2022 April Poetry Madness April 1 to 3 poems

2022 April Poetry Madness April 1 to April 3 Poems

Welcome to Cosmos’ annual April Poetry Madness.  Last year I wrote 300 poems in one month, this year I will write less as that was just way too much to deal with.

I will post them as I write them and try to update them every day or so.  I will finish May 1 US time, as that will still be April 30 KST (Korea, where I currently reside.)  Most will be G rated but a few may not be. I will try to label those or not post them. The topics will be wherever my mad muse takes me, and I usually don’t have a clue until I write them.

I will post here the poems I wrote based on prompts from NaPoWriMo, (the poetry’s world’s equivalence to the annual NaNoWriMo novel competition which I will enter again in November). Writers’ com’s Dew Drop-in, Poetry Super-highway, Writers Digest, and occasionally other prompts. I will write a few more each day, but not post them, as I need to build up more “unpublished poems” for future submissions.

Daily posting All poetry, Anchor, this blog, FB, Medium, PSH, Wattpad, Writing com, and Writer’s Digest.

I will post each poem, followed by the prompt, occasional author and notes, and photos. I will convert it to a podcast later, available on anchor, radio public, blog radio, Spotify, and elsewhere under the name “The World According to Cosmos: or Jake Cosmos Aller. See the following for more information on the podcasts.

Podcast update

At the end of the month I will add up the total poems written this month, total posted, total not-posted, and total YTD.

I have found that this annual exercise has been a big help in helping me hone my craft as I am entirely self-taught except for having taken the Mod Po class several times. It helps me stretch my poetic muscles. It has been a lot of fun but a challenge.

here are links to my previous April poems

Ten Best April 2021 Poems

April 25 to April 30 2021Poems

April 16 to April 20 2021 Poems

April 16 to April 20 2021 Poems

April 10 to April 14 2021 Poems

April 1 to April 5 Poems

April 6 to April 9 Cosmos’s Poetry 

April 6 to April 9 Cosmos’s Poetry 

April 6 to April 9 Cosmos’s Poetry

 Cosmos’s 2020 April Poetry Part One

Cosmos’s 2020 April Poetry Part One

April 2019 Poems

April 20 to April 25th 2021 Poems

April Poems Index

Total Posted
Total not Posted
Total poems April
Total Poems YTD


March 31

Forever Might Be Short NaPoWrMo Pro
Warming Up to the Day Dew Drop-in =
Re-born Local Gem
No More April Fool’s Day! Writer’s Cramp

Friday Day 1:

Never Been One To Ease Into Things! Dew Drop-In
F April Fool’s Day  Writers com Prompt
Bigfoot Emerges After the Fall of Humanity PSH prompt
Epic Retirement Road Trip Local Gem

Saturday April 2

Insomnia Blues Dew Drop In Sleep—
A Solivagant’s Journey To Distant Time Writers Digest
Sara Moore’s Anuptaphobia PSH Prompt
Second Chances? Writer’s Digest
Last Day In The Government Service Local Gem Prompt

Sunday April 3 Poems

Alone Glosa NaNoPoMo Po
Power of Love Dew Drop In
Mathematical Poem PSH prompt
Writer’s Digest te Smell of Korean Food Writers Digest
Something Fixable Local Gems

April 1

I have Bad Teeth NaPoWriMo






I have bad teeth. Always have since birth.  I had braces as a child and hated it.  Hated going to the dentist.  Put it off too long, too often.  Ended up with multiple root canals, and bone grafts, and finally lost six teeth and had to have dentures.

Lately, my remaining teeth have been behaving a bit better I may lose another tooth before the end but that should be enough.

I am waiting for the development of dental clones which I hope will happen soon so I can grow perfect teeth and replace all my old rotting teach.

I tell my teeth one day my plans


“Yeah master.”

“We need to talk.”

“So talk, dude.”

“I am going to replace you all with brand new teeth. You have been such pain my entire life, can’t wait.”

“So you are going to kill us off and trade us in for a new model.”


“Bastard, but hey, we don’t have a choice, since you are the Master and we are merely your eating machine slaves.”

“Yeah, you got that right.”

