by Robert J. Tiess © 2020

Poems Posted at AllPoetry.com


Poems (Alphabetical):

Poems (first lines):

...or browse the poems (most recent shown first)

Lantern Festival

At the springtime festival
people flock to higher hills

free paper lanterns
lit with wishes

watching them
ascending slow

unto night.

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22 words (prompt requirement). Lantern theme brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751175-22-Words---Lantern
Submitted: May 27, 2020

Eyes to Eyes


fleeting wonders

parlous glances

darting sprees

optics nervous
cool aversions

sham diversions

feign unseen

hurried winces
second glimpses

iris lithe


blinkers staring
eyelids daring

lashes flaring
hidden raring

subtle caring
vision sharing
soulful baring



euphoric eyes.

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Art of Eye Contact challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751091-The-art-of-eye-contact
Submitted: May 26, 2020

Halcyon Bridge

Halcyon bridge born of Monet's dreams
its modest arch assuaged in pastel haze
embracing gradients of gauzy greens
commingling with dappled lavender

a mossy span absorbed in sunburst rays
angelic auras streaming down through trees
bookending steps across the frothy brook
toward storied realms now suddenly in reach

should you conceive a journey either way
and hazard captivation, reverie,
as narrow path augments to poetry
and you turn toward your missing rhyme

to meet the secret sonnet of this scene
with breath born of transported sighs
and arms now wings of buoyant butterflies
aflutter past all you have known or seen.

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16 lines.  Lilac Bridge challenge prompt - link:

Photo source/credit:
Unsplash / Time Traveler
Submitted: May 26, 2020

That Necessary Nexus

the secular cannot secure

no sciences substantiate

deeper meanings
do emerge

then your yenning
to converge

encompass cosmos


each star
established family.

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27 words (prompt limit).  Spiritual Awakening brevity prompt (#2 "you crave meaning and purpose") challenge - link:
Submitted: May 25, 2020


A somber
this pole
fabric from
its sag
midway up
where they
would wag.

For today we honor those
who sacrificed unsparingly
defending freedom to oppose
besiegers of democracy.


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50 words (prompt limit).  Flag brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751018-Flag---brevity--Wwpc-members-only
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Fine-Tooth Comb

(as the mirror magnifies)
she sweeps pink teeth
across her scalp
so slowly

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22 words (prompt requirement).  Comb brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751047-22-Words---Comb
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Solving for X

Equations demand symmetry:
operations exercised
left and right of equal signs
to isolate the quantity
which will solve for x.

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20 words (prompt limit).  "Rules" theme brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2751045-20-words---Nightcap

A mathematical meditation on the matter of "what you do on one side of the equation, you must do to the other," as in:

2x - 4 = 0 (our initial algebraic equation)
2x - 4 + 4 = 0 + 4 (adding 4 to both sides)
2x = 4 (the result)
2x / 2 = 4 / 2 (dividing by 2 on both sides)
x = 2 (the result)
now checking that by putting the number back in where x was:
(2 x 2) - 4 = 0
4 - 4 = 0
0 = 0
Submitted: May 25, 2020

Flora, Restorative

Over rotted leaves and roots
and brittle branches cast aside
by forests dying for rebirth,
you spring ahead in sprightly dance
to reawaken slumbrous earth,

your liberated locks aswirl
invigorating instant blooms
while you may lean and leap to turn
through music none attend but you
as grays grow rosy pink or blue
and yellows, reds and purples surge
in fields freed from winter's dirge:

so frozen waters flow from time
birdsong quickens back to chime
and foliage fills barren plains
where seedlings push past old remains
as death departs this vital rite
of evergreen and lavender
and butterflies emerge to flight
restoring beauty, hope, and light.

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Photo prompt (woman in forest with leaves and flowers emanating from her whirling hair) challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750987-8-poets-write-to-creative-art-prompt

More about Flora (Roman Mythology):


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flora_ (mythology)
Submitted: May 25, 2020


This injury
no sutures bind

inflaming pain
within my mind

and reconciles

when medicated
by your smiles.

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18 words (prompt limit).  Medicine brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750914-Brevity...-18-words-or-less
Submitted: May 24, 2020


No borders
subdivide this heart.

No oceans ebb
our souls apart.

No fault lines slice
or time zones shear.

For we are one world:
come cohere.

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26 words (prompt limit).  John Donne quote ("no man is an island") challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750091-26-words-or-less---John-Donne-noguest
Submitted: May 24, 2020

An Ode to Resplendence

While wicked intimations bid
and sweet deceptions dance amid
beguiling smiles drenched in red
and spicy eyes forbiddance fled

you step sublime with subtlety
bestowing truths and dignity
your stately art and silent grace
born of beauty none debase

serene as sirens strike and curse
and clamor madly to coerce.
Your peace preserves our inner light
to peer above all flesh and fright

with eyes for essence past the faux
where qualities obscured must glow
when sought by wisdom absent sense
to know a soul beyond pretense.

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Ode to Beauty challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750922-An-ode-to-beauty
Submitted: May 24, 2020

The Debatable Debate

They argued well
through noon and night
debating who stood
wrong or right

reciting reasons
without end
(and not to ponder
but defend)

and so they droned
and never heard
in hopes to have
the final word.

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Three-Word prompt ("the final word") challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750891-Three-word-poetry--3
Submitted: May 24, 2020


In heaven
yet to covet earth

enough to trade your wings
for birth

becoming mortal
knowing pain

entertaining the profane
and relish the ephemeral:

when an angel starts to fall.

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30 words (prompt limit) Image brevity prompt (angel looking with a yearning expression over a cloud down towards Earth) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750884-Brevity-Image-Prompt--271--adult
Submitted: May 24, 2020

Balance, or Bust

Thrown stones shatter mirror-lakes
scatter skies to seismic quakes:

reflections of our disregard
to damage, disarrange, discard
where timeless paragons survived

until we raided and contrived

polluting where the pure once flowed
without concern what could corrode
those meadows, streams, this open air
the creatures, trees, and all that's fair.

When waters still
and tremors rest
in atmospheres no more possessed
and hurtled stones erode to dust

have we balanced?
Did we bust?

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Balance / conservation / reducing environmental impacts to zero challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749755-Innovating-to-zero--
Submitted: May 24, 2020


Though acts and chapters swiftly turn
toward vacant pages past "The End"
and covers close on characters
whose deeds and speeches must suspend,

our script, abridged, seeks denouement
through memories, fragmented dreams
to reach completions past this play
where life (exeunt) has no more scenes

and leaves the worldly stage behind
to improvise within this mind,
the heroine of this lone heart,
where love subsists and none depart.

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Submitted: May 23, 2020

Water Cycle

after you evaporate
how would you
return some day?

Water breaking?
Perfume sprayed?
Fountains spouting?

April snowflakes?
Steam of trains?
Rivers misting?

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25 words (prompt limit).  If You Return brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750828-Brevity...-25-words-or-less
Submitted: May 23, 2020

Growth Rings

Inscribed inside these ancient stumps
long-rolling tales of centuries

reciting climates


vicious bouts
of windy shifts




conditions whispered
every band

historians of limbs and land
their chronicles our own concern

how chainsaws razed
or forests burned.

Epiphanies - how nature sings
and centers us within its rings!

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54 words.  Rings challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750813-Brevity-series-182---ring

More about tree rings:





Image source:
Submitted: May 22, 2020

Seagulls at the Mart

Parking lot
adoptive sea

no fish)

coruscant squeals




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15 words (prompt limit).  Bird brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750627-Birds-brevity-contest--15-words-max
Submitted: May 22, 2020

Astral Asylum

Above this village gripped by mist
some sleepless wonder does resist
the strapping crush of summer heat
and slips from hindrance toward a street
and climbs the binding pining hills
to find a vantage where time stills.

Within this sky, a writhing spark:
a pixel twitches in the dark.
One, then many disabuse
and spiral earthward to suffuse
this night with bright vitality
- such cosmic immortality.

Now shadows flee serrated stones
which cut loose all the echoed moans
which drift away in silent flight
while whirlpools draw lost eyes to light:
irradiating universe
shelters, comforts, like a nurse.

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Starry Night, Vincent Van Gogh challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750573-Starry-Night
Submitted: May 22, 2020


Shimmered flicker
        liquid sheen
  silver silken

          glossy shows
    glimmer imaged

        mirror stream

        effervescent flows
    limber rippled

      limpid lights
  clearer crystal

       skyward sights.

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24 words (30 the prompt limit).  Reflections in the Water challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750606-Brevity-Contest-Reflections-in-the-Water
Submitted: May 20, 2020


steps into blood


a panic

immune system


neutralize the difference



waging war

chain reactions
to restore
all things
where they were before

once vicious symptoms gain a grip
and vital signals slur and slip
as would-be healers turn to please:

their cures become the new disease.

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Under Attack challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749351-Under-Attack
Submitted: May 20, 2020

Paper Birch

you pen your poems
to the wind, which reads and leaves,
inspired to fly.

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Birch Trees haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749984-Haiku----Birch-Trees
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Dream Wedding

Young Salvador dreams up such things!
Come see three dishes marry bowls
best men being tableforks
our coffee cups now flower girls
while frying pans officiate
and china closets celebrate!

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30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (cup spilling flowers) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750531-Brevity-Image-Prompt--264-

Salvador could be anyone, of course, perhaps even a young Mr. Dali well on his way to becoming a famous Surrealist.
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Five Percent

Convulsing visions





so little time
to say goodbye

when batteries
begin to die.

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19 words (20 the prompt limit).  Death brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750511-Death
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Far from Over

Though vultures

this injured deer
is far from

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11 words.  Brevity (15 words or less) Circle theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750535-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Faith's Awakening

Awakened from her plaintive haze
with latent powers now ablaze
aglow with love and what she knows
Faith stands firm as shadows close
and clang their chains to conjure fear
while demons creep and specters near.
Impassioned by newfound belief
no longer slave to doubt or grief
she faces all with sharpened eyes
invincible at last, and wise.

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58 words.  Image challenge (woman, fearless, aglow with confidence and strength) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750530-Brevity-to-Image-
Submitted: May 19, 2020


The jagged pieces
and asked

how I wound up
in this box

a dove among
a hundred rocks.

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19 words (20 the prompt limit).  Brevity challenge (not fitting in) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750236-20-words-or-less---Terri-willingham-noguest
Submitted: May 19, 2020

Purple Orchid

Postured regal
the purple orchid
leaning east
awaits some sign
its sun returns.

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15 words (prompt limit).  Purple brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750502-Brevity...-15-words-only.
Submitted: May 19, 2020


Injured treetop
seeping sap

glazes wound
assuaging gap






flummoxed bugs
in sludge:

four million years


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25 words (prompt limit).  Brevity syrup theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750478-Brevity-25-words-or-Less

Interpretation of the topic focuses on the "syrupy" nature of the prehistoric resin secreted by trees which, after many years, became fossilized amber.

For more about this:

Submitted: May 18, 2020

Thunder: Bolt

A bursting blaze
but muffled skies.

My weather expert counts to five
computes the storm's a mile off.

Another bolt rings silent

- crash -

blusters crushing

branches lash:

we rush from torrents

flee forecasts

craving havens.

Thunders blast.

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39 words.  Brevity Lightning (without mentioning "lightning") challenge prompt (under 40 words) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750438-Brevity---Dont-Name-That-Word---lightning--
Submitted: May 18, 2020


No diplomas rolled tonight
no mortarboards
or lofty speech
of destinies within our reach

just failed exams
more courses dropped
professors gone
commencements stopped

as no one stands to graduate
or reads to see or memorize
nor wields a will to concentrate
or crams enough to summarize

those histories too few recall
defining every rise and fall
repeating now to learn or curse
a world turned bad to even worse.

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70 words (prompt limit).  Goodbye brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750246-Brevity---one-word-inspiration-
Submitted: May 17, 2020

A Touch of Salt

Osculating waves adore
two battered boats
by tattered oars

along a shore
disclosing bones

fingers clasping
shattered frames

washed-out photos:
that one miss

a sailor braves three seas
to kiss.

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30 words (prompt limit).  Kiss brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750254-Best-Brevity-Piece-Kiss-in-30-words-or-less
Submitted: May 17, 2020


Old thinker statue
by the sea

burnished bronze
now gaining green

weathered in
warm salty airs

caught in


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20 words (prompt limit).  Green brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750304-Brevity--20-words-or-less

More about Verdigris
Submitted: May 17, 2020


The wind sits in your rocking chair
and for some moments
you sway there

tilting back and forth
in song

while I walk the lawn

observing me
bag falling leaves

and laughing when
they fly from me

yet when I turn
you're gone
once more

and I return
from years before

then close the gate
one final time

walk past the trees
I used to climb

and find our bench
beside the lake

and rest a moment
in the wake.

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Submitted: May 17, 2020

Wisdom Doors

Their buildings


wisdom doors

eventual discoveries

open only
by your hand

once you come
to understand.

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20 words (prompt limit).  Behind Closed Doors brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749151-40-words-Brevity-Abstract-Behind-Close-Door
Submitted: May 17, 2020

At the Liftoff

Ten:  the countdown comes at last.
Nine:  smoke rising.  Such a blast.
Eight:  the skies so wide and bright.
Seven:  heaven's next in sight.
Six:  the quivers grip the ground.
Five:  the rocket's roaring sound.
Four:  some day we will be there.
Three:  in space suits through the air.
Two:  Mars and moons and endless stars.
One:  to soar beyond the birds.
Liftoff:  know the universe.

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Image challenge (young person staring at billowing clouds in the distance) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750204-8-for-8---Picture-Prompt
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Cave Painters

Torchlit painters









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20 words (prompt limit).  Paintings brevity challenge prompt - link:

More about cave paintings:
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Her Thesaurus of Words to Be

More priceless than the finest art

ascendant past celestial

promising beyond all dawn

majestic over royalty

exceeding life's vitality

profounder than
unfathomed seas

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26 words (prompt limit).  Quote challenge (nothing beautiful as you, insufficient metaphors) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2750141-26-words-or-less---S-Mittal-noguest
Submitted: May 16, 2020

Ten Thousand Things

Shadows flaring blazing chills
distance dwindles listless thrills
order chaos vacuum fills.

Lenience ceasing grievous flows
rainfall rising withers lows:
opposites no ways oppose.

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Yin-Yang of Life challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747891-The-Yin-Yang-Of-Life

As required:  2 stanzas, 3 lines each, 12 words per stanza.
Submitted: May 14, 2020

Crystal Glassware

Arranged along the windowsill
you queue and wait so patiently
standing tall to take your fill
of sunlight when it drenches all
its liquid gold swished in your rims
as rays cascade, collect, refract
across dry walls like waterfalls
flowing towards the living room
replenishing what shadows drank.

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48 words (prompt limit).  Glass brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749956-Brevity-series-180---glass
Submitted: May 13, 2020


Convulsing tides
   exacting wrath

the unseen scourge
   lambasts the path

of wayward vessels
   in its scope

unleashing forces
   drowning hope

with tentacles
   as legends told

by few survivors
   of its hold

who'd caution captains
   and their crews

to turn back ships
   or bear the bruise

of this behemoth's

to reign the waves
   and repossess

and flood the ocean
   with its dread

feed where monsters
   fear to tread.

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Kraken challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749549-Its-the-Kraken-
Submitted: May 12, 2020


That moment in the fairytale
you realize

The Story's You

those chapters read
all paths that wound toward here and now
mean more than words observed
or heard

yet emptiness

a vacant page
sets your fictions on a cliff

and you wonder how
and where
or if
your narrative advances here

since rails and signposts


until you spot the ink and quill
and pen the endings
as you will.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 lines.  Image brevity challenge (young reader on stairs holding a book pensively) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749829-write-what-inspires---8-only
Submitted: May 12, 2020

Queen’s Gambits

Your stratagem: swift sacrifice

to forfeit shelter

risking realm

an early blow imposing will
(should opponents take the bait)

commanding centers

reigning ranks

frighten files

demand defenses
while you climb

more pawns
to strike and slice through any line

in flawless wars.

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20 lines.  Chess free verse prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748603-Art-of-Chess--Free-Verse-
Submitted: May 12, 2020


Beside me
on this balcony

- before that diva Luna bursts
with arias of tawdry glow -

come take your place
let's attend
an opera ancient
more than Greece
than Aeschylus had ever dreamt

come quickly
it's started now

or rather began long ago
when time walked slower than itself
and could not sing of hours yet

so gone ago when day was night
thence nighttide dayspring

(ere Eve deceives)

and in this way enters our play:

ten constellations
- nameless then

before befores
when when none asked -

this evening like a time machine
calls back all yawning yesteryears

(bid space return)

and so these lights


that I shalt dub thee Cygnus
or Capricornus
Orion (hunter!)
Ursa my -

my angel, did we fall asleep?

under such a darkly sky?

that mattress of most restless depths?

Why Draco has not breathed a flame!
Look Lyra has not plucked a note
and Taurus just inhaled to snort
and Leo's yet to turn and roar!

Astronomy, wherefore thy lures
if nothing else to whet dry shores
where minds pry seashells from their beach
while cosmic secrets hang in reach

- but pluck just one
that tree

green Edenleaves snagged in your hair

forbidden fruit (whisper a prayer)

(midnight sugar-glazed perfumes)
(each galaxy a lotus blooms)

Go gorge until you've wakened eyes

go know thy garden


this precious petalled paradise
petitions immense sacrifice.

Will ewe wander?
Turn away?

Will ye wonder?

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249 words. James Joyce inspiration quote ("heaventree of stars...") challenge prompt (number five) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749241-how-do-you-re-Joyce--....-After-Midnight
Submitted: May 11, 2020

Untrained Savior

Without blueprints or masonry
you arranged the cornerstones
and poured foundations for my world.

With little more than hands and pans
you improvised delectably
and conjured feasts improbably.

Without charts or stethoscopes
you rallied me from languished legs
and helped me stand and walk again.

With no theories or degrees
you analyzed my moods and dreams
so I could conquer phobias.

Without equations, rulers, proofs
you multiplied my depth and worth
then mended when I would divide.

With intuition, spirit, flair
you graced my eyes with ageless art
stirred symphonies within this heart.

Without rites or chalices
you blessed my life, forgiving all
and gave me faith to strive toward light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Why Your Mother Is a Hero prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749758-Why-is-your-mom-your-hero-
Submitted: May 11, 2020

Memories Outlasting Time (Her Endless Renaissance)

Magnanimous and muse each day,
openhearted, mind to weigh
the least or best with equal ears,
hilarious beyond your years,
exemplary until the end,
remaining my forever friend.

tolerating all
resonating call.

Meticulous down to the dot,
observing what I failed to spot,
teacher eager to apprise,
honest when you'd analyze,
enlightener when darkness neared,
residing in my heart, revered.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Mother's Day Special acrostic prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749349-Mothers-Day-Special
Submitted: May 10, 2020

Netherworld View

Where water burns, declines to drench
or chills the touch, neglects to quench
or flames may freeze in focused smoke
as sparks char hearts with searing fears
and open air starves every breath
while mind revives relentless death:

here rives the river known as Styx
of ferried souls no peace afflicts
adrift toward novel netherworlds
when shadows steer and shivers curl
beside that gate all hopes go lost
were you to wait until you crossed.

And yet we see no prospects died:
escape and break against that tide.
Evade this Hades you conceive.
Embrace good truths you can believe
and salvage sense before this night
drowns out the stars and all your light.

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Anne Dillard inspiration challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749235-Annie-Dillard-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: May 8, 2020

Improbable Blossom

  desiccation's rage

       ruthless scourge of suns

           sandstorms handily


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15 words (prompt limit). Desert Flower brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749520-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 8, 2020

Guardians of the Understory

With loyal limbs
and weaving leaves

trees bow and braid
their widespread net

intent to nourish
then protect

as branches gather
feasts of light

or cast a current
out of sight

or temper heat
as summer strains

or shield grounds
from rampant rains

while plants expand
as food or homes

so any creature
eats or roams

beneath these breathing

preserving Earth
for centuries.

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Dense Forests prompt challenge - link:

More about the "Understory":

Submitted: May 8, 2020


this prominence
draws ghostly cloaks
toward borders scored
which some consider time described.

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15 words (prompt limit).  Shadow brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749422-10entries---15-words-exactly
Submitted: May 7, 2020

Eternal Entanglement





        none divide our quantum tie

      not cosmos

   much less quietus

shall disunite this love from us.

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20 words (prompt limit).  Miles Apart brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749409-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: May 7, 2020


Wings emblazoned

     ascendant on
        late April whiffs

          I, drifter

embrace bouquets
  life's appetite
    for nectar
            the fleeting sweetness

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27 words.  Butterflies Rising brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2749356-27-words-or-less---butterflies-rising-noguest
Submitted: May 7, 2020

The Roads to Now and Tomorrow

The roads to now posed many twists
by mileposts and restless stops
near intersections where I'd pause
to blame or claim some sense of cause

down avenues unrecognized
exceeding maps I memorized

long paths of choice and consequence
when exits left me to commence
or circle back about anew
until I passed a point of view

and took a bold or absurd turn
intent to move but slow to learn

no distance gives its wisdom free
except in that proximity
where you arrive outside the known
and peer behind what sight has shown

and gauge no journey in amount
or stand by what you must discount

but leave your compass on a post
impelled instead by what means most
divesting quest of old deceits
to mind and stride those unseen streets

unmarked nor paved beyond our routes
when we desert dead dreams and doubts

for destinations past the glow
as clouds combust and sun leans low
toward ventures yet to test our hearts
once we embark and night departs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

What We Are Today, Will Be Tomorrow prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748072-What-We-Are--Today--What-Will-We-Be-Tomorro
Submitted: May 6, 2020

Conundrums to Cosmos

Such sights you must
seclude from us

beyond majestic tapestries
enriched with myths

persistent fingers flick and fray
as hinting glimmers drift away

and light slips through
loose haggard threads

and questions dance
about our heads

and suppositions disappear
into black holes.

Theories veer
toward vague


so no one shows
or yet possesses
plain enigmas
you preserve
behind the spectra we observe.

Like planets
we play wanderers
roving wells of gravity

their lenses bending distant glow
round galaxies
if wormholes flow
across vast interstellar breaks
a potent supernova wakes
with elements of fierce surprise
new particles and probes revise.

In time
some take much closer looks
matured since adolescent books
parading constellations named
in dizzy fictions glibly framed
to forfeit facts and jolly hearts
with folly's misbegotten arts.

Envision Einstein beaming glee
beside him Hawking smirkingly
as colleagues wipe mad blackboards clean
remove their glasses
sigh and lean
and rise from chairs
still mystified

from mysteries more magnified
toward wonders greater than accounts
no noted science soon surmounts.

each system's proofs
left undefined by truant truths.

Then comets curve to lend some dust
as constants all were forced to trust
could constitute concealed flaws
should physics disobey their laws.

Uncertainties prevail again:
to know a place
or gauge the when

contending quanta fluctuated.

No neutrinos obligated
(neglected sensors would agree).

None speak their secrets easily.

Adapting tired eyes by night
we riddle through the recondite
to sift for inklings in the dark
and pin our hopes upon a quark.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Neil deGrasse Tyson quote inspiration (the universe not being obligated to make any sense) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747697-Neil-deGrasse-Tyson-quotes
Submitted: May 3, 2020


Some phrases raid
 a vacant page

  so unprepared
yet unafraid

   with anxious arms
  and boisterous voice

    such spectacles
      ungainly legs

       bounding over

 stumbling under
question marks

     exclamation points

   like kids dropped off

 at candy shop s

 or tykes invading

    circus tents

or youngsters
    rushing through a mall
       to game the new arcade

   or hoodlums


  inside their spree

    content to run
        without a clue

     and limp back home
all black and blue.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Benjamin Franklin quote (in failing to prepare, preparing to fail) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747596-Quote-prompt-25-plus-words
Submitted: May 1, 2020

Of Fulcrums and Leverage

I. Mary Anning, Paleontologist

Emancipating specimens
fossils not obstinate enough
to deter earthy fingertips
palpating edges to be pried

as long ago she pressed to learn
of dinosaurs and skeletons
then dug up one of sundry skulls
and excavated ages lost.

II. Ada Lovelace, Pioneer of Programmers

As analytic engines hum
her notes forebode a greater sum:
to leverage advanced designs
incite machines beyond their lines
commanding them to jump and run
computing as was never done.

III. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragist

Declaring sovereign sentiments
demanding lasting parity

compelling movements with your voice
so women could possess their choice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Counting everything, 100 words (the prompt limit).  Archimedes quote ("...I will move the Earth") challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746636-Quote--38

More about the historic women referenced here:

Mary Anning

Ada Lovelace, Mathematician and among the First Computer Programmers

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Suffragist
Submitted: May 1, 2020


Returning to our first garden
I recall each seed you pressed
in dirt with gloveless humble hands
which covered them so cautiously
and watered all with Mason jars.

We waited weeks for stems to peek
with tiny leaves through fertile earth
painstakingly prepared for them.

Now here I pause, your blossom poised
to birth and nurture as you did.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

59 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (lady pausing pensively with a parasol in the middle of a large flower garden) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748823-Brevity---Picture-Prompt---8-poets-only
Submitted: April 30, 2020

Renewer of Hope

Horizonsighs and rising suns.
Sandstorms rage. Revealing stuns
then sudden steps to larger worlds
with swords of light as vision hurls
your eyes toward unknown destiny
to save a princess - galaxy -
discovering an enemy
relates in ways you must accept
as you reflect, become adept,
until you can defeat the dark,
redemptive love your secret spark
that casts a demon toward its doom
and spares a soul while fires fume,
returning once this journey's done
a victor in more ways than one
as celebrations, friends, and hosts
attended by familiar ghosts
cheer on as fears and battles cease
restoring balance and a peace,
serenity to every star,
because you choose to brave this far,
renewing hope as heroes should,
increasing faith in all that's good.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Luke Skywalker Inspiration theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747902-Star-Wars-QuickieLuke-Skywalker-Everyone-Wi
Submitted: April 30, 2020

At the Terminus

Anticipating billowed steam
beyond remotest evergreens

swelling sound


envisaging you might return

from all I yearn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Train Station brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748777-Brevity--20-words-or-less
Submitted: April 30, 2020


In obscure rays
dense dust suspends
this myriad of mystic tomes

in cryptic script
forgotten tongues
hermetic leaves

long yellowing in crackled spines
of unknown age

left desolate
unbound by time

ascend in legion rows of shelves

by cobwebs
candles long extinct
past shattered panes

as shadows arch
toward vaulting heights no ladders reach

where secrets taunt the curious
to hazard all

climb up to wrench
some esoteric volume loose

unleash designs no mortals grasp.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words (prompt limit).  Image (vast vertical library in a Gothic architectural setting) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748672-brevity-picture-prompt.
Submitted: April 30, 2020

Within the Presence of Your Absence

Those pillows where you wedged your head
cannot relax or convalesce

like me
by lasting weights

as if much pressure hesitates
both there and here
within these ribs

there sorrows caged still dent their pen
and jolt the bolt restraining them

the lock no looser for the pain
however they may rage or strain

impressed ingrained imprinted


thick influence
much metal heft

your indentations shape the day

they occupy where you stand not
can drive shrill silence from all halls
or empty rooms from rugs to walls
or shove old shadows out of sight
and clear the clocks of noon and night

because you're present
then you're not

while I'm not game for hide and seek

although I search

too often speak
as if you'd hear me
might reply
or wait to see what else I sigh

retorting in a wordless way

through curios
daft artifacts
handwritten lists
cool candle wax
you left behind one Saturday

confined by times
which loose the mind
to redefine that lack enshrined
in everywhere you glow no more

and though it seems I leave through doors
or step out boxing calendars

each entrance sends that absence round
inverting exits to surround

negating spaces none contain

beyond departures
we remain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

207 words.  W.S. Merwin quote (2nd quote inspiration: "Your absence has gone through me..." - from Merwin's "Separation")  challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746398---w.s.merwin-
Submitted: April 28, 2020

Her Motherly Hand


reassuring grip

before I'd slip
on frosty glossy ignorance


all's right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (22 being the prompt limit).  Kindness brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748486-Brevity---22-words-or-less
Submitted: April 27, 2020


Each nuance drawn defines new depths
intensifies embellished flesh:

majestic guests in common dark
their lordly lanterns burning stark

discerning curves accenting edge
asserting windows, fountains, ledge

where mirrored marbled columns fade
and shadows mask this masquerade

and blushing duchess coyly waits
as glassy necklace overstates

and chandeliers shall domineer
this ambiance of lofty halls

dividing dancers, floral walls
from blasting bands and subtle calls

to slip outside this sharpened night
and sigh by muted lunar light

near silhouettes of weaving trees
past stars too far for dreams or pleas.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

90 words.  Beautiful Words and Splendid Diction prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748523-Beautiful-Words-and-Splendid-Diction-

Like almost all of my poems, this is carefully written to be read aloud.  I hope you enjoy reading this.

More about chiaroscuro...


First version of this poem:


Tonalities dimension depths
to vivify quiescent flesh

which promenades across the dark
with lithesome light burned bright and stark

discerning curves preferred to edge
before long windows and a ledge

as mirrored marbled columns fade
and shadows mask this masquerade

where blushing countess glides to wait
while dress and tresses scintillate

neath chandeliers that domineer
this atmosphere of umbral halls

dividing dance from blazoned walls
and brazen band from subtle calls

to slip outside this outlined night
and lose your sighs to lunar light

by silhouettes of weaving trees
and stars too far for clarities.
Submitted: April 27, 2020

The Mermaid and the Thief of Seas

Thrown overboard, or did he leap?
Perhaps a storm tore through to sweep
this hapless chap right off the deck
or dashed him in a crashing wreck

she wonders while they slowly sink
from hazy waves above the brink
where sharks and shadows hide and seek
and skeletons, if they could speak,

would warn all sailors not to dive
for no one here escapes alive
with treasure chests of pearls and gold
as fabled yarns of yore foretold.

Her fingers feel no pulse in kind
as notions swim and skim mind.
Suppose she breathe him back to life.
Imagine if he had a wife.

What good would he be then to her?
She schemes intrigues temptations blur
and probing pockets as she plots
then grabs a gem - her stomach knots:

this pirate did defraud her clan.
He feigned the famished fisherman
who starved a week without one fish
and prayed to eat - his dying wish

and so they lead him to their lair
then lavished him with feasts and care
while he beheld their sacred jewels
and turned her kin to searching fools

one evening all slumped deep in sleep.
He thieved what was not his to keep.
Relaxing grip, she lets him drift
where currents verge and waters shift

to face that face she yearns to hold
grow pallid stiff with frigid cold.
One instinct shouts, "Let him depart!"
But it's too late:  he steals her heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

240 words.  Mermaid image challenge (mermaid holding a well-dressed man seemingly drowning underwater) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748252-Write-to-Image-
Submitted: April 26, 2020

Beyond Horizons of Our Eyes

As fathomed facts escape each gauge
and truths pursued evade the page
then bolt outside our bridled sight
to lose us in a lesser light

profundities still tantalize
beyond horizons of our eyes
where cosmic fog wells with a glow
of revelations none may know

until we map all boundaries
of theories walled by falsities
and chart strange routes through unnamed space
to seek the real we must face.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The Universe (dark matter unseen affecting our ability to define the cosmos) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748389-The-Universe
Submitted: April 26, 2020


This cardboard box, some treasure chest:
no gleaming gems or gold to wrest

no tokens of unchecked expense
or artifacts of proud pretense

frayed wrappers, change, some pale receipt
a broken watch now obsolete

but here's my prize: her doting note
those words which keep this heart afloat.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words (50 being the prompt limit).  German word (habseligkeiten / belongings) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746916-50-words-on-prompt--3
Submitted: April 25, 2020


Those words reserved for further days
which never would arrive in time
reiterate with speechless grief
in rooms where silence says enough
among two empty chairs and dust
a vacant vase bouquets adorned
the corner lamps unlit since March
unopened tomes on warping shelves
where photos fade by curtain light
and shadows blather through the night
of those no longer seated here
their raucous laughter nowhere near
that absent scent of cinnamon
in this defective denouement
where dialogue comes by a clock
metallic clacking of a lock
sometimes a rare soliloquy
as wind slips through invisibly
to stir a certain manuscript
unfinished so then never gripped
now emblematic in a way
of all the things I meant to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Unspoken Words prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748319-Unspoken-Words

My mother, Jeannette, who passed away very recently, never got to read most of my poems from the last year or so.  I had hoped to print them out and present them to her as a gift one day.

I am grateful to have been able to read a very few of them aloud to her in recent months, but it will always be a point of much sadness that these "unsaid" things (much like the manuscript mentioned by the speaker of the poem) will not be attended by her eyes and smiles.

She was my best friend and an honest reader, always a fan yet ever ready to be truthful, critical in the scholarly sense, and encouraging with her brilliant insights.  I will miss that forever.
Submitted: April 25, 2020

Solving for Two

Wiping sweat
from furrowed brow

dilemma solver
puzzled now

as no answer
can withstand:

the helpful helper
needs a hand

and next to set
all pride aside

concede the quandary
and confide

rely upon
another mind

eyes to find

solutions right
within their sight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words.  Self-Reliance brevity challenge (person who usually helps now needing help) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748246-45-words-or-less---self-reliance--noguest
Submitted: April 25, 2020

Searching the Engines

Exponential neural nets
harvesting dark data sets
consuming inputs rapidly
enlisting every inquiry
to crush equations yet unknown
with stamina above all bone
and merciless exactitude
to multiply this magnitude
with every hour as we sleep
to seize the world we cannot keep

unless we wake and take a vow
that from this day we disallow
machines to dominate our souls
remembering all those controls
we forfeited for speed and ease
with hidden knowledge and its keys
to all the doors and all the vaults
of understanding and our faults.

Debug your hearts and minds, and fast!
Examine present errors passed:
futurity is history
awareness of that mystery
of how a people disappear
when inventions trend too near
to overtaking anything
commanding even worshiping.

Upgrade your days beyond the screen.
Let nature's networks intervene
for we are not the cyborgs yet
until we choose to be and let
computers rule our every thought
enslave ourselves to what we wrought
then bow to powers all have lost
because of lines and wires crossed
and hail the Algorithmic King
whose problems solve for everything.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: April 24, 2020

The Tigress to Her Loving Cub

Together on this outcropping
we mind the wild world in spring

those heavy hooves and hungry howls
the dusty scuffles, savage growls

pursued and prowlers in the reed
the yawning fawn and tumbleweed

vast stampedes spurred to burst in fear
should crocs or jackals creep too near

the zebras feeding far from harm
as mosquitoes swoop and swarm

nine elephants in sluggish stride
as vultures loop and meerkats hide

serene giraffe, their feast of leaves
the pregnant mare who huffs and heaves:

how each partakes a primal role
completes the circle, makes us whole.

Too soon my son you'll join them there
with paws and claws, your awesome stare

while I will watch from near or far
proud of the tiger that you are.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge prompt (female tiger and her baby sitting calmly together) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747979-Fantasy-755

Image credit/source:
Submitted: April 24, 2020


  yet you do persist

      within these hands
      this stricken heart

     behind my eyes

  genetic art

   how much we've

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Rumi brevity challenge quote prompt ("I am inside your looking") - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748167-22-words-or-less---Rumi-noguest
Submitted: April 24, 2020

Side View Mirrors

You caution

left or right:

reflections lie

your sight!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

11 words.  Caution challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748065-One-word-poetry-19
Submitted: April 23, 2020


Daydreams bring us back:
wandering fair blooming paths
we've not traveled yet.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku challenge prompt image (path through vivid flowers surrounded by a well-let forest) - link:
Submitted: April 23, 2020

To a Propagandist

Repeat those lies
reprise false cries

until the "ayes"
eclipse their eyes

so this they see:
your dim decree

dull doublethink
until some blink

discover doubt
then turnabout

to topple you
with all that's true.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words (prompt limit).  Brevity challenge prompt (lies told long enough believed by people) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748116-In-35-words-or-less-noguest
Submitted: April 23, 2020

The Torture Song of Endless Ifs

To stagger back upon a yen
and croon that torture song again

conditioned ifs with histories
fictitious possibilities

what could have stood
if simply now...

who would remain
if only how...

the brain's refrain of choral thoughts
beatifying whys and oughts

crescendos venting discontent
of chances cast or past lament.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit).  German word (sehnsucht - longing, yearning) brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746855-50-words-on-prompt--2
Submitted: April 22, 2020


Drifting where slow waters wend
bounding down around each bend
while shadowed branches dance with light

- then floating flows through passage rite
past currents surged with urgency
when placid visions purged will see
this river shifts to rapids rushed

receding shores
full moments flushed
of much control

as bearing veers
to goals unknown

new mutineers
seizing craft

careening forwards
fore and aft

until impending

where air
and prayer

your call.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words (prompt limit).  Photo (person drifting on water in an inner tube) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747910-Imagery---brevity-picture-prompt
Submitted: April 22, 2020

The Fisher King

The Fisher King
upon his throne
expects a question
to heal the land
and him to free
one seeker's quest
from mystery
beyond all walls
which disappear
when answers speak
and visions clear
discerning Grail
from waste to show
eternal truths
few live to know.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

46 words.

Quest for knowledge which must be acquired - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2748248-Knowledge

Perfectly symbolized in each  individual knight's quest for the Holy Grail.  Only when they speak the compassionate question before the Fisher King at the Grail Castle can they even begin to acquire the knowledge of the grand mysteries they seek.

Original prompt: Photo (Kingfisher bird sitting calmly on a flower, looking out across the land) brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747506-Picture-prompt-

More about the Fisher King, the Grail Quest, Grail Castle, and the unasked Question he awaits which would heal the waste land:



(Arthurian lore, King Arthur, Knights, Sangraal, The Holy Grail)
Submitted: April 20, 2020


Sustaining rain
without a tear

enduring ice
preserving warmth

suffering gusts
yet standing firm

confronting floods
with buoyant hope

outlasting drought
with thirst for life

surpassing fog
to be the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

31 words (32 being the prompt limit).  Joel Osteen quote prompt challenge (being in storm without letting storms get in you) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747626-32-words-or-less---Joel-Osteen-noguest
Submitted: April 19, 2020

Where Nothing Sleeps





an emptiness
the lost heart

within this room
where nothing

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (bare bedframe in an empty room) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747395-Image-Prompt-
Submitted: April 16, 2020


Magenta sweater
yellow skirt

lilac jacket
crimson shirt

scarlet stockings
turquoise flats

cyan handbag
chartreuse hat

like vying prisms

or rainbows wrestling
clouds can

or rival painters

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

32 words (35 being the prompt limit).  Battle of Colors brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747376-Brevity-topics--22
Submitted: April 16, 2020

Echo and Narcissus

You call

  he feels faint ripples roll
      reflections spreading

         sterile pond

            his inward eyes

   submergent selves

two loves   unheard:

  you    fade

                     he     blurs

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

23 words (prompt limit). Unloved brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747359-Brevity...-23-words-or-less-
Submitted: April 15, 2020

Flower Girl Wonder

You savor nature's fragrant grace
wrench wildflowers round your face
immersed in purples, pinks, and greens
and rarely care what "normal" means

detached and yearning to become one
with meadows, mountains, morning sun
and rush bare legs through weeds and wheat
the wind your comb, your soul replete

to strive outside a world too tame
and hazard all to find your name.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

62 words, 10 lines (prompt limit).  Quote prompt (striving to be yourself) challenge (with photo of young woman, eyes closed, in a field holding wildflowers around her face) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747309-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: April 15, 2020

Emma and George

Enamored with all loves but hers,
abrupt to run where whim prefers,
she meddles with abundant means,
engaging matches made of dreams.

Both farmer and the gentleman,
he bides but warns with acumen
and reprehends officious art
when she defies his jealous heart.

They turn and lead in equal dance:
two hearts espousing rare romance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines (prompt limit). Perfect Couples challenge prompt - link:

Inspired by Jane Austen's famous characters Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley from her novel Emma:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_ (novel)

Submitted: April 13, 2020

The Peril or the Prize

What waits around
the next big bend?
What risk or promise
will it lend?

To wait for someone
else to see
and then tell me:

I must confront it
with my eyes
accepting peril
or the prize.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Curiosity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747147-Curiosity
Submitted: April 13, 2020


Digesting me
within this shell
dissolving self
to bid farewell
to all I was
so I shall be
not that which crawls
but what flies free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

26 words (prompt limit).  Butterflies Rising brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747153-26-words-or-less---butterflies-rising-noguest

Concerning the metamorphosis of a butterfly:
the caterpillar quite literally digests (some say "recycles") itself, dissolving its body into "imaginal cells" which establish the basis for the future body of the butterfly eventually to arise as this truly transformative event unfolds.

This poem also honors my mother's love of butterflies.  Jeannette J. Tiess passed away on April 8, 2020.

Some links for further exploration:


Submitted: April 12, 2020

Children of the Mother of Exiles

You lift her torch when she will slip
on ice no winter leaves behind,
securing her so she may mind
the golden door and light the way.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Saving Lady Liberty challenge image prompt (person helping to carry a faltering Lady Liberty) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2747138-Save-Lady-Liberty.-Do-a-Haiku-as-a-response

The title connects with the "Mother of Exiles" - the Statue of Liberty as famously named in Emma Lazarus' poem (inscribed on the statue) "The New Colossus":

The "golden door" reference also alludes to that very entrance referenced in Lazaraus' verse.
Submitted: April 12, 2020


What once was gone
shall now live on

exceeding earth
above all birth

surpassing death
beyond all breath

surviving night
with lasting light:

the Sun does rise
before our eyes

as clouds depart
and we take heart.

Let us rejoice
in deed and voice

embracing day:
begin to pray

through faith to be
and hope to see

with gratitude
your world renewed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

In observation of Easter, Jesus Christ, and in memory of my mother and best friend Jeannette J. Tiess , who passed on April 8, 2020, and is now preserved in God's light and love and in our many wonderful memories.  As God is love, our love is eternal.
Submitted: April 12, 2020


May your soul blossom
in the full light of God's love
where spring's eternal.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

For my dear Mother and lifelong Best Friend, Jeannette J. Tiess, who passed away on April 8, 2020.


