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Saturday, April 23, 2016

Poems for April Poem A Day: Days 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22

The days have been so busy and I have had so much to do that I have not posted poems for a whole week!! But here are the latest poems up to Day 22. I can't believe April is almost over and wondering what I will do when I don't have to write a poem a day. Or in my case have to write two poems a day. It has been exhilarating and I have tried new kinds of poetry too. 

As usual all of the prompts here come from Robert Brewster's blog: Poetic Asides. I am also writing to prompts from World Poetry Open Mic, but I am not posting them here. After April I will post all of the poems I have written in the Poetry tab on this blog.

Also, I announced it on Facebook, but those who might not have seen it, one of my poems has won an award. It has placed in the Nassau County Poet Laureate's Annual Poetry Contest. I am thrilled of course and looking forward to the ceremony. Also with me at that ceremony will be Pearl Ketover Prilik and Nurit Israel, two fabulous poets who I have known for several years. Thank you to the Nassau County Poet Laureate Society.

So here are all the poems I missed posting:

April 16
Prompt: Write about a restaurant you like
Pony Express

Having a few hours before the movie
and our stomachs growling close to 
dinnertime we happened upon this
unassuming place where you order
at the counter and your food is
served on metal trays
yet in the menu above it we saw
homemade buns and all organic
my mother always said when you
don’t know what the food is like
order a cheese sandwich so I 
ordered grilled cheese — expecting
the usual soggy, yet dry experience
my surprise came when I was rewarded
with crunchy and creamy on what seemed
like the largest slices of bread ever
toasted to perfection and keeping the
taste of butter in my mouth
along with it the homemade chips
with guacamole and their french fries
crispy and delicious making me wonder
how the tiny space in back of the counter
could possibly bring forth such delicacies
my palate knew we would return
as the riders of the old Pony Express
returned to their place of origin
and did I mention the homemade hot dog buns?
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 17
Prompt: Write a haiku

The full moon rises 
a light apricot orb 
held by the dark night

soon stars will twinkle
forming a carpet of light
across the black sky

how peaceful nature
can be every night primping
as we view its show
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 18
Prompt: Write an office poem

A Human Office

There is an election this year
to elect someone to fill the
office of President
Why do they call it an office?
does the President have windows
or cubicles or a boss to tell him/her
what to do?
is it because the President has an office?
an office most would dream to have
can you imagine every day walking into
a room appointed especially for you
with the prerogative to shut the door
on all who are on the opposite side?
What is is like to hold the office of President?
our current President’s hair has turned almost 
white in only eight years from the strain of this 
office pressing on him
why does anyone want to take this office
maybe they feel they will do a better job than
the one who came before them
it’s as if Sisyphus created a job where he could
push his ball of dung up the hill while sitting in
a really posh surrounding and having people wait 
on him hand and foot — yet that ball needs pushing
and he must do it himself — others can try but
it is his job and he must persist in this fruitless attempt
so we change the pushers every four or eight years
but that ball still is their major job and it is a dirty
little secret that this is the President’s job
So welcome to the Oval Office to the next elected President
and get ready to start pushing.
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 19
Prompt: Write a poem about cool or uncool

Being Cool

In the fifties and early sixties
being cool was wearing black
and a nifty beret on your head
visiting a dark, dank coffee house
where you listened to very cool
poets expounding on their angst
and you didn’t clap for that wouldn’t
be cool. You snapped your fingers
you were a cool cat — a beatnik
too cool to be seen during the day
appearing only at night in your haunts

In the sixties it was cool to love rock music
and the guitar sounds of the Byrds
Jim Morrison and the Beatles blaring from
the radio in your refinished 
convertible Chevrolet
and it was cool to have been to Woodstock
and wallowed in the mud and melody there
swallowing the sweet smoke and digging
the vibes

then it all changed and it was cool to 
make money and to move up in the world
to accumulate possessions until you had 
to buy more homes to find them a place
never caring for the way you destroyed
everything you touched, including the
ones you supposedly loved

and finally it was cool to eat organic food
care about the environment
cool to be who you were
and poetry became cool too
perhaps it was cool all along
and rediscovered like those
flowers lining the road you only
glance at while driving, but when
you walk along the side of the road
the beauty of these golden daffodils
astounds you.
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 20
Prompt: Write what goes unsaid