And last but not least, our optional prompt! I got this one from a workshop I did last year with Beatrix Gates, and I’ve found it helpful. The prompt is based on Robert Hass’s remarkable prose poem,

A Story About the Body.” The idea is to write your prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.

Forever Might Be Short NaPoWriMo

I shall love you forever
Until the end of time itself.
But forever might seek short
As time loses meaning
In the afterlife.

But until then
I will love you
With all my heart.

Happy writing!

For those of you who want to get a jump on things (either because it’s already April 1 where you are or, who knows, maybe you’re just a glutton for poetry!), we’ve got a special early-bird prompt, based on the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

Dickinson is known for her elliptical style, unusual word choices, and mordant sense of humor. Over the past year, I’ve experimented with writing poems based on or responding to, various lines from her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to do the same! Here are a few lines of Dickinson’s that might appeal to you

(the slashes indicate line breaks):

“Forever might be short”

“The absence of the Witch does not / Invalidate the spell”

“If to be ‘Elder’ – mean most pain – / I’m old enough, today”

“The second half of joy / Is shorter than the first”

“To be a Flower is profound / Responsibility –

And if none of those inspire you, you can find many of her poems here.
Post a poem then write a reaction Poem

For those of you getting a jump-start in April, happy writing! As for the rest of you, I’ll see you back here tomorrow with our first “official” prompt, featured participant, and featured online magazine.



To Love Thee Year By Year

Poem 434

To love thee
Year by Year
May less appear
Then sacrifice, and cease
However, dear,

Forever might be short,
I thought to show
And so I pieced it,
with a flower, now.


Warming Up to the Day Dew Drop-in = Writing com Prompt

Warming Up to the Day
I start my day drinking a cup
Of hot coffee come what may
I like to warm up
To the dawning day.

I start by getting up at dawn,
Then while reading my emails and biking two k
While brewing up my coffee, my nightmares are soon gone,
Looking at my Facebook messages turns my mood grey.

Then I turn on CNN, watch the news,
While doing my dream journal prewriting,
draft poems, stories, writing com writing.
Following my ever-creative muse.

I wake up my wife
The love of my life
And want to play
Discussing our plans for the day.

Have my morning breakfast
usually a smoothie, or kefir.
My homemade breakfast gives me much pleasure
just like in my private bed and breakfast.

Turning off the news,
Turning on music, listening to the blues
about 11 a.m., I start my day
Ready for whatever comes my way.

After finishing my “me time” warm-up
I am ready to press on
That is the way
I like to warm up to the day.

It is not warming up where I live, but, sadly, getting colder again. And now building up to a thunderstorm. Aauugghh!

But we can warm up with a warm-up poem!

Let’s practice the basic method of replying to this post with a poem (full text) somehow on the theme of “warming up.” It could be weather/temperature related, sports/practice related, or some other creative interpretation of “warming up.”

Write away! Post away (via a reply to this post)!

Note: one of my few rhyming poems.

Re-born Local Gem

September 7th, 1982
Was the day that my life
Truly began

When I met the lady
That had haunted my dreams
For eight years.

She walked off the bus
In Korea,
Told me that she was mine
And I was hers.

We got married
Six-weeks later.
Still together 40 years later.

Ups and downs
But always falling in love
Again, and again.

Day 1: A Day You Started Something Write a poem about a day in which you started something. It could be anything, joining a sports team, writing a book, a new school, a new job, anything.

No More April Fool’s Day! Writer’s Cramp

At the start of April
There is another silly superstition
Like Groundhog Day,
That is no longer that relevant.

That is the annual April Fool’s Day
When one is supposed to engage
In games of deception to fool the unwary,

But after the four years
Of the extraneous folly
That was the reign
Of “he who cannot be named,”

Every day seemed an April Fool’s Day
An April Fool’s Day that lasted
A bit less than four years.

Presided over by the greatest fool
Of all time, The self-proclaimed
“Pretty smart stable genius”
“Who had the best words”

The smartest man in the world
According to him,
“The man that cannot be named.”

Concealed every day
In his daily haiku/tanka
like cosmic tweets
Were the germs of the hatred
That he had infected
Into the body politics.