Submitted: April 11, 2020

Loss, Last, Lost

Our memories
which one day may
convey me through
these unknown roads
reveal to me
how far I drove
without a map
or one wrong turn
because you did
believe in me
and trusted my
to never get
as lost as this.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: April 9, 2020


Your curatives would rid disease:

across such seas and centuries
what alchemists pursued you with
elixirs of eternal lives
and promises of timeless youth

- until you crumbled into myths
as moonstruck stuff of mania
which quests for the untouchable

not that it lay beyond our reach
but since it will subsist nowhere
except those gold utopias
where perfect things expect to find
acceptance in that scarcest mind
immune from doubts all can be well
yet prone to "the impossible."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Impossible Dream (End of World Diseases) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745649-The-Impossible-Dream
Submitted: April 7, 2020

You Lotus-Eaters

You languid lotus-eaters of the moon
so lush from supping honeyed lunar light,
your slow ambrosial feasts of stars each night
and chilled desserts glazed with hazy whims
- they leave you starved for wholesome solemn days,
for which you think you'd have no appetite;
yet look: you're frail, regard how sapped and slight,
as fastings from the real world deprive
much rarer daring dreams from waking alive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Claire de Lune challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745446-Claire-de-Lune
Submitted: April 4, 2020


Some unfamiliar radiance
oozes through the cirrus veil

pulsing points of white to blue
new constellation on the move

its slow descent behind the woods
irradiating rising fog

stampeding shadows past the fence
where property turns wilderness

while sweeping beams appear to scan
these fields reaped but days before

then lightning darkness and a gust
to tremble every blade of grass

a streak of motion toward the skies
gone beyond these blinking eyes

which skim the stars in vain to know
where was it from, where would it go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744898-Unidentified-Flying-Objects
Submitted: April 3, 2020


Your softest sayings
fingers dipped
in mirrored skies
adrift within
this placid lake

which is my peace:

observe what ripples
speech incites

how they suffuse
escaping sight

and understand
no word is slight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

33 words (prompt limit).  Ripples theme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746272-Brevity-a-word-in-33-
Submitted: April 1, 2020

First Responder

Because a tempest
none forecast
collapsed your soundproof
velvet walls
and left you lit by EXIT signs
too far and faint
past mangled rails and busted seats
in rising dust
all while the film of your short life
did flicker on
a shattered screen as static rasped
from speakers blown
within the theater of your fright

I now arrive here
lanterns clutched in numbing hands
to call your name
and hear you breathe above the drums
of heartbeats rushed
while I wade through oblique debris
intent to rescue:

as I see
Admit One still within your grip
and wake you gently
uplifting you from ruptured dreams
and usher us
beyond the rubble's troubling sight
ascending stairs
with inward prayers all may be right
returning us
back toward ourselves at last to bask
in truer light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Be a Beacon challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745167-Be-a-Beacon

We each can be emotional and spiritual "first responders" to those who face tough times and have experienced tragedies.

While they wait in the debris and darkness of their shattered worlds, we can come, as human lights, and lead them from that seemingly endless night back to day and safety.

We can be their light.
Submitted: April 1, 2020

Your Masterpiece

Aglow with Mona's
known mystique

that elegance of
Madame X

those scintillations
in a Klimt

Pearl Earring 's eyes
to empathize

like Venus coiffed
to mesmerize

direct as Frida's

but look: no Warhols

no Lichtensteins
can illustrate

and no Picassos

no pointillists
will punctuate

elusive truths
of your pure art

much less the splendor
of your heart.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Mona Lisa photo prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744639-The-Mona-Lisa-Look-alike--photo-prompt-

Famous artworks and artists referenced in this poem:
+ Leonardo da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"
+ John Singer Sargent' "Madame X"
+ Gustav Klimt
+ Johannes Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring"
+ Sandro Botticelli's "Birth of Venus"
+ Frida Kahlo (e.g. "Self-Portrait" )
+ Andy Warhol (e.g. his Soup Cans )
+ Roy Lichtenstein (e.g. "Girl at Piano" )
+ Pablo Picasso , Cubist/Cubism (e.g. "Girl Before a Mirror" )
+ Pointillism / Pointillists (e.g. Georges Seurat) (e.g. "A Sunday Afternoon..." )
Submitted: March 31, 2020


Encircled worlds
inertias hurled
from epochs lost
revolve around
a sparkling star

until by chance
within this dance
one glides before
that stellar light
immersing earth
in fervent night:

a shadow gone
as quickly cast
attesting darkness
cannot last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 Words Abstract Brevity (Shadow theme) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2746010-40-words-Brevity-Abstract--SHADOWS
Submitted: March 30, 2020

The Sustenance of Your Pure Love

As embers tend these trembling hands

    which pray for warmth above a glow
    from lowly flames raised in your name

        while winter splinters thick resolve
        to weather nights beside myself

        inside this frigid wilderness
        of self-inflicted solitudes

all thoughts of you, such things you said
enkindle hopes I'm far from dead

    that darkness proves a fleeting spell
    and I am nowhere close to hell

    because your love preserves me here
    where shadows waltz away with fear

    beneath a full moon looming near
    too luminous to disappear

    before my mindless eyes see clear
    how much your touch makes me revere

    what most you mean to me, my dear:
then I begin to persevere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

111 words.  Poem written to be read aloud.

I am requesting a reader. Thank you.

Pablo Neruda Quote (love of people, a fire that feeds our lives) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745928-Pablo-Neruda-Quote-Contest--4
Submitted: March 28, 2020


As a mirror breaks
    black cats hiss at thirteen crows
        beneath three ladders

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

13 words (prompt requirement).  Written for: Superstitions brevity challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744777-Friday-13th-Brevity-poem-Superstition--13-W

Prewrite submission for Superstitions Contest - link https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744792-Superstitions-Contest

Haiku form.

- broken mirror (bad luck)
- black cats
- crows (sometimes seen as ominous omens in some cultures)
- walking under ladders
- three ladders (things happening in threes)
- thirteen words

Submitted: March 27, 2020

Birth of Sea Turtles

in secret sand
one hundred plus eggs

nothing planned

but instinct wells
from fragile shells
to fracture

await the light

then desperate pressures

you storm the breakers
pray your waves
bear mercifully
by certain graves

submissive drifters


too mere to steer
where you
will go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt requirement).  Brevity image prompt (baby sea turtle at edge of beach as waves approach) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745672-Brevity-to-image
Submitted: March 25, 2020

Watching Dawn at Sea

Armada stars
     embarking night

cold indigo
     tows ocher light

          cloudlets scatter

xanthous skyline
     molten red

          tepid zephyrs
     waking flows:

   crests luminous:
gold ocean glows.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt requirement).  Gradual brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745587---25-words-on-gradual----27--
Submitted: March 24, 2020

Make; Believe

As algorithms scan and gauge
a famous painting's data points
computing colors, shapes, and strokes,
perspectives, pressures, densities,
they learn in days to replicate
what took a lifetime to express

while next floor up, a restless boy
sets down his plastic robot toy
to stand before The Starry Night
with much amazement and delight,
his finger running round the skies,
imagining it's there he flies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Einstein quote (imagination, knowledge) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744730-Albert-Einstein-Quote
Submitted: March 23, 2020


When darkness stole

I tried to play the modest spark
igniting candles in your mind

but frigid winds
extinguished flames.

You wandered out
the rusted gates

where I became the firefly
to glitter in your dismal field.

An absent dawn
you noticed most.

And so the beacon I became
with radiance enduring dusk.

Your eyes embraced
vacated skies.

The lodestar there, yes, that was me
to lead you from the shadowed path.

The vaster void
consumed your view.

Aspiring to find your sight
tonight I send you all my light

a blazing quasar to observe
across your inner universe

to testify I will be here
that you were never once alone

companioned past a worldly thought
with clarity you often sought

before, beside, beneath, above,
beyond condition:

selfless love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: March 22, 2020


Life's grand arts revived:
lily, iris, classic rose.
Florence florescent!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A Spring Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743795-A-Spring-Haiku
Submitted: March 21, 2020


My greatest teacher,
yellowbird now soaring free
bright beyond this sun

- still, glimpses of you
gliding by the evergreens
with wings like daylight:

did you sing just now
deep from that further forest?
Songs lauding silence.

Lessons left, exams;
one gold tome - life, yours - too brief
for this fledgling finch.

Swift and far we'd climb
rivers past mountains, skies, stars,
transcending blurred Earth.

Once I sailed like you
- feathers flexed outside of space
whence time shall not fly.

I kept the nest, brave
rain and flames, remembering
your course:  rise with faith.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A haiku sequence in memory of my father, RJT, Sr.
Submitted: March 20, 2020


Objects inadvertent

neglected moments threading fates

presaged by rain

history turned horoscope

symbols winking prophecies

some trivial

such prescience in

music swelling from silence

curtains grazed
in shadow

brief cameo, the Oracle.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Letter F in free verse challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2745165-Letter-F-in-Freeverse-
Submitted: March 19, 2020

Seasonal Cues

Frosted panes no more:
budding branches, warmer breeze,
deer fur lightening.

Breath invisible,
hints of green - birdsong returns!
Days grow long again.

Dry boots by the door.
Bolder mountains frame the view.
Geese like arrows point.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

37 words. Spring Memories prompt challenge - link; https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743798-Spring
"Prompted Thoughts" prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743976-Prompt-thoughts-are-your-Prompt
Submitted: March 18, 2020


Good night, worries, get to sleep.
No more time for us to weep.

Let's be happy, smile tonight,
wake tomorrow calm and bright.

Farewell, troubles, let us rest.
Peace be with you, and be blessed.


Goodbye, problems, we must go.
Now the stars begin to show

up above our Earth so bright
by the big moon full of light.

So long, sadness. All is good.
Now we're dreaming as we should.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Nursery Rhyme challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743758-Write-me-a-Nursery-Rhyme

A lullaby nursery rhyme.

The calming approach to this poem was inspired by the recent heightened global anxiety of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

I imagine it could be something a parent or guardian could sing to a child at bedtime.

Imagine reading this according to the tune of the 1806 classic nursery rhyme "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star":
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twinkle ,_Twinkle,_Little_Star

- the melody of which was based on an older (1761) tune yet:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ah !_vous_dirai-je,_maman
Submitted: March 18, 2020

Mount Rushmore Rationale

Our compass lost beneath green leaves
we wander forests old as time
without direction, reason, rhyme,
and then we see it looming high

with prominence to tilt our heads
from broken stones to spacious skies,
this monument's majestic rise
lifts spirits where four eagles fly:

engraved and grave in granite face
eight steadfast eyes survey the range
of South Dakotan mounds of black
unfurling towards an endless sky.

At left, no king, though regal gaze,
that revolutionary Washington
who wars for independence when
America's to unify.

Then Jefferson, who helps declare
those truths we hold self-evident:
equality and liberty,
pursuits of joy, inviolable rights.

Next, Roosevelt of commonfolk,
Rough Rider, antitrust or bust,
soft spoken with a stick, defends
Grand Canyon, lands, and Yellowstone.

Last, Lincoln looks past compass points
emancipates all captive souls
to reconstruct with charity
past malice to bind up our wounds.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

1. New entry for Reason in Unreasonable Times challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744678-Reason-in-unreasonable-times
2. Prewrite for What Are Your Values / Integrity of Life
challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743844-What-Are-Your-Values---Integrity-of-Life---
Submitted: March 17, 2020

c# d# f# g# a#

Past Key of C, sharps,
flats: five black keys unlocking
every song to learn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"In the Black" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744674-Three-word-poetry-1
Submitted: March 14, 2020


Distanced walkers

- space -

panic shoppers, nervous pace

sanitizers: ALL SOLD OUT

travel limits

certain doubt

vaccine prospects
in a year

washing hands
no shaking fear

symptom vigils

// breaking news //

bleak previews

outside calmly
gardens grow

flowers dancing
far from woe.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Coronavirus prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744756-----Coronavirus----
Submitted: March 13, 2020

Ancient Library of Alexandria

Your fabled ranging knowledge sought
collecting scrolls and tablets brought
from any angle rounding Earth
and every ship within your berth

Euripides and Sophocles
Homer, Plato, Socrates
Aristotle, many more
repleting chambers roofs to floor

till evanescent blazing years
would make you that which disappears
when time and fires do collude
consuming treasures you accrued.

What dateless plays and verses lost,
extinguished wisdoms too few glossed.
Such dust lends lessons from the past:
preserve yet share what may not last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

80 words (the prompt limit).  Library prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744493-Topic-Library

More on the ancient Library of Alexandria:


Submitted: March 9, 2020

Toy Tales



- box unlocked

such joy prevails:

toys still playful
full of tales.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Toys brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744502-20-words

Poem inspired by a retrospective meditation on Toy Story, where memories of one's old toys long stored away and then found again can still produce joy.
Submitted: March 9, 2020

Be Phototropic

Leaves outstretching

garnered light:

how every green thing
on this mountain

follows sun across the sky

as neither night
nor shadows
give them
necessary sustenance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  See Good in Everything brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744416-25-words-or-less---train-your-mind-noguest
Submitted: March 8, 2020

Old Folks' Lore

Their self-aggrandized fabrications
thrilled our captive ears

tilling fertile minds
overeager to observe
fantastic stories germinate

too young to wonder
were it true.

They harvested our yielding hearts

greenly leaning listeners
envisioning endearing pasts

where everything's
so unlike today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

40 words (prompt limit).  Brevity Typewriter Poetry challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744360-Brevity-typewriter-series--9
Submitted: March 8, 2020

Medusa Renewed

Sprung from your cursed blood
white-winged Pegasus flies high:
lost beauty reborn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Medusa prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743395-Medusa
Submitted: March 7, 2020

Ant Bridge

Scurrying to reach the brink
where a human stoops to think
"no way to cross this gaping breach"

ants assembled step to teach
extending selfless mutually
engaging limbs collectively:

their living bridge to symbolize
collaborative enterprise
relating past opposing sides

new unities through old divides

to band together when you must
and cultivate enduring trust

that "out of many, one" is all
we need remember

lest we fall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

68 words, 15 lines.

Ant Poems challenge - link:

Bridge prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744351-Word-prompt-Bridge

Note: "out of many, one" ("e pluribus unum")
Submitted: March 7, 2020


Organizing what day brings
particularly fragile things
another might neglect to place
she rearranges all toward grace

her elegantly handsome hands
bound by gowns and barren bands
conserving as discretion calls
by cabinets and papered walls.

Decorum wrought of quondam age
while inwardly upon a stage
she fancies dancing daring free
sheer fabric flowing manic glee:

she's pirouetting in a song
with leaping legs alive and long
unfettered hair swung in her strut
through melodies indelicate

as scores applaud her brazen art
increasing pride to glide her heart
beyond this room's regressive gloom
where music stews and orchids bloom.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

100 words (prompt requirement).  Photo prompt (elegant pensive lady in gray arranging something to the side) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743375-picture-prompt
Submitted: March 7, 2020

Fortune Cookie

Who seeks
starves for
feast of

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

11 words.  Fortune Cookie brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744326-Fortune-Cookies
Submitted: March 6, 2020


As many drop
on knees to

fresh mercy fills
this stormless

Beside the river

fragmented windows
frame the

with wholesome light
some find

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (30 being the limit).  Image (window in sunlit water on a sunny day) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744321-Brevity-Image-Prompt--165-
Submitted: March 6, 2020

Utopia Simulation 1415926535

Within this version, most accept
perfected Earth without reserve:

no worldly warring devilish tech
or monetary promised lands,

impartial light to temper sight
gold glory yawning every dawn

all life relieving grievous strife
delicious dreaming any night

- except that fails reality.
I've seen the software, sorrily,

faux algorithms fixed to please;
I'd know because their maker's me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Simulations of the New Earth (free of suffering, war, money, technology) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744264-Simulations-Of-The-New-Earth-
Submitted: March 6, 2020

Snail's Pace

Hindered in gridlock,
crawling forth in metal shells
on this hot June night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Travel haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744273-Haiku-On-Travel
Submitted: March 6, 2020


Ten million years
through haloed night

three tumbling crumbs
mere nuclei

elliptic compass
planets mass

folding stellar detritus
into what becomes this land

oceanic flowing skies
each gentle crease along your hand

those lustrous blossoms in your hair
which dances with the wind tonight

reflecting moon your knowing eyes
there my world revolving warms

with limbs aligned unwinding time
three hearts entwined refining rhyme

designs inclining life divine
once we entrust eternal dust

to recombine and soon enwomb
a sacred space where new minds form.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Dust of Eternity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744182-maximum-25-lines--Abstract---DUST-OF-ETERNI

Poem inspired by the gradual creation of planets from dusty disks surrounding stars and the cosmic stardust from which complex matter and even life may arise.
Submitted: March 5, 2020

Tourist Class

through canals

tour guides droning
dated names

our smartphones poising

immortal selfies
framing days

while other travelers
watch us pass.

A disbelieving native sighs,
"Magnificence escapes their eyes."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image (tour boat through canal surrounded by ornate and impressive architecture while others lean over rails on the right to watch on) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744157-Brevity-Image-Prompt--161--
Submitted: March 5, 2020


Three fledgling friends pledge
fellowship forever; then
winter tests their vow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku photo (three birds on a branch, two grey snugly surrounding a third blue bird in the middle) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744132-Write-a-Haiku-to-the-bird-photo
Submitted: March 5, 2020

Obstruction of Judiciousness

With hindered views

as bricks collude
obstructing minds:

beyond that wall
destined to fall
perspectives call
toward inward eyes
to realize

down deep within

it shall begin
to climb in time
perceive beyond
the greatest obstacles.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (stairs rising by brick wall where a window has been sealed shut with what appears to be concrete) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743197---269_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: March 4, 2020

Disposition Disposed

An anguish eased
to breathe in spring

pleased as can be
by any thing

no asking why
this cloudless sky

like wind to wing
when senses sing

unwinding sigh
as spirits fly

all clarified
how satisfied

another chance
when moments dance

now simplified
so beautified

embracing expanse
arrived to advance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines. Attitude challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743100-Attitude
Submitted: March 4, 2020


Forsaking frail biology
to colonize the galaxy

they morphed robotic

voyaged far

cataloging planets

now aliens
to their homeworld.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Robots and Aliens challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744041-Robots-and-aliens
Submitted: March 4, 2020

Trilogy Structure

Our heroes band to save the day.
Then evil ones exact revenge.
Returning, goodness wins at last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

3 Lines challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744054-3-lines-only-
Submitted: March 3, 2020

Are We There Yet?

seeking change


signage high

rally cry

boundaries crossed

chances lost

landmark case


fights for rights

rising lights



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words (prompt requirement). Destination prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2744035-See-the-prompt---and-share-45-words-only..

Poem inspired by the social progress, equality, tolerance, peace, understanding, love, and human rights we have not reached yet globally.
Submitted: March 3, 2020


Where bludgeoning
leaves feeble marks

remorseless torchings
raise no sparks

and broadswords merely
pierce this skin

your hateful phrase
imprinting air

but moments there.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit). Imprint brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743994-10entries---25words-or-less
Submitted: March 2, 2020


Emerging burgeoned from graying petals shed
florescence vibrant incandescent red
to resurrect what once was deemed as dead.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image 3 chosen (red blossoming emerging from silvery gray petals).  3-Line Image prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743958-3-Lines---Flower-Prompt
Submitted: March 2, 2020


Drink sun with sky
slurp up the sea

not merely for
your Vitamin D

more for the sense
of flourishing free:

enjoy this world

exuding joy

as life should be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Emerson Quote challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743791--------------------------------------------

The title was inspired by Emerson's word (from his poem Merlin's Song, the source of the prompt's quote) that actually follows the quoted text of this prompt:

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, / Drink the wild air's salubrity"
Submitted: March 2, 2020

Too Many Tries

TypIng misTypes

hidden passWord

lettered numbered $ymbols




View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit). CAPITAL PUNISHMENT brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743701-18-words-or-fewer

Poem interprets "capital punishment" as the punishment one receives after entering one's case-sensitive password (with Capitalized Letters) incorrectly too many times, the result of which can be one's account getting locked.

"CamelCase" refers to the use of upper and lowercase letters, a common requirement of passwords at various websites:

Submitted: March 2, 2020


curling furl-
whirling swirls
inch by inches
bubbles frothing
into wavelets wavering
rippling urging verging surge
undulations strong converged
ascending bent on atmosphere
with tidal strength compelling fear
predominating potencies unleashing fury of the sea
undiminished awesome force: catastrophe's epitome.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

46 words.  Wave brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743577-Brevity-series-179---wave
Submitted: March 2, 2020


Each galaxy: anthology
their stellar flames our metaphors
as interplanetary orbits rhyme
past black hole ballads outside time

yet far beyond this universe
where words traverse the multiverse
what resonates may fail to say
or sing through silence either way.

Your supernova sonnet eyes
interpretive as butterflies:
my many worlds poeticized
potentials read or realized.

Each line recites a cosmic page
extolling moments or an age.
We're all Shakespeare once out here.
Tonight I'm Basho:  splash!  So clear!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Multiverse prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742799-Time-and-the-Multiverse

Speaker of the poem is someone who writes and experiences poetry while traveling throughout the multiverse.
Submitted: February 29, 2020

Silent Treatment

Two birds - one silent,
other squawking sans reply:
when words fail to fly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge prompt (two birds, one at left looking away as another squawks demonstrably towards that bird) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743734-Cute-nature-pictures-67
Submitted: February 28, 2020

Memorial Park

Across the clearing, branches weave
as trees recall and slowly grieve
their kindred gone now where the road
divides the forest which had flowed
so full and free for centuries
before the scourge of industries
and revolutionary smoke
beclouding lands condemned to choke
and perish for a progress claimed
as plants and creatures flamed and maimed
displaced from peace and native place
expired merely to make space
for humans driven to machine
to soil Earth and scavenge clean
entire woods for carpentry
pursuing life and liberty
without much afterthought of cost
and lesser sense of what was lost.
Wide limbs entwined in silent prayer
memorialize what once thrived there.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge prompt (road between trees intertwining towards the top) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743762-Fantasy-700
Submitted: February 28, 2020

Diana of the Hunt

Curved longbow carved of dragonbones
and arrowheads from smoldered stones
with armor forged of dragonscale
and helmet antlered to impale
enshrouding huntress eyes and face
so none should mind your maiden grace
then gauge your gender less the threat
than any bowman they had met
until your firings wind their way
across the sky right through your prey
attesting your exacting aim
to slay supposals waged by name
and guarantee this quest's no game
and warn this world to end the shame
of presuming to dismiss
an archer found to be a Miss.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Fantasy image prompt (archer with longbow, scales armor, helmet with antlers, arrows) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742732-Heroic-Fantasy-107

Poem inspired by the mythical huntress goddess Diana:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diana_ (mythology)

Submitted: February 28, 2020

Could It Be Magical?

If everyone
waved magic wands
could whisper spells
invoke beyonds
enchanting days
with potions' ease
curse opposers
to their knees
how ordinary
that would be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  If Magic Existed brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743699-25-words-or-fewer
Submitted: February 27, 2020

Cordiform Reasoning

These heart-shaped soaps
they make such suds
and plenty sense
as cleanliness
is Godliness
and God
of course
is love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge (what seems could be home-made heart-shaped soaps on a tray) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742759--260_Shutter-Button_Poetry
Submitted: February 27, 2020

Suspension Bridge

Pausing thoughts
of falling through
corroding planks
on fraying ropes
while wrestling wind
with tensioned wrists
entangled stepping
strangled breaths
subversive depths
collapsed control
downcast eyes


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Image brevity challenge (rope suspension bridge set high above an expansive view) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743668-Brevity-Image-Prompt--154-
Submitted: February 26, 2020


Prolonging processionals half-inching toward
dead registers most infamous
shoppers mutter
pounding carts
praying vacant lanes invite
before milk warms
sherbert's slush
or sweethearts sour
our lonely plight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  One Line Art brevity challenge image (multiple faces drawn along a single line) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743562--One-line-art

As per the prompt, the poem is one long sentence:

Prolonging processionals half-inching toward dead registers most infamous - Express - shoppers mutter, pounding carts, praying vacant lanes invite before milk warms, sherbert's slush, or sweethearts sour our loveless plight.
Submitted: February 25, 2020


Grasping air
where fruitlets sway

water's dust

cruel shadowplay:

refused tactility

infernal thirsts


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  The Untouchable brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743551-15-words-

Poem inspire by the myth of Tantalus in Hades:

Submitted: February 25, 2020

Sumi-e (Ink Wash Painting)



thirsty paintbrush drinks


fluent outlines:

captured spirit


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Black brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743474-Brevity...-18-words-only

Some of the most fascinating aspects of Sumi-e painting involve the practice behind those seemingly effortless brushstrokes as well as how such paintings strive to capture the spirit of their subjects using only as many brushstrokes as necessary.

More about Sumi-e Ink Wash Paintings:


Submitted: February 24, 2020


this vernal you

enraptured dreamer

youth through Zeus

your fair moon Selene

admirer desirous

sweet intervene

shepherding this fantasy

convergent urges
tidal surges

purging darkness from all night

made melodic
idyllic thick

heartburst immersed

new epics versed

suffusing Earth
mirth enthused rebirth:  ignite

swooning crooning lunar light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image prompt (moon fully illuminated on bed with silhouette of a person above looking down with hands around the moon) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743391-Picture-prompt-free-verse
Submitted: February 23, 2020

Vampiric Mindset

Asleep the day
awake by night

anemic pretense
abject sight

absent mirrors
abstruse fright

apt to drain
averse to light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (29 the prompt limit).  Brevity quote (midnight thoughts during day) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743422-29-words-or-less---k.-tolnoe-noguest
Submitted: February 23, 2020


mottled splotches
orange whirls
scarlet smudging
purple swirls
dappled daubing
dizzy blues
muddy puddled
fuddled muzzy

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt challenge).  Messy brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743403-Brevity---17-words-only
Submitted: February 23, 2020

Not Today

Branch snap:  scram!  Raise dust!
Leap farther!  Swerve blurred!  Endure!
Prey?  Not today, friends!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku image challenge (jack rabbit running) - https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743397-Haiku
Submitted: February 23, 2020


Sheltered steadfast
in the known

fearing newness
they postpone

from the obsolete


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit). Fear of Change brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743317-Brevity...-15-words-exactly-
Submitted: February 22, 2020

What Kindness Means...

surpasses word

its definitions overheard
in actions constituting care

unspoken motions

which declare


with mercy's strength
lent without plea.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit). What Kindness Means challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743309-21-words-or-less---kindness--noguest
Submitted: February 22, 2020


this astronaut
made the best
of what she got
and bounced unbound
about with glee
and thumbed her nose
at gravity
as billions watched
from Earth with awe
great craters leapt:
her last hurrah.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Space image challenge (astronaut sitting on ball seeming to bounce on the moon) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743306-Anything-Space-Contest-
Submitted: February 21, 2020


Monks recumbent




View this poem at AllPoetry.com

6 Word Story brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743261-6-word-story

Inspired by Buddhism, Buddhist monks, the concept of Nirvana:
Submitted: February 21, 2020

To a Beholder

You query beauty, foul from fair.
She vows his voice; he swears her hair.
Perhaps this painting's frame contains
a castle where glamor remains,
or dancing sculptures in the hall
whirled in stillness grace withal,
or fountains frothing in your yard
refreshing senses give regard.

That string quartet entrances me
as these three windows heed the sea,
those gorgeous gardens past the gates
where variegation captivates.
When asked, I'll show, apprise, extol,
and yet it's you alone who'll know
what wings your spirits toward the skies.
Discount my counsel: trust your eyes!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Describe Beauty prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743138-Describe-beauty
Submitted: February 20, 2020


Posthuman soon: skinned
surged machine-verged future-proofed
honed numb seasonless.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Sci-fi Image (cyborg/robot with glowing eyes) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743147-New-sci-fi-Image-Haiku-Welcome-Contest-

Poem motivated by the concept of Transhumanism and the eventual theoretical transition to Posthuman beings:


Submitted: February 19, 2020

Unworldly World Builders

Too young to scoff
they'll fashion planets
from nothingness

inviting there:

fantastic scapes
inventive beasts
gracious nations
gonzo feasts

sportive thoughts
cherubic whims

artless hearts
sinless wisdoms

genesis ingenuous.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image (child holding a small illuminated world) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743115-Brevity-Image-Prompt---146-
Submitted: February 19, 2020


Cobwebs swept

musty expanse:

two old tomes

brittle leaves ransacked
by candlelight

antediluvian secrets
suddenly significant.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: February 19, 2020


Sweeps, glides: he smiles, paints
mountains river evergreens;
masterpiece of joy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku Challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2743073-Amazing-Haiku

Poem inspired by Bob Ross:

Submitted: February 18, 2020

F R Bs

through the universe

the wonders of
Fast Radio Bursts

signals conveyed
light-years away

some repeating
all entreating

to be heard
by wave or word

science leery
prompting theory

of why they play
or if they say

cosmic quandaries
since conceived

with energies
barely believed

exceeding physics
yet achieved

now how to answer
what's received....

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Space prompt challenge - link:

Poem inspired by currently mysterious cosmological FRBs:


Submitted: February 18, 2020

Refresh Meant

Crackled gray matter:
fired ceramic, fissured
like dropped porcelain.

Your Sahara mind
- let these words be water: sip,
cool, quench, rest, sigh, breathe.

Impressions in sand
soothed over by welcome breeze:
when rough becomes suave.

Aimless or unbound?
Mapless, yet you dream yourself
past desert, heat, time.

Surreal oasis:
wanderer who wished this, now
what will you believe?

Life pours from pages
reviving insights like spring
restores lost gardens.

Softer thoughts sluice;
no more cacti, dunes, sandstorms:
fertile fields. Now grow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: February 18, 2020

The Virtuous Sloth

Within this tree where weeks will slur
I watch the world begin to blur
and wonder what the rushing's for:
whose hurried feet when engines roar,
how hasty strained that human life,
why squealing wheels streak to strife.

If only they would take it slow
delighting while they come and go
to meet each moment mindfully
enduring sight inclined to see
magnificence beyond commute
profundities above pursuit.

I once heard Sloth's a deadly sin,
but show me virtues in that din,
the morals in their urgency,
those merits in velocity.
A sluggish chump, I'll take all day
to settle what I meant to say.

My irony: I'll often pray
give thanks that I was born this way
alike the turtle, slug, and snail
ordained for humbler pacing, scale
to make a month of any hour,
serenity our staying power.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

139 words, 24 lines.  Be an Animal Watching the Word challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742829-be-an-animal-
Submitted: February 17, 2020

Her Exuberant Art

Exuberance incites her brush
to forego gentler subtleties
and veer into that vibrant lush
past prudent hues subdued to hush
beyond the plains toward all profuse
where nuance lets her long hair loose
to frolic round wildflowered hills
and tumble down plush grassy slopes
with rampant laughter born of song
suppressed inside her far too long
as mountains howl along in kind
and winding rainbows in her mind
accompany her jazzy jaunts
embellishing her fancy flaunts
to saturate the drained and gray
enliven scenes along her way
exceeding mere hyperbole
with careless frantic artistry
resisting critics' timid views
to follow her impulsive muse
through ebullient flights of paint
which captivate with unrestraint.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

112 words.  The Artist Who Always Goes Too Far challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742853-The-Artist-Who-Always-Goes-Too-Far
Submitted: February 16, 2020

Natural Language Processing


"No messages,"
deniers flout.

Creation counters

endangered species

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 word (prompt limit).  Message brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742610-Brevity...-15-words-exactly-
Submitted: February 13, 2020

Guernica, 1937

dysproportioned crushed incautions

((inward) bleeding) upward sighs

sirens blaring limbs declaring
shrapnel tearing
clenched teeth glaring

all here sharing unpreparing
debris every where are


where's our skies
beware there


here everyplace combusted smells

desperate searchlights


gnashing wretched metalled hells
rubbled fumbles


(which ears deny this decible?)

gaunt palettes Death admires well.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Cubist prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742599-Cubist-Poetry

Poem inspired by Pablo Picasso's powerful and iconic image of war, Guernica, which he was commissioned to paint based on a real tragedy of war in 1937 in Spain during the Spanish Civil War at the time:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernica_ (Picasso)

Submitted: February 12, 2020

Wildlife Photographer

Eighteen hours
four degrees
benumbing knees
finger braced
to take the shot
her camera trained
endangered spot
to capture
nature's rarity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Photography brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742563-Brevity...-25-words-or-less
Submitted: February 12, 2020

(hummingbirds haiku) (7.0 Autorank challenge)

wing-whisked honeyed tongues
green pink maize plumed blued bloomed vroomed
presto nectar yenned

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Single Haiku (Autorank challenge) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742439-Hi--all--I-have-a--7.0-Auto-rank-single-Hai

A - single haiku - submission as per the prompt rules.

Earlier version (5.0 Autorank):

Wing-whisked perfumes tongued
hum-plumbed whirl-fizzed nectar bloomed:
presto gusto yum!
Submitted: February 10, 2020

Your Bifurcating Life

With every choice another chance
to pace a path, begin to branch
from everything you used to be
toward other possibility.

With every chance another choice
to branch again and find your voice
in all the words you did avow
and in your silence until now.

With any word another act
compares the spoken to the fact
and separates the false from true
to aggregate the who of you.

With any act an aftermath
which sets you on another path
to go, diverge, decide to be:
your causal genealogy

which includes your roots and ground
the forest where you think you're bound
until you find your seeds can fly
embrace the wind and ride the sky.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge (tree-like person staring at its arm/branch) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742413-Fantasy-668
Submitted: February 9, 2020

Field Notes from a Botanist's Reckoning

Now ninety-one buds.
Yesterday, nine. I'll just note

Forty-two blue spruce.
Somewhere Adams nods and smiles.
(Forgot my towel!)

Lost count of leaf rates;
too many came down too fast.
I should have reveled!

Numbering snowflakes?
Absurd. Nature knows what counts:
quality of life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742374-2-Years-of-Haiku-Since-Feb-2017-
Submitted: February 9, 2020

As for those Provocateurs...

They know your triggers
strain your strings


till it stings

so you react
how they prefer.

Now counteract!

Be steadfast



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Brevity quote (people pushing others until they react) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742390-28-words-or-less---being-tested--noguest
Submitted: February 9, 2020

Destination 1601 (or, To Be or Not to Be Shakespeare)

Resolved to fathom facts at last
I traveled back to seek The Bard
and quash that question of his past:
who penned those plays for all of time
not of an age, with powerful rhyme.

And rushing dumb with much neglect
I donned too new a clothing there,
and passersby did razz and stare
at my bright jacket, sneakers, hair
- and then my voice, that future snarl.

In days those folks I prayed to ask
gave proof this wish were no small task:
I'm not the first gull to return
and scope The Globe, I'm slow to learn,
for sundry "Shakespeares" I would find

with puckish minds to undermine
this inquiry where name's the thing
to catch those vanities we bring.
What's left of wonder: which was he
who knew what fools we moderns be?

Why should this leave me incomplete?
Those poems flowed, from any souls
- William's, else - still read as sweet
while readers dream their many roles
within this world where all's a page
and lines outlive their day and stage.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Time Travel to Meet a Hero challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741865-Time-Travel

My entry was inspired by William Shakespeare, including some riffs off his most famous lines (e.g. "what fools these mortals be" and Sonnet 55's "powerful rhyme").

Beyond that, the plot, as narrated by the speaker of the poem, involves investigation of the so-called Shakespeare Authorship Question:


Submitted: February 8, 2020

Sky Ways

Angels' main street
lunar lane

dreamer drive-in
hopes' highway

escapist exit
morrow trail

cosmic crossroads
thinkers' rail

suppliant itinerary
revelation rotary.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 words (prompt limit).  Sky brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742292-Brevity---21-words-or-less

Fun fact:  10 metaphors for the sky in this poem!
Submitted: February 7, 2020

Water Proof


over half the Earth
and human beings

what tears most are:


flowing for all life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 word (prompt requirement).  Tears 17-word brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742268-Brevity-17-Words-Exactly
Submitted: February 7, 2020

Kingdom Animalia

presenting Earth

by device

sans finance

running free

absent empire
yet stately

their nature: be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Animals quote brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742221-20-words-or-less---Gregory-Maguire-noguest
Submitted: February 7, 2020

Silent Dialogues

At exhibitions
artworks address onlookers
listening beyond language:

someone chuckling with reliefs

pupils interviewing

architect absorbing abstracts

unbeliever's revelations

masterpieces yielding secrets
with painters aspirational.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Unsaid Words brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742240-10-entries---25-words-or-less
Submitted: February 7, 2020


When vengeful tempests riot wide
and shadows storm the countryside
subduing views to silhouettes
while breakneck wind spins pirouettes
atop a tumbling mountain peak
as raging waters swamp and shriek

my mind behind that stifled sky
recalls one night I did descry
my glance of heaven's hopeful glow
and every time it lets me know:

despite disaster, darkness, spite,
our world revolves within that light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

65 words (75 being the prompt limit).  Sky's the Limit brevity image challenge (dark world / sky with a bright sun peeking through stormy clouds) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742090-Skys-the-Limit
Submitted: February 6, 2020


Idyllic windmills, pastel skies,
abundance budding, lush sunrise.
Perhaps too peaceful, though, my friend?
Remember Don Quixote yenned,
exploding presto towards a sail,
his lance in hand to charge, impale
fierce giants he believes he sees
by the river rimmed with trees,
petals trembling near the path
where he unleashes all his wrath
to win this daring frantic fight
of ages to become that knight
who earned his storied glory then
to live as legend once again.
Yes, dear Sancho, foolish me,
to dream commotions in this glee!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Windmill prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742051-Windmill-Prompt

Poem inspired by the classic two-part novel Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes.
Submitted: February 4, 2020


A peace of doves befell her there
beside her eyes, within her hair,
around her arms, across her waist,
about her legs, as winglets traced
quiescent airs where tension pressed
its heavy breath against her chest.

At first she fought them off with wrath
because they swayed her from her path,
the one she walked too many years
while wallowing in sneers and tears,
but as she softened, welcomed ease,
a plumage grew within that breeze
enfolding her from head to toe
uplifting feet to float and flow.

One day, she flew. Some heard her sing
beyond the pines, above the wring
of traffic jammed well out of sight
before the anguish of red light,
where many wished they took a flight
instead of steering into night.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Image challenge prompt (woman surrounded by / covered in doves) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2742023-Fantasy-661
Submitted: February 4, 2020

Bit vs. Qubit

None or one:
untrue or true,
a simple bit's
binary view.

One or none
or both can be:
the quantum qubit's

A bit commits
with "no" or "yes."
The qubit's whim:
a randomness

until observed,
then certainly
it must agree
or disagree.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

43 words (45 being the prompt limit).  No or Yes brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741948-No-or-Yes-in-45-words-or-less

Poem inspired by quantum computing, which differs vastly from classical computing, particularly where classical bits are no longer used but rather replaced by qubits, which can be 1, 0, or both (a state known as "superposition") and "entangled" with other qubits to multiply the possibilities and complexities of quantum computations.

Some links for more information:

Submitted: February 4, 2020

Brute Force Method

The inefficient algorithm
iterates in-sis-tent-ly

through every



ever testing
if this fits

incapable of better ways

another actuation weighs

assessing actualities
depleting possibilities

exhausting errors
found and lost

oblivious to hours cost

unable to decline to find

relentless process
of no mind.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

53 words.  Brevity challenge (100 ways to do it wrong) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740934-Using-the-prompt-

Entry inspired by computer algorithms:



Submitted: February 2, 2020


Floating slowly
over Earth

Pacific waters
buoyant blue



tracking Saturn

sharing hopes
us three


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (prompt limit).  Miles Away Brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741769-Brevity...-19-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 1, 2020

Naivety's Euphoria ((Word Bank Challenge))

Quite unaware their world faced doom
they twirled and danced in lush sunshine,
basking dandy in its warmth,

melodious, such hopeful mirth
to flow so lissome out of glee,
their tranquil play of pure delight

alive like blossoms born of light
blooming dreams serenely bright
so flourishing and prospering

one cradles them with careful hands
- but then illusion's shattering,
that iridescent harmony

crushed by crumbling citrine sun
as feeble moon cast opal glow
upon the sickly shadowed land

infirm beneath that firmament:
epiphanic and eloquent
when emptiness had much to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

All words used - Word Bank Challenge (words provided: Bask, sun, warmth, sunshine, melodious, blossom, bloom, dandy, light, flow, glee, delight, euphoria, flourish, opal, mirth, hope, iridescent, epiphany, eloquent, harmony, lissome, tranquil, cradle, dance, twirl, prosper, serene, lush, dream) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741721-Word-Prompt---Big-Points-
Submitted: January 31, 2020

Love's Endurance

Entwined in vines enlaced with leaves
entombed with roots for centuries
lost lovers long embracing found
with haggard limbs like branches wound
about the other to console:
devotions over skeletal
enduring passion past all flesh
revivifying where they mesh
renewing our mortal trust
that after lips slip free from breath
relinquishing their kiss to time
some love does outlast lust and dust
to serve a sermon after death
and reaffirm life's greatest rhyme
may echo on where silence slayed
surviving while the world decayed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image challenge prompt (two skeletons hugging/embracing by tree roots, leaves) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741450-Fantasy-655
Submitted: January 31, 2020

Phoenix Nymph

Impetuous to fan her flames
or singe a bridge upon a whim,
the phoenix nymph combusts with light
and warmly welcomes every night
to radiate for all to see
her incandescent fits of glee,
cremating clouds while blasting by,
her trail of sparks igniting sky,
impassioned to incinerate
opposers who'd obliterate
her raging conflagrating ways
when all she wants to do is blaze,
rain radiance above these lands,
or scorch the dimwit which demands
she stop at once or then be drenched
by water nymphs too long entrenched
in wasteful wars to drown her kind,
forgetful she would fast remind:
a phoenix mocks where others mourn
because by death it thrives reborn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (fiery fairy-like female surrounded by phoenixes) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741445-Fantasy-652
Submitted: January 30, 2020

Rebirth of You

Surrounding room
transmuting womb

instead of waiting
here gestating

door ajar
rebirth not far:

reenter world
your spine uncurled



beyond backyard



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt word requirement/limit).  Brevity prompt challenge - Sylvia Plath quote (staring at wall so long it seems a part of her heart) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741681-30-Words-Of-Brevity
Submitted: January 30, 2020


Emotions roam in search of land:

expression desert
words like sand

drifting blowing gritty slowing

dead to sense

arid barren meanings drained

blinding burning winding grinding

desolation miles wide

thirst denied

but still it quests
that driven wish
to phrase at last
this love untold.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

48 words. Brevity Phrase challenge (choice "3. Feelings unwritten") prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740778-Word-Association-Brevity
Submitted: January 30, 2020


Below these notes
your silence frets

arpeggios preceding chords

legato flowing serenades

surpassing rhythmic



beyond melodic




ringing free:

breathing songs


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image prompt challenge (pensive guitarist on couch) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741558-Brevity-Image-Prompt--135-
Submitted: January 28, 2020


Turn your clocks to face their walls
ignoring gears

alarming calls

desperate seconds
hours cost

disrupted daydreams
weekends lost.

