Remember “Poems of the Day”?

A Poem of the Day is when you give yourself absolute permission to write a poem about what you’re doing in this exact moment or what’s on your mind or just to riff on whatever you feel like, without a whole lot of attention to quality.

So you blast it out onto the page.  You act like it’s a poem by using short lines and stanzas.  You don’t say NO as you write, only YES.  It’s all okay.  Bim bam boom.   You’ve written a poem.  Sometimes it’s quite nice.   Sometimes it needs work.  You decide the next step.

Ultimately, I want you to post your Poem of the Day here, beneath mine.  Yes, I worked on this one about half an hour.  I felt like getting the rhymes to work and to make it come out with at least some sense.  It’s not great art.  it’s just a Poem of this Particular Day.  Your turn!

Ann’s Poem of the Day 8/21/12

Supper’s on the table
With sour cream and chives.
One more day of waiting
To see if I survive.

All the pieces are in place
I even bought dessert;
Everyone is happy,
And I am going berserk.

I might sleep beneath a tree tonight,
Stay up until the dawn.
Something’s got to tear loose soon,
Or I am going down.

I gave up on happy endings.
Try to ride the universe.
My hangnails all have offspring.
I’m a thin shell over nerves.

So I imagine, and I write.
This path or that, I try,
Leading made up folks down conjured roads
Where I feel more sane and sigh.

I’m standing on one shaky leg,
Looking out for any handhold,
All preciously grabbed in gratitude
As I read tales you’ve told.

67 responses to “Remember “Poems of the Day”?

  1. Got the jump on this prompt. Two limericks are back there with Frank. Back to sanding,

  2. Poem for Aug.22,2012

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012
    7:50 AM

    Woke with the sun
    It shines through the pines
    Dew on the grass
    Sparkles for a moment
    Coffee in hand
    To start the routine
    Birds sing hello
    Chippy awakes
    Hungry as always
    Grass to be cut
    Day has begun
    What can unfold?

    • So hopeful! It’s very refreshing. I think I’ll take your advice and grab my coffee tomorrow and head for the meadow. Thanks!

  3. August 21, 2012 10:20PM

    Pitch black, the country night
    Calm and still
    No help from winking stars
    The air with a hint of chill

    The feeble beam of my flashlight
    Bounces as I scurry
    It attempts to push back the dark
    To take away the worry

    120 steps from door to gate
    Then I tug it till it closes
    To keep out the deer
    And save my pretty roses

    Only darkness across the street
    Things are not the same
    Since Thursday July 3rd
    When that house went up in flames

    A startled bird flees the hedge
    And I jump in alarm
    Surely there’s no one there
    No chance of any harm

    But I’ll remember to do this earlier
    Tomorrow night
    Before darkness presses around me
    And gives me such a fright.

  4. 60

    How is it possible,
    It is so improbable,
    But ultimately unstoppable,
    I’m going to be 60.

    60 is a speed limit, or minutes in an hour.
    60 are days in two months or the stories in a tower.
    But 60 simply can’t be my age.

    Who’d have guessed us Boomers would live so long,
    After all we drank and smoked, partied and did bongs.
    Our “Use By” date is past due…This Is Just Wrong.

    My music is Oldies, my Neru Jacket is moldie,
    My hands and feet are coldie and I’m due for
    A colonoscopy.

    • Hi Peanut! Hope you can stow away those blues and save them for another day. Sixty is only in the head. It’s how you feel that matters. My friends and I all agree we kind of stopped at 55. None of us assumes ourselves to be older than that. We’re still a lively bunch of firecrackers and I know you are, too. So ditch those blues and trade them for some jazzy reds!

  5. You may not know this, but there is a certain smirking devil who stops by my study from time to time who told me if anyone ever managed to find three rhymes for “colonoscopy,” they would be granted eternal life. Happy birthday!

    • Thanks Buddy, it isn’ my Birthday yet, I have just started my pre-60 Blues. It seems that my entire social life is comprised of Doctor Appointments so I’m overjoyed with the “Smirking Devil” and his good news.

  6. Here’s my attempt at a poem du jour,
    But I wrote it at midnight so I can’t be sure,
    Which of the jours I was writing it for,
    Or why.

  7. Right now, 1:20pm Thursday.

    • How can anyone living in a country that splits time zones in a half-hour increment possible be able to keep track of what jour it is?

      • That wasn’t very nice. I take it back. I think I’ve been breathing too much sawdust.

        Very novel idea, that splitting a time zone in half, though, to make everything compute.. Like the International Date line jogging around some islands in the Aleutian Chain to keep all of the US in the same day.

