20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


A Father’s Advice

“Read poems others wrote,” my father said,
“and let their words come close, wash over you.
You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.”

And so I looked at Frost’s and Wordsworth’s spread,
ingredients upon which I could chew.
“Read poems others wrote,” my father said.

Advice he gave me, like a thoroughbred
approaching finish line, helped me know who
would be poetic friends, become my bread.

Then cancer moved in, stayed beside his bed.
He told me still, though daily he withdrew,
“Read poems others wrote.” My father said,

“Immerse yourself in Shakespeare, Sandburg. Sled
through all the masterpieces, see the view.
You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.

Through cancer I still give the go-ahead.
Please, honey, write your words each day, pursue
the others’ poems.”
 Breathing hard, he said,
“You’ll find that they’ll become your daily bread.”


First Lines

Working on first lines of a narrative. Will you tell me your favorite? And….I’m open to suggestions.

1. Catherine woke, but just a just a little, not recognizing her surroundings.

2. The walls are the wrong color, Catherine thought through the fog that was her mind.

3. Who is he? Catherine thought. Why is he here?

4, A jackhammer pounded through Catherine’s head.

5. “Are you hungry, Mrs. Shaw?” The voice seemed to come from a canyon miles away.

6. “Good morning, Mrs. Shaw. I’m Dr. Wellington, and I’d like to ask you a few questions.”


Seizure Trouble

A seizure stirs up trouble in my brain
beginning with an aura in my mind.
I fight against it but it will not wane.

Again here comes familiar neuro-rain,
a thunder and a lightning. I’m left blind
from seizure stirring trouble in my brain.

My consciousness becomes a tiny grain
of what I knew before, now realigned.
I fight against it but it will not wane.

No matter how I push or pull or strain,
no matter how I try, I cannot find
how seizure stirs up trouble in my brain.

Intelligence and speech swirl down the drain,
the charges in my brain fall well-behind.
I fight against this but it will not wane.

What can I learn from this? What can I gain
from epilepsy, how it underlined
the seizure stirring trouble in my brain?
I cannot win the fight. It will not wane.

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