(Drum roll) NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 30)

Today is the final day of NaPo (and of April). Beginning tomorrow (and for May), I plan to read as many NaPo poems done by others as possible. Thus, my posts will slack off a bit.

The month of May has us doing family things, routine medical visits, and a five-day jaunt into the wilds of west Texas (family stuff) for Mother’s Day which is also Julie’s BD this year. It’s a bit special because she was born on Mother’s Day.

May also has Armed Forces Day (20th), our 57th wedding anniversary (27th), an in-person gathering of my writing group, and Memorial Day (29th). That last one is the unofficial threshold of Summer, but also when I try to remind folks that it is about remembrance of the dead.

Todays assigned prompt is to write a palinode, which is a poem written to retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem. I poked fun at football with my first 2023 NaPo poem “Not Only Texas.” To contradict that sentiment, I wrote this poem.

To Be Fair—

Many years ago, as we stood side-by-side on Kyle Field, Billy bluntly said, “Maybe I should have played this game.”

To be fair, or perhaps to favor American football; where dreams are made, others dashed; boys become strong, others injured, sometimes both; it’s our game. Canadians play a little differently. We try to interest Mexicans, Europeans, and the world. Where they call soccer, football.

Football mixes institutions: education, entertainment, music, religion, and groups of civic pride into the practice of honoring people and a game and raising hype to a positive practice. Who knows, maybe God does care who is good, big, fast, skilled, and who wins? About whom prays best?

Life has daily challenges, and who am I to say what the best way is to learn, to survive, to win?

After all, I, too, wanted to score the winning touchdown on Friday night. The Band of big and little Brothers, of life and death, and still—win we will— “The Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps” – and we watched, as the band marched and played on, and on so well.

Look both ways to see the good and the bad, the ups and the downs.
Mind the gaps, the clips, and the traps.
And whatever your game, do it as well as you can.
Gig ‘em!

The phrase “The Corps, and the Corps, and the Corps” is from Gen Douglas MacArthur’s Duty, Honor, Country speech at West Point, N.Y., May 12, 1962.


Click my grandson’s (in red) pic to watch a very positive video endorsing the good things about the game of football and the song by Kenny Chesney – “The Boys of Fall.”


If that link does not work, thy this:



NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 25)

Today I was prompted to compose a love poem with three required aspects. It must name at least one flower (the Texas state flower is the bluebonnet, and they love them), contain one parenthetical statement, and have some
unusual line (like this)

This Love

This love of ours
like bluebonnets flower
in Spring flashing brilliance
of blue, purple, white, red,
and like it knew,
maroon (if you look close)
in April then waning to green
by May. Yet,

This love of ours
thrives with
life—stronger after hard
wet Winter passes. The
flower gone
the plant lives like
our love. Fruitful.

Reliable. Dependable. This love of ours, like no
other’s (spreading, seen, felt)
cannot be trampled or destroyed (though some have tried).

Look both ways, forgive but do not forget,
let love be seen with eyes of envy.
Mind the gaps,
but don’t let them be more than
a seam on a garment, a patch in a road, or a lone weed in a glorious garden.


Photo by me.


Click this button for the NaPo page and more free poems.

NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 19)

On Wednesday, the nineteenth day of April 2023, I was asked (challenged, assigned, or prompted) to write a poem about something that scared me or was used to scare me as child and may still haunt me somewhat. Well, nothing fits that memory mold perfectly. But still, they tried.

When I was young
many things scared me
most of my own invention.
Adult assurances solved nothing.

Death saddened me more then
but not the causes
like diseases, cancer, or stupid.

Yet, I knew well the Hearse Song (or poem)
by the age of seven.
Parents and siblings alike (all dead now)
tried to torment me with recitations.

But I do not recall my fear. Now,
at my advanced age
I find the whole thing ironically humorous.

Look both ways.
Memory is often as reliable as divination.
Mind the gaps and hysterical historical lapses.

*Click on the NaPo 2023 button to see the challenge and to read more poems (not all are on prompt).