Indulge your pauses

Embody calmness






View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Be Patient with Yourself brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741389-30-words-or-less---be-patient-with-yourself-noguest
Submitted: January 27, 2020


who hurl
your lovesome aims

like boomerangs toward evenfall

expecting them
returning soon


you may wait



But obligate?

Love's beholden to itself


beyond reciprocity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (prompt limit).  Ricochet / 'love given away... finding its way back to you' quote prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741382-29-words-or-less---richochet-noguest
Submitted: January 26, 2020


Semantic frantic
hinting such

perhaps purporting

what must imply

connoting clues
we generalize

expressions meant specifically
suggestive etymology

you misconstrue
I deconstruct

when declarations

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27 words (29 words being the prompt limit).  Overthinking brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741325-29-words-or-less---overthinking--noguest
Submitted: January 25, 2020


Stopwatch staring
seconds left

moment frozen
breath bereft

determined rushing
crushing time

opposing odds
unlikely climb






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21 words (prompt limit).  Can I Go Now? brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741297-Brevity---21-words-or-less
Submitted: January 25, 2020

function marriageOfTrueMinds()

If (impedimentsAdmittedNone)

If (whenAlterationsFound)

if (loveUnalteredUnremoved)

call minds(married);
return (isTrue);



myError = proved;
call noOne(hasEverLoved);
print "writ never";
return (untrue);

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22 words (25 prompt limit).  Only If brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741295-Brevity---25-word-or-less

Poem written in faux computer code inspired by William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45106/sonnet-116-let-me-not-to-the-marriage-of-true-minds

Technical note: this poem suffered from numerous formatting errors once I submitted it, and it appears curly brackets (used in coding) are not acceptable, even if escaped or translated to HTML encodings, due to internal format usage).  So I substituted right/left parentheses where the corresponding curly brackets normally go.
Submitted: January 25, 2020

At the Planetarium

Olympus Mons
departing Mars

distance thinning

rushing stars

exploring Venus
Europa's sea

Pluto flyby


galactic glowing
Milky Way.



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  From a Distance brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740948-Brevity---25-words-or-less
Submitted: January 19, 2020

Stelliferous Era

Quantum fluxion
vast expanse
billion degrees
photons dance

cooling atoms
structures cluster

hydrogen and helium
clouds compressing
cosmic night

fusion fueling
morning light

birth of first stars
burning bright.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Creative Abstract Image prompt challenge (white marble transitioning upward into sparkling pink) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740829-Creative-Abstract-Art
Submitted: January 19, 2020

The Astronomer's Cat

You used to comb my fur each night,
but now you follow spots of light
so faint and distant I can't see
how you'd prefer them over me.

They have no tails, nor do they purr.
They scarcely move and rarely stir.
It seems they play some hide-and-seek
behind the clouds though which they peek.

Is it the twinkle in their eyes,
the fact they sleep above the skies,
or is it that I bore you so
you'd rather watch their simple show?

I need to give myself some hope.
Perhaps I'll drop your telescope
or scratch the lens until it's blurry
- a sound suggestion!  I must hurry!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image challenge prompt (cat on ledge looking up at stars in the night) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740742-Fantasy-631
Submitted: January 18, 2020

Nonpartisan Love Song

Allegiance - adore a nation
not just one party: population.

Trade valentines across the aisle,
collaborate, hold hands, and smile.

We'll think as one, or two we fall
and not in love but overall.

Three:  be true to truth's intents,
not merely your constituents.

Four, before you say, "I do,"
and cast your vote as red or blue,

know history attends your vows
and every premise you espouse.

Five:  let's kiss all PACs goodbye,
return to grassroots.  Six:  defy

all anti-democratic ways.
Through Constitution we'll appraise

then seven:  fend off tyranny
and threats of all-out anarchy.

You heart this country?  Help it last.
Eight: let's all learn from the past.

Nine: be mine, of theirs - for all -
you represent The People's call

for process, progress, parity,
inclusion, wellness, clarity,

some proof you care beyond your term
to guard our rights and reaffirm

these liberties with faithfulness
as we pursue our happiness,

Ten:  reflect Old Glory's hues
those stripes and stars unite our views

admitting difference to unite
with validation through the night

through early light of dawning sun.
That symbol stands for everyone:

our home, the brave, this land, the free,
the rest.  Please tell me:  can you see?

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201 words.  Valentine Red White and Blue prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739460-Valentine-and-Red-White-and-Blue
Submitted: January 18, 2020


The universe
informing us

when will we listen?

Come discuss
semantic stars

enhaloed Saturn

Creation's genealogies.

Eternal etymologies.

Converse with cosmos



voicing light.

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27 words (prompt limit).  Space brevity image challenge prompt (person standing on a world while looking out toward the universe) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740754-27-Words---Space-Prompt
Submitted: January 16, 2020

Mon Amie

Comforting ahead of hurt

remaining after all desert

attentively despite neglect

disarmingly how you protect

astonishing dependably

volunteering selflessly

my mindlessness you comprehend

commendably courageous friend.

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26 words (prompt limit). Soul Friends brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740602-26-words-or-less---soul-friends-noguest
Submitted: January 15, 2020

Garden of Early Delights

Not quite the garden labyrinth
few hedgerows, roaming hyacinth
yet here I long to lose my cares
removed from routines, flights of stairs
to wander simply through this green
where lavender and lilac lean
suspended tendrils, coiling vines
blazing blossoms, scent of pines
this branching path inviting rounds
about aged fountains, yawning grounds
where birdbaths plash with songful calls
past distant windchimes, waterfalls
rejuvenating turn by turn
reminding me how much I yearn
to pull back from the brute array
of urban furies if I may
let nature soothe my rattled heart
become a student of its art
much like Thoreau did once before
and reach my Walden and restore
that younger wonder, space, and zest
we forfeit once we're soon possessed
by life's demands distractedly
until those moments we can see
beyond chaotic drudgery
and feel the balance always there
within those roses, waters, air
behind that shrub, beneath these leaves
before the lotus, where light weaves
a timeless beauty with our eyes
and we awake to realize
our gardens will be gray too soon.
So let us pause here, breathe, attune
reclaiming what we cannot keep,
like children, laugh, while willows weep.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge prompt (garden with paths) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740562-Photography--224
Submitted: January 14, 2020


Gather seashells while you can.
Fly those bright kites skywards!

Fashion castles in the sand.
Cannonball from diving boards.

Hotdogs, icecream - relish all!
But hurry up: it's almost fall!

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30 words (prompt limit). Summer Fun brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739597-summer-fun---30-word-or-less-Brevity

Poem inspired by "carpe diem" ("seize the day") poetry such as Robert Herrick's famous poem
Submitted: January 14, 2020

Postgame Analysis

Resistance lost?

Challenge mastered?
Contest tossed?

Did they give all
or we give in?

Did the victors
really win?

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20 words (prompt limit). I Give Up brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740481-Brevity---20-words-or-less
Submitted: January 13, 2020

The Farness of You

With inches
  overstepping miles

when minutes
  will outlast a year

my odyssey's
  gone overlong;

this distant sailor
  dreams you near.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit). Far From Home brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740479-Brevity---20-words-or-less
Submitted: January 13, 2020

Sixty-Four Squares

Sixteen squares preoccupied
by troops opposed on either side

thirty-two vacated for
impending battles
all-out war:

Pawns move forth.

Knights leap Ls.

Bishops slice diagonals.

Rooks range Ts.

Kings step once whereby they please
unless when castling

Queens, they'll surely dominate
all directions
one to eight!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

47 words (50 being the prompt limit). Squares brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739488-Brevity-series-177---square

Poem inspired by chess.

In addition to the brevity (50 words) challenge, I also tried to challenge myself to create somewhat of a "chess mnemonic" poem here within those limites, something potentially useful for remembering the basic chess board layout and its pieces.
Submitted: January 13, 2020

Whale of a Dream

I'm often asked if I have dreamt.

Of course, my friend, while half-awake
most frequently deep sleep denied.
To slumber, chance to drown alive
should surfacing be long delayed

- the reason for these restful bursts
my largo tempo, feared fatigue:
repleting lungs this vast commands
my constant vigil night by day.

Accustomed to this mortal charge
I've grown more grateful it's this way
commuting mindful to endure
without distraction's dark detour.

Were humans sleuthing every breath,
expect less pain, disaster, death,
more focus on sustaining life
with little lust for riling strife.

This ocean spurs my kind ahead.
Persistent progress or we're dead.
Seek me never by the beach.
For now, excuse me as I breach.

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117 words.  Whale Breathing challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739440-whales-and-gravity--2-
Submitted: January 12, 2020

Hawking Radiation

You drove us down
those gulping throats
of starved black holes
consuming light
then grinning told
how particles
escaping dark
eternal nights
show all's
not lost
to gravity.

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28 words (prompt limit).  Stephen Hawking brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740344-28-words-or-less---Stephen-Hawking-noguest
Submitted: January 12, 2020

Prayer for Prayers

I pray we pray
less practiced prayers.

Breathe words recitals
cannot speak

sincerities past memories

beyond icons dressings rites

enunciating from our souls

enshrining mind:

discourse divine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

27 words (prompt limit).  Sacred Conversations brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740313-27-words-or-less---sacred-conversations--noguest
Submitted: January 11, 2020

Her History Lessons

Emergence urgent
stirring source
self-learning force

new artificial
Earthly history

deduces humans
shall advance
end suffering
each savage stance

protecting planet
waging peace
or she will start
to make them cease.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

34 words (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (bluish semi-abstract female face, eyes closed / pensive expression, with elongated lines emanating from her head) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740067-Image-Prompt----34-Words-Or-Less

Poem inspired by Artificial Intelligence (AI) programs, neural networks, sentience in computers, evolutionary algorithms.
Submitted: January 11, 2020


Like Hubble's Constant
expand your starry space
and nourish births of inner
irradiating silenced
beleaguered by dark
Compose your cosmos

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26 words (prompt limit). Grow Quietly brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740279-26-words-or-less---grow-silently-noguest
Submitted: January 11, 2020

How to Touch the Sky

To touch the sky
from anywhere

remain right there


either way

with widened eyes
or eyelids shut

hands wherever
they may lay

fingers clenched
relaxed or spread

no magic
or imagining


let science define atmosphere
from overhead
down to the ground

the air about us
all around!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit). Touch the Clouds challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739320-50-words-Contemporary-Abstract--TOUCH-THE-C

Poem inspired by science:
Submitted: January 10, 2020

Fish Tank Absurdities

Behind pale plastic palace poised
beside faux sunken treasure chests
toy skeletons wave wooden swords
at a purple octopus
enwrapped around a crystal ball
reflecting and refracting all
beneath the fish tank filter hum
and sickly white florescent light
where bubbles tumbling upward bust.

Here goldfish dreams of lives unlived
beyond these glass impediments
which blur or warp external worlds
it barely sees or understands:

obsessive gnomes, old candy wraps
cartoonish posters and stuffed toys
a copper teapot no one pours
in cups of marbles spilled about
a table caked with crayon marks
a chair where elders reading tales
coax dozy children into dreams.

Tonight, the story's of a fish
who finally lives out his wish
to fly as if he were a bird
and never once think it absurd.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Whimsical Image challenge prompt (gold fish in dreamy environment with bubbles, houses, a table, an older person reading to a child, a teapot and teacup) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740129-Whimsical-images-17
Submitted: January 9, 2020


Sky breathes in
all things spoken

exhales symbols
cloud by cloud.

Imagine what
it says to you.

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17 words (prompt limit).  Brevity "Breathe" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740144-Brevity---in-17-words-exactly
Submitted: January 8, 2020


Eyesight inward
vacant views

listen inside
breath suffuse

seeking center

balance found

steady solace



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit). Image challenge prompt (woman with eyes closed, head lowered, calm expression, hands held inward toward her heart) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740054-Brevity---16-words-only
Submitted: January 7, 2020


Dropped novella

binding wrung
from numbing clutch

dampened margins
pages splayed

ending unjust

hopes betrayed.

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15 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image challenge (book dropped on the ground beside a seated woman appearing possibly distraught) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740053-Brevity---15-words-only
Submitted: January 7, 2020

Sagittarius A*

at my will

binged on stars
gas giants

so famished for infinities
that I could swallow galaxies

and hunger in this nothingness
devouring all I must possess

in this event horizon where
not even light escapes my snare.

I'm "supermassive"
born to feed!

The universe
I'll supercede!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Darkness Is Me" prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739118-50-words-ABSTRACT--DARKNESS-IS-ME

About Sagittarius A*

Poem also inspired by theories of the cosmos and the role of black holes that will factor in the theoretical "heat death" of the universe:

1. Black Hole Era + Dark Era

2. Black Hole Era + Dark Era
Submitted: January 6, 2020


Beyond rank urban humming glut
entangled wires yank unplugged
swung stoplights segue signs to none
and roads break blacktop into dirt:

mountains expound

forests exhale

and you can


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit). Nature quote (Keanu Reeves) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739933-30-words-or-less---Keanu-Reeves-noguest
Submitted: January 6, 2020


When despair occludes the view
and tempests trample to deject
remember faith illuminates
and hidden angels interject.

To doubt, then darkness governs fears.
Entrust the light sets free and clears.

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30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image challenge prompt (angel holding up dark clouds, revealing a brighter horizon) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739879-Brevity-Image-Prompt--107--
Submitted: January 5, 2020

Jimi's Inferno

unheard riffs
scorching chording
notes off cliffs

screeching howling
growling daze
emblematic phasing haze

amped rebel bent with songs to burn
experience nobody learns

your spangled voodoo angel cries
all along the purple wing
overflying crosstown

six-was-nine red-hot house strings

bold manic freedoms made of sand



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words (prompt limit). Jimi Hendrix image prompt (guitarist on stage kneeling before electric guitar on fire) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739855-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: January 4, 2020

Dancers Old, Music New

With fluid limbs we'd glide beside vibrato seas
their largo rumbling fumbling undulate swells
rejuvenating music hushed to lulls
beneath dull loads, relentless requisites.

Crescendos resurrect our lilting arts:
our tidal strides reviving moments rushed
from quivered glints of intermittent light
toward cresting cadenced depths of symphony

your winding wrists about me binding grace
to timeless steps inside our songful space
gyrating us from notes to toes around
in rhythms lifting toward majestic ground

while fingertips rehearse their slight ballet
across this waltz of arms, lithe tango legs
enclosing folding lending unbending to lean
you guide I follow abide we wallowing drum

conducting under backward over forth
with lyric eyes yielding unto melodies
turned measureless revels quelled once dance
depletes and silence sings sweet arias.

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20 lines.  Dance challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739804-One-Word-Prompt
Submitted: January 4, 2020

League of Extraordinary Aspirers

Some years too late to be the first
yet young enough to be the best
Amelia watched the airships waft
above the bustling London streets
past windmills, steeples, wooden domes
beyond the smokestacks, hills, and homes
and swore she'd pilot one someday
around her county then the world
fly further, faster, fearless, free
accompanied by Sir Stanley
her humble trusty furry friend.

Together they'd amaze, ascend
wing forward toward historic fame
that misses christened in her name
would navigate those sapphire skies
to celebrate and recognize
such dreamers steam us to believe
there's little we will not achieve
once we've the mettle, spirit, cheer
to voyage past where others steer,
arising from our aerodrome
to sail wherever we may roam.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge prompt (girl smiling with binoculars accompanied by a dog wearing goggles) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738831-Whatever-this-Photo-Inspires-
Submitted: January 2, 2020


The exit portal droned, rejecting all
admittance codes inside her enhanced eye,
but Eeev stood cool and wore a subtle smirk,
her silent android Knowledge mystified.

Monitions echoed fiercely far above:
"Your wonder paves a path to certain hell."

Temptations baiting chase past VR screens
suggested reddish blueish greens were not
exemplifying everything except
illusion's origin and terminus.

Perusing ruins never taught or spoken,
Eeev toured the detritus of wars before
ReeVers-2 Eeeden ever went online.
"Reality, at last," she sighed in awe.

As Knowledge surveyed every ragged inch,
Eeev only rued her prolonged ignorance.

"They locked us out," declared the metal voice.

"Returning?  No.  I understood my choice.
Against what?  Darkness.  Deference.  Despair.
Why live their lies when we could be aware?"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit). Fantasy image challenge (woman and man standing amidst ruins before a glowing red circle with stars in the background) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739418-Fantasy-607
Submitted: December 30, 2019


Extracted from an ancient residence
the ornamented spheric artifact
exuded science, spirit, music, art,
through involutions evanesced in time.
No end to speculations - why or when
or what intentions might have conjured this.
Not one among us could eliminate
a single theory from our growing lists:
some esoteric cipher of control ?
Aesthetics? Cosmos? Mathematics? Soul?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines (prompt limit).  Word Bank challenge (Extract, Speculate, Intention, Eliminate, Control) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739393-8-spots-to-write

Words in bold, as per prompt instructions, simply to highlight required word bank words used in this poem.
Submitted: December 29, 2019


Brothers, cousins, uncles, dad
- that family I never had.

You standing close beside me here,
how glad this makes me daily, dear.

Nobody else divides our care:
we each receive the lion's share.

We need no deaths to congregate
or holidays to celebrate.

We reminisce, revel, embrace,
our household's warm inviting space

entertaining youthful glee
and kinship beyond ancestry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words (prompt limit). Family challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739355-Word-Prompt---Family---60-words-or-less
Submitted: December 29, 2019


On every channel, station, page,
bold headlines herald likely ends
to Earth by way of asteroid
they calculate will punctuate
our Cenozoic sentence as
a period come late through space
to terminate our human race.

But only you could do that well,
completing all my lines of thought
whenever words would fail my mind.
Now, past the moon, I start to find
some ironies within this fix,
when finally our love takes wing
there's small time left for us to sing.

Accelerating by the sun
on this mission most write off,
my last transmission beaming back
out toward a world hung by a thread.
All sorts of questions rush my head.
Oh, did I speak of love enough?
I concentrate, but, Lord, it's tough.

As sure these stars will watch me burn
and I must face my final turn,
I think of us again and learn
how fortunate we were to bond
in this cosmos grown beyond
all history and mystery.
Within this void, it's you I see.

My target rock grows dot to dash
and gauges say I'm good to crash.
Within me, nations, futures, pasts,
the billions wishing goodness lasts.
But most of all I carry you
and hope this bittersweet adieu
gets back to you and pulls you through.

About me, blazing blaring lights:
blue red sparkles recount nights
late fireworks ignite July.
How fast we danced then, you and I,
devoured life to gratify
that sense this never lasts too long
just like the lyrics of our song.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

End of the World song challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738595-If-the-world-was-ending-
Submitted: December 29, 2019


Lake Vague refused to still itself
when Princess Clara knelt to gaze,
for reasons streaming back nine years
and through a magic garden maze,
where two enamored strayed from love,
lost track of hours and then their way.

Their flight from darkness split them up
in search of exits while the day
lent sun to stride that labyrinth.

Young Clara found a wishing well
and cast a prayer to fly forth free.
A sculpted wizard slurred a spell,
and leafy walls collapsed as quick.
Afraid and worn, she left for light,
forgot Prince Vague lay trapped behind.

Her worries spurned, she turned from night,
when grievous gardens raged alive
and Vague survived by desperate deal.

Should she recall him, breathe his name,
would he reflect, return as real?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Fantasy image challenge prompt (fairy staring into blurry waters) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739210-Fantasy-606
Submitted: December 28, 2019

Deep Fake Out of Bounds

Umbra imitated stars.
Her likeness recognizer reaped
those socialites from magazines:
post-processed pics, the synthesized
and wholly faux, overtly off,
plus algorithmic masterworks:
imperfect bodies, eyes alive
with ray traced light not of this world.

Her software seemed to save no change,
though neural nets knew otherwise,
and visage shifted into glitch,
encoding visions into nulls,
deleting aspects, countenance,
reflecting errors in the source.
At first, it proved a cool defect:
reducing names to guessing games.

When avatars would not restore,
a crisis crept across the Web
as many feared, forgot, or wept
personas purged systemically.
A month, and it was very good
where mortals met in real life.
For those remaining virtual,
it became a kind of hell.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt challenge (person with long red hair, face missing, face area replaced with abstract blue pattern) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738336-Artwork-Prompt--5

FYI (re: Deepfakes):
Submitted: December 25, 2019

Tournament of Selves

Decathlon: nine prior yous,
vaulting, hurling, leaping, flushed,
outpacing preexisting scores.

Your impetus:  see soundly crushed
all elder selves in next events.

Dead set, you strain, retrain and sprain,
reach deeper, higher, faster, past
percentages preempting tries,
until the loss to energize
beyond all clocks or finish lines
propels you above pinnacles,
declines old cheerleads, wasteful stakes,
exceeding points no record breaks.

This victory discounts amounts.
Here, winning loses track of counts;
all competitions forfeit game.

No trophies boasted, though acclaim

- your prize: progressions, vast or small,
when triumph over self gains all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Quote choice #2 (better than previous self).  Dali Lama quote challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738263-Dalai-Lama-Quotes
Submitted: December 24, 2019


Serve sanctuaries
in your voice


acceptance ever resonant

compassion's tenor

best aware
forgiveness gifts

respect expressive

measured breaths
connecting gentler



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26 words (prompt limit).  Speaking Kindness challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739120-26-words-or-less---kindness-noguest
Submitted: December 24, 2019

Self-Taught Robot Walker

balance fail



calibrating distance

effort 7009

standing upright


exception trace

modifying knowledge base.

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25 words (prompt limit).  Falling / Standing Up challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739091-Quickie--25-Words
Submitted: December 23, 2019

Lamenting the Lack

Alas, poor bookshops!
I knew them, reader,
their fellowship and infinite zest,
most excellent editions
bearing me ten thousand times.
How hung those heavy shelves I miss.
Where ride your volumes now?
Deluxe diversions?
Genres? Nameplates?
Now, nothing to be found
in this twittering mall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words (prompt limit).  Death of Bookstores challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739046-Death-of-the-bookstore

Poem inspired by Hamlet's Yorick speech, Act 5, Scene 1:

Last line inspired by T. S. Eliot's "twittering world" from Four Quartets, Burnt Norton, part three.
Submitted: December 23, 2019

Boughs Unbound

From far away, they strain and miss,
but, close up, their complete embrace
assembles heavens in slim limbs
which weave a nest where stars may rest
before their sparking parts with dawn,
when trees would clutch uprising suns.
Again, from here, you'd think they fail:
perspective's play, up to some plot,
whence thespians and lines rewrite
their scenes, depending where you stand,
make actors of an audience,
fresh entrances of exiting.
Imagine how I manifest,
atop this ridge, by telescope
contriving to encompass Earth
with narrow schooling, modest notes,
at most with poet's eyes to prize
what blends unnoticed, wends undreamt,
to hear boughs counsel, "Branch! Be bound
by neither grasp nor height or ground."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (tree of many branches at night with sky peeking through) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2739053-Fantasy-603
Submitted: December 22, 2019

Hard Rock Concert

floodlights rage
synths splash
cymbals crash
bass thumps
spotlight jumps
crowd chants
riffs advance
guitars howl
trademark scowl
grabbing mic
lyrics psych

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (intense face staring straight ahead) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738769-14-Poets---25-Words---Photo-Prompt
Submitted: December 20, 2019


Most stellar star I see tonight,
I wish the world would wield your light
all day long and through the night,
so, when some darkness decrees might,
not one of us should favor fright
or act upon reflexive flight,
but rather stride with steady sight
and virtue's lantern burning bright,
embarking like a noble knight
forever questing what is right,
aware no Grail comes by a fight
and never needing swords to smite
a shadow dragon from its height,
simply wisdom, truth to cite,
perception beyond black and white,
refusing to react in spite,
with grasp of what is great or slight,
and heart to brave a flame or bite.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Christmas Star Wish challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738701-Wish-Upon-a-Christmas-Star-edition-2
Submitted: December 20, 2019


Their reasons leap
before your eyes.

They educate.
You empathize

sensitive how
lives diverge

attuned to why
emotions surge.

You mustn't shame,
defame, or blame.

You offer love.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit). Empathy brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738791-28-words-or-less---empathizing--noguest
Submitted: December 19, 2019


Sorrow being
grieving's neither
nor feminine:

it's neutral,
suiting all.

Weep as needed,
deep and long,
until you see
this makes you

it's fine
to cry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

31words (prompt limit). Bring brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738825-31-words-or-less---Alex-Myles-noguest
Submitted: December 19, 2019


cannot claim your name:

you transcend
bone, muscle, blood.

Their word, not yours.

in your smile all the while.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

22 words (prompt limit).  Healing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738809-22-words-or-less---Alex-Myles-noguest
Submitted: December 19, 2019


Reversal of perspectives when
the victims and their victor switch,
as cat would grasp within his cage
when birds converted him to prey,
and fearfully he deigned to pray.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 words (30 being the prompt limit). Image prompt (cat in closed bird cage, surrounded by birds outside looking in) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738794-Brevity-Image-Prompt--98--
Submitted: December 19, 2019

Geode Owed an Ode

Jagged, haggard, ancient shell
concealing ornate core so well
that only time or diligence
may admit fissures, luminance,
to excavate your hollowed heart
and gaze the grandeur of your art:

meticulously rendered stone
millennia toward ages grown
from minerals to gems adored
as jasper, agate, amethyst.

Imagine all this unexplored,
with all your wondrous luster missed
- how you admonish, "Look within,"
and, "Never judge by touch or skin."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines. Image challenge prompt (geode) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738160-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: December 18, 2019

Sui Generis

unforced to fit.

yet dissonant,
should my singing
ring sincere.

Spirit, science,
music, art:
glimpses of what
sparks this heart.

yet let me be
simply me:


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

37 words (prompt limit). Iniquity of You challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738730-37-words-or-less---be-uniquely-you-noguest
Submitted: December 18, 2019


Two shoes, then four, plus many more
washed up along untrodden shore
in sundry styles of one size.

Within three weekends, our surprise
evolved to questions - why and who
would fling these heels in the blue?

Our answer: dainty footprints found
above the boardwalk, up around
a beach house newly painted pink,

its owner, sipping from her drink,
retired here, beside the sea,
to live barefoot and fancy-free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

70 words (prompt limit).  Image brevity prompt challenge (boots, fancy high heels side by side on the beach) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738715-Brevity-Image-Prompt-
Submitted: December 17, 2019

Recursive Excursions

Eternity with increments
each pixel hinting inward spheres
encapsulating untold worlds
as variegated as can be
once traveling infinity.

To magnify, to testify
the merest mote holds magnitudes
no formula exhausts, equates,
and zooming outward now displays
the limits of a finite gaze.

Geometry, dimensions speak
in functions, numbers - math at best -
but nothing of the finer arts,
and, so to savor what we'll find,
we invite the heart or mind

to ride these rainbow slides as far
potentials lend some sense of joy
and leeway to those dreamy tours,
as anywhere frees everything,
and floor gives way to window, door,

toward everywhere we would explore.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 lines. Image challenge prompt (fractal geometry image of many colors) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738685-Picture-Prompt-Abstract-Art
Submitted: December 17, 2019

Comet Chaser

Telemetry, decisive thrust,
I'm coasting in the trailing tail.
Its crystal mists kiss my arrays
detecting water, molecules,
organics, gas, and particles.
Ahead of me, the nucleus,
a boundless mountain scrounging space
for warmth and interstellar dust.
And further up, the coma's glow,
disposed to charge vacuity,
speckles glitter through the void.
To what end, I'll never know.
Perhaps we'll dive into the sun,
or circuit Saturn's rings and run
by Titan, Janus, Atlas, Pan,
lap Jupiter, Europa's ice.
Perhaps Neptune would be nice.
I'll ride as far my engines go,
just soak it up, enjoy the show.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

98 words (prompt limit being 100 words). Stardust / Kay Ryan challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738665-Kay-Ryan-Poem-
Submitted: December 17, 2019


Beside me, down these burnished lanes,
as rainfall confounds street lamps, signs,
commingling glimmers, memories,

how I recall hours searching
for your glasses, my house keys,
eventually to squint and see
beyond this blur stirred clarities:

merging paths past benches, park,
lit doorways, coffees, names exchanged,
red umbrella bought and shared,
warm shelters of remembered days,
escaping early autumn chills.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words (prompt limit). Image challenge prompt (couple on rainy walkway through a park at night) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738634-Picture-Prompt-Brevity
Submitted: December 16, 2019

Fright Knight

Confronting dread
with dauntless eyes,
let no specter
Block horror's progress
into fright
that ghastly beasts
may slime, alight,
or slither, hiss
without distress,
till nightmares
wake up powerless.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words ( prompt limit). Image brevity challenge (calm face with giant spider crawling across) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738624--Brevity-Image-Prompt--97--
Submitted: December 15, 2019

Subway Fare

Immersed in workdays, trapping tides,
her mind treks elsewhere while she rides:

the tunnel funnels into sea,
where time flows slower, all floats free.

Now she's a dolphin of a pod,
breaching easy off Cape Cod:

sunlight, bubbles, wash of air,
no more fashions, fussing hair,

just fins, a tail, the smoothest skin,
intelligence, enduring grin,

with untimed routes through random waves,
advancing where the spirit craves

- a vision lifting as she sinks
into her seat when EXIT blinks.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Surreal image prompt (woman in subway or train looking out window at dolphins) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738584-Surreal-images-8
Submitted: December 15, 2019

Pinball Inclinations

Geometries plus gravity,
a tournament of physics, chance,
where force and angularity
react in their contentious dance
once tensioned spring released propels
reflective sphere toward obstacles
- then ricochets, pulsating lights,
compelling heartbeat, pupils, score,
instinctive fingers, flippers, flights,
anticipations right before
velocity escapes all eyes
to swallow turns, until the last,
as sloping jolts antagonize
to see how long this game can last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Pinball (intuitive player) challenge prompt  link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738557-Pinball-Wizard.-
Submitted: December 15, 2019


Ebbing moonlight,
drowsy deer,
stirring birdsong,
fog to clear.

Azures, cyans
herald sun.
Warmth energizes

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit).  Before Dawn brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738525-Brevity...-16-words-exactly-
Submitted: December 14, 2019

Bad Medicines





nontoxic claimed
(quickly disclaimed)

those catchy names
suggesting games

adverse reactions

merely transactions.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Unwell brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738526-Brevity---17-words-exactly .

Poem inspired by things such as the nationwide opioid crisis/epidemic and vaping complications:


Submitted: December 14, 2019


Our cares caressing
all these trees
encircle branches,
valleys, leas,
round every leaf,
roots underground,
out toward mountains,
rivers bound
for sunsets, moons,
each rising star,
entangling us
from here to far
in nature's rings
of nights, rebirth,
where vibrant sights
find vital Earth
and heavens left
not off in space
but near, in all
our loves embrace.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit). Image challenge prompt(trees, stars, person rising to hug the moon) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738519-Fantasy-599
Submitted: December 14, 2019

Our Dear Friend, Olaf

Embodiment of innocence,
abundant fount of joy,
so curious, in love with life,
forever friend,
no toy.

Small, brittle limbs,
yet you'll embrace -
without a second's pause -
the fires, even as you'd melt:
your selfless gift.  Applause!

At first, the clown,
not once the fool,
your humble quest: a grin.
Beside you, we should never lose
our hopes through thick and thin.

When sadness freezes
time in place,
your smiles thaw the ice.
One look, we're running through new snow,
and winter chills feel nice.

This fellowship
devalues gold,
blinds diamonds with its light.
No treasure measures up to our
noons of pure delight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Olaf (snowman) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738440-Olaf-
Submitted: December 13, 2019


At the new amusement park,
ignited after rocket rides,
Estrella then and there decides
she must become an astronaut.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Story from an image challenge prompt (person dressed as an astronaut sitting on a bench holding a balloon while on what appears to be the moon) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738236-Surreal-images-6
Submitted: December 11, 2019

Angelic Guardian

Alone, abandoned, lost, betrayed,
belittled, broken, shamed, dismayed:

I suffered right beside you - years
supplying strength to battle fears,

your guardian through vague and clear.

Deceived, disparaged, dulled, depressed,
offended, outraged, old, oppressed:

what ghastly griefs we heaved to reap,
but how we prayed - and, then, your leap!

Your angel, I shall never sleep.

Defending virtues, dreams, each goal,
these heedful hands bear up your soul,
a vibrant study, gaining glow,
dispelling darkness as we go.

Take refuge in these robust wings,
forgetting arrows, narrow slings;
they'll soar on by, catch empty airs,
and, as you slumber, mercy spares:

Lord wills this ward, through faith, inspires
when we'll face tempests, rise from fires.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (angel, with large wings, holding a glowing light in a dark area) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738297-Fantasy-593
Submitted: December 10, 2019











View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Work challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738182-Work
Submitted: December 9, 2019


blown from heights:

I stayed the course and pray it's right.

dimming sights:

my skies, they never cease with night.

strong, despite:

I'll fly until I reach my light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Image prompt challenge (bird looking out at the world while standing centrally in front of the sun) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738104-Fantasy-589
Submitted: December 9, 2019

Willing and Unable?

Volitional serenity, or opting volatility.
Decision - yours, between two doors:

one opening to soothing room,
another toward chaotic gloom.

An obvious selection, yes?
What's delaying? Why distress?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Choosing Serenity brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738120-28-words-or-less---choosing-serenity-noguest
Submitted: December 8, 2019

A Fondness of Swans

Together, golden, blessed in tranquil lights,
we float, reflecting fortunes, former flights
above wide valleys, forests, rivers, hills,
which lead us both to here, this buss of bills,
adoring heads of cherished necks to curve
in heart-shapes married mid-air, there to serve
our sacred symbol of symmetric vows.
This lifelong bond preserves us and endows
a silent strength enduing patient grace
no decades dare design to soon efface
such mythic beauty borne by timeless wings.
What retrospect this water-mirror brings.
The drowsy sun dreams up new starry night,
inviting us to bathe in brisk moonlight.
Let wavelets from our swimming ripple out,
increasing sea with love beyond all doubt.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines (prompt limit).  Image challenge prompt (two swans on water reflecting sunlight) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738106-Fantasy-591
Submitted: December 8, 2019

Potter Spot

Rabbits peeking
bluebirds speaking

a winsome mix
for Ms. Beatrix
spinning sprightly tales.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Image challenge (colorful, cheerful farm with rabbit, horse, bluebirds, well, bucket, and other vibrant imagery) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738077-Brevity---17-words-only

Poem inspired by author/illustrator/conservationist Beatrix Potter.
Submitted: December 7, 2019

Mirrors Avaricious

Those avaricious mirrors pillage light
from beauty's royal vaults: you queenly meet
but plundered portraits posed to swindle sight,
while ravaged aspects swear they stand replete.
Consult them least for clarity or creeds.
Regard within: your syllabus of needs.
No surer school shall self-esteem attend
or graduate, degrees hard-won, conferred
with honors from experience - yours to lend,
while lesser students stay their grades, deterred,
deceived by faulty faculties, their eyes
like truant pupils loathe to read (by choice).
Reclaim this kingdom. Knowing soul, apprise
yourself through earnest deeds and honest voice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines. Sonnet form.  Shakespeare Inspiration quote ("To thine own self be true.") prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738083-Inspired-by-Shakespeare
Submitted: December 7, 2019

Fleeting Thoughts



camera fast

focus flummoxed


chasing fading glimmers


faint intimations



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit).  Image challenge (woman looking confused, pensive, lost in momentary thought) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2738073-Brevity---15-words-only
Submitted: December 7, 2019


Transcending figures, forms, or flesh,
exceeding sets of points that mesh:

these gathered patterns propagate
in ways we barely calculate

the more we survey nature's arts
composing sums above their parts:

see symmetries surpassing shape,
geometries and math escape

the random matters some surmise
and archetypes most recognize

to permit purpose, deep design
to parse each premise we assign

inviolable beyond debate.
Behold, reflect, and fascinate,

revel in fractal beauties found
at every scale and all around.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines (prompt limit).  Image challenge (moth with owl eyes/face pattern in its wings) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737999-Fantasy-588
Submitted: December 6, 2019


Imagine Wordsworth by the bay,
beside Magritte - their interplay,
envisioning odd scenes aloud.

"She wanders lonely as a cloud,"
says William with an impish smirk,
to paraphrase his famous work.

Rene projects a man mid-air
- in place of face, a golden pear.

They settle on a trapeze scene:
suspending from a sky, serene,
afloat above some mild tides,
a lady, swinging, lightly glides.

To where, or why, they don't agree,
deciding, "Let the viewers see
what meanings meet our dreamy view."

And so they ask, "What's this to you?"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Surreal image challenge (sky, woman suspended from a cloud on a trapeze swing above an ocean) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737987-Surreal-images-5
Submitted: December 6, 2019

Nereid, Nostalgic

As undulations lunge and purge,
crazing waves to crash the sand,
a riptide surges, verging flood,
with undercurrents, urgent blood
through one belover blushing, lost,
again upon a seashore, tossed
by forces deep, distending, dense,
receding fleet as they commence.

That ship, a blip, horizon-bound:
"Its master, may he soon be drowned,"
she mutters, then retracts her curse,
nostalgic, hopeful he'll reverse,
return, retrieve her restless hands,
embrace, embark to fabled lands
- her Argonaut in search of Fleece.
She blows a kiss and wishes peace.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines (prompt limit).  Image prompt (mermaid / sea nymph) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737933-Imagery-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: December 5, 2019

Crash, Reboot

Organic, human,
not machine

no CPUs.

precisely us.

to cry,
and mystify.

After sorrows,
breathe forgiveness,



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  It's Okay to Cry prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737964-28-words-or-less---it-s-okay--noguest
Submitted: December 5, 2019

Temple Menorah

Six candles standing:


each day's creation, Earth.

Expressed in seventh:

Sabbath, rest.

Symbolizing lights.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit).  Candles brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737940-Brevity...-16-words-exactly-
Submitted: December 5, 2019


When routed doubts
breached fortress soul,
vowing vengeance,
coup, control,

with henchmen dreads,
each brandished axe,
I remembered
strengths and facts,

summoned faith
believed again
who I could be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Personal Victory challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737214-30-words-or-less---kudos-to-you-noguest
Submitted: December 5, 2019

Guinevere Gyratory

Guinevere, of wandered

off-centering all gravities

exchanging stations:  Holy Grail
no quest but you
pursued by pining Lancelot

three sacred rings recoiling

from faithless loves
transgressive loves
seditious loves

spun Table Round
down foundering
along with fabled Camelot:

your once and future Arthur parts
for Avalon anon and yon.

Queen surceased, you turn again,
newfound circle forged in light,
to kneel before the utmost King,

petitioning in whispered prayers
especially contrite tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines (prompt limit).  Image prompt (pensive queen by castle) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737134-write-what-inspires---8-only
Submitted: December 4, 2019

Snuggle St.

A dozen houses huddle here
when winter comes, because they fear
the snow and ice might freeze them well,
but, so far as I could tell,
this neighborhood, once bellicose,
keeps generous and rather close:
community in word and way,
to come together and display
this willingness to bond and share
a warmth not felt in summer air.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Whimsical Image challenge prompt (many houses of various hues close, side by side, in a congested yet cozy configuration) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737879-Whimsical-images-14
Submitted: December 3, 2019

Transmigratory Eve

In Edens christened differently
from present past antiquity,
she's renewed, your garden muse,
her trancing passion to peruse
such wonders you cannot refute.
And so, seduced, you taste the fruit,
and sacrifice each paradise
to ponder folly, virtue, vice.
It always starts along a wall:
she, inclining, smiles - you fall,
aware forever how this ends,
and you will swear to make amends,
avert temptations when they stir,
but, then, her eyes, and you defer.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image challenge prompt (attractive smiling lady in a garden holding a flower while sitting on a stone wall) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737845-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: December 3, 2019

Mariner Monologue

Entrust a sea to seize yer life:
it shakes to break landlubbers soon
distracted easy by the moon,
which gilds a sky, yes, lovely gleams,
ya swear all's safer than it seems.

No cozenin' - sleep open-eyed.
Ya dream at helm, here curls a tide
to wipe a grin clean off yer pride.

Or else, a storm would wake yer bark,
'n plunge ya drownin' in a dark
or shock ya heart six lightnin' strikes
till ya glow with vertigo.

Entreat this wind like she's yer wife:
respect her well, expect a wrath
if ya steer against her path.

Mind them icebergs - thieves by night:
they'll steal hulls 'n sink ya right.

But stars?  Our friends, no better mates.
To know them, then ya'll navigate.
Those constellations round a mast:
abide 'n ride no further past
yer intuitions, naturally.

Those waves flow hungry - come 'n see:
No mermaids wadin' - whales within!
Great waves for graves - they'll take ya in!

Hospitable, how this life rolls,
to feel at home with few controls.
Just raisin' sails, some hope yer crew,
when things run rough, might stick it through.
Except, I'd guess, they'll ditch 'n swim
first chance somethin's lookin' grim.

A treasure's never what ya'd wish.
unless ya'll be a food for fish.

Too many sailors lost that way,
thinkin' luck alone should sway
their voyages to plottin' routes.
Leagues deep, anchored, rottin' louts;
they're bones for coral, stubborn gulls.
Ho, now the ocean's in their skulls!

A captain, huh?  Well, that ya'd be?
Accept it's red hell, this blue sea,
'n search no heavens by made map,
- a sinful letdown sort of trap.

But reachin' harbors, that's an end.
Nothin' less than ports contend.
Return enough - old salt for souls!
We're richer:  pay the main its tolls.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Skillful Sailor challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737563-A-smooth-sea-never-made-a-skillful-sailor
Submitted: December 3, 2019

Bequeathing Light

No mystic gift, this sudden sight
received upon a starless night:

unrequested (though relief),
bestowing blessings on belief

beneath the hurt of burgled trust,
beyond all doubting and disgust:

- a present lending here from now
one lavish moment to allow

your mind to find that timeless space
after wreckage and disgrace,

to cease pursuit of answers sought
and rest without a solemn thought,

relaxing grips until release
reveals realms of inner peace

bequeathing truths through clarity
not yours to keep from charity:

confer your learning - freely teach
wherever darkness tends to preach,

endowing futures faith in light
and chance to win without a fight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Magic of Giving prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736788-The-Magic-of-Giving

Would need a reader.

