Sociophobia

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Social (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

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Sociophobia

Even before social distancing
if I saw someone from work
as I entered a grocery aisle
I would reverse direction

like an all-star running back
and head for the next gap
even if I liked my co-worker—
I just wouldn’t feel like chatting.

These days, any human elicits
the same reaction. Even a woman
in a summer dress with a sexy
mask evokes visceral fear.

Once this plague has passed,
and it some point it will,
will I be able to return
to being merely anti-social?

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Eventide

My fellow Living Poet Chris Abbate held a germination workshop tonight, so I present one of the poems I wrote there as today’s poem-a-day.

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Eventide

The setting sun light glints
off the bottom of pine needles
as I walk off the frustrations
of another working from home day.

A broken beer bottle crunches
in the dirt. It would have sliced
my foot if not for shoes.
I curse my fellow man to the crickets

and bend to save the next bare paw
that happens this way then cut
my finger, sharp without pain,
smelling iron, earth within skin.

That’ll teach me to pick up
after inconsiderate idiots.

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Sonnet for the Future

For today’s prompt:

  • Write a love poem and/or…
  • Write an anti-love poem.

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Sonnet for the Future

Leave me alone, my love,
let me write this final poem,
seal it in a time capsule
for archaeologists to unearth

so the distant future
can learn of your easy grace
and regret the tragic loss
of your subtle caress.

I should have paid more attention
as we ran out of ground for burying
and the tides licked the foundation
of our home— too soon a ruin.

But standing here at the precipice,
I will watch The End, holding you in my arms.

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Typhoid Mary

For today’s prompt, write an isolation poem.

– and –

Let’s try an “If-Then” poem.

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Typhoid Mary

Pretend we’re living
in a sci-fi horror novel
by King or Crichton
and there’s a plague
sweeping the world
and we must isolate
ourselves from our friends
and colleagues to keep
the most vulnerable safe.

Now imagine our neighbors
didn’t accept science
and, like Typhoid Mary,
refused to change.
They wouldn’t wash their hands,
not believing in germs.
They insisted the outbreaks
that followed were mere coincidence
since they had no symptoms.

If we were experiencing
such strange and frightening times,
distant tragedies in the news
drawing ever closer,
like a summer thunderstorm,
then in that book
or the inevitable movie,
would those deniers
be the good guys?


(Note the above poem, with minor edits, also works for the Climate Crisis.)

(Photo credit: Facebook/Alyson McClaran)

 

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Spring Sonnet

For today’s prompt, write a poem that uses the following six words: bump, embrace, fixture, howl, lonely and resolve.

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Spring Sonnet

Spring is closing in around me.
The leaves droop claustrophobic
from their branches— an unwanted
embrace on my walks through the woods
which until recently were expansive,
lonely and gray.

Invisible webs across the path.
cling to my arms and face,
draping me in new found death.
I’m sure the spiders would howl,
if they could, when I plow
through their best laid plans.

Tree pollen in my eyes, dog poop hiding
in the grass— why do people love Spring?


I only used three of the six words. Sue me.

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Rosetta Stone

For today’s prompt, write a message poem.

– and –

For today’s prompt let’s try a history poem.

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Rosetta Stone

Just another hunk of rock
for the stone carvers,
another stele for the temple,
inscribe the decree of the Pharaoh
then on to the next piece.

They probably grumbled,
under their breath,
about having to carve
three languages
into the granodiorite.

Their names were forgotten,
like all working men,
long before that stone
was recycled as just another brick
in a fortress wall.

It wasn’t supposed to be art,
but now it’s in a museum,
always surrounded by people
gawking, who can’t even read
their crisp handiwork.

Those ancient Egyptian masons
could not imagine our lives
but the message has survived
more than two thousand years.
They were just doing their jobs.


 

The picture and hand are both mine, from when I visited the British Museum two summers ago.

 

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The New Normal

For today’s prompt, write an exotic poem.

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The New Normal

That new dancer has some style
legs as long as night
I wonder how high her heels
are within those Tyvek boots

Clear plastic in all the right places
crinkling like the couch at grandma’s
she spoke but her lilting voice
was muffled by the full-facepiece

Exotic dancers are working extra hard
these days for me so I insert
my chip in the card reader dangling
from her reinforced garter

Things just haven’t been the same
at the strip club since the pandemic

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The Last Pig

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “The Last (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

– and –

Today let’s write a piggy poem.

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The Last Pig

Long after his cousins
have all been consumed,
Porky Pig will remain.
The celluloid may die
but his image, beamed
to my childhood television
on weekday afternoons,
now travels the galaxy—
straight man with no pants,
just a bow-tie and jacket,
stuttering to The End.

 

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Dream Journal

For today’s prompt, write a dream poem.

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Dream Journal

I dreamt of you again last night
it wasn’t you exactly
but I knew it was you anyway

We were walking down a road
old trees to either side
a canopy of autumn leaves
though it was spring

Then we were riding a tandem bicycle
you in front— me behind
you kept talking
but I couldn’t hear you

Then the bicycle wheels
became huge— even bigger
than the old-timey kind
we were several stories
above the city pavement
looking down a canyon
between high rises

I was afraid of losing my balance
then we were in bed spooning
you in front— me behind
I took a deep breath
to smell your shampoo

but couldn’t
your scent forgotten
your voice forgotten
even your face
I only remember
from photos

I dreamt of you again last night
it wasn’t you exactly
but I knew it was you
because you’re the only one
I dream about

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Mirror

For today’s poetry prompt let’s try a mirror poem.

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no good at selfies

Mirror

I prefer bathroom mirrors
that are medicine cabinet doors—
three sections fold to produce
an infinity when in proper configuration.

Light is stranger than fiction—
photons bouncing between silvered
glass like manic tennis balls—

but I still can’t see the bald
spot when I poke my head
into that eternal corridor
because my face gets in the way.

Mirrors only reverse left and right,
as if there are just two sides
to every story.

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