Denise R. Weuve

Ink Damage and Other Permanent Stains

Archive for the month “April, 2014”

Day 30 ~ When It’s Over

Picture 3Look at you, reading this on the final day of National Poetry Month.  Whether you wrote a poetic sentence or all 30 poems, high five.  And now you must deal with entering into a month that does not care if you write a poem.  Does not care to inspire you.  Does not celebrate the ideas that are stacked on your table and turning in your mind.  But please don’t let that stop you.  So today you should celebrate the end because all ending lead to beginnings. . .and hence your prompt.  Pick your favorite poem you wrote this month.  Write down the last line of that poem on a blank sheet of paper (don’t use the computer-I know you are looking at it right now and that seems some what hypocritical, but trust me).  That line is now the first line of the new poem you write today.  Endings are only final if you let them be.


Didn’t write and you need a last line to start with?  Try one of these

  • —And my heart is sick with memories. BEGINNINGS by Rupert Brooke
  • They are asleep, and waiting for the sun. LOVE’S ORDEAL by George MAcDonald



Day 29 ~ How Many Sins Can You Commit?







I was raised Catholic, schooled Catholic, and collapsed my Catholicism somewhere beyond the years that followed. Now when I call upon God, it is during sex, tragedy, and the occasional thanks for a great parking spot.  I am certainly not the product of over $55,000 of Catholic education my mother had intended.  My mother need not fret too much over her lost money, after all, I did garner a pretty strong mind and a mad fascination with bible stories and sin.  Original, carnal, forgiven, or deadly.  I just like sin.  So today I want to focus on sin.  Please take one of the 7 deadly sins and write about them in a poem that is exactly seven lines long.  (you want to be fancy you can make each line 7 syllables-but that is purely your call).

If you have forgotten the deadly 7, here they are:  Lust, Greed, Gluttony, Envy, Wrath, Pride, and Sloth.

And if you need a little inspiration here you can find a fabulous mapping of the deadly sins in the United States of America.  Nevada you have been BAD!

Day 28 ~ There’s a Stranger in My Poem

Today, as we get so close to the finish line, I challenge you  to write a poem about someone you know nothing about.  Not a single thing.  A complete and total stranger that you randomly come by as the day progresses.  A waitress.  A passenger on the bus with you you.  The water delivery person.  A man three cubicles away from you, who you have never held a conversation with.

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All these people have lives, so write about it?  Did you catch a smile you have never seen before?  Did they rush away from their desk in tears?  Are they asleep?  Come up with the life that has brought them to today.  Describe them, and inject them with personality.

Here is an example from Rattle Magazine 

T.S. Davis, RN


The gravedigger sits on the backhoe smoking a cigarette.
It’s quiet beneath the trees that partially hide him
from the scrum of mourners beset by grief, regret,
their weeping faces wan and pinched and grim.
The gravedigger waits until the last one leaves,
then yells to signal his men to lower the box,
and turns the key that wakes his rumbling beast
that lumbers now to move the dirt and rocks.
The gravedigger fills the hole until the mound
remarks upon the grass like blood on skin.
And when he cuts the engine there is no sound
except the whispered shush of trees in wind.
The gravedigger thinks of all he needs to do
before he sleeps tonight, like me, like you.

from Rattle #28, Winter 2007


Day 27 ~ The Last of Forms! (For this April)

Every time I tell my high school students that we are writing poetry in English class, they beg me to make it a Haiku.  In their heads the haiku is the easiest of the forms because, a haiku s only 17 measly syllables. But a great haiku is so much more.  Haiku take a moment, and make it poignant, possibly even more beautiful then it originally was.

The actual definition of an Haiku: An unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment. Nature is combined with human nature. It usually consists of three lines of 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables.

