Sunday, April 30, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 30: What does thirty days . . .

What does thirty days
of writing poetry mean?
Of looking within
and without? Or remembering,
reconnecting, dreaming
words, images, all tied
to that one constant: a sense
of the voice within, a beating heart,
a person alive to this moment.
Like a painter just before the brush
makes a mark on the canvas,
one word at a time
builds a new understanding.
And next? Now to read them all
and wonder anew.

Image by Roland Mey from Pixabay

Saturday, April 29, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 29: Old Books . . .

Old books, I have a few of these,
collected over the years,
one a history of an ancestor who settled New York
in 1643, then called New Sweden,
another a faded booklet by Adrienne Rich,
The Dream of a Common Language, Poems 1974-1977,
a set of postcards of Frida Khalo's paintings, and
her memoir: My Art, My Life;
even a child's story, Little Sister Snow,
written in 1909, a rare gift from my mother,
back when I first fell in love with books.
Yes, I have downsized, but these old books
I keep close, for they affirm our common experiences,
even as one by one, I begin to reread them
to understand the past all over again
and why these books were once
so important to me.

Old Books by Michal Jarmoluk from Pixabay

Friday, April 28, 2023

NaPoWriMoApril 28: Look to the Sky . . .

Look to the sky in the morning.
My grandfather's people did,
for the day began with dawn,
when they put on those worn boots,
went out to the barn to feed the horses
and the dogs. Women made bread,
took care of the chickens, cooked
and cleaned, fed the work crew,
stretching the food, turning the pot
away from hungry eyes
so no one could see how much
or little remained. Then to the fields
and later, on horseback, checking
the cattle on the open range,
the work depending on the season,
and at dusk, a moment or two
of rest, the men sitting on the steps,
gnarled hands resting,
looking to the sky for portents
of rain, the women in the kitchen
preparing for tomorrow,
an endless round of days,
marked by no change at all,
until that one day when
my grandfather left
and never looked back.
Frank and Sigrid Henry, about 1918, Montana

Just a note: I do like to guess what time it is in the morning by the color of the sky, especially in the spring when Daylight Savings Time gives us that extra hour. 

Today's poem came from stories my grandfather told me about working on the farm when he was so small, he couldn't turn the horses pulling the plow at the end of each row in the fields. In those days, life was harsh. He did leave those fields back before World War I in Missouri (what he called 'mizry') to travel west. He wanted to be a cowboy, earning money along the way west by working odd jobs on ranches, and singing and playing a guitar, until he came to Montana where he met my grandmother and became one of the first Forest Rangers. I remember listening to his stories around the campfire when I was growing up.

Thursday, April 27, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 27: While the cat's away . . .

While the cat's away, or so they say,
I should play, not stay still, lost in thought,
but I never knew a cat who cared about
tomorrow, that long to-do list,
or what to fix for dinner.
My cat had the most amazing personality,
he would climb up on my desk
as if it were his second home,
nuzzling me away from student papers,
purring for attention. I guess that's a kind
of play, just petting the cat, enjoying that moment
when he tipped his head into my hand
for more. Once, my cat brought me a gift,
a tiny mouse. I wasn't sure whether to
laugh or mourn that shortened life,
and wondered anew if mice did play.
Yet I talked to my cat and felt he listened.
Sadly, cats don't live as long as humans,
for even eighteen years is a long life for a cat.
Just one afternoon, I came home from school
to find him laying on the sofa. 
He lifted his head,
too tired to jump down or greet me.
Who knows the inner life of a cat?
I still remember in spite of all that. 
I never felt that I should play . . . 
while my cat was away.

Image by K L from Pixabay

Today's poetry challenge from David Brewer at Writer's Digest, is to write an anapodoton poem. David explains that an anapodoton is an unfinished phrase that a person can fill in the blanks, phrases like "When in Rome," "If life gives you lemons," "Speak of the devil," and "Where there is a will." I chose, "When the cat's away, the mice will play." 

With only 3 days left in April, that means only 3 more poems to write! (Or maybe 5, because somehow I did miss 2 days). One of the reasons I do like this poetry challenge to write a poem every day for a month (aargh!), really is because it gives me a little quiet time for reflection. Not that I feel my poetry is all that good, but I enjoy exploring words and memories -- and hope you enjoy reading the results!

For more inspiration for your own writing, see David Brewer's poetry prompts for April HERE.

