NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 7)

Click on the NaPo button to see the challenge and more poems (not all are on prompt).

“Good morning, Mr. Bill. Your mission assignment, should you choose to accept it since all prompts are optional, involves writing a poem that plays with the idea of a list. It may involve a list that isn’t a list, or any on the list of innumerable lists that exist. This assignment will never self-destruct. Nor will your poem.”

A list poem is a type without a required formal form. Sandburg and Whitman both used lists, why can’t I?


Johnny Cash wrote to-do (and not to) lists. On one he wrote to kiss his wife, to not kiss anyone else, and to stop making lists. That’s on my list, too.

Checklists in aviation save lives (best practices and emergencies).
We have music play lists of many kinds,
People to kill lists and shit lists;
A-, B-, C-, and even Z-lister lists,
movie credits and grocery store lists (on or off refrigerators).
Supply lists and tables of contents are lists
as are bibliographies and indexes.

Some have idea lists and lists of
people and things to pray for.
Lists may be random, ordered, numbered, alphabetized, or bulleted.
I eschew Christmas lists (gifts or cards)
and before we die, bucket lists.

Google has movies or books to watch or read,
or lists of banned ones, also wistful
best and worst lists of all kinds.
And within each are lists of credits,
acknowledgments, and thank you lists.
Contact and packing are useful lists.

Menus are food and drink lists,
but not always. We have membership lists
and job listings. Formularies are lists
of oaths, prayers, or medicinal substances.
There are registers, schedules, ballots,
and guest lists. Do you list enemies?
Conscription, by definition, involves
a draft list for armed forces. Santa,
it is said, has lists he double checks.

Look both ways when you make and keep lists,
especially ones about who to and not to kiss.
Mind the gaps because not everything is ever on any single list.

A list from Johnny Cash. Click on Johnny’s list to see Toby Keith sing “My List.”


8 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 7)

  1. There are lists of every ilk imaginable, aren’t there? I am fabulous at making them and leaving them on the table… mind you, the job of writing them actually helps me to remember stuff… but not all. I am, and never will be a list-maker.
    Fun stuff, Bill.
    Love Johnny Cash’s list!

    Liked by 1 person

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