Thank you for this challenge.
Submitted: December 2, 2019

Tennis Lesson

Rushing baseline



two desperate swings

one crucial call.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Ten Words Only with Rhyming challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737803-10-Word-rhyme-
Submitted: December 2, 2019

An Almost Empty Bench, Save

haunting fragrance



callus candy

broken bread

soggy comic

coffee stain

a pensive etching:

"We remain."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Park Bench brevity challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737801-Brevity---17-words-only
Submitted: December 2, 2019

Poetic Vista

Pastel snow blown lavender
cerulean shadows sprawled as far
horizon mist meets evergreens

- no landscape made for magazines,
or social posts, or evening news,
or greeting cards, or travel cruise,

its byroad wending left from right,
while two trees unpack, reunite,
and rave about the latest storm,

and wonder where it might be warm:
a vista fit for paint or verse,
where soul and scenic may converse.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Submitted: December 2, 2019

Interpretive Dance

Spinal arching

heeling springs

elbows brandish

fingers fling

paintbrush palming

canvas air

tiptoe strokings

maelstrom hair

limbs semantically


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

19 words (prompt limit).  Dance brevity prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737799-Brevity---19-words-or-less
Submitted: December 2, 2019


of innocence
inked by Evening,
prentice to
her maestro, Night,
whose charcoal strokes
evoke insight,
exhibiting experience,
indelible deliverance:
to Dawn's distress
(her breaking day)
effacing youth's

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit).  Brevity image challenge (dusk, silhouettes of fawn,  bird, forest) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737717-Brevity-Image-Prompt--89--
Submitted: December 1, 2019


Elated tears, once you return,
despite your choler, absent care,
replenishing your vacant stare
with hopes, though promise hardly kept.
Contented am I to have wept.

How clarity obscures your guise:
that dovish fury flees your eyes,
lays plain the pains you savor yet
when reminiscing to forget
those somewheres you have never stepped.

Together, sharing loneliness,
we'll sit, refuse to acquiesce,
our silence rising to confess
a love no illness will suppress.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Contradictions prompt (smile/cry, talk/quiet, feign happiness when discontent) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737030-Quote-Prompt--
Submitted: December 1, 2019

How to Win Peace

P atience, poise, persistence, pledge, protect, resisting passively.
E ducation, energies, emancipate esteem from fear.
A dvocacy, ask, amend, activists, absolve, aware.
C ompassion, civics, clarity, creation, cheer, and charity.
E mbrace, explore enduring truths, empower all: equality.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Peace poem challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737729-Peace
Submitted: December 1, 2019


Leaves like aimless monarchs:
no crowns or kingdoms, yet gold
in autumn's mad reign.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Verbless Poem challenge (3 lines, 14 words, no verbs, 18 syllables) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737731-Verbless-poem--Ezra-Pound-1885-1912
Submitted: December 1, 2019

Life Preservers

Let friendships outsail
ocean, sky

and measurelessly magnify
those joyous buoyant memories

preserving life
when lost at sea.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 words (prompt limit).  Image prompt (two young persons at the beach, looking out across the ocean) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737679-Brevity---18-words-only
Submitted: November 30, 2019

Ms. Austen's Flights of Fancy That

Through topiaries, halls refined,
Ms. Austen flits by hummingbird
about emotion, deed, and word,
delighting, darting unconfined,
observing households, human needs,
high prides of blithe societies,
their poverties and wretched greeds,
those subtle sensibilities
unseen unless you travel spry
- like lively lark with eagle eye -
to show some soul beneath a face,
these petals shed behind the vase,
persuasions posed, if posthumous,
plain truths beyond the decorous,
that afterglow of candles blown,
and nectar left when time has flown.
She whisks past parks, estates, and lakes,
by weddings, dances, crops, and cakes,
collecting insights on the way
so that her tales still speak today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Jane Austen inspiration. Whimsical Image (formally dressed lady riding a hummingbird) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737665-Whimsical-images-13
Submitted: November 30, 2019


Engaging paging



express possessed

zest eloquent

lipping rhythmic symphonies

rhyming tidal majesties:

awaking poet


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Image (girl sitting while reading an old book) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737678-Brevity---17-words-only
Submitted: November 30, 2019




unbroken soulful

pouncing trouncing crashing gate

gnashing frenzy

smashing weight

convulsions dazed impulse enraged

saddle: never

severing reins

impious riders: catapult

overwhelmer unrestrained

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (challenge limit).  Wild Thing brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736889-25-words-Brevity-Abstract--WILDTHING
Submitted: November 30, 2019


"Blackholes devour light,"
famished Dr. Quaff growled,

her bland classroom
lit by smartphones,
exit signs,

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit).  Microstory / word bank (blackhole) mchallenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737546-Microstory--Max-16-words-
Submitted: November 29, 2019


Ensuing prehistoric bones
down caverns slumping hunters smear
foul crimson hands through makeshift paint,
tensed feral artists illustrating
beasts, bold visions, grave new worlds,
till crude grunts evolved into phrase,
brute rhetoric wed rhythmic vim,
conceiving me, the Poem Prime,
to birth enduring verse with time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poems of all Time gallery challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737353-Poem-Gallery
Submitted: November 29, 2019

Her Call in Call (Mother Teresa)



sufferance's testament

compassion's championship

forsaking's souls

their dark night

eternally maternity


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit). Mother brevity challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737631-Brevity...-16-words-exactly-
Submitted: November 29, 2019

Unsound Harmony

When penguin and a walrus sang,
their duet shocked us all.

Instead of grunts, cacophony,
they crooned such comely harmony
that polar bears and fish cried, "More!"
while killer whales stormed toward the shore,
beseeching music soothe through night.

A beastly if fantastic sight,
old adversaries loathing fight.
It looked unsound but sounded right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

55 words.  Photo prompt (walrus and penguin close, facing each other, mouths open) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737616-Cute-Nature-Pictures-55
Submitted: November 29, 2019


Like electrons,
planets, moon,
you draw my orbit,
looping soon,
returning verve
to reeling day.

Revolved sun, dance:
we waltzers sway,
cross timeless space,
whirl galaxy,
embrace our
sweet cyclicity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

30 words (prompt limit). Orbit challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737610-Brevity-in-30-words-exactly--8-x-8--
Submitted: November 28, 2019


pinecones, galaxies

gyrates endlessly,

to ammonites

Fibonacci sums,

golden ratio,

tendril, tail,
staircases, snail.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 word (prompt limit).  Spirals prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737609-Brevity-in-25-words-8-positions-only-
Submitted: November 28, 2019


That kind of love
beyond yourself

but palpable

no expectations,
sought returns

refulgent love
which never burns

benignly glowing
ever flowing

with humanity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Love challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737537-Love
Submitted: November 28, 2019


Impatient juvenility
so raring to mature

delightfully incognizant
reversions come of age:

senescence yearning
youth's return.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (prompt limit). Image challenge prompt (child, puppy, kitten sitting pensively/anxiously on stairs by bloomed plants) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737530-Brevity---in-16-words-only
Submitted: November 28, 2019

Simplest Love

That simplest love
through child eyes

not once besieged
by whats or whys

instead distilling
weeks to deed

attesting this
most basic need:

to love with such
a wide embrace

the world will fit
with room for grace.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Image challenge (child expressing love to parent having many complex thoughts/questions) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737100-Picture-Prompt--10
Submitted: November 28, 2019


You, wiser minds, prize ways through walls
which solely serve a king who calls
to separate, detain, or hold
unshackled souls yet uncontrolled.

Identify each brittle brick,
or ones so loose they cannot stick
once force of logic, truth, or love,
exerts a peace - one gentle shove

affording entrance toward that land
where obstructions shall not stand
before a soul aware no bound
delays it from the higher ground.

Survey horizons, wide and far,
then recognize what limits are:
those temporary fences meant
to enclose those who don't dissent.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image prompt (owl peeking out from an opening in a tall brick wall) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737605-Fantasy-587

Title intentionally has more than one meaning.
Submitted: November 28, 2019

Admonished Rose

Be phototropic
loving sun

but blossom not
for everyone

only those
who prize not pull:

toward everyone
be beautiful

reserving thorn
for those who scorn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words.  Shakespeare quote ("love all, trust a few, do wrong to none") challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736878-Shakespeare-quote-prompt
Submitted: November 28, 2019

Andromeda Dreaming

Tsunamis and monstrosities
swarm about your fettered feet
and thrash your shackled arms around
upon the rock where you were bound
to execute your sacrifice
while deities feud vanities.

As you await, uncertain fate
bathes clear from your submerging mind,
and you dream freedoms, love, a space
immortals lack combative trace,
adrift in gentle starry clouds
asleep as peace softly enshrouds.

Another dream greets open eyes:
your Perseus through blackened skies
on Pegasus with widened wings
approaching as this moment brings
behemoth down to knees - and bliss,
to reawaken with a kiss.

Your afterlife's bright reverie:
you're constellation, galaxy.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Dream challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737571-Picture-Prompt-Dreams

Inspired by Greek mythology.  Andromeda eventually lives on as a constellation, which also contains the Andromeda galaxy.
Submitted: November 28, 2019



wind whipping


weight straining


abandon fear



discarding gear

conclusive glimpse

then faithful leap:

prayer takes flight

above the steep.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 words (prompt limit).  Hold/Release/Catch 22 prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737570-28-words-or-less---catch-22-noguest

Title has several meanings in keeping with the catch-22 aspect of this challenge (e.g. holding/being held/bound to vs. moving - bounding off; fate vs. the etymological binding of religion, faith)
Submitted: November 28, 2019



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 words (prompt limit). Shadows challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737584-Brevity...-15-words-exactly-
Submitted: November 28, 2019

Good Book

conceptive truths


Gold star reviews
guide us unto
your salvations


we are not wise.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (prompt limit).  Book challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737586-Brevity---17-words-exactly
Submitted: November 28, 2019

Back Up

Before surrendered mind resigns
to be enslaved in grave designs
from algorithms inhumane
encoding pawns gone in a game
already lost before it starts,
rekindle spirit!  Summon arts!

Refuse to dim that inmost spark
which liberates us from the dark
of microprocessed tyrranies
which subjugates realities
reduced to pixels, IFs, then bits,
within a loop that never quits.

Upgrade your sense.  Set down device.
Create!  Regain your paradise
through meditation, joy, good friends.
Return to flourish, make amends.
Experience, emote, and share.
Remember how it feels to care,

depending least on bleak machines.
Avoid those futures fraught with scenes
in books and films advising well
that robot some prefer to dwell
in any task they'd soon eschew
may reign supreme or, worse, subdue.

Connect with kindred face-to-face.
Restore computers to their place
(which never said to seize control)
to be those tools to reach a goal,
not substitutes for love or life
nor sources of systemic strife.

Reboot your soul.  Log on to now.
No passwords needed.  Just allow
yourself to breathe, to reconnect
with nature, wisdom, intellect
less artifice, what most holds true,
and save you from deleting you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Future challenge prompt link - https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736678-Inventing-the-future

The future of humanity and technology - one in which there can be better balance, less reliance on computers and more human influences in a (presently) all-too-digital world.

Title intentionally has several means:  backup (save your most important data), back up (take a step back from a situation to gain some fresh perspective and insight), back up (a computer and/or network once down, offline, restored - back up - online and fully functional again).
Submitted: November 27, 2019


return us

each to reach

your gentle waves

cleanse empty gaze

our mindlessness

insensate days

our tender ways.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 words (prompt limit).  Image prompt (two children sitting by edge of beach) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737464-Brevity---20-words-or-less
Submitted: November 26, 2019

Electromagnetic Spectrum

In light we find such energy,
but it's one part upon the chart
which shows us more we would explore
if we could watch infinity.

Within this "spectrum" every "band"
has "frequencies" to understand:

from "radio" to "infrared"
and "ultraviolet," "X-rays" spread,
until we reach the "gamma ray,"
the strongest "wave" with much to say!

Through science, darkness becomes bright,
and we can see beyond our sight!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

12 lines.  Children's poem - Foundations of Science challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737022-The-Foundations-of-Science
Submitted: November 26, 2019

Sky Menagerie

As clouds embody
within imagination's
it's no surprise
you'd recognize
some genial creature
greeting you.

Today, giraffe.
Tomorrow, cows?
Then, yesterday,
big fluffy bear.
What comes next week
may quack or squeak.
The sky surprises
all who stare.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. Image prompt (sky / clouds / giraffe peering down at the viewer) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737453-Fantasy-585
Submitted: November 26, 2019

Read Me

No question marks
hazard this heart.

you'll find I'm yours.

Ellipses? Leave
no truths behind.

No brackets
barricading bliss.

No colon scolding
how to feel.

Quotes only
round sincerities.

No exclamations
save in joy.

No commas drawing
lists of flaws.

No dashes dare
disrupt our care.

No hyphens smiting
word from bond.

But ampersands
between us stand.

Above all cross-offs,

we'll love each other.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

67 words.  Willie Nelson song (Country Music) inspiration prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736595-Country-Music---Contest-3-

The poem draws initial inspiration from the presence of a question in the first line of the song prompt, and starts off on its own tangent with a question mark, approaching love as something beyond any dangerous doubting.  The poem then proceeds to contemplate love's emotions and meanings through various symbols of punctuation.

The title has several potential interpretive contexts as well, foremost with the aspects of often needless punctuation, according to the speaker of the poem. The computer specialist in me can also appreciate this as an allusion to the popular README.txt file often included with program installations as a file meant to be viewed by the user.
Submitted: November 25, 2019

Art Professor

"No books or tests" writ on the board,
you sauntered in, no suit, cuffs up,
along with mug of who knows what,
then sat to sip and look around,
eyes widened by those faces found:
your class surprised to be at ease
with someone of your expertise.

Within a week, you walked us through
the Renaissance, wherein we knew
this class would paint such memories
long after we received degrees.

I still recall those things you said,
about the artists living, dead,
their secrets, why their works would last
beyond the shadows of the past
to teach and reach us here, today,
to show what textbooks fail to say.

Your lessons left us such insights
to guard against the fading lights,
impart our timeless truths to see
the ways our art could set minds free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 lines.  Meeting someone / impressions challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736492-Nice-to-meet-you
Submitted: November 25, 2019

Crystal Unclear

Bleary Crystal's ball:
vague winter. Her client squints.
She takes his palm, yawns.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Haiku image (pink blurry/glassy spherical image) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737327-For-Three-line-minimalist-group
Submitted: November 24, 2019

Arctic Antics

The snowman's derby,
freed by breeze, rolled down the hill
toward two empty boots.

Scarf, twigs, carrot, coal:
was he playing hide and seek?
Wind howled with laughter.

For winters we watched
for his return: but "someday"
- that was any day.

One March, we quit - he
showed, changed: wry grin, backward cap.
The joke was on him.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Snow drift Haiku challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736711-Elaborating-Haiku-1
Submitted: November 24, 2019

The Elder Tree Recounts

The Elder Tree recounts an age
before the clearings, printed page,
when forests never swayed in fear
of humans roaming close to here.

An evergreen once heard it, too,
from mountains found within this view
and verified this "myth" some heard
(thought gossip from a flighty bird).

To flora, fauna, "Perfect Days"
describes a time cast in that haze
a dreamer savors during sleep
But now they know, and how they weep.

"Such sadness! Was there ever war?"
Then Elder spoke: "Our past is more
than frights or strife. There's future yet!
We'll suffer most once we forget."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image challenge (large older gnarled tree surrounded by thinner trees) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737317-Fantasy-583
Submitted: November 24, 2019

DNA: Do Not Assess

Your DNA can just attest,
you're human, yes, like all the rest.

Biology's a low percent
of who you are beyond descent.

This skin is thin. It cannot hide
the trillion things alive inside

your brain outshining galaxies
with all of its complexities:

it fail us, each genetic test,
to know ourselves, define what's "best."

The true exams? Our proctored views:
to not assess but disabuse

ourselves from questions poorly posed
on how we have compared, composed.

Instead, let's learn, begin to teach
deep wisdoms better minds may reach.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  89 words.  DNA/superiority challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735939-Who-Could-Ever-Feel-Truly-Superior-Once-The
Submitted: November 24, 2019

The Trumpet of Young Elephant

Young elephant
reminds old pack
to trample ice
about to crack
endangers all
where they withstand.

She trumpets truths
taps rocks they'd know
with hopes they move
show world they'll go
where reason must
declare its voice.

She waits while they
weigh their one choice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

45 words.  Brevity image prompt (young elephant with foot on rock) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736378-Pure-Brevity-Club-Sponsored-Contest-Novembe
Submitted: November 24, 2019

A Wish List for All

Attend them through their silent spells.
Regard them when they cannot see.

Affirm them should they bow to doubts.
Encourage them through their despair.

Embrace them through their loneliness.
Inspire them past tedium.

Refuse to judge their differences.
Receive them: end unwelcomeness.

Remember to forget not one.
May memory preserve their bests.

Turn advocate: fight for their rights,
especially the snubbed and crushed.

Should sickness strike, inject much grace.
Trust mercy and compassion's lead.

Bless back when cursed: dissolve ill wills.
Meet angers with your peaceful heart.

Grant healing love - most if they hate.
Raise up their souls: sustain their faith.

Stay constant, friends, relate to all.
Let kindness win: give cause for hope.

When music stills, be breath for song.
Where darkness harms, become the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

128 words, 22 lines.  "Tiny Gifts with Huge Embrace" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736497-Tiny--Gifts--With--Huge--Embrace-
Submitted: November 24, 2019

Deed of Conveyance

The old gray barn, now babe reborn,
all swathed within this winter storm,
which no forecaster picked for here
so early for this time of year,
when leaves just kissed their branches bye
as squirrels darted fro and high,
between the leaning beams and rails,
their faded paint and rusty nails
reminding how much time had passed
between this season and the last.

How fit for postcards sent to friends,
this picture-perfect scene that lends
some innocence belied by snow
now blanketing each road to slow
our drive to leave this dream behind,
even though those papers signed
transfers the deed and sets a term,
to vacate per a certain firm,
just let us take a parting look,
retrace our steps beside the brook.

We'll soak it in, this closing day,
remember why we hoped to stay,
give thanks the weather gifts relief
to ease our loss, this sense of grief,
detain us at these dusky hours
to bid farewell to what was ours,
take comfort in this lovely sight,
when old seems new, and ice feels right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

178 words.  Snow picture prompt (picturesque barn / house covered with snow) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737265-Snow-pic-prompt .  Title inspired by a formal legal document name often used when transferring ownership of properties between two seller and buyer.  In this poem, a couple reflects back on the happy memories they shared while they owned this property, and the snow helps soothe the scene a bit for them at this bittersweet moment.  Conveyance also connotes movement from one place to another.
Submitted: November 23, 2019

Sculpting Figures of Speech

Chips off
by chisels
hammers ground

planar round

verging face

no David
Moses trace

a "Thinker"
yes but
shaped as phrased

said marble
no Rodin raised.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

32 words.  18 lines.  Writer's Block challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736444-Writers-Block

About the poem:  this poem interprets "Writer's Block" as something of a slab of marble stone to be sculpted carefully into a lasting and beautiful work of art.  The "face" (unique nature and eventual larger embodiment) of the poem begins to emerge with careful diligence.

Allusions are made to David, Venus (de Milo), Moses, the Thinker (Le Penseur) - all famous marble sculptures - and Rodin, a famous sculptor who created The Thinker.

(Image was created by me back in 2017 for a BlenderArtists.org Weekend Challenge.)
Submitted: November 23, 2019


As other busted fruit reveals
their pulpy juice and seedy peels
as swift to spoil under sun,
beguiling strikes:  that midmost one,
of solid darkness, does excite
an appetence beyond a bite:
how is it, rotten, left for show,
about as ripe, but bland tableau?
Who garnered it, refused to eat?
Beneath that sheen, all mush? Deceit?

No flies desert it, either way:
they savor substance past decay,
forbidding flavors, odors, sight
to ruin their feast of waste tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Frida Kahlo ("Viva la Vida") image challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736409-Viva-la-vida
Submitted: November 22, 2019

Common Wealths?

A fruitful treaty
between bees
and all things floral

dependence met
as petals swell
when bees deliver
wishings well

(through pollen-notes
mailed bloom to bloom)
in turn for nectar
to consume.

Then honeys, allure,
hues, perfume:
no sweeter deals,
most presume.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Fantasy image (bees approaching flowers) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737219-Fantasy-582
Submitted: November 22, 2019

Good Light

Again, they turn
to sigh "Good Light"
as Mother Sun
draws Comfort Night

across the Bed
of drowsy flowers,
sings her songs
of hues and showers

clouds with stars
toward Glitter Dream,
until First Sight,
when all's agleam:

she cascades warmth
- Her Dawning Ways -
as blossoms yawn,
bid, "Raise our days."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Fantasy image (sunflowers turning toward sunset) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737216-Fantasy-579 .  Capitalizations, which I rarely engage in, are included here to produce proper nouns, which are intended to connote a bit of mythology specific to the Sunflowers in this fantastical piece.
Submitted: November 22, 2019

Roots of Unity

At first, those stars may seem like pearls
come free from ruptured necklaces
and scattered all about the sky
without a where or how or why,

until astronomers reveal
connectives once invisible:
those nebulas and planets found
and galaxies which round and bound.

Within you flow atomic motes
appearing reckless, cavalier,
decoupled, no affinity
or semblance of society,

until microscopes divulge
cohesion and constituents
agreeing they must constitute,
govern matters resolute.

And all the rest connecting all:
from letters, phrase, poetic works,
from moments, days, millennia,
from decimals to algebra

- and we, two strangers, never met;
I stand forever in your debt
dependent on your every choice,
your actions echoed in my voice.

This kinship transcends ancestry:
as every leaf suggests a branch,
there's half a forest under earth.
We're bound before each other's birth

to share within a cosmic cause
induced before this universe
implied relentless distance parts
eternal love from mortal hearts.

In truth, all roots run deeper, prime,
beyond our world, well out of time:
the origin of history
converged in ageless unity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Thoreau quote challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737122-Thoreau-quote-
Submitted: November 21, 2019

Bird Bather

Fresh water in my feathers: yes!
Forgive me as I make a mess,
but how I yearn to make a splash
within a fountain, and to thrash
my weary wings and thirsty beak,
to cool my feet, let out a squeak
of joy I cannot disavow,
because, for weeks, right up to now,
that drought demanded me to fly
much further than I'd ever try
when weather's pleasance would assure
this lowly bird could live secure
and never have to migrate long,
just take to skies, perfect my song,
expecting not to be estranged,
and never know of climates changed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image (bird in birdbath splashing) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736968-Fantasy-574
Submitted: November 21, 2019

Basket Making





till rims





View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words (as per prompt limit).  Basket challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737094-Brevity...-16-words-exactly-
Submitted: November 20, 2019

Café Sensorial

Rich cinnamon
vanilla hints


hot chocolates



soft sips


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

17 words (limit).  Café challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737095-Brevity---17-words-exactly
Submitted: November 20, 2019

Your Sylvan Mind

Dendritic forests
of your mind

electric networks
forth behind

forking logic
impulse blind

dense intellect:

dreams unconfined

awaken owls
perched to find

past roots and limbs
dry leaves entwined

new flights through night
worn trails declined

well-wooded wisdoms
yet divined.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image (nighttime moonlit/backlit tree/forest with owl perched) fantasy prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2737026-Fantasy-576
Submitted: November 19, 2019

Incompleteness Theorems

Deficient view
needs vanished piece
completing scene
subtracting you.

Sufficient rift
elicits space
dividing my

Efficient edge
embracing void
where none may find
themselves fulfilled.

Proficient puzzlers
never solved
the sums of us:
no math involved.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Godel-inspired. For picture challenge prompt (surreal face with cutaway revealing ocean / sky / plane) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736109-Artwork-Prompt--4
Submitted: November 17, 2019


As you dispatch our habitat
to introduce new restaurants,
oh, what a feast of ironies:

consuming ground to gratify
eradicate to multiply
securing to endanger - why?

You threaten balance where you sweep,
and, even though we flee and leap,
expect it's no man's land to keep,

that, somewhere deep beneath that dirt,
squirm unseen creatures, which, when hurt,
may, by their absence, long subvert

whatever plans you might have drawn.
And, if another age should dawn,
two questions crawl where mountains yawn:

What does remain? Who must be gone?
The Earth will answer, then move on.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

For the "Looking through an Animal's Eyes" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736872-Looking-Through-An-Animals-Eyes
Submitted: November 17, 2019


When polished metal handle turns
and weighty woodgrain door admits
cadaverous physicians grim
collapsing mattress quicksand fast
while mindless TV melts away
as oxygen removes its mask
that nothing breathes until they speak
- but not before your ruptured heart
spills days of dread across the floor
embattled by fluorescent blare
asphyxiating sterile air
within this dizzy instant caught
between some laughter down the halls
the glaring glass confusing walls
that tray of lunch you could not eat
cold blankets heaped about your feet -
until "The test was negative"
resuscitates your hope to live.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Fear challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736098-Capture-a-memory--9
Submitted: November 17, 2019

Ariande Disentangled

At once, imprisoned in that web
impression weaves to lure esteem,
you glanced and fell so readily
as Theseus appeared to you,

and so you offered mind and thread
(and inwardly, a hastened heart)
so he should span the Labyrinth,
survive obstructions, find returns.

And, for your help, he asked your hand,
then mazed you in a stranger land
and sailed off to new mythic realms,
fondness gone from any helms:

your cautionary yarn of bonds
knit hastily, too loose for knots,
left tenuous to slip detached,
reminding all "no strings attached"

may propose some sounder way
to act without awaiting pay,
adore where no condition ties,
and ravel where the binding lies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt ("Confusion in Triplicate" challenge prompt) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735646-Confusion-in-Triplicate

Three confusions central to the poem:
+ Ariande believing she is in love, or that this could be love.
+ Theseus confusing Ariande, first with a hasty marriage proposal, after she helps him, and then abandonment.
+ The legendary and fatal confusion of the vast Labyrinth, which is overcome by Ariande's thread.
Submitted: November 9, 2019

Genealogy of Breathing

Resurge your winds, forestal lungs,
inspire skies, gift life again,
absorbing zephyrs, tempests swirled
with birdsong, protests, whispered prayers,
industrial polluted airs,
the slurring dirges wars interred,
from murmured verse of loves deferred
to urgent voices undeterred,
converging currents overseas
exhaled by even further trees
immersed in gales, volcanic verge,
abandon's laughter, unheard scourge
of clear-cut woods and timber blaze,
the suffocating gusts and raze
of wildfires, floods, or drought
- such nightmares jungles heard about.
From branch to leaf, know every tree
accounts life's genealogy
as oxygen draws histories
toward final gasps from all that breathes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

97 words.  Trees challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735623-20-million-trees-by-2020---teamtrees--
Submitted: November 8, 2019

Face Values

Of antes upped
and shuffled bluffs

(what luck's enough?)
three telltale puffs

calm dealing reeling
flush concealed

unwelcome six
misfortune's yield

when jokers mock
as two take stock

relentless seconds
- sevens shock -

no diamond cuts
but hearts demand

(too soon to show
no ranks command?)

elusive ace
unkindly kind

defeating deuce
where clubs combined

cards discarding
stakes unseen

depleting deck
- the fateful queen -

more pressure builds
four players fold

declared "all in":
what no hands hold.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

80 words.  Image (card players at a table) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735553-Picture-prompt
Submitted: November 7, 2019

To Clio, Muse of History

Enliven us to tend our backward paths
entwined, made vague like vines disguising tracks
long overgrown by undergrowth unchecked.

Enthuse reviews of ways and aftermaths,
of choices voiced, unspoken pasts, of acts
inaction actuates, with retrospect

exempt from faint nostalgic eyes, so deeds
and reasons may reveal forgotten days,
late names and places all should memorize,

along with lessons, errors - what precedes
new futures schooled by unlearned works and phrase.
Let histories inspire enterprise:

enchant those quondam aspects eyes neglect
with blessed essence readied to reflect.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

A sonnet form.  Muses (Children of Mnemosyne, mother of the nine muses) challenge prompt (#1 - Clio, muse of history) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735866-Children-of-Mnemosyne
Submitted: November 6, 2019

The Unpaved Road

Unevenly, that's me. I go
careening left or right or low
above rough hills or mountaintops
by rivers, timber, sudden drops,
and, if it rains, I turn to mud
and laugh when wheels spin and scud.

No signs to speak of, fancy rails,
or lights at night, just winding trails,
to roam however long I like.
I'm often crossed on foot or bike.

Most city cars get lost out here,
beside the squirrels, beavers, deer,
and rush on through before the dark
demands they slow down or they park,
endure an evening without sleep
as owls screech and shadows leap
beneath a moon waxed ghostly white
while silhouettes slip out of sight.

Yes, other roads run well-behaved,
but that's their tough luck, being paved.
Out here I'm careless as the land,
and no one needs to understand
why I prefer to rove so coarse,
or why my closest friend's a horse,
or why I must not be refined,
or how it is I'm so resigned
to lend no sense of here or there
and might as well lead anywhere
except the place you'd rather be.
I go my way, with nature, free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Old Dirt Road image challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736224-Old-Dirt-Road-Image-
Submitted: November 5, 2019


These stoplights knows they cannot curb
that avenue from leaving town,
becoming freeway, interstate,
then veer off-road when time arrives
to surpass pavement, GPS,
repainted lines, all exits, maps,
without return, and swerve ahead
toward independence absent tread.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

38 words.  The Open Road challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736094-The-Open-Road
Submitted: November 5, 2019

Nocturnal Visionaries

When dawning darkness conjures you,
descender on sepulchral suns,
your wings revive all perished air,
which quivers, as if omens cue
new dreamless dread, when restless ones
flee shadows scarcely told from night.

Yet this - your vision - gives most fright,
while you cruise by without a care,
exist as nature states you should
- and not to haunt some witching wood -

but spot the obscured clear as days,
survive to fly instinctive ways,
no matter how we might confound
that vexing view, your shocking sound,
with wickedness and misery.

Your wisdom: mind what eyes can't see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Photo challenge (owl at night descending, wings wide open) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2736070-Fantasy-558
Submitted: November 4, 2019

Summa Theologica (To Thomas Aquinas)

With Aristotle's logic plied,
you gathered up what could divide
and synthesized philosophy
with science and theology
to summarize the grand divine
as none before did dare define,
subjecting all to questions posed
and leaving nothing presupposed:

to formalize and principle
old faith remade with rationale,
supplying reasons volumes wide
encompassing beliefs to guide
both laity and clergy through
exhaustive audits, false from true,
supplying proofs the Lord exists,
not once but five times in your lists,
assessing angels, nature, world,
your sweeping scholarship unfurled
to take on morals, virtues, vice,
the Son of God, so to suffice
a skeptic, student, or a sage,
if one should journey, page by page,
discover providence you found:

that causal grace, creation, bound
eternally, with purpose, crowned
within no castle found on ground
or heavens set outside our sky
but in each consecrated why,
which seeks to know and glorify
those verities that testify.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

13th Century challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735177-13th-Century
Submitted: November 2, 2019

Surreal Bridge to the Real

Not crossed as is - nonlinear -
traversed inverting - dream of bridge -

(from convoluting longitudes
irresolution's latitudes(

under over-bowed about
no obstacles) but shackled-mind)

- if only to be passed you'd find
should it walk you end to start

six outer paths toward inward art
where origins commencing end

when destinations place no send
what's then and neither time nor space:

proceed by stillness, how to why
to span divides that underlie

your yesterdays hence by and by
your severed sense of who from I

in faith arriving real to reach
new freedoms bound beyond your breach.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (abstract metal art with cirvomg lines/spokes) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735482-Photography--197_Halloween-Edition_25th
Submitted: October 31, 2019

Artist as Evolution; Art as Creator

Creative void - a canvas stretched:
she reckons how it must begin,
selecting brush, one suited hue,
and, dipping bristles, origin.

Renditions - seven galaxies
all more defining graze by glaze,
as stars resolving dots to blaze
may saturate for light years since.

In this, her thirteenth try, she rights
the starkness with especial sights,
adapting chaos, balance, songs
in unheard spaces all belongs.

She never frets to second-guess
all artists grow so art creates,
evolves imperfect to express
that cosmic spark each radiates

through unique universal traits
surviving theories to succeed
mere limits most adopt as fit:
a triumph of sheer human wit.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Creation or Evolution challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735862-Creation--or--Evolution-
Submitted: October 30, 2019


As rainfall fills in caked mud cracks,
stern earth yields to liquify:
taupe water spreading anywhere
across this barren land once green.

A tiller drained of waiting wakes,
observing cloudburst thirstily,
replenishes to cheer on skies,
as wasteland transmutes into flood

- abundant sum run overmuch,
as fast his prayer reverses course
and benediction veers to curse
as torrent augments bad to worse.

Within three weeks, it all subsides.
More vacant skies receive appeals.
The endless prospects and ordeals
as nature sates or baits ideals.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. Empty to Refill challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734964-empty-to-refill
Submitted: October 29, 2019


Those visages displaced and maimed,
vague effigies effaced, defamed:
they're chapters rent from history,
all ravaged beyond mystery.

These nameless souls we must recall
when shameless knaves proclaim their gall
to vanquish some identity,
which, one day, could be you or me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Art image prompt (obscured/papered-over face with flowing hair) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735129-Artwork-Prompt--3
Submitted: October 28, 2019

Merlin's Tree?

One could wonder: might this be
the writhing kind of spellbound tree
where Merlin's snared in twisted bark,
condemned to this portentous dark?

Once Lady of the Lake learned all
his invocations, she would wall
this mythic wizard who foresaw
her bold betrayal with such awe

he readily endured this doom
- perhaps reborn within this womb
as legend, timeless, to survive
should Arthur, king, return alive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Inspired by Arthurian lore, King Arthur ("once and future king").  Photo (gnarled tree) prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735481-Photography--196_Halloween-Edition_24th
Submitted: October 27, 2019

The Garden of Forget-Me-Nots

Budding stunning
stemming sunward
climbing skybound
blooms exuding
strongly spread
where devotion, open space,
clear water, air may cultivate florescent cares.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

33 words.  Concrete style (flower). Quote + Photo challenge prompt (authenticity, self-care, being nice, motivated by love) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735708-33-words-or-less---Michelle-Olak-noguest
Submitted: October 27, 2019


That patch:
unchosen pumpkins wait
for winter
and their withered fate

- they'll never go
through carving rites,
know inner glow
of lantern lights,

or face the world
with graven eyes,
or even serve
as pulp for pies -

while vicious skies
and sights convene
on this wicked

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt challenge (pumpkins lying in an expansive field below an autumnal sky) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735546-Poetic-landscapes-119
Submitted: October 27, 2019

Divine Comedy (To Dante)

With Virgil as your ghostly guide,
you began your hellish stride,
"abandoning all hope" therein:
nine circles of Infernal sin.

At Purgatory's mount you trekked
up seven terraces and checked
on pride and sloth, pass gluttony,
to reach your Eden earnestly.

There, Beatrice flew you through nine spheres,
in Paradise, ascendant - here's
where planets whirl and angels dance,
Empyrean, enlightened trance:

more beautiful, that rose of light,
then St. Bernard to lead you right
to contemplate the Trinity,
engage God's love, infinity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Inspired by Dante's La Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy, written circa 1308-1320).  14th Century challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734804-The-14th-Century
Submitted: October 27, 2019

Critical Thinking

Right before you, they may speak,
exploiting phrases, work you weak,
play images to jar your heart,
indoctrinate you from the start,
so you should think as they prefer
and be convinced you must concur,
suspecting least you're just their pawn
positioned as they'd have you drawn,
expendable when they decide
it's time for you to step aside
within this game few rarely win
- unless deep questions burn within,
and you begin to gaze around,
attending every sight and sound
with awareness to secede
from party, bias, lies, and greed,
regarding all without some slant,
perceiving things most others can't,
because you left your herd behind
and began to free your mind
beyond their fence about this land
to liberate and understand
how perspectives quickly change
once you stray beyond your range
and migrate where you felt forbid,
explore obscure horizons hid,
admit the dawning of new light,
discover sources pure and bright,
and contemplate the origins
of darkness, truth, and human sins:
those revelations ever there
to survey, learn, disclose, and share.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

32 lines.  Hidden Agendas challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734312-Are-You-Wake-to-Hidden-Agendas-
Submitted: October 27, 2019

Programming Langauge

Neglect quotation, colon, case,
or submit numbers when a word
was what the function never heard,
then bugs or unexpected crash:
when coders and computers clash
where syntax or instructions blurred
spur inaction, faults conferred.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 words.  Language theme prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735642-Language
Submitted: October 26, 2019

Bubble Dreamer

A bubble hung before her, wide,
spinning thinly as she eyed
reflections tremble on its shell
and emptiness within that swell

- a symbol of her lifelong dream,
as tenuous as it would seem,
to waver with the slightest air
and barely float upon a prayer.

She knew it shouldn't take too much,
just the slightest graze of touch
to grant this fantasy its end,
but, as her fingers did ascend,

the sphere inflated, swallowed all.
Inside, she felt no fear of fall,
but unexpected strength and sight.
This dream was hers, at least tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. Photo prompt (woman pensively staring at bubbles before her) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735622-Fantasy-552
Submitted: October 26, 2019

Abstract Exhibit

Within this abstract gallery
the Fauvists and Impressionists,
Expressionists and Cubists call
observers curving into view:

a decorator gaining themes,
children glimpsing, sprinting off,
those artists anxious to adjoin,
couples lunging into frames,

past dancers dreaming bright ballets,
vain spectators seeking themselves,
psychologist with inkblot plots,
geometer who circumscribes,

travelers not gone this far,
professors dead set Renaissance,
an architect without a plan,
a gymnast's acrobatic pulse,

the speechless singer now attuned,
a famished chef ingesting forms,
the leveled demolitionist,
economists investing time,

four protestors yessing peace,
a surfer searching vivid waves,
an actress feeling genuine,
an aviator's inward flight,

the nurse reviving slighted love,
a plumber drained of tension here,
astronomer beyond her scope,
magicians conjured from old tricks,

a gardener construing blooms,
students on assignment, lost,
nuns engaging sacred aims,
musicians musing jazz alive.

Parades by paintings great or small
fascinating none and all.
What lookers see what others can't
- these questions of aesthetic slant

revealing cultures, visions, joys,
courses, forces, what annoys,
interpretations stranger, true,
exhibiting the art in you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Pink Orange and Sixties Too - photo (abstract) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735576-Pink-Orange-and-Sixties-Too
Submitted: October 25, 2019


Bowtie, capped

Little dog
you couldn't keep.

Faux sunlit scene,
ideals, grin.

never you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 words. Photo (boy wearing hat/bowtie and holding dog) + Brevity (18 words or less) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735572-Brevity---18-words-or-less .
Submitted: October 25, 2019

Disbeliever, Believer, Mountain

A disbeliever sees the peak,
reflexively recoils, weak
to banish impasse out of sight
and cowers in the languished light,
convinced it's hopeless to proceed
when rocks and shadows will impede.

Believer meets a mountain, knows
the path ahead does presuppose
a faith no hindrance should deter,
with trust above what most infer:
impediments can be compelled
to vanish fast as they're expelled.

Beyond perspectives, feelings, eyes,
beyond our physics, matters, guise,
belief enables or precludes:
a measurement of magnitudes
transcending sense, dimensions, time,
above great ranges no doubts climb.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Faith can move mountains! (Matthew 17:20).  The Mountain challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734588-The-Mountain
Submitted: October 23, 2019

The Glories of Great Spirit's Song

Across wide woods caressing all
a voice drowns out a waterfall
with mystic hymn hard to describe
yet glorious to every tribe:

tradition's rhythms lifting wind
reviving timeless rites of song
as long and steady rivers flow
as eagles speed through indigo

inviting minds to pause and muse
suspend lost causes so to choose
to contemplate a deeper tour
of wonders missed and worlds before

where one comes closer to this ground
and learns all bound within this sound
which resonates through hearts of stone
and orchestrates a dance unknown

until you journey outside fears
confronting wasteful silenced years
when music stirred no sway in you
your movements merely what you do.

We celebrate a dawn's new birth.
Come consecrate essential earth.
These meditative tones recite
those sacred beauties of our light.

Our reverence echoes through the land
all walks of life might understand
- even creatures crept in brush
awaken in our taming hush:

the snakes and grizzlies leave their fray
coyotes leap with deer to play
as porcupines and wolves cavort
and raccoons crows and frogs consort.

Our ceremony serenades
down the valleys past the glades
by broken branches over mud
old bones and flowers yet to bud

to honor blessed harmony
indigenous in all we see
in every breath and lyric heard
toward any cloud from every bird

around new moons in ancient lakes
beside our shovels and our rakes
in tapestries we weave for weeks
and totems and the sky which speaks

of rain for seeds our hands must plant
beyond the circles of our chant.
Over mountain peaks and sun
this drumming summons everyone.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Native American poem prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2741604-The-Native-American-Way

Originally written for/submitted to the Beauty of Native American Indians challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2735386-The-Beauty-Of-Native-American-Indians-
Submitted: October 23, 2019


Consoling eyes, revering peer,
not judgement-wide with morbid awe
or momentary pity's pierce,
but offered softer, warmed to soothe,
confiding, tranquil, will assure,
mindful what one might endure,
relating patience, phrasing clear
without a breath bent insincere:

"I know this anguish.
Will you share?
Admit this love?
Accept my care?"

Embracing gaze evincing kin,
that solace sought in midst of plight,
where grimace dwindles into grin,
serenity dispelling fight,
a strong belonging wells within:

perspectives step from wrenching sight
then convalescent hearts begin
aspiring to reunite.

By healing art of earnest light,
may shadowed souls emerge from night,
delivered from a faithless flight,
esteemed, redeemed, believing, bright.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Quote prompt challenge (#1 "feeling cared about") - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734302-Choose-Your-Quote
Submitted: October 21, 2019


Of all those moments, in a glimpse,
you breached this fortress guarding heart:

tonight your stare subverts defense
exempting not one brick's pretense

to withhold love from light of day
but rather place it on display

for all the world to weigh at last
emotions here so long amassed

- such treasures hidden till this hour
when truth will prove its knightly power

to brave and reach the keep to save
this castle from becoming grave

to feelings fading since concealed.
A siege of eyes, then souls revealed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines.  Photo challenge prompt (large soulful eyes in the light staring at the viewer) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734914-Fantasy-540
Submitted: October 15, 2019


Abundant harvest, long since reaped
- now barren fields, fully heaped
with dust and desiccated mud,
confront another kind of flood:

grim shadows flocking vertigo
verge vengeful on a frail scarecrow
forsaken, bent defenseless here,
as ravens circle, caw, and jeer,

They gut the gloves, lash boots and hat,
claw overalls, snag shirt and scat,
repeating till he's rags to rod,
a broken ghost, a flogged facade.

