Posts Tagged ‘Prompt’


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 15, 2018

April 14, 2018

“I just filled out my income tax forms. Who says you can’t get killed by a blank?” – Milton Berle

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 15, 2018

NaPoWrimo Half over… and I’ll be you can guess the gist of the prompt for today!  Congratulations if you’ve been participating in this madness and if you are just starting today… welcome.

“Isn’t it appropriate that the month of the tax begins with April Fool’s Day and ends with cries of May Day!” – Robert Knauerhase

“On my income tax 1040 it says “Check this box if you are blind.” I wanted to put a check mark about three inches away.” – Tom Lehrer

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 15, 2018

“If you get up early, work late, and pay your taxes, you will get ahead — if you strike oil.” – J. Paul Getty

From Brendan (Cosmic Egg) McBreen –  IOU, its tax time so lets write an IOU poem. The only vowels you can use are of course, I and O and U. I would suggest using them in that order repeated throughout the poem if you can, try for eight lines.

Keep Writing!

“This is too difficult for a mathematician. It takes a philosopher.”Albert Einstein, on filing tax returns.

Prompt 13  poem a write inspired by Seamus Heaney  (his poems Mossbawn: Two Poems in Dedication; Casualty, Blackberry Picking and Clearances had something to do with this write)

Seamus remembers

By Christopher J. Jarmick


History offers no lasting words

buried and marked with marble gravestones

celebrated with toasts and boasts

then forgotten within hours

after its news passes.


In the eyes of the living

lies clues to harvests past

the hardships, the labor

the loss, the friendships

like shores the ships

slipped by.


Most of the songs fading

like faint echoes on frost-bitten

moonless nights.

A smile is exposed

and lingers sweetly

without surrender,

like a blemish on a fingertip

that won’t be washed away.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 April 7, 2018

April 6, 2018

Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.William Wordsworth

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 7, 2018

Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher. – William Wordsworth

How does the Meadow flower its bloom unfold? Because the lovely little flower is free down to its root, and in that freedom bold. – William Wordsworth

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem-a-Day prompt for April 7, 2018

Today is William Wordsworth’s birthday (1770- 1850). Let’s write a poem that somehow evokes Wordsworth in style or theme.  If you need to learn a little more about Mr. Wordsworth check this out at the Academy of American Poets here   

Keep Writing!

Wisdom is oftentimes nearer when we stoop than when we soar.  – William Wordsworth

“Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.” ― William Wordsworth

April 5 Prompt Poem  – Brendan’s prompt was..  You’re Dead . . . However it happened, write a poem to the person who killed you.

Give Them Something To Talk About

By Christopher J. Jarmick

It was inevitable . . .

When you think about it the odds

of being in the right place at the right time

are probably a bit less likely than being

in the wrong place at the wrong time

and though you don’t always have to say yes

to double dog dares -even ones from former friends,

the peer pressure is intense.


It being Poetry Month,

I was particularly vulnerable.

It involved reading a poem at the open mic

at a well known country-western bar.


(It’s rare someone reads poetry

at the mostly music open mic

at the country western bar

but I did have a couple of

pseudo cowboy poetry poems

I could read.)


.. . but don’t read cowboy poetry,’ you said,

instead read your Bukowski tribute poem.

Probably won’t go over very well I figured

But hell, what’s the worst that could happen?


“I’ll think about it,” I said.

A double dog dare later

and there I was at a smoke-filled

(who cares if there’s a law about smoking

inside of a bar throughout the State)

cowboy bar where at least half of the rowdy crowd

were already drunk-restless booing

half the musical acts off the stage

within a minute of when they started playing.


Groans and several ‘Get off the stage’

greeted me when I announced

I’ll be reading a poem.

A few ‘c’mon now give ‘em a chance’ comments

quieted things down enough for me to begin.


Two minutes later

I read the last line:

‘C’mon baby,

Bukowski This!’


And then someone called Bob

jumped to his feet

shouting: “Bukowski THIS yourSELF. . .”

I saw a bright flash,

heard a loud bang

and that was my end.


My own damn fault –

no thanks to you or Bob.


Worse, Bukowski’s not even close

to being my favorite poet.


NaPoWriMo 30/30 2018 April 2, 2018

April 1, 2018

There’ll always be working people in my poems because I grew up with them, and I am a poet of memory.Philip Levine

NaPoWriMo Writing Prompt for April 2 2018

Happy NaPoWriMo  2018  (National Poetry Writing Month)  Write a poem every day in April for National Poetry Month!  I’ve been doing this exercise every April for 14 years!  I’ve been foolish enough to post my poem-a-day, 30/30 poems for the last 13 years, and this blog began in April 8 years ago.   If you are inspired to write every day, every other day, once a week – glad you are taking the plunge.   Have fun!

Many of the prompts being suggested on this blog this month will involve some award winning celebrated poets.  Today’s prompt involves one of the best:  Philip Levine.

