prompt for Day 19 –

Look at words on boxes of snacks, cereal, frozen foods.  Choose three at a time exactly as you find them.  (Even ingredients) Use at least one set of three words in each line of your work.  Make sure it is at least 6 lines.


“Poems are a hotline to our hearts, and we forget this emotional power at our peril.”

Andrew Motion


The Prompt for day 17 was to create at least 3 original Acronyms.

Here’s mine:



T rump’s Presidency has already seemed like one of

I nterminable chaos and drama, often created by

T weets ignoring facts, decorum and decency.


In Washington today a new

D epartment has been created out

O f the necessity of trying to minimize the

N epotism of the new leader of our land.


C ommunist nations like North Korea need careful

O versight by a responsible

C ommittee which doesn’t currently exist.


Keep Writing!

Exotic Flower


NaPoWrimo Prompt for April 18, 2017

April 17, 2017

DAY 18  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Tuesday, April 18, 2017


What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

– Langston Hughes


Welcome to Day 18. . .Hang in there… roll up the sleeves, hunker down. . .

Prompt 18  – Today’s prompt was suggested by Brendan McBreen:

Reinvent the wheel, write a poem that goes in a circle but takes you somewhere else. Begin and end the poem with the same line, however try to make it so the context of the poem changes the meaning of the first line by the time you get to the end.


“twice I have lived forever in a smile”

E.E. Cummings


The Prompt for Day 16 suggested by Brendan was to Pick a random line from a book of poetry, write the opposite of this line. And then Use the opposite as your first line and the random line as your last and write the poem between.


Here’s the poem I wrote:



By Christopher J. Jarmick


No Light came through the window

Behind the curtain, outside of the glass

walls block out the sun.


Listen closely to what you don’t want to hear,

it is more important than hearing what you agree with.


We should spend a lifetime pursuing knowledge,

so that we have the experience and wisdom we need

to remember where the truth is hiding.


Being stubborn and set in your ways,

will not build bridges of compromise.

People of good character are not stubborn.


Now in marble at the Whitehouse

are words originally written by John Adams

in a letter he wote to his wife

on his first night as President:

May none but honest and wise men

rule under this roof.


Honesty before wisdom,

words before action.

Listen to ten words

before speaking one.


Learn from experience

at least enough

to avoid repeating mistakes.


Study the past.



What we don’t understand

we fear.

We think we know

more than we do.


Keeping people apart

breeds fear and mistrust.

Together we work things out,

apart we hate.


When apartheid ended

the light came through the window *


(*from  Love Itself  by Leonard Cohen  (Book of Longing)


Keep Writing!


e e cummings 1953 pd wiki

E.E. Cummings


NaPoWriMo prompt for April 17, 2017

April 16, 2017


DAY 17  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Monday, April 17, 2017


“Poetry = Anger x Imagination”

Sherman Alexie


Welcome to Day 17 of NaPoWriMo.  I hope you are getting into the habit of writing each and every day and that some of the challenges have helped you write something outside of your comfort zone.


Prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 17-

Acronyms –  Create some original Acronyms –  to use in your poem.  And try to do something like this with at least 3 of  original Acronyms:


E_ nvironmental  changes destroy places that need

P_ rotection.  Animals must be saved.  We need an

A_ gency  to preserve nature’s balance.


3 or more NOA s (new original acronyms) is the goal.



“Sometimes I sit alone under the stars and think of the galaxies inside my heart and truly wonder if anyone will ever want to make sense of all that I am”

Christopher Poindexter


I am posting the poems I wrote for prompt 14th and 15.   (I needed to finish the one from the 14th but had run out of time).


The 14th NaPoWriMo prompt as suggested by Brendan McBreen suggested we-

revisit a fairy tale character, put them in a bar, and write a poem….


Here’s what I wrote:


Jack Walks Into the Bar

By Christopher J. Jarmick


The once very famous Jack,

member of King Arthur’s roundtable,

arrives incognito at the Thunderdell Inn of Cardiff,

in the county of Glamorgan,

and orders a pint of a local brew

called ‘The Giants’ Proboscis’.

If anyone recognizes him, they don’t let on.


Jack is privately remembering

the 30th anniversary of the evening

he beheaded the two-headed giant, Thunderdell,

who in an angry vengeful rage

(over the slaying of his cousin)

burst into the banquet being held

in Jack’s honor.


Jack had freed the lady being

held captive by Thunderdell’s

cousin in a labyrinth of caves

just a few miles outside of Cardiff.


Jack recalled the next

few months of  his life after that

fateful evening thirty years ago.


He thought there had to be more to life

than slaying giants, freeing captured

knights, damsels in distress and

battling evil wizards.


He wasn’t quite done, however.

It was but three weeks later he met

an elderly man who took him to

an enchanted castle belonging to

the giant Galigantus who was

not only holding captive

at least a dozen knights and ladies,

but also a girl Jack knew

when they were both children.

The daughter of a Duke,

who had been very kind to Jack’s father

during the year of the great drought.

And now the grown up girl had been

turned into a white doe by a sorcerer.


Jack sipped his pint

recalling the epiphany he had

so many years ago

about how he would change

his life forever.


He slayed Galigantus,

and spared the sorcerer’s life

in return for reversing the

spell on the Duke’s daughter,

who now in human form

was the most beautiful woman

Jack had ever seen.

They were married soon after

and Jack, now quite wealthy

settled into a quiet domestic life.

The few giants that remained

were either slain by other young men

or fled into the forests and caves

until they died off.


The stories of course

left it, that Jack and his lady

lived happily ever after.


No mention of how the couple bickered

about petty annoyances, finances and

never having children.

No mention of Jack getting older,

fatter and having to deal with all

the aches and pains mostly the result

of injuries he sustained during

his feats of derring-do.

No mention of how time, gossip, politics

and life went on,

as Jack’s legend faded.


So when the tourists

drunk on local brew,

a few feet away from Jack,

insisted the legends

of years past were just

fairy tale fiction invented

by the proprietors of

the shops and Inns

in Wales and Cornwall,

because it was good for business,

Jack just sighed

shook his head

and ordered another pint,

remembering for a moment

when he cut off the nose

of Tunderdel’s cousin

and now in a way, he was drinking it.


This made Jack laugh,

altering his foul mood.

He decided he would finish his pint,

buy his wife a confection

she enjoyed

and try to live happily ever after,

after all.

(Based on the main character in  Jack the Giant Killer – an English fairy tale first published in 1711 which inspired a 1962 film)


The Day 15 NaPoWriMo Prompt was to create an Erasure poem.  (See Day 15 if needed for details).  Here is my poem:


Turning Homeward *  (an erasure)

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Salmon led me to Bear Creek

Coyotes crossed pastures

Eagles found me on an unmarked trail

I had to find a city park.

I understood grey skies

knew crimson leaves, brisk winds,

red-tailed hawks.

Jobs changed

but luckily I didn’t fit in

I was coming to my favorite place

where imagination meant understanding

what I learned from lives and place.


*an erasure created from pages 45, 46 and part of 47 of a wonderful 2016 book: turning homeward: restoring hope and nature in the urban wild  by Adrienne Ross Scanlan

(by the way she will be at BookTree in Kirkland on Saturday April 29th  as we celebrate National Independent BookStore Day.)


Keep Writing!


jack the giant killer