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 26: Do Not Go Gently . . .

I never expected to be here,
poised at the beginning of my ninth decade,
somehow surviving all that came before.
I am not ready to rage at darkness
or the end of days.
I would rather take your hand,
to walk along a woodland trail,
knowing this simple act connects
us all, the round of seasons
blending past with now
and what will come.

Image by Vincenzo Modica from Pixabay

Today's poetry challenge from David Brewer at Writer's Digest, a consistently wonderful resource for writers, is simply to write a response poem to another poem. Before even reading today's prompt, I woke up this morning thinking about poems that I read so very long ago. Robert Frost and Dylan Thomas were my favorites.

What a contrast between Robert Frost's ending stanza in "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening":

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

and Dylan Thomas' beginning lines in "Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night":

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

So, my poem came from rereading these two poems. Both seem to hint at what we think about when confronted by death, that of loved ones, ourselves, and, in these war-torn times, the deaths of strangers.

For more inspiration for your own writing, see David Brewer's poetry prompts for April HERE. The complete poem for Robert Frost is at the Poetry Foundation and for Dylan Thomas, at, which also includes a recording of his poem, which was written his father was going blind. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 25: When do dreams . . .

When do dreams begin?
Even at night, fantasy or nightmare,
somehow a dream brings the possibility
of change, not always welcome,
that line of needy ghosts or vampires
that tap and tap at the door,
at the window, wanting in.
All we can do as children
is to run crying down the hall,
sometimes to be held in that darkest night.

I wait for dreams to come,
now dressed in memories of purest blue sky,
an elephant dancing in the bush,
two giraffes silhouetted on a hill,
and you, always by my side,
bringer of dreams.
Tanzania, 2018

Today's poetry prompt comes from David Brewer, of Writer's Digest fame, who kindly challenges us to write a poem about dreams OR reality. Hmm. Maybe my poem is a mix. When I was a kid, I dreamed of traveling everywhere. Thank you, Mr. Brewer! Learn more about his poetry prompts HERE.

Monday, April 24, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 24: On Puzzles . . .

Pick up another piece: How does it fit
into the picture we're so slowly
assembling? Or where?
Colors, shapes, images -- all a mystery,
rather like life. Today, chaos.
Maybe tomorrow, harmony,
the pleasure of finishing just
one small thing.
Then, the sheer delight
of tearing those pieces apart,
putting them away in their proper box, just so.
Would that life were so tidy.

Image by Hans from Pixabay

Just playing with words each day to try to write a poem is rather like a puzzle, though working on a puzzle has more certainty. We got a puzzle from a thrift store this week. Someone took the time to put all the end pieces in a little plastic bag! Who does this? The puzzle is vibrant, simple, fun, and full of quilt images, a barn or two, little animals -- dogs and cats -- tucked here and there, among the cows. Pretty much a life far beyond our simple city life. 

May all your puzzles be simple ones, easy to resolve!

Sunday, April 23, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 23: On gardens . . .

In these first few weeks before Spring
really begins, I feel drawn to the garden,
any garden will do. Actually, I don't have a garden.
I walk past houses, their gardens hidden,
maybe a stone path leads around that house;
first flowers decorate the front lawn,
daffodils in a neat row, hyacinths,
white and purple, edging up from mulch.

My friend likes to spend time in her garden,
surrounded by the scent of growing things,
her hands busy pulling weeds.
What gardens do I know? The large, sprawling
public gardens with trees beginning to bud.
and nameless shrubs hinting at green,
more green, and I remember that first garden:
why would we leave Eden?
I'm not sure. Perhaps the same reason
I want to travel, to see what's beyond
the stone path that begins here,
this place, our home, for now.

Wandering along a stone path

Saturday, April 22, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 22: Painting Dreams

Now she wants llamas,
penguins, and dragons
to decorate her walls.
I can paint these for her,
now that she
is at the edge of becoming herself.
She wants the biggest blue sky,
a mountain in the background,
unfettered tomorrows.
I wonder what walls she will paint
one day, what mountains she will see,
what dragons she will tame.
For now, I nod and smile.
I can give her this

Image by Stefan Keller from Pixabay

Friday, April 21, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 21: Spring is coming . . .

In the park, the wind tears
another wound in spring, colder
rain saws at my hope
as willows lean and bow,
their buds barely formed.
Just another week or two,
we tell each other.
Spring is coming.

