Posts Tagged ‘poetry is everything’

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NaPoWriMo 2022 It’s a Wrap!!!! Keep Writing!

April 30, 2022

“I want to see thirst
In the syllables,
Tough fire
In the sound;
Feel through the dark
For the scream.”

― Pablo Neruda

 It’s a wrap.  Last day of NaPoWriMo 2022, aka National Poetry Writing Month 2022,  the annual project that brings poets together to write a poem each and every day for the month of April.  Congratulations for all the writing you did this month.  May your habit continue.  Scribble… away each and every day!  It’s empowering to be creative and sometimes to have something worth polishing up and showing off to others.  Yes.  

The last Saturday in April is also Independent Bookstore Day in many communities and cities?  The Seattle, Washington  version this year is an exciting  10 day celebration.  My bookstore, BookTree is one of 24 indie bookstores in Western Washington State officially celebrating independent bookstores.  There are some others who jump in and celebrate too….make no mistake ALL indie bookstores count.  Support the one or two near you!   Click here for more info on SIBD!!!

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa. (at 609 Market St  Facebook site is here).  It keeps me very busy which is why my postings were done in a group.  I absolutely make it a practice to write almost every single day (a lot of scribbling that doesn’t amount to anything… except in reality they do… good with the bad, bad with the good). During poetry month I write every day without fail and usually to the prompts I suggest.   Sometimes (perhaps like many of you reading this) I have only 15 or 20 minutes to devote to writing… some days I have more time.  I figure out a way to make some time to write.   Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog. The poems I post have been quickly composed and need additional editing and polishing.  A few are pretty damn good…. most… well… they keep me very very humble.

BookTreeBookTree. 1,370 likes · 31 talking about this · 270 were here. BookTree is one of the few remaining independent …

Prompt for Saturday April 30th, 2022 —   LAST OFFICIAL NAPOWRIMO PROMPT.

It’s Independent Bookstore Day (IBD) for many cities and communities around the country.  Celebrate independent bookstores.  In Seattle, IBD, is a 10 day celebration and challenge.  See link about it above.   Today’s Prompt –  write a poem honoring your favorite independent bookstore or stores… if it is still in business… do include a note at the end of where the wonderful store is located.  Have FUN!

Here’s my hot off the press poem….for today’s prompt.

A Bookstore Day Poem!

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Independent Bookstores should be embraced

as the best place to heal. . .

maybe your friend, your neighbor,

a stranger or two

but definitely yourself.

Independent Bookstores are a good place

to dance with the beats of words

languish in the music of the imagination

or the syncopation of history

perhaps absorb the theories of philosophy

and breathe in the charismatic chemistry chorus of science.

Independent Bookstores are a good place

to get touchy feely with portable stories,

essays, poetry, and teachings.

No batteries, recharging needed.

Open one, feel its texture,

smell its age.

Independent Bookstores are portals

into alternate universes, where yesterday

teaches its lessons anew and at the same time

tomorrow is getting ready to fade into a dream

you had, and then you see your former neighbor

or meet a brand new person and everything

seems somehow just right in the world.  

I’m thinking of several bookstores as I wrote this.   Mine is BookTree  609 Market St. Kirkland, WA 98033….  and all those gone but not forgotten bookstores like   Take Another Look Books, Bookworm Exchange in the Columbia City neighborhood of Seattle (both once homes to my PIE readings); and of course Park Place Books in Kirkland;  not to mention: Cinema Books on Roosevelt a few blocks from Scarecrow, David Ishii, Bookseller and Seattle Mystery Bookshop in the Pioneer Square neighborhood, Wit’s End Bookstore in Freemont (once home to Poets West readings), the Book Kennel, Inner Chapters,  Abraxus Books, Balderdash Books, Baily/Coy on Broadway, M Coy, Jackson Street Books, Mockingbird Books and many more no longer with us. 

Tomorrow  do a Wrap up Sunday May 1, 2022 –  If you have the habit now, continue scribbling each and every day.  Perhaps your bonus poem will take 4 to 6 lines from previous poems (no more than one line from a previous poem) and create a brand new 12 line or longer poem.   

Keep writing.

“Ink runs from the corners of my mouth.
There is no happiness like mine.
I have been eating poetry.”
― Mark Strand

Here’s poems I’ve written this past week. . .

Prompt Poem for April 26th…   opposite poem…

Not a smiley-faced poem

by Christopher J. Jarmick

I know you want to smile

to laugh

there are innocent people

being killed by a bully

we need to smile

we need to laugh

I won’t always be able to help you laugh

but I will often try

it makes me happy

to see you happy

if only you were still

here.

=-=-=-=-

Prompt Poem for April 27th, 2022  . . .   Pickleball

The Pickleball Poem

by Christopher J. Jarmick 

I have never played the  fastest growing sport in the U.S.

I’ve been catching my breath

learning about balance

learning to navigate

putting on a happy face.

It’s called Pickleball  

a combo of ping pong, badminton

and tennis played in a smaller place

with two to four players.

Too bad things changed

didn’t remain the same

would’ve been fun

to get out and learn this game.

So Pickleball was invented

near where I live 

in Washington State on Bainbridge

by two suburban dads in 1965

same year Johnson signed the civil rights

and voting act ending years of suppression

of the black vote.  It was also the year

he started the three year long series of 

air strikes in Vietnam.  Good with the bad,

bad with the good,  I’m still learning

about that too. Some days I don’t even

think of you.  

Pickleball is easier to learn and play

than tennis. It might have been named

after a family dog  they saywho liked to chase the whiffle balls, 

used in the game.

There’s a finesse shot I think

I would like to learn .. .  a slow

lobbing change-up shot

that’s called a dink.

When I have a little more time

I will find someone to call

or maybe meet someone new

and we could play Pickleball. 

Sound good?  How about you?

=-=-=-=-=-=-

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
― T.S. Eliot

Prompt for April 28th...   Headlines two to four or more combined.

At Fitzgerald the Cat’s Birthday Party

by Christopher J. Jarmick

the fifteen who got Covid wandered

into Cate’s new haunted mansion’s meditation

room  before reuniting an Alabama teen with

his pet Hen lost after a Civil War reenactment

at the local Cracker Barrell which somehow 

had something to do with the Zebra getaway

in Michigan which is a whole ‘nother story.  I know

if it weren’t true you wouldn’t believe it.  I wish

all we’ve been hearing about the Ukraine

was as made up as a tabloid headline regarding

bat boy, but truth is not only stranger

 than fiction, it’s devastating.  

=-=-=-=-=-=-

NOTES…..

Every day in April  I create prompts for poets (including myself to write from if they so choose).  The idea is to inspire AND challenge.   I usually scribble something every day for at least 30 minutes… but this is a bit more purposeful during April for me…  So today…. I took about 45 minutes and wrote these.  I edited them for about ten minutes.  Most will need another edit before I decide if I want them published or not (can I let these babies fly away?). 

Prompt for Friday April 29th, 2022-  Today- in a poem let’s speak of why ART (as in real Art… not just Arty; or Artistic).  

ART SET

Poem Starter 429

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Art was not understood at the bar.

So he bought everyone a round.

Conversation, laughter 

and soon friendship blossomed.

=-=-=-=-=-=-

No Must (or Only Real Men and Women dare make Art) 

by Christopher J. Jarmick

I start my dancing

by walking like Charlie Chaplin

and then my shoulders keep a sort

of rhythm, but it’s my hands,

rolling at the wrist and expressing

a sort of celebratory freedom

that used to make her smile.

Mona Lisa

almost smirks

but no if you really look

you still aren’t sure.

Some days are almost

completely good.

This is the second stanza

it won’t fit in Joseph’s box

of found things and Andy 

isn’t interested in silk screening

it multiple times. Maybe Jackson

will spit on it so it will be worth something

even if it is never understood.

It feels like I should grab some

partial random lines from a popular

song and mix them with an idea

or two borrowed from a folk tale

from Ireland.  Something might

happen that I didn’t quite intend

and take my breath away.

