Poetry Challenge #112

Bend it like Adolphe . . . Sax that is!

When we were about twelve, my friend Theresa and I closed ourselves in a music room at CSULB and played over and over and over and …the opening phrases of the song Windy. We only stopped when the guy in the next room knocked. Turned out, he too played a sax. We only wished we did . . .

Said to emote a sound reminiscent of “the echo of an echo” . . .  a resonance “situated at the edge of silence,” the saxophone was invented by Adolphe Sax in the 1840s (patented in 1846.) Sax only received a 15-year patent for the sax (and immediately others began copying his design). Sax’s sax however was the first.

Adolphe Sax.jpg

In honor of Sax’s birthday, November 6, 1814, let’s write a saxophone poem.

Listen to a Saxophone play. This 2017 post highlights “The 20 Greatest Saxophonists of All Times” with clippings of each playing.

Let your mind wander as you listen. Where does the music take you? How does it make you feel? What does it make you feel?

Or, look at the saxophone itself, it’s shape. And ask yourself, if a saxophone were an animal, which animal would it be?

Draw on these saxophone images and feelings to write a Saxophonic poem.

Set your mind on “Cool”.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #111

One Dark and Stormy Night . . . YIKES!

halloween pumpkin.jpg

Back in my sleep-over camp-out nights, with the campfire crackling and tossing spooky shadows, the wind howling and tree branches scraping on the tent, we used to make scary spookier still with a game called Yikes!

Things that go bump in the night. . . Scary, right? Scary how a simple bump sound—in the right setting at the right time—sends tingles, quivers, hair-raising heebie-jeebies shivers chasing up our spines.

It’S Hallow’s Eve; let’s get our Yikes! on. Whoever creates the spookiest poem, wins! First, write a scary poem. And then . . . make it even scarier still by replacing specifics with sounds words.

See if you can scare yourself silly!

Oooooohhhhh CREAK

SCRATCH EEK

EEK YOWL

HOWL

Mwahaha

SCREECH SCRITCH

WHAT’S THAT NOISE . . .

Thump THWACK

thwaaaaaaaaaa

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Start writing!

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

It is said that everyone fears the same thing—the Unknown. Thus, the secret to writing scary is not what you write—but what you leave out. “Readers will imagine the rest, filling in the gaps with whatever scares them most,” noted Nocturium in a recent post**.  Which takes me right back to those spine-tingling sounds. Let’s give it a Go—ghost!

Poetry Challenge #110

Boston Creme Pie . . . Oh My!

It is said that the Boston Cream Pie was invented in Boston—hence the name. More specifically, “In 1856, at Boston’s Parker House Hotel, French chef Monsieur Augustine Francois Anezin created this pudding and cake combination.” It was declared the official dessert of Massachusetts in 1996. (In case you need cause to celebrate, Oct 23rd is National Boston Creme Pie Day!

I don’t live in Boston or in Massachusetts, but I love Boston Cream Pie. Those yellow cake layers, that creamy pudding filling, the smooth chocolate icing. Yum!

What might the official dessert of your town be if YOU got to name it? Write a poem describing your dessert. Make our mouths water just thinking about it!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #109

Dictionary Roulette

I love dictionaries! It’s an excellent way to procrastinate . . . and expand one’s vocabulary—always a good thing. Best, words lead to ideas…and actions! So grab a dictionary and let’s GO!

Here’s mine…show me yours!

Here’s mine…show me yours!

If you don’t have a physical dictionary (Borrow a library copy or go buy one!!! You should have one!!!), you can use a website such as m-w.com or dictionary.com and look for a list of words of the day.

Yes! You can borrow my dictionary.

Yes! You can borrow my dictionary.

One of my favorite prompts when I get stuck with any writing is to take a dictionary, open to a random page, and write down the first word I see. Sometimes I roll three dice and open to that page. Sometimes I have someone pick a number between 1 and 948 (the number of pages in my favorite dictionary) and then another number between 1 and 68 (the average number of words on the two pages) and I find my word that way.

Using the Close-Your-Eyes-and-Point method, Roll-the-Dice method, Pick-A-Number method, find 5 words. Write a 5-line poem using all 5 words.

Poetry Challenge #108-Let’s Hear It For Teddy!