Spring in Manito Park

Today's poetry prompt comes from David Brewer, of Writer's Digest fame, who kindly challenges us to write a poem of only 6 words OR using all 6 words. The 6 words are: bow, lean, park, saw, tear, wound. Hmm. Thank you, Mr. Brewer! Learn more about his poetry prompts HERE.

Now I am behind just one day or maybe two in April's challenge to write a poem each day. Too many doctor visits this week. You'd think with 3 hours in a waiting room, I could come up with a poem, but those chairs were very hard, and it was hard to wait for 'good' news. Yes, we did get good news and a sense of renewed appreciation for this day and every day to come. Maybe later today, I'll write another poem! Maybe this weekend, we'll have sunshine instead of rain.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

WEP & NaPoWriMo April 19: Life Is Beautiful . . .

When I was a kid, I remember hiding
and running away, dark nights
when I woke alone, or the house was
filled with people talking and laughing and drinking,
and in the morning, ashtrays to clean,
bottles to throw away.

I learned to stay absolutely quiet,
to fear a slap or blow.
Then, my mother was beaten,
her eyes so swollen she could not see.
We moved.
And moved again.
And again.

When my stepfather broke down the front door
with an axe,
I called the police.
I was old enough to leave.
Life can be beautiful, my aunt said,
as she opened her home to me. I went to college,
discovered libraries, those rows and rows of books
that I could check out any time.

I built my own life, never looking back,
never talking about what once was,
still dreaming maybe, one day, a white picket fence.
And then I met you, a man who loved books
as much as he loved me.
Life is beautiful.

Allen with parakeets

For this month's writing challenge, the prompt from Write ... Edit ... Publish ... is based on the very powerful movie, Life Is Beautiful. Set in tumultuous times that every generation seems to face, we come to understand how to survive war. My response turns inward, sharing more than I ever reveal, in hopes it will help others to realize that yes, they can survive. Go HERE to see what others have written OR click on the links below.

Tagline: Regardless of how it may begin, life can be beautiful.

Note: 168 words. Any critique/comments welcomed.



  1. SUBMIT your name and URL to the list below starting April 19th to the 21st
  2. POST your entry according to April's prompt "LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL"
  3. USE WEP in your Title and the Poster on your page. Post your word count.
  4. STATE feedback preferences and give positive feedback as requested. See WEP Critique Page.
  5. SHARE THE CHALLENGE on social media. Tweets are ready on the WEP blog.
Open to all genres - 1000 words maximum 

Email Denise or another team member if you have more questions:

1. Yolanda Renee  5. Jamie of uniquely maladjusted but fun  9. C. Lee McKenzie  
2. Olga Godim  6. Sonia dogra  10. Beth Camp  
3. Nilanjana Bose  7. Jemi Fraser  11. J Lenni Dorner  
4. Denise Covey  8. Hilary  12. Sally  

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 17: Safari memories . . .

Safari in Tanzania, Africa, just two weeks, perhaps
not enough time to know this land, this culture, these people.
But we went. Our tour took us by jeep over rocky roads to unexpected vistas:
a mama lion tending her cub by water's edge,
a Cape buffalo staring at us, trying to figure out:
were we friend or foe?
A herd of thousands of wildebeest trekking north, crossing the river,
jumping over the crocodiles who waited;
a visit to a Masai village, where we were invited to mend a wall
with mud mixed with excrement, an invitation no one took
except me. The people, smiling, laughing, dancing,
such joy in the ordinary, voices lifted in song,
feet making shared patterns in the dust,
such skinny cows so carefully tended,
and a young boy on a coming-of-age trek,
his face painted with protection.
On the way back along the Serengheti Plains,
a wart hog lazed in mud, solace from the sun,
and we returned to Zanzibar,
memories and memories to carry.

Cape Buffalo, Serengheti Plains

Jaguar beside the road, resting

Masai women repairing wall

Masai women singing welcome

Early morning lion at waterhole

Warthog lazing in the mud

Sunday, April 16, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 16: A Penguin's Path

I've seen penguins before. They're cute.
They waddle and dive into the water as if
they could find a fish or two in this little pond at the zoo.
Once, on a trip around the Horn, we stopped at Punta Tombo,
to see the penguins who lived there.
Uncaring of humans, they carried on
as if we were invisible. 
Signs told us to: Stay on the Path!
Those penguins couldn't read. Deep in moulting season,
with youngsters by their side, they carried out their business,
waddling, yes, waddling in that cold, fierce wind
down to the nearby ocean, its waves no less intense,
to catch a fish or two to bring home.
I could have stayed there longer, on that narrow path,
delighting in another world, simplified to essentials,
the young to nurture, the sea close by, and these
bumbling humans? Rather like part of the landscape,
something temporary, nothing important,
at least to the penguins.