  8. It’s 10:20 PM Wednesday here. Looks like a gained a jour on you.

  9. A poem Du Jour
    About the fleur,
    With vivid coloeur,
    And scent so pure,
    Amazing it started in a pile of manure.

  10. August, 23, 1970

    Thursday, August 23, 2012
    2:05 PM

    Forty Two years ago
    A Blushing Bride stood beside her tuxedoed father
    Her mother in pale green in her seat waiting
    The groom waiting at the alter
    Sister Joan in sherbet gown already down to the alter
    Blushing bride herself a month ago
    Bridesmaids two await
    The Bishop in his finery
    To say the vows at alter
    Now the blushing bride of forty years
    Just blushed from mowing the lawn
    But not in white
    Awaits her groom
    To enjoy another forty two.

  11. Okay, gang, you all know I am not a poet, so please try not to roll your eyes too far up into your heads. But I couldn’t resist Ann’s prompt because I promised myself I’d write SOMEthing today, so this (sadly) is it!
    Oh, and my name got changed when I sign in, so it’s me, Barbara – as usual.

    Poem du Jour

    My day began
    With a plan
    To get things done
    And have some fun

    I thought that I would paint or write —
    Something simple, something light
    But friends come first
    For better or worse

    Alex needed to be walked
    Out of this he could not be talked
    And Luc had something to be bought
    In his flurry I was caught

    Karen’s life was in a slide
    Down so far she wanted to hide
    I know that place
    So created some space

    To walk
    And shop
    And talk

    Now my day is nearing its end
    And Bruce is here; he’s my best friend
    We’ll laugh and dine
    And share some wine

    And then I might
    Just paint or write!

    • No apologies necessary! I feel like I got to come along for a ride through your day. To me, that’s what Poems of the Day are about. They not only capture a slice of your life, but you will find that they tap into that side of you that wants to create. I think it’s really important to feel free to just write. You’ll find very often (like here) that you create something quite nice. Keep this and all your poems of the day to come.

      • Barbara Burris

        Thanks to all of you for your kind words. If nothing else, this truly was a slice of my life yesterday. Today’s poem would simply be a list of chores to be accomplished before my son and his girlfriend bring her parents to meet us Sunday. YIKES!

  12. I like it. Life is reflected in it. we all can relate to it. things get in the way of our plans and we roll with it.

  13. I love the “Flow-Chart Poetry” of your life. Great Read.

  14. I will confess these are not new, but I’m too deep in sawdust to write right now.

    A Perfect Right Brain Day

    Today I
    let the muse run free,
    wrote by the side of the highway,
    in the parking lot at Costco,
    in the hospital waiting room,
    in my own living room.

    Today I
    hugged my friends from out of town,
    took them to lunch at a nostalgic old bar,
    told stories of yore to distract them from their worries,
    and watched them remember.

    Today I
    wrote a note to a friend,
    gave him a gift,
    told him I missed him,
    wished he were still alive.

    Today I
    waved at the Dahl sheep
    on the side of the highway,
    saw a hundred white swans,
    laughed at a bore tide only inches high.

    Today I
    sang songs from “La Mancha”
    all the way home,
    watched “Grey’s Anatomy”
    with journal in hand,
    discovered the commercials
    were far too short.

    Today I

    Christ, how I loved it.


    A Lousy Left Brain Day

    Today I
    couldn’t write for beans
    and the keyboard was dyslexic.

    Today I
    read a cooled-off story.
    It stank like five day old fish.

    Today I
    read Dana Stabenow’s new mystery
    and marveled at the complex plot.

    Today I
    wondered why I couldn’t think
    of a simple plot, much less a complex one.

    Today I
    asked the muse to come out and play
    but she failed to respond.

    Today I
    wallowed in dismay at my limitations
    embarrassed that I ever thought I could write.

    Today I
    stayed out of the kitchen
    because I couldn’t stand the heat.

    Christ, how I hated it.

    • “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Beautiful writing my friend, as usual. Sawdust becomes you.

    • Those days when the muse refuses to play can be dismal, can’t they? Say hi to the sheep for me! – Barbara

    • I’m a great fan of structure. Here you find several levels of structure to create the scaffold to hold all this meaning and feeling.

      As you write more poems of the day, consider the interesting structures that musicians use –both pop and classical. But you probably already thought of that, so to quote Rosanne Roseannadanna, “Never mind.”