The Words Unsaid

People are always telling me secrets
don’t tell this one and don’t tell that one
and I don’t ever, because I lock them away
in a secret place where I hold the things
people tell me in a spot where the unsaid
lives in a bubble inside of my head
when they tell me their faces hold such pain
I feel if I told the words they gave to me
they would dissolve in sorrow
so I hold them close to me 
words unsaid
powerful words like bullets in my brain
waiting to pounce if ever the chance arrives
they push and push to be unfettered
but I keep them corralled and left unsaid
though they chafe to be let out of my mouth
would I could regurgitate all of these secrets
vomiting the words unsaid to clean my mind
and yet I know if I do more will replace them
for I can’t say no to: “Can I tell you a secret?”
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 21
Prompt: Write a poem in response to another poem

After: How to Triumph Like A Girl by Ada Limón

Plunging Ahead

Sure the race is rigged. You're a girl
the rules are warped for you
you must carry the heavy weight
they've handicapped you from the start
your saddle bag is heavier than a male's
but you carry it like a thoroughbred
forging forward through the crowd
aware of your handicap but shouldering it
forging ever forward against the hard wind
of a man's world with your steady gait
and sometimes you fall back as in any race
but the course is straight and you will succeed
and throw that weight in the face of the
males who will still sneer and say never can happen
when there you will be in the winner's circle
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 22
Prompt: Write a poem using the title Star____

Star Light Star Bright

In the brief interlude between sunset and dark
we played a game when I was a girl
watch the sky and find the first star you see
make a wish as soon as you spy this light
and don't tell anyone
I wish I may and I wish I might
have the wish I wish tonight
and I would dream wish for things
a doll, a new dress, to stay up late
but childhood is a blip in time
eons while you are in it,
but gone in a flash like a star's light
and the grown up girl/woman still wished
upon the first star playing the game
and wishing for the impossible
the marriage dream, the children dream
and as each year passed the dreams
became reality yet the game continued
each night as the sun closed down for the day
and darkness overcame the sky 
I peered upward for the first star 
teaching my children and hearing them 
play the game as they wished 
for the impossible to come true
but now as the first star's light 
shines in the evening sky 
and purple turns to black
my only wish on this light 
sent from light years away
to shine on me 
is to see your face again 
and watch you
laugh as I play my silly game 
of catching the first star
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time my friends, thank you to any who enjoy my poems and read them and I hope to be more on time for the rest of the month. 

My radio show Red River Radio Tales from the Pages is coming up this Thursday, April 28 at 4PM EST - 6PM. My guests are going to be returning guest, esteemed poet and author Phillip Matthew Roberts and novelist Nicholas Maze, who is a first time author on the show. Also we will be hearing from Susan Joyner Stumpf, who is the publisher of Phillip's book, Lost and Found. This looks to be a great show and not to be missed. I know I say that about all of my shows, but this one will be special I am sure. If you miss it at the time it is live you can always listen to the archive. Just click on the link I will be posting on my page and you can hear it at any time. 

Hope you are enjoying the spring weather and writing or reading poetry. I will soon have big news about both my book, After, and my new poetry book, Losing My Love, Finding Myself, which will be published very soon.  

Friday, April 15, 2016

Day 14 and Day 15 for April Poem A Day


Here are the poems for Days 14 and 15 for April Poem A Day from Poetic Asides. I hope you are enjoying them so far as much as I am enjoying writing them. I can't believe it is the halfway point of the month.

April 14
Prompt: Write a poem about time out

Time Out

I would like to take a time out from aging
see my face in the mirror as I was at twenty-five
eyes not underlined with circles 
and pains coming and going like guests
at first it is fun to add on years to your age
at twenty you always want to be older
if only I could be twenty-nine and then
you hit a wall and thirty hops in 
then you find forty is a hurdle you can't jump 
the years skip by as you frolic in the frenzy
of mature recognition - the fun forties
ending in the fifties and moving gently
into the sixties and suddenly there is
the milestone you never thought you 
would reach and you want a time out
enough you say
I understand and want to stop now
but there is no time out from aging
only the acceptance that you must
befriend the clock and make it your BFF
for though your outside may show the
wear and tear of the years
inside you are and always will be the blithe
twenty-five year old who swallowed life
and spit out the pits
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 15
Prompt: write a poem with at least four of the following eight words:
1 flat
2 ring
3 lavish
4 vessel
5 paper
6 blacklist
7 gaudy
8 tooth