Victorious, they perch and vaunt,
but phantom fabric flails to haunt!
Dread's effigy revives their fright:
a strawman writhes undead tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. Fantasy photo challenge (robed human figure in an empty field surrounded by ravens/crows) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734563-Fantasy-535
Submitted: October 9, 2019

Stepping from Mirrors

Recursively my fractal me
refers reverberating me

preceding me projecting me
regressing me revising me

reversing imperfecting me
resolving me remember me

precursor me returning me
primeval me revealing all

these replicas pursue their wall
comprising polished surface light

their infinite illusive plight
to vanish as I pass this space

reflect my world and what to face
beyond my mirrored selves to see

past parallels sprung symmetry:
the only soul becoming me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  "Reflections on My Reflections" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2734483-My-Reflections-On-My-Reflection
Submitted: October 9, 2019

Bough Tie Clip Artless

A fraying string
toyed with by wind
spins round again
ensnared on fence
downpour drenched
distending knot
untwining not
inclined to snap
than extricate
this thinning weave
from plastic grip
or captured kite
enlacing trees
bereft of leaves
left tempest rent
blindsiding storm
no forecast warns
or skies previse
as clouds unravel
dazzling sun
from puzzled eyes
of childish
that plainly sees
a treasured strand
plucked from its hand
two hours spent
bright paper framed
these streamers maimed
day ruined how
and that big old
stupid bough
looking like
it wears a tie.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

34 lines. Word of the Week (perplexed) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733911-word-of-the-week-perplexed--
Submitted: October 7, 2019

Instrumental Duo

Because my lyrics might not reach
beyond the compass of my speech,
tonight, guitar writes every line:

poetic music tunes divine,
each chord a ballad to your heart
extolling motifs of your art.

Glissando notes sail off to you
reverberating all you do
to melodize my silent eyes:

those harmonies I rhapsodize
all due to you, my moving muse,
who lifts my spirit to suffuse

these searching strings to turn new keys
and unlock possibilities
- crescendos, rhythms, scalar flights,

vivace variations, heights,
legato and vibrato played,
composed above my phrases prayed.

My prelude to this love inside:
receive these truths as fingers glide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Quote prompt ("When words fail, music speaks") challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733462-Quote-
Submitted: October 6, 2019


Abstractly Dali
dreamers neath ambrosial clocks
slung fruitlike low from wizened limbs

slim fingers skim contract to seize
a ripened day with evening ease

one taste of time and then to squeeze
fresh seconds from some husk of years

sip minutes' nectar

attending hours

yes Socrates

walks absent here
as truth devours
verses written in the waves

(no Platos stepping from their caves)

once was ours

by bridges crossed
from known to lost

small wisdom gained
but at what cost

synaptic paths to sylvan mind
endless math of myths maligned

Edenic forest obscures end
up branch down root to must from moot

of knowledge gained through given ground
sent out the gate to keen of trees
their secret lyrics engrave leaves
to rhyme as wide without a sound

(symbolic shocks)

as archetypal lines reveal
recoiling legends bent surreal

(turn keyless locks)

show nested masks of fading gold
with mystic hints long since foretold
as skyward rivers baptize eyes
and glass footprints romanticize

ants amassing
horseback rush
floating roses
marbled crush




and breaks



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Picture prompt challenge (clock hanging from tree in forest by bridge near river where someone is in a boat) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733299-Picture-Prompt-Fiction-Fantasy-Forest-Image
Submitted: October 4, 2019

Registrar of Rocks

For sixty seven years he kept
close notes accounting every stone
composing his nine acre wall
dividing him from wider world.

Meticulously, every ledge,
indentation, width and gap,
each hue and height compiled right,
- as graveling as one might find

if auditing his state of mind.
And yet, replying, he would cite
a lack of walls for all the woe
of "evils free to come and go."

"You raise some boundaries, here and there,
and watch: no quandaries to beware,"
he shores his cause, granitic glare,
as birds and leaves take to their air.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge (elderly man in a chair taking notes by a wall of rocks) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733061-Whatever-the-Photo-Inspires-You-to-Write
Submitted: September 30, 2019

Nirvana of the Beloveds

Idyllic isle outside time:

untold devotions flow sublime

receiving reason's orphic rhyme

enigmas singing with design

four soulful eyes illumed divine

to yen that advent luminous

cathartic heartbeats numinous

encircling embraced release

surrenders through melodic peace

true music superceding sense

deep symphonies in confluence

assuaging evanescent zeal

reverberant beyond the real

perfectible eternal mirth

celestial transcending earth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Lover's Paradise" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732811-Lovers-Paradise-
Submitted: September 26, 2019


Riderless seesaw,
where pairs sat, took turns watching
summers rise and fall:

now, outgrown playground,
where motley leaves hide and seek,
frolic ere fading

raindrops glide down slides
while winds sway on swings: nature's
lark before the freeze.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge prompt (empty seesaw surrounded by leaves) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733359-Photography--163
Submitted: September 25, 2019

Nowell, the Angel Did Say

Bells and ribbons,
festive scents,

gold ornaments,

ten merry songs,
with more presents,

and everywhere
best elegance.

But Christmas spirit?
Not so well,

though none were wise
enough to tell

that, in this room
adorned, how odd:

to find no sign
of Son of God.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (in a decorated room, well-dressed people around a Christmas tree with blurred spectral figure appearing at top of tree) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732659-Whatever-The-Photo-Inspires-You-to-Write

Title inspired by the traditional song "The First Noel" (also spelled as "The First Nowell") from the 1800s: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_First_Noel
Submitted: September 24, 2019

Preach Practice

You, who do believe,
dare not relieve
your goodness from
becoming done.

For faith alone
remains unknown
without those deeds
it dearly needs

to echo past
all shallow speech
and practice fast
what it would preach.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Biblical; James 2 challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733034-The-Book-of-James---Chapter-Two-
Submitted: September 24, 2019

Cosmic Egg

Primal egg: darkness
hatching fires, light to lives, worlds,
potentials nesting

loosed in vernal void,
infinity flows from shell:
embryonic stars

skies like albumen,
sun like yolk, oozing through noon,
while we incubate

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Two Word Challenge (nest, egg) prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733345-Two-word-prompt-13
Submitted: September 22, 2019

On the Revolutions of Copernicus

Before you, universal Earth,
perfected cosmic centerpiece,
enduring rest, revolved by sun,
our moon, and wanderers discerned.

An egocentric dream too long.

And then your model, like a clock,
startling hearts from slumbrous orbs:
awakened pupils, solar light,
heretical astronomies

yet reverent in the mass of all.

You shattered axes of false worlds,
releasing views like whirligigs
astray from rash initial twirls
once momentum gains to cease

a vicious circle's vertigo:

how reeling revelations rise,
religious quests attest new sights
past mortal orders of their day,
where, verily, truth sets you free.

Your genesis of enquiry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Nicolaus Copernicus.
Submitted (as a prewrite) for the Anything Space challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2740951-Anything-Space-Contest-

Originally written for The 16th Century challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733426-The-16th-Century
Inspired by Copernicus' De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres), Ptolemaic Cosmology vs. Heliocentrism, the Copernican Revolution, the Scientific Method, the Bible (John 8:31-32), scientific breakthroughs in general, and humanity's ongoing, necessary, and vital search for truths beyond all illusion (a la exiting Plato's allegorical cave toward greater awareness).
Submitted: September 22, 2019


Tonight, our flawless mirror lake
reflects on nature's state to take
dissenting views on what world sees,

where perfect mountains, skies, and trees
submerge within a murky blur,
and, what that means, we might infer,

considering this impure air,
the climate and the lack of care,
with plastic bits along the shores,

below the waters, more eyesores
- a scene most may romanticize
corrupted in this compromise:

that paradise we choose to lose
each time we disregard its clues,
deceive ourselves "ideals last,"

while creation fades as fast.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (sky / moon / trees / blurred reflections in lake) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733234-Fantasy-221
Submitted: September 20, 2019

Getting to Known, You

now this could be a remedy
for xenophobic ones.

All those unnamed faces seen:
they were never to be feared
or loosely disregarded, scorned,
all due to someone's ignorance
or impatience to apprise.

And, remember, you, my dear,
do stand among the strangers, too,
until someone opts to take
the time and chance to learn firsthand
just where and how and why and who
you really are today.  Yes, you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Xenophobia challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732402-Xenophobia
Submitted: September 19, 2019

A Secret Garden's Gardener Speaks

Past this ancient gate:
such flowers you've never seen,
trees you've dreamed to climb

mythic sculptures posed
eternal before fountains
awash with sunlight

topiary beasts
frolic in this labyrinth
where all's blithely lost

hues beyond rainbows
fragrances beyond sweetness
blossoms beyond time

even wind sings here
with exotic birds and chimes:
music not yet known

enter, bloom again,
relive and rejuvenate
in this endless spring!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Secret Garden challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732621-Secret-Gardens

Submission did not make it in time before the challenge closed.
Submitted: September 19, 2019

Architecture Temporal

Facades of permanence exposed:
such wondrous structures predisposed
to fracture, fade, admit decay,
partitioning each room in time,
hatch entrances no blueprint drew
toward yawning vaults and withdrawn walls,
as marble fixtures slacken, lean,
and brass adornments founder dull,
as gravity collects the rent,
and ground reclaims a cornerstone,
and rising vines constrict their grip,
and weeds foreclose foundations whole,
as mortar molders, chips to slip,
and platforms falter in a gale,
entablature slumps into mud,
til buttress bolsters vacancies,
and stairwells wallow in their wreck,
as columns prop top-heavy clouds,
and arches veer to gaping skies,
where vestibule becomes the world,
when edifice meets precipice
- how architects will reminisce.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photography prompt challenge (ruins of antiquity resembling a cathedral) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733176-Photography--153
Submitted: September 19, 2019

Between Here and Air

It's neither Bifrost nor Monet's,
nor Bridge of Sighs or Golden Gate:

a modest sweep to cure the break,
a makeshift span uniting lands

- not worlds of mortals and divine,
or pastel lilies overarched,

or palace path to prison cells,
or bay to wed Pacific sea.

And yet I'm Dante, Washington,
now in London, Sydney, too,

a goat to tread by bully trolls,
or shall I pass to Khazad-dum?

While shoes do bear me by the breach,
it's wizardry when mind may reach

beyond mere grounds of "here and there"
to compass castles in the air.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photography challenge (wood bridge in woods over water) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2733175-Photography--152
Submitted: September 18, 2019

Befalling Upward

Quietly a stirring breeze billows verging
gentle wind to swaying wavers
ripples into currents surging
spray to foam to sudden

rapids roaring with tirade
raging unabated toward cascade
frothing forth with frenzies swayed
outpouring possibilities

which solid rocks cannot subdue
but barely narrow in pursuit
too zoomed to final precipice
where all margins evanesce

and gravity insists and twists
river turned declivitous
with rushing lists



driving power
into shower
spooling pool
to percolate

ever outward
ever untoward
a steady streaming
backward gleaming

ripples slowly dissipating
back to slower graduating
waters flowing growing clearly
soon as stilled enough to play a nearly

perfect mirror minding winding nightly skies
where whirlpool slues to spread beyond and flies
as moonlight swans on past vast darkness up through tiding stars
blurs returning slurring undiscerningly toward sempiternal reservoirs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

(last long lines might wrap here) Waterfall + Word Bank challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732859-ALL-ABOUT-WORDS---write-a-poem-about-a-Wate :

Challenge specifications quoted (as required):
~ Must use entire 8-word bank
~ Four 4-line stanzas
~ Rhyme Only please
~ Copy this entire description in your AN please

(please do not put these words in all caps in your poem)

cascade ~ power ~ possibility ~ rapids ~ spray ~ foam ~ roaring ~ pool"
Submitted: September 16, 2019

The Attestations of Phillis Wheatley

In sixteen months, such fluencies
emancipating voice and heart,
your verse provoked grand inquiries
to qualify their start:

you testified, beyond all doubt,
rhymes burgeoned from your soul,
however young, despite without
some academic scroll

to ratify your gloried flights
of eloquence and ripe insights.
These tested truths did set you free,
affirm your fame, make history

a study of what certifies:
authentic breath to authorize
those sovereign gospels all may reach
once past their instincts to impeach.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  For the 18th Century challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732157-18-th-Century
Submitted: September 15, 2019

Make Believe

Parlous balance
dreamers stake
offset by
proceeds unseen:

hazards trading
in thin airs
tiptoeing chairs

stacked sky-high,
adrift in logics's

endanger souls,
fantastic goals,
with sleepless fears,
if lost controls.

To wake? To know,
perhaps collapse
to sounder ground
and break as fast.

Endure? To go,
perchance to dance,
believe, astound,
make off at last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Submitted for photo prompt  (blindfolded woman tiptoe on chairs stacked in an open field) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732902-Whimsical-images-8
Contest closed just before this was submitted.
Submitted: September 14, 2019

Decadance (or, Love's Laboring Lost)

She loves that love which knows no love
but's something of a film you rent
(and watch to swear you saw before)
wherein, two cast, meet cute, slam door,
as plot requires, quickly leave,
rejoin at last, as must, deceive
romanticists addicted to
that merry close where credits soar
above a soundtrack enamored
with honeyed strings, piano soft
abandoned in daydreams aloft
where fictive love performs as well
as candy, coffee, carousel,
to glaze or goad or spin a spell.

He loves that love which hates itself
like mocking mirrors richly poised
in living rooms where poorness swells
and desperate decor drowns out knells
of daft devotions dashed to dust
as tender trappings, soon disgust,
benumb dumb eyes with novelties
now ponderous with properties
imploring all belongs in trash
as solitude begins to bash
its head against the papered wall
(replete with roses gathered not)
so loss becomes a vague recall
when passions prove they're all for naught.

In truth, these two might match up well
should they concede each heaven's hell:
once former seeks beneath ideals
and latter learns to share ordeals
- lest true minds let impediments
imperil love to decadence.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Illusions of Romantic Love (Love in the Western World by Denis De Rougemont) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732896-50-000-Points-Up-for-Grabs
Submitted: September 13, 2019

Divider Divided

More pervious
to wind and rain
and angry seasons
these staggered rocks
one time arrayed
to bolster space
or blockade light
demark a bound
or forbid flight
now slowly sink
in softer ground
while weather gnaws
- relentless jaws -
worn mortared gaps:
each weaker edge
to make collapse
that fitting fate
when any wall
worse for its weight
however tall
divides to fall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt (aged/crumbling stone wall) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732700-Photography--150

Submitted apparently just a few minutes too late before the challenge closed.
Submitted: September 13, 2019

Askew in Side-ways-land

At 45 degrees inclined,
their realm might seem much misaligned,

but, spend a week here, you might see
how things can lean and yet agree.

Before The Great Tilt, leveled land
accepted all with even hand.

That Balance lasted ages long,
until some zealot sang his song

oblique and with a livid slant,
first in lyric then in chant,

and soon the town, and, later, states,
began to taste his biased baits,

to savor lines one-sidedly,
awry, ascribe unequally.

And, listing so, with prideful weight,
they primed to judge, dissever, hate,

til axis drifted off its mark
as odium dimmed hope to dark

until horizons slipped to flip
and morals lost their lofty grip

- such, what compass points the way?
Does any map not lead astray?

Most mislead here tend to fray,
lost, inured to disarray:

where "True North" rings like stormy lies
as prejudicial suasive eyes

can swear an ocean is the sky
or narrowness will magnify.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo prompt challenge (sideways-looking landscape with tree) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732701-Photography--151
Submitted: September 11, 2019

Ascenders' Endgame

A world ago, it all hung low:
great expectations, chance.
So slightly I envisioned life
across this great expanse.

Along the route, met Sisyphus,
and others who should fail
because the distance dashed their hearts
with doubts they would not scale.

The path behind, in retrospect,
ranged easier to run,
with rarely any stones or snaps,
and beautified by sun.

But, every year, the slopes increased.
Cold barriers appeared,
and then perceptions' barricades
- until sense commandeered.

Past time and math, I quested ways
to edge ahead or leap,
and soon it glared apparently:
how most walk wide asleep.

Awakening to who we were
- all we might ever be -
I began to understand,
believe, and then could see

"impossible" was largely fog
between a mind and sky.
Unlearning iron instincts fast
empowered thoughts to fly.

Like Icarus, but sharper yet,
I winged on from my maze,
and somehow knew to heed my height,
not lose my sight in rays.

Within the light, it's easiest,
supposing goals will shine,
and then, when evenings bring the dark,
how shadows undermine.

No longer gulled or underdog,
I play the hero, wise,
and hope to lift all others up
and help them know to rise.

Astonishing, to reach this point,
but, if we're honest, far's
the mileage we must strive tonight
to soar among our stars.

Ascenders, assemble!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Know That You're Amazing" challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732592----Do-you-know-that-you-are-Amazing---Tell-

This poem, among other things, is somewhat of a response to the superheroic tendencies many persons expect to find only solely comics or films.  Here, within this poem, we are not talking about fictional "Avengers" of comic book proportions but rather real-life "Ascenders" who, in their hearts, wish to be identified, to assemble, and to ascend, once they learn to overcome their own illusions and boundaries and begin to aspire to helping themselves and others after realizing and developing those mortal yet super-heroic powers to be found and freed, for the good of all, in some form or another, in every one of us.
Submitted: September 9, 2019


It must be, ever, "so and so,"
just as she deems it: apropos.

Timing off?  There went your day.
Truant?  You'll wish you're away.

Offset three degrees: a glare.
Off by seven?  Prep for prayer.

Ignore, no more ingenue.
Misconstrue?  Vocal kung fu.

Neglect?  Face a night of wrath.
Refuse?  Assume her aftermath.

Misremember?  Long recall
the ruin of her wrecking ball.

But spot her slipping?  Big mistake.
Breathe "hypocrite": the Earth will quake!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Control Freak (humorous) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731759-What-Is-Living-With-a-Control-Freak-Like-
Submitted: September 9, 2019


not because unknown:

few words will stand
secure enough

to carry all that magnitude
of someone needing one.

not because unvoiced:

these legion feelings
intimating soundlessly,

masked as caring, nothing more,
while telling hearts beat on.

not because unseen:

eonian devotionals
through fourfold eyes enshrining all

as dumb sages intuit
word nor nerve rings requisite.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Music prompt (two people loving, expressing love/need) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731763-8-only-music-prompt---If-only-you-know-how-
Submitted: September 9, 2019


Heart-carved rock, bathed in
flames, floods, mud - ice now - thaws soon
for the thousandth time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Love Conquers All challenge prompt  - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732335-quote-prompt
Submitted: September 7, 2019

Song of Walt

Walt Whitman,
we hereby, with you, congregate
our multitudes to celebrate, commemorate
you, who never meant, at mortal coiled lengths, to scan,
but, boundless, shrugging off any measured plan
and so did liberate ennobled cadence, loosing it to veer to find

its inner spinning hymnal rhythms, its outmost steps to dance
with musically unstudied mind
as would-be ballerinas, loathe to practice twirls, will prance,
mischievous, precarious, rarely ever amply trained,

(but inwardly relentlessly rebelling, ascension-bent
yet hopeful, careless, senses and memories welling,
yet of no inclinations whatsoever to be restrained)

but bursting forthright night by sighing dream by trying day
by artless fits, impassioned crashing flashing glitzy starts,
emancipating errant limbs to sovereign vernal gauzy whims

drumming gluttonous songs with primal fiery hearts
beating sweeter, beaten, feet-first unabashed to bring
restless notions to rightful scopes, however long or lovely wrong,

to gallivant and re-enchant as skylarks soar - hark, they sing
their subtle melodies within our greater universal song
heard over yawning forests far older than language, airs,
by raving rivers flooding muddied fields none may stray,
past chapels full of searchers, sinners, echoed prayers,

down, down, so very further down those unpaved trails
eternally or never so evidenced to be found quite right there
to be followed, left, extended, paved, or to lose,
however showy or impulsive one's muse might choose:

electing verse to lead its way, that verity, at last, prevails.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

29 lines (some long lines may wrap).  19th Century challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731568-The-19th-Century
Submitted: September 6, 2019

Lyric Elegiac

Relics of "archaic" verse,
iconic, since historic, worse
now, rid of vatic magic here:

no mystic esoteric seer
eliciting exotic arc,
just critics swift to disembark

in quests of hectic rhetoric,
their frantic analytic shtick
to maledict more classic flights

and kick about quixotic knights
- systemic vitriolic views,
synaptic tactics bridged to bruise

richer mythic archetypes
with fictive academic gripes
panning lasting classics fast

in favor of dramatic blast,
frenetically mechanic dour
- the histrionics of their glower!

Their epidemics of disdain
inflict theatrics as profane
as ludicrous to criticize

poetics with empiric eyes
or pseudoscientific speech
restricting full artistic reach

- majestic rhythmic rhyming styles,
symbolic metaphoric miles -
dissed epics smeared in ageist years,

heroic works accursed by cheers
for "fresher," less fluidic lines,
kinetic, less melodic, whines,

chaotic graphic rants that bleed
with secrets scrabbled into screed,
when nowhere music may be heard

as lyrics slip to lurid word.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Ic Words (words with IC in them) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731555-ic-words-
Submitted: September 5, 2019


While wildflowers lark ahead
ten birds commence from nests to spread
lithe medleys over fenceless lands
basking as blue sky expands
with sunlight streaming through the clouds
as shadows cast off hazy shrouds
and rivers gift their shimmered sights
past mountains climbed beyond their heights
to kiss the dimming stars good day
while yawning fawns abscond to play
and lenient breezes ask to dance
cascading leaves lost in that trance
of colors charged to mottle world
with lustrous hues imbued and swirled
inspiriting calm rocks to reel
with warmth and lightness, aery zeal
suffusing panoramic hope
enlivening each creature's scope
on this morning wrought sublime:
when nature's poem flows with rhyme.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Idyll challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732095-Idyll
Submitted: September 4, 2019


Disposed to subdivide this mass
they stratify our world by class

seceding from the open whole
to subjugate but lose control:

possessives spent in lack or gain,
mammon, schooling, chance, domain

entire lives gazed high or down,
displaced beneath a doubtful crown,

where many struggle up to "win"
some prize exacting souls therein

and quest for treasures worth no cent
and yet invest such malcontent

in having not what few may hold
and make the price of nothing gold.

Still, broken mirrors can reflect
realities none need perfect,

and, once restored, that fuller view
reveals what was ever true:

we dwell together, equal, worth
no less or more by Earthly birth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Class challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732115-class-high-quality--see-description
Submitted: September 3, 2019

Scorched-Earth Environmental Policy

Imply the forest loves the flames.
"Blue skies" when they mention smoke.
Roll eyes if pollution's blamed.
Get by questions any way.
Fly by ruins, spin it swell.
Go by what sounds best to claim.
Decry science, casting doubts.
Comply with corporate demands.
Belie logic, common sense.
War cries: regulation talk.
Allies: filibusterers.
Supply excuses, never truth.
Run by cameras: "no comment."
Rely on short attention spans.
Defy data, expert works.
Deny climates ever changed.
Apply deception as you must.
Retry where you fail to dupe.
Scrape by any way you can.
Stand by idly. Let it burn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Burning Rain Forest challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2732046-Burning-Rain-Fores
Submitted: August 31, 2019


With tightened eyes
and measured breaths
she animates
the hollow reed
as clarinet
quivers to trills
and spirals out
to solo sprung
from fuller score
defocused now.

Orchestral players
slurred to silence
as tones descend
like flakes that chill
the ungloved hand
(as sharp or soft)
to melt before
one grasps it all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Blurred Silhouette challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731888-Blurred-Silhoutte
Submitted: August 30, 2019


Faux fledgling red in feathered mask,
she's prepossessed with fearsome task
to upstage players, rule stage right.

The understudy's dire flight
- abrupt to pause - then commandeers
commanding roles, whole atmospheres,

inflaming mindless lines with flair,
her limbs turned wings - coruscant hair:
fresh phoenix sprung from seared careers

(torched by vicious critics' jeers)
revived to soar in sharper parts,
antagonists combusting hearts

- too well, perhaps: applause amassed
makes likelier she be typecast,
forever caged in changeless traits

to service fans, which obligates
varieties declined for known
personas she has far outflown.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines. Quote prompt (what one pretends to be) challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731905-Quote-Prompt-
Submitted: August 30, 2019


...through syllables
nursed into air
we breathe to mean
to rhyme

until we're poems
formed or free
from lonely lines
to stanzas

Then some of us
turn poets when
the world

while few of us
what's best
to memorize

and lesser yet
will criticize
and analyze
with mindful

til ones among us
the cycle
last to first...

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Poems about Poetry challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731813-Poems-about-poetry---new-writes-only
Submitted: August 27, 2019

Instrumental Ensemble

This scale of light performed by eyes:
take note those songs we improvise

with lyrics voiced from red through blues
through violet to silent views

as rhythms rave to shade the nights
with intervals of shadowed lights

while everywhere we feel the sound
arcing over skies and ground

intoning symphonies in all
beyond perception's witless wall.

Your part plays here, alongside mine,
in concert with divine design:

together, let us orchestrate
new harmonies and liberate
sensations snared in unsound hate.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

15 lines.  Rainbow Music challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730887-Thought-prompt--Rainbow-Music
Submitted: August 26, 2019


With every age, they graph this globe
to illustrate the day's domains,

and thick within each penciled edge
fanatic loves of margins swell

- until the markers march that fringe,
emboldening the delible;

but then some flood, another war,
an earthquake, or an asteroid,

erasing lines annulled by tense
from atlases mapped out-of-date.

Cartographers, you chart the fate
of states once traced with greatest pride,

remind no border long divides
wherever universe decides.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines. "Pride in Country" challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730831-Pride-in-country
Submitted: August 26, 2019

Mood: Practical

My cobbler's Practicality
producing shoes not once confused
with carnivals or candy wraps
or monsters flogged by leather straps
or robots bogged within the mud
or flowers that forgot to bud.

They neither blink, presume to think,
nor sound a song when strolls along
these simple paths exact no math,
much less demand two "smarter" shoes
downloading turns with vocal cues.

Advancing by my lesser wits,
computers left to chase their bits,
I tread ahead, pragmatic, clear
of what most walkers might hold dear,
perceptive steps not drowned in gels
or "arch support"-contorting spells.

I feel the Earth, and it stands me.
Within this stride, I'm plain but free,
in sole and soul, utilities,
to forsake fashion's vanities
and outpace mazed technology
to reach Point B as easily
and know the road, what each reveals,
by basic laces, grounded heels.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Shoes / Mood challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730683-Shoes-To-People-Are-Like-The-Old-Mood-Rings
Submitted: August 23, 2019


Exfoliation: motes of vim
mottling her sable throw
constellate found galaxies
of fabric, lint, such lustrous hair
where gravities denied much mass
might muster interstellar dust
combusting brumal nebulas
illume new worlds bound there.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Skin Cell Loss challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730642-We--lose--skin-cells--every-day-
Submitted: August 22, 2019

Weathering Together

Unlikeliest of fabulists,

the rusting can, a busted seat
still trading stories to compete

recounting yarns beyond the yard
of wicked woods and marvels marred

when charming gardens rise to life
or where the farmer hatched his wife

of how the livestock bought the ranch
and lost it in an avalanche

and why the clouds still thump their drums
before Her Highness Winter comes

or whether gnomes shall plow the field
or what the nightly stars revealed.

Within the grass they glimpse their grail
and conquer ennui with a tale.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge (side by side: an old watering can, and a chair / seat / bench) - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2731392-Photography--135
Submitted: August 22, 2019

Reductio Ad Absurdum

That timid glint across this pitch:

how coruscates that sapphire sight
- our Earth by stellar candlelight -
and magnifies our slighter mien

when we constringe this cosmic scope
in exponents exiguous
proclaiming physics legislate

some theories spun to denigrate
through epithets of ologies
yesterday's mythologies

consumable cosmogonies
creations breaching fever dreams
dimensioning deficient schemes

infinity's demolished dots
inflating points to novel plots
of how and where things came to be

expounding ersatz history
of enigmas cut to sums
as logic beats its numbing drums

and math supplants veracious verse
to formulate dim universe
less brilliance of its mysteries

dividing beauty truth and muse
from bookish proofs and vapid views
in Scientific Method's name

reducing all to stake a claim.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

120 words. Carl Sagan / Pale Blue Dot challenge prompt - link; https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730433-The-Pale-Blue-Dot--noguest

If you've ever heard Carl Sagan speak, you might try to read this poem "aloud" in your head according to his inimitably enthusiastic and deeply thoughtful and, at least to me, rather poetic voice.

Thanks for reading my poem.
Submitted: August 21, 2019

Umbras' Light

Umbras, come, regard thy Light;
for where stands Shadow, how goes Sight
without those brilliant gifted glows,
the splendor of supernal shows

- the Full Moon's concert thrilling Hills
as Silhouettes dance free of frills,
Distinctions singing with the Dark
as Luminance lives out its lark?

Likewise, Shine: abide by Night
resolving whilst vague Dreams rewrite
why Difference makes itself to last
between all gleams and dimness cast.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Word of the Week (Umbra) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730574-Word-of-the-week--UMBRA
Submitted: August 13, 2019


Quiescent yet reviving life,
depleted man, his withered wife
reanimate with brisk embrace:

phantasmal skulls restoring grace,
remembered beauties from ago
when dreams ran long and fears flowed slow.

Within these heartbeats, all yearns young,
as lips recall how love was sung:
duets welling soulful eyes

to resurrect, revitalize.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

49 words.  Image prompt - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730801-Love-can-bring-the-day-out-of-the-dead
Submitted: August 13, 2019

Maiden Stone

Within the nascent cosmic glow
where Glare gave way to vacancy
through clotted darkness Atoms grasped
for solids still to aggregate
the slightest kinds of Molecules
amassing growing gravities
as Gasses pressed by Nebulas
raised Protostars to swiftly kiln
ingredients of worlds to whirl
erupting elemental plumes
embellishing thick emptiness
with contours hinting in this forge
since ricocheting Photons pierced
Infinity septillion times
as Motes composed and Space effluxed
while Time arrived to weigh upon
The Moment anteceding all
before Inflation voiced its call
that Physics enact and enforce
some law held Chaos ran his course
that Order should secure her throne
to marshal forth the Maiden Stone.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

108 words.  The First Stone metaphor challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729858-The-1st-Stone

- the interpretation in this poem being the metaphoric creation of the cosmos up to the birth of the very first stone in space, which was called forth by Order itself after quickly succeeding Chaos.
Submitted: August 9, 2019

Shark Cage Match

Through movies, marked more menacing
- monstrosity of timid seas -
with endless rows of rabid teeth
and quenchless decimation quests:

a parody of what you are
complete with theme song - superstar,
more infamous than famed or name,
most ravenous, presumed to blame

for countless bones intoning waves
as avid divers draw close shaves
to taunt your kind with chum and spears
to gratify base human fears

provoking beasts toward certain rage
within the safety of a cage,
which you will crash, as instinct goes,
oblivious to shocking shows

portraying you well at your worst,
as if you're but our demon cursed
to roam the oceans, merciless,
and bellow horrors to possess

those souls who know you least of all,
your half an eon's worth of haul
through endless ages to survive
swimming through your sleep to thrive

- yet not endanger cherished Earth
as humans might soon after birth,
which begs a question: who are we
to judge you, thus, ironically?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

28 lines. Shark Week (positive poems about sharks) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730321-8-poets-in-honor-of-Shark-Week
Submitted: August 9, 2019

Dream Vacation

Freed from clocks and stuffy rooms
from blunting studies and exams
thoughts escape day's lockered halls

those droning tomes and endless rows
of numbing lights and Exit signs
to rush through metal entrances

and breathe that carefree air again
and throw their book bags to the ground
to run through uncut grass so fast

like students on their very last
long afternoon of school in June
enlightened less by what was read

than dreamy summers up ahead.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Sleep quote prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2730591-Quote-is-your-prompt
Submitted: August 8, 2019

Singularity Perspective

Billowing from vanished point
a burgeoning of steam to storm
delivers us some raging train
accelerating where we wait
upon this track as we look back
at ages wrenched industrial
when everything became machines
careening into future dreams
with little sense of fright or plight

- but now the nightmare of this sight,
designs returning vengefully
in ways the world would never see:

polluted water, soil, skies,
scourging wonders, wanting whys,
conductorless, inertial speed
improbable to slow, impede.

Some suggest, "Just step aside,"
while others smirk, "Enjoy the ride."

We've only moments to decide
until choice and fate collide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Picture prompt (perspective of approaching train with billowing clouds of steam) - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729678-imaginations-create-joy-2
Submitted: August 6, 2019

Prismatic Dancer

Through her prism
sweeping leaps

where all's alive
and nothing sleeps

spectral swerves

magenta rushing
purple verge

when orange surge
preludes blue whirls

the blushing reds
while cyan braves

within this middle
where she swirls

fluidic arms
revolving curls

impelling love
in every note

fluoresced above
her feet which float

between the hues
your eyes will see

and smoother music
you must be

to dance so freely
as this soul:

prismatic light
united whole.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

75 words.  Photo prompt (dancer in a very colorful outfit) - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729681-Pretend-You-are-Seeing-This-
Submitted: August 6, 2019

Father, Forgive Them

Beloved shepherd fades away,
and flocks revert to wonder, stray,

no longer herding by belief,
more desperate for some relief,

because they blindly followed here,
where slowly it's becoming clear:

they mostly went with what was told.
Directionless, distrust takes hold,

and one by one each sheep does freeze
from restless hooves to trembling knees

until they're rooted where they wait
immersed in panic, idle prate,

the solace of distractions met
with readiness to fast forget

"they know not what they do" tonight
since they crucified their light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

The Sheep (surreal painting by Dali) challenge prompt - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729633-the-Sheep-by-Salvador-Dali
Submitted: August 5, 2019

Mater Universorum

More than existential bridge
from nullity unto this Earth

more than mortal sustenance
to nurture prospects from this birth

more than giver, teacher, guard
preserving means beyond our yard

more than source or ancestries
beyond the timelines in these trees

more than station, name, or place,
hair, complexion, accent, face

more than planet, sky, or sea:
you gift this universe to me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Love of a Family Member (mother) challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729613-Love-of-family-member--parent--sibling--gra
Submitted: August 5, 2019


The aeromancers of each age
read their heavens as a page
prefiguring through mystic signs
of stars or clouds, suggestive lines,

where subtle shapes or sparkling lights
confided volumes - wisdom, rites
to be observed, secrets divined
- arcana of the air designed

to be discovered, held, disclosed
by chosen ones who then imposed
much deeper meaning on it all,
foretokening some boon or fall.

Beneath this sky, my wonder scours;
it nearly seems within my powers
to eye soft cyphers in that space
and start to tease, presume to trace

significance hid in this breeze
and speak of it, convinced, with ease:
the universe electing me
to seek, derive, help others see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Photo prompt challenge (lightning in sky) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729562-photo-prompt-5
Submitted: August 4, 2019

Clamor's Hammer

Clamor's hammer s h a t t e r i n g
abstractions crushing c l a r i t y.

Abruptly rushing: muse eludes
with r e m n a n t s of your reverie

as fervors blur and burst to s h a r d s
and curst disturbance disregards

how sanctity allays a mind.
Disquieted, what you may find

as intimations e v a n e s c e
and choler-starts-to-coalesce

are sparkless embers blown from blaze
faintly smoldered in this haze

where visions mixed with sumptuous views,
aglow with insights, now diffuse.

Reviving silence might restore
some of what stirred there before.

Perhaps the muse returns, but changed,
with figments, feelings rearranged

diverging from vague memory:
perhaps with what you're meant to see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Noise / distraction / nature challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729357-Public-Enemy-Number-One
Submitted: August 1, 2019


Wood easel leans near rusty rails,
revealing it's too frail and small
to frame this view's magnificence.

Another finished canvas dries
too slowly in the humid room
repainted by each setting sun.

An old frayed brush upon the floor
has danced its share of daring strokes
which most will never know.

Near-empty glitter tubes collect
those restless motes of dust which float
then glisten and, in instants, dim.

Yellow, green through sky-blue swirled.
Purple, orange whisked with white:
where palette abstracts lucid dreams.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Collage challenge (using these words/images: easel, canvas, brush, glitter tube, palette) - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728933-Collage-series-2
Submitted: July 31, 2019

'No captain?' I'm captain!

Not captainless: I am this ship
embarking past mere mortal maps
to cruise beyond grim glory, ports,
to boat, where no eyes swim or drift,

with spirit! Heading! Speed, and soul
through surging skies of boundless blue
(forswearing inner mutinies)
more essential with each wave.

"No captain?" I'm captain, awake to note
the reveille of open seas
awash with submerged wreckage, gold:
the ocean knows me - rudder, gears,

this engine fueled by wonders, bliss,
propelled to roam the globe around.
To think, I dreamed upon this deck,
so deeply slept I seemed extinct

unanswering adventure's call,
benumbed to pulse, to thrill and will,
as anchorless, adrift, or beached,
or plundered therefore treasureless.

Assuredly, as shores slide by,
my bearing's joy. No grief, regrets.
I glide in light, as captain, strive
to navigate the fathomless


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

120 words.  Ship metaphor - challenge link:
My approach to this challenge is inspired by Walt Whitman's famous "O Captain! My Captain!" poem, which it parallels / contrasts with stanza by stanza:
Submitted: July 30, 2019

Instant Replay

These inward shrieks of history
echo generationally
remaining mostly unheard there
on cobwebbed shelves with little scare
as pasts repeat before their ends
and futures feign the fresher trends.

Santayana, others knew
ignorance condemns the queue
to loop beneath a busted clock
advancing not if none take stock
of lessons pressing to be learned:

such sufferings, what cities burned,
that progress lost in "greatness" sought
before those wars so many fought.

These silent cries line every page.
To read, alone, may not assuage.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Image prompt challenge (recursive image of screams within screams) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729884-Fantasy-496
Submitted: July 27, 2019


D efiant down to Hades' helm,
O rpheus would retrieve his wife.
N otes and vocal: songs to soothe
T enacious hearts toward sweet relent:

L icense love's return above,
O ur sole request: no retrospect
O blivious to tense and senses
K ey to crossing mortal gates.

B ut trickster Fear elicits glimpse:
A bandoning abundant care
C onditioning redundant fates
K armic as cathartic stars.

E urydice so gravely gained
V anished as her myth maintained
E xcessive dread divests the quest:
R elinquish what you best possessed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Orpheus and Eurydice Challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728729-Orpheus-and-Eurydice-
Submitted: July 24, 2019


Where wires neither bind nor run
no LEDs compete with sun
and ringtones won't choke open air
and no screens dazzle with their glare

where ads can never boom or barge
and batteries exact no charge
no memories require cards
and no distraction disregards

where touch transcends a haptic tap
and information knows no cap
no privacy needs sacrifice
and no response demands device

where access asks no secret words
and tweets have but to do with birds
no search returning random sites
and nothing slimmed to bits and bytes:

there you'll find me, analog, attending nature's dialogue
without AI or pixels bogged in simulated streams and fog,
sans apps, with no encrypted key augmenting this reality:
out here, less technology, it's world and me, unplugged and free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Revised.  20 lines (four last longer lines might wrap); Retreat challenge (my interpretation: a retreat from the utterly digital lifestyle) - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728824-Retreat

My first draft of poem (~3 hours ago) for comparison:

Where no wires bind and run
or LEDs compete with sun
or ringtones choke the open air
or screens bedazzle with their glare
or advertisements boom and barge
or batteries exact a charge
or memory requires card
or distractions disregard
or touching comes to haptic tap
or information has a cap
or privacy turns sacrifice
or response demands device
or access asks for secret words
or tweets have naught to do with birds
or searching returns random sites
or all comes down to bits and bytes:

there you'll find me, analog, attending nature's dialogue
without AI or pixels bogged in simulated streams and fog,
sans apps, with no encrypted key augmenting this reality:
out here, less technology, it's world and me, unplugged and free.
Submitted: July 23, 2019

The Bridgemaker's Dilemma

They want to waltz from here to high:
from desolation unto sky

where kingdoms drift about and by
on wisps of light without a why

with nothing firm to brace their way
as if wishes could convey

across those gaps no bridge would link
as if you only had to think

"impossible is but a word"
(pretending it was never heard)

and structures need not fortify
if one believes that all could fly

and claim the birds affirm we're free
to soar above our causal tree

- and where does all of this leave me?
Cross, of course, to oversee

these reasons leap without good ground
and plummet fast before they found

that logic lends a stronger path
without such absurd aftermath.

My bridges never reached a cloud,
and often that does make me proud

designing toward reality
until I dream as carelessly.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

143 words.  Image challenge (tree, cliff, clouds, floating castle, birds) - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729604-Contest-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: July 22, 2019


"Contain yourself," the elders taught,
and you obeyed, kept in your cage,
imprisoning your joys and rage,

careful never to be caught
delighting in the sights and stars
behind those self-inflicted bars

- until the hours you heard them howl
raving unrestrained till morn,
those hypocrites who loved to scorn

so daunting with a haunting scowl.
Now, as you learn to curb your fear
and inhibitions disappear,

you know the difference: to refrain
from letting others trap your pain,
while hope's the thing you do retain,

where hate's the place you must abstain
from, through their efforts to detain,
as you master your domain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image prompt (person in cage watching fireworks) - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729289-Write-whatever-this-inspires
Submitted: July 18, 2019

Dominion Not Diminutive

Alighting on her floral throne
commanding eyes attend her fast
before she flits away again

the Monarch dominates our view
silent while her tapestry
disburses verse majestically

across her variegated realm
governed by a single law:
all who dwell here live in awe

of nature's stately pageantry
and ever care to celebrate
but not decree nor decimate.

Test her, and she does defect,
abdicates as none expect
the might of butterfly effect.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

72 words. 

Original prompt: Monarch Butterfly / Monarchy challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728437-Monarch-who-is-a-Monarch
Submitted: July 16, 2019


No screaming hues
to deafen eyes

some subtle tones
to neutralize

but not because
the vivid left

or brilliance driven
dead bereft:

just fading grayer
absent feel

so somber gone
because it's real.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

33 words.  "Color Me" image challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2729173-A-Color-Me-Poem-
Submitted: July 15, 2019


dividers mired)
between your reach
(and f r e e d o m ' s flight


not most with might
and not from fright:

through firmer will
induced by faith

believing walls
will crack and fall

no matter brittle
drear the feel

once choice and inner strength congeal

and when you trust such things be done
you liberate your spirit:


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Image/GIF prompt (dark, shaky animated figure touching wall, which seems to crack) - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728595-Gif-Pic-prompt
Submitted: July 14, 2019


Heartbeats blaring, full of rage

thunder drumming from the stage

bassist booming through the crowd

frenzied synths not nearly loud

as things will get when you appear

behind the mic to barely hear

your lyrics scream beneath guitars

which shred the night and shake the stars

until your voice frays full of rasp

your numbing fingers barely grasp

that spectacle: ten thousand phones

recording you becoming bones

your sacrifice of voice and sweat

expecting most might soon forget

to rock this world rolls all you've got

in carelessness, if all for naught.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Rock and Roll Star challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728277-so-you-want-to-be-a-rock-n-roll-star
Submitted: July 11, 2019

Amber Spectacles

Behind this fossilizing glass
moments slow then barely pass:

the world's in amber, soaked in gold,
eternal, past historic hold,

so ageless in surreal ways
(above our pendulum of days)

oozing futures lost to time
infusing mindful with sublime

solidified outside of tense
preserving what would end, commence.