    • Gully, the way you used the ‘Today I’ to open each verse reminds me of a poem called ‘Black Marigolds’ (translated from Sanscrit and originally called ‘Chaurapanchasika’) which I found via Steinbeck’s ‘Cannery Row’. It’s long but it’s worth it. You can find it at

  15. “An Artist’s Journey”

    Always smiling
    Dreaming of a world where
    You could breath, be yourself
    Every day dance, sing, be happy

    Bright colors only you can see
    A place where you can roam
    Always see love, peace
    And live in a perfect world

    We miss you
    Yeah, that’s for sure
    A part of our lives is now
    Not so bright anymore

    We’ll try to smile as you did
    And see all the colors that
    You left for us to see once
    We brush away the tears

    Come see us in our dreams
    Show us what you see so that
    We know that the colors are still there
    And the artist’s soul is free.

    For my sister, family, and friends, who have
    the spirit of creativity, insight, and courage to share it.

  16. gully the poem was fun to read it flowed together so nice. Good read. we all have days that ours muse runs away and plays with someone else. But it always comes back.

  17. Been away for a while, hope to be around for a while, here goes nothing

    “Why I Don’t Write Poetry”

    Tis the night,
    Or maybe the early morn.
    Twilight’s beams prevail.

    The earth slumbers
    In an drowsy trance
    Sleeping beneath the veil.

    Will the morning come
    With sunlight filling the sky
    The breeze waves the wheat.

    Night passes,
    Day conquers the dark
    Blood coursing through my veins.

    Slumber inspires
    Revives the senses
    Strengthens the will

    In the light I wander
    Looking for what
    I may never know.

  18. I hadn’t slept for very long
    when I was awakened from my sleep
    by the pretty little songbird,
    and his melodic little peep

    He signaled the misty morning
    so chilly and so still
    As he shouted his pretty aria
    from my open window sill

    I staggered to the window,
    having risen from my bed
    I grasped the sash with both my hands
    and crushed his little head.

    • Of course, I had to read this while I was sitting with two stern octogenarians who were not having a good day…and while I was drinking milk. After recoiling at the milk coming out of my nose, they both demanded to know what I was laughing about. My comment, “Oh nothing,” did not satisfy them, so I wiped the laptop screen with my tee shirt and read them your poem. They listened attentively. I still laughed. They decided that you are a sick man. Now I’m laughing again!

      Good to hear from you! Don’t be a stranger.

  19. I ran across this today in my files, thought I’d share it:

    “The Yearn”

    The river ran deep
    during this drought,
    Until the well ran dry.
    Only so much one can take,
    Only so much you can cry.

    They say there are
    Lessons that we’ll learn
    Things we’ll never see,
    But it doesn’t take away
    The everlasting Yearn.

    Yearn for one last hug
    One more laugh.
    One more smile.
    Yearn for the day before
    And hope that it would last.

    But life goes on
    Sometimes wishing it wouldn’t.
    Left here for some unknown reason
    For a higher purpose
    If only for a season.

    • I think you’re a mind reader or some kind of ESPerson. I just wrote one of those “can’t sleep so I’ll just jot some thoughts down on this tablet” pieces on just that: yearning. Interesting topic! Mine was more about unquenchable yearning. Not just one more, but endless MORE!

  20. Sandings’s done
    Painting’s begun
    Now it’s raining
    Waiting for sun

    Fell off the ladder
    Right elbow’s sore
    Then ladder flipped me
    Shoulder hurts more

    Some ask me when
    I’ll age my act
    Actually tonight
    I’m feeling my age

    • Love the slice of life, but I’m out here hollering, “Get off that high ladder, Gullie!” I trust you carry a cellphone in your pocket. Good luck with getting all that painting done. Keep the poetry coming, since I am holding my breath now.

  21. Jeff (from your beginner course)

    Old age, it kicks my ass,
    I try to kick it back,
    Not a pretty sight.

    • Hi Jeff! I’m glad you showed up. I tip my hat to anyone who can rhyme “sacroiliac.” (tip, tip)

    • Here is the companion piece, I wrote both before a much-needed chiropractor visit:

      Damn you old sciatica,
      why are you so outta whacktica?

  22. Dressing for the Day

    Let me dress you today in kindest words,
    Bundle you with finest thoughts,
    Accessorize you with deepest devotion,
    And send you on your way.

  23. Taking a break from typing meeting minutes,
    Now I type a poem.
    Black coffee, blueberry muffin fuel me.
    Papers strewn across my desk taunt:
    So much to do, not enough time to do it.
    I wonder what I will make for dinner tonight?
    Best get back to work.

  24. Poetry as a moment of self-review. Good details. May you always take a break to write a poem.

    Welcome to the blog, Joe! Hope to see you here more.

