Prompt – Use the first line of a poem to start a poem.

By Jane Kenyon, Having it Out with Melancholy, from Constance, 1993
Using the first line of section 6 of the poem, titled In and Out.

The dog searches until he finds me
pushes his tiny wet nose along the
invisible trail only he knows.

What treasure does he seek?

Carpet fuzz
dead leaf
crumb of crust
are met with equal joy.

I study his delight
draw it into me,
experience it,
as he does,

I resolve, just then, to follow his lead.

Any creature can move easily
even exuberantly
through the unknown,



NaPoWriMo begins!

Okay, here we are – April 1! The brand new puppy in our lives has delightfully consumed most of my free time over the past week, but now it’s time to get it together and get writing. It’s a beautiful sunny day, and today’s prompt is to write a poem that has the first line of another poem. Wow! So many to choose from, how will I pick? Shall I go David Whyte, my recent favorite? An old favorite? Something totally random? We shall see…


From the prompt at Poetic AsidesWD Poetic Form Challenge: Hay(na)ku

exhale and
repeat as needed


all is
contained within small

when I write in the morning
and slip like a shadow between the worlds
like a blind sea snake, every molecule a story
like a silk stocking falling,
a sheath still holding the shape of a life
oh, the simple and glorious form of it
tensile strength of the weave astounding
but delicate
a song of the solid it once embraced
and then released

all of this a tidbit offered up
to the gods of vastness
a prayer of longing
the daring to commune with the divine

let me swim in my silences
observing, breathing, being
every pore a conduit, an antenna poised
for so sensitive an instrument
a well meaning “good morning”
is an earthquake on my richter scale
when the fear and trembling subsides
I sweep the minature ruins into the fairy-dust bin
and wait
for the next awakening

I’ll stop calling them small stones – they are getting to be sizeable rocks…

Do you know how it is when you are driving
another day in the dreary grey
wipers flicking front and rear
windows steaming ever-so-slightly
in the corners
because a good song came on the radio
and you just have to turn it up loud and

You know you are off-key but
you just don’t care because
the words are just right
and feel of release in your throat
is like crying felt before you knew
you were supposed to hide it?

Let me add my thanks to the City of Beaverton
Department of Public Works
for this sewer repair
that tied up traffic
long enough for the radio station
to play the song
I needed to hear


Traveling in, 9am
frosty rooftops,
mist just a sensation
outside the range of normal vision.
pocket of fog glimpsed ahead
on the road not taken

Returning, 5pm
Left turn reveals
expanse of deepening pink
dusky flush of night
receiving her lover.
crest the wave with her
swim in the release
right turn
away, breathing steadies
in the violet lush.

full moon pierced,
luminous, pulsing,
mounted on towering pines.

January fingers in the dishwater
this warmth travels up creaky bones,
melts the small cranky place
lodged half-forgotten in my right shoulder
and then
softens the knot I’ve clumsly tied
in my own heart.

shiny sink, scrubbed fresh soul

Three years later, less gangly limbed and more rumbly voiced,
these boys still cook up world domination and hilarity in my kitchen
and shed debris like a dog shaking off after the rain
(they also do a better job of cleaning up after themselves)
now, hours later, they only trace of them is
the hint of the smile at the corners of my mouth

Yes, I missed the first day. That’s (really, truly {madly, deeply}) okay. Although I feel this inadequacy, I completely love and accept myself.

red ink on yellow paper
loopy, legible handwriting
(familiar and smooth as my own teeth)
the beginnng of (the review of) a year
what do I know that I know?