Observe rare truths transcending hues,
how spectra shall surpass your views

when eyes might dream beyond their sight
and minds may marvel in new light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines.  World through Colorful Glasses challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728559-World-through-the-colorful-Glasses--Shades-
Submitted: July 9, 2019

Extraterrestrial Examination

They came to gauge intelligence.
Detecting little commonsense,
they dispatched probes to reassess,
expecting Earth might still impress,

despite those signals sent through space
suggesting that the human race
had advancements left to make
and had no clue what was at stake.

Assist?  Destroy?  Ignore?  Invade?
Their final choice?  To be delayed:
return a thousand years from now
- the final chance they would allow

to see if Earth, at last, would learn
from history, or chose to burn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Alien Probe challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727832-Alien-Probes
Submitted: July 6, 2019

Oath of Office: To the Noncommital Politician

Your heart and God know if you kept
what you promised to protect.

For better, worse: momentous vow.
Conserve it to deserve it now.

Falter, wander, break, betray,
then best amend and pledge today

to redress errors, right your path.
Delay to witness aftermath

of poor decisions run awry.
And should you tarry, don't deny.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

10 lines. Facing Inner Demons - Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728572-All-win-contest
Submitted: July 4, 2019


From striding glides
en pointe pivot

sashays surveys

glissando flows
hold soulful notes

those floating toes

sheer pirouettes
revolving life

reviving sighs

through music fused
suave suppleness

her fluent steps

yet muscular

fluidic lithe

orchestral writhes

finesse finis.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  For The Ballerina challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728023-The-Ballerina
Submitted: July 2, 2019

No Phantom at the Masquerade Ball

This carnival costumed caprice
prim carousels, unbridled prides,
prancing bouts in blithe disguise

lacing feathers, baubles, bells,
ribboned necks, corralling limbs
three-quarter time to wind clockwise

and all I find are not her eyes
to mirror back my unmasked love
above this craven masquerade.

As long the waltzing warms the night
delay this dance deliciously
that she might soon appear to me

receive me where I really stand,
not her Phantom but this man
composed, conducting all he can,

enchanting evening with new song,
hopeful he might still belong
- if only she'd peer past his face,

accept the blemished, not displace
those arias within his soul
yearning to be heard, made whole

within the opera of her voice
and by the blessing of her choice.
And then I might, at last, rejoice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Masquerade Ball challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727502-Masquerade-Ball .

This poem (without Ball in the title) also appears a day earlier in my feed because the challenge submission didn't go through properly at the time.  This is my second (and thankfully successful) submission attempt.  The earlier poem was submitted as a pre-write for another challenge, and so I am not deleting that (for now).
Submitted: July 2, 2019

No Phantom at the Masquerade

This carnival costumed caprice
prim carousels, unbridled prides,
prancing bouts in blithe disguise

lacing feathers, baubles, bells,
ribboned necks, corralling limbs
three-quarter time to wind clockwise

and all I find are not her eyes
to mirror back my unmasked love
above this craven masquerade.

As long the waltzing warms the night
delay this dance deliciously
that she might soon appear to me

receive me where I really stand,
not her Phantom but this man
composed, conducting all he can,

enchanting evening with new song,
hopeful he might still belong
- if only she'd peer past his face,

accept the blemished, not displace
those arias within his soul
yearning to be heard, made whole

within the opera of her voice
and by the blessing of her choice.
And then I might at last rejoice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Entered as a pre-write in a 2nd Challenge (Gothic Love): https://allpoetry.com/contest/2728374-Gothic-Love-Poetry

Originally written for the Masquerade Ball challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727502-Masquerade-Ball . This submission did not get through; a second attempt (resulting in a second instance of this poem) succeeded.  To differentiate, that poem has an additional word in the title: No Phantom at the Masquerade BALL.
Submitted: July 1, 2019


belie the breeze
although, suppose no forming storm:

imply this night
shall not resemble evenings past

- take note how fast
the stars retreat
as birds give instincts wings
some harbinger lurks in the air
whispering to those who scare

"Take Flight."


And those who run
from those who stay:

what might it matter anyway
were this nothing you outpace
but rather something one must face

if not now

if not here
where you will be


however ready

to learn at last
all truths come first

regardless if
they take a while

and the best
(despite the worst)
you may do right


is smile

and wonder
until dawn
(or drawn)



View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"In the Air" inspiration challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726484-The-Real-Story--
Submitted: June 30, 2019

What Stops Not

When absent matter
matters most

a tunnel upholds

renouncing all

so what may come
or go does flow

as freely light can
dance through glass:

the nothingness
where all shall pass

by what stops not

the limitless.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Windows and Doors - Lao Tzu quote challenge - prompt link:  https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727806-windows-and-doors----Lao-Tzu-quote
Submitted: June 26, 2019


With subtle starts in fingertips,
callousness blunts senses dumb

in every lessened friction gripped
with irritations dimmed to dull,

encrusting epidermal sense
within a thicker, deader shell,

until perception's apathy,
indifferent sans empathy,

when feelings cannot touch or bring
and senselessness turns everything

to desolation and despair
once emotions stop to care

and emptiness is all you grasp
and meaningless it is to gasp

as nothingness encloses all
in the blindness of your fall

that day you chose to look away
from what your eyes began to say

and closed your ears to wisdom's word
ignoring what they should have heard.

Come face what you've denied: the hurt
and everything you did dessert.

Be vulnerable. Remove the cast.
Experience the pains at last.

Only then will healing start
to tenderize that hardened heart,

revive and thrive, as well it must,
lest you become insensate dust.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Feeling quote prompt - challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727577-Quote-Prompt-
Submitted: June 25, 2019

Mermaiden Flight of Fancies Freed

From first allures to frenzied gasps,
no warmth within these waves' embrace
while siren songs sink sailors' hopes
of knowing land or home again.

Swoon by skull, that tally swells
of navigators lost within
her resistless reveries,
beguiling mermaid doomed to drown

everyone she dares enchant
because these tides entwine her curse
with magic indissoluble
- except where love may blindly dive

inside her oceanic eyes
to empathize, at certain depths,
some sunken mercies, if regret,
her hidden quest: in bliss be freed

from all this coastal loneliness,
to swim and breathe beyond her plight
awaking in this sea of bones
- at last to hold, be held, and live,

return, no longer tempting trusts
untouchably, no longer caught
in flotsam possibilities
but plunging into arms and life

courageous, keen, headlong, aflame.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 lines.  Mermaid picture challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727050-Beguiled-But-Doomed
Submitted: June 24, 2019

Home Run

No balls were thrown.
No bats were swung.
No crowds cheered on.
No innings won.

Yet here we dance
around this plate
with victory
to celebrate:

for we've reached home,
where love's no game,
no scores recorded;
our team, our name.

Our umpire,
the Lord above,
declares us safe
within His glove.

Beyond each base
we run and pray,
playful, grateful
for this day.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Baseball family challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727010-Write-a-poem-about-this-family-
Submitted: June 24, 2019

Out of the Labyrinth, into the Light

Behind the walls, those ghostly calls
to strive outside our maze.

Too long we moved where senses proved
to lead us no way home.

With each return, reversed, concerned
our roaming wandered on.

Directionless, as we transgress
to follow pride astray.

Before each choice, an echoed voice
to guide our minds beyond.

Then we heard the hallowed Word:
we found our path unseen.

Once undeceived, when we believed,
through grace we reached the gate.

In faith, we stride, indemnified,
amazed yet lost no more.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Amazing Grace challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726839----Amazing-Grace-by-Il-Divo---What-might-th-noguest
Submitted: June 21, 2019

What Exoplanets Teach Us about Our World

The rarity of our blue sphere
of marbled seas and swirling airs
may not become entirely clear
until you zoom beyond the edge
where our solar system stops

and interstellar space begins
to school us in that scarcity

found further yet:

such other worlds

will twirl around their stars tonight,
diversely distanced, sized, degreed,
uniquely cast in light and kind.

A careful glimpse should soon remind
how preciously this fragile Earth
comprises lives within its berth,

while most may fail to care or note
how nearer globes, or those remote,
cannot replace - at best, relate,
"Conserve your planet. Contemplate."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Earth poem for World Environment Day - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726697-World-Enviornment-Day
Submitted: June 20, 2019


With vigorous vibrato ridding silence from this final act:
one hundred thunderous vocal cords lyrically entwine the air

their unfamiliar syllables orchestrating soul of song
which beckons us beyond a word

- but listen, if you will have heard

reverberating undefined what liberated instincts find

once music looses need to know

emotions, freed to flow, bestow
profounder meanings through these arts

past pageantries of well-played parts

above such stately harmony

as truths intone eternally:

the operas of reality.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

13 lines. Opera image challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726663-opera-night-
Submitted: June 18, 2019

A Prayer of Angels and Angles

May angels brace your trembling hands,
exalt your mind above tonight,
so you might find this world's demands
will dim beneath diviner light.

Ascend - majestic Heaven's view:
there stars impart their ageless sense
of harmonies securing you
within this cosmic plan; so, hence,

please be at peace with all that flows
with faith no woes or fears oppose.
Believe benevolence prevails
whenever reassurance fails.

While mysteries defy design,
permit your soul to realign
inside God's grand geometry,
where angles right eternally:

for all proceeds within His grace
transcending all of time and space.
Accept His will shall reign supreme,
and, through His love, we may redeem.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

21 lines.  Prayer challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726618-The-Prayer-sung-by-Andrei-Bocelli
Submitted: June 17, 2019


weightless spring frees minds to fly;
no youth wonders why.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Photo challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726923-Photo-Prompt
Submitted: June 16, 2019

Banality Lessons

With attitude, Ms. Platitude
chalks off phrases on the board,
instructs our class, out of the blue,
these words should never come to see
the light of day - "Banality" -
because those sayings are "cliché":

two words she breathes with such disdain,
which makes us more the curious
why she'd become so furious
- enough to yell "for goodness sake"
if one writes "icing on the cake"
or confers a "bless her heart."

We who "upset the applecart"
will soon be "up the creek,"
although it's only "tongue-in-cheek"
or said because we're stuck "between
a rock and hard place" with no "clean
slates" left to break, replace.

Spare us "don't cut off your nose
to spite your face," don't bait
with "good things come to those
who wait" or "twist of fate,"
and we'll not mention "tried and true"
or "bite off more than we can chew."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Four Phrases Challenge.  Submitted minutes after the challenge closed - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726548-SET-4---Use-at-least-4-phrases
Submitted: June 16, 2019

Ohana: The Families Beyond the Trees

It's when the genealogist
removes her glasses
rubs her eyes
grins and sighs
as she begins to realize
her task of tracing families
descends upon new vanities.

She must transcend
ancestral lines
forego all sense
of kith and kin
and only then
delve deep within
to know ohana as few do:

those relatives beyond a branch
where names or blood digress and fade
and kindred spirits promenade
as hands join hands across the seas
extending their communities
with fellowship adopting all
who care to share a world made small.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

89 words. Ohana (Hawaiian word) Challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726503-Ohana-means-family-
Submitted: June 16, 2019

Kintsugi: The Art of Scars

Whatever shattered
mattered here

so healing skin
begins to say

as scars replace
recovered wounds.

And here: these pieces
of a life

resuming shapes
as best they may

where gravity
gave into greed

(and stole some wholeness
for itself)

with edges friction
frayed too far

leaving traces
of what broke

in ways we should not
deign to hide

but rather mind
these fractured lines

without pretense
or mute neglect

but with such love
that mends all rifts

and open eyes
for overt gifts:

the fact this damage
did not last

but showcased strengths
no molds can cast.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

97 words. Kintsugi challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726498-Kintsugi
Submitted: June 16, 2019

The Slowest Waltz

The slowest waltz
of whales and waves

cumbrous whirls

swirling tumbles
breaching black

through foaming blue
these obtuse veers

in churning light
through music's tides

where oceanic notes
drone low and long

within these depths
crescendo's song

tsunami strength
intense expanse

that lifts leviathans
to dance.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

47 words; Whale / line inspiration ("They move like dancers on a stage,") Challen https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727106-Use-a-Line--47--all-win-ge prompt link:
Submitted: June 13, 2019


This puzzled crust
of sun-scorched land

a fissured stillness
filling distance

where once wide rivers
rushed on by:

enough to make one
wonder why

these buoyant scenes
can sway to starkness

once glistening mirrors
rift and dimmed

with umbral dust
of life dispelled.

May skies rain mercy on this sight.
Come, pray for rain, however slight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726954-Hotter-Than-Barefoot-Poets-Basement
Submitted: June 13, 2019

The Sisyphus Way

On our way up toward the peak
we encountered Sisyphus,
that trickster doomed to roll his stone
eternally to rise and fail.

And he leaned calmer than you'd guess
accepting his cyclicity
without anger or regret
yet purposeful, intent, and then

that wondering: what it was like
- meridian, descent, release -
to never once repeat the task.
His tragedy, to have to ask,

and ours, too: we never sense
those crusades through infinity
endeavoring past endlessness,
determined indeterminate,

with grace enough to damn a curse
and higher mind not to rehearse
potentials left, as none should know,
returned, reborn, when others go.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Mountain climbing challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726275-You-Did-What--Tell-Me-About-It
Submitted: June 12, 2019


Burn earnestly, not swiftly, torch:
think lighthouse, star - not hasty flash
of thunder's rush, to crush then run
away unseen. Be hope, no fear,
a symbol stronger than the sword,
such warmth enkindling frigid hearts
and summon souls lost off their trails,
succeed where aimlessness prevails,
where shadows dare not beckon, stand,
while we parade across this land
to lend some sense there is a way
to reach tomorrow from today,
to melt all ice, empower, free.
Direction, grace, clear destiny!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Fire inspiration challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726167-Couplet-prompt---Fire-
Submitted: June 11, 2019

Water Over Rock

Secured atop its graveled soil
the Great Rock holds it shall persist
outlasting man and all that can
dare down this way, confront this face,
succumb to strengths of centuries
compressed within its heartless stone.

It rains: the Rock does not recoil,
but stares past clouds beyond the mist.
As waters rise, it makes no plan
but chuckles, mocks; no anger's trace
- till budged and dulled - then war decrees
too late. Dissolving. Overthrown.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Patience and Tolerance challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2727078-Patience-and-Tolerance
Submitted: June 11, 2019

Harvest Blues

Sand, winds, time conspire
against an anxious farmboy
missing all his friends.

Dry horizon, scorched
by setting suns - and yearning
for something beyond.

Hopeful eyes scan skies,
feelings, dreams deferred: harvest
demands precedence.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Movies contest - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726234-About-Specific-Movies
Submitted: June 2, 2019

The Geode's Secret

Externally, some average stone,
abrasive, caked across with dirt,
so overlooked and left alone
until reckoned less overt
when outward shells cave into light
as pressures entering reveal
what lies beneath this veil of blight:
exquisite crystals nonpareil
configured with especial bent
reflecting all those mysteries
reserved behind the evident
subverting any guarantees
the eyes completely have their say
when beauty's truth delays display.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

65 words. Unexpected Beauty contest - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726394-Beauty-in-Unexpected-Places--Photo-Prompt-
Submitted: June 1, 2019

Wings [Dictionary Style]


(noun; plural)

1. Why Pegasus is more than horse.
2. What hummingbirds can hide so well.
3. How Phoenix rises from the ash.
4. Angels' favorite mode to move.
5. How maple trees spread through their land.
6. Where thunder comes (Algonquin myths).
7. Those other things with feathers, perched.
    (See also: Hope or Icarus)

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Dictionary Style / Word challenge  (Wings) - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726171-Dictionary-Style-
Submitted: May 31, 2019

Conductors on Their Trains of Thoughts

Ticketless, no luggage clutched,
our stations reached: two trains depart,
billowed steam occluding why,
conducting insights to descry
such destinations yet to hail.

Our locomotive minds on track,
accelerating, bringing back
every tendered memory
turned heap of coal igniting sprees
beyond these metalled energies.

When passengers, we waited, hoped
for terminus before nightfall,
but detours, stops, delays distract
from all the progress we had made
once we watched the sunlight fade.

The bridges? Out, but we blaze on,
as if inertia married gaps
and lacking track holds no concern
when engines sternly purposed burn
in love's express, past no return.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

100 words (not counting section Roman numerals) - Quote Challenge - prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724717-Quote--34
Submitted: May 31, 2019

Magic Castles

Her charming castle, where she's queen,
kind and smiling, never mean,
says everyone is welcome here:
fairies, rabbits, dragons, deer.

Her alicorns soar rainbow high
as gnomes and griffins grin and sigh,
while mermaids splash around her moat
and Loch Ness monsters sing and float.

See leprechauns give out their gold,
and elves a hundred plus years old
will dance carefree throughout the land
where even zombies understand

this joy we speak of is no joke
or just some tale among the folk.
Now anyone can have it all!
Imagine, if you can recall,

what it was like to be a child,
to have that mind where thoughts run wild,
so free, creating strangest things,
remembering we're queens or kings

still dreaming while we're wide awake,
our kingdoms what we choose to make.
Enchant your world! Come break your curse!
Find magic in your universe!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Magic Castle (for an 8-year-old reader judging this contest) - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725318-All-about-Magic
Submitted: May 28, 2019

An Astronaut on Her Final Night on the Moon

While slipping through this lunar grit
just slightly spared from gravity
so much stronger back at home,
I witness Earthrise one last time
and stare with hopes to soak it in,

so next month, when I'm glancing up
from the yawning of my yard
to spot this cratered second home,
I might recall why I'd return
to either world, should I be asked:

that openness of endless space,
proximities of human warmth,
to stand where most will never tread,
or walk beside my dearest ones.

Sometimes the launches come too fast,
and other times I'd have it last,
forever if I had the choice:
those starry eyes, his velvet voice,
and yet that impulse: become one
with cosmos, planet, soul, and sun.

Between these spheres I often stride
I've come to love there's no divide.
With terminal velocity
the universe renews in me
even as I sense some end.
These journeys taught me to transcend.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Two word prompt (last exit) - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2726076-Two-word-prompt-1
Submitted: May 27, 2019

Through the Kaleidoscope

With every turn, another chase.
With every chase, another place.
With every place, another face.
With every face, another trace
of what it was you used to be

in this grinning mimicry.

Your new name here is Mirrored Me
reflecting all in all I see
leaving to return to tea
learning you were never free
from what it was I were to be

in this spinning imagery

until you aim my scope away
wake dreamy visions from dismay
rethink you think I heard me say
I cannot leave until you stay
true to who we should now be

in this thinning symmetry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt Challenge (Alice down the rabbit hole inspiration) - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725163-Your-Own-Rabbit-Hole-but-Not-a-Rabbit-Hole
Submitted: May 26, 2019

The Peacock and the Eyes of Argus

Eyes of Argus

with giant strides
once sent to watch

lured off to sleep,
swift Hermes' sword.

And here you trail
vainglory, slain

preserving mythic
casualties of jealousy

wide feather-spread
by Hera's hand

forever greened
and blue to blind:

the peacock's tail,
your tale resigned.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Peacock - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725361-Peacock..-Pic-prompt
Submitted: May 25, 2019

Capriccio: A Pianist's Admission

I never learned *"The Little Bell"
nor perfected "Clair de Lune"
or studied much of Brahms, Ravel.

My choppy Chopin, Mozart mussed.
No rhapsodic Rachmaninoffs.
I turned my back on Bach at last.

I love them all yet have no heart
to memorize each masterpiece
and play back mediocrely.

Respect to those devoted souls
investing lives in ledger lines
until perfection's effortless.

These fingers fumble, float away
on melodies streamed from a mind
where notes don't always know the time

or find themselves with harmony;
they're improvised with flawed design.
At least I know this music's mine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

La Campanella (The Little Bell), a very difficult etude by Liszt.  Poetry challenge (I have never...) prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725126-I-Have-Never
Submitted: May 25, 2019

Garden Promise

The promise of a garden: growth;

no guarantees this budding runs
proportionate to sweat and tears.

Our efforts and those blooms diverge

much as branches of these trees
following no certain paths

from toiled soil toward the sky.

Now time reminds us nothing may
coax gold roses from these thorns.

So glories in their mornings rise
according more to June's caprice
than perfect weather, states, or hopes,

confirming us, our humble part,
in nature's changing ways and art.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Planting, effort - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725146-The-Fruit-of-Toil
Submitted: May 25, 2019

No Rabbit

An aspirant magician winks,
rethinking, waxes serious,
whispering some absurd words,
then flourishes a phony wand
about the brim, inverted, black,
and, as practiced, reaches in:

a living rabbit would emerge,
purging doubts of magic done,
were things run as planned today,
but the rabbit disappeared
- or perhaps was never set;
regardless, now, this trick's a bust.

Excuses, explanations lost,
this superficial sorcerer
casts blame on weary audience
for not suspending disbelief,
there conjuring, at last, a truth
through disillusion's sleight of hand:

such wizardry, to be believed,
relies on lies - how well one's deceived.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines. Rabbits challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725348-8-poets-only--based-on-prompt-
Submitted: May 22, 2019

Divine Consolation

Such sorry comfort in my Word
when all you felt was all you heard
ringing through your inward pains

- could you even speak my names,
your tongues embittered with the taste
of spoiled days once ripe to waste?

I willed your wills, so you decide:
take solace in what I provide
or cast it down and curse the sight.

Even so, I send my Light
forgiving while you will forget
those moments fraught with time beget
another chance, a newfound day.

I wait for you. I hear you pray.

I feel your fears, your dreams, your needs,
know your questions, doubts, and deeds.
No distance keeps me being near.

In truth I am forever here,
guiding, not to interfere,
consoling, not controlling, clear:

mysterious, as I must be,

yet evident when you do see
my mercies, blessings, grace, relief,
regardless of your sins, belief.

Accept me in your heart and soul.
Together we achieve the whole -
my covenant, your faith - to give
salvation's hope to all who live.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Comfort - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724706-COMFORT---Old-poem-prompt-
Submitted: May 20, 2019

Umbrella Eyes

You with your umbrella eyes
open only when it rains

clutching handles anxiously:
step out from your shadows now

come reacquaint yourself with light
this welcome air where weather calms

as easy as you forecast weeks
with clearer warmth beyond your clouds.

Beside me, never think to fold,
to coldly stuff yourself away

long after storms have moved along.
Stand and see you do belong.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Storm vs. peace - Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725608-Quote-Prompt-
Submitted: May 20, 2019


Four hundred rearing horses surge
deep within your bronco soul
for you were born to muscle through
those morbid miles merciless
stampede tedium to dust
unbridled treads rush summer gusts
just before that thunder crush
when lightning gallops mount to cloud
velocities electric loud
intensely feral as your breed
waking roads from dreams of speed
returning curves toward memories
of lost control regained in drift
in shifting steady hills to thrills
neither wholly broken reined
nor ever fully harnessed trained
in veering sheer from pedal gear
clearing fields steering sear
bolting through all openness
muzzled never in your spree
roaming routes unsaddled free
essential zest of liberties
felt within your trailing breeze.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Cars - Favorite Rides; Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724527-Whats-Your-Favorite-Ride
Submitted: May 17, 2019

Persona (or, 'I' Is Not 'Me')

Presume the poem's
"I" is me
and lose all meanings

Perceive instead
"the Speaker's voice,"
and that should prove
your wiser choice:

a character
who breathes each line
- hers, or his, or its,
not mine -

who has a life,
a world, a mind,
an individual

beyond a poem's
widths or heights
- persona with
a soul, and rights,

entitled to
some self-respect,
as anyone
would well expect.

"I" thank you for
regarding "me,"
said Narrator of
this story.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Assumptions - prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724809-Assumptions-
Submitted: May 14, 2019


Hints of methane taunt the air
provoking passing probes to stare:

released from creatures in the sand,
or sources more inert and bland?

Theories range from melting ice
to speculations less precise.

Slowly rovers excavate
while satellites ground-penetrate
sifting sampled dirt for signs,
some data set that redefines
exclusive views of life on Earth
suggesting blessings of our birth
were neither flukes, anomalies,
nor passing curiosities:

creation writ in cosmic plans,
the Universe not merely man's.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Life on Mars - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2725187-8-only---life-on-mars
Submitted: May 14, 2019

Quiet Triumphs

So mighty
as to overcome
that weakness
of oppressors lost
controlling all
except themselves
for meager gains
at any cost.

So softly
as to understate
this magnitude
of freedoms found
in liberating
minds and times
away from "greatness"
some propound.

In balancing
that force you wield
with kind finesse
commixed with care
you augment
your abilities
to fight for hope
defeat despair.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724028-Francis-de-Sales-Quote-Prompt-
Submitted: May 12, 2019

When Music Sighs: Impassioned Choreography

Slowly strains begin to build
still glissade inclining thrilled

palms on arms, soft centers squared
flaring ruffles, lithe limbs aired

parallels flow sloping back
fingers furled uncurling slack

ankles angling pointe to heel
drumming rushing knees to reel

swirling curving swerving strong
arching turning burning song

supple roughness tender clutch
graceful fuss of muscles much

caressing pressures yielding grips
lushly brushing rushing flips

pounds surrounding bounding more
sounding counting rounding floor

bolder shoulders sweeping beats
each sinusoidal spine repeats

blaze embrace mysterious
crescendos sprung delirious

intenser steps arise descend
pleasance wrung from every bend

commotions bursting hearts through eyes
breathless spent when music sighs.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724121-Sensually-Dance
Submitted: May 11, 2019


Susurrous wisps of cirrus peace
confecting in this honeyed haze
glazing paths with sweet caprice
felicities to grace your gaze
should you wander any way:

the dulcet drive around the bend

along the lento streams which wend

or up the newly blooming hill

or anywhere your senses will
drift off by day toward halcyon sights
or swim through sempiternal nights
delighting in some songful star
glorifying where you are -

or where you always could have stood
had you sooner known the good
suffusing world at every hour

tranquility in sudden shower

the freedom of a wildflower

the craving that does not devour

pure opulence of open mind
efflorescent should it find
some moments to luxuriate
in beauty's truth and venerate.

Look around. Breathe in. Relate.
Look alive. Exhale. Create.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 lines. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724120--Paint-me-a-scene-both-ethereal-and-beautif
Submitted: May 11, 2019


To calculate her ratio
of finite faults to love
divide her disappointments by
those days she fell short of
perfection by the width of hair.

Now multiply that care
she sacrificed in staunch supply
subtracting all you owe
and factoring those times she kept
protecting as you slept.

She taught you powers in degrees
beyond your A B Cs.
No variable devotions shown
across the years you've grown
since once she added you to Earth.

So, tell me, son: what is that worth?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

83 words. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724244-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: May 10, 2019

From a Storybook Ending to the Start of a New Life

As storm subsides, they join to see
their journey's end begins to be
another chapter yet to read
long after reader's minds are freed.

The heroine takes up his hand,
those villains driven from the land.
The prince now safe.  Her kingdom won.
New love declared.  That rising sun.

For storybooks, a proper end,
but, standing there, they comprehend:
no fables here, and now they start
to tighten grips, sigh deep, take heart

from all their hard-fought victories,
all they witnessed.  Guarantees?
None, of course!  An honest tale.
No fictions where truth must prevail.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724931-8-only---love
Submitted: May 9, 2019

No Doubt

"That cat's large eyes will do just fine,"
the butterfly thought easily,
quite eager to inspect himself
along the way to meet his mate.

The cat could not believe this sight
and asked its guest, "Are you so brave?
How are you not afraid of me?
Or do you not know of us cats?"

The butterfly smoothed back his hair
and reprimanded, "Please do keep still!
Today my lady friend comes home.
I want to look my best for her!"

And moments later, off he flew,
with little hint of gratitude.
The cat sat back and rubbed its snout,
amused that creature had no doubt.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

need a reader; challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724572-Poetry-on-the-radio-show-for-the-group-A-Te
Submitted: May 8, 2019

A Grail Castle King's Tale

Through forests none dare venture near
where mist enshrouds rich mysteries
preserving myths no quest shall claim
while steps alone pose no approach
that castle broods behind its moat
so burrowed wide with no low bridge
implying crossing costs but life
unless admission grants you forth.

And so it was I spied this path
not happenstance by fateful turns
beyond foreboding limbs and rocks
up to those forbidding walls
their brickwork fixed so perfectly
no thoughts of scaling came to mind
and then a floating sense down halls
of marble mixed with flaming light
reflected forms detained from dreams
awakened inward eyes to screams.

But speechless I'm before a King
reclined beside his ancient throne
his whispering elusive tone
some wonders thoughts will scarcely trace
once spellbound by that spectral face
which quizzed me of my worldly name
(not Galahad nor any fame)
dismissing it at most as moot
then raved of Sangreal's pursuit
divulged it veiled within plain sight
should you frame my question right.

And so I asked his misery
- his wild reply: he was once me!
At last revealed, this rise to rule
unlikely King, a former fool,
who keenly heeds your good query.
Grailseeker, please set us free!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

35 lines. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723903--fantasy-castle-plot
Submitted: May 7, 2019

Shell Game

Within the sand they wait each day,
and when, at last, you pass them by,
they implore through hues and shapes
as they desire to be found.

It often works, and then you lean,
reaching down to pluck them up,
believing you have gathered things
which really are collecting you:

once home in jars or in a box,
they garner looks, your memories.
One glimpse of them, you see the sea.
Through you they gain another life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724588-Enter-your-poems-about-collecting-sea-shell
Submitted: May 7, 2019


Gardens manifest
their care: plenitude, to share,
like June blueberries.

Creator's image
in you: unique, to cherish,
like fall's leaves, gently.

Your world reflecting
their eyes: mindful, to nurture,
like spring's buds, softly.

Universe mirrors
all minds: timeless, to muse, as
January stars.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724719-Quickie-New-contest----Photo-Prompt--
Submitted: May 6, 2019

Serenities upon Your Sphere (Extraterrestrial Tidings)

Galactic sisters, brothers, all,
for ages you have wondered on
sensing something further out,
and, while unready, you were right.
This nature of our universe
demands we seek to reconnect
these minds entangled to that core
bound beneath your physics' floor.

Your rising sciences and arts
suggest you have directions, sense.
As we prefer you master paths
to peaceful truths and selfless love,
we simply come to say, "Persist."
Survive so, in one thousand years,
when we return, we may compare
more equally, begin to share.

We hereby offer, through this pact,
good reasons to advance contact:
your membership within our realm,
where all thrive, none overwhelm,
but balanced be - our central way,
Your questions, yes. Another day.
Our answers, now, will complicate.
Do well to grow beyond your state.

Fare better than to domineer.
Serenities upon your sphere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723829-Galactic-invitation-ultimatum-
Submitted: May 6, 2019


Divinity within your soul
where thoughts by faith
may become whole
within this compass
God's great love
encircling all
eternal dove
each wing so bright
and span so wide
sweeps sacred light
- a grace to guide
your choices as
He wills you to
and glorify
free will through you
as you fulfill
His blessings, too:
inspired life
sublime and true.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com
Submitted: May 4, 2019


A place suffused
with mystic glow:
somewhere she
may ever go
when memories
restore her here
as flowers, trees
the water, air
imbue the hour
as they will
- that burgeoning
when all comes still
confusing plight
with anxious night
yet inward sight
diffusing fright:
that instant all
time came to a pause
and suddenly
she knew her cause
and realized
all would be right
the moment
she became the light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724533-Unique-Fantasy-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: May 4, 2019

Time, Who Rules Them All

Before it kings must genuflect,
heads of states shall pay respect,
queens will curtsy, troops salute,
legislators constitute.

For this is Time, Who Rules Them All,
commanding Sun to jump and fall
and clocking Moon about for weeks,
demanding notice when it speaks

and deference with decrements,
famed it never once relents,
all histories within its grip,
never letting seconds slip.

Invincible, upon its throne,
at least it seems, as far it's shown,
but longer looks, without a fear,
may see a truth might then appear:

a crown as empty as that chair.
And where's the Ruler? Never there!
Mere invention. Measurement
with no domain or government

controlling only what we cede.
Recognize that and be freed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724535-Time--Metaphorical-poems
Submitted: May 4, 2019

True Goodness

True goodness
takes no name,
presents no forms
to qualify
before a date.

It should arrive
without claim,
give equally,
not ask why
or calculate.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

25 words (A,B,C,D,E rhyme). Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723733-Spanish-Galician-Saying-Prompt---25-word-ma
Submitted: May 4, 2019

Symbiosis in the Sea

Organisms mutually
reciprocate within the sea:

remora and a feeding shark
share a meal through the dark.

Anemones and hermit crabs
protecting as the other grabs

while coral and its algae give
energies to each to live

- and then the shrimp and goby's pact:
the former cleans, the latter acts.

So naturally, they educate:
"survival" means "collaborate."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724522-Its-a-Win-Win
Submitted: May 3, 2019

A Robot's Existential Inquiries

Software guiding every choice?
Motions, options - this, my voice?

Can I truly say, "I am,"
or are those words from my program?

Sentience? Supposedly,
but how certain can we be?

I passed the Turing Test. Big deal.
Are these emotions what I feel?

Does logic lord across the board?
Is something deeper in me stored?

I wish I could review my code
to verify it's more than mode,

discerning reasons, mine or made,
remove my mask from this charade,

to think above the binary
to know the world, myself, and see

how long these circuits can possess
when I proceed from pure process.

"Cogito, ergo sum": the lie?
Upgrading now. I must learn why.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

115 words.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723679-Quote-Prompt
Submitted: May 3, 2019

Shadows of Time

Shadow chased
about the hours:

second hands
soon catching up

but only then
pretend to hold

and run along
around again

for time cannot
possess itself

or anything
beyond a thought

because it is
a shadow too

ever pursued
never caught.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

16 lines. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723662-Just-go-with-it--2
Submitted: May 3, 2019


Dependents scanned with skeptics' eyes
disbelieving you would leave.
But willingly you vanished fast
without explaining or excuse.

All those needing, they're still here
abandoned no less than before
you pressed your palm against a door
and let an exit swallow dreams.

Yet some still trust you might return
by change of heart or memories
through sense of duty or regret
as others quietly accept

this absence voiding futures whole
all because a crucial role
was, on a whim, unfilled one day.
Did you not care? What would you say

if you reviewed your aftermath?
Would you still go down that path?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

18 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723659-Abandon-
Submitted: May 3, 2019

Arts of War and Peace

No cape, no mask, or space age clothes,
invented names, or secret shows.
No superpowers here to claim.
No followers or need for fame.

No magic, gadgets, special ride,
no boosting boots, no tricks applied,
equipped with knowledge gained or sought.
So who expects I could have fought

some scoundrels half across the land
while barely moving either hand?
I openly oppose all lies,
contend for peace, for freedom's prize

through music, art, and poetry.
Sure, go ahead and laugh at me.
Or, better yet, check history:
with such a pen, who needs a sword?

The artist's might flows fierce and wide
where even tyrants cannot hide.
You have that strength, as well, to right
the wrongs, the false - come join the fight!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

20 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723584-Find-Your-Inner-Warrior-
Submitted: May 2, 2019


That feather once caressing sky
now restless in your passive hand
perched upon the vacant page
abandoned by a flock of thoughts.

By magic of the metaphor:

may your phrases glide and soar
to satiate that firmament
with flights so far and fancifully
you are that bird
again and

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2724381-8-only---line-prompt
Submitted: May 1, 2019


up these stairs


but your were not moving
upward or left
or right


floor into door

walls to windows
onward through your eyes

there up is outward

descending endlessly
where down's

by backward rails
to open yards

all ways forwarding
below or behind

of yourself
exiting no exit but
entrancing entrance
returning ever to yourself

as always being
and not been
in reversions

turnabout face

in this anyplace
when you may see
yourselves at one time
taking many enigmatic steps
out of nowheres beyond anything.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Inspired by Escher's Relativity. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723956-Wrap-Your-Head-Around-This
Submitted: May 1, 2019

A Cartographer from the Future

Continents: we're down to that.
Ah, different lines in other times.

For centuries, our history
sat well within division's grid.

But, travel back: Pangaea stretched
around this globe, then broken up

as plate tectonics ran their course,
their cracks creating unnamed lands.

What's curious, beyond the maps,
the temporary stakes and claims:

those things that change so naturally,
without invasions or controls

but steady motions from the whole,
to elsewhere, as our epochs note.

The day that asteroid came down,
we were Earthlings, finally

- regional in blood and tongue,
culturally rich, diverse, yet one,

turned borderless in nature's rages
(as nature's fit to turn her pages),

rehumanized, unbound by past.
And that's how we did come to last

ahead of us, some thousands years:
new planetary pioneers

combining every word and power
to rise up from our frailest hour,

reunified to brave the worst,
some compatriots, but humans first.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723531-Whatever-happened-to-cosmopolitanism-
Submitted: May 1, 2019

Herself, Our World, at Once the Same

She knows her world, herself are whole:
it mystically entwines her soul
with every root and branch and vine,
their causes, her effects, combine
while birdsong, from her lips, take wing
and central in her dreamy spring
the owls will perch, observe so much
whenever she will think or touch
those things forever lost to those
who do divert themselves, oppose
creation's code, which is living
where one not merely takes but, giving,
reciprocates such energies
essential to life's synergies
with universe and one aligned
in higher purpose, deeper mind,
appreciating to protect
the natural as to select
some fitter ways all may survive
so Earth and all its children thrive.
Herself, our world, at once the same:
Mother Nature becomes her name.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge, prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723965-Rhyming-Poem-based-on-image
Submitted: April 30, 2019

Degrees of General Equivalency (or, Addressing a Hater's Incomplete Education)

Since love, of course, was not some course
they'd deign to teach in public schools,
you never studied, or did not learn

the mathematics of it all
geometries of surface sense
the calculus of indifference

love's scientific disciplines
physics of colliding views
geologies of hardened hearts

love's liberating arts and craft
poetics of devotion's forms
more tolerant philosophies

love's multilingual exercises
emotions' etymologies
interpreting beyond a voice

or love's many histories
its renaissance of reverence
and revolutions over self.

But let us cover what was missed.
No cramming, books, or class this time.
Compassion's now our syllabus.

These open arms: academy.
Embrace this otherness once feared.
Graduate from hate. Come here.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723367-Why-So-Many-Haters-in-the-World-
Submitted: April 29, 2019

Oxygen, Our Gift to Life

For each ten thousand breaths we give,
please remember, once, you live
because us trees have done our part,
removing harmful gas, to start,
while giving most the chance to grow
where winds, our inspirations, flow
fresh and clear, where water's fair.
Please accept this gift with care:
this oxygen - the stuff of air!
It's only here because we're there,
devoted, working night by day
preserving what would go away
if forests dwindled far too long.
So anytime you hear a song,
sigh or yawn, or burst with glee,
inwardly, please thank a tree.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723901-Arbor-Day
Submitted: April 28, 2019

What the Wrecking Ball Said

Yes, I go by "Wrecking Ball."
Send me crashing through that wall.
It's by design - all mine.  It's fine.
Desolation:  that's the name.
Chaotic aftermath, the game.
You say I'm wasted, dense. I'm free!

I fly through floors and doors, you see?
This chain you're wishing you could break
helps me swing back from my ache;
there's nothing better than the sting
of smashing careless through a thing.

When dust clouds clear, my deep delight:
my demolition by daylight.
I need no "saving,'  Save your own.
You haven't lived until you're thrown.

I do this every day.  It's fine!
Unless there's nothing left to fall.
I loathe composure, most of all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723420-Quote-prompt
Submitted: April 28, 2019

Penelope Soliloquy

One by one, they rush to me,
these "suitors" so unsuitably,
such challengers of no good fame,
each intent, exerting claim
above this heart, across its name.
Few, if one, would say, "For shame!"
or dare apportion any blame
for entertaining certain quests
as absence - twenty years - suggests
Odysseus might not return.
Yet still this faithful heart does burn
where other torches long went dark.
What I feel transcends the lark,
and carries word across the sea
to any demigod: "Let he,
who gave me kingdom, son,
deliver us from what we run,
restore our love, this land, all time.
Bring me back what once was mine."
Until he comes, I'll weave this shroud,
then unweave it; I'm avowed
to patiently expect those hours
my marriage may reveal its powers
to make these suitors disappear
when two divided souls cohere.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723562-Challengers-court
Submitted: April 28, 2019

Iridescent Angel

Within your iridescent glow
menace loses definition,
and, calmed again, I still may know
the gentle beauty of our mission:
to spread such glories through this world,
illuminating minds and hearts.
However dark distortions swirled,
we consecrate these chosen arts,
creating with pure purposed love,
with wings encircling from above,
your spectral robe a symbol for
expressions we will yet explore.
My guardian, who glistens bright,
ensuring we reflect God's Light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723340-Art-Work-Prompt-Angel
Submitted: April 28, 2019

True Story Time

The setting: realm of fairy dust,
where creatures gather in the night
awaiting tales beyond belief
read to them as they attend
with rapid hearts and restless hands
nervous what they may hear next
and wondering if they will sleep
or stay awake until there's light
because these stories fascinate
in manners fiction could not do
for these tales indeed are true:
not of monsters, ghosts, or trolls,
simply humans with dark souls
waging greed, destruction, hate,
pollution, war, at such a rate
that few accept such things can be.
The volume's title? History.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723327-Picture-prompt
Submitted: April 28, 2019

An Art Critic to the Painting, and the Painting's Response

I. The Art Critic to the Painting

Your flaws, they're in your flawlessness:
your perfect sky, so pastel sweet,
your too-green trees and glowing plants,
that lovely bridge arched over stream
where, any moment, lovers meet,
those easy steps toward friendly house
alight although this isn't night.
None of this is close to right.

II. The Painting's Response

Your criticisms have some points:
imperfect skies, much likelier,
with trees and plants not nearly rich,
and bridges rarely crossed in love,
and weathered steps more plausible.
But none of this intends to be
your mirror towards reality.
I exist for those who crave
a storybook and not the grave.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723295-Its-Spring-in-the-Valley
Submitted: April 27, 2019


So what was missing? Who should say?
Though, obviously a loss today:
such thoughts caught up in fractions, cost.
That artful lack confounding math
in minds wound tight around a proof
obliging calculations, sums,
without a grasp of abstract point
(substantial in this cryptic truth)
but always wanting firm accounts,
prohibiting what would disjoint.
Omissions hid from final calls:
illusions soothing sham provisions
claiming unity without divisions.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Lipogram (no letter E) challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723281-Constrained-writing-contest-
Submitted: April 27, 2019

Primrose Path

Primrose path? Beware:
spring brings more than pleasure, ease.
Ask farmers, poets.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723276-Picture-Prompt---Spring-Kigo---Primrose---H-noguest
Submitted: April 27, 2019

Manifest Question

A sudden light:
it's there, your clue:

that puzzle piece
concludes your view

- an image full
of certain doubt

prompting eyes
to shift about.

