Worry Defined


Today’s prompt from Miz Quickly: Choose an abstract word and write a poem about it without naming it directly or defining it. This poem is a reworking of a similar prompt from late January in which I was to write about an abstract word using concrete images.

Her eyes on the wall clock, the
second hand sweeps the face so slowly.
Her hand in her purse, searching out
the cell phone to recheck the time.

The purse now so disordered
that it cries out to be cleaned.
Odd receipts, used Kleenex, stray
mints, empty packs of gum.
Consolidate, organize, discard,
and still
the seconds creep along.
Now a game of Candy Crush,
her concentration broken
by random thoughts, specific fears.

Looking up, she shivers
to see the doctor approach.


Piece of Cake


And now I look into the mirror
to grasp my nature loud and clear.
When I look closely, this I see:
It’s fear that stares right back at me.

Oh, there’s a smile upon that face
to hide from folks the sad disgrace;
the barely hidden secret tear
engendered by that nagging fear.

As I grow older, year by year,
You’d think that I could shake that fear.
But — no! — it grows and still it grows.
Now I some sense must interpose

between my thoughts and my desires
to stoke anew creative fires.
Consider what I hold most dear
so I can learn to master fear.
Today Miz Quickly asked us for some introspection, perhaps writing about an attribute you lack or one you might possess in abundance. So here’s my quick take on the anxiety of putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Thanks, MQ, for suggesting this.

Match Game


Today Miz Quickly asked us write the last line of poems matched to a list of titles created in an earlier prompt. I hadn’t done the homework, so I took her suggestion to use the titles of books, choosing the 15 best sellers in fiction on the New York Times list dated 8/16/15. Since I was already moving into Found Poetry territory, I then made a list of 15 phrases from an on-line article in today’s New Republic entitled “Donald Trump Captures the Hearts of Young Republicans” by Suzy Khimm. Putting all the titles into a hat, I drew them out one-by-one and matched each with the corresponding phrase from the numbered list.

I was surprised to see the possibilities created here and I had fun, too.

Go Set a Watchman
still tugged at their hearts

hungry for red meat

The Girl on the Train
He’s about himself.

Thrill Me
a wall at the border

Siren’s Call
in a town built on spin

Circling the Sun
excited about the energy

All the Light We Cannot See

The Martian
a hunger across this

The Nightingale
leaving the door open

The Code of Conduct
He could get me there.

by the end of the night

The English Spy
even in the heart

Never Die Alone
amazing and necessary

The Bourbon Kings
not sweet little babies

Luckiest Girl Alive
felt like liberation



a special rock
grasped in chubby fingers

lustrous fire shining
like the pride in her eyes

(Don’t you dare tell her
it’s only fool’s gold.)
This poem was written in response to a one word prompt from Miz Quickly on August 5, 2015.



She’s hot,
packing heat
in summertime.
Girlfriend’s a pistol,
way too hot to handle.
A pistol-packing mama —
charming, alarming, disarming.
Always fighting fire with firepower,
illuminating life with her fireworks.

This poem is an etheree, written in response to Margo Roby’s 8/4/15 prompt asking us to write a poem about packing or unpacking. It probably goes without saying, but I had fun with this one.




cutting origami
Papa requests that I pose
legs tucked back just so,
back so straight, plagued with pain.

Cutting paper — origami,
he calls it. Japanese
art all the rage now.

The rage — starting its slow march
up my back toward my neck so
prettily posed over aching fingers.

I’ve heard that Degas tortured
his models, pretty little dancers,
made them hold poses for hours
as he worked to ensure them

My father could work from
a photograph if he chose,
if he wished to capture the moment
instead of making me
the captive, folded like a
stillborn crane.

This poem was created in response to a picture prompt from Miz Quickly, using our choice from several paintings by Edmund Tarbell. The picture accompanying this poem is titled Cutting Origami and is in the public domain.