NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 25, 2018

April 24, 2018

“Wisdom is easy to carry but difficult to load.”― Ted Kooser

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 25, 2018

“Don’t talk to me about the stars, about how cold and indifferent they are, about the unimaginable distances. There are millions of stars within us that are just as far, and people like me sometimes burn up a whole life trying to reach them.” ― Ted Kooser

We’re on the homestretch for NaPoWriMo 2018.  I hope if you’ve been playing along at home that you are enjoying the challenge and developing a daily writing habit that will serve you well in the coming year.  Whether you are writing poems that with some re-writing and editing will be published or just flexing your creative muscles, you should pat yourself on the back for taking part in the challenge.

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 25, 2018

There are mornings when everything brims with promise, even my empty cup. – Ted Kooser

April 25- Happy Birthday Ted Kooser (1939)  our 13th US poet laureate.  His poetry seems to be rooted in the Mid-West and captures a vanishing way of life without being overly nostalgic.   So write a ‘Kooser’ poem today.

Keep Writing!

There’s nothing wrong with delighting in what you do. In fact, most of the fun you’ll have as a poet will come about during the process of writing. – Ted Kooser

My Prompt 23 Poem  – Somehow evoke these three writers/poets: Shakespeare, Vladimir Nabokov and Oregon-born poet Edwin (Man with a Hoe) Markham.

Lines Not Written In Oregon

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Esmeralda! Can we rest

in this bewitched place of the West?

The weight of centuries bears down.

I lean upon the hoe, gazing toward sacred ground.

What breath blew out the light

inside my brain forever preventing flight

even as a dream echo asks why

as I stare at monarch butterfly?

I hear the blue birds, see green upon green

And yet I merely stand by this hoe and lean.

Profaned, disinherited, no one left to trust

But on this spot, I stand, I must

This be my place and here I shall rust.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 24, 2018

April 23, 2018

“Real writers are those who want to write, need to write, have to write.”― Robert Penn Warren

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 24, 2018

The lack of a sense of history is the damnation of the modern world. – Robert Penn Warren

Welcome to Day 24 of NaPoWriMo.  What we do today is history tomorrow.  It is either forgotten or used to do a little better tomorrow. Part of our poetic history is Robert Penn Warren.  Take a few minutes and learn about him, read a poem or two by him.

Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living, constantly remake. – Robert Penn Warren

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 24, 2018

April 24th –  Happy Birthday Robert Penn Warren (1905 to 1989)  He was a three=time Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and poet and was the first U.S. poet laureate.   So write a poem to remember, honor or perhaps write a Warren parody poem.

Keep Writing!

How do poems grow? They grow out of your life. – Robert Penn Warren

Prompt Poem 21  Inspired by Louise Gluck

Still Foolish After All These Years

By Christopher J. Jarmick


After quietly declaring

this is a beautiful place to live,

(an unexpected house

with a view to raise a family;

He was lucky to be there)

it was the beginning of the end.


Compromise is something

to be fully understood

or you will have to re-build.


So storms dropped him hard

on unfamiliar beaches.

He was still foolish enough

to not give up, willing to learn

and finally understood the lesson

of letting go.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 23, 2018

April 22, 2018

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool. – William Shakespeare

It is better to rust out than wear out.  – Edwin Markham

Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards. Vladimir Nabokov

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 23, 2018

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. – William Shakespeare

The writer’s job is to get the main character up a tree, and then once they are up there, throw rocks at them. – Vladimir Nabokov

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 23, 2018

April 23 –  William Shakespeare  (1564 to 1616),  author & poet, Vladimir Nabokov (1899 to 1977) and Oregon-born poet Edwin Markham (1852 to 1940) were all born this day.  Can you write a poem that somehow evokes all three?

The breaking of a wave cannot explain the whole sea. -Vladimir Nabokov

Force cannot transmit a moral principle: moral ideas can be received only through the reason of the heart. – Edwin Markham

We think not in words but in shadows of words. – Vladimir Nabokov

Keep Writing

My poem for prompt # 21  Write about light and use some scientific terms.

Electromagnetic Radiation

By Christopher J. Jarmick

The exitance of illuminance

radiating from the Luminaire was spectacular

seemingly a large constellation,

small galaxy of shining, scintillating luster.

I joked to my English friend I was feeling phototropic

and asked how many footcandles he would estimate

we were experiencing.

“Footlamberts, you mean….’ he said.

‘Lumens then,’ I countered.

‘It’s not the highest value

or we would be in white out.

Not a lot of noise or even reflectance either.’ he sparked.

