Category Archives: National Poetry Month

Life Cycle? NPM23 Day 10

An invitation to write a science poem–yes please! And the serendipity of our caterpillar sighting at school today made the perfect topic for the “whimsical science poems” at #verselove that Brittany prompted.

Life Cycle?

Caterpillar crossing

scrunch by scrunch

to the oohs and aahs

of its first grade audience

And then they notice the poop

on the picnic table and our eyes rise up

Fireworks explode

in a tree full of caterpillars


like tinsel

on a 1960’s Christmas tree

Will they be there tomorrow

or will they be

                bird snacks



into blossoms


egg laying

a new crop

of caterpillars

A life cycle continued

or broken?

Break the Break: NPM23 Day 9

I realized today that I forgot to post my poem for day 9. #verselove had prompted a poem that breaks rules–but instead my poem was all about the end of my spring break. I suppose since it began as a Haiku, it did break those rules along the way as well.

Break the Break

At the break of break

Songbirds trill, sun warms the now-spring air, breath flows in and out

I suppress the urge to throw the alarm clock across the room

Break broken

Something You Should Know: NPM23 Day 8

Emily (who happens to be from my writing project!) at #verselove invited writers to share something about themselves using Clint Smith’s poem by the same name as inspiration. Thanks for a great prompt Emily! I knew right away what I would write about–but it was much harder than I anticipated! Here’s my attempt:

Something You Should Know

is that the teenaged me bonded with Dad over

sprint cars as pit crew members

Squeezed in the back of the truck

nestled with the spare tires

on long road trips to the racetrack

Circles of speed

left turns only

going around and around

arriving nowhere fast

Rolling tires

topping off fuel

pushing the race car to the starting line

Dressed alike in white jeans and t shirt

as we traverse the muddy track

trying not to wipe grease stained hands

on those bright white pants

Life’s lessons:

watch your back

compete even if you can’t win

fitting in sometimes means standing out

and eventually you figure out what matters most in life

through the relationships built

watching cars drive around in circles.

Cliffs: NPM23 Day 7

Today’s #verselove prompt was “death in a poem” and I struggled. My mind searched for ways to weave the theme of death into something I could handle on this last weekday of spring break. You’ll not be surprised that I turned to nature. I was thinking about the difference in the way we describe landslides (or in our parlance, cliff failures) on the southern CA coastline as compared to the way that landslides were described in Zion National Park. There, the landslide was an expected way that nature sculpts the landscape. Of course, there were also not multimillion dollar homes perched along the rim that crumbled. So, I’m not so sure that this qualifies as death in a poem, maybe instead it is life in a poem. I chose to use an etheree–a 10-line form that begins with a single syllable and build, adding a syllable to each line until you reach the tenth line with ten syllables.



Fail daily

Crumbling downhill

Everything tumbling

Into a pile below

Erosion meet gravity

Cliff death creates new habitat

Algae covers what was once a road

In nature, death offers new beginnings

Endings (in a sijo): NPM23 Day 6

On a bittersweet day, a heading home day, a too long on the highways and byways day, the poetry prompt at #verselove was to write a Sijo. Please don’t count the syllables too closely!


Senses fire, awake alert

breathing, gulping nature’s power

Around each bending slanting

slipping path, eyes hugged by mountains

Driving home in deep monotony

reflection stirs, awe cements

Water, an Offering: NPM23 Day 5

Today’s #verselove prompt was offered by Bryan–something he calls “poetic drive-bys” but I understand more as an ode–a poem of praise, of understanding and appreciating a person, place, or thing. I spent my day at Zion National Park–and had water on my brain…in all its forms.

Water: A Super Hero

It slips in and out of our consciousness

We crave it in scarcity

waste it in abundance

underestimate its power

Water shows us its superpowers

shape shifting with ease

from liquid to gas to solid

As liquid it carves canyons, topples trees, moves mountains

what looks like a calm river

can roar with ferocity and later gently lap the sandy shores

It’s mysterious as vapor

sometimes appearing to mask the view

other times rising to mound in voluptuous curves, ready to give birth to liquid again

Frozen it is rigid, sharp, unforgiving

breaking stone, cracking under pressure

encasing everything it touches in translucence

Stalactites, growing longer, pointier drip by drip

until they drop and shatter

or pierce the bubble of truth

Water we love you

want you, need you, worship you

and forget just how much power you wield

Thanks for reminding me!

Geo-Logic Logic: NPM23 Day 4

On day four, I found myself tasked with being grammatically ungrammatical and playing around with words. (Check out Jennifer’s prompt over at #verselove for more information). After another day spent with incredible geology filling my eyes at Valley of Fire, I decided to play around with some geology words. Here’s what I came up with!

Geo-Logic Logic

When boulders shoulder

Merging silica and limestone

Cross-bedding beehives of red

Sand dunes of dinosaurs

Mountain into fiery geometry

Geo-logical equations

Strata striate

Rainbows blasted in everpresent wind

Building hidey holes for whack a mole

Cryptobiotic soil

Gardens Cyanobacteria

Micro nourishments for life below the surface

Mind muddled, brain baffled

Geologic time unfurls

A spectacle of wonder

Time to Explore-A Haiku Sonnet: NPM23 Day 3

Today’s poem is inspired by a day exploring the Red Rock Canyon Conservancy outside of Las Vegas. Stacey over at #verselove suggested a Haiku sonnet composed of 4 3-line Haiku and two more lines. But of course, I couldn’t resist also turning my Haiku sonnet into a photo essay. Enjoy!

Time to Explore

Twirling and swirling

Hair soaring like sacred bird

Breath stolen by wind

Braving the wind

Define resilience

Windswept tree emerges from rock

Strength is surviving

tree rising from rocks

Scrambling. Rocks not eggs

Terrain fit for mountain goats

Will hike for ahhh, views

scrambled to this view

Rare desert water

Liquid gold, secret to life

Listen. It’s singing

the sweet songs of water

Glimpses, moments, stay present

Appreciate nature’s bounty.

manzanita in bloom

Come Walk With Me: NPM23 Day 2

On day two of National Poetry Month the #verselove prompt was to write a coffee share poem…a way to connect and introduce yourself. But after spending my day exploring Death Valley National Park, the coffee shop metaphor didn’t feel quite right. so instead, just come walk with me!

Come walk with me

I’ll tell you about the power of my friend camera

And how it’s changed the way I see the world

Noticing details of salt flats

Almost hexagonal frames surrounding minerals dried in the hotter than hot desert sun

Salt Flats at Badwater Basin in Death Valley National Park

Come walk with me

I’ll tell you how walking helps me explore

Taking me out of my head and into nature, even the nearby nature of my backyard

To hear the wind and birdsong and the steady beat of my own heart and feet

Come walk with me

I’ll tell you about the inhale

of hope and possibility that comes with time immersed looking, thinking, breathing

Don’t forget the exhale, breathe out stress and negativity

Make space for yourself

Let’s lace up our shoes

And head out

To walk and talk

Breathe and listen

Noticing the world together.

Just in Time: NPM23 Day 1

It’s the first day of National Poetry Month…and that’s no joke! When I awoke this morning I saw that #verselove over at Ethical ELA had a haibun prompt. Hmmm…. I don’t think I have ever written a haibun, but I had just read about it as I reviewed the picture book Wabi Sabi that I will be using with my students after we come back from break. This form begins with some prose poetry and then ends with a Haiku.

So after quite a full first day of spring break…here is my haibun.

The break arrives just before the taut knot of


bursts allowing a slow start before taking to the road to unravel and explore

Crisscrossing state lines

Natural beauty awaits

But first stop: Vegas