poetry stairs

Poetry month is here! Who is doing the Poem-a-day challenge?

Every year for more than a decade, I’ve been doing the poem-a-day challenge in April. This year is no exception! Will you join me? Share your poems to keep me inspired along the way?

I’ll be posting here by the week, which means I’ll have to save this post in draft and get caught up from the past three days before I publish this post. Do you see that little extra motivation I stacked up for myself? Haha.

I know that a poem a day might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t have to be. I set a timer and give it my best shot. What I write is what I write. I figure if I get at least a few gems by the end of the month, it’s been worth it to me. Most importantly, it’s an opportunity to play with words in a focused, concentrated way.

In the past, I’ve often used prompts, and there are many websites that offer them. I’ll post a few below. This year, I’m trying something different. It came to me when reading Awakening Artemis a few days ago. I came across a quote that rapped so insistently on the door of my heart that I had to use it, so I did. I enjoyed that process so much that I decided to spend this month collecting quotes from what I read to use as the basis for my poems.

Here are some places you can get prompts:

Writer’s Digest

Kelli Russell Agodon


Here are my poems so far:

Day 1

Sunrise Breakfast at the Yoga Retreat

Woke vulnerable,

reliant on someone else’s schedule,

the fact that someone else

would pour hot water through coffee grounds

so that I could hold that assurance

between two quivering palms.

A plant on the path—

a circle of fronds

in the center a pool of water collected,

a pond where tiny lavender flowers

dared to bloom.

Day 2


The clock that is a year ticks toward fifty,

and I release the intense level of care around time

we cultivate when still trying to earn worth

in the adult world.

How many years was I a mother before I felt like one?

How many years a teacher before I believed I had anything in me worth learning?

How many years before I felt like a person worthy of grace in the world?

I see now that belonging is a given

but not a guarantee.

May I keep my hands in dirt,

keep my hands on the keyboard,

keep my hands around our children who are now

trying to earn their worth in the so-called adult world.

May I cultivate grace.

May I cultivate beauty.

May I cultivate a warrior spirit–theirs and mine.

Letting the foundation be there,

in the confident stance,

the resilience and flexibility of breath.

May I be bold enough to love,

in spite of the tendency to see the blemish before the bloom.

Day 3


Similar to scars,

only temporary.

Like this cold sore

acquired from an early boyfriend,

that sometimes comes out,

never at a convenient time.

A sign of contagion,

our eyes see,

then turn away.

Day 4

“When I listen to my hunger, the wildflowers of my passion and focus can break through pavement to guide me into light.” –Vanessa Chakour, Awakening Artemis


I went to the kitchen

with a mission from God

as I understand them,

reflected in a wildflower,

a Whitman poem.

I ate and ate,

never felt full.

I walked one thousand miles

to a pool of enchanted water

I’m still swimming in.

Day 5

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” –Pablo Picasso

Making sense

Woke up to write again

after a pause

and it felt a bit like spring cleaning:

Slowly, carefully washing the windows,

shaking out the carpets,

chasing dust bunnies from corners,

from under the couches and chairs.

I wrote two pages

on the verge of tears

and for the rest of the day

the world made more sense.

Day 6

“By trying to avoid our death our world becomes lifeless.” Vanessa Chakour, Awakening Artemis

What It Means To Be Dying

Okay, I get it. We all do.

Live like you could die tomorrow,


of course,

you could.

Or today!

And still. That’s not a call to recklessness,

but an invitation to go slow, pay attention,

move with care and intention.

There is so much life

in a still pond,

a slow drive,

a full breath.

Day 7

“Walking is how the body measures itself against the earth.” –Rebecca Solnit

I Walked out in a Rage

I walked out in a rage

at you, but also at me,

because I keep finding myself

in this same place so it must mean that some fundamental mechanism

is not attached in me,

in me, in me.

Each foot hits the ground in a rhythm

the breath begins to match,

and though it is raining,

there is a full moon and

the cool water on my face–

earth’s baptism!

I remember then how just yesterday

we slowly ate a pomegranate and agreed

that life is a series of love letters,

including the one I’ll write to you with words in air

when I return to apologize and demand.