  25. Eyes

    The touch of her eyes caresses my soul.
    An all too brief embrace.
    Her scent warms me.
    I sing a silent song.

  26. I mentioned in an answer to Ann’s poetry question elsewhere that I would post something here. I wrote it a couple months ago, over several days. It is my first serious attempt at free-verse poetry, or at least I think it is that until someone tells me differently:


    The Whore Jeffrey Alan Switt

    Past her prime, passed by life, posing at her chair
    in haughty defense against a world so cruel.
    Basking in early days of glory and imagined elegance.
    Transparent vanity dressed in costume.
    A character cast from Tennessee Williams.

    A drama of debauchery and defeat.

    Leaning forward she offers puffy cleavage to leering eyes,
    served in a push-up garment of cups and straps and satin stained.
    Beneath, ankles heavy and blue, diseased and injured,
    connected by numbness to a body swollen from neglect and abuse.
    A body soiled and infected.
    Wounds, some self-inflicted, all badges of martyrdom.

    A hideous caricature of one left behind in life, abandoned by herself long before.

    Her belly protrudes in grotesque tension against the fabric of her frock.
    Arms bare, with dimpled fat hanging, swinging as she touches her hair
    to make that familiar feminine adjustment.
    Cheeks pastry powdered, fevered with rouge.
    Lips streaked red like a demon fed.
    Hair, not a color of nature, but of theatre.
    Eyes shadowed blue above slitted entries to the inner hell
    which replaced her soul before she knew she had one.

    No adornment can hide her despair and self-loathing.

    Suitors woo her with their dollars. No promises of love;
    contempt and scorn their only gifts.
    Her remaining days delirious performances,
    encore after encore to no applause.
    She succumbs to their lies, denies all truths.
    Numbs her pain with a bottle, a needle, the loins of a thousand men.
    But she cannot numb the doom which consumes her living remains.
    That her fantasy life of glory and elegance, soon to end, might
    be replaced with the terror
    of living in reality.
    If only for a day.
    Her fini.

    And that, too, will not be with grace.

  27. I wonder if any man can get inside the mind of a prostitute such as the one you describe. It’s a grim poem. I wonder what she’d write if these were her words, in first person?

  28. I want to write a poem,
    “I Will Not Write Today”
    But can’t get started on it.

  29. Donkeys brayin’.
    What they sayin’?

  30. My Restless Sleep

    Again my restless sleep conjures memories of you.

    From the shelter of my bed I clutch my pillow,
    I watch your vapor form encircle, ethereal and fleeting.
    A hand reaches out, a missing arm of Venus in melted alabaster.
    You touch my hidden youth, I receive you.
    My arms envelope you, they wrap you like tendrils of a vine,
    a vain attempt to draw you impossibly near.

    Our fingers interlace and meld,
    a baker’s dough of emotion which he twists together.
    A dash of flour here and there, the Mother of God
    powdering the naked form of a fresh newness as it wants to cry.
    I hold you as if you were a butterfly, we rise together.

    I lay my head at your chest, we soar in cadence,
    with the thump thumpa thump of your heart.
    From our lofty flight we view your form
    riding horseback, without tack.
    Unclothed as God made you, arms thrust to the air
    in fearful exhilaration of another day’s freedom.

    I snuggle in your warmth. My fingers comb your hair.
    I dive into the wetness of your eyes,
    Our imaginations burn with adolescent passion not understood.
    Thoughts of oneness, but never together.
    I want to weep to wash my shame. I don’t.

    As you came, now you leave,
    a scent of music swaddles my mind,
    a fog of absolution.

    My joy resounds. I am again at peace.

  31. Kayden was born,Wow.
    Now Great Grandmother Am I !
    Enjoy Loving Him.

  32. The Bathing Cap Club

    Mercy rains
    It touches my window
    I catch my reflection in the pane
    Tattered and soiled
    Tired and burdened
    We both see my missteps
    and the mistakes I’ve made

    Still, my hands build another levee
    as I remember drowning
    In Sorrow
    In Fear
    In Guilt

    Come to me now
    where grace reigns
    and only in love will you drown


    I sit on the morning porch step
    a cup of coffee in one hand,
    my young pup cradled under one arm.
    I stroke her head and she looks at me
    with golden brown affection.
    We snuggle.

    A cat walks left and right rubbing against my
    bare toes extending past the porch step.
    A morning ritual, nearly erotic in her contact.
    I smile as she looks at me wanting more.

    I go back inside for more coffee.
    The two remain and look at each other
    in peaceful co-existence and wonder,
    Where did he go?

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