“Don’t scorn your life just because it’s not dramatic, or it’s impoverished, or it looks dull, or it’s workaday. Don’t scorn it. It is where poetry is taking place if you’ve got the sensitivity to see it, if your eyes are open.” Philip Levine

Our second NaPoWriMo 2018 prompt is from writer/poet, member of Auburn’s Striped Water Poets , Brendan McBreen (his blog  terraluna is here ). He recently published a wonderful collection of poetry called Cosmic Egg (that you should own). More about Brendan’s Cosmic Egg at Quill and Parchment here!

NaPoWriMo – 30/30 –  Poem a day- prompt for April 2, 2018

Brendan McBreen writes:  Lana Ayers recently wrote on her Good Reads blog about the poet Philip Levine. “… Levine’s practice of the 9-syllable line (mostly), is a syllable off from what the ear is used to with the more common English 10-syllable line, giving the overall composition an uneasy bearing or forward momentum.”

I tried writing nine syllable lines, it is hard, I’m so used to fives and sevens.

So for today’s writing prompt, write at least one eight line poem consisting of 9-syllable lines.

Levine wrote about work, Detroit and the blue collar life often evoking the drudgery and dignity of manual labor. ‘ What Work Is’ is his best known collection; his last collection (just out in paperback) is The Last Shift.  Levine died in 2015.

Keep Writing!

“Oh, yes, let’s bless the imagination. It gives us the myths we live by. Let’s bless the visionary power of the human— the only animal that’s got it—, bless the exact image of your father dead and mine dead, bless the images that stalk the corners of our sight and will not let go.”Philip Levine



NaPoWriMo Prompt for April 29, 2017

April 28, 2017

DAY 29  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  Saturday, April 29, 2017


“So many things I had thought forgotten

Return to my mind with stranger pain:

Like letters that arrive addressed to someone

Who left the house so many years ago.”

Philip Larkin


The penultimate NaPoWriMo prompt for 2017 is here!


And it also happens to be National Independent Bookstore Day!    So make sure that you visit an independent bookstore and buy something today.   In Western Washington 19 independent bookstores have joined together to create a fun contest with prizes and rewards for participants.    BookTree the bookstore I co-own in Kirkland  is part of Independent Bookstore Day too!   We have authors, guests, special limited merchandise, and much more.  BookTree’s event page is here.


Day 29 NaPoWriMo Prompt


Pick 4 or more Titles of current Best Sellers  (there are several types of lists to choose these from) Choose 4 titles from the lists.     Use the titles (as close to intact as possible) in a poem 4 to 8 lines long.


“Sir, I admit your general rule,

That every poet is a fool,

But you yourself may serve to show it,

That every fool is not a poet.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Prompt 27 – suggested we write an Anaphora poem.

Here’s what I wrote:


An Anaphora Anaphora

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Anaphora and a five-a and a…

Anaphora may be botched pig latin for a floral arrangement

Anaphora is a drug they use to knock you out before a major operation

Anaphora is a peaceful place the mind escapes to

Anaphora would make a great name – Anna-Phora Jones and the Cathedral of Chaos.

Anaphora better planet.

“Anaphora, I’m anaphora, Your anaphora, We are all anaphora.”


Poem Starter 123,321

By Christopher J. Jarmick


Poem Starter ,

Poem Starter what are you?

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter; short, to the point

Poem Starter,

Poem Starter return to us soon.


Keep Writing!

BookTree Sitting Zone



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 Day 30 Prompt for April 30, 2016

April 29, 2016

“The artist deals with what cannot be said in words.

The artist whose medium is fiction does this in words.

The novelist says in words what cannot be said in words.”

Ursula K. Le Guin


DAY 30  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 30, 2016

Welcome to Day 30 of the NaPoWriMo challenge.  This is it!  NaPoWriMo 2016 will soon be a thing of the past.  I hope you’ve been challenged, and inspired to write a little more than usual these past 30 days and flexed your writing muscles a bit in the process.  Special thanks to Brendan McBreen (of Auburn, WA) who suggested several prompts I’ve included this year.  I am juggling lots of things (projects and personal stuff) and his help in prompt-making was greatly appreciated.

I have  recently created a Writing Prompt page that I’ll be more prompts to.  So if you want or NEED a writing prompt…feel free to use one or more of them. WRITING PROMPT PAGE HERE   

DOUBLE DOWN …..   Two Prompts….

The 30th Prompt for NaPoWriMo 2016 Part 1:

I attended the Kevin Young lecture at Hugo House (on the 28th) where he talked about ‘voice’ and ‘tone’ and many other things too.  At the end of the Q and A he was asked to throw out a poetry challenge.  Basically, he suggested writing an “I” poem…but eliminating “I” from it, perhaps turn it inside out, question the writing of an “I” poem as you create it… play with shifting the tone of the poem.

So let’s do that….write an “I” poem without using “I” and/or create a subversive dialogue of the writing of an “I” poem within the poem you create.


The 30th Prompt Part 2:

Create a poem made up of lines that you used in poems you have written recently (preferably NaPoWriMo poems you have been writing).   Create three 4 to 6 line stanzas made up of previously written lines.

I will post mine tomorrow!!!!

For those living anywhere near Western Washington you might want to look at the new Poetry Day of the Week page that you’ll find in the upper right corner under PAGES.   A couple of times this month you may also find my Poetry Northwest announcements in between the NaPoWriMo posts.