If you want the more musical version:


NaPoWriMo 2023 (Day 6)

Today’s assignment: After reading a poem in a language I don’t know (at poetryinternational.com), I was to think about the sound and shape of the words in the poem and the degree to which they reminded me of words in English. Then, I was to use those correspondences as the basis for the new poem I was to write (in my native language).

Like most patriotic Americans, I am monolingual (he said, sarcastically). I try to enjoy prompts involving other languages. My Mexican friend, Edith Blackbird Fly, uses them often. I did not have time to request use of one of her poems.

My first experience with other languages was Latin (grew up in the Catholic [Latin Mass & some prayers] Church). I heard a lot of Czech and Polish spoken by friend’s grandparents, but not passed down generationally. I did not do well in the French I took in high school. I took German in College (groan) and several Spanish/Tex-Mex less formal adult ed classes.

I could not find a poem on the Poetry International page, so I found one on another site. Not easy since everyone wants to translate for me. I chose a Spanish poem by Douglas Wright, a famous writer of children’s poetry from Argentina. I didn’t know it was a children’s poem until I had finished mine.

Ok, I did the “sound and shape of the words” part and ended up with a somewhat goofy “poem.” It’s okay to laugh, but please don’t point. Below are first, Wright’s poem in Spanish; second is my poem in English; and finally the English translation of Mr. Wright’s.

Bien tomados de la mano” by Douglas Wright

Qué lindo que es caminar,
bien tomados de la mano,
por el barrio, por la plaza,
¿qué sé yo?, por todos lados.

Qué lindo es mirar los árboles,
bien tomados de la mano,
desde el banco de la plaza,
en el que estamos sentados.

Qué lindo es mirar el Cielo
bien tomados de la mano;
en nuestros ojos, volando,
dos pájaros reflejados.

Qué lindo que es caminar
bien tomados de la mano;
¡qué lindo, andar por la vida
de la mano bien tomados!

What a Mess (by Bill)

Ok, Linda. It’s my Camaro.
It’s been tomatoed by some men
over near the barrio, next
to the plaza. Okay for you
and those toad lads of yours.

K-Lindy, it’s more vegetables
been tossed by young men
into the river at a party
and then, they fell in drunk asleep.

Maybe the Land Rover’s better.
Still, tomatoes and those men;
I’m nervous about Yolonda.
She can see the disaster.

Linda, you can run the Camaro
with tomatoes thrown
and take it to the car wash
and dry it like a Tejas tornado.

Holding Hands Firmly by Douglas Wright

How nice it is to walk,
holding hands firmly,
through the neighborhood, through the plaza,
What do I know?, everywhere.

How nice it is to look at the trees,
holding hands firmly,
from the bench in the plaza,
in which we are sitting.

How nice it is to look at the sky
holding hands firmly;
in our eyes, flying,
two reflected birds.

How nice it is to walk
holding hands firmly;
how nice, to walk through life
with hands held firmly!

Look both ways, America has no official national language
yet very few (especially natives) are bilingual.
Mind the gaps and learn another language.

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

Sammi’s Weekender #305 (unrepentant)

With this, I am caught up with my weekend writing. I live in Texas and it’s not yet midnight, thus, technically, still the weekend.

Click the graphic for Sammi’s page and more unrepentant writes.


A long time ago
on this very planet
we call Earth, I learnt that
when I’m wrong
the sooner I know it
and admit it,
the better
for everyone.

If I do unintended harm,
I make some amends
(with insurance company guidance).

But for protecting me and mine,
there is no “sorry.”
No “excuse me” for this or that.
I wear my unrepentance like
a soldier wears his weapon.

Look both ways to see both sides.
Mind the gaps and know the land, but don’t get lost in nice.


Friday Fictioneers for March 24th, 2023

The queen of Friday Fictioneering and purple lane swimming, the lovely Rochelle, has dealt us a prompt photo from the most awesome Liz Young. With an abundance of humor and joking around, the Queen and her King are chiding us into dealing from our own deck to call or raise a story in fewer than 101 words (beginning, middle, and end).

If you want in on the game, a seat is always open for you. Just shuffle on over to Rochelle’s blog by clicking on Liz’s pic. There you will be cut in on the rules according to her Hoyle-ness, and you may drop your ace story with ours in the inlinkz pot using any ante, wager, or whatever photo pleases you.


