NaPoWriMo #11 – “Surprise” Ending

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! It’s Day 11 of NaPoWriMo already, and today’s prompt was an interesting one. It’s supposed to be a detailed poem about an object or a place, and then have more of an abstract or a “surprise” ending. I wasn’t sure what to write about to create such an effect, but decided to go with one of my nature themes…and the surprise may be that I wrote it in the first place, since it’s nothing that I really want to see happen…with that said, I’m posting my 11th poem for National Poetry Month, “The Bird Feeder,” and directly following is the original prompt. Enjoy…maybe…!

The Bird Feeder

The radiant goldfinch, a joy
to see, so sleek, so bright
as if cast in a spotlight:
the shining star,
among the more muted
song sparrows. He chirps
his solos in between hearty
beaks full of Nyjar seed, some
he shuffles off the edges
of the little wooden perch,
such a master of dance, full of life,
then the calm, dead silence –
those vibrant yellow feathers
floating in the sudden breeze
left behind by a hungry hawk.

The Prompt from NaPoWriMo for Day 11:

Today, I challenge you to write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. I think of the “surprise” ending to this James Wright Poem as a model for the effect I’m hoping you’ll achieve. An abstract, philosophical kind of statement closing out a poem that is otherwise intensely focused on physical, sensory details.

As always, if you get a poem that you’d like to share – leave it in the comments below.

Keep writing,


Writing Prompt Pit Stop: PoMoSco # 21 Pinch an Inch

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! I’m almost caught back up, one more after this one and I’m even with the days of National Poetry Month again, whew! So today’s PoMoSco prompt I chose to use was “Pinch an Inch,” and, just like it sounds it uses some math skills…or at least using a ruler and a text! I’m not big on math, but I have come to realize that a lot of poetry does use a lot of it…I just choose to ignore that fact! LOL! Anyway, I chose the novel, Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver to get the needed words for my 21st poem of the month: “Nobody Territorial.” Enjoy!

Here is the Day 21 prompt, Pinch an Inch:

Begin with a source text of your choice and a ruler. Mark off a column of  text one vertical inch wide down and extending down one or more pages — you might choose, for example, to use an inch down the center of your page, or along the page’s left or right margin. Craft your poem using only words located within your vertical column inch(es).

If you decide to use multiple pages, locate your vertical column inch in the same location on each page (i.e. all center columns, all right margin columns, etc).

The Found Poetry Review. PoMoSco. Prompt 21. 22 Apr 2015.

Writing Prompt Pit Stop

Welcome to another Writing Prompt Pit Stop! This week’s writing prompt asks “What is Your Nature?” Some people walk through life never noticing the pleasures that nature has to offer. I was one of those people for a long while; always too busy with life to stop and smell the proverbial roses.

The funny thing is as I’ve gotten older, life hasn’t become any less busy – in fact, in today’s world it’s actually busier with the added distractions of non-stop emails, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and re-tweets, and catching up on the latest blogs on top of everything else. Nevertheless, I’ve found that I take solace in nature. One of my favorite things to do (now that I make sure I make time to do it) is go to the Metropark, the river, or the lake, and take pictures of various birds.



Inevitably, these feathered friends have found homes in my poems in the last few years. In fact, my most recent chapbook, Winged Graffiti (Finishing Line Press, 2011), is filled with flights of fancy – both literally and metaphorically. I have several bird-related poems in my new book (co-authored with Jayne Marek and Mary Sexson): Company of Women: New and Selected Poems (Chatter House Press, 2013). In addition, I just recently received word that my poems, “Bossy Blues,” and “Turkey Vultures of Thorntown,” will be included in the August bird-themed issue of Cyclamens and Swords. So, it may not come as a big surprise that I’m now working on a full-length manuscript that includes a lot of wings and beaks.

As might be expected then, this week’s prompt is encouraging you to explore your own attraction(s) in nature. You might be attracted to birds, as I am, or maybe you prefer flowers or trees. You may be attracted to mountains, lakes, oceans, or maybe it’s a summer thunderstorm, or a fresh snow in winter. With that idea in mind, here’s your fourth prompt:

“What is Your Nature?”

1) Think about your favorite attraction, and then write in detail everything you can about it – maybe a specific bird or flower – for 10 minutes or until you exhaust your subject.

You may end up with one page or more of information.

2) Mine your work for good imagery or an interesting turn of words or a phrase. Sometimes when we write fast (almost in auto-pilot) we unintentionally come up with some gems. That’s the fun of writing isn’t it!

3) Pull those images, words, and phrases out. Now shape them into your poem or essay. You also might be able to give your love in nature a place in a piece of flash fiction.

4) If you have a hard time narrowing your favorites in nature down to just one attraction, by all means write on each of them, but do so separately first so that you can pay attention to those important details.

Obviously the more you write about nature – the longer your poems or essays may be, and the more likely you will be able to see a series develop! Who doesn’t love that?

As with all writing, it should be fun! If you ever want to share any successes or attempts that you get from these prompts, don’t hesitate to let me know. You can contact me here.

Look for another prompt next Wednesday! Until then, keep writing!