So as you gathered, today’s prompt is to write a Haiku, but there has to be a catch, and the catch is simple, you must write 3 haikus that are linked together.  How you link them is up to you.  Just link them together.  Like this little ditty from Mark Stivers

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Day 26 ~ Italians Rule

Screen Shot 2014-04-26 at 5.38.15 PMI’m Italian, can’t help it.  I’m not fully italian, a hodgepodge of much more, but Italians rule.  From the Petrarchan sonnet to ciabatta bread, Italians just do everything right (politics not included).  There are many Italian forms to choose from for this prompt, but I am a bit late getting to it today so to be fair I am gong to give one of the shortest, The Italian Sestet.  We are looking at 6 lines with a rhyme scheme of ABC  ABC.  Traditionally this was written in either iambic tetrameter or pentameter, but in no way feel obligated to kill yourself with that restraint.  Just get those 6 rhyming Lines.


The Better Part

~Matthew Arnold

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Day 25 ~ What’s in A Title?

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 9.55.21 PMCan you believe it?  We are on day 25.  How did that happen?  Silly time, rolling on without our permission.  So today the poem is all up to you, well sort of.  Today I am going to give you a list of titles of short stories from two very different books, that I will not name as not to influence your poem in any way.  Your job, take a title and start a writing.  Could it be simpler?

  • The Have No Faces
  • The Last Train
  • The Vampire’s Baby
  • Immunity
  • Bad Company
  • Apologia
  • Almost the Color of Summer Sky
  • Women’s Music
  • Backlash
  • Out on Bail
  • Dirty Wedding
  • Emergency

Did you pick your title?  Well, get a typing. . .

Day 24 ~ Short, and Sweetish

Day 24 brings me to a near fault.  My steam is running out, and I just need something I can get through.  How about you?  So today’s prompt challenges you to go down a grammatical path.  Today you write the one sentence poem!  Doesn’t sound harrowing, at all, does it?  I have been fascinated with this idea since high school lit class and the introduction of “The Red Wheelbarrow“.  What?  That’s a poem?  Pretty much my reaction.  Now, I’m older, and oh so much wiser, and I have to say, “WHAT? NOW THAT’S A POEM!”  The sound is beautiful within the line, and I certainly have not forgot it.  That has to count for something.   More recently I have been madly in love with Mary Szybist poem, “It Is Pretty to Think”, (from Incarnadine) diagramed sentence as a poem.  I took a pic from the book just so you could see it and then buy the book!

So now to it, write yourself a one sentence poem! No cheating with semicolons.  Make it grammatically correct.

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

William Carlos Williams
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Day 23 ~ Free Bird!



Today for a prompt we take our lead from Kim Addonizio, and her amazing book that every poet should own, Ordinary Genius.  today we take those cliches we are so afraid of and make them work for us.  It is simple start with a Cliche, or an Idiom as your title and go from there.  Here is Kim’s

I’m free as a bird

From the sky, the troubled world looks smaller,
My oiled wings, my muscles, my hollow bones—
I hardly feel them, they carry me so lightly.

~Kim Addonizio

Day 22 ~ No Spring Break

This prompt is kind.  This prompt gives you a word bank.  Here is your word bank.

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This prompt is not as nice as it pretended to be.  This prompt would like you to write a poem using at least 7 of the words above.  This prompt does not want you to write a poem about Spring, Easter, Nature, Flowers, Birds or anything associated with Spring Time.  This prompt says stay in your house, and write!


Day 20 ~ An Elegy for Yesterday

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 11.31.09 AMHappy poetry?  can it happen.  Well if you are me, probably not, but I hear they are possible.  So today I want you to have fun with an Elegy Poem.  Yes the Elegy poem, originating with those crazy Greeks, is one that deals with loss but we are going to write about the things you lose all the time. . .keys, socks, your mind, yesterday, time, pens, etc.

This poem must cover the three following areas:  First the lament, where the speaker expresses grief and sorrow, second  praise/admiration of the dead/loss, and the final and thirdly  is  consolation and peace with the death/loss.  

If you want to read the original intent of a Eulogy poem there is always  A.E. Houseman

To an Athlete Dying Young


The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.
Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.
Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.
Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.
Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.
So set, before its echoes fade,
The fleet foot on the sill of shade,
And hold to the low lintel up
The still-defended challenge-cup.
And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

Source: The Norton Anthology of Poetry Third Edition (1983)



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