Visual Prompt: Pick a Number Between 1 and 9

Let play a poetry game! Pick a number between one and nine then slide the cover to reveal the visual prompt that you can use to write a poem this week. The numbers are in random order in the lower right hand corner of each photo. If the image loads with the slider open, quickly close it without peeking. My visual prompt and poem are below.

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Momeries: A Mother’s Day Poem

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there and to grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and friends who are helping to raise a child. Being a mom is the greatest joy in my life. My kids are adults and living their own lives now, but sometimes I find myself walking down memory (momery) lane, missing my littles. They (and their dad) always make Mother’s Day special for me, but this year I wanted to do something nice for them too. After reading it to my kids earlier today, I’m sharing the poem I wrote for them here.

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Clipped Verse: Children’s Poetry for a Windy Day

I first learned of clipped verse (sometimes called fragmented rhyme) back in 2007 when I was introduced to children’s author Verla Kay’s powerful historical non-fiction children’s book, Rough, Tough Charley. The book is about Charley Parkhurst, one of the most respected stagecoach drivers in the old West: six-horse stagecoach / bounds along / Charley reins up / flicks a thong / Ladies gossip / “Charley’s odd / Don’t like people / then they nod. It wasn’t until his death that people discovered he was a she: Hold your horses / Huge surprise . . . / He’s a woman in disguise.

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Visual Poetry Prompt: Naked (a winter poem)

When I saw this picture, it reminded me of growing up in Utah. Watching the Wasatch mountains turn a brilliant shade of autumn, leaving naked trees to be blanketed by snow. We always had the most beautiful snowstorms! I now live in Northern California’s wine country and although I’m a summer girl, sometimes I like to take a drive up to the Sierra mountains and say hello to that old friend, snow. (Photo, with thanks, by Tim Gouw),

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The Shortest Poem in History

When I came across Strickland Gillilan’s 1927 poem, “Lines on the Antiquity of Microbes,” I had a good laugh. Not only because it’s a concise, funny poem but because the long, complicated title is comically in contrast. Apparently, someone else thought the same thing (as far as I can tell, nobody has fessed up yet) and later shortened the title to “fleas.” So here it is, the shortest poem in history:

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Writing a Mask Poem

A mask poem (also called a Persona) is written from the point of view of an object, an animal, or a person (other than yourself). Mask poems can be long or short, serious or humorous. There are no rules as far as meter or rhyme pattern goes but its important to select an interesting subject and use your imagination to reveal the feelings of the object. Is the object lonely, joyful, afraid? Why?

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