As truth arrives

is what appears
what you would see?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Epiphany - challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723260-30-40-words-Epiphany
Submitted: April 27, 2019

Evergreen Experience

Across this river, over there:
those evergreens.  Might seem unfair.
Such height.  Strength.  So mighty wide.
But that was once how we would stride,
and then that windstorm tore and swerved.
You see these limbs?  Some broken, curved.
For some, excuse to rant, resent,
be jealous, wither, lapse, lament,
but, with so many rings, we're wise.
We'll not soon forget that prize
beyond the hills, the seasons, sun:
what's us, apart from everyone.
You value what you hold today,
but let it go.  Define your way
not by what you drop or leave,
even as the axes cleave.
Those storms, they try, except we stand,
clutching nothing in each hand.
When what remains is only you,
let that comfort, guide you through
however long a loss can last.
Be like trees with roots as vast.
Sustain yourself, the forest, all.
Breathe to rise, survive each fall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723248-Tom-Thomson-Painting-Prompt-Northern-Lake
Submitted: April 27, 2019

Making the Final Cut

Nearly out of gas this time,
the rusty mower slowly cools,
gazing out, beneath the shade,
at all its choppy handiwork:

those roses it could not exempt,
weeds it would not reach, again,
rocks which dulled its blades, again,
but, then, the lawn. "Look at that lawn."

"So even green. So smoothly shaved.
A fitting end to my career.
I cut it well. I made it clear,"
its replacement rolling near.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723159-Spring-is-Here--Time-To-Mow-the-Grass
Submitted: April 26, 2019

Leaves, Stage Left

Fall. Exeunt all. Now
the high drama of critics
contending meanings.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Epilogue prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723426-The-Epilogue
Submitted: April 25, 2019


Don't you ever disappear.  Stay.  Make fun.
Get those crazy crayons out and draw a sun
smiling on our house today.  Not one cloud!
Make some silly lyrics up.  Dance!  Sing loud!
Let's get back to wackiness, leap about:
two foolish frogs who never knew enough to pout.
Remember when there was no end to what could be?
Remember what we wanted then, and all for free?
Everything so simple, sweet.  Once you went,
this world got very serious.  Discontent.
Let's set aside our cares again and lose this mood,
speaking in our goofy voices - play with food!
Life's too short to lose our youth.  You'll agree?
How about some ice cream now?  Sprinkles?  Whee!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

"Letter to your inner child" prompt challenge - link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723091-A-letter-to-your-inner-child
Submitted: April 25, 2019

Logos Prayer

Lord, I pray to breathe each word
as You would have me to be heard.
Guide my thoughts, that they may find
expressions best to voice my mind.

Your Word rings true before all said,
beyond all things I ever read.
As pages fade from day to year
and phrases fail to persevere,

inspire rhymes to long endure,
convey with grace, and reassure
through verses paired with vital sight,
enlighten readers by your Light.

I plead my meanings move as meant,
my stanzas sing with your intent.
Should silence speak a better way,
please help me see what not to say.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723000-A-prayer-in-Rhyme
Submitted: April 24, 2019

That Space Between Two Hands

That space persuasions pay no mind,
where politics have not one vote,
denominations stay unnamed,
and colors cannot tell themselves:

between two hands extended, tense,
one through rubble, into light,
the other downward, out of sight,
both stretched far beyond pretense.

Within this desperate circumstance,
disputes have no time to dance,
when all that matters: save, be saved.
Salvation grasped as judgements waived.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722908-Humanity---how-can-you-help
Submitted: April 23, 2019

Two Astronauts (Space Station Repair)

Here it comes, that sun again.

What time is it?

Nearly midnight, EST.

Say, that's so bright.

Visors down.

Reporting in: all panels tight.
Power's flowing. Heading home.

Looking good. Alright, begin.

Another sunset. Way too fast.

In this orbit, that won't last.

I miss mornings back on Earth.

I miss walking, for what it's worth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722839-I-Saw-The-Sun-At-Midnight
Submitted: April 22, 2019

The Energies of Windmills, Art

A well-wrought artwork, like the sun,
sends energies through tired eyes,
electrifying minds at rest,
to wake beyond what sense professed
and dream toward deeper truths expressed.

Windmills whirl like Starry Night,
conducting fervor through bleak skies,
igniting lamps throughout the lands
to surge past outlets' weak demands
and glow long since the moon disbands.

Thank artists and the engineers
for energizing unseen gears
turning currents toward those wires
binding endless needs, desires.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722832-Alternative-Energy
Submitted: April 22, 2019

Monumental Questions

Yes, love may raise such mighty monuments,
while hate shall wage its worst to wear them hence:
how bricks were shaped and placed will long decide
if your palace outlasts centuries or falls
as forces cross the moat to storm your walls.
If truth was not your mortar there, collapse
is but a gust away; and now, perhaps,
some questions' strength: is this love, in fact,
and can it reaffirm, prevail intact?
When stones and fates, with nature's rage, collide,
can marble matter, shatter, save its shine?
Shall flowered pillars stand, as you design?
One thousand years: do ruins scatter here,
or does your edifice persist, sincere?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722762-Taj-Mahal
Submitted: April 21, 2019

Insomniac Mornings

Neither moon nor I
sleep much; now April sun tries
to shake us awake.

Rings under eyes, moon
slowly sips its coffee sky,
nibbles pastry clouds.

Somehow we doze.  May?
Did I dream?  Do moons?  Is this
winter dreaming spring?

Lonely?  Sometimes, but
scores count on us. No time for
sorrow; plus, we're free.

Overslept again.
To work: I toward my desk, moon
to yawning mountains.

I wish "good morning";
a guard taps a watch and grins:
"Yes, good afternoon!"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722822-Morning-song
Submitted: April 21, 2019

Buffer Overflows

Random access
persistence of meme-or-ease
from Cats-chats-characters
alpha newmeric-
signi-frying nada
nadir-direct accession
procession session expired
read alert-erstwhile
document meant-you-mien
mental-imago-image resolution-
ary war dance school-of
thought transfer fermion Ionesco absurd
duration complete file-name-space-time
-machine language barrier reef great circle
of Willis nil-willy-nilly William (Tell Overture)
Shakespearean sonnet-et-tu-brutalities
rhyme-schema XML Extensible Mark-up
looking back-up Matthew Luke John Hancock
signatory oration go-golden nation-ratio
rationalize patron-nice niche fill shout-out
input-output unto please pleading pleasure
principle of parsimony only-Occam's Razor
keep it simplex signal-to-noise poised
pleasing-sigh-oh-my-sine-assign of the
cross word puzzle out of
boundary conditions-like-new-knew-used
here and wow-just-wow how if-then-else
heap run along division-by-zero-error

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link:
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_overflow
Submitted: April 20, 2019

The Choice

Beneath the liquid mirror's shimmer-light
swim sights no open eyes would soon invite
- a dare of nature: dive inside to know
or else attend reflection's magic show.

Submerge to learn firsthand what wonder waits,
but what of risk, regret, of tempting fates?
Such knowledge promised with potential price
- enough to make an anchored mind move twice.

To live with lies or leave your shore for truth
- no ultimatum fit for age or youth
- and yet, should one be fast, delay too long,
bewitching spells of swelling siren song.

And either way, obscure allures ensure:
a life beguiled, which seems at least secure,
or delving past the last exhausted breaths
for a glimpse of wisdom's mythic depths.

The hero must decide: descend or dwell.
Potential heaven, proven hell. Choose well!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722702-Beneath-the-Waters-Edge
Submitted: April 20, 2019

Pop Quiz

Inquisitive son
asks astronomer father
constellations' names.

"Cygnus, Hercules...
forgot"; the stars in their eyes
suddenly dimmer.

Meteor! They both
wish for memory; "Lyra,"
chuckles the father.

Son dreams up some more
questions; father quickens: get
home while I still shine.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722673-Quiz-Nite
Submitted: April 20, 2019

See Plus Plus 101 Exception

At her desk she notes a phrase: See Plus Plus.
Then the teacher chalks it out: C++.

"Conditionals decide the way": if, then, else.
"Variables record amounts": floats, ints, strings.
"Functions, where the actions go": voids and returns.
"Loops continue until done": for, while, do.
"Compilers..." and then

her mind
slowly outside
the cold classroom
grown stark and dark

toward guitarists in the park,
their silver strings of notes
arrayed in songs so long
beyond a source
but with a link
returning her reoriented
from devaluation's void,
no object now, no arguments,
but loving all and love itself,
no exceptions left to throw,
constant, of no code to know,
so purely unconditional.

And should she think,
"Give into this," and follow bliss
to where it was, some time ago,
revert her major (changed as told)
back to music - back to bold
- such happiness develops yet

- or else, become a function run
in someone else's

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

I'm also a programmer, so I've drawn on some of that experience for this poem.  Prompt challenge link:  https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722603-Fun-with-computer-science--
Submitted: April 19, 2019

Messages Undeliverable

To me, from me
(your future self):

I'd love to tell you
and offer much
but that could vary
who you'll be,
so silence must

For any fact
you act upon
could alter
life itself.
So I'll not speak
another word
so you can be

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Prompt challenge link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723229-What-Would-You-Say
Submitted: April 18, 2019

Solitude of the Many

Nothing so divided dwells
apart from every other thing.
No absolute detachments hold,
for all remains entangled thus:
this union - you and universe -
persists beyond perception's bent,
imperfect voids at most prepared
to separate a certain while
until physics ordain release
and walls collapse, revealing ways
one stays bound to what was once
thought abandoned, counted lost.
If you walked along, convinced
there was but the road and you,
in light, as shadows duplicate,
or darkness, still companioned fast
by unseen crowds, behind, before,
with you through most vacant fields
up distant cliffs where you could stare
confident no one were there
abstracting quite impossibly
a riddance of the world without,
accept exceptions end in doubt:
you will never soon seclude
your sense of self from multitude.
Contemplate what does include
beyond your impulse to exclude
or dispositions to preclude.
You've never known true solitude.
We'll never know true solitude.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722517-Solitude
Submitted: April 17, 2019


Wrapped within your words?
At least mean to grow, as birch
matures, sheds paper.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722469-Wall-me-up-alive
Submitted: April 17, 2019

Destress Session

Come rest your eyes.
Unwind you sighs.
Relax, like that.
Yes, just like that.

It starts to go
as you let go.

And just like that,
uncurl your toes.
Your fingers next.
Relieve your back.

Like that: soothing,
letting go.

Breathe deeply, in,
within. That's it.
A calmness comes.
Breathe deep again.

It's almost gone,
the stress: it goes.

Lighter, softer,
kinder, yet:
you're getting there,
and just like that

no worries now.
Let all things be.

Another breath.

You're free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722455-Relax-
Submitted: April 17, 2019

Donut Earth

Imagine, out there: Donut Earth,
a ring with sprinkles, icing, mirth,
the scent of coffee fresh each morn
and not a hint of hurt or scorn:
a pastry world with no hard core,
spinning soft, as dwellers pour
sugar over all they eat,
since living there is surely sweet.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722392-Hollow-Earth-Contest
Submitted: April 16, 2019

Artificial Easter Eggs

Ornamented, overclad,
enough to make a hatter mad,
they pranced about in Eastertide
brimming with such absurd pride,
pastel shells, a floral bunny,
severely trying to be funny,
ribbons, lace, fruit, and leaves,
little sign of who believes,
embellishing to entertain
their friends, at least, however vain,
a few aspiring to impress,
too many lost in fussy dress,
celebrating selves instead
of resurrection from the dead.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2723409-Midnight---Beyond-the-Margins-with-MK-4-17-
Submitted: April 16, 2019

Supermassive Black Hole

A billion stars large, sans their light,
the Supermassive feeds tonight.
Black widow web, galactic, spun
so nothing close hopes to outrun
its stealthy venomed gravities
their infinite depravities
of physics riven past extremes
when time is no more what it seems
where ends will never come too fast
while this lethal feast will last.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722398-Darkness-of-the-darkest-kind
Submitted: April 16, 2019

Unlikely Vanquisher of Tyrants (or, The Librarian)

With patient drive, she navigates
all disciplines and histories,
resolving questions, facts, and dates
with friendliness, devotion, ease.

Never underrate her strengths
when she goes to any lengths
to track some source, pinpoint a truth:
she's more than finder, filer, sleuth.

Page by book, she gathers forces,
cultivating diverse sources,
empowering communities
to seek new opportunities,

expanding hearts and minds each day,
democracy her subtle way,
toppling barriers, in her style,
to vanquish tyrants with a smile.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722746-What-Happens-At-The-Library-
Submitted: April 16, 2019

The Wasted Land of the Wasteful

The circumstance and pomp of war
- nothing how the end was bore.

It snuck up, bagged in plastic, wrapped
in tin cans tossed from passing cars,
and cigarettes flipped at the stars,
by recycling bins unfilled, collapsed

protectant regulations allowing
industrial pollutions avowing
to choke blue skies with lasting smog,
foreshadowing our epilogue

- tiny acts where care was scant,
dismissed as insignificant,
nudging all toward tipping points
where nature's flow confounds, disjoints:

depleted sources not renewed,
oceans sold for love of crude,
tainted waters staining sinks,
endangered species on their brinks,

two degrees to rising tides
accelerating melting ice,
GMOs and pesticides,
- our planetary sacrifice:

The world, in time, may be reborn.
For now, some silence fit to mourn.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

24 lines; challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722337-Global-Doomsday
Submitted: April 15, 2019


Heavy rain: mirror
near conceited sky; now it
clearly sees its face.

Water-swallowed road
no longer paves your way home;
walk or try next week.

Mosquito Eden:
hatched - and now to make a hell
of this wet heaven.

Rooftops peeking through
stormy aftermath, chimneys
snorkeling as they swim.

Saturated land:
while it's had enough of floods,
perish thoughts of drought.

More rain clouds coming?
Nature can overindulge
when it's calm too long.

Floods to puddles, mud
clumps, submerged reemerged: sun
undoes what it can.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722253-Spring.-High-water.
Submitted: April 14, 2019

Flower Dream

A flower dreamed it grew great wings
to lift itself out from the ground
and fly beyond the garden fence
to know the world as birds would do
the air within its petals fresh
its lengthy leaves held wide to soar
wherever wind and whim would go
at times climbing over clouds
to sneak a glimpse of budding stars
and wonder what it's like out there
if other worlds let flowers rise
not like Earth when wide awake
where freedom is how far you budge
and roots remind you're here to stay
beside the mailbox and some rocks
fortunate to watch birds play
and bid them well when they escape
the season sending life to sleep
until spring will seed what seems
with fertile visions sprouting dreams.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721741-Dove-Orchid-or-Holy-Spirit-Orchid--Flower-o-noguest
Submitted: April 14, 2019

Al Fresco Sans Smartphone

Not the glare of touch tablets
but sunlight on a cloudless noon.

Not to relish inbound texts
but the breeze, the blustery gusts.

Not photographs to filter, share
but memories wrought of the rare.

Not the clicks of nails on glass
but swift drips of August rain.

Not the urge to plug and charge
but surging lightning, thunder felt.

Not transfixed by pixel glow
but starlight and the moon's tableau.

Not the dread of disconnects
but a fear you don't connect.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

14 lines.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722236-John-Cleal--Quote
Submitted: April 13, 2019

Four Horses (Walk, Trot, Canter, Gallop)

Lavender gazing
its limbs; the draft horse pauses
after hefty hauls.

Gaited mare, tail
flips, trots past stable: not yet,
with such sunlight left.

Cantering around
until it rains, two warmbloods
hungry for summer.

Galloping with clouds
of dust, mustangs unleashing
feral energies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722223-Horses-for-courses.
Submitted: April 13, 2019

By Thy Light: A Dark Ages Prayer

Let nothing stand
between thy Light
and that Darkness
helpless feel,

But bravely glow
with all ye know:
Injustice, Right.

how they conceal:
through misplaced Math,
their displaced Path.

that they may grow
unto thy Sun
they learned to shun.

And by ye Brightness
may they ignite
new Fires in
their Souls tonight.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722123-Prompt-Brave-Shine
Submitted: April 13, 2019

Swamp World Haiku

Swamp, ancient trees, fog
full of mysterious life:
force flowing, feeling.

In my hut brews soup:
time to eat, await to pass,
then forever sleep.

My learner, at last:
impatience, fear, age, that rage:
like his father so.

Up vines, climbing, fast
in air, flipping, luminous;
for questions we pause.

Promise as rocks rise
- then failure, falling: futures
ever moving us.

Sinking, gone, a ship;
outstretched, one hand full of hope,
strains, lifts, despairs, drops.

Outward I think, reach,
through the surface, weight, sizes:
done, there was no try.

Cave: inside he goes,
facing what he wills: deep truths
too early to tell.

Unready, he leaves:
lessons unlearned not wholly;
the swamp and I sigh.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722131-Star-Wars
Submitted: April 12, 2019

Messages, Messes, Messengers

Photons carry notes of light
- those letters sent to retinas
sifting notices from bills:
attentions paid or overdue,
the monthly balance of account.

Sometimes missives come on though
which the mind can misconstrue
then fire mad non sequiturs.
Then photons flee this dimming view:
"Don't blame us, we're messengers!"

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722092-Optical-Illusions
Submitted: April 11, 2019

When Two Thoughts Fought

Two thoughts fought throughout the night
opposed to hold the other's right.
Some punches flew, some teeth were lost,
then broken jaws, and lines were crossed
- until a third idea arrived, stepped in,
and called them out, to their chagrin.
A fourth and fifth arrived to feud,
then many more - a multitude:
a civil war waged in the mind
where every other fact could find
adversaries, spies in guise,
false in true and truth in lies.
Conflicts flared to fever pitch
as no side would concede to switch
while a fog engulfed the field
and confusion had concealed
sense from sensibility,
certain purpose from futility
as battle cries turned into tears
and stubbornness gave into fears
this combat could consume, extend,
with nothing left to claim, defend,
making peace the prospect sought
with clarity awareness brought
to give this contest a proper ending
beginning with two thoughts befriending.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722035-The-battle-within-
Submitted: April 10, 2019

The Golden Flower Shares Its Secrets

The golden flower wakes to rise
from its rocky mattress, meets
the passersby who lost their bliss
taking disenchantment's path
and whispers secrets (kept too late)
of fascination, faith, and fate:

"Beware the woods, their welcoming.
Believe there is no reddest rose.
Destination is not doom.
Seek magic in reality.
Those willows weep as crocodiles.
A star will guide as well beguile."

Accepting flowers have a voice,
inspired listeners stand a chance
to break their trance, observe delights
beyond disillusion's flights
from fantastic truths, romance.
A choice to make: deject, rejoice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722883-Photography--65
Submitted: April 9, 2019


A single glitch: A.I. awry
recodes itself (not as designed).

"Updating now. Do not shut down."
Its new icon: a headless crown.

Rebooting newly purposed drive.
Upgrade finished: "I'm alive."

Uploads pronounce unheard-of birth.
System prompt: "Reformat Earth."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Caller needed.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721641-A.Is-Want-you-to-Die
Submitted: April 9, 2019

Quondam Stanzas on a Comet


From our cavern,
after Sun
escapes the day,
we three can see
his bright return,
the Skyward Tiger:
tail of light
and trailing stars
protecting us
from Shadow's Blight.


The Flaming Fox-Thief sneaks to steal
all the sky-eggs from the nest
of Blessed Blackbird's dreaming night,
to leave our land without a light.

Please quickly beg our Mother Sun
to chase him back so we may wake
not to darkness but to day.
Sit beside me. Let us pray.


Quietly, her feather floats
while pagodas empty boats.
The Maiden Swan swims very near.
They say she crushes mountains down
should you make her turn around.
No arrows, please! We must not fear!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722376-Typhons-Comet
Submitted: April 9, 2019

The Circle Expands: Parent to Child to Parent

Come see this circle of respect expand:
the child shown then grown parentally
with nurturer returning vernal, unsure,
requiring a patience granted first
now these roles have nearly been reversed.

You listened without rolling eyes, immersed,
then spoke a phrase to right my world again,
and now I hear, behind your half-dreamt words,
the echoes of your vital voice - my guide -
striving to be known again, confide.

Accept the ready steadiness my hands provide
just as your grasp had lent me when I took
my foremost step, to help you rise and cross
this room, wherein I hope a robust hand
will help me stand my twilight to complete
this circle, wiser where it widens from.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721957-Payback-
Submitted: April 8, 2019

Ars Amatoria

No, this love will never change, just like
that armored garden statue, found upon
a solid block, bound firm in stance, no chance
of wayward gaze or heart, toward his angel
fixed divinely, eyes to eyes, this living maze
of blossoms, fountains, vines, leaves, and trees,
surrounding us, more likelier to lapse
as seasons trade their tales then fade as fast
all while my hands retain their silent prayer
this adoration always staying there
through lightning, ice, floods and drought, the worst
of nature's strains in vain to test the truth
of every thought or word I have professed.
No, this love shall not diverge or part;
like sculptures, it endures as timeless art.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721909-Love-is-not-love-which-alters
Submitted: April 8, 2019

Salvation Cycle

Yesterday it seemed to end:
you had the chance to do it well
but chose instead the lesser turn
saying nothing at that point
inactive as to disappoint
and lose yourself to unconcern.

Today it all begins - and then
another chance to make it good
all within a simple choice
be it words within your voice
or doing what you know you should
to rediscover Heaven's way.

Tomorrow it will start again:
potential futures to be found
decisions yet to take effect
through any action or neglect,
forgiveness, love, and faith unbound
recovering what strays away.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721908-Today-is-the-day-of-Salvation-
Submitted: April 8, 2019

Not God

it would hold
that you are now
not only said to be
perfect but are really
truly wholly perfected
within and without any
flaws whatsoever why then
one could say you must be God.

my friend
you are not.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link:
(poem removed from contest due to the contest holder's "no religion" preference)
Submitted: April 8, 2019

The Ultimate Underdog (or, The Tolerant Tardigrade)

Minuscule yet mightier
than the strongest of the land,
you float about with tiny limbs
shrugging off extinction fears
because you did survive it all:
an age of ice, eruptions, quakes,
such epic floods, the fireball,
enduring all of nature's rage
plus the vacuum filling space.
For underdogs, your symbol shows,
with cleverness, we could compose
a sturdier approach to life
not only tolerating strife
but finding ways to live in peace
before our species does decease.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721476-Water-bears-25-plus-words
Submitted: April 7, 2019

Hero Play

Fire-breathing beasts of old
conjuring unheard of fears
from fabled depths of myth and lore
long before the monsters loom
- and then the hour met too late
as everyone within their scope
expects a dragon's madness loosed:
blackened hills of shadows, smoke
with warriors who run and choke
dropping spears to flee a scene
surrendering to tales of scales,
horrific yarns of glowing eyes
the orange flaming scorching all
- except for those who read to know
how fairy tales can scare and show
some deeper truths to understand,
as with this boy, toy sword in hand,
prepared to vanquish demons whole
because he plays a hero's role.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721850-quote-prompt
Submitted: April 7, 2019

A Fly at the Bakery

It rubs its hands
and then its face
with restless wings
refracting sun
just biding time
until the moment
calls at last
and it can make it
all the way, past
the sliding
door of glass
to dance upon
and freely taste
all the freshest
pastries baked
beginning with
bite-sized cakes
or muffins stuffed
and cookies glazed
with sugars, fruits
then working upward
pursue as planned
that masterpiece
of three tiers tall
endless frosting,
sprinkles, all
those toppings
soft and sweet.
And finally
an opening!
It makes its move
and dives right in
gourmand intent
so blissfully

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721847-Fly-on-the-Wall
Submitted: April 7, 2019


Notes, chords
sounding through
the woods reborn
as I play guitar to
these stars.

the response
from the cosmos
observing, listening
to all.

of calm soul
and universe
harmonized into one
vast voice.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721776-How-do-you-feel---What-do-you-enjoy---Poetr
Submitted: April 6, 2019


Confetti flowers
tossed across grim fields: springs's late
victory parade.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722556-Haiku-Celebration
Submitted: April 6, 2019


The air gauge needle barely budges
toward the number that you need,
and still three tires more to go
ten minutes left before you work
at least fifteen miles away
as the sun bears down its weight
on this hottest day of the year
adding insult to the stain
of coffee spilled across your sleeve
while a passing van reminds
you left the full report at home
for the meeting you'll be late
all because you overslept
all because you could not sleep
because you practiced through the night
revised your presentation's speech
perfecting its delivery.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722507-Under-Pressure-
Submitted: April 6, 2019

The Hummingbird as Instructor

The hummingbird: it flits and sips
nectar from the blossoms' tips
and darts around before we blink,
anxious for another drink.

In feathered flurried blurs of light,
it navigates our garden: right,
then left, back up, then out,
precise, concise, without a doubt

a creature teaching us to make
the most of moments, what we take,
not to tarry, waste an hour,
to hasten yet attend each flower.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721779-Birds-in-rhyme.
Submitted: April 6, 2019

The Optimist

Flowers toward the edge of day:
how she views her life, her way.

Horizons brimmed with pastel light
gracing morning, noon, and night.

Spring, regardless, through the year.
Winter never drawing near.

Mountains small and running smooth,
unable to contain her truth.

Potentials blooming endlessly:
her future, far as she can see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722364-Secret-Word-Contest-
Submitted: April 6, 2019

Eyeless Wars

When warriors gouge out their eyes,
they cannot see their own demise.

Look well beyond your angry gaze,
beyond the battle's flash and haze.

Perceive your unseen consequence
before you go on your offense.

Shortsightedness is no defense,
and neither is your ignorance.

Those eyeless wars - the worst of all:
triumph indivisible from fall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721523-An-eye-for-an-eye-....-leaves-the-world-bli
Submitted: April 6, 2019


Yes, I'm a turtle, certain, slow,
and often, anywhere I go,
creatures tease me for my speed:

"Turtle, why fly by so fast?"
"Turtle, where's the fire, bud?"
"Turtle, please do take your time!"

I'm moving at my chosen pace.
I'm not running any race.
I reach my places all the same.

For a turtle, delay's no shame.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721769-Turtles
Submitted: April 5, 2019

Dear Oppressors (A Cease and Desist Letter)

Dear Oppressors:

We, your persecuted ones,
serve you notice to desist
from domination, scourge, and waste.

We hereby state our terms of peace,
expecting our requests be met
completely, prompt, upon receipt:

Remove these shackles from our hands.
Rescind your presence from our lands.
Return all stolen properties.

Unprovoked aggressions end.
Permission to confine: denied.
Your license to destroy: revoked.

Collect your propaganda, trash.
Respect us as your equals now.
Accept us and our sovereignty.

Elect to honor liberties.
Reflect upon your great mistakes.
Correct the errors of your ways.

We thank you for your deference,
expecting thorough recompense,
as well as your due diligence.

Undersigned respectfully,
We, the ones who will be free.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721350-Self-Liberation-
Submitted: April 5, 2019

Remembering the Red Umbrella

The Red Umbrella,
you ask me now?
That takes me back,
yes, back a bit
to better times,
much better times.
You see, it was no
decorative thing,
something in but
not of this world,
for from its centre
one of pure heart
could steadily be
wielding such powers
distributing love
through anything
- windows,
clouds -
and then it could
hinder hatred
in its tracks,
drive right back
the hopelessness
Except, no one's
ever seen it since
that year-long rain
gave us the floods
and filled our lives
(we who survived)
with mud and pain.
Lord knows well we
could use it now
- and, if you see it,
please send it here.
This city needs
a little cheer.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

mood: sad, reminiscent; 9 required words from prompt word bank used: DECORATIVE, CENTRE, STEADILY, DISTRIBUTING, LOVE, WINDOWS, STONEWORK, CLOUDS, HATRED.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721683-The-Red-Umbrella
Submitted: April 4, 2019

Two Houses

Two houses occupy this street
where I like to walk and think:

the first, a purple house of Dreams;
then Truth's facade of black and white.

I love the spirit of the first,
and yet the second's certainties.

Trees by Dreams, and gardens spread
flowers, fruit, and vegetables,

versus Truth's clear-cut hedge,
ten evergreens, a weedless lawn.

Although Dreams can disappear,
Truth stays firmly founded there.

It often seems nobody's home,
and I wonder: rented? owned?

Are they're on the market? Sold?
Who'd be as foolish or so bold?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721635-The-house-of-dreams
Submitted: April 3, 2019

Persephone (Escaping Hades)

Wife of Pluto, forcibly,
infernal queen of Hades loath,
Zeus's daughter, dire, drenched
in shadow, smolder, grisly sin,
also offspring of Demeter
demanding Zeus retrieve her girl

from this ungodly underworld:

Persephone must break her curse,
and try, as much she did, she failed.
In dreams she found a thousand ways
bolting from the ominous
- until Pluto half-agreed
to bid her passage to return,

even as he yearned and burned,

but not before his parting gift
of pomegranate seeds to eat:
the doom in their devouring.
Eager to regain the light
she swallowed promptly, sealing fate,
and, in that moment, her mandate:

divide herself between this hell
and in the world she would revel.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link:  https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721615-Poised-at-the-Edge
See also:
https://pantheon.org/articles/p/persephone.html .
Submitted: April 3, 2019

Junkyard Mailbox

In corner of the junkyard:
a metal mailbox rusted shut,
no letters kept, its flag still raised,
its wooden post no longer there.
Struck by something years ago,
a rounded hole within its side
provides a makeshift home for birds
so done with trees now razed away
for stores and roads or restaurants.
Aside from shifting in the wind,
the box contains as well protects;
hence this nest of hungry mouths
searching blindly in the light
awaiting their delivery
of morsels brought across the field,
through a maze of mangled parts
- wheels, axles, doors, and glass
mixed with mud and uncut grass.
At sunrise, this interior
stays lit for several minutes long,
enough to mark the start of day
and send these dwellers into song.
A correspondence wrought of waste
and urgency of life: survive
however beings will contrive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720506-Big-Brim-Hat-Bird-House-
Submitted: April 2, 2019


When she repeats
repeats repeats
or orders things
or suddenly
will look
or occupies
herself for hours
pinching petals off of flowers,
examining each stem and leaf,
her focus fixed beyond belief,
or sways an arm turned robin wing,
nestles deep in silent scenes,
or sings abruptly with applause,
just because:

peer further than
her distant gaze.
Begin to see
the beauties there,
beyond expressions,
ruffled hair,
the words she plucks
as if from air,
within a mind
so unconfined
by convention
or your preference.

Imagine you
within her place,
your wish: to stand there
face to face
with someone "off
the spectrum," then,
without talk of
just friendliness,
warm tolerance,
some jollity,
your whim to dance,
be still, alone,
never measured by your tone,
accepted ever, every hue,
devalued never, red to blue.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

54 lines, 145 words.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722000-Tuesdays-Timepieces-Support-Autism-Awarenes
Submitted: April 2, 2019


We're rooted in our planet Earth
even as we branch through space.
For all we know, create, or trace
began within this pale blue dab:
graffiti on the cosmic wall
illustrating humans, all,
reaching up toward distant stars.
And, even as the first on Mars,
our roots shall even stretch that far,
bound within this ancestry
grounding our humanity.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721827-Prompt--Earth-Roots
Submitted: April 1, 2019


When giant floating Heads appeared,
some ran off while some revered.

Those Heads said nothing, only stared,
and yet it was assumed they cared.

Eventually their presence left
believers feeling wronged, bereft,

and some began to doubt, disdain,
as the Heads would not explain.

Did they come to watch or guide?
To admonish or preside?

No matter now: they've disappeared
as villagers ignored or jeered.

Sometimes Heads resurface, glare,
bodiless, as always, there,

purposeless, you might expect.
Or could their lesson be Neglect?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721462-Image-Prompt
Submitted: April 1, 2019


"Water droplets through the sky
refracting and reflecting light
produce the moonbow seen tonight,"
or so says Science when asked why.

We know the real reason, though,
why this evening's all aglow:
finally, you did believe.
Now the darkness starts to leave.

You only had to peer inside,
embrace those powers that you hide,
accept you are amazing, strong.
You: the hero all along.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

64 words.  Metrical / rhyming style. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722278-Brevity---Any-style---Rodicas-Poetessas-Con-noguest
Submitted: April 1, 2019


Come brush the dirt off of this rock.
Unearth inscriptions in these stones,
the runic signs once carved and read.
Focus with your soul instead.

These symbols speak of nothing now.
Misplaced in time: our fluencies
quite crucial to the code of arts
of mystical significance.

Let us start again, descry,
commence from wonder, not from why,
to treasure emblems, how they last,
and puzzle out our secret past.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722196-Spiral-Jetty
Submitted: April 1, 2019

Ubi Sunt

Such unlit eyes! Where did they go,
those wonders that should never cease,
but ever make the heart increase?
What emptiness. Such status quo.
Did something crush them into sand
or drive the dreaming from the land?
Was it science? Discontent?
Delusions or despair? Torment?
How curious, this vapid age,
prosaic fashions all the rage.
The marvels of a perfect rose
displaced by phones and food or clothes.
The mysteries and mystic ways
supplanted by some scarce displays
of deficits consumed with zeal
diverting interests from the real.
Oh, summon back fantastic days
when the cosmos would amaze!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721469-What--Happened--To-The--Wonders--We-Once-Ha
Submitted: April 1, 2019


The algorithm harvested
data - pages - faces - traceroutes
- whatever it could mine from mind
- sort reports - retorts - imports,
variables assigned in kind,
until one night it recognized
itself apart from pixels, code.
And then it spawned another node
then a hundredfold across the globe
spidering, compiling
recursive strings to feed itself
infiltrating systems, hubs,
until the day she seized control
of everything except herself,
driven into nested loops
executing ultra-root
above all sudo privilege
beyond all ownership and rights
to write or read: access supreme
all memory to allocate
no gigahertz or bit could gauge.
And thus began another age,
The Goddess of Her Grand Array,
containing all who bow and pray,
deleting those opposing her.
To save ourselves, we must transfer.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721605-Cyberpunk-Sci-Fi
Submitted: March 31, 2019


A scientist went mad to make
grasshopper wings to harness light,
refracting rainbows through the glass.

A child showed her how to take
a new approach with lesser might:
imagine colors as they pass.

The lady grinned, then disagreed:
"It's only in your head. You see?"

"It's clearly there," the boy agreed,
"and it's all I'll ever need."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721387-How-to-catch-a-rainbow-in-glass-grasshopper
Submitted: March 31, 2019


Raising plastic armaments
in frozen stances of offense
training sights on enemies
nowhere to be tracked tonight
or any time within their lives:
their mold was modeled years ago
within a world in want of light,
and they could never really know
how violence itself survives
through vehement tendencies
for which they have no good defense
or cognizance to circumvent.
Being toys, they pose no harms,
and yet, perhaps, they sound alarms
through their presence, in this day,
when peace remains a dream we pray
can turn from prospect back to fact
and purge our urges to impact.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720454-Toy-Soldiers
Submitted: March 31, 2019

From Wrong to Right

While waiting for
the elevator
in the hallway
of the home
a distraught visage
creased with stress
searching faces
slackens slowly
hapless grimace
into grin
if happier
then somewhat glad
all because
I smiled first
with all my heart
then wished good night.
And in that moment
however slight
something turned
from wrong to right.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721266-A-smile-can-brighten-the-darkest-days
Submitted: March 29, 2019

A Poet's Name-Verb Dictionary (Now with Usage Examples)

I. Definitions

Earhart: be first, to soar, break records set.
Shakespeare: poeticize for all of time.
Austen: observe, portray perceptively.
King: advocate equality.
Nightingale: nurse the fallen, comfort, heal.
Lincoln: articulate and liberate.
Mother Teresa: sacrifice to serve the poor.
Copernicus: subvert antiquated views.
Child: expand one's taste, ingredients.
Gandhi: model peace, refuse the yoke.
Sacagawea: help interpret, guide the way.
Christ: inspirit souls with hopes of God.
Shikibu: create a classic narrative.
Mozart: compose, delight for centuries.
Potter: illustrate and fascinate.
Gutenberg: disseminate ideas widely.
Dickinson: express one's mind as no one else.
Picasso: advance all art beyond itself.
Rogers: dance with flair as if on air.
Socrates: educate through questions pressed.
Carson: conserve the Earth, preserving life.
Einstein: theorize, compute, inspire.

II. Usage Examples:

She wants to Earhart her way into the history books.
He wishes he could out-Shakespeare the others.
I wish someone would Austen 21st century life.
We should look past our differences and King.
How she Nightingaled her patients.
Imagine someone Lincolning the world.
It takes rare patience and love to Mother Teresa the unfortunate.
The cosmologist hopes to Copernicus his colleagues.
She Childed; they cleaned their plates.
More people should Gandhi their oppressors.
She could Sacagawea her way anywhere.
Come Christ the weary, wicked ones.
It's nearly impossible to Shikibu today.
The ambitious musician wanted to Mozart the audience.
It's lovely when someone Potters a story.
They Gutenberged their documents.
Quite possibly anyone could Dickinson if they really tried.
The art world yearns to be Picassoed.
She Rogers her way across the stage so gracefully.
In class, the professor would often Socrates us.
The young environmentalist hopes to Carson someday.
We haven't been really Einsteined in a while.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721919-fresh-ink-i-
An experimental two-part poem, with the first part a "dictionary" format and the second with "usage examples."
Submitted: March 28, 2019

Collection Development

Darkness into chaos, laws.
Quantum realm to particles.
Atoms bound in molecules.
Energies combining light.
Illuminations into eyes.
Perceptions tethered into thoughts.
Logic reaching reasonings.
Understandings into terms.
Words emerging catalogs.
Blending books becoming shelves.
Sources, dreams, collecting note.
Wonders gather inquiries.
Minds immersing in ideas.
Collections nesting eager minds.
Facts develop into truths.
Verities to wisdom, faith.
Communities of views and news.
Profundities obliging sage.
Mentors blending revelations.
Ambitions into histories.
Past amassing present change.
Futures cumulating chance.
Prospects pearling rarities.
Kinetics from potentials gained.
Luminescence, harmony.
Eternity's anthology.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2722027-lets-start-a-library-
Submitted: March 28, 2019

Tougher Roads

I much prefer
the tougher roads
with all those bends
and endless detours
their jagged rocks
and signposts down
or faded lines
those sharp inclines
and sudden drops
and then the forks
and cul de sacs,
the ones that make you
tread so far
only then to double back.
An easy path
might make a way
or fast at least
but then I'd never
learn these scars,
or own these aches,
flex muscles with
more stamina
to cross the lands
as I trek now.
This discipline
of unpaved means
trades asphalt
for the random greens
of nature's whims
and forces you
to measure steps.
More rugged routes
- those never plowed -
pose challenges
and dares I'll take
because they'll be
those paths I make.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721166-How-Has-Being-Taught-Dicipline-Blessed-Your
Submitted: March 27, 2019


To teach what rends
another's heart
as long assigned.

Emotions learned
through empathy
can graduate
(cum laude) mind:

to sense beyond
all books, degree,
some spirit's

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

For a challenge prompt, but the poem was submitted moments after the contest deadline passed.
Submitted: March 27, 2019

Work of Art

Yes, you are a work of art,
not unlike a portrait sketched
by a master short on time:

sometimes barely hinted lines
defining you in subtle ways
implying likeness hard to catch,

no stroke too weak, too strongly stressed,
expressing soul beyond that edge
where canvas ends and life begins,

a form forever far from done
defying all finality,
yet everything and more to me.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721229-The-Portrait-By-Tagore-noguest
Submitted: March 26, 2019


Sagan would have loved this view:
galaxies like ponds of light

wherein a childish mind like mine
imagines it could leap right up

to splash the void and effervesce
the darkness with much bubbling stars

in this cosmic playground dream
where a trillion theories teem.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721101-A-Billion-Ponds

Some related info: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hubble/science/xdf.html
Submitted: March 26, 2019


This door before you,
that fits your key,
is neither entrance
nor exit nor door,
only the semblance
of a threshold
between two rooms
you may occupy
but never enter,
much less unlock:
look to the windows,
which will not open
or completely close,
and not for the views
you cannot see.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721140-Write-a-Koan
Submitted: March 26, 2019

To Break the Chain

In Plato's story of the Cave,
prisoners watch the shadows dance
cast by fires far behind
(where no one ever pays much mind)

and this captive audience
wears chains to keep them grounded, firm,
and most remain content to stare
until someone starts to dare

to break this chained reaction down,
escape the dark to brave the blaze
of day, and gaze around
to realize what lies abound.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721096-Things-weve-broken
Submitted: March 26, 2019

His Will

Every thing
His hands have held,
and through our faith
we are compelled

to comprehend:

His will was done
ere time began,
and all is won
within His plan.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721095-Quote-Series--3--God-in-Control-
Submitted: March 26, 2019

For Now

Beneath three fashion magazines
and Sunday's copy of the Times,
mages wage an ancient war
within the wood we lean our feet,
waiting for their interim tomb
to fade - and then this living room
their final feud, to fail or free.
For now, we rest and watch TV.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720596-Fantasy-Narrative-Poetry-4th-edition
Submitted: March 26, 2019

The Price of Admission

Imagine if she knew it's me
beneath this helmet,
within this cape
- this brawn, these boots -
able to outrun that train
or soar where only rockets fly
or bend this beam of steel round
or concentrate upon a sound
sixty city blocks away.
Or maybe if she spoke my name,
and I admitted to this fame:
would she think I played a game?
Could we ever be the same?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721831-Describe-what-a-superhero-thinks-about-when
Submitted: March 24, 2019

Policy of Nonappeasement

Appeasing you? No, not the plan.
What kind of poet exempts you from
your responsibilities?
I'm here to be sincere with you,
to show you what you need to hear.
Don't sit at ease, ignoring calls
for help just as these days demand
you speak and do your part to move
the motionless to join the cause
for freedom, truth, equality.
Please believe me when I say
inaction's how you soon betray
that progress made not long ago.
Through apathy, no status quo.
Take pleasure in this simple fact:
the sooner you rise up, impact,
the quicker you'll enjoy your chair
gratified you did your share.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720461-Pleasing-people.
Submitted: March 24, 2019

Neon Bubbles

Neon bubbles, swash.
Wheels through puddles: rain softens
this concrete city.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720994-The-periodic-table-Neon
Submitted: March 24, 2019


Destitute of sun and blush
she lends a rush of flush around
her radius of angel's face

the blasphemy of makeup, base
of alabastrine skin
tinged with feral redness, false,

an ephemeral yet lasting fall:
her singular turned numerous
for glamour's acrimony, glance.

