Posts Tagged ‘poetry is everything’


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 24, 2017

April 23, 2017

DAY 24  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Monday, April 24, 2017


“A poet is a man who manages, in a lifetime of standing out in thunderstorms, to be struck by lightning five or six times.”

Randall Jarrell


Day 24 is upon us.  7 days, 7 prompts left to go.


Prompt 24     Write a poem about the alphabet, or letters, or your favorite or least favorite letters of the alphabet, or a relationship you have with one or more letters of an alphabet.  The poem should be in English but the alphabet could be other than English.  You get the idea.


 “first of all nothing will happen

and a little later

nothing will happen again”

Leonard Cohen


For Prompt 22 Brendan McBreen suggested that for Earth Day we should find and use at least twelve words related to geology, and use them in a love poem (or anti-love poem).

Here’s what I wrote:


By Christopher J. Jarmick


It didn’t seem the continental drift,

the erosion, the syncline, would happen to us.

It seemed our love was made of Cambrian cementation,

geomorphically solid (subject to occasional natural outgas of course),

but having survived some tectonic shifts

our subduction zone and unconformity were

of little concern, until the rockfall that

disturbed forever our core, resulting

in a Cretaceous crustal deposition

where we couldn’t even

agree on the exact location of the fault lines.

Earthquake, avalanche, tidal wave

and goodbye.


Keep Writing!

Leonard Cohen

leonard cohen



NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 23, 2017

April 22, 2017

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


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

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


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

Prompt 23 –   Write a poem revealing an ugly truth.


“I want to see thirst

In the syllables,

Tough fire

In the sound;

Feel through the dark

For the scream.”

Pablo Neruda


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



By Christopher J. Jarmick


Blop  glazz moosic blaring from the coffee shop

Sheila stepped around a baby cartager.


She was floomicked

What did she step on?


The bisighcle swerned scraping the paper stand box.

Greeeshhh!  DuhOhhngah!

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


Keep Writing!

Pablo Neruda

pablo neruda pd wiki


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 22, 2017

April 21, 2017

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


“The poetry of the earth is never dead.”

John Keats


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


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


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


“If we surrendered

to earth’s intelligence

we could rise up rooted, like trees.”

Rainer Maria Rilke


Day 22nd Prompt from Brendan McBreen

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


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

Sylvia Plath

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

Here is what I wrote:


Lying down

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Left out on the foot of the bed

was the long letter where I learned

about the mean lie you didn’t mean

for me to see.  I saw the name Chris,

not realizing it was addressed to another

with the same name until I began reading.

This was more than I could live with-

another wound that would not heal.


I lie on the couch longing to meet someone

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

thinking romantics, who likes walking barefoot

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

going with me to live poetry readings.



Keep Writing!


Rainer Maria Rilke

rainer maria Rilke 1900 pd



NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 21, 2017

April 20, 2017

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


“April is the cruelest month, breeding

lilacs out of the dead land, mixing

memory and desire, stirring

dull roots with spring rain.”

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


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


Prompt 21 – 

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


“in a world

full of

temporary things


you are

a perpetual


Sanober Khan


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

Here is what I wrote:

Not A Poem about Salted Caramel Popcorn

By Christopher J. Jarmick


No artificial ingredients – cream milk, salt.

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

Let’s prevent cross-contamination,

keep our love pure and deliciously addictive

Enjoy life and ingredients we can pronounce.

Keep believing the stars have aligned.

A little sweet, a little salty,

melt in my mouth.


Keep Writing!

T.S. Eliot

t s eliot


NaPoWriMo prompt for April 17, 2017

April 16, 2017


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


“Poetry = Anger x Imagination”

Sherman Alexie


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


Prompt for NaPoWriMo Day 17-

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


E_ nvironmental  changes destroy places that need

P_ rotection.  Animals must be saved.  We need an

A_ gency  to preserve nature’s balance.


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



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

Christopher Poindexter


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


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

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


Here’s what I wrote:


Jack Walks Into the Bar

By Christopher J. Jarmick


The once very famous Jack,

member of King Arthur’s roundtable,

arrives incognito at the Thunderdell Inn of Cardiff,

in the county of Glamorgan,

and orders a pint of a local brew

called ‘The Giants’ Proboscis’.

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


Jack is privately remembering

the 30th anniversary of the evening

he beheaded the two-headed giant, Thunderdell,

who in an angry vengeful rage

(over the slaying of his cousin)

burst into the banquet being held

in Jack’s honor.


Jack had freed the lady being

held captive by Thunderdell’s

cousin in a labyrinth of caves

just a few miles outside of Cardiff.


Jack recalled the next

few months of  his life after that

fateful evening thirty years ago.


He thought there had to be more to life

than slaying giants, freeing captured

knights, damsels in distress and

battling evil wizards.


He wasn’t quite done, however.

It was but three weeks later he met

an elderly man who took him to

an enchanted castle belonging to

the giant Galigantus who was

not only holding captive

at least a dozen knights and ladies,

but also a girl Jack knew

when they were both children.

The daughter of a Duke,

who had been very kind to Jack’s father

during the year of the great drought.

And now the grown up girl had been

turned into a white doe by a sorcerer.


Jack sipped his pint

recalling the epiphany he had

so many years ago

about how he would change

his life forever.


He slayed Galigantus,

and spared the sorcerer’s life

in return for reversing the

spell on the Duke’s daughter,

who now in human form

was the most beautiful woman

Jack had ever seen.