You aren’t seeing it because

when I did this, I knew it was

dishonest and Art that matters

takes courage because it has to be truthful. 

Take that away from what 

you create and you have

nothing.

=-=-=-=-=-

“There is no must in art

because art is free.” – Wassily Kandinsky

=-=-=-=-=-

Warm Ups

by Christopher J. Jarmick

That freestyle

almost stumble

thing expressed by

dancers;

the indoor run into a somersault

and back onto your feet;

the children throwing themselves

the ground rolling down the hill;

blink really fast, loosen the muscles

in your face and shake your head back

and forth making silly noises.

Warm up exercises

for an artist.

Keep writing!  Keep creating!  Care!

Bonus poem     free write  April 29th 2:15 to about 2:35pm. 

Another Love Lost

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Step right up

to your left were elephants

trained to perform like domesticated dogs.

If you didn’t think how many were mistreated

and how this was an insult to their intelligence

you could enjoy it.

Like the bitter clowns stuffing themselves into 

tiny cars and being so silly.

Laugh and laugh and try not to be

creeped out over their bizarre face paint

and don’t think how many drink themselves

to sleep most nights of the week

Chimpanzees, dogs, Lions, even a bear

or two will perform.  Shoot folks out of a

cannon… look up at the trapeze,

the tight rope, and that one is gonna dive

from way up there into that little bowl of water.

Most won’t die

but there’s risk and danger.

What fun!

If you get serious about risk and danger

try being creative, write, paint, sing

show a bit of your soul

bleed a little bit

even if nobody has any idea

why  you do what you do

it ain’t money,

it ain’t fame

it sure ain’t power

it’s love at it’s core

so hot, so cold

so very very bold

broken heart and all.

———————

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

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

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Keep Writing!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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NAPOWRIMO 2022 5th Series of Prompts and some prompt poems too!

April 25, 2022

“Dive again and again into the river of uncertainty.

Create in the dark, only then can you recognize the light.” ― Jyrki Vainonen

And so we have the final prompts for NaPoWriMo 2022, or National Poetry Writing Month 2022,  the annual project that brings poets together to write a poem each and every day for the month of April.  

I hope you’ve been inspired to write more than you have in the past.  Congratulations on accepting the challenge.

Did you know this Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day in many communities and cities?  The Seattle, Wa version of this is a 10 day celebration.  My bookstore, BookTree is one of 24 indie bookstores in Western Washington State celebrating independent bookstores  Click here for more info on SIBD!!!

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa. (at 609 Market St  Facebook site is here).  It keeps me very busy so I’ll be posting several prompts here at once.  I make a practice or writing almost every day on a regular basis and during poetry month I make sure I write every day without fail and usually to the prompts I suggest.   Sometimes (perhaps like many of you reading this) I have only 15 or 20 minutes to devote to writing… some days I have more time.  I figure out a way to make some time to write.   Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog.  I will also post some of the poems I have writing (they are not fully edited or polished).

Prompt for  Tuesday April 26th 2022 

Can you write an opposite poem.  A poem that seems to be about one thing, that has a particular feeling but really isn’t that at all?

Prompt for  Wednesday  April 27th 2022 
Pickleball  invented in 1965 on Bainbridge… is the fastest growing sport in the U.S.    Write a poem about pickleball….  More info on pickleball here

Prompt for  Thursday April 28thth 2022 

The title and first line of your poem is made by combining two to four Headlines. Newspaper Headlines or a News Story Headlines you get from the Internet. Play with the words until you come up with a new Headline (that makes sense). Your poem should expand the story of this combo Headline.

Prompt for Friday April 29th, 2022-

Today- in a poem let’s speak of why ART (as in real Art… not just Arty; or Artistic).  However you want to speak of it works. Maybe you’ll want to communicate

and be understood, maybe you need to write it in a way that isn’t particularly relatable. Just write.  

Prompt for Saturday April 30th, 2022 —   LAST OFFICIAL NAPOWRIMO PROMPT.

It’s Independent Bookstore Day (IBD) for many cities and communities around the country.  Celebrate independent bookstores.  In Seattle, IBD, is a 10 day celebration and challenge.  See link about it below.   Today’s Prompt –  write a poem honoring your favorite independent bookstore or stores… if it is still in business… do include a note at the end of where the wonderful store is located.  Have FUN!

Wrap up Sunday May 1, 2022 –  If you have the habit now, continue scribbling each and every day.  Perhaps your bonus poem will take 4 to 6 lines from previous poems (no more than one line from a previous poem) and create a brand new 12 line or longer poem.   Keep writing.

PROMPT POEMS

# 19 Prompt – Rewrite a poem  – make it better  ?

Love from Nothing  Prompt 19 rewrite old poem

By Christopher J. Jarmick

My muse says… do not 

write a poem today.

Don’t do a scribble,

don’t complete a prompt

No… no…. no

and absolutely don’t even consider

re-writing a mediocre love poem dribble

from 2013 NaPoWriMo

Futile to force a love poem

Look how awful most Hallmark

Valentine cards are -stay home

Violets are Blue

I’ve put it to the test

You’re still the best

I love you.

The April moon

doesn’t rhyme with June

Ideas are here there and

 everywhere.

Sad –they are mostly

Bad.

This book on the table

I’ll borrow words from two pages

of Vonneguts Cat’s Cradle

not Ice Nine  too ghoulish

or end of the world – foolish

this:

Sunlight cold
Ocean mist

Red cedars

Hand in hand

Breathing in

deeply

experience

Love in the book

Love everywhere

don’t forget to

look.

Pretend it hibernates

somewhere in this place

It’s over, ended

ignore it

in your face you say

doesn’t elude

right here, right now

even in this.

Protest too much

expect the sun moon and stars

on it goes

in, out

such is such

Impossible.

I pause.

Well this isn’t any better

another lost cause.

So…

not going to write

a poem at all today

even though

I must

it’s NaPoWriMo.

No way.

Okay ….

elude me.

maybe this then:

Not going to fall in love

today.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Poem Starter 1961

by Christopher J. Jarmick

I try to imagine how much

the last shotgun casing

Hemmingway  loaded

would sell for.

 The Red Hardcover Book 

(with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

by Christopher J. Jarmick

so many words

inside

the red hardcover

book.

faded with sun

dust

beside the stuffed

unicorn.

wednesday   april 20th 2022

I will not….     finish this…   I will not eat meat… I will not support war,   I will not kiss a frog….    Create your I will not poem today

I will  NOT

by Christopher J. Jarmick

(this should be read aloud, quietly if in a public place, but

move your lips as you read this….)

HA! 

I will not.

I  will definitely not…SO put

Put your money away

away, lt will not happen

not happen because

because she looks at me

looks at me that way and exhales

exhales loudly

When

When she says

When she says will  you ever

ever grow up?!?

Grow up? I say  I will

will not.

I will definitely not

definitely not without any doubt

any doubt, never ever I will not

will not grow up!

I have seen how miserable

how miserable and sad

so sad the truly grown up 

grown up and old, who seem

who seem to just give up

just give up and be miserable

miserable and waiting

waiting for life

life to run out.

Run out like the child

like the child run out and play

play like the child

the child who may be

may be too self-absorbed

self-absorbed and selfish

selfish and devoted

devoted to making a game

making a game out of everything

everything is someone else fault.

someone else’s fault So I

So I won’t be

I won’t be a child

a child who is not responsible

not responsible completely

completely for the way they behave.

behave child, any child

Any child But they believe

believe in play

in play and joy

in joy and most know

know unconditional love

unconditional love surrounds them

surrounds them so they pretend,

pretend, make believe and dream

dream, have fun and laugh

laugh at silly things

silly ridiculous corny things.

Corny things like

like how I will keep

keep believing in love

love as in romance

romance as in songs

classic It Had to Be ..Someone to Watch Over You songs

songs that shout love

love , dreams, childhood safe,

safe so I will laugh  express joy

express joy, at life.

At this life I will be responsible

responsible and accountable

accountable for my mistakes

my mistakes and what I break.

break over and over – hearts

hearts mostly my own

my own and I will not expect

expect you

you or anyone else

anyone else to pick up the pieces

pick up the pieces and take

take care

take care of me.