Genre: Memoir
Title: Funny Dad
Word Count: 100


Astrid owned the store. I dropped my stuff on a table then went to order.

Her father walked over and told me an Aggie joke.

I glared at him, “Should I laugh now?”

He spewed more insulting chaff. I scowled, “That’s dumber than the first!”

He paid for my order. I insisted she take my money. She refused. Astrid had no choice.

Then he said, “Student loan forgiveness is buying votes.” I dropped my items in the trash and said, “My vote’s not for sale. Don’t quit your day job.”

I haven’t returned. It wasn’t her fault. Dad’s a dick.


Look both ways because none of us choose our parents.
Mind the gaps because our DNA is 99% the same as monkeys.
Sometimes we can tell.

Click on the joke book to find more mad-jokery to read.

Friday Fictioneers for March 10th, 2023

For International Women’s Day, Rochelle has invited us to receive inspiration from a yummy photo by Jennifer Pendergast. To save your seat at the FF table, click on Jennifer’s inviting dinner pic for a savory trip over to Rochelle’ place for writer’s just desserts. Be sure to thoroughly peruse all the menu has to offer.

For the record, today is also National Organize Your Home Office Day. Since I kind of stay organized, today I will begin changing my office décor. I could probably finish in one day, but Amazon delivers the goods tomorrow. Today is undo. Tomorrow is do-over.

PHOTO PROMPT © Jennifer Pendergast

Genre: Historical Fiction
Title: Talk To Me
Word Count: 100


My invitation to the séance arrived via overnight delivery. It was addressed only to Reynolds. My street address had obviously been added by a different hand. I decided to go. My first.

I arrived before the appointed time of 5:00 AM. The door was ajar, so I walked in. The table had only a crystal ball and twelve empty chairs.

I waited. I double checked the invitation. I had the date right, October 7th. But the year said 1849.

As I waited longer, I felt a chill. Then I heard his voice, “Reynolds, Reynolds, Reynolds. Lord. Help my poor soul.”


Look both ways when reading Poe.
Mind the gaps for an elusive truth in his biographical history.

Give Edgar a click to mosey on over to where all the other stories are neatly linked up.

Monday’s Rune: Check Out

Acme Technology

I was at the self-checkout
scanning cans of stuff
searching for zucchini by weight
“a little help here”
for a friendly glitch.

It wants to know
How do I pay?
Card of course.
Push or tap?
The machine speaks advice:
“Please, take your bags.”
“Don’t forget your receipt.”

I wanted to tell the young, attractive,
and helpful (human) workers
about back in my day,
food on credit meant
the grocer or store kept your name
in a book, like a bookie,
then the annoying push-thingy machine and carbons
and you had to sign (press hard).
Do you want your carbons?

I would have bored them
with that not so long ago (true) bullshit.
So I took my stuff in plastic bags
and my receipt, and I smiled
and I thanked them by tagged name.
Two people I’d never set eyes on again.

Look both ways, AI (key word is artificial) is coming, scary or not.
Mind the gaps as some things (like legal pot) are still cash only,
but the drug dealers still allow limited time credit.


Monday’s Rune: Just for me

Humble Sigh

She said, “I write
just for me,
not for any reader.”
All for her own pleasure.
So she said.
So she thought.

But, oh, oh, oh,
the smile she had
and the glint in her eye
over the magazine
that published her story.

Tell me that again my friend,
that part about the writer
without ego or desire
to please or to be pleased.

Look both ways and take the pat on the back.
Mind the gaps for feeling denied.

Sammie’s Weekender #293 (preposterous)

Click here for more preposterous writings linked at Sammi’s blog page.



Dear Danny,

Here’s the thing, man.

It probably seems pathetically preposterous
to a person such as your profoundly proud self,
but at least pretend to listen.

Don’t worry.

I understand.

You cannot validate me.
You are not me, nor I you.
You’re right about that part.
but I’m more you than you’d think,
in a darkly nonspecific way.

See how silly and sad that is?

You despise me for breathing
——- and for being right.

Look both ways as you try to understand people.
All the same, yet different.
Mind the gaps to help keep communication civil.