If you post the poems on your blog or anywhere using this prompt… send me a link.




My Day 29 Prompt Poem (Path-Crosser)

Things (A Path-Crosser)

By Christopher J. Jarmick

When we think of rooms

we see them full

of things collected.

Things stuck in time

representing moments passed,

allowing instant access.

What happens now?


We loved our things;                                                                      We let go of the things

succumbed to sentimentality                                                      so they won’t control us.

We are vulnerable enough                                                           When we see rooms full of things

without the weight of things                                                       we can remember our places

But we succumb to their allure                                                    How we let them go. . .

Let them weaken us.                                                                       We were more than our things.




NaPoWriMo Day 29 Prompt for April 29, 2016

April 28, 2016


“Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,

and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.”

Leonardo da Vinci

DAY 29  – NaPoWriMo Prompt for  April 29, 2016

Welcome to Day 29 of the NaPoWriMo challenge.  Use these prompts to inspire you to write a poem each and every day of April.

Write a Path-Crosser poem.  (A form of my own invention).     Here’s what to do:


Start out your poem

with four to six lines

leading up to a situation

where you come to some

Sort of fork in the road;

literally or a life challenge


If you went on this path                                                                                  What might happen

would things change?                                                                                        If you took this path

Would the challenges                                                                                        Where might you go?

inspire you to something greater?                                                                 What might happen?

Who would you meet?                                                                                          What would you see?

What would you see?                                                                                            What would you do?


Write your Path-Crosser poem.

For those living anywhere near Western Washington you might want to look at the new Poetry Day of the Week page that you’ll find in the upper right corner under PAGES.   A couple of times this month you may also find my Poetry Northwest announcements in between the NaPoWriMo posts.

If you post the poems on your blog or anywhere using this prompt… send me a link.



My Day 27 Prompt Poem  (Parody)

All About the Trump

(with apologies to Meghan Trainor’s All About That Bass)

By Christoppher J. Jarmick

. . .because you know he’s all about the Trump

‘bout the Trump, no sta(tus)-quo

He’s all about the Trump

‘bout the Trump, no sta-quo

He’s all about the deal

‘bout the deal, no loser

He’s all about the Trump

‘Bout that trump… trump… trump… trump


Yeah, it’s goddamn clear, he ain’t no number two

Cause he can fake it, shake it, like he’s supposed to do

And he’s got that boom boom the media chases

with shouts and insults in their ugly faces


I see politicos workin’ them exit polls

Y’know that shit ain’t real, please make that cheating stop

If you got anger, anger, it’s time to shout

America can be great again from the bottom to the top.


Yeah, his daddy, he told him, don’t worry ‘bout your hand size

(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)

He says, “Voters like a little hand of bullshit to make’em feel right”

(That bullshit, uh, that bullshit, bullshit)

You know he can’t be no smooth political sell-out hack

(Shoo wop wop, sha-ooh wop wop)

So if that’s what you’re into, then go ‘head get god-smacked


because you know he’s all about that hair,

‘Bout that hair, no fake wig

He’s all about that hair

‘Bout that hair, or-ange

He’s  about that hair

‘Bout that hair, or-ange

He’s all about that hair

‘Bout that hair… Hey!


Let’s Make America great

Ted can tell them bible thumpers

Trump, just playin’, another party jumper

But Trump’s here to say, stop

America needs to be great from the bottom to the top.


because you know he’s all about that Wall

‘bout the Wall, no spics

He’s all about the Trump

‘bout the Trump, no status quo

He’s all about the Hair

‘bout the Hair, or-ange

He’s all about the rich

‘Bout those bucks… deal… trump… real

‘Bout that trump… Hey!

He all about that Trump

Bout that Trump…


Yeah yeah… ohh… You know you like this Trump… Hey…


AND….   My Day 28 Prompt Poem (weather terms)

Don’t Shoot Until You see the Anthelion In Their Eyes

By Christopher J. Jarmick


When alto and stratocumulus roll in, keep adiabatic.

Anomalies are the norm.  Breathe deep.

2016 politics are like Arctic oscillations.  Stay adiabatic.

It will pass.  It will return.


Trump’s impression of derecho

is spot on, though his hair wouldn’t actually stay in place

if it were real.


Bernie’s difluence is real.  It’s more than his initials

suggest but it too is part of the cycle.

Stay adiabatic.


The unknown durn of the Kasich dredging

has been like a facula and it too shall pass,

though you’ll hardly notice.


We can still nearly predict the Cruz fluence.

Don’t fear.  The fletch is decreasing and soon

we’ll return to geosynchronicity.


Since we can anticipate precipitation

on the elephant parade, hook up the disdrometer

so we’ll have accurate measurements.


If it gets really crazy, they’ll

be an ashfall advisory.  They’ll be backscatter too

but it won’t make any more impact on you

than trickle down did.


The crepuscular rays will lift your spirits,

perhaps create some rainbows.


Remember it’s just a cycle.

The sky won’t fall.

You’ve got time to prepare.

Stay adiabatic.