Planet Ahead

April 8: The Editor

She doesn’t smudge

fudge the lines

The words

are hers

to align.

She makes choices

but doesn’t tell


the secrets

of her trade

(the parts excised

with a blade).

The product finished


to a sheen


A story

with perfect




April 2: Half-life

How do you define a life

or hide the lies that obituaries tell?

Negotiate what’s fit to print

and still be able to exhale?

To breathe and nod in polite company

and swallow back the truth:

pain and relief in equal halves

split clean in black and blue.

April 1: Found

Well, that changes everything.

–though the lies still cling,

stuck to claims so thin, in this light,

they sting–

Now the truth, once hidden in plain sight,

can take wing.

NaPoWriMo 2018: One Change

I’ve participated in NaPoWriMo since 2013, writing and publishing one poem a day for every day in the month of April.  The exercise is a good one in that it forces me to get something down and share it, especially since I have not been getting to the blog at any other time of the year.  Stretching my creative muscles feels good and I love the feedback, including connecting with other writers and writers’ resources.

However, April is a tricky month here.  The new school year begins in the first week of the month, which means back to school for my sons and for me.  We are getting acclimated to new schedules, establishing new routines, trying to learn new names.  I am managing the boys’ seemingly constant stream of school papers while trying to stay on top of my own paperwork. Just anticipating it overwhelms me a bit.

So, in the interest of dealing proactively with my stress, I’ve devised a way to slim down my participation in  NaPoWriMo. This year there are five Sundays and five Mondays in April, so I will publish a poem on each of those days, for a total of ten for the month. I hope you’ll read and comment through the month!

April 30: Outed

Words bruise worse

than sticks or stones

when lobbed, as if to curse.

Even folded into meter

or laid out plain in verse,

a turn of phrase,

more than a look,

can kill.

Can gallop off the page,

can pounce right off the tongue,

and pierce the soul with

unveiled ill will.

The heart of hearts

outs itself in words.

April 29: Arbiter

We need to get our imaginary lives lived somehow.

Maybe that’s the use of story:

Start at the end,

or make a U-turn at the final bend.

Plot the scenes without interruption.

Cast a villain, or at least a foil,

and have your comebacks ready.

Number your days,

and decide how long a minute will be.

You’re in no hurry.

At will, pursue diversion–

This is real life, the edited version.

April 28: Gifts

Why do I scorn your gifts

when they’re exactly what I’ve asked for?

Do I want to be surprised

by your punishment instead?

Fault found in each offering,

back turned to each ministration.

You’ve read my mind,

but I’m still not satisfied.