20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


April Poetry Challenge — Day 1-5

Totally blown away and excited by all the interest in the April Poetry Challenge (courtesy of Richard Krawiec, please see the original post).  It’s time to check in.  If you are participating and a contributing member to 20 Lines, please post revisions as you see fit.

If you are part of our community of readers and participating in our challenge, please respond in the comments section of this post and let us know you’re checking in.

You may post your poem, a part of your poem, all of it or none, whatever you like.  We are glad you are joining us!

So make noise, share your progress, and let us know how it’s going!

As for me — I have started a poem and this is the first few lines:

After love, and you sleep
the full moon of your back
pale and strong under my hands

I will share some revisions publicly and the final version at the end of the month.   (It just occurred to me that it still might not be complete by then!  But I will promise to post the poem as it stands at that point nonetheless.)

Cheers, and happy writing,



Poetry Challenge for April

April is National Poetry Month

We’ve all heard of the a-poem-a-day challenges for April, or 30 Days, 30 Poems, but here is a unique challenge for the month of April to hone your skills as a writer and poet, introduced by Richard Krawiec, who himself is an enormously talented writer, poet, teacher and editor.  (Please read more about Richard here.)  I asked him if it would be alright to extend his challenge into our community.

Here’s the gist, in his words:

April is poetry month and there are all kinds of ‘write-a-poem-a-day’ contests.  I see the discipline of doing something like that, but I think the emphasis on producing a large number of poems is wrong – it shouldn’t be how many poems we write. One excellent poem is far more valuable than 30 decent poems.

So my challenge is this – for April start a poem on April 1 and revise it every day. 29 revisions of one poem.

Are  you in?  

I am, and to the extent that I can, will work on it publicly here, on 20 Lines.

If you wish to stay true to the 20 Lines format, write a few lines of it each day.  Or write several and then revise.  Or whatever works for you.  I am going to consciously compose and work the poem differently than I normally would, to see what happens.

You can share along the way, or at the end, or even not at all — but let me know if you’re going to be working on this — I’d love it if you’d join me.

Cheers, and happy writing,



Lizzie the Lizard

This is from SwittersB‘s suggestion on my Name That Abstract Challenge. :)  The last one, “Heartbreak”, I forgot to mention in that post, was from nutsfortreasure‘s suggestion.  Sorry about that, Eunice!  The links are both going under this week’s Poetry Challenge.  I’m looking forward to seeing some poems from all y’all! :)

Lizzie the Lizard is chasing her tail

Watching it fly, and through the air sail

If Lizzie should catch it, oh how she will wail!


The Bottom of the Bottle (Maggie’s Blues Sonnet Challenge)

The Bottom of the Bottle

The bottom of the bottle holds the truth

Within the empty bottle lies the truth

Come have a drink and you will see the proof


I know it’s in there somewhere, you will see

It must be down there somewhere, we will see

I wouldn’t lie, you can depend on me


If you feel sad, then come and have a drink

You look so sad, come on, let’s have a drink

You’ll feel much better, you won’t have to think


Come along and help me celebrate

There’s always something good to celebrate

We’ll toast to all that’s good, it will be great!


The answer’s in the bottle, don’t you know?

Let’s have a drink, and watch our troubles go


Sweet Music (Blues Sonnet Challenge)

Thanks Maggie for the challenge!  I hope I did it right.


Sweet Music

Sweet music is a balm that soothes my soul

Sweet music soothes, like balm unto my soul

Without sweet music, I would not be whole


I listen to the tunes and close my eyes

I listen close, and tears fill up my eyes

The way it touches me, I can’t disguise


When I play music, how my fingers flow

The music, from my fingers, it does flow

And all my feelings deep within do show


I can’t imagine life without a tune

I can’t conceive my life without a tune

It would be like the night without the moon


And if all music vanished, what a sin

But you won’t get the music that’s within

1 Comment

One Big Mess (More Shades of Seuss)

I do not like a hurricane

A hurricane is just a pain

A hurricane is one big mess

Of windy, gusty, blowing rain


Now Isaac wants to come our way

It may be here by late Tuesday

I don’t like Isaac, I confess

I wish he would just go away


I hope that I’m not sounding rude

But hope we have enough canned food

I cannot find the flashlights yet

If we can’t find them, that’s not good


Okay, so ‘good’ did not quite rhyme

So shoot me, was it such a crime?

I am not perfect, though I try

At least not perfect all the time


I think that I will shut my mouth

This conversation’s going south

I wish the storm was going there

Instead of coming to my houth…HOUSE…HOUSE!