Magellanic penguin, Punta Tombo, Argentina

Moulting Magellanic penguin, Punta Tombo

Walking the Penguin Path, Punto Tombo

Saturday, April 15, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 15: The Gift of Gardens

Each spring, the cherry trees bloom
around the pond at Manito Park;
such a pleasure simply to walk along
these carefully tended paths, seeing anew
what the turn of seasons brings:
even the birds seem quiet here,
golden carp swim in peace,
stone statues await the change of light,
tall pines rise to the spring sky,
and I'll sit in one of the carefully placed gazebos,
each corner inviting repose,
or I'll cross the small arched bridge,
simply to be a part once again
of this lovely, small Japanese garden.

Spring at the Japanese Garden, Manito Park

Friday, April 14, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 14: One Path

One path opens
out of the shady woods to sunlight,
just one path. No turning
from this well-travelled road.
Green ahead promises
a light-filled tomorrow;
let's walk together,
your hand in mine.

Image by jplenio on Pixabay

Thursday, April 13, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 13: No fret . . .

No fret. I'll get
better every day. Even when
the news splatters despair into each day.
When did we get so violent? Was it truly Covid, that
enforced stay-at-home led us to want to break out,
break in, break down, break up?
I'd rather see a big brake on it all.
In fact, a confession. I don't watch the news anymore.
Can I stop what others do?
Not really. Not even to pick up the pieces
of broken lives or to soothe children
from night terrors, their innocence shattered
for they know how it feels to hide in a classroom,
to prepare for the unknown, someone else's anger,
maybe their own. In my generation, we were carefully taught
to put our heads on our fifth grade desks,
to cover our necks with our arms,
in case of a nuclear attack. Really?
I ask you, really?
Something needs to change.
No fret. I'll get through this day
and the next, even if I'm hiding.
What can any of us do in the time we have left?
Maybe, once again, we could be inspired by Kennedy,
who said we choose to do things
". . . not because they are easy,
but because they're hard."

Image from Noname_13 on Pixabay

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 12: Geezer Poetry

These two old guys were hanging out;
their wives in the kitchen. 
One old guy says to the other: 
"We had the most amazing
dinner last night." And he went on
and on, and on.
Finally, the other old guy said, "Come on.
Tell me the name of that restaurant."
The first old guy stares at the ceiling.
"You know that beautiful flower,
all red. It has thorns, you know?"
"Yeah, I know. You mean a rose?"
"Right. Hey, Rose.
Where did we eat last night?"

NOTE: Not sure I met the guidelines of today's prompt for Day 13 (posted on April 12, so I'm going to try). Read here for some unexpected takes on Day 13 prompt from NaPoWriMo!

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 11: Beginnings

Sometimes a poem begins with a memory,
looking within; perhaps a half-forgotten word
echoes and connects. We might be out for a walk,
and somehow, just the way the trees lift to the sky,
or a song sparrow hops in the field nearby,
or the touch of your hand on mine,
makes me want to hold this moment longer.

Walking at the beach, Corpus Christi, Texas (2016)

NaPoWriMo April 10: On traveling


Grand Canyon by Alex Williams on Pixabay

I remember hiking along the rim of the Grand Canyon,
marveling at the colors, rich red, layers of blue,
wondering who saw this place first,
and what they thought,
whether they were hungry or lost,
or dazed by this beauty.
I still want to see everything in our world and yet,
we tend to stay in one place now, travel paths well-known
and close to home. I am thankful for every trip
we took, every day spent on the road, even trying
to speak in Spanish, when I knew maybe twenty words
and brought home a can of beans instead of peaches.
And when I learned to buy only two or three eggs at a time
from the little tienda near our temporary home
because these eggs came directly from Mrs. Gonzalez' chickens
in her back yard, and those eggs fed our neighbors.
Our world is smaller; we are older, and yet
we have photographs, journals, and memories of those days
we could take the third class bus down to Mexico City, to Merida, to
San Miguel de Allende, Uxmal, to Oaxaca, and breathe in world culture,
somehow connected to the past and the future, unforgettable.