Me? Yes, oh hell. . .

Hell I will probably

probably take care

take care 

take care of you and also

also make you laugh

laugh and smile.

smile and dance

dance and shout

shout that I will not…

I will certainly not

not most certainly and definitely not

definitely, positively

positively, absolutely not

not not not and you can’t

can’t make me

make me grow up

grow up. I will not

will not grow up.

I won’t.

  HA!

This form I created… called The Buster  (for Buster Keaton).

This form I created… called The Buster  (for Buster Keaton).

Thursday April 21

Take us away to a beautiful place.

24/7/365 or 6.

by Christopher J. Jarmick

I wonder if our skins will converse

like the waves mid-tide 

on our beloved North West coast

rhythmic, forceful but not usually chaotic

or perhaps more like the violent stormy high tides

moving thick trunks of trees, pieces of  wrecked ships

relentlessly eroding parts of beach.

Like a life lived full on our foolish hearts.

The air thick with briny scent, 

the brisk coolness inside

a misty cloud kissing the water 

dulling all color on the haystacks of jagged rock

rising from the foaming swirling salt water.

The heron in slow motion gracefully flies, glides 

along the shoreline, espry and hawks above

ever aware of food sources within the waters

These tears at the end of the land

the saltwater of the ocean, the power, the dance

the sounds and smells and cries of seagulls

yells of eagles and the whistling wind

Overwhelming… so breathe in 

breathe in slowly  human.

Be in wonder, be thankful… this

is the greatest show on earth.

Friday  April 22nd   2022  —  Happy 79th to Louise Gluck   Write a poem today evoking and honoring the Pulitzer prize winning poet. 

Glück-ville Memories

by Christopher J. Jarmick

The brightly dressed little people emerge by moonlight

through a door in the Hawthorn Tree

that most don’t even realize is still alive

but if you look close you will see

buds, a few branches will reveal leaves.

Once upon a time she believed in these things

though lost her faith in all of it

and drifted away.

So little makes sense

you believe in magic,

have faith and hold onto it;

Like an old concert ticket.

I sometimes miss her.

I regret she insisted on growing apart

I once made an effort to stop howling at the moon

but it nearly drove me mad.

Prompt for Saturday  April 23  2022 –  Advertising. 

Think of some popular advertising slogans. Use a few of them in whole or part in the poem you create today.

Can your hear me now?

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Think different you’re in Marlboro Country now

where you can have it your way and

taste the rainbow with a snap crackle pop

that’s finger-lickin good.  

Here in the happiest place on earth, 

I’m lovin’ it, and yeah I just do it, 

challenge everything as if 

there is no tomorrow, because I want the best a man can get.

You can say Doctor’s prefer Lucky because their toasted

or this one is smooth and one millimeter longer, 

or it tastes good like a cigarette should or 

you can take this one out of the country but

 you can’t take the country out of Salem. I don’t care.

You may have come a long way baby, 

but I would rather fight than switch, 

and walk a mile for a Camel. 

Why? Mm-mm good, 

 so good, cats ask for it by name,

betcha can’t eat just one

it melts in your mouth, not in your hands

it’s good to the last drop and they’re GR-R-R-eat!

Fact is your soaking it.

And that’s the whole chalupa.

Drop the mic.

Prompt for Sunday  April 24  2022  Popular Music should inspire your poem today. 

Stan the Man

by Christopher J. Jarmick

A few months after I was born

Stan Freberg released Green Chri$tma$

a parody song/sketch about the 

commercialization of Christmas

a classic; ahead of its time.

Time caught up of course.

Do you remember Freberg?

It’s okay.

He made his name doing parodies

of Dragnet,

and then a bit later

many popular songs,

Harry Belafonte’s popularization

of a Jamaican song 

the Banana Boat Song

Day-O…, his parody of it

nothing short of brilliant.

Elderly Man River, 

Yellow Rose of Texas,

a radio show,

TV specials

he became an advertising man

created some of the funniest

advertising commercials

that had actual wit and cleverness

and he did voices.

He slowly faded from the public view

but was remembered by his peers.

He was almost Steve Allen, Ernie Kovacs, 

Tom Vatican Rag -Lehr, Alan Hello Mudah, Hello Fadduh – Sherman, 

more original and innovative

than Weird Al. . . maybe you don’t remember

Weird Al anymore either.

Pop culture changes and famous people

fade from memories.

It happens to sports stars, musicians, artists, 

writers and particularly poets too. 

 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Keep Writing!

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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NAPOWRIMO 2022 4th Set of Prompts and Poems

April 18, 2022

“You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.”

Ray Bradbury

And so we celebrate writing with NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month,  the annual project that brings poets together to write a poem each and every day for the month of April.  

I hope if you haven’t been challenging yourself to write a poem a day that you will jump in and do it starting today.  Do the best you can.   And congratulations for getting this far!

To have great poets there must be great audiences too. –Walt Whitman

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa. (at 609 Market St  Facebook site is here).  It keeps me very busy so I’ll be posting several prompts here at one.  I make a practice or writing almost every day on a regular basis and during poetry month I make sure I write every day without fail and usually to the prompts I suggest.   Sometimes (perhaps like many of you reading this) I have only 15 or 20 minutes to devote to writing… some days I have more time.  I figure out a way to make some time to write.   Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog.  I will also post some of the poems I have writing (they are not fully edited or polished).

Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. — Carl Sandburg

Prompt for Tuesday April 19th 2022  – –

Rewrite an old poem or someone else’s poem that you sort of like but could be better.

Prompt for Wednesday,  April 20th 2022- –      I will not….     

finish the statement  I will not….  and write your poem today….   I will not eat meat… I will not support war,   I will not kiss a frog….    Create your I will not poem today.

Prompt for Thursday  April 21st 2022

I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.— Pablo Neruda

Today’s prompt.

Take us away to a beautiful place. It’s just past the  middle of the week, most of us are looking ahead toward the weekend or perhaps to a vacation in late spring or early summer. So write yourself a beautiful place and take us along. How you do it is up to you. It can be safe and cozy. It can be wild and crazy. It can be visually beautiful. If you’re able to paint a picture using all five senses in your poem—please do so. What beautiful place shall we escape to? Is it a place that really exists or is it a fantasy? Is it a place you’ve been, a place you are from or a place you always wanted to go? When you read this poem, if it takes you somewhere special, it will take us there too.

Prompt for Friday  April 22nd   2022  —  Happy 79th to Louise Gluck   

Write a poem today evoking and honoring the Pulitzer prize winning poet Louise Glück 

Prompt for Saturday  April 23  2022 –  Advertising. 

Think of some popular advertising slogans. Use a few of them in whole or part in the poem you create today. You can make up product names or switch things around, or pack the poem with slogan after slogan. It’s Poetry Country, pardner, you’re soaking in it right now and I’d rather fight than switch. (Easy…right?).

Have fun!!!

Prompt for Sunday  April 24  2022  Popular Music should inspire your poem today. 

Perhaps use a song that was popular the year that you were born. Or a current well known song. Avoid little known songs that received little or no radio air-play. Borrow a lyric or two and/or the title of the song and create your poem. It doesn’t have to autobiographical if you don’t want it to be, but do avoid parody. It doesn’t have mimic the rhyme or meter of the song (but it can if you want to do that).

Prompt for Monday April 25th 2022 – 

Write an Epistolary poem to anything you would like except a person. Write it to an inanimate object (coffee table, wine glass, television etc), an animal, a malady or condition, or a feeling.

Epistolary poems read like letters. They can be in any form from couplets, quatrains to free verse,. You probably want to start it: Dear ________ .
Epistolary is from the latin epistula aka letter. It dates back to verse letters from the time of the Roman Empire and the form was refined and popularized by folks like Horace and Ovid. Many poets have written them of course and the one you’re writing can use any tone, any voice you like and it can be addressed directly to your chosen subject or to a world-wide audience. It can be satirical, sentimental, dramatic, political, serious, humorous and/or autobiographical.