1 Comment

Another challenge…just for fun

I was playing with another poetry form this morning.  This time it was a ‘rondel’.  I thought it would be fun to offer a challenge if you’d like to try writing a rondel as well.  Here’s a link to the rules for writing this form of poetry: Shadow Poetry – Rondel

Here’s my poem.  It’s not difficult, but this morning I definitely found it rather challenging. :)

As Time Ticks On

As time ticks on and days go by

Rememb’ring loved ones gone away

I often can’t find words to say

With heart so full, I draw a sigh


Sometimes I laugh, and sometimes cry

But life goes on, as folks will say

As time ticks on and days go by

Rememb’ring loved ones gone away


I will admit, I do ask why

Some loved ones didn’t longer stay

But mem’ries, often still will play

I guess they will until I die

As time ticks on and days go by


Shades of Seuss Challenge


Maggie has suggested we do a challenge based on Dr. Seuss style poems, and I think it’s a great idea.  I had almost done it when I posted that poem this morning.  So what do you think?  How about attempting to write a poem in the style and spirit of of Dr. Seuss.  I thought it would be fun to make it just for the sake of the challenge…no voting on favorites, but just an exercise for people to have fun with.  So go for it!  Here’s a link to my poem, “Shades of Seuss”.  Have fun! :)



(Another rondeau, since Maggie suggested it. :)  And besides, it’s good exercise for this brain of mine.)

With gentleness if you could see

The things that are inside of me

Those things that I hold deep within

The dreams I have, and secret sin

Look with your heart, that is the key


Some things are there, I don’t set free

I can’t, you know, for they may be

Too painful, spoken e’en to kin

Unless they were to listen in

With gentleness


A gentle heart, if it can be

Is what it takes, don’t you agree…

To see the truth, without the spin

If you should care to look within

Then do it, this my only plea…

With gentleness


Who I Am (Rondeau Challenge)

Of who I am, I feel no shame

For what I think, or any blame

For what is in this heart of mine

Which makes me happy, my eyes shine

Or my poor life would have no aim


Though others may think I am lame

And never do believe the same

I still will hold the things as fine

Of who I am


In honesty will be my name

And if it should have any fame

In conversations while you dine

I hope it’s that I held the line

And carried to my death the flame

Of who I am

1 Comment

The Weekend (Timzauto’s 20 Lines Weekend Challenge)

The weekend now is lurking, just beyond this one last day

The week that’s just now ending, it has flown

Saturday and Sunday, they will come and go away

Whatever we bring to them, etched in stone.


As children I remember that the weekends were such fun

For grownups that is often still the case

Family time and shopping, or a movie or the beach

Frowns disappear, for smiles to replace


I’m thankful for my granddaughter to spend the weekends with

She makes the smiles more numerous, you know.

We both love church on Sunday, it’s the highlight of our week

To fellowship, and in the Lord to grow


And when it all is over and on Monday we wake up

It’s off to school, the first day of the year

Grace is now a fifth grader, it’s so hard to believe

Her eleventh birthday’s drawing near.


And once again the cycle of a new week will begin

We go to work and school and muddle through

Thankful, cause we know another weekend’s on its way

And life is what we make it…me and you.

1 Comment

The A Train

We’re riding together but sit worlds apart.

The stockbroker, the mother, the hobo living in separate realities, yet riding in the same car.

The A Train zips from beaches to hoods to ground zero.

Our liberal metropolis is a kingdom of progressive “niceties”.

The A Train is a silver chariot carrying us through our politely segregated city.

Photo Credit: NYC Transit Museum


That Violent Storm (How Anxious’ Open Book Challenge)

Thank you for the challenge, Howie! http://anexerciseindiscipline.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/new-writing-challenge/

That Violent Storm
by Anne Sikes


That storm deep within me, it comes and it goes

Like waves of the ocean, it ebbs and it flows

Life can be difficult, but also sweet

It brings tears or laughter from head to my feet


I cannot deny, the pain of the storm

When violent winds blow, and shake my whole form

But I will not miss that feeling of peace

That calms and refreshes when winds and rain cease.


That’s life on this journey that you and I walk

We choose what we dwell on, to thrive or to balk

A storm may be lurking…it may shake my core

But I will not lie down and die on the floor


I will still be standing as bold as can be

Though weathered and tempered, and bent at the knee

And I remain thankful, though winds may blow long

That violent storm was just making me strong.


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