Flower vendors, San Miguel de Allende

Sunday, April 09, 2023

NaPoWrMo April 9: Spring

Today's walk took us past that small flowerbed
now rich with purple crocuses. Tight buds of daffodils
and hyacinths poke through the earth, a promise of spring.
Already, those first flowers, delicate snowdrops, have started to droop.
Well bundled against the cold, we walk all the way up the hill on a wide path,
farmer's fields of mown grass dotted with a small cluster of occasional
Canada geese. And then we turn to home,
snow yet on nearby mountains.
Sometimes I feel guilty at such simple pleasures
that blot out all else. The flowers bloom colorful and vibrant
in their own season, beginnings and endings, as do we. 

Crocus in bloom (Anna May)

Saturday, April 08, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 8: Reassurance


First cherry tree in my neighborhood

I'm waiting for the first cherry blossoms to bloom,
for snow came late this year. Each day,
I see those few early signs of spring, small buds poking out
from frozen soil, well mulched. Red-winged blackbirds,
song sparrows, even robins and finches have returned.
Canada geese are making their way north.
I'm more than ready to pack my sweaters away,
knowing that spring will morph to summer
far too soon, the granddaughters will shriek with joy
to run under the outside fountain,
and I will treasure each day.

Friday, April 07, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 7: On Making Lists

When evening winds to darkest day,
what accounting do we face for what is done
and what remains? Do you keep a list?
Mark each item off? Do you ever wonder
what happens to those must-do-today action steps
that somehow vanish? I'd like to think,
perhaps just for today, someone else is keeping track.
I''d rather see again the first tiny snowdrops and
those rich purple crocus buds lifting to the sun.
All promises of spring.
With hope, every morning we begin anew.

Image by Anja on Pixabay

Today's poem comes at the very end of the day, yet I'm still hoping to meet that challenge to write a poem of sorts for each day in April. May spring bring you warmer days and perhaps, flowers!

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

April IWSG and another poem

Sweet Tea in Istanbul

I remember drinking sweet tea in Istanbul
as carpet merchants held up silken carpets, 
to show off the rippling vibrant colors, and later,
watching the whirling dervish twirl, lost in meditation,
the tiles some new language we couldn't translate.

How many beds we've slept in, some sumptuous, some lumpy,
in how many continents and countries,
pursuing some uncharted agenda to explore the world,
to understand what life was truly like here or there,
untethered somehow from nine to five,
content with less, and now, these quieter days,
I feel nurtured by memories, joyous times
now far away, just this day and perhaps the next,
and perhaps another cup of tea to share.

Today's poem was inspired by Robert Lee Brewer of Writer's Digest. His challenge? To take a (noun) in (location)," and make the new phrase the title of your poem -- and write your poem.  See his work HERE and what others have written HERE.

Today also marks the first Wednesday of the month (see below) when we writers are challenged with a question from the Insecure Writer's Support Group to share our thoughts. Today's question:  Do you remember writing your first book? What were your thoughts about a career path on writing? Where are you now and how is it working out for you? If you're at the start of the journey, what are your goals?

I've always written 'between' other commitments to school, work, and family. Since I was a teenager, I've written poems and dreamed one day of writing a story, perhaps a novel. Finally, finally I began to write my first historical novel when I retired. Over the next 15 years, that first story led me to dive deeply into research and to write 6 novels. I joke somehow I got stuck in the 1840s, inspired by the Clearances in northern Scotland and intrigued by the adventures of the McDonnell family and how they survived economic upheavals it seems that every generation faces. Three years ago, I switched genres to begin a series of art crime mysteries. The first, now finished, is set in Scotland (The Seventh Tapestry),  and the second in draft stage (The Lost Sarcophagus) is set in Cairo.  

I love the process of researching, drafting, and revision.  Because my writing truly began when I retired, I can't really talk about a career path, though I did teach writing for 26 years at the community college level; that experience brought certain editing skills to my own projects. Maybe too, I'm a bit of a nerd, in love with history, culture, and art. I do believe, regardless of where we are with our writing, we have a responsibility to nurture our own unique creativity. Is that enough to pay the rent? Not for me. But connecting with readers who fall in love with my characters and my stories is more than I dreamed so long ago. My best advice? Keep writing the stories you love!

The purpose of the Insecure Writer's Support Group is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month. 