Off the Blacklist

She dressed to the nines
hoping her flat chest would
be plumped by the additions
she had bought remembering
the times when she was a girl
and stuffed herself with paper
now she primped in front of 
the mirror thinking her dress
might be too gaudy and yet
she had been on the blacklist
too long and tonight was her
night to shine
she had gone all out with a 
lavish gown and a ridiculously expensive
ring and had acquired the services
of a chauffeur so she would arrive
in a suitable vessel for the gala
tonight she would be back with 
her friends and again part of
the tooth fairy glitterati

copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time I hope you can either write or read some poetry in the next few days. Check back here for more in a few days. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Days 11, 12 and 13 April Poem a Day

I can't believe it is Day 14 of April Poem a Day tomorrow. I have had a very busy week and writing two poems a day added to this. But I am posting the poems I wrote the last three days. If you are reading them and have a comment you can scroll to the bottom of the page and comment there. Your comment may not show up right away, because i moderate them. Be patient. 

Thank you to all who have commented on any of my poems. I am thrilled you are reading them and I enjoy sharing them with you. 

April 11
Prompt: Write a poem about defense or defending something

In Defense of 

The Arctic is melting
islands of ice floating
it's our fault for believing industry 
was all and the atmosphere would 
heal itself -- like a flesh wound
and now we are stuck with defenseless
animals who must find a way to live
in this changing world
we are not defending their lives
as we should, but instead we are
allowing this to happen
watching as species after species
finds it impossible to live in their homes
places where they have lived for eons
and they see the safe world in which
they lived and raised their young
disappearing as the icebergs melt
polar bears separated from their 
babies as the ice floes move 
farther and farther apart
they are our canaries
we are under a time crunch
for our lifestyle will soon be
up for grabs if the climate keeps
changing and spring moves from winter
to summer in a matter of days
while those who think only of money
defend the notion that this is not manmade
that of course the climate will change 
cite instances from history
but it is inevitable and can't be defended
It is changing and many don't hear the rumble
as the canary dies and the opening fills up with sand.
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 12
Prompt: Two for Tuesday: Write a poem about silliness and/or one about being serious

Let's Be Silly

Let's be silly today
act like seven year olds and 
turn in circles until the room spins
only say we are okay and bump
into the wall giggling as we go

Let's be silly today
leave our grown up cares behind
and live in the mind of a five year old
exult in the longer days so we can play outside
slam our bikes into each other 
caterwaul in glee as we glide around
a five foot area joyously

Let's be silly today
Let's crawl under a blanket tent
and pretend it's a jungle 
squeeze the day until 
joy pops out all over the place
uncontained and glorious
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

April 13
Prompt: Use Last___
Last Night

We visited you as we had done for days
seeing your strong body deteriorate
and your hands shake so much I had to
feed you the small amount your withering body
could handle -- a joke of a meal, a few sips of soup
and yogurt, then pudding, spooned into your mouth
plastic spoon reminding me of spoon feeding our daughters
pale as the hospital sheets your face stared back at me
trying to be the man I always knew
and then you looked over at us
the small group assembled there of me and your girls
your whole life standing before you
and with eyes bright with tears you motioned us
towards you encircling us with your arms
still able to move 
and you said how much you loved us
in a voice thin as paper
you whispered to me how much you loved me
had always loved me and thought only about me
you gave your usual advice to each daughter and
one last hug
I could feel that hug around me as I 
said goodnight to you
see you in the morning 
our usual goodnight
you wanted to die, had mentioned it all week
and now the hugs -- though I pushed it away 
the thought -- a demon in my head-- told me
this was the last time I would ever feel you
next to me and I knew when the curtain dropped 
on our life the next day -- this was your final encore
copyright 2016 by Barbara Ehrentreu

Until the next time I hope you are all writing poetry, but if you aren't I hope you are reading poetry. One book of poetry everyone should read is Lost and Found by Phillip Matthew Roberts. Recently he received this awesome review for this book. He is going to be my guest author on Red River Radio Tales from the Pages on April 28. You are not going to want to miss this show. Mr. Roberts is not only brilliant and funny, but he is an excellent guest as well. Also on the show is Nicholas Maze another excellent author.

Also, for any who don't know about it there is World Poetry Open Mic every Friday night at 10PM EST. Come over and read your poem on the air to fellow poets. All are welcome. 

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