Unencumbered by the old-fashioned notion
Superman’s “Truth, Justice, and the American way”
Replaced by Lies, injustice and
Make America First propaganda nonsense.

In the end, the entire world drowned its reason
In the electric acid “Koo aid” of unreason.

That is the ridiculous
Heart of the MAGA nightmare.
So, no more April Fool’s Day
We have had enough already.

In celebration of April Fool’s Day, write a story or poem about fooling (or being fooled by) someone. It may be in any genre.
Use the words:
* deception
* extraneous
* concealed
* unencumbered
* ridiculous
(The words may appear in any order in your story, but make sure you make them bold.)

NB: The most successful entries will be those which use the words in a meaningful way, so that they occur naturally in the story, rather than feeling artificial as if awkwardly shoe-horned in.

Never Been One to Ease into Things! Dew Drop-In

Never been one
Who could ease into things,
Just not how I roll.

I am the dude
Who jumps into the water
Headless of the danger.

Just because
It was time
To jump in.

I am the kind of dude
Who never eases into
the buffet line.

Who boldly marches in
grabbing everything
And eating it all.

And most importantly
When I saw my wife
The love of my life
The lady of my dreams.

I did not ease up
On that thang.

No, I dove headfirst
Into the ocean
Of her endless love.

And was the best decision
Of all time.

If we had waited
Getting to know each
As most sane couples do,

Perhaps we never
would have lasted
For 40 years.

The moral of this poem
is simply this

You have to know
when to ease
Into things,

And you have to know
When to rush in.

When fools march
Into the lion’s den
That is the love
Of one’s life.

Don’t ease up!
Don’t tense up!

Jump into the ocean
Of your love.

You will never regret it
If you do,
And always regret it
If you ease into it

And never reach
The ocean of her love,
Waiting for you,

But with a time limit
Tick tock
Times up.

Jump or ease on out
Of there,
And say goodbye.

Easing in—write a poem about easing into something (poetry month, a pair of jeans, a new job or stage in life, a swimming pool…

F April Fool’s Day Writers Digest

F April Fool’s Day, I say.

In April, every year in the Anglo speaking world.,
There is another silly superstition
Like Groundhog Day,
That is no longer that relevant.

That is the annual April Fool’s Day
When one is supposed to engage
In games of deception to fool the unwary,

But after four years
Of the extraneous folly
That was the reign
Of “he who cannot be named,”

Every day seemed an April Fool’s Day
An April Fool’s Day that lasted
A bit less than four years.

I say again
F April Fool’s Day!
After almost four years

Of a Daily April Fool’s Day
Presided over by the greatest fool
Of all time, The self-proclaimed
“Pretty smart stable genius”
“Who had the best words”

The smartest man in the world
According to him,
“The man that cannot be named.”

It is time to discard
April Fool’s Day
In the ashcan of history

Concealed every day
In his daily haiku/tanka like cosmic tweets
Were the germs
Of the hatred
That he had infected
Into the body politics.

Unencumbered by the old-fashioned notion
Superman’s “Truth, Justice, and the American way”
Replaced by Lies, injustice and
Make America First “

In the end, the entire world drowned its reason
In the electric acid “Koo aid” of unreason.
That is the ridiculous
Heart of the MAGA nightmare,

I say again
F April Fool’s Day
We have had enough already.

Here we are on the first day of the 2022 April Poem-A-Day Challenge! Each day, I’ll provide a poetry prompt and a poem to get things started. You can secretly poem along at home, or you can share your poem in the comments below.

For today’s prompt, pick a word that begins with F, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. I don’t know if it’s because today is April Fool’s Day, Friday, or just the first day of the challenge, but today feels like an F type of day. So figure out a way to foreshadow your future poems or do whatever else will help you F it all up today.

Bigfoot Emerges After the Fall of Humanity PSH prompt

After the bombs stop falling
After the nuclear winter
After the collapse of civilization

All that remains
Are a few scattered bands
Of humans

Many are reduced
To starvation

Bigfoot who are the descendants
Of the Neanderthals
Who lived on
In the mountain wilderness

Came down
And took pity
On their human cousins.

They soon began
A new, kinder hybrid civilization
Based on the smoldering ruins
of the ancient era

Which was soon forgotten.
Except in the few university towns
That kept some of the knowledge
Of the past alive.