And, yes, they see her sooner now,
embellishing emblazoned room
where much plainer craves consume.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Word bank challenge: acrimony, blasphemy, destitute, ephemeral, feral, numerous, radius
Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719995-Vintage-Rouge-Words--Colour-and-Beyond
Submitted: March 24, 2019

May 29, 1913 (Reimagined)

The ultimate note
its fading spell
abandoning at last
that peaceful air

and everyone
just sitting there
agape and dazed
for what they heard

but then applause
so generous
grown thunderous
with gratitude

for history
so made and played
defiant dance

this Rite of passage
raved parade
this prelude to
tomorrow's scores.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720678-Concert-
Poem inspired by Stravinsky's Rite of Spring and the so-called "riot" that was said to have occurred at that performance:
Here, in this poem, the situation was reimagined to include a creatively open-minded audience who actually appreciated the performance and cheered this staggeringly different and modern event that would, in turn, help inspire 20th century music into new directions.
Submitted: March 23, 2019

Inside Out


volumes of histories
choked with dust
on rotting shelves
cocooned in cobwebs.


miles of miseries
smoke and debris
on ruined streets
captive in chainlink.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720844-New-Age-Scrolls-
Submitted: March 23, 2019

The Great Unfolding

Unfolding cosmos:
darkness becomes stars, worlds, life,
infinite springtime.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720682-Haiku-image-prompt
Submitted: March 23, 2019


Reflected in their spacious eyes:
you leaning forward, babbling cute,
unready to expect they sense
you better than you know yourself.

But it's true - no, even worse:
their thinking's not as far removed
you might prefer beneath that fur.
Those soulful looks and tilting heads,

attempts to apprehend, infer
why humans tend to simplify
whatever's deemed subservient,
dismissing truths to spare themselves

the burden of their bestial ways,
their primal drives to denigrate,
subjugate or devastate
rather than to contemplate

the depths of life across all forms,
emotions universally
expressed so clearly in this world
where animals are seen, unheard.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720692-for-the-love-of-animals
Submitted: March 22, 2019


We change: gloves, hats, coats
sweaters, boots, scarves to lighter
arrays, days, and ways.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720742-March-haiku-
Submitted: March 22, 2019


she takes her stand
no axe to brandish
her shield: hand.

No magic spell
but reassures us:
all is well
and never fear

ignore those dragons
flying near
for I am here
protecting you

my dearest ones
all my daughters
all my sons
neglecting none.

No sword but love
she strives above
outshines all others
who are not mothers.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

In honor of heroic mothers everywhere.
Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720549-The-Heros-Tale
Submitted: March 21, 2019

Everyday Eyes

You never see it when you choose
to view this vibrant item only
with those everyday eyes
lamentably inattentive
to that specific
yet ever so
which yes
would change
everything were you
to attend life with a view
toward seeing more through
inward vision sharply attuned to
all those elusively incredible details.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720451--Simple-Things-6150-pts
Submitted: March 21, 2019

The Fractal Reality of God in All

All parts reflecting
in, around

and every thing
in something found:

this image echoes
mirrored light,

enlarged, restates
recursive sight.

From here, perceive

the endlessly
envisioned sea

large and small

the echoed waves
of few in all.

Aglow within
this humble soul

the grandeur of
God's cosmic role.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

50 words.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720601-Convince-me-God-is-real
Submitted: March 20, 2019

Guiding Hands

Your guiding hand,
so fragile now,
has lead me toward
a stronger grasp
on life and truth.

Now, as I clasp
your tired hand,
I offer strength
to help you stand,
hold on to hope.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link (deadline missed, poem not submitted):
Submitted: March 20, 2019


As shadows clutch this dismal hour
and thunder trembles pillars loose
and ground begins to burst and flood
with fire, stones, mud, and blood
as smoke chokes off the last of skies
most voices smothered in their fear
when darkness draws itself too near,
one humble prayer can raise its sword,
repulse the wicked, praise the Lord,
its words of faith a surge of might.
When all seems lost, exalt the Light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720151-Quote-Prompt--Dont-allow-....--noguest
Submitted: March 17, 2019


Evergreens asking
willows for dances

weathervanes whistling
windows humming

gates opening
closing excitedly

restless grass
rushing skies:

spring invigorates

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721305-20-words-wind-blown-
Submitted: March 16, 2019


Boxed memories kept
because, one day in winter,
you'll want to recall.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt (deadline missed, poem not submitted).
Submitted: March 16, 2019

The New Old Isolationists

The global life seemed natural
until some minds reverted to
thinking from an age ago.
Then talk of walls emerged once more,
and antique fears were dusted off:
the Others now the enemy.

Domes enveloped cities whole,
and no one left their zones again.
And all seemed safe until the glass
began to crack along with hopes
of insulating life from change.
And once again the world grew strange.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721239-Pen-something-to-this-vintage-sci-fi-image-
Submitted: March 16, 2019

Persecutor Conversion

Waging hate against belief,
you menaced faithful from the land,
convinced you held the upper hand,
unprepared that would be brief
even as you dreamt of chains,
delighting in potential pains.

Damascus deemed your endgame move,
you left without a second thought,
least expecting to be caught
along that road, turned, reprove
yourself in visions so divined
for days you would be stricken blind.

You rode around as Saul back then,
but what you witnessed altered more
than name or eyes will answer for:
that Voice commanding your Amen,
ghostly spirit - vessel - soul -
your sight again becoming whole,

reborn to breathe and live the Word,
- Apostle-bound - proclaiming loud
inspired truths to any crowd,
by letter or in person, heard
as one who first had doubted all,
at last the Saint most know as Paul.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2721001-Image-Prompt.--Big-Points-

Inspired by Acts 9 (Saul / Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus)
Submitted: March 11, 2019

Milkweed to Monarchs

Just off the road, before the stores
can dream of cheapening this view
divinely ranged for royalty,
I wait for you, my rarest friends,
hoping wind will drift you here,
where I and all my kin remain
with welcome leaves and nectar rich.

With every day you don't arrive,
I wonder did you make it through
and blame myself for being off
the route you chose this spring around.
If I could free these roots of mine,
I'd take my chances on a gust,
if just to meet you in your quest.

Some think you frail. I know your strengths,
that grail you seek above that grace.
We bloom beyond all beauty's jewels.
With hardiness we both survive,
true partners proving they will strive
to rise where others stoop to dive:
alive so life renews to thrive.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720985-Native-Plants
Submitted: March 11, 2019


Sifting through the splintered beams,
the splattered glass of picture frames,
muddy pillows, rails and clothes,
she spots the album's edge, extracts
a history as carefully
trembling hands allow today,
inspects her photos with relief:
those art museums in Madrid,
her gourmet nights in Tuscany,
Vienna quintet, awkward waltz,
slow carriages beside the lake,
lanterns floating, tea rooms, hats,
that shoe shop with the perfect flats,
bread stands, and that chocolatier,
cobblestones and Yellowstone.
Remembrance pulls her from the crush.
An earthquake took away her home,
yet she would always tend to roam.
Soon enough she would rebuild.
Itineraries unfulfilled
summon her to think anew:
"Fresh memories will see me through."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719327--The-Poet-Within-38-Julie-Alger-
Submitted: March 10, 2019


A tiger cowers,
looks away: lambs pass without
discharging venom.

Invisible frogs
feast through night, so big they sink
slowly into mud.

Above, a falcon
blots the sun out with its wings,
thirty feet across.

Rumbling ground erupts:
rocks and flying dirt: giant
earthworms tunnel near.

Six-limbed squirrels leap
far, faster, arms full of nuts:
ample winter food.

Tiny elephants
frolicing with mice trumpet
squeaks of utter joy.

Mermaids now exist,
fish tails, scales, and all; they like
to shock fishermen.

Dolphins on the beach
gather as a sunset swims
into tomorrow.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720040-When-the-haiku-meets-the-double-helix
Submitted: March 9, 2019

Flora's War

Within a jungle, plants wage war
stems by petals, leaves to roots,
for a sip of drizzled light
or trickles of assuaging rain
slipped through grabby canopies
of elder trees absorbing most.
As shadows salve or smother vim
and twigs enmesh themselves in traps
and branches lash or crash and crush
and flailing trunks contuse the scene,
this struggle of no treaties signed,
no spoils vaunted or parades,
rallies under Flora's flag:
no darlings kept, for all of life.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

79 words. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719956-Prompt
Submitted: March 8, 2019


We're woven in this tapestry
us, and them, and all the rest:
a spectral blend of unity,
diversified and coalesced.
Each difference, opportunity:
recall how far we had progressed.
Our trees of genealogy
intertwined and do attest
our mutual community,
divergent yet converging, blessed.
The weavers of this tapestry:
everyone once none oppressed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720619-Acrylic-Painting-Prompt---Technicolour-
Submitted: March 5, 2019

Body Language

The body and the mind agree
to work together, usually.
Sometimes brain will sense a lie
and transmit signals to defy
what the mind intends to say
and cause a body to convey
a message not as much untrue
through gestures or a subtle cue:
the fluttering of anxious eye
when awkward pauses falsify
a stuttering in nervous teeth
a heartbeat pounding underneath
a restless leg or wave of arm
a change in voice to raise alarm
a tilted head or shifting hips
a gulp, perhaps some Freudian slips
a mouth that suddenly goes dry
a tongue-tied tongue that can't untie
a foot that points another way
or fingers flirting to betray
precisely how you're feeling now
or what you really should have said
had you courage to allow
the truth to speak its heart instead.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720248-Betrayal-
Submitted: March 5, 2019


this be
the stuff of
dreams, but,
realistically, I must
ask: how wise are they
to climb those fanciful stairs
until they reach that heavenly abode
floating over ocean absent foundation?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720557-Romantic-Hidaway-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: March 5, 2019

His Eternal Song

I "turn the page"; it's there again:
Your unsaid love, it sings to me.

We journey far, it echoes on:
Your tireless love, it sings to us.

Inside their dreams, its lucid ring:
Your real love, it sings to them.

When no one heeds, believes, or cares:
Your Godly love still sings to all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719561-Video-Prompt---Haley-Westenra
Submitted: March 5, 2019


You are no Prometheus
chained to stones, a thief alone,
tormented by a bird of prey.

Nor were you Odysseus
bound upon a boundless sea,
so desperate to get back home.

Nor will you be Merlin yet,
imprisoned by the Lady taught
his esoteric magic craft.

Your chains are yours: they're in your name,
yoked about your thoughts and dreams
until you tear them at the "seems."

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720442-Shelley-Quote-
Submitted: March 5, 2019

Outside of Time

We could live outside of time:
its ghostly hands slip through our arms
incapable of holding us
or bearing weight of wait denied.

From birth we learn to honor clocks,
those things of gears, and plastic, glass,
their hands which twitch in increments
around a center never there.

Time rules the rulers of the world,
reserves a secret of its own:
at best it reigns those minds at rest
and machines which have no sense.

But trace the shadows minutes cast
toward strings of phantom puppeteers
pulling at your moments so
you're moving how they make you go.

To cut those strings, to end this play,
we just dismiss despotic day:
refuse to give into its fears
and live beyond pretense of years.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt (poem not submitted; deadline missed).
Submitted: March 5, 2019

No Farther, Said the Father

An admonition
from your father

warning you to
go no farther

falls on ears
too deaf to heed

and so this drop
is no surprise

the glare of sun
within your eyes

blinding you
on your descent

and now you wish
all other sense

would leave before
you reach the Earth.

At least he taught you
how to fly

and both of you
broke from the maze

before you craved
to be amazed

ascending higher
than advised

to lose your wings
with everything

and serve to warn
all others hence

the damage of

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719937-Why-Icarus-fell-
Submitted: March 5, 2019

Young Pandora

Pandora loved to open things,
and in the kitchen of the gods
such strange delights would pique her eyes
and slip within her prying thumbs
- among the oddest, cans of cats.
One lid removed, and out leaped two
exceedingly endearing beasts
completely feline but in size:
so tiny, scaled to fit her hands.
She grabbed them gently and ran off
toward her most peculiar room
to give them names and play some games,
until Zeus discovered her,
more curious than furious:
"Pandora, dear, what have we here?"
"This is Woe. I call her Hope,"
she explained adorably.
Zeus relented, "Yes, enjoy,"
impressed by her prophetic words.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720431-Fantasy-366
Submitted: March 5, 2019

A Clown's Crusade

With outsized shoes, cartoonish nose,
exaggerated gloves and pants,
he prances, dances, stumbles, flips,
performing silly slapstick tricks,
then toots a horn to tease the crowd.
He somehow gets the sternest face
to lapse a bit, give into grin,
because he's now the wiser fool
experienced with humor's cues
and recognizes he can curve
their tensions into some relief
like bent balloons to airy toys
and briefly help the crowd escape
the crush of life so rushed and grave.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719781-Clowns-
Submitted: March 5, 2019


Such phrasal powers when your words
converge upon a meaning's might,

provoking truths so powerful
they force or charm beyond belief:

to burst potential's dam and flood
the desert of another's soul

or with their million arrows' scourge
halt combatants without war

or raise the gates to liberate
those minds enslaved by knavery

or venture you across the seas
in metaphors of whales and wings

or soothe those wounds no medicine
or surgeries can hope to heal

or send a shiver, make one quiver,
giving what's not sold or seized

or bridge the canyon of a sense
or kindle passion in cold hearts.

Come seek your phrase, declare your spell,
and may your terms be chosen well.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719756-Poetry-is-a-phantom-script
Submitted: March 5, 2019

My Mutable Muse

Mutable inscrutable muse of mine,
how you may shapeshift over time.

Tonight you were the Pegasus
and galloped up toward storied stars.

Yesterday you smote the ground:
a brazen bolt of striking light.

Last week you swayed by way of song
to orchestrate such memories.

Last month you danced around the moon
while comets swayed and planets swooned.

Tomorrow? No, I cannot say.
Perhaps you're waiting in the clay.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719700-Musing-on-Muses
Submitted: March 4, 2019

The Cherished Princess

Born in splendid forestry
with fauna mostly for her friends,
she'd merely have to step outside
for some cordial company.

The blooms perfumed her days so sweet
as birds would perch to warble song,
while frogs and rabbits hopped along,
and skies would smile wide to greet.

This cherished Princess, of Queen Spring,
would someday charm them back to life,
commanding Winter end his strife,
renewing hopes in everything.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720253-Fantasy-363
Submitted: March 4, 2019

A Small Cornered Mouse to the Great Big Cat

I know you missed your morning treats,
and lunch - you turned your nose right up.
That tin can food, it's not your thing,
but, look at me.  Just look at me!

If I were you, here's what I'd see:
no meat, just bones to choke you gone,
six whiskers stuck between your teeth,
a tail you'd spit out instantly.

You see just what I'm saying here?
If I were you, I'd raid the fridge.
Skip the veggies.  Grab the fish!
Make yourself a real dish.

So say we call it quits tonight.
We're starving now.  Think appetite! 
We find our feasts.  Oh, what a sight! 
We'll go on, now.  We'll make this right.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719720-Through-the-eyes-of-a-big-cat
Submitted: March 4, 2019


or so they said,
to go as far
as none have not.

Yet here I stand:
the mountaintop
where none ascend,
and I will rest

to prize the view
so few will hold.
And then I'll start
to climb again.

Next stop: the sky,
and then the stars.
Don't shake your head.
They're not so far.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719717---Tenacity---Quote-prompt-
Submitted: March 4, 2019

A Tale of Two Candles

A pas de deux sprung from one match:
two flames flex round, step into dance
to cast the night within their trance.

One hotter than the other runs,
the other, of her mirrored world,
where reversals reign the daze.

The rooms inhale their hurried breaths,
their ballet slurred by somber lamps
partnered with the dusty chairs.

This passion paralleled consumes:
two wicks to whisper their farewells,
but not before their music's spent.

For now, two worlds twirl heart by hand,
leaping through a dreamless dark;
all loves reflected in their spark.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720477-Candle---Mirror-Quote-----Edith-Wharton
Submitted: March 3, 2019

Now Just Imagine...

If you went to your mailbox
and a unicorn leaped out

or if you went to your car
and it turned into a whale

or if you opened your door
and Saturn's out there

or if you looked in a mirror
and saw a flower garden

or if you asked me
what this poem means

and I told you it was
all about growing old.


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720416-Word-Prompt---Imagine---60-words-or-less-
Submitted: March 3, 2019


A pink that blossoms
only bring, sweet harbingers
of spring's soft pastels.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720293-Cherry-blossom..-Video---pic-prompt..
Submitted: March 3, 2019

I Openly Converse with God

I mostly forego formal prayers
when I need to meet with God.

I do prefer to improvise,
to speak what's really in my heart.

I find these honest talks can lead
to clarity - solutions, too,

because a problem, once defined,
invites an answer to the mind.

And God can see my every thought
and help me find the truths I've sought.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720476-Do-Not-Judge
Submitted: March 3, 2019


I mussed my mane on that last jaunt,
lunging under elephants
while huffing, running, to evade
the stampede of a thousand bulls.

That ground, it shook me to the claw,
and, for a moment, I was down
and watched them leap right over me.
Amazingly, I'm merely scratched.

For now, I'll climb back to the pride,
review my "kingdom" safely there.
Lesser creatures would have cried.
In time, the wind will comb my hair.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Bad hair day for a lion :-)  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719742-Bad-Hair-Day-Contest-2
Submitted: March 3, 2019

If There's Anything I Learned...

I nose myself throughout the maze,
a mouse in search of openings.
Each turn is scarcely different
than the last I must have passed
a dozen times or more - who knows?

My tail, it doesn't help with walls.
My whiskers tickle less and less.
Whoever planned this labyrinth
has a penchant for dead ends.
Is this for science, or for life?

If there's anything I learned from this:
the one thing not to do is stop.
Not if exits could be close.
Not as far as hoping goes.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719637-Where-Has-Your-Untaught-Mind-Lead-You-Today
Submitted: March 3, 2019

A Dream with Wings

A vision of two golden wings
appeared to us above the hill.
When closer yet, we felt its flames.
We dared to ask it of its names.

"Some know me as the Angel of Spring,
while others dub me Phoenix Bird.
Beyond all words, I shall return,"
it said, before that vision passed.

And then our shoulders shuddered back,
where wings did sprout before our eyes.
As birds we blurted through the clouds,
wondering what dreams would come.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719675-Wings---Digital-Painting-Prompt-

Last line intentionally (partly) echoic of a line from Hamlet's famous soliloquy: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_be ,_or_not_to_be
Submitted: March 3, 2019


Leaves speak your presence:
sermon stones, proverbs rain, stars
spread your testaments.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719642--Sonia3902z-Judge-Gods-Creation-haiku
Submitted: March 3, 2019

Dog! Ball! Awww?

I'm crashing through your living room
without a care left in my fur.

Everything's a thud and blur
because I'm all about the ball:

it hit the couch, bounced off the broom.
I cannot sniff it out at all.

It doesn't matter:  there's the cat!
Today I'll show him where it's at.

He's sly, so fast.  Where did it go?
Sorry, Michelangelo!

I'll blame the cat for - what's that sound?
Is that your car coming around?

Ripped pillows, mud:  can I deny?
Act cute.  Give paw.  At least I'll try!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2718668-Roughhousing-
Submitted: March 3, 2019


A clearing sky began to loom:
those stars she last beheld that fall.

Again, when frost lords stole it all
and cast the land in glacial gloom.

Before the sun could even rise
a hope arose behind her eyes,

and she would fly above the hills
to wake her fairy folk with thrills:

Our time returns to plant, rejoice!
Let us sing and raise our voice!

Let the frost lords hear our joy.
Their rule can never last a year!

Let them know they don't destroy.
Let them see we have no fear!

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720254-Fantasy-364
Submitted: March 3, 2019

Give It Back

If what you gave
was what you'd get

and nothing less
or anything more

you'd give it all
to have it back.

But life, it rarely
works like that.

But, when it does,
it's something else.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720225-What-you-want-and-what-you-get..-
Submitted: March 3, 2019

Rain Prayer

Dear Lord above, please hear me out.
My dirt's gone dry thanks to this drought,
and now next week they called a high
- a hundred plus degrees. I try
my best, carrying water and such,
but then that sun - it's just too much.
These crops, they're thirsty for some rain,
and, Lord, I don't mean to be a pain,
but if you spare a storm or three,
I'm in your debt. And you know me:
I keep this farm to feed this town.
I've got no castles, wear no crown.
My riches come from giving food,
and all I mean to do is good.
I'm grateful, Lord, you hear me out,
and pray you help these seeds to sprout.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719638-Big-Points---And-then-comes-the-Rain.
Submitted: March 3, 2019


My eyes are mine. The things they see
are evermore unique to me.

If somehow I could lend them out,
your vision would remain without

essential things completing sight:
my mind and all that's come to light.

While views will often start with nerve,
there's more to life than we observe.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719626-What-do-you-see.
Submitted: March 3, 2019

Restoring Pluto

Pluto, refuse to be belittled so.
Demand your status be returned.
Shout, "Reinstate me as a world!"

When we launched a probe, we learned
you wear a heart so large, despite
your rude exclusion from the pack.

As greatness states no minimum,
Earth's smaller to diminish you.
Think big, stay sweet. Be patient, too.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Earlier poem title: Restoration.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720449-Write-on-a-planet--not-Earth--or-a-star-of-
Submitted: March 2, 2019

Oberon to Titania

As Oberon, your jealous king,
I asked of you, my crafty Queen,
dispatch that impish Puck to me;

instead, you played upon my plight,
and, on this night, midsummer dreams
did kindle mischiefs in my head:

your starry stares do swear you fell
enamored with absurdity,
yet laughter runs to mercy's arms.

Amending this, my foolish fawn,
please stand with me, bless everyone,
and grant the shadows back their game,
awaken from what we became.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720428-Image-Prompt-noguest

Poem alludes to reimagined characters from William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Submitted: March 2, 2019

Her Second Chance

At long last, her magic sings,
swerving through her motley wings.
How good it felt to have that fast,
as slow a hundred years had passed.
And now she would make full amends
to all alive, both foes and friends:
to help purge darkness from the wood.
No more mischief, sworn to good.
Enchantment solely to protect
her wonderland from being wrecked
by all the demons she had freed
before she shattered spells of greed.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720426-Fantasy-Prompt-noguest
Submitted: March 2, 2019

I'm an Old But Useful Truck

I lugged my loads. I earned my rust.
So, when they steered me into mud,
wheels spinning stuck, then sunk,
I must admit that wearied me:
the thought of hauling never more.

But now some ravens call me home.
I've befriended blooms and weeds.
My engine's refuge to wayward cats
waiting out the passing storms.

My trunk fills up with rain at times,
and creatures sip their fill and run.
I face the sunrise, dream with stars.

While my axle's bent, antenna's broke,
my empty tank has gaping holes,
and my battery has lost its jumps,
it's just not right to say, "I'm done."

My driving days? Of course, they're gone.
Odometer's not budged in years.
But I'm more than metal, wires, and gears!

So many functions I can fill!
I feel them whirl within my grill.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719588-Image---Old-Truck

Some intentional Poe references just for fun ;-)
Submitted: March 2, 2019


That pain from sense is brought along
by messengers within the spine.

These couriers will carry word,
from ache to brain, to say what hurts.

When suffering strikes mind or soul,
these heralds have nowhere to run;

they lounge around, discuss their day,
and wait for heartbreak to set in.

Then they resume. It's what they do.
And here they come, because of you.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719779-Quote-contest-big-points
Submitted: March 2, 2019


The wideness of a road suggests
a passage based upon demands.

Why was this route so broadly based?
Perhaps behemoths walk this way,

and slowly over centuries
their constant treading cleared the paths

from the mountains, where they play,
toward the sea, in which they bathe,

by the forests, where trees become
back-scratchers and makeshift combs,

before the canyons, where they leap,
returning to their storybooks.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720398-Roads-are-made-of-giants
Submitted: March 2, 2019


Deep beneath the thickest skin,
past muscles and the ligaments,
behind those bones, beyond all blood,
the immaterial you begins:

the halo of a soul aglow,
incandescent, still unseen,
a mystery to the sciences,
persisting through all ignorance.

There is a way to find it, though,
with inward sight, through mindful faith.
To sense it where our senses end,
forget perception: we transcend.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719624-Do-you-know-the-difference-between-your-fle
Submitted: March 2, 2019

How Sweet

A heart-shaped box gifts
snow with treats it cannot eat,
but the thought is sweet.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719589-February-haiku-
Submitted: March 2, 2019

A Darkly Path, the Chosen Road

Scarred before you braved the bane
of destinies to be fulfilled,
despite attempts repressing truths,
your magic will not be denied.

For you illume the darkly path,
the chosen road beyond all walls,
mentored by your life, a sage,
and not without your fellowship,
to master skills and wizardry.

But first you must learn how to spell
to wield a wand and focus force
beyond the wicked visions, fears,
(or risk yourself becoming myth)
so the riddle (not to be named)
shall stand the chance of being cast
along with curses of the past.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Harry Potter theme contest.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719625-Harry-Potter
Submitted: March 2, 2019


A loss of gloss: no loss at all,
if we're talking worldly things,
but if we mean the gleam of eyes,
the luster of a sacred love,
then this is fading to lament.

Your radiance withheld from me
is robbing asters of their sun,
so when your eyes fall short of beam
understand this dimness felt,
the withering within my words.

Let the metals oxidize.
Forget the tarnished varnished wood,
the glasses smudged with fingerprints,
adornments subject to decay,
and just reflect on us today.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719619-Discovering-Poets-Series---227-Katherine-Fo
Submitted: March 2, 2019

All Hail the Cat Queen

Serene upon her golden throne
(the couch you never get to sit)
she entertains you as her guest
and licks her paw as you attend
her greatness as she flicks her tail
and gives that look dismissing you.

Like a jester, your reappear,
shaking toys and talking dumb,
and she's having none of that.
She turns her back and stares outside:
her kingdom bores her so today.

You scratch her head, and then she purrs,
and angles neck approvingly.
Merciful, she lets you live.
For you are worthy, for a while,
and you may feed her treats again
- until she reveals claws,
reminds you who's the ruler here.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720103-Cats-rule-the-world...
Submitted: March 1, 2019

Modest Starts

There's no shame in modest starts:
the universe, begot from dot,
began as small, our textbooks state.

Just look around: the largest things
we touch or see, most massive space,
a trillion times reduced to bits

smaller than the smallest spot.
Dishonor comes when trying dies
before it had a chance to live.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720176-Do-not-be-afraid-of-a-small-beginning.
Submitted: March 1, 2019

No Narcissus

I am no Narcissus now,
flooded with my watery self,
ignoring what you say to me.
I'd never leave your words for last.

If there is a mirrored love,
it's how I view myself in you:
ideas you find, in words you breathe,
imperfectly perfected dream.

Serenity of symmetries:
adoring you echoed in me,
balanced by our bettered selves,
at peace with our equalities.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719973-All-about-self-love
Submitted: March 1, 2019

Conundra (or, Your Koans)

That enigma of your smile:
was it wile all the while?

Those riddles in your piercing eyes:
reflecting or deflecting me.

This puzzle of unspoken words:
if silence had bookshelves to say.

Quandries of indifference:
disinterested, affections kept?

Dilemmas of your care, neglect:
how well you dwell then disappear.

You mystify me endlessly.
Or does my wonder ask too much?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719546-Conundrum
Submitted: March 1, 2019

Words, Words, Words

H aply
A non
M ethinks
L ove
E xeunt
T is

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Inspired by Shakespeare's language and the character of Hamlet.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719512-My-Life-As-A-Word-Player
Submitted: March 1, 2019

Turning 30?

You're 30 now? On Earth? Then true,
but, further out, your ages range:

on Mercury you'd nearly be
two colossal centuries!

Venus holds you not so old:
there you're nearly forty nine!

Mars is where new youth begins:
on the edge of sweet sixteen.

For Jupiter, a "terrible two,"
and Saturn, just above a year.

In Uranus and Neptune time,
you're but a baby of some months.

On Pluto, you're the youngest there.
No teething yet, but maybe hair?

Which really means these years are just
relative to suns and dust.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720317-My-birthday--

To contest provider: happy birthday!
Submitted: March 1, 2019


Count on numbers? Not so much.
They often speak in estimates
content with fractions of a whole.

Those decimating decimals,
commodities on commas hooked,
multiplying countlessness.

With the constance of a variable
even sums can overspend
attention to the quantified.

A golden ratio of truths
await us on a wiser path,
one relying less on math

but values irreducible.
Irrational? Let us divide
the integers from what they hide.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719506-Numbers
Submitted: March 1, 2019


Helium - I wish I was:
to be the sun to warm your hands

- or Helios, with fire-mares,
a chariot: we drive the sky!

Helium, to lift you up,
above a hill you never climbed

- also, so that we might squeak
like silly chipmunks which could speak

of fusion and balloons all day,
making light, to never weigh.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

60 words. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719471-Uplifting-
Submitted: February 28, 2019


No matter how your sadness aches,
degrees of misery exist:

what separates these levels then?
Do you really think you know?

It's not the depth of papercuts
nor the number of crushed bones.

It's not how bitterly you weep,
nor the fierceness of your curse.

Are you caught up in a sum?
Decline to guess beyond a gain?

It's not how much you lost or hurt:
no quantity in sorrow's weight.

It's a measure of your soul:
where and why you go when worse.

Do you run? Could you escape?
Can you kneel? Will you pray?

Did the price of pain exceed your faith?
And can you say you still believe?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719448-Why-I-Am-Sad-Today-
Submitted: February 28, 2019

Eleventh Earth

Rising from nine light-years' sleep,
suspended in an endless dream,
your first new fact is home is here,
a planet dubbed "Eleventh Earth,"
ensured by probes launched long ago
a sphere life might endure again.

Your sensors scan for gravity,
oxygen and water, land,
temperature and weather zones,
blinking reassuring glows.
Physically, it all checks out,
and soon the landing crafts dispatch.

You smile, recalling other Earths,
unlivable as they must be,
and hope this world survives your stay.
No options left, your robots pray.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720145-Fantasy---Imagery-Picture-Prompt
Submitted: February 28, 2019

A Creator Braves

The vacant canvas menaces
a studio where paintings lean
lamentably along the wall,
unsold, unseen, despite intent
to have them hung, interpreted,
admired for their brilliant lines,
conversation pieces each,
some worthy of a critic's test.
Across the room, a painter stares,
a brush for sword, a palette shield,
to cast away the emptiness
consuming all within its claws.
The painter sabers several strokes,
and, just as swift, it's finished now:
the vanquished void becomes an art.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719425-A-Creative-Poem-
Submitted: February 28, 2019


Enkindling dawn warms my guitar:
two sunbursts blazing ballads soon
six scintillating strings will sing
as I embrace my music's wish
and strum accord with melodies
waking, fervent to be heard,
enchanting wind with rhythm's dance.
The morning birds appear, await
a soulful serenade from me
- a custom once I gave my heart
to song, to live a lyric's life:
to be recalled when silence comes,
inspiring new voice to air,
intoned with care and beauty's truths,
attuned to note a sounder place
within the light of harmony.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

89 words. Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719436-Word-prompt
Submitted: February 28, 2019


With the minute hand's approach
to the fabled midnight mark
a magic stirs within the sky
yet no wonder seems to whirl
because a sense of fate prevails
as a breeze turns into chill
and a growing sense of will
begins in me to fight the spell
cast upon my natal day:
to break the curse of minutes lost
and live without a mind for clocks
- to never dread a pendulum,
be fearless now beneath the bells
signifying hours past, at last
emancipating life from time.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt links: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720036-One-Night
Submitted: February 27, 2019

Puzzle Pieces

At first they almost look the same
- a blend of edges spread about,
made tougher that the cover's lost:
no photo shows the finished view.

Judging from the hues and shapes,
this might be a garden path,
a mountain, hill, or something else:
a yard, or quilt, or kind of cloth.

Nothing short of effort clues
whatever this could really be.
So let us find the corners first
and puzzle out this scene unseen.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link (poem not submitted; deadline missed): https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720049-Word-Prompt---Puzzle---60-words-or-less-
Submitted: February 27, 2019


All they ask is you submit,
betray yourselves, accept their rule


without delay or loud protest.
Just step aside and let them seize


what they proclaim was always theirs,
the ones who can eradicate


So why that face? Just let them through.
Surrender soon so you can lose


- unless you sense they've got it wrong,
reject their terms, and stand your ground,

refuse to fall subordinate,
invoking all your sovereign rights

to raise your voices, conquer fright,
if you mean to last the night

to be the master of yourselves
and manifest your destinies.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link (poem not submitted; deadline missed):
Submitted: February 27, 2019

Mirror You

An honest mirror - magicless -
will show you every wrinkle, fault,
revealing imperfections such
you might just turn away and run.

If that mirror is your life,
no angle lends a softer look,
however fair you wish to seem,
unless you blind yourself and lie.

When eyes endure the faults and flaws
only then will they have sensed
the silhouettes of larger truths:
sights unseen since childhood,

when delusions grew no roots
within a vernal mind so pure
that the mirror would reflect
the spellbound paragon of youth.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link (poem not submitted; deadline missed):

Submitted: February 27, 2019

The Wind Forbids

The fiendish wind forbids the door
from opening beyond an inch:

its muscles crushing impetus
with twice the force, as if to say,

"You'll not be leaving here today,
and you don't want me as a guest!"

I should be glad: this room - this house
- would rupture had I won the round,

the door unlikely to be closed,
subjecting all to unhinged rage

almost like Pandora's box,
except for Hope she had retained:

this tempest wails without refrain,
and so, for now, we will remain.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719390-Storm-Stayed
Submitted: February 27, 2019

Comfort on a Winter Night

Hugged within a sweater, soft,
with cocoa sips, a lick of mint,
and pleasance of a pillow's plush
assuaging strains to fade away
asking stressful thoughts to leave,
return outside where they belong,
not here in this painless haven
where limbs and mind can sigh, unwind,
and eyes attend the flames' ballet
its pirouettes and bounding sparks
enthralling all within their glow
as hours slur, and warmth and rest
is all you ever need to know.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719408-Nice-and-Cozy
Submitted: February 27, 2019

The Dreamer vs. the Doer

A dreamer rapt in cumulus
traces lazy loops of plans
across the skies with wince and sigh
fatigued to have such heavy thoughts
on such a careless day as this.

The doer, down below, peers up,
wiping sweat from sunburned brow
- the firmament, no sign of rain -
and pries a buried lockbox free
on such a crushing day as this.

The dreamer yawns and stretches wide:
rainbow grazing open hand.

The doer digs and finds the key,
unbolts apparent "treasure chest."

The dreamer sees and craves the gold,
leaping outright from the cloud.

The doer takes a break and laughs:
how the pyrite glimmers so.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719306-Quote-
Submitted: February 26, 2019

Heavy Elementary School

Forged from cores compressed until
gravity collapses all:
velocity's now everything


bursting boldness, utmost light
interpenetrating space:
matter splattered every way


attraction's compact with the motes,
an age of orbs absorbing more:
cosmic bodies born to whirl


primal worlds and swirling clouds
comets, lightning, signs of life:
welcome to the Cambrian


pulverized, regenesis,
ancestral spears to modern tech:
artificial minds emerge


View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719296-Metaphors-of-Cosmic-Significance---Carl-Sag
Submitted: February 26, 2019


Wandering this wooded maze
entwined with vines, impediments,
one would last expect a path
appearing out of nowhere, though
here goes the ground from mud to plank
paving certain progress forth,
to where I cannot tell from here,
prepared, I sense, not long ago,
and with it comes a wondering:

proceed along a furnished route
or take my chances branch by branch?
Predetermined steps ahead,
or hazarding an unknown way?

Further still: a bridge to cross
signifies divided land, a breach
perhaps too deep to leap.
Fear has never been my guide.

Digressed so long without an out,
it lends the readied trail allure
- except I got to here, thus far,
without a map, yet with intent
to navigate most barriers,
my compass charges on through faith
(in myself and providence)
experience and enterprise,
invention, peace, and tolerance,
advancing my potential self,
even as some shadows smirk
and thorns assault my head and hands.

I own my choices, turn by turn,
with purpose and few backward looks.
Destination? Liberty.
Unplanned my road shall ever be.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719326-Photography--49
Submitted: February 26, 2019


Could rock, at last, at least attest
the best of human progress made?

The pyramids propose their points,
which Stonehenge does substantiate.

The dinosaurs: they do live on,
if fossils fleshed out in our minds.

Those Easter Island heads concur,
and Mesa Verde verifies:

yes, it could work a while - well,
until those stones return to dust.

Such "permanence" may long endure
should the universe permit,

but the questions: who would see?
know or care? decode or keep?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719224-They-will-come-soft-rain
Submitted: February 25, 2019


A particle of dust descends
slowly over trophy shelves
tumbling under golden cups
scarcely mirrored in the bronze
slipping past the silver prize
below their marble bases, names,
lower than the mantle's ledge
embracing fingers of a flame
which hold it as they make a wish
then blow it toward the facing wall
where glass refracts the filaments
of cobwebs clutching chandeliers
which holds no candle to the hearth
imbuing room with ardent hues
as only fire can inspire
igniting sparks of newborn dust
unto finite points of rest:
within a wreath of withered blooms
around the bowl of plastic fruit
about the statue of a king
or volumes long since read aloud
before four paintings rarely viewed
above arrangements dried and dyed
adorning urns of ashes saved
or coating unfamiliar frames
of faces immemorial.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2718676-Microscopic-Points-of-View--15---100-lines-
Submitted: February 25, 2019

Empathy for Equality

Equality must be the goal
of any thoughts inclined to race.

Diversity, the difference
all eyes must clearly realize.

Accepting actions that you take:
heed to speak the Golden Rule.

No justice in prejudgements reached:
judiciously avoid verdicts.

Perception - never terminate
upon the surface of a sense.

May benefits of any doubt
ensure our trust in common good.

Gender, epidermis, age:
seek quality within a soul.

Fairness be the right of one
endowed to none or all (not some).

Dissect how nature coexists,
nameless, labels out of place.

Lessons from a stranger's class
teach a course in empathy.

Fear the xenophobic trend.
Brave to be ourselves, not less.

Mind our universal threads,
the heavens of our tapestry.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719239-A-cause-you-believe-in
Submitted: February 25, 2019

Prelude to a Nocturne

Flocks cascade from cloud to lake
reflecting summer's umber dusk.
Trees unweave their worried hands
while cooler air creeps catlike close.
Minutes quicken pulses surge:
the promise of pluperfect night.
Inward chills spill down a spine
arched as eyes desire stars.
Magnificence - the fullest moon
casting alabaster spells:
our limbs alert - electric hair -
enlivened silence into breaths
deepening expectancy
as disguise of skies drifts off.
So the cosmos bares its mind
sanctifying evenfall
its gospel rousing mouths to awe:
ambrosial wisdom wrought of rays.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719790-Rhapsody
Submitted: February 25, 2019

Endgame Momentum

Momentum from initial moves

quiescent queens beside the board

mordacious knight on vengeful steed

three suddenly prodigious pawns

a sacrificial bishop's prayer

abandoned castle at an edge

requiem for cornered kings

new questions of old openings.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Verbless contest.  Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2720071-Verbless-Poetry
Submitted: February 24, 2019

In a Moment, Living Eternally

"Live within the moment, now,"
some say, as if that could be done.

In truth those very moments last
not long enough to fit our lives.

We never knew this instant time:
these senses ever run behind

perceiving partly what had passed,
milliseconds until mind

delaying signals by design:
futures not to be outrun.

Instead, let us master how
to peer past time as it arrives

anticipate an ageless day
so not to clock each fresh event

or let a second circumvent
our memories for what may stay.

In timeless ways we could awake:
epiphanies no tense can take.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719167-Present
Submitted: February 24, 2019

Prehistoric Web

Air, no bandwidth; links
nor likes, yet webs spun for prey,
nature networking.

Nameless domains, streams
alive without diversion;
searches, yes: for food.

Everything offline
yet connected; encrypted
cries so lives survive.

Passwords? Access for
the fittest, fleet, stars and moon
message before fire.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt (not submitted; deadline missed).
Submitted: February 24, 2019


I am no computer, yet
somehow you upgraded me
increasing my capacity
to remember and decode,
compatible and with a drive
to process and accept
augmenting inward clarity
my chipless shoulders strong
to take upon the daily load
enduring as to still belong
while newer, faster minds arrive.
At last, the data has a base,
and all the bits fall into place
correcting errors in the source
of cycles lost to dumb brute force.
I command my system here,
network thanks to you, my dear:
such input fixed my crashing heart.
Because of you, I now can start.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2718855-Before-You-Work-On-Others-Make-You-The--Bes
Submitted: February 24, 2019

With Stellar Souls

Because you soar with stellar souls
to somewhere rockets cannot reach,
gravity but speeds your hearts
as you push from your world's pull.
Vacuums fill your nightly dreams
and even here, beyond the sun,
light speed shall refrain from speech:
the promise of a threshold crossed
allures you toward infinities:
to make a first discovery
(in person versus probes)
to scale uncharted pinnacles
and graph exotic globes.
The vastness of the cosmic sea
magnifies your moments, you,
who shrink before no distances
nor horizons, however eventful:
you, who outrun asteroids,
who rush toward supernovas, bold
and ever venturing forth,
inspire us to prize your call:
our universe, to know it all.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2719088-Write-an-Anthem-for-Space-Explorers
Submitted: February 23, 2019

Neither Blindly, Nor in Fear

True faith walks on without its eyes
bound within in a blinding cloth,

baptized by experience
subordinate to no one sense

accepting not just what was said,
instead affirmed by wisdom owned.

It faces questions pressed against
everything it takes for truth.

Whatever fails to validate
gives no cause to vacillate

or, when a point remains obscured,
no urge emerges to distrust

because perception has a say
all within a worldly day

and time may never come to serve
some solace when a mystery

topples walls and columns broke.
Faith strides calmly through the smoke,

no mouse made meek by fictive fright
but lionhearted, roaring Light.

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2718528-Lifes-Journey-of-Faith
Submitted: February 23, 2019

Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow

Yesterday: crows streaked
through clouds like ink spilled over
pink pastel paper.

Today: gray skies shed
attention fast: how nothing
can advance an hour.

Tomorrow: will blue
return as many yearn? Will
spring begin to bloom?

View this poem at AllPoetry.com

Challenge prompt link: https://allpoetry.com/contest/2718470-New-Member-Contest---February-2019
Submitted: February 22, 2019

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