Dear NaPoWriMo,
I find myself with little time
compelled to write a rhyme
each and every April Day
sometimes with little to say
relying on prompts to show the way.

Please do much better than this one! I know you can!

“We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The Life Force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The Universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.”
Ray Bradbury

Prompt Poems

Prompt 12 —  A poem inspired by some of my favorite movies good and baaaad ones.

We’re gonna stick together, just like it used to be!

by Christopher J. Jarmick

It’s okay with me.

One thing I learned from Pop was to try to think as people around you think.

And on that basis, anything’s possible.

You know what they say:

If the headline is big enough, it makes the news big enough.

What else you want to know?Sorry have to take this phone call. . .
Divorce me? Makes a fellow lose all faith in himself…Almost gives him a feeling he wasn’t wanted.
Who? Okay put him on the phone.No right now, put him on the phone.

Now get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee! 

There ain’t gonna be any interview 

and there ain’t gonna be any story.

Sorry about that, not you…that was uh somebody else.  

Don’t envy you journalists though, Peeking through keyholes? 

Chasing after fire engines?  Waking people up in the middle of the night.

Stealing pictures off old ladies? I know all about reporters, 

 A lot of daffy buttinskis running around 

without a nickel in their pockets and for what?

You don’t have to answer that. Just in a mood. 

Sure run it by me.

It’s okay with me.

Like I told you, there was a third man there.

I suppose that doesn’t sound peculiar to you.

Sure it’s wacky, it’s crazy, but there’s more to it you know.

Panic, terror and horror! No corner of the earth 

was spared the terror of looking up into God’s blue sky

and seeing not peace and security, 

but the feathered nightmare on wings.

There’s sworn testimony. The future is here.

Can you prove it didn’t happen?  

 Perhaps on your way home you will pass someone in the dark,

 and you will never know it, for they will be from outer space. 

You think I’m mad. Perhaps I am.

It’s Okay with me.

They are forced to be just as mad as all the rest;

 for if they refuse to teach what pleases their scholars,

 they will be left, as Cicero says, to lecture to empty benches. 

Just as false-hearted sycophants, scheming for a seat

 at a rich man’s table, make it their chief business to discover

 what will be most agreeable  hearing to their host; 

Pain don’t hurt.

What did he say to me? Okay, I’ll tell you.

He said I want you to have peace of mind. 

You have nothing to blame yourself for. 

You were the victim.

Anyone could become obsessed with the past.

Pull the string! Pull the string! 

A mistake is made. A story must be told.

Sure if you want sing out, sing out, brother ..but

Whatever it is, I’m against it and

Remember: If they move – Kill ’em.

But hey,

It’s Okay with me.

Twisted quotes from movies include these: Wild Bunch, Long Goodbye, Godfather Part 2,  The Third Man,  His Girl Friday,  The Giant Claw,  Plan 9, Bride of Frankenstein, Satyricon, Road House, Vertigo, Glen or Glenda, Harold and Maude, Horse Feathers and a few other lines – not all verbatim.

Prompt 13  – A poem to break a  hex or spell

Enemy Mine by Christopher J. Jarmick

Enemy Mine I write this to you

as I put several herbs – 

mugwort, wormwood vetiver and sage

into this purple bag

your jealousy, rage 
all you have tried to dowill not take hold and will now fall throughNothing you have donewill curse anyone except perhaps for you
All will now be undoneI bring you forth from the darkhold you into the lightI meet and greet you with open armsI breath in deeply, now exhale with a smileNegative energy is banished from hereI won’t worry, won’t fearI let the good inI let the good in.
Your bad juju will notbe more controlling than shacklesBright lights will illuminate all that  you do.Your attempts to create fear and doubtwill not take holdIt is you who will get outand without a fight.The negative that you bringwill burn up in the bright lightand I will sing, dance, laughI let the good inI let the good in. 

Prompt 14  Septolets

Formal Syllable Septolet – Ukraine

War

Ukraine

Putin’s Toy

deadly tragic

Power mad

stop it

now.

Word Septolet – Words

Poet owns

bookstore;

words are 

important

Schoolboard censors books;

words are far

too dangerous.

Prompt 15. ekphrastic poetry (about art)

Resplendent Helianthus

by Christopher J. Jarmick

There are animal faces

in the swirls of color

an owl I see

Emotional ideals.Celebration of naturethe colors, shapesfaces of ghostsArtist expresses joyof creating in herwork, I want to smilelooking at quadtrych 

creation. Yellows, bluesreds, oranges, pinks, purples

wild flowers dancing in breeze. 

Should I let ittalk to me like this?
Art CAN sometimesmake you feel good.
Prompt 16 –Write a poem about one or more significant things that happened on this date April 16th in history 
Trippin’ through April 16th by Christopher J. Jarmick
Happy 133rd Charlie C- thanks for laughterwhen  you battled department stores escalators, ice rinks, 

disgruntled customers, modern machineryand for falling in love with that blind flower girl.Not bad for a Tramp. 
The year Chaplin released Pay Day his final under 30 minute short filmOn April 16th in 1922 

the Supreme Court 

ruled it was illegal to manufacture wine or beereven in the home for private uses.  Underground speakeasies and the mob flourished.

Chemist Albert Hoffman discovered the
‘problem child’ LSD in 38, tried it accidentallyon this day in 1943 and it replayed an epiphanius moment he had as a child involvinghis spirit and nature.  When he took it onpurpose on April 19th it became knownas bicycle day, because he rode his bicycleas the hallucinations overwhelmed him.Albert didn’t approve of the recreationaluse of his ‘problem child’ but before hedied at age 102 he saw verified PTSDtreatments using LSD were being rediscovered.
21 years later on this day in 1964the bad boys of Rock N Rollthe Rolling Stones released their first recordwhich almost instantly toppedthe UK charts, but was the only Stones albumnot to make it to the top 5 on American charts.

No relation at all but 60 years later in 2003
Michael Jordan would play his last NBA game.

——

April 17 2022 Prompt –  Give Thanks!!!Write a poem thanking two or more people (you do not know) for inspiring you, entertaining you, teaching you.

Mentors never known

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Father Ferlinghetti

absentee undercover parent

delivering coded missives

this is another poetry

beyond Seuss, Frost

another way to write

make it your own.

You faded at times

and then like a phoenix

rose again

to show me

here… read…. yes …like this

try it like this

but always

make it your own.

If they were right

I’d agree

but it’s them they know

not me.

Not me.

Did the man named Cat

know?

What did he know?

How could Uncle Cat see so much

know so much, miles from nowhere,

doors open from the side you are on.

Give me permission

remind me… John… love

sing out love

John the rebel

Groucho of Rock N Roll

subversive

finding his cause

becoming through trial and error

heart ache and pain

a partner to his wife

Imagine.

I did – – like so many

and I saw how flawed

complex

and tragic

the journey. – your journey

so yes of course my journey.

Love… love…..love.

Peace train

War is over

That war, this war

your war

over

if you want it.

Imagine.

——

 April 18 2022 Prompt –   What if it were raining Bats and PopCorn?  Change and twist several popular phrases in the poem you write today… 

soft night’s daze

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Guilty innocence                       innocent before guilty

truth stranger than innuendo    truth is stranger than fiction

Acting like

teas in a sleeve           peas in a pod

walking in squares      running in place

on chin book               facebook

and readypound                 instagram

overreacting

twisting in the tornado    twisting in the wind        

irradiating mold               canceling culture

The road to hell

painted with positive pretensions     road to hell paved with good intentions

Talking out of

both roofs of you tongue       talking out of two sides of your mouth

Idiotology                                  ideology

hyper toxic muscle-inity           toxic masculinity

letting the fish out                         who let the dogs out

We say, I say                          he said, she said

Let sleeping frogs croak                   let sleeping dogs lie

straight as the apple tree flies          straight as the crow flies

Lies, trains, automobiles                   planes trains and automobiles

Not okay.   

Innocence guilty.                         innocent before guilty.                Not 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

And what, you ask, does writing teach us?