They were married soon after

and Jack, now quite wealthy

settled into a quiet domestic life.

The few giants that remained

were either slain by other young men

or fled into the forests and caves

until they died off.


The stories of course

left it, that Jack and his lady

lived happily ever after.


No mention of how the couple bickered

about petty annoyances, finances and

never having children.

No mention of Jack getting older,

fatter and having to deal with all

the aches and pains mostly the result

of injuries he sustained during

his feats of derring-do.

No mention of how time, gossip, politics

and life went on,

as Jack’s legend faded.


So when the tourists

drunk on local brew,

a few feet away from Jack,

insisted the legends

of years past were just

fairy tale fiction invented

by the proprietors of

the shops and Inns

in Wales and Cornwall,

because it was good for business,

Jack just sighed

shook his head

and ordered another pint,

remembering for a moment

when he cut off the nose

of Tunderdel’s cousin

and now in a way, he was drinking it.


This made Jack laugh,

altering his foul mood.

He decided he would finish his pint,

buy his wife a confection

she enjoyed

and try to live happily ever after,

after all.

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


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


Turning Homeward *  (an erasure)

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Salmon led me to Bear Creek

Coyotes crossed pastures

Eagles found me on an unmarked trail

I had to find a city park.

I understood grey skies

knew crimson leaves, brisk winds,

red-tailed hawks.

Jobs changed

but luckily I didn’t fit in

I was coming to my favorite place

where imagination meant understanding

what I learned from lives and place.


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

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


Keep Writing!


jack the giant killer


NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 16, 2017

April 15, 2017

DAY 16  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Sunday, April 16, 2017


“A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”

― W.H. Auden

Welcome to the last half of the NaPoWriMo challenge.

Today’s prompt was suggested by Brendan McBreen –


Pick a random line from a book of poetry, write the opposite of this line.

Use the opposite as your first line and the random line as your last and write the poem between.


“It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted.”

― George Eliot

“So where’s YOUR poem Mr. NaPoWriMo poetry man?”

Okay.. I barely started the prompt challenge poem.  I did however write during Robert Lashley’s wonderful workshop.  I’ll catch up tomorrow.

Keep Writingnothing-is-written-in-stone- pixabay


NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 15, 2017

April 14, 2017

DAY 15  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Saturday, April 15, 2017


“Whereas story is processed in the mind in a straightforward manner, poetry bypasses rational thought and goes straight to the limbic system and lights it up like a brushfire. It’s the crack cocaine of the literary world.”

Jasper Fforde


We are at the halfway point!   How are you doing?  Able to write a poem every day or every other day?   If you are just joining the NaPoWriMo – welcome.


Find about more  About NaPoWriMo here

Reminders-    Helping me again this year with prompts is Brendan McBreen  a member of the Striped Water Poets group in Auburn Washington  I am quite overwhelmed with the work of running a brand new independent new and gently used bookstore in Kirkland, Washington (609 Market St.) called BookTree.   So, thankfully Brendan sent over lots of suggestions.    Brendan’s website is here.


BookTree on Facebook   (Please LIKE and Follow the page).

If you are in the Kirkland/Seattle/Western Washington area, there are several events of interest occurring at the bookstore. On April 15th, Robert Lashley will be leading a free workshop and later in the evening reading some poems from his newest collection Up South.  We’ll also have an open mic.  Third Saturday PoetryIsEverything at BookTree.  

Award-winning writer-poet-publisher Paul Hunter will be visiting BookTree with his brand new book on April 22nd!  Hunter Facebook Event Page


Day 15 NaPoWriMo Prompt


Erasure.   Take a magazine article, essay or text of more than 1500 words (yes you can use a few pages from a book) and eliminate words, leaving behind your poem.  You’ll want to transform the text into something completely different than what it is by doing this.    You can fudge just a little bit by adding a few modifiers and connecting words if absolutely needed (the, and) but keep the words in the order they would be in the article.  We aren’t rearranging the words, or borrowing words and phrases to reassemble into a (cut-out) poem (William Burroughs style)…we are creating an erasure poem.   Some always ask… is this really a thing?  A way people ‘write’ poetry?   It is indeed… and it does take patience, skill and some craft to do it very well.  You can create a meter or even rhyme if you want… though don’t be tempted to change word order around…. (if you need to change a tense…add an ‘ed’ or ‘s’…I think that’s okay… some don’t… so it’s up to you).   Have at it NaPoWriMo-ers…..


“To elevate the soul, poetry is necessary.”

Edgar Allan Poe


Brendan suggested using 6 names of fish in a political poem for Prompt 13.


I had less than 20 minutes to write something…  used 9 fish names.



By Christopher J. Jarmick


The entire school of marbled groupers *, protested

“The Callorhinchidae** have changed the rules.”

The Harelip sucker, Hatchetfish, and Humuhumunukunukuapua’a  shrugged.

“You forced the nuclear option.”

Senators  Gibberfish, Prickleback, and Bonytongue,

rushed out of the chamber vowing revenge shouting,

“Send in the clownfish!”


*The marbled grouper (Dermatolepis inermis) is a species of fish in the family Serranidae. Other common names include donkey fish, mutton hamlet, rockhind, and sicklefish grouper.

**  Callorhinchidae, a family of marine fish also known as elephant sharks or plough-nose chimaeras


Keep Writing!

booktree talia sketch