Lean Times

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – For Your Consideration – They’re Only Words



Shoes stuffed
with newspaper
to keep out
the chill.
barren look
to it. If you
were lucky,
and first,
you could take
a hot bath
until the water
in the tub
ran cold. Most
dinners consisted
of canned spaghetti.
No one complained.
Times were tough.


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winter trees

Written for:  Carpe Diem #1789 – The Winter Trees (Crossroads)

The task is to create a “fusion-ku” from the two given haiku and create a Troiku with it, so this episode is a “Crossroads” episode. Here are the two haiku to work with:

cutting into with the ax,
I was surprised at the scent.
the winter trees.

unfolding at the
hand of the glass polisher:
a camellia!

© Yosa Buson

Two wonderful haiku by one of the “big five” haiku poets.


camelia unfolding
amidst the surprising scent
of winter trees


camelia unfolding
like a Japanese fan
flowing pink

amidst the surprising scent
of pine perfume
a climbing squirrel

of winter trees
there is a beauty between
sparse limbs


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Change Comes, Invited or Not

Written for:  Poets United Midweek Motif~changes

“We try to learn to appreciate change, as it cannot be avoided. We would have to set life in bronze or stone or amber to preserve it. Would it then be alive? Can we then celebrate change, or at least find the words to recognize its power?”

Adrienne Rich wrote in “Images for Godard”:

the mind of the poet is changing
the moment of change is the only poem.

What do you think?

Change can be
a chance at new life
or sadness
or illness.
If you’re drowning in routine
make that change, float free.


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Ode To Pizza

Written for:  Poetic Bloomings2 – InForm Poet – Horatian Ode
“The Horatian Ode is simply a stanzaic form in which all stanzas are structured in the same pattern at the discretion of the poet. (rhyme, meter, number of lines/stanzas etc.), more technically it is “nonce stanzaic” or a “homostrophic” ode (ode made up of same structured stanzas created specifically for that poem).”

Men adapt at flipping pizzas
amaze me with their stamina
   – too old to learn new tricks
   – I’ll leave that to mystics

I love when crust is crispy and thin;
a Margherita is a win-win.
   – Tomatoes and basil
   – extra cheese on the table

And all those toppings you can choose from
pepperoni, anchovies for some
   – sausage, meatball, onion
   – or a plain one, well done


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We Have A Winner

Written for:  Poetic Asides Prompt #505
“Write a possible poem.”

If your best friend wins Lotto
and you are sipping macchiatos
would you see a change in ego?
You might, you know. You might, you know.

If your friend should become snooty
would you feel it was your duty
to tell him he is acting rudely?
Word it smoothly. Word it smoothly.


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Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics:  Less is More, more or less  (posted by Laura B.)

The suffix ‘less’ has both negative and positive connotations and even neutral ones. The challenge is to choose ONE or MORE from THE LIST of words BELOW and include it/them in the body and/or title of your poem. If possible, add a soupçon of hopefulness for Hope is the message in this first advent week!

ageless ~ boundless ~ breathless ~ careless ~ cloudless ~ colourless ~ faceless ~ fearless ~ feckless ~ flawless ~ formless ~ harmless ~ heedless ~ helpless ~ homeless ~ listless ~ needless ~ restless ~ rootless ~ senseless ~ tasteless ~ weightless ~ windowless ~ wordless 

I want to experience
boundless energy, that
joyful feeling I get
that I am truly ageless.
Lately a white fatigue falls
as a curtain across my body
making me feel listless.
Colorless days drain me,
make me restless, as if
I am always looking for
the vivid paints that will
buoy me and return that loss
of energy–pointing out
a direction.


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“dinner plate”

Written for:  The Twiglets #155 – “dinner plate”

The cat
would only eat
from a dinner plate.

She fixed her plate
making sure
none of the food touched.

white sturdy stock
carried swiftly on trays
plates in a diner

A young man who hailed from Boston
came to New York’s Grand Central Station
He was meeting his girl
a vision in red curls
but instead viewed green hair, and tattooed albatross.


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Spirit of Spirits

Written for:  dVerse Poets Pub – Quadrille #93  (posted by whimsygizmo)
“I want you to ponder and play with the word spirit.”


“Drink in this inspiration, and pour us a powerful spirit poem cocktail. Or go ghostie with it. Get into the spirit of the holidays. Is your muse a restless spirit? Write about it! Use it as an adjective: spiritual, or spirited (lively, full of energy). Spirit can even be a verb: to convey rapidly and secretly.”

A spirit did spirit
my spirit away. Out
it flew through
windows–some dark
some glowing with
night-life light.

We sat in a tavern
where spirits abound.
Had a couple of rounds.
I awoke in my bed
convinced it was not
a dream.


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What If I Had Been Normal?

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Words To Live By  (posted by Rommy)
“I think anyone who has participated here is well aware of the power that words can have at just the right moment. I reflected a little on that, listening to an NPR podcast, This American Life: The Weight of Words, especially in Act One, Go To The Mattress, where a woman reflected on the profound influence the book Little Women, had upon her life.

So for this last prompt, I want you to to reflect on words that mean something to you. They could be words from an inspirational quote, words from your favorite form of pop culture, or words said during an important conversation you had. The most important thing is that the words you choose mean something special to you. Write a poem based on those words (and please include a note too, sharing what the actual words that inspired you were).”

When my anxiety attacks
plagued me at age thirteen,
I fervently wished to be
normal. Although pain
occluded some of the joys,
I no longer have that wish.

Slew of people marched in
and out of my life. Some
I think of fondly, some
I still see. The longer
the friendship, the more
memories you have to share.

Always impulsive, I dared
to take risks–not those of sky-
diving or white water rafting–
with my own life. I lived
in other states, misread
friends, and lovers, found
myself in the hospital. But,
how I learned! I do not consider
myself amazing*; I consider
myself a little odd, a lot
of funny, sort of like an
Almond Joy candy bar.

*If you’re always trying to be normal
you will never know how amazing
you can be ~ Maya Angelou


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Tan Renga with Basho

Written for: Carpe Diem Tan Renga Wednesday (7) Old Pond

“For this week’s Tan Renga Wednesday I have chosen that world famous haiku by Basho:


old pond
a frog jumps in
sound of water                                  © Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

splash ripples water in pond       
spreads circles ’round lily pads      © Sara McNulty 


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