20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers

Certain Words

Taste the square majesty of October,
announcement of important season,
copper, yellow.
Seventeen, a bricklayer’s word,
syllables one upon another.
Soft — can’t you just feel it?
And strawberry brings juices to my mouth,
like lemon, lime, and barbeque.
Piccolo sings in treble clef. All I have to do
is say the word. Piccolo.
Words are personalities. Give them faces,
see them as your neighbors, friends.
Already they have names. Roll them around
on your tongue, swallow the sounds,
be satiated.

Daily Post Challenge

In case you might have an interest in this, I offer the Daily Post Challenge. Just go to dailypost.wordpress.com.

There you will find daily prompts for writers and weekly prompts for photographers. There’s a new writing prompt every day, and I’ve been using it to stir the creativity. I find it a good source.

I’m sure some of you are already aware of it and are even using it, but just in case it could benefit others, here it is. Go for it.

And be sure to share what you’ve written. That’s what community is all about.

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A nasty case of med toxicity
has kept me far from here and from myself.
I’ve had to store some days upon the shelf
to rest and garner usual energy.

I had two seizures, unexpected foes,
and was set back. Three months and seven years
had passed since last one, and my neuro-gears
announced their need for oil. I hit the lows,

and climb back up the mountaintop is steep.
So topsy-turvy and chaotic life
has been with tangles of this angst and strife
that I have taken leave awhile. From deep

dark neurologic places I return.
A seizure teaches lessons I must learn.



I’m coming back, o yes, I’m coming back
from drug-induced exhaustion. More like spring,
I open, little at a time, and cling
to daffodil arrangements. Winter black

took all my energy and made me spin
out on my walking paths. I stand now, straight,
again feel able to walk through each gate,
hear melodies of birds, not tuneless din.


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Spring, Finally

An urchin, infant, tiny new one comes,
but rocking, lurching to reality.
Spring doesn’t sing this year, but only hums
a whispered whistle. Can’t we now agree

that birth has finally, finally taken place?
The daffodils and robins do not lie.
Forsythia, like puffs of yellow lace,
tell us to winter we have said goodbye.

Message to Melissa

So, Melissa, now that we have arrived on the last day of April, are you going to ask people to submit their month-long-edited poems? It’s been an interesting exercise, and I only wish that I had begun a little of my poem at the beginning and added to it, rather than writing the whole thing and then editing for a month. That was tough, although it produced a lot of changes that I like.

Thank you for offering this challenge. I’m glad I took part, even though circumstances dictated that I had to miss a few days.

Cheers! (as someone we all know and love says!)


April Challenge

I have been dutifully editing my poem every day this month (except for the two days I was in the hospital)…and want to now simply go on record to say that I’m finding it more and more difficult as the days go on. This isn’t to say that I think my poem is complete. I know that extended editing can result in a really good poem. At the same time I don’t want to edit just for the sake of editing.

I am glad to be spending this kind of time on my poem. If you happen to be following my work on it, you’ll see that some days I make small changes and other days the edits are more significant.

I’m having trouble foreseeing doing this for two more weeks. But, I love a good challenge, so I’ll give it my best shot.


I’m Back

I really feel terrible about not working on my poem for two days, but I had a seizure just following my cataract surgery on Tuesday, and had to spend the night in the hospital. I’m still very tired, but I’ll get back to work on my poem today. My intention was to stay at it every day of the month.

“The best-laid plans….”


April Challenge Day 25

Today’s edits are in italics (first four words only italicized because it’s a title).

The Sound of Music tour in Austria struck
me. “No one knows this movie here,” our guide
informed us. I imagined movie truck

and spotlights, actors, costumes, details well-
assembled to produce this memorable show.
Yes, Julie Andrews, seven children fell

in love while Captain boomed out orders. Strict,
and disapproving of her curtain-clothes,
he criticized, but she would not be tricked

by Von Trapp’s bark. He lost his angst, his bite.
Soon Captain and Maria fell in love.
Their garden dance electrified the night.

Church chimes announced their coming wedding morn.
Young Liesl walked before Maria then,
her face aglow, a family newly born.

Inside that lakeside church the aisle stretched out
for miles, it seemed. But I must tell you true.
With my own eyes I saw it. There’s no doubt:

That church (has one short center aisle), not long.
I didn’t want to think it once I knew,
projection of the church’s size so wrong.

20th Century Fox chose Salzburg as its place,
portrayed Mondsee Cathedral much too large,
a camera alteration of the space.

Recalling this, I see the billowed flow,
Maria’s wedding gown down endless floor,
the trick of eye done by a studio.


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