Particularly solar and wind power
Which was soon everywhere
As was a rudimentary internet.

Linking the college towns
The nearby markets
And the remains
Of the old central governments.

New countries slowly emerged
New trading routes
And civilization slowly recovered

It took hundreds of years
Amid the new ice age
That settled down
In most of the world.

April 1, 2022: Poetry Writing Prompt – Maria DePaul

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Maria DePaul:

Wildlife thrives in the unlikeliest of places. In remembrance of the struggles of the Ukrainian people against Russian invasion troops, think of the cats, deer, lynx, wolves, and other animals that persist in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Then write a poem, flash fiction, or creative nonfiction about how to survive and thrive in the most perilous of circumstances.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Superhighway Facebook Group.

Retirement Epic Road Trip Local Gem

for more on this epic trip and other travels see  ON THE ROAD PUBLISHED

The day after I retired
From 28 years in the Federal government service
Twenty-six years in the Foreign Service
Two years Peace Corps

We left for an epic road trip
10,000 miles
35 states

In April – June 2016
When Trumpism first emerged
Driving through flyover country
I knew that the Donald

For some weird reason
Connected with the downtrodden
Forgotten people
Of the rural hinterland.

I knew he would win
He was everywhere
In red-state America.

Hillary was nowhere
Outside the
coastal blue enclaves.

And I was so glad
I was getting out
Before the shit storm

That was Trumpism.
Would sweep through the government
Destroying so much
Of the government in the process.

Day 2: A Day You Finished Something Write a poem about a day in which you ended something. It could be anything; a job, a class, a relationship, etc…………………..

Saturday Day 2:

Insomnia Blues Dew Drop In

O Dark hundred hours

04 a.m.

You got the insomnia blues
Nothing works
You can’t sleep
You stare at the ceiling.

Your mind plays an endless tape
Of gloom, and doom
Worries and fears
All night long.

The latest dark
SF series you saw
The latest scary headlines

Endless possibilities play out.
The latest news of war
The latest news about the stock market
About the endless pandemic
Dancing across your mind’s internal eye.

What if I have COVID
What if have Cancer?
What if I have the big Alzheimer’s
What is the stock market wipes me out?

What if the North Koreans invade Seoul?
Where would we go to escape the invasion?
What if the zombie apocalypse starts?

What if, what if, what if……

You stare at your watch.

4:01 a,m.

You try to sleep, but nothing works
The dark thoughts continue to play
Across your mind’s eye

Tormenting you, torturing you.

4:05 a,m.

You debate whether
To give up
Get up
Start your morning routine.

4:10 a.m.

You give in
And try to sleep

Checking the time
Every few minutes.

Perhaps you might
Get a few fitful hours
Of much-needed sleep
Most likely not.

6:30 a.m.
Until day-break
Blasts you awake
As the dawning sun
Fills the room.

You get up
Having had only two hours of sleep
That is the curse
Of the insomnia blues.

Write a poem about sleep (or insomnia)

Saturday Day 2:

A Solivagant’s Journey to Distant Times NaPoWriMo

Sam Adams took off one day
His goal is to be a world traveler.
A WT, a Solivagant

Traveling the world
With his backpack, a laptop
His clothes, and not much more.
A minimal amount of money
Staying at cheap hostels

See as much of the world
as he could within two years.
Near the end of his travels

Deep in the vast wilderness
Of the Himalayas.
He came to a temple

Deep in the mountains
The old wizen monk
Greeted him warmly
He got so few visitors
to his out of the way temple

Lost in time and space.
Over tea, he told Sam,

That there was in his temple
A gateway to other worlds.

But it was a one-way gate
Did Sam accept the challenge?

None ever came back
So, he did not know where
They might end up,

Just a distant time and place
That is all he knew.

He had come from another place
and time a long time ago
For it was a one-way gate
On the other end as well.

Sam stepped through the portal
Telling the monk,

“I always felt that,
Distant times were calling me.”

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words. Will you choose a word like “aprosexia,” which means “an inability to concentrate”? Or maybe something like “greenout,” which is “the relief a person who has worked or lived in a snowy area for a long time feels on seeing something fresh and green for the first time”? Whatever you choose happy writing!


