Friday, April 29, 2022

In the Style of... Taylor Mali


This month my Poetry Sisters are writing Poems in the style of Taylor Mali,

 the spoken word poet. I enjoy his work so much, but I didn't think I could 

do anything like it. I normally write pretty short poems with just a few images. 

But then I saw Liz wrote something in response to a prompt on Mali's blog

where he suggests writing a poem in the style of Nikki Giovanni. He says, 

"write a short poem that begins with the word "once" and ends with the 

speaker ... suddenly realizing..." I gave it a shot. This is a true story 

about me and my little brother John, from when we were in elementary school.


In the style of Nikki Giovanni and Taylor Mali 

Once my little brother and I

could fly and we danced

through blissful air under the Maple

tree, frolicking amongst the

twirling, falling Maple seed keys

until we crashed into each other

and discovered gravity.

My little brother’s knees burst 

open in a flood of blood.

He was taken to the hospital for stitches

and I learned I had weight 

and a burden to carry.

-Andromeda Jazmon 


Please visit my Poetry Sister's blogs and read their fabulous poems:








Mary Lee


And stop by the Friday Poetry Roundup at Jone Rush Macculloch's blog.


Also! Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day, 2022. What's in your pocket? 

Friday, March 25, 2022

Ekphrasitc Dodistsu

This month we are working on learning a new-to-me poetic form from 19th c. Japan. It is called "dodoitsu", and consists of four lines with a syllable count of 7,7,7,5. They say it is reminiscent of haiku with a limerick flavor. Dodoitsu often speak of love, family, or work and can have a comical twist. We decided to combine these short poems with images we shared, to make ekphrasitc collaborations. The images were all taken by us or our family members.

I started with a beautiful image my late brother John took of the Delaware harbor at sunset. The harbor cranes remind me of huge ancient creatures on prowl.

"Harbor" by John M. Sibley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.


 My second poem is written for an image taken by Mary Lee.

And I tried one more, written for Laura's image of a puzzle she enjoyed. What a surprise to find these bonus double pieces in the box!

Take a look at what all the Poetry Sisters shared this week:






Mary Lee



And be sure to visit the Friday Poetry host at Amy Ludwig VanDerwater's the Poem Farm 

for this week's round up. Enjoy! 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Exquisite Corpse Poem

 Our challenge this month is to write an Exquisite Corpse Poem. This form is a game played in a group, like the way we used to pass around slips of paper with lines in a made-up story in junior high; each person in the group adding one line and laughing at the way these outrageous novella developed. Only this is a bunch of poets passing a line around the circle, everyone adding one line without knowing what came before or after. The Poetry Sisters played this game in Slack, passing our lines along and then meeting up in zoom on Sunday afternoon to look at the whole thing and talk about what we had. We each then went off to edit and adapt those lines into our own poems. We gave each other license to keep or change as much as we wanted. We are sharing them here in our blogs for Friday Poetry, and we hope you enjoy the game!

Here are the lines as they came to us in the round robin:

This month, odd one out, running short on days and sleep,

This month, past meets pride, roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow.

The once-bright future dims. Shadows grow

But there, near canyon  rim, in  broken light

the yearling hawk shrieked in futile fury

and the steel-edged clouds looked away

trees bow and bend on a blustery day

that rattles old oak leaves down the street.

I wanted to have a narrative with a character, of course. The hardest part for me was not knowing if the poets before me had included a character and started a story. To get past that I made my line about a hawk, which could be a main character, a minor character, or just atmosphere and background noise.

I spent some time wondering what lives on the edge of a canyon. I did a quick internet search and found out that Bristlecone Pines live there, and they are the oldest living organism on the planet. I found a sharable image of a Bristlecone Pine and my poem went from there:

Bristlecone Pine by Annita Keck CC BY SA



She finds herself running short on days and sleep,

Wondering if roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow.

The once-bright future dims. Remembering what was left

in pieces near that canyon rim,

she sees today in broken light.

A yearling hawk soars and shrieks in futile fury

as steel-edged clouds drift away. And

older than dirt, the oldest of old, the 4000 year old

Bristlecone pines bow and bend in the bluster

that rattles old oak leaves down the street.

                    -Andromeda Jazmon 


Take a look at what the other Poetry Sisters wrote:


Trisha - hosting Friday Poetry this week!





Mary Lee



In March we are challenging ourselves to write Ekphrastic Dodoitsu poems.

Writer's Digest says, "This 4-line poem has seven syllables in the first three lines 

and five syllables in the fourth--and final--line.The Dodoitsu often focuses on love 

or work with a comical twist." We are writing in response to photos that in some

 way indicate either love or work themes. We will post on March 25 for

 Friday Poetry. Please join us if you want to play!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Found poem for my brother

 This month the Poetry Sisters have been listening for poetry in the air. We agreed to create "found" poems from something overheard. It's harder than you might think in these pandemic days! I am afraid the most important thing I heard this past month was at the memorial service for my brother John, who sadly passed away at the end of the year. I couldn't get anything else out of my head, thinking about him and his life and all he gave us. I was able to listen to the recording of his memorial service, and I pulled out the lines quoted and comments offered that had tremendous impact on me. I put the text on top of a photograph of John in the mountains, where he loved to be.

My found poem is for two voices. The left column of quotes from service readings and music alternates with the right column of family and friends' comments in a call and response style. Click to enlarge the image for easier reading.

I wrote another poem for John back in 2015, a sestina based on memories of fishing with my brother in childhood. I shared it here.

I hope you will go to the blogs of my Poetry Sisters and read their poems too:







Mary Lee

In February, we're going to try one or more Exquisite Corpse poems. We're not sure exactly how we're going to do them, and there's a lot of wiggle room. Read about them, and then figure out how YOU'd like to use or be inspired by the game. We'll share our poems on Feb. 25th, and you can, too! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #PoetryPals. We can't wait to see what you (and we?) do with this! Have fun!The Poetry Friday Roundup this week is with Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. She always has so much inspiration to share!