I glared at him.

‘Not much of that either,’ he twinkled.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 22, 2018

April 21, 2018

“We look at the world once, in childhood. The rest is memory.” ― Louise Glück

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 22, 2018

“Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer.” ― Louise Glück

I hope you’ve been participating in NaPoWriMo 2018.  If you are just joining us, or reconnecting with us, glad you are here.  Developing the habit of writing every day will reap rewards.  Enjoy the process.

“The soul is silent. If it speaks at all it speaks in dreams.” ― Louise Glück

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 22, 2018

What was difficult

was the travel, which,

on arrival, is forgotten.” ― Louise Glück

April 22nd  – Happy 75th Birthday to Louise Glück (1942) who won the Pulitzer Prize for 1992’s Wild Iris.  Honor her with your poem today.  Read some of her poetry and perhaps borrow something from her to create your poem.

Keep Writing

“The master said You must write what you see.

But what I see does not move me.

The master answered Change what you see.” ― Louise Glück,

Prompt 20 Poem –  Channel your inner Fred Rogers (yes everyone’s favorite neighbor).  Write a poem about being responsible, selfless, and loving.  Well I sort of did that with my poem…

Poem for a Neighbor

By Christopher J. Jarmick


A childhood without heart-wrenching

moments of trust being shattered

is a fantasy.


Whether it is physical, sexual, or emotional,

the abuse small, expected or tragic and criminal

turns children inside out

on their way to adulthood.


Should we really use a world of puppets

to explain and will something better, Fred?

Isn’t that naïve?


Faith in the moment, this one or in the next one

allows us to face our worst fears for a few minutes.

A few minutes can really matter.

Fred knew this.

He shared this.


Maybe it has to begin with a delusion

a fantasy, that grows into a dream

that gives us a vision.

It’s possible.


Fred being Fred

an ideal

creating a smile on our face

because smiling feels good

and we want to feel good

and believe we can have love

by thinking of love,

believing we all really do want

and could accept love

and we should at least try

for an ideal that is uncomplicated,

simple, and universal.


Perhaps the secret

is in the smallest details

always there, always available,

often ignored.


Big dreams

rooted in the

smallest of details

the power of

perfect little fantasies.


We all wish

for a neighbor like Fred Rogers

but we dare not

act too much like Fred

too risky, too corny,

too simple.


Let the smile be on our naked face.

without overthinking what price

a smile on our face might cost.


The smile that isn’t a mask.

the smile that is part of our faith

that there is some good in ourself,

some good in the world,

and most of our neighbors

want the same kind of simple truth

and happiness that you do.


We will get in our own way of course

but maybe 2 minutes today,

3 minutes tomorrow

can grow into 10 minutes a day

next year,

when we smile,

even in front of others,

because we can believe

in something better, bigger,

a neighbor that is good,

not perfect, just kind, compassionate.


If we imagine an understanding

we can begin to understand.


If we imagine peace

we have a chance of being peaceful.


Sure, I’ll be your neighbor, Fred.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 21, 2018

April 20, 2018

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” ― Aldous Huxley

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 21, 2018

 “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.” ― Jack Kerouac

Let there be light on this 21st day of NaPoWriMo!  Let the light shine in, shine bright.  Yes, our prompt today has something to do with this of course.  How did you know?  If you are near the Kirkland Wa area, BookTree has a free workshop followed by a free reading and open mic featuring James Bertolino and Anita K. BoyleFacebook Event Page Here  

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 21, 2018

Today’s prompt is from writer/poet Brendan (Cosmic Egg) McBreen:

On a lighter note, write about light. Is it a wave, is it a particle, be ‘sciency’ and write a poem about light. Try to include at least three scientific terms relating to light.

Keep Writing!

“The difference between the almost right word and the right word

is really a large matter

 ’tis the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.”

― Mark Twain


Prompt Poem # 19   An Etheridge Knight inspired write.


Apostacy Part 2

By Christopher J. Jarmick


His woman done left him

And so… and so…

He be damn angry

F. .  this and that

And damn the sun,

the perfect weather, the breeze,

the ripples on the water on the lake,

because there’s no hand to hold,

no reason to appreciate

no reason to be nice,

to dress up, to be smooth

and talk like candy.

No reason to feel lighter than air

smile, just because,

no reason t’all.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 20, 2018

April 19, 2018

“Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.” ― Fred Rogers

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Fred Rogers

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 20, 2018

 It is expected hundreds of thousands of students will be walking out of class today as part of the March For Our Lives and Enough! Students, teachers, women  protesting!    Activism is inspiring!  Agree or disagree our freedoms need to be exercised regularly or they will be manipulated if not our existence, than severely restricted.