Sara Moore’s Anuptaphobia PSH

Sara Moore was a 30ish young woman
Who was suffering from anuptaphobia?
Ever since she turned down
Her rich Thai boyfriend
gave her a gift of an antique, expensive
Pigmean damassin.

Because she thought that it
Implied she would be
His mistress in the Thai tradition,
As a “Mia Noi”

She conspued his offer

“I ain’t going to be anyone’s “mia noi”
Or mistress, you got that Mister?”.

He responded,

“Then my curse on you
Is that you will always be single
And die an angry old spinster
Rejecting my sincere offer
Of love”

“Does that mean you
would divorce your wife
To be with me?”

“Of course not”.

She laughed.

“I did not think so.”

She left Thailand
And was now regretting
Her harsh condemnation
Of her ex-boyfriend.

An unusual word (or two) within a poem can make a reader (and writer) pause—but if the word is intriguing, this can enrich a writing and reading experience. Use AT LEAST ONE of the following words in your writing exercise.

The prompt was to use at least one of the following unusual words in a poem

I chose the following:

conspue—v.t. to spurn contemptuously.

pigmean—adj. very small.

damassin—n. a brocade with gold and silver threads.

I also chose a Thai expression:

Mia Noi Thai word for mistress means “ Little Wife “ as opposed to the Mia Yaa the big, legal wife.  Most rich men have a mia noi or two, and even poor and middle-class men aspire to have a “Mia Noi” at some time.  No one gets a divorce and often Mia Yaa and Mia Noi become friends. This ancient tradition may be dying out, it was still very common back in the 1990s.

Other word prompts included
scrvello—n. an elephant’s tusk.

tyg—n. a large ceramic 17th-century drinking mug with 12 handles.

meristic—adj. pertaining to or divided into segments.

halotic—adj. easy to catch.

zibeb—n. a raisin.

papillote—n. a paper ruffle decorating a lamb chop bone.

erudite—adj. freed from wrinkles; very smooth.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Superhighway Facebook Group.
#napowrimo #poetry


Second Chances? Writer’s Digest

There are no Second Acts
There are no Second Acts

Sam Adams, an old man
Was contemplating his life
As he turned 85 years old.



Recalling the adage
That there are no second acts
No true second chances.

He concluded
That was not true!

For he had had numerous
second chances,
fifth chances.
To get it right in the end.

Failed the first grade,
Almost failed in high school.
Flunked out of his second college,

Three tries at three colleges,
before he graduated from college.

Four failed relationships
Before he met
the love of his life.

35 different jobs
Four careers

Peace Corps,
Foreign service,
Blogging and writing.

Lived in four states,
And ten countries,
Traveled to all 50 states
And 55 countries

Cheated death 25 times.

And concluded
There are multiple chances
In life.

And each one teaches a lesson
Those who fail end up winning
And those win early on
Often ending failing
Spectacularly in the end.

It does not matter
Much in the end

We all end up in the same place,
When the grim reaper calls our name.

Just take the opportunities
That life throws at you

Never looking back
But learning life’s lessons,

And continue
One step after another.
Until the grim reaper

calls for you.
Those were his final words
in his poem

“Final chances awaiting me”.

The grim reaper came for him
That night.

Write a poem every day of April with the 2022 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today’s prompt, write a second chance poem.

Welcome back! It’s day two of the April PAD Challenge, and it’s your second chance to write a poem this month.

For today’s prompt, write a second chance poem. That second chance could be a second chance at a relationship, at living life, or doing the right thing. Maybe play with whether it’s deserved or not, or just dive straight into giving or taking that second chance.

Local Gem:

Day 2: A Day You Finished Something

Last day in the government service Local Gem Prompt

I served almost 28 years
In the government service.
Two years in the Peace Corps
25 and a half with the Foreign service.

I served in Korea in the Peace Corps
Later in the FS.
I served in ten countries
Over a 27-year career.

Serving in Korea, Thailand, India,
Antiqua, Barbados (based there),
Grenada, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent,
Spain, and six years in DC.