First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is gift and a privilege, not a right. We must earn life once it has been awarded us. Life asks for rewards back because it has favored us with animation.So while our art cannot, as we wish it could, save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age, or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all.–Ray Bradbury from the Preface to Zen in the Art of Writing (1990)

 =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Keep Writing!

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NaPoWriMo 2022 3rd Set of Prompts plus Prompt Poems

April 11, 2022

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

I hope if you haven’t been challenging yourself to write a poem a day that you will jump in and do it starting today.

“Writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.”– Jules Renard

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa. (at 609 Market St  Facebook site is here).  It keeps me very busy so I’ll be posting several prompts here at one.  I make a practice or writing almost every day on a regular basis and during poetry month I make sure I write every day without fail and usually to the prompts I suggest.   Sometimes (perhaps like many of you reading this) I have only 15 or 20 minutes to devote to writing… some days I have more time.  I figure out a way to make some time to write.   Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog.  I will also post some of the poems I have writing (they are not fully edited or polished).

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”– Douglas Adams

It’s time for a plug. . .    This Friday –  BookTree in Kirkland Wa. presents a LIVE event.  A visiting writer and poet from Denver Colorado will read from his novel and some poems from his latest book.  There will also be an open mic.  It begins at 6:30 pm.  (609 Market St. Kirkland, WA. 98033)   Event Listing and details here. 

TODAY  Use this prompt to write your  April 11 2022 Prompt –  Let’s write a ‘bent’ cento poem.  Cento poems are made from other poets lines of poetry.  So take some lines from your favorite poems or lines from one poet and change just one or two words per line to create your new poem.  Don’t use more than two lines from any one poem, and remember to change one or two words per line.  You should keep track of where each of your lines came from and post those if  you post  your poems online.

—-

TOMORROWTuesday – Use this prompt to write your  April 12 2022 Prompt   It’s my birthday and besides being an avid reader, writer, poet, I also am a movie nut.  So incorporate elements of two or more of some of my favorite films (and if you don’t know them… make up what they may be about (even better).   Films to consider:  Citizen Kane, Grand Illusion, Baraka, Third Man, Sherlock Jr., Harold and Maude, Horse Feathers, The Wild Bunch, Godfather Part 2, Don’t Shoot the Piano Player, The Passion of Joan of Arc, City Lights, His Girl Friday, Vertigo, Singing in the Rain, The Long Goodbye, Sunrise (1927), Bride of Frankenstein, King of Hearts, Stop Making Sense, Satyricon, Seven Samurai, Tokyo Story  or my favorite Baaaaad Movies like : Godmonster of Indian Flats, Glen or Glenda, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Indestructible Man, Robot Monster, Blood Freak, Mesa of Lost Woman, Road House,  The Room, Maniac, The Giant Claw, Plan 9 From Outer Space, Indecent Desires (Doris Wishman), The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?

—-

Wednesday  – Use this prompt to write your  April 13 2022 Prompt   Write a spell-breaking poem, a poem to stop hexes, combat negative forces and prevent bad things from happening and welcome in good things and positive energy.   

— 

Thursday – Use this prompt to write your  April 14 2022 Prompt     SEPTOLET DAY

“The only writer to whom you should compare yourself is the writer you were yesterday.”  – – David Schlosser

And on the 14th day, we concentrate on the seven line poetry form known as the Septolet.  Write two or more Septolets!  I Suggest you write a formal and informal Septolet.

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” ― Pablo Picasso

Write two different types of Septolets today.  (Sep-toe-lay) 1- 7 lines 16 syllables  2- 14 words – 7 lines.

Septolet 1 Formal: Line 1 has one syllable, Line 2 has two, Line 3 has 3, Line 4 has 4 syllables, space, Line 5 has 3, Line 6 has 2, Line 7 has one syllable. Poem should relate to one thought, feeling, object, place.

Septolet 2 Informal: Total of 14 words in 7 lines, no line should have more than three words. The poem should relate to one subject, object, thought or feeling. The first four lines create a coherent picture or thought, the last three lines create another. Each could stand separately, but both are related.

Examples:

Formal Syllable Septolet                                          Informal Word Septolet

One                           1 syllable                                    “This

Second                        2 syllables                                    is easy

Or perhaps                 3 syllables                                 anyone can do

Four ticking bombs   4 syllables                                it,”

Blank space

Reminder                  3 syllables                                said

That you’re               2 syllables                                tightrope walker.

Late                              1 syllable                               “but don’t look down!”

The example on the left side is the more formal syllable Septolet.  The one on the right is made up of 14 words. (You don’t count syllables).  4 word maximum on one line.

ORIGIN

The origin of the Septolet –a French form is not completely known. It’s most likely origin is based in music since a septuplet is a group of seven notes played in a very specific way. It’s a member of the musical tuplet family—the most common one in use: the triplet. The septuplets (septolets or septimoles) usually indicate 7 notes in the duration of 4—or in compound meter 7 for 6—but may sometimes be used to mean 7 notes in the duration of 8.

In the poetic form however meter is not required so the music connection is perhaps NOT correct. The form has evolved as a sort of European/American Haiku . The more formal version is with syllables, the less formal derivation (American) is with words of any syllable length. 7 lines broken into two stanzas. The first stanza is 4 lines. Then a blank line. Then three more lines. The formal version uses 14 syllables, the informal version uses 14 words. You can order the words 1, 2,3,3, BREAK 2, 2, 1 if you would like or you can simply use a total of 14 words with some lines having up to three words and others having one or all lines having two words.

——-

Friday – Use this prompt to write your  April  15 2022 PromptAn ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly,it’s about a work of fine art (painting), but it could also be about music or other art forms too.  So write an ekphrastic poem today

——-

Saturday – Use this prompt to write your  April 16 2022 Prompt –  Today in History –  Compose a poem encompassing things that happened in history today, at least one historic event, at least one significant birth.  

——

Sunday – Use this prompt to write your  April 17 2022 Prompt –  Give Thanks!!!Write a poem thanking two or more people (you do not know) for inspiring you, entertaining you, teaching you.

——

Monday -Use this prompt to write your  April 18 2022 Prompt –   What if it were raining Bats and PopCorn?  Change and twist several popular phrases in the poem you write today…   Fish Fry Days and Thursdays always make me frown.  You get the idea……

——-

Thanks for supporting local bookstores.  If near Kirkland stop by BookTree 609 Market St. Kirkland, Wa. 98033 and say HI!

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” – Kingsley Amis

Prompt Poems I wrote:

Prompt Poem 6  Specific words from a book – used them in a poem.

right  should monastery said something stared

Ishiguro’s Fault

by Christopher J. Jarmick

The right thing,

the buried giant in the room 

we should never mention

even if it means locking yourself

in a monastery and taking a vow of silence,

is to pretend those things were never said,

that something else took place

and instead of speaking we sat, we stared.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

The book:  The Buried Giant by Kauo Ishiguro (best known for Remains of the Day)

the words (which I decided to use in order): right  should monastery said something stared

Prompt  7 is a lucky number for many, so  construct a  tw0 stanza poem that has 7 words in each  line and 7 lines per stanza … the theme of it should be luck without using the word lucky or lucky   have at it.

Basebeball’s Mickey Mantle wore the number 7

by Christopher J. Jarmick

America’s beloved pastime game has many traditions.

Throw ball around the horn after strikeout.  

Of course  there’s the seventh inning stretch 

singing Take Me Out to the ballgame.

President Taft in 1910 stood to stretch

in the 7th, others thought he was

leaving so out of respect also stood.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Players avoid stepping on the foul line.

The ceremonial first pitch of the game

often done by a very famous celebrity

with a connection to the home team.

The first time this happened was 1910

April 14th, hometeam was the Washington Senators

It was none other than President Taft.

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

FRIDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 8 2022 Prompt    Food.  Write a poem that makes you hungry and looks like instructions from a cookbook

Recipe for a quick poem

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Pick out some words and start mixing

2 cups flour

2 sticks butter

5 or 6 Active verbs

2 or 3 articles of speech

10 descriptive nouns

1/2 cup sugar

some salt

=-=-=-=-=-

Stir in: 

1 cup common sense

2 teaspoons nostalgia

3 drops of empathetic brilliance 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=

In a separate bowl, 

combine: 1 egg 1 cup milk  the butter, most of the verbs and nouns

Add some interesting metaphors

If any cliches develop remove them carefully.