With special thanks to Alex Cavanaugh for starting IWSG and to the awesome co-hosts for the April 5 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Nancy Gideon, and Natalie Aguirre!

Why not visit our hosts to see what they're up to this month!
And may March bring you many new words!

This is a Blog Hop!

Tuesday, April 04, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 4: Dreaming quilts

This morning, I woke early.
I could almost see that next quilt.
Purple and scrappy,
that's all I knew. The reality?
A stack of partly sewn blocks and scraps awaits, and now,
the center of this comfort quilt is done,
vibrant flowers to keep someone warm,
perhaps enough to dream
past winter and into spring.
Center block with finished quilt to come (April 2023)

Today's poem was inspired by Robert Lee Brewer of Writer's Digest. His challenge? To write a poem that somehow was both realistic and dreamlike. See his work HERE and what others have written HERE.

Monday, April 03, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 3: Go Gentle . . .

Image by Martin Winkler on Pixabay 

Go gentle into this new morning,
Celebrate each beginning;
Sing newly formed words with each breath.

Newly born, I am drawn to that light,
because my words, one by one, bring dreams to life.
Go gentle into this new morning.

Doubters yet, we are the first to truly see
how each action ripples in a pond,
Sing newly formed words with each breath.

Sweet infants just this side of life,
all unknowing, shaped by what is yet to come:
Go gentle into this new morning,

Those who are unborn, who cannot see,
Their sight not known,
Sing newly formed words with each breath.

And you, my mother, somewhere in time,
I only wish you to
Go gentle into this new morning,
Sing newly formed words with each breath.

NaPoWriMo Day 3's prompt asks us to take a favorite poem and somehow rewrite it from an opposite point of view, reversing images and concepts. I have always loved that Dylan Thomas poem, "Do not go gentle into that good night" and somehow played with words and concepts to draft the above.

Visit participants' sites at NaPoWriMo to read what others have written!

Sunday, April 02, 2023

NaPoWriMo April 2: Ode to an Oyster

Image by jsbaw on Pixabay

Ode to an Oyster

An uncooked oyster slithers down my throat,
not even a tang of salt remains,
bits of garlic sting like a memory, elusive, 
leaving me to remember when I was a young girl,
facing down my disgust to taste a raw oyster for the first time,
impossible to describe, yet as unforgettable
as my mother's smile as she opened another beer
and got up to dance, the noise of the bar thickening in my throat.

NaPoWriMo Day 2's prompt asks us to pull words from a list at NaPoWriMo, then explain and rearrange into a poem, expecting something new to emerge. I found an old memory. 

Visit participants' sites at NaPoWriMo to read what others have written!

NaPoWriMo April 1: The Art of Swimming

 April 1, right? No, it's April 2, and I missed the very first day of National Poetry Writing Month, a challenge I happily accept most years. Except 2023. So, better to begin than not write at all. Thanks to the inspiration from NaPoWriMo, or more precisely, Maureen Thompson, from far off Washington, D.C., her daily prompt will (hopefully) help me find words.

April 1 Prompt: Visit The Art of Book Covers to see if one of these book covers will lead you to write a poem. 

The Art of Swimming

Once, about a decade or so ago,
we were on a small sailing boat, somewhere off
the coast of Costa Rico, to visit a nameless island.
The dingy was too small to carry all of us; the captain,
an untrustworthy Captain Jack,
called for volunteers. "'Tis not so far to swim," as he glared
at us, daring one of us to take the challenge.
I said yes, for I loved to swim, the sea was relatively calm,
the distance seemed not so great. That is, until
the little boat was gone and I was awash in the sea, slow crawling
toward that tiny island, now a speck so far away.
I did swim, rolling in the blue waves, counting my breaths,
grateful for the sun's direction, stroke after stroke,
steady and calming, truly an art, alone and
one with the sea, doubting and then not doubting,
still smooth mindless stroke after stroke,
like the passage of days,
then finally climbing up the beach,
crushed shells beneath my feet, grateful to rest on the land.
Somehow, there was room on the way back,
but I have not forgotten that long swim in the sea.
Sometimes I wonder if I will return to that nameless island, 
to face again those waves, 
that silence, 
that calmness within.

Thank you, NaPoWriMo and Maureen Thompson, for setting up these daily prompts. Why not check out what others have written -- or, explore your own poetic self?

Visit participants' sites at NaPoWriMo to read what others have written!