When I left the service
We drove across the country
Just the wife and me
To re-discover America.

After so many years abroad
Representing the US government
All over the world.

My last day officially
Occurred as I was driving
Across the country

It was late April 2016
My last official day
Was April 30, 2016.

We stopped off
In Windsor, Arizona
Saw the shrine to the song

Take it easy.

And realized that
I finally could take it easy
That was my last official day
In government service.

I said to my wife

“I am free
Free at last
No longer a Govbot.”

We had a moment
Then continued our journey.

Sunday Day 3:

Alone Glosa NaPoWriMo

From the beginning of his life
Sam Adams felt alone.
He felt somehow different than others.
He did not know why or how.
He was just born different.
He grew up lonely,
Never fitting in.
Had no real friends at all.
He was all alone all the time.
From childhood’s hour, I have not been.

He grew up in a dysfunctional family.
Not much love to go around.
Always felt like an outsider.
Always wondering why
He felt this way.
His parents had no answers.
They barely spoke to each other.
Or to their troubled son.
As others were—I have not seen.

He was different.
Saw the world through different visions.
Perhaps even a bit psychotic.
His parents were eventually concerned
Enough to consult a doctor.
The doctor told them
Your son is just different than others.
Perhaps the best thing is to let him be.
Who God intended him to be.
As others saw—I could not bring.

He drifted through life
Trying drugs and alcohol.
Only to find himself alone in his dreams.
His nightmares haunted his days.
He was lost in inner space,
Never relating to others.
Just could not interact with normal people.
So in the end he became like so many others
A gunman shot up a shopping mall.
My passions from a common spring—.

Today, our featured online magazine is Rust and Moth, which has been publishing quarterly since 2008. You can browse all of their past issues here.  From their newest issue, I’ll point out Leah Claire Kaminski’s lyrical “Flung Girl,” and Lucia Owen’s moving “The Gardener’s Prayer.”

And now for our (optional) prompt. This one is a bit complex, so I saved it for a Sunday. It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines, in turn, forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that! Here’s a nice summary of the Glose or Glosa Poems

The glose or glosa is an interesting Spanish form that reminds me a bit of the golden shovel or cento. The basic premise is that you quote four lines of poetry as an epigraph from another poem or poet. These four lines act as a refrain in the final line of the four stanzas written by the poet. So the first line of the epigraph would be the final line of the first stanza, the second line ends the second stanza, etc.

The most common convention is for each of these stanzas to be ten lines in length. There are no other hard and fast rules for rhymes or syllables, though line length is usually consistent within the poem (so the epigraph kind of sets the line length).

form to help you get started.

Happy writing!

Basic Poem Alone ‘=



From childhood, I have not been
Like others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—
I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d

In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—

From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—

Power of Love Sidewalk Poem NaPoWriMo

My love is waiting
Waiting for me
To return
From this trip.

She is the most beautiful
Women in the world.

Have you seen her?
My Angela Lee?

Tell her I love her
Tell her I will be home
I am coming back to her.

Sidewalk poems—write a poem (or a set of them) brief enough to easily write in chalk on the sidewalk; it might fit on one sidewalk square (or a set of them down the block!)

Mathematical Poem PSH prompt

Love in a sense
Is a percentage game
You go out and meet
So many people
So many potential lovers.

In the end, you may
If you are lucky
Find the one
That is right for you.

Perhaps not
Love is like that
Plus or minus this and that.

Leading to one’s soul mate
That fills your heart
With deep love/

Prompt words



+ –



I picked Love and then linked it to some of the symbols

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Carol Dorf:

(Note: A version of this exercise was first published in Wingbeats II: Exercises and Practice in Poetry, which contains many generative exercises.)

from The Mathematical Poem:
There are many starting points for beginning mathematical poetry. Some begin with syllabics (Fibonacci’s are a favorite), and others emphasize the visual symbols of mathematics as Zukofsky did with the Integral and Bob Grumman does with the division sign. The mathematical poetry that I find most fascinating has both mathematical content and form.

In the “Context-Shift” poem where mathematical language is used to discuss personal life. Here’s an example of one of my “Context-Shift” poems. In this poem, I used the information I was reading about chaos theory (in Ivar Ekland’s Mathematics and the Unexpected) to write about the unexpected in my own life.