 =-=-=-=-=

Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture. 

Add the dark chocolate (or milk chocolate) chips to taste.

=-=-=-=-

Do not let more than one or two adverbs into your mix. 

Bake for a few hours 

carefully edit the words so everything

flows together and the ideas gel together

without too many unnecessary words. 

=-=-=-=-

Before you consume

take a moment to

look at the beautiful creation

in front of you.

Breath in.

=-=-=-=

 April 9th Prompt – Happy 201st birthday to Charles Baudelaire born 1821  d. 1867  French poet, essayist and art critic.  Write something that evokes Birthday poet Baudelaire 

Many of the phrases and words are from Charles Baudelaire’s poems and poem titles. 

The Short Sword**

by Christopher J. Jarmick 

The sleeve wearing grateful dead express the alchemy of depressions

while genuflecting with rosary praying for carnal expressions

Eyes disturbed by storms she savored voluptuously

sun setting on her naivete, beastly desires in his eyes

now welcomed, her arms flung wide like futile weapons

her words impregnated with musk: “I have moist lips

and know the art of having no conscience in the

nakedness of my bed where he who sees my breasts

my thick thighs will forget the moon, the sun, the oceans

the stars and the heavens as they dream of being smothered

in my arms and pray I will yield my bosom to biting kisses.

Breaths will be stolen and there will be several glorious deaths

sweat, tears, explosions, exhaustion.”

This Mother of Latin revelry and of Greek delight,
will suck the marrow from your bones.

And you poet for daring to express these desires, these emotions

these ideas, you will be loved and despised, beloved and censored.You will be drunk on spirits, on passions, on wordsand die far too young but echoes of you will survivelive on in seeming perpetuity. =-=-=-=-

**(The Name Baudelaire means a short sword)

=-=-=-=-

April 10 2022 Prompt –  10 lines.  A to do list that could also represent several poetry prompts./

New Things to Do

by Christopher J. Jarmick

1.  Tell me a story with a believable happy ending.

2.  Lie to me about what happened at that party you went to.

3.  Re-paint a room and name the 3 or 4 colors you will be using.

4.  Call your best friend to let them know about your day.  

5.  Tell me again why being truthful is so important.

6.  Check your bank balances, picture what your new checks will look like.

7.  Cancel those travel reservations for next month. Imagine a new place to go.

8.  Find and combine some inspirational quotes.

9.  What would be good new passwords for your email, phone and garage door opener?

10. Write a poem about changing the front and back door locks.

MONDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 11 2022 Prompt –  Let’s write a ‘bent’ cento poem.  Take some lines from your favorite poems You should keep track of where each of your lines came from and post those if  you post  your poems online.

Doing some Lines

(a ‘bent’ Cento) by Christopher J. Jarmick 

I have quite the magnificent lion

we walked in the parking lot without fright

behind my eyes the pale ghost chuckles

at my lovely Mount Rainier 

closeup the hiking trails, cliffs, steep embankments

Look: Flickers’ wings flash through the aspens

the eyes of mountain flowers open

dragonfly darting in and out of view.

Present your poem to the air and living ground there

offer sunwarm lessons of morning

Baby’s Breath, Poppy Mallow, Wooly Blue Curls, Maiden’s Hair

spring can rustle latin in the leaves

but still the birch is the voice.

Salmon track the scent of ancestors

Mom sniffed, “It will be over soon.”

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron walks through the ribcage

Crows discuss the moon

Time is a dream; face in the rain.

Skeletons of trees, the garden gone.

The philosophy of footbridge above the motel pool

says the patient to the spiderwebbing sky

He will never entirely get it perfect on paper

Poem line partials/words from Poems in the excellent Footbrdge Above the Falls Anthology edited by David D. Horowitz  Rose Alley Press 2019 

1. Jean Syed – The Cat and the Lion

2. Raul Sanchez –  Found Sonnets

3. Joannie Stangeland – Hands Empty

4.  Connie K. Walle –  Mount Rainier

5.  J.T. Stewart – Searching for Matthew

6 Carolyne Wright – One Morning

7.  Brendan McBreen – Like Us They Are Lonely

8.  Randolph Douglas Schuder – Greenlake Sunset

9.  Robinson Bolkum – Get Up and Read It, Regardless

10. Lana Hechtman Ayers – Unzipped Villanelle

11. Mrs. Packham’s Garden – Don Kentop

12. Robert McNamara – Another Neighborhood

13. Michael Spence –  Birch

14.. William Kupinse – Puyallup Estuary

15. Sharon Hashimoto -The Outer Limits

16.  Mary Crane – Dawn at the Bay of Pigs //  Jim Lutz – Point Barrow

17.  James Bertolino – See Willow

18.  Robert Lashley – Big Daddy’s Lament for Big Mama

19.  Richard Wakefield – By Winter Light

20. Joseph Green – The Philosophy of the Motel Pool

21. Kevin Craft – Secret of the Bonfire // David Thornbrugh  But What If

22. Dennis Caswell – 13 constraints, 14 acknowledgements and 11 pledges

KEEP WRITING !!!

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NaPoWriMo 2022 2nd Set of Prompts plus prompt poems.

April 5, 2022

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

I hope if you haven’t been challenging yourself to write a poem a day that you will jump in and do it starting today.

“Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”– Gene Fowler

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa. (at 609 Market St  Facebook site is here).  It keeps me very busy so I’ll be posting several prompts here at one.  I make a practice or writing almost every day on a regular basis and during poetry month I make sure I write every day without fail and usually to the prompts I suggest.   Sometimes (perhaps like many of you reading this) I have only 15 or 20 minutes to devote to writing… some days I have more time.  I figure out a way to make some time to write.   Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog.  I will also post some of the poems I have writing (they are not fully edited or polished).

“The first draft of anything is s***.” – Ernest Hemingway

2nd set of prompts for NaPoWriMo April 2022


TODAY  Use this prompt to write your  April 5 2022 Prompt –
Mix up some memories and write a poem using the mixed up memories as if they were not mixed up.  Example:  A holiday gathering, a funeral, a summer vacation.  Jumbled them together.  Create some emotionally powerful and revealing moments.  


TOMORROW Use this prompt to write your  April 6 2022 Prompt   Open to page 64 of a book you are reading or is nearby.  First paragraph fifth word that is at least 4 letters long,  sentence 6 – first word longer than 4 letters;  11th sentence third word >4 letters  14th sentence  2nd word > 4 letters  16th sentence third word > 4 letters   Last complete sentence on page  1rst word >4 letters… Your 6 to 10 line poem should use all of these words and the name of the book they are from either be referenced in the poem or is part of the title of the poem.


THURSDAY  Use this prompt to write your  April 7 2022 Prompt     7 is a lucky number for many, so  construct a  tw0 stanza poem that has 7 words in each  line and 7 lines per stanza … the theme of it should be luck without using the word lucky or lucky   have at it.

FRIDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 8 2022 Prompt    Food.  Write a poem that makes you hungry and looks like instructions from a cookbook

SATURDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 9 2022 Prompt   Happy 201st birthday to Charles Baudelaire born 1821  d. 1867  French poet, essayist and art critic.  Write something that evokes Birthday poet Baudelaire

SUNDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 10 2022 Prompt –  10 lines.  A to do list that could also represent several poetry prompts./

MONDAY Use this prompt to write your  April 11 2022 Prompt –  Let’s write a ‘bent’ cento poem.  Cento poems are made from other poets lines of poetry.  So take some lines from your favorite poems or lines from one poet and change just one or two words per line to create your new poem.  Don’t use more than two lines from any one poem, and remember to change one or two words per line.  You should keep track of where each of your lines came from and post those if  you post  your poems online.