“Wait! Where’s my Noy-Noy?” Is it a coincidence that National Bring Your Teddy to School/Work Day and National Stop Bullying Day fall on the same day? (The Second Wednesday in October (Oct 9, 2019) I don’t think so. How many of us had a favorite Teddy—by “Teddy” I mean that bunny, stuffie, blankie, lovie, bear or otherwise you loved as a child? Mine was named “Noy-Noy.” All these years later I still recall times when it seemed Noy-Noy was my only friend. Likewise, how many of us recall being teased about that beloved Teddy? Or having been shamed into leaving it behind? Bernard Waber’s Ira Sleeps Over immediately comes to mind. For that matter, how many of us have discarded, lost, ignored, stuffed into a box, closet, attic, under the bed . . .  that beloved Teddy?

What about Me? Poetry Challenge #108 This One’s for Teddy! Climb into your attic (metaphoric or otherwise) take out your beloved Teddy, dust it off and give it a big hug—in the form of a poem. Begin by taking a moment to recall your Teddy. What does it look like? What did it feel like? And more, what did holding it make you feel? Did you and your Teddy go on adventures together? Can you think of a recent time you wish you had Teddy? Drawing on these moments, write Teddy a poem. Let your Teddy’s name be the title of the poem. Give Your “Teddy” a mental (or real-time) hug Set the timer for 7 Minutes Start Writing!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1260++ days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #105

Happy Birthday!

Every day is somebody’s birthday! Who do you know who has a birthday coming up soon? Write a poem to that person telling them why they’re special or what they mean to you. Work on it until every word is exactly the one you want. Do you want your poem to rhyme? Do you want it to have a certain number of syllables on a line? Is it a list poem or a story? You get to decide. You can even give it to the person as a birthday gift!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #104

Historic Events

Today marks the 18th Anniversary of the September 11 attacks, a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States. “The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage. Additional people died of 9/11-related cancer and respiratory diseases in the months and years following the attacks.” The site of the World Trade Center “Twin Towers” is now the September 11 Memorial and Museum.

To mark this day let’s create prayer poems with hopes and wishes for children of today living in the post 9-11 world.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #103

Back to school

School bells are ringing, schedules are made, new pens and pencils and notebooks full of blank pages fill bright, new backpacks.

Write a poem about the beginning of the school year—or the beginning of any school year you remember. Are you excited/scared/worried? Does anything surprise you? What do you like best? Least?

Try writing your poem in couplets—two lines that rhyme. See what happens if you take two couplets and use the first lines from each and then the second lines from each so every other line rhymes. Which poem do you like better?

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #102

Worker’s Holiday

Labor Day, called by some the “Worker’s Holiday,” is celebrated the first Monday in September and was signed into law on June 28, 1894, by President Grover Cleveland. Up until that time workers (including children as young as five) toiled twelve hours a day, seven days a week to eke out a living. Nowadays, thanks to the efforts of those early labor movement organizers, we Americans take fairer work conditions for granted. However, for the sake of this prompt, let’s pretend we are one of those early labor organizers, making up a chant for the Labor Day Rally.

According to Merriam-Webster, “a chant is a repeated rhythmic phrase, typically one shouted or sung in unison by a crowd.” Chants are short. (One or two lines at most), set to a definite march beat. Often they rhyme.

Hint: It might be easiest to find rhymes first. To that end list words that rhyme with labor, day, work, or others that come to mind when you think of Labor Day.

Ready, Set, March!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Poetry Challenge #101

End of Summer

It’s hard to believe summer is coming to an end. Long, sunny days are growing shorter. Nights are cooler. Trips to the beach or pool are less frequent.

What signs tell you that summer is almost over? Back to school sales? The one branch of red leaves? Geese flying overhead?

What do you do to celebrate the end of summer? Take one last swim or hike? Bake (or eat) one more pie? Have one more campfire and roasted marshmallow?

List some things you notice at the end of summer. Use the questions above to help you make your list. Think about activities that you try to do one more time or maybe some that you know are coming to an end.

An ode is a poem that celebrates a person, place, thing, or idea. It often follows a certain pattern of number of lines or number of beats on a line. It’s usually short and tries to capture the emotion of the celebrated item.

Choose one (or more) of the things on your list and write an ode to summer.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 1200 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge, let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.