Dear Ivar,

I read your book on the unexpected.
Like most poets, I opposed mathematics
when I was young, seeing it as the converse
to feeling. The previous statement is false.

When I was very young I loved counting
and zero and even numbers. At sixteen,
I wanted to imagine calculus as a novel
of limits and motion. Yet by college,
I had learned mathematics could not correspond
to poetry in a one-to-one intensity.
Would your book have mattered to me, then?
Most likely, I would not have read it.

Today, I am sending this fan letter. Thank you
for explaining catastrophe and instability.
I spent so many years writing my way
through them. And boundaries, I kept insisting
they were psychological or geographic,
unwilling to see them as breaks
between states of matter. Your words
matter to me, a language as precise as poetry
to delineate universe and being.


To begin one of these poems, fold a piece of paper in half vertically. In one column, list a few things in your life that you obsess about. In the other column write some mathematical words, symbols, or ideas. Sources for these ideas could be textbooks, web articles (in this case Wikipedia is an ok source), or odd facts you remember from school. Don’t worry too much about understanding every aspect of the idea.

Then choose one of the starting places from the first column, and let the language from the different sectors bump up against each other.

Write for 11 minutes, and then if you are so inspired, return and write on the poem for another 7 minutes.


If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Superhighway Facebook Group.

Korean Food
Korean Food

Writer’s Digest the Smell of Korean Food Writers Digest


The Smells of Korean food
When I first encountered Korean food
I was overwhelmed by the strong smell
Bursting with fermentation and flavors
Hot, raw, sweet yet sour,
spicy, in your face mixture
of smells and flavors

everybody’s Kimchi
is a bit different
Yet they all share
A similar blend of

chili peppers
fish sauce,
red peppers,
soy sauce

made with dandelion
springtime wild herbs

All rolled up in an intoxicating blend
Of smells and flavors

That was my introduction
to the lowly Kimchi
The staple of Korean food,

I soon became a kimchi addict
Craving its intoxicating flavor
And smells with every meal

Now 40 years later
I am still a kimchi addict
Enjoying the fragrance, the smell
And intoxicating tastes

Can’t get enough of that
Funky stuff.

For today’s prompt, write a smell poem. Strong writing uses sensory language, and one sense that is often overlooked is the sense of smell. So write about the pungent smell of teenage socks, the exquisite odor of fresh lasagna, or the coppery scent of a summer shower. Smell you later!


Something Fixable Gun Violence Local Gems





In this day and age
Of daily gun battles
In the streets
Of any American city.

Nine gunned down
Last night in Sacramento.

It is easy to believe
That nothing can be done
To stop the carnage
In the streets.

Just like the weather
It is the cost of our freedom
For freedom is not free.

The NRA and their minions proclaim
Guns don’t kill people
People kill people.

The wrong answer
Are more guns for everyone
If that were the answer
The U.S. perhaps the most
Heavily armed country
In the world,

With more guns
That person
Would have almost no gun

The solutions are obvious
Stricter gun laws
Enforcement of existing gun laws.
Treating gun ownership
The same as car ownership.

Prove the ability
To fire a weapon.

Universal background checks.
purchasing liability insurance
and yes, having a license.
to own a weapon
One must know the laws and rules.

Including personal liability
If a gun is stolen
And used in the commission
Of a crime.

To have no criminal,
or mental health issues,
No history of violence.
Annual limits on purchases
No military-style assault weapons
Registration of guns
With the local police
In a nationally searchable database.

None of these measures
Which are commonplace
In most civilized societies,

Would be an undue burden
On anyone rights

Except on the rights
Of the gun merchant’s ability
To continue selling us
Weapons of war.

So, I conclude this poem
About a fixable thing

We can fix the gun problem
If we have the political courage
To stand up and say

Enough, no more gun deaths
In our American streets.

But we are moving backward
With red state after red state
Weakening or eliminating
Most gun laws.

Soon we will be living again
In the wild west days
Where gunslingers killed
With impunity.

But, sadly, nothing will be done
There will be another shooting
By the time I post this poem,

TBC April 4th

Commets welcomed.

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