“Nothing’s a better cure for writer’s block than to eat ice cream right out of the carton.” – Don Roff

You can choose to follow these prompts or bend the suggestion to create the challenge you need to inspire your daily write.  One year I used my own prompts combined with some other prompts (NaPoWriMo site,  Writer’s Digest site prompts,  blogger prompts) to write my poem.    Enjoy the challenge.  Expand out of your comfort zone.     

And remember to support your locally owned and operated small businesses.  Maybe that includes an independent bookstore!  If near Kirkland, Wa.,  I hope you’ll stop into BookTree bookstore at 609 Market St. Kirkland, Wa 98033 and say ‘Hi!”.   BookTree will host an event on Friday April 15th,  Seth (Gregory Seth Harris a writer/novelist/poet from Denver will read some poems and a selection from his novel and we’ll invite people to share their writings too.)  Event Page is here!

“When someone is mean to me, I just make them a victim in my next book.” – Mary Higgins Clark

Poems I’ve been writing to the Prompts . .

April 1st Prompt write a 1st poem… about a 1st time of something…. etc.

Flickers

by Christopher J. Jarmick

Reel News Ladies and Gentleman

Some sources claim

Tally’s Electric Theater

opened April 2nd 1902

in Los Angeles; the first

movie theater to show films

projected on a screen.

It sat 250.

showed the capture of the Biddle Brothers,

billed as one of the most exciting motion pictures

ever seen, (I wonder how many people had seen

motion pictures as this was the first movie theater

that opened) plus the hindoo fakir and other amusements

an hour’s worth of promised amazement for 10 cents.

There had been nickelodeons, those machines

you turned the crank and looked at the moving 

images.  But this was the first actual movie theater.

It was on Main Street, tucked between a livery,

a cigar store and a barber. Long and narrow they say.  

Later in 2002 there was an advertisement for the 

attraction of a filmed bull fight, (six horses were killed

before the matador bested the bull in Mexico). Also on

the bill a hand coloured film and Georges Méliès A Trip to the Moon.

Family entertainment folks, matinees too.

April Fools! More reliable sources report the first screening

took place on April 16th, 1902.  In a little over a year,

Tally’s Electric Theater rebranded as The Lyric Theater

and included Vaudeville acts and Movies in its theater.

It would be more profitable as a Vaudeville house that

also showed movies.

No mention of poetry readings or open mics, though.

Prompt 2   poem written in questions… at least 12 lines long.

Questionable

by Christopher J. Jarmick

You sure about this?

Just like that?

What time is it?

It works both ways right?

Really?

Do you have to yell?

Are you listening to what I’m saying?

What do you care?

Would you like something to drink?

Is this your first time here too?

You aren’t married are you?

When is your divorce final?

My place? How about your place?

Do you need to call anyone?

Ever done something like this before?

No, I don’t need to know anything, do I.?

I’m sure, you sure?

Mmmm how do I say this?

Do you have any condoms?

You be here when I get back?

Too soon?

Should we meet next week?

Prompt 3 –  something to commemorate Jane Goodall’s birthday. 

Happy Birthday Jane,

Christopher J. Jarmick

Jane Goodall wrote a poem

about the old wisdom;

the kind a few around us

are able to hear,

the kind that rises from the

place the network of tree roots

communicate to their brethren

through the dirt, the grasses,

into the air, the sky, gently riding

the thermals, through the clouds

over the mountains, to the sea

and its power, it’s briny smell.

Life is precious, and we understand

so little about all of the connections

that have existed longer than we 

have existed and will exist long after

we are gone, even if we foolishly

take far too many innocent animals out

of this world in the process

because most ignore everything we should

be listening to, most of the time. 

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

Note: My favorite people have been good at listening. If they write

relatable poetry or good dialogue it is because they are good

listeners, the long list includes Mary Oliver, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Elmore Leonard,

and Jane Goodall.  (I met Jane Goodall in 2019 at very special event and we actually

talked and played with a dog. Her people came over to us and reminded Jane that she

had to talk to other people at the event- people who were capable of donating a lot more

to her foundation than I was.  Later, we were talking to each other again!  I felt so honored

to be able to talk with her for a few minutes. I would have wished for something like this

but didn’t think it was even possible – other than to hear her speak at some point.  This was

something quite different. ).

Prompt 4 –  ABC   Begin the poem with an A B or C word and then skip the next word and the next line used a word that begins with that word…. repeat if needed. The one I wrote   A-C-E-G-I-K-M-O  etc. etc.

Not as Easy as ABC –

(Foolish Man’s ABC)

by Christopher J. Jarmick

About the time my heart imploded and I

could not find the natural rhythm of breathing

even though I knew  I would eventually

get some of my balance back

I imagined the floor was like a six inch soft sponge and there was a

knife, another knife, maybe several that I

might fall 

on.

Question: Didn’t you realize that

she was going to pull the rug out from

under you like she had done before?

What can I say?

Yes… Yes…. I knew it might happen

About the the time my heart healed and I

could begin believing we might survive

Even though there were red flags I would

give our love another chance

It was meant to be.

Keep believing it would be better

Maybe the love WAS so strong

only death would kill it 

Quicksand – I was sinking and

she didn’t grab my hand as I was pulled

under and could not breathe.

Wait, wait, was this a dream?

Yes, but she really was gone –

again.

 =-=-=-=-

Could you find another way to 

end this poem

give us some hope?

I will tell you that I’ll

keep believing in love, remain a foolish

man. 

Prompt 5  –  mix up memories

A caboodle of  memories

by Christopher J. Jarmick

We were driving on the 101 freeway in my 1976 Corvette

T-tops off.  Dad in Hawaiian shirt enjoying being in his son’s

sports car.   “This can go really fast right?  he says.

I check the mirrors, push the gas pedal, 85…90…95….

“Wow”  Dad laughs. “very responsive too…”

100… 105….  “Okay that’s good, making me nervous.”

100… 95…. down to about 80. We didn’t have too many

father-son moments like that.  Here was one.

On our way to San Francisco, City Lights bookstore,

I was going to read a few poems and maybe, just maybe

Father Ferlinghetti would show up — not likely–but there

was always a chance the man who inspired my intense

interest in poetry with his Coney of the Island, the man who

published Ginsberg’s Howl, was sued for obscenity for doing

so (won his case) and the owner of City Lights bookstore

would make an appearance, and I would be in the room

with my father who I was learning how to forgive

for being an emotional abusive, borderline violent asshole

to me as I was growing up which is why I ran away at 11

years old and hitch-hiked from upstate New York to San Francisco

and visited City Lights many years ago.  I returned home but

left for good when I was 16.  Yes, I learned about forgiveness

and the poem I would read that evening, that he had never

heard before was about thanking him for teaching me lessons

about life – albeit in the worst way possible, but an effective

way to learn nonetheless.  Most importantly was the lesson

regarding forgiveness, because you eliminate a huge weight

off your shoulders if you are able to truly forgive someone.

Yes, as we settled in our seats, I saw him, white beard,

looking over the the crowd.  He made a brief announcement

and I would later tell Dad about the man and how his book

of poetry, published the year I was born  made an

incredible impression on me.   About an hour later when

I was reading my poem, I didn’t see Father Ferlinghetti in

the room, but I saw tears in my father’s eyes.  And he hugged

me, and told me he was proud of me.  On the ride home,

back to Los Angeles, I drove slower than usual.  Dad sang

along badly to the Beatles When I’m Sixty-four… ‘you know I’ll

be sixty-four in four years’.  he said.   I nodded.  I thought he

hated the Beatles, I didn’t think he paid enough attention to

any lyrics of  any songs to sing along with them.  Was this a dream? 

KEEP WRITING  

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NaPoWriMo 2022 First Writing Prompts

March 31, 2022

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

Poets throughout the U.S. (and other countries) take on the 30/30 challenge.  We write at least one new poem every day in April.  You can write a free-style poem or write a poem based on a prompt.  Not all poems will be very good, but getting in the habit of writing every day, of challenging yourself to write something outside of your comfort zone, will possibly lead to a breakthrough, maybe something unexpectedly wonderful will happen.   Have fun.  Write.

