Inspiration from the airplane window

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I was inspired on a flight today and cranked this one out:

A Poem for Terrence, My Flight Attendant

Could my ancestors imagine
That I’d see their land and trees
From the vantage point of eagles
Far above the summer’s breeze

Did the humble, earthen spirits
Know their metals and their ore
Could be fractured, manufactured
Into silver beasts that soar

Could the rivers have predicted
In their winding, roaming course
I’d see, at once, their many bends
From salty mouth to source

Were the fields and forests savvy
To their cordoned, patchwork fate,
That I’d gaze on them from heaven
Down through white and wispy gates

Have the clouds, themselves, envisioned
That we’d rise above their ranks
That we’d cast our tiny shadows
On their blue and ivory banks?

And do we, ourselves, remember
That the wide and looming earth
Hosts the soil we will return to
And the fires of our rebirth?


Sad Little Clerihew

I’m catching up to NaPo’s fourteenth prompt with my thirteenth poem: a Clerihew. I initially had a hard time thinking of any worthwhile celebrity examples, but a fellow poet volunteered a personal hero for his example, and I was inspired to follow suit (draft not necessary for this one):


Stephen Robert Irwin–

he had a heart of sterlin’.

His death was such a stunner

that I still mourn the Crocodile Hunter.

On Knowing (in the Biblical Sense)

Fair warning: this one contains so-called adult themes. No prompt (at least, not from NaPoWriMo). Number Twelve:

let us sin



Let us sink into the sinews
of our godforsaken beds

Let us turn away from sunrise
and embrace the night instead


Let us slither into rapture
as we swim through linen seas

Let us whet our growing hunger
in our lush and lusty lees


Let unbridled, burning fervor
worm its way into our minds

Let our winding limbs and labors
lose their sense of space and time


Let us fold ourselves in verses
yet unwritten by the wise

Let our fingers pen their passions
on the lids of heavy eyes


Let us loose our primal cravings
in the wilds of paradise

Let us shed our laden virtue
for enamored, naked vice


Let us sing unto the heavens
of the carnal, moving earth

Let the moaning winds transport us
past the veil of death and birth


Let us own our mortal vessels
in our solemn, sacred skin

Let us love the holy sinner
and exalt the holy sin

Sonnet for Redemption

A few prefaces to this one:

1: I love the English/Shakespearean sonnet. Writing in this form always feels very natural to me, and I love the balance of having constraints to work with that are still malleable (and familiar) enough to leave room for creativity.

2: I’m a tabletop gamer in addition to a poet, but why view those hobbies as mutually exclusive? The subject of this sonnet (and many secondary references therein) is inspired by a fairly new Role Play Game I recently found called Phoenix: Dawn Command. Many of the poem’s images refer to specific concepts and ideas from the world presented in the game, which brings us to…

3: While I didn’t strictly adhere to NaPo’s suggestion “to write a poem that is a portrait of someone important” to me, I did opt for a portrait of a character that my wife created for Phoenix. The poem incorporates narrative elements unique to the backstory that she created for her character, so it might not be particularly accessible or interesting to the average or uninvested reader — but then, sonnets are often very personal odes or addresses, and this portrait is certainly that for the character (named Redemption), if not for my wife herself (she’s already expressed her approval!)

So whether it means anything to you or not, here’s the draft for my #11:

sonnet for redemption

And the clean cut:


A brother’s blade runs through the twisted knot
of sorrow and betrayal in her chest
that drove her to the bargain that she sought
in zealous dedication to her quest.

She lingered then, in failure and in scorn,
beyond the veil of Dusk she tried to tame
for years, until her soul would be reborn
and cleansed through trials of strength in holy flame.

The sun alights upon another age:
a faceless hero rises in the Dawn
to right the wrongs incited by her rage
and serve the Flame to which her soul was drawn.

Though Bitter is the dying daylight’s face,
Redemption will deliver it to Grace.

King Crow’s Court

While this isn’t one of my favorites so far this year, I definitely stretched the limits of my creative and linguistic ability for this poem. The constraints I put on myself went beyond NaPo’s prompt to incorporate alliteration and assonance: I insisted that every line contain its own alliterative phrases (though I was less concerned for the vowels); that I use iambic dimeter (with the exception of the introductory line); and that I follow a strict ABAB rhyme scheme.

Poem # 10, Draft:

king crow 1

Cleaned-up version:

O King Crow
upon your perch
of silver snow
and old black birch,

The nascent night
concedes your call
as lanterns light
your hallowed hall.

From Falcon’s fen
to Magpie’s moor
and Grackle’s glen
to Seahawk’s shore—

In royal robes
your kith and kin
glide o’er the globe
on whitening winds.

The Court convened
in Winter’s Woods
acclaim their King
and hang their hoods

To talk of trees
and beasts below;
of leafless lees
and darting doe

And further fields
befitting birds
whose yearning yields
their woodland words.


(Get it? Like, rePOETition?)

Anyway, evidently I just needed to switch the prompts for poems eight and nine, because after my nine-liner I have designed my next poem to rely on repetition, as per Day 8’s challenge.

I actually started this one from some previous lines in my journal, but really only the following draft is necessary:

in august


And the cleaner cut of poem # 9:


In August I’ll remember
the scent you wore today:
you floated in on April’s breath,
a simple, sweet bouquet.

In August I’ll remember
the passion in your tears
that sang across the thirsty roofs
and danced into my ears.

In August I’ll remember
the tingle on my skin:
your cool embrace around my arms
allayed the warmth within.

In August I’ll remember
the color in your skies
that bled beyond horizons and
the borders of my eyes.

In August I’ll remember
the craving of your kiss:
the taste of milk and honeyed lips
that bound my tongue to bliss.

In August I’ll remember
the wheel will turn anew:
my senses will await the day
that I return to you.


I’m normally not quite as fond of spring as this work might suggest, but I figured if I focus on the silver lining, maybe my face won’t hurt as much from all of the allergens… Not to mention that it will probably be worse to suffer under the Texas summer sun when it rolls out. Anyway, thanks for reading 🙂

Nine Line Rhyme

Though this be my eighth installment for the month, I’ve employed NaPo’s suggestion from Day Nine to write a nine-line poem. After meditating on how best to break down the structure of nine lines, I figured three stanzas of three lines each would work (yay simple math!) then thought immediately of the triplets common in terza rima. I decided to employ that form and rhyme scheme, adapting the initial rhyme of lines one and two into the middle line of the last stanza, so that each rhyme is represented three times. (All the threes and nines paired with the images of darkness and the moon might make for some fairly witchy verse).

So without further ado, here’s the journal draft for number eight:

moon and mist

And the cleaned-up version:


A smoky veil transcends the pearly moon,
arisen from the ebony abyss
to ripple ‘cross the heavenly lagoon

and beg the glow to bow behind the mist.
The moon avows, unfaltering and bright,
to lay upon the world its silver kiss

for, even through the cold embrace of night,
the sterling strings of heaven sing their tune,
an aria of darkness and of light.