Works in progress

Today is a good day for sharing some poems written in response to Robert Lee Brewer’s weekly prompts on his website Poetic Asides. But please understand that these are all works in progress if I ever submit them for publication alone or in a collection, they will undergo much-needed editing.


1. Write a poem about an unstoppable force

Can’t Stop Writing
I write
I’m compelled to write
articles, blog posts, my novel,
my poems.
I cannot stop the force
that makes me write
and I don’t want to.
But it leaves me no peace
from my spinning mind
and its continual search
for the right words
in every piece.

2. Write a poem that deals with cruelty

More Cruel than Safe
We see the young man
through a narrow slat
in his door.
He lies naked
on cold cement.
A thin quilt covers him.
He has no bed
or other furnishings.
Scratches and cuts cover his body.

One gash goes from his wrist
to past his elbow, another
on his arm˜s underside.
Self inflicted wounds, they say,
so they’ve put him in the jail’s safety cell
to protect him from harming himself anymore.
Now he refuses to eat or drink.
Seems more cruel than safe to me.

Nora Ephron3. Write a receipt poem.

For Norah Ephron
It’s a simple recipe:
Mix together
two tablespoons of vinegar
two tablespoons of Dijon mustard.
Then slowly whisk in
six tablespoons of olive oil.
That’s it. It’s perfect and delicious.

I’ve been making it for years
since I read Norah’s novel,
Heartburn. She put
many recipes in that book.
Norah liked to cook especially pie.
But the vinaigrette stuck.
Why not? It always gets rave reviews.

Right after I heard she died
I made it again in her memory
She gave me so much more than
a simple recipe.

4. Write a poem about or, at least, with  a sound

Invasive sounds roar constantly
between my ears
like a whoosh of air,
a calm or static hum,
or the low whistle
of an approaching train.
Complete silence evades,
overshadows, and diverts
music and voices
meant to be heard.

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