I run a bookstore called BookTree in Kirkland Wa.   I’m very busy which is why I’ll be posting several prompts at once here.  I make a practice of writing almost every day on a regular basis.  This month I’ll be writing each and every day without fail.  Sometimes I may only have 20 minutes to write…. some days I’ll have more time.  Running a small business is very challenging and consuming.  So I don’t have much time for posting on this blog.  I will try to share some of what I am writing.


1st set of prompts for NaPoWriMo April 2020


Use this prompt to write your  April 1 2020Poem Firsts.  Pick a memory of a first time.  The first time……  You can be very creative with this of course like writing about the first time you put on a mask because of Covid;  the first time you heard about . . .  the first time you saw. . .   the first time you ate . . . .    The first poem you remember reading. . . .or maybe it was read to you. . . Think about what first inspires you to write a poem and have at it.  For me perhaps I’ll write about the Electric Threater which was the first full-time movie theater that opened in Los Angeles on April 2nd, 1902 


Use this prompt to write your  April 2 2020 Poem –     Let’s write a poem that consists of questions.  Make it at least 12 lines long.  The questions could seem random, or be related.  Can you tell a story using only questions? Can you rhyme some lines and still create questions?  Can you develop a focused theme through the questions?
Have you started writing this one yet?


Use this prompt to write your  April 3 2020 Poem
Happy 88th Birthday to Jane Goodall At age 26, she travelled to Tanzania and began her important work learning about wild chimpanzees.    So let’s honor Jane, her work, and the chimpanzee.  Write a poem about chimps, aimal activism or Jane Goodall… or all three if you’d like.


Use this prompt to write your  April 4 2020 Poem
Pick one of these letters  A  B  C       Your poem will start with a word that begins with one of these letter.   Skip the next letter of the alphabet and begin the second line with a word that begins with the next letter (after the one you skipped).  You’re poem should have at least 10 lines (so depending on the length of your poem you could go back through the alphabet.   Example  If you begin with A  as in Apple….. the second line begins with a word that begins with C  like Cat  and the third line is E for Etc.    If you’re first line word is B for Bat, then your second line word begins with D or Dog.    Your subject matter should involve something that involves a pattern in some way.  You decide. 

 
Use this prompt to write your  April 5 2020 Poem
Mix up some memories and write a poem using the mixed up memories as if they were not mixed up.  Example:  A holiday gathering, a funeral, a summer vacation.  Jumbled them together.  Create some emotionally powerful and revealing moments.  


You can choose to follow these prompts or bend the suggestion to create the challenge you need to inspire your daily write.  One year I used my own prompts combined with some other prompts (NaPoWriMo site,  other site and blogger prompts) to write my poem.    Enjoy the challenge.  Expand out of your comfort zone.     


And remember to support your locally owned and operated small businesses.  Maybe that includes an independent bookstore!  If near Kirkland, Wa.,  I hope you’ll stop into BookTree bookstore at 609 Market St. Kirkland, Wa 98033 and say ‘Hi!”.   BookTree will host an event on Friday April 15th,  a writer/poet will read some poems and a selection from his novel and we’ll invite people to share their writings too.  Stay tuned for more details.


Keep Writing!

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NaPoWriMo 2022

March 30, 2022

Looking forward to another 30 poems in 30 days 30/30 National Poetry Writing Month challenge.

I’ll be posting prompts and encouragements as I’m able.

Write… write … write…

The official NaPoWriMo site… highly recommended is here!

More updates soon.

And if near Kirkland, WA. Check out the independent bookstore I own: BookTree @ 609 Market St. Kirkland Wa. 98033 Open Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 to 5:30pm.

Keep Writing!!!!

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NaPoWriMo April 18, 2020  Prompts 19 & 20

April 18, 2020

Can you remember who you were, before the world told you who you should be?”Charles Bukowski,

 

If you are just starting  to write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo 2020 – welcome.  Enjoy the challenge, develop the habit of writing every day.

 

Prompt 19

Short and Sharp

 

Write a poem using only single-syllable words to mimic short, sharp, precise actions.

 

“I’m nobody! Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there ’s a pair of us—don’t tell!

They ’d banish us, you know.

 

How dreary to be somebody!

How public, like a frog

To tell your name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!”

Emily Dickinson

 

Prompt 20

Triffids

Develop a menacing plant metaphor or two and use it in the poem you write today.

 

 

Poem Starter CV19 – 18

by Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Ah….manufactured drama, tweets, aspirational deadlines

fighting words, finger pointing, mixed messages

political games, posturing, positioning, messaging

and the clouds roll in with a little rain for the

flowers and trees.

 

“Poetry is just the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash.”Leonard Cohen

 

Thanks for supporting your friendly neighborhood independent businesses.

 

BookTree is Kirkland, Washington’s only new and gently-used bookstore and right now it offers curbside delivery, direct by mail books, and gift certificates.  Email: booktreekirkland1@gmail.com    BookTree Website here. 

 

Currently Reading: Apeirogon by Colum McCann ; Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson; Dorothy Day by by John Loughery and Blythe Randolph

 

The root of the word Poetry is from the Greek ποιέω (poieō), “‘I

make’”). , poiesis, meaning a “making” or ‘creation’

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=–=-=-

Poetry is Everything

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

KEEP WRITING!

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NaPoWriMo 30/30 May 1, 2018

April 30, 2018

“Don’t get it right – get it WRITTEN!” ― Lee Child

NaPoWriMo Day 31

Whether or not you wrote in rhyme

wrote mostly junk or something sublime

writing every day is hardly a crime

and though you didn’t earn a dime

here’s hoping you had a marvelous time!

“To me, the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” ― Truman Capote

Thank you Brendan McBreen for contributing some wonderful, challenging prompts for NaPoWriMo 2018.   Use and re-use these prompts anytime, anywhere.

“Dance above the surface of the world. Let your thoughts lift you into creativity that is not hampered by opinion.” ― Red Haircrow

Keep Reading and Reading and Reading and Writing!

If you are near Kirkland, Wa.  Drop in to BookTree Bookstore at 609 Market St. Kirkland, WA 98033   Say “NaPoWriMo 2018, Poetry is Everything, Please give me 10% off my purchase” (available once per patron through May 31, 2018 – excluding certain collectors and special merchandise).  Please ‘Like’ BookTree’s Facebook page here.    Thank You!

“That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.” ― Raymond Carver

Here are my poems written from prompt 29 and prompt 30.

My poem for prompt 29, which involves finding someone else’s laundry in the dryer

Stormy’s Laundry

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

Dear Stormy,

I leave this worn but still provocative 38 double d

lace bra for you, pinned to this board

in hopes you will soon be

back.  I had to prove I’m no liar

(and for the record I don’t know Comey)

but I do have everything you left in the dryer.

I’ll keep it all for a week or so

And then I’m sure my wife will say

either those clothes or she will go.

 

I’ll donate them soon, so please

if you give me mine, I’ll give you yours.

No questions asked, which ain’t easy

because based on the volume of lacy pretty things

which seems to prove your profession is a little bit hipper

than being an accountant.  I mean all the frills and strings

clearly means you must be a professional stripper.

 

However you are not out of luck

as I figure this wardrobe costs more than a buck

or two  than what I wore when I was here today

a quite memorable one for me, I now must say.

Here’s hoping you’ll notice something is amiss

And soon return here to find this,

your lost bra and a little note from

Chris.

 

My Prompt 30 poem –  something old, new, borrowed and blue

 

And still we wait

By Christopher J. Jarmick

 

He’s Baudelaire drunk

on Ferlinghetti’s poetic blue America

where politicians return to representing the people,

including the rich, the poor, the recent immigrants and the homeless.

 

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

 

Be still. Breathe in, look

beyond the shimmering nova light.

Let the hopes, dreams and ideals

wash away the dirt of the journey.

We write louder than hate and now

several of us are throwing bottles with notes in them

into the oceans believing our imaginations will inspire one to ask;

what are these words worth, William, tell

us this love, this wisdom is also part of the real America we have waited for.

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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.