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.” ― Fred Rogers

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 20, 2018

Channel your inner Fred Rogers (yes everyone’s favorite neighbor).  Write a poem about being responsible, selfless, and loving.  If you are religious write this poem from the persona of an atheist, if you are an atheist write this as a religious poem.  Avoid satire and sarcasm.  Try to write one sincerely.

Keep Writing!

“When I say it’s you I like, I’m talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see or hear or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things without which humankind cannot survive. Love that conquers hate, peace that rises triumphant over war, and justice that proves more powerful than greed.” ― Fred Rogers

Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. – Fred Rogers

If you are near Kirkland Wa  Saturday afternoon/evening 4/21/18  Do NOT miss the free workshop/reading and open mic with James Bertolino and Anita K. Boyle!  Details Here.

Prompt 18 Poem –  Response to finding message in a bottle on a beach.

Not Just Another Mile Before I Sleep Message in a Bottle

By Christopher J. Jarmick

I wonder

where you dropped

this bottle,

and why I have found it

in this place

at this time

after 60 years?

I recently turned 60.

You wrote your note

12 days before I was born.

You included part of a poem

that is perhaps more famous today,

then when you borrowed it

and changed a word.

Dear friend (you wrote),

It is late.  I worry that I will never meet

that special person, that I will never see

my mother again, that I will not reach my destination.

My name is Mark. It is April 1, 1958.

I am on an ocean cruise.

We were caught in a storm but all is calm for now.

I have had too much to drink, and have written this note.

Several of us are throwing bottles with notes in them

into the ocean.  Will this every be found?

Part of a wonderful poem by Robert Frost I really like:

The seas are lovely, dark and deep,  

But I have promises to keep,  

And miles to go before I sleep,  

And miles to go before I sleep.

Mark, the bottom part of your note

which may have had your full name, and address

is ragged and cannot be read.

I presume you were at least a teenager,

perhaps in your early 20s when you wrote this.

I’d like to think you safely arrived

at your destination,

saw your mother again,

(was she sick or were you worried by the storm?)

You might even still be alive.

I will never know.

Speaking of Frost

a week ago I wandered down a path

that seemed less travelled

and wound up on a beach

in Northern Oregon where I saw

a champagne bottle tangled in seaweed.

The cork had been jammed back in

and I imagined there was a note inside

so I took the bottle which I couldn’t open

and put it carefully  in the trunk with my spare tire.

This morning, a week later, I remembered

opened the cork, and carefully dried the

damp small scroll of paper in my oven.

I’ve written this,

rolled it up along with your note,

wrapped it in Saran Wrap

re-inserted it back into the bottle,

sealed it with a newer cork

and will be throwing it

into the ocean from a ferry I will be

taking to a reading I’m attending

in a few weeks.

I shall read Stopping by Woods

On a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

to the audience and perhaps this

new write too.

4/18/18  Christopher J. Jarmick

609 Market St.  Kirkland, Wa 98033



NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 19, 2018

April 18, 2018

I died in 1960 from a prison sentence and poetry brought me back to life. – Etheridge Knight

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 19, 2018

Happy 19th day of NaPoWriMo 2018 as our writing exercise during National Poetry Month continues and celebrate another poet born in April!  I hope you’ll revisit or discover some new poets, poetry this month and do some stretch writing.  Enjoy the exercise.  The muse insists.

To write a blues song

is to regiment riots

and pluck gems from graves.

Etheridge Knight

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 19, 2018

4/19/18  Happy Birthday Etheridge Knight 1931 to 1991  write a poem that evokes one or more of his poems/quotes.

Keep Writing!

Let all Black Poets die as trumpets,

And be buried in the dust of marching feet. –Etheridge Knight

Prompt 17 poem  –  Listen to a song you know you do not like, or from a style of music you don’t normally listen to and write a poem in response.

Not a Cardi B fan

By Christopher J. Jarmick

Cardi B

on SNL

Green Betty Boop hair,


back-up dancers

I try to hear the lyrics

I guess Cardi took a man

Someone is upset

I guess her brain is on Offset

Some lyrics bleeped


What the hell?

I’m not her audience

People like this?

Could be she puts on

this kind of bragging, raggin,

crude ‘tude

a male rapper thing

turned upside down

that it?

Is there more?

I’m not her audience

Someone is her audience

She’s on SNL.

Cardi B

See ya.