courage to write one word
courage to write another after it.
courage to write a sentence, make it mean something
courage to post it, to share it with the world
courage to take it and mean it and say it to somebody


Day 9: “Today, I challenge you to write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write” I’m catching up … Clocking out of the poetry factory for tonight, I’m assuming my cheque is in the mail
Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Flowers (Les Fleurs)

In English they are called ‘Straw flowers’
But the French call them ‘Immortels’
In English we say ‘Ground Cherries’
But to the French they are ‘Amour en Cage’
In English we call them ‘Daffodil’
The French say ‘Narcisse des Poète’
In English we call it ‘Spiderwort’
The French say ‘Ephémérine de Virginie’
I’m moving to France.


Day 8: “Poets have been writing about flowers since, oh, the dawn of time …”
Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

These Cold-Owned Streets

You look lost boy go call ya momma
your step screams I got lessons to learn
walking alone these cold-owned streets

I guess you thought life was easy-street
cartoon pimps and movie-hot mommas
thought you’d hang back while you watch and learn

Can’t play in dirt and keep clean hands, when will you learn?
come in from country and think you street
Now we hear you crying for momma

If momma didn’t learn ya, these streets will


Day 7: “The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.” This poetic form would have been tough if I wasn’t such a BAWDMAN …


Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Her Favorite Food

Her car was imported BMW
She dressed impeccably French bourgeois
She was guestlist in every club
And vacationed yachts off the Spanish coast
And kept expensive carved ivory on her mantle
But she stole my heart when I asked her favorite food
And the village in her answered
Plain rice with pepper sauce


Day 6: “Today, I challenge you to write a poem about food or an incident that involves food”
Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big Beef at Johnny’s Heirloom Seed Depot

Chioggia Guardsmark walked into Johnny’s Seed Depot
with a Big Beef, feeling Rouge Vif D’etampes …
Rosa Bianca hoisted her Black Krim
and looked sidewise at Castata Romanesco
who was smokin some heady Oaxacan Green …
The room was thick with Musque de Provence
even Black Seeded Simpson set down his Long Island Cheese
and looked up with a face Rouge D’hiver.
“Padron …” he murmured into his mug of Texas Black

“Cut the Triamble” Chioggia barked “I’m looking for Antohi Romanian”
and he put his hand on his Japanese Black Trifele
“He pulled a Scarlet Runner Bean with Marina Di Chioggia
and a Striped German on his Russian Banana”
Black Seeded Simpson was blushing like a Red Pear Piriform
“I ain’t seen him in a Naples Long, not since the North Georgia Candy Roaster … ”
Chioggia grabbed him by the Nepal “Don’t make me put a Northstine Dent
in your Corn Poppy – Gimme the Milpa!”
“Honest” stuttered Simpson “Honest as a New England Pie, I …”

“You can’t handle the Milpa” drawled a voice from the back of the depot.
“German Johnston!” They exclaimed as he stepped out onto the Valenciano
“I seen the dame, lookin Pretty In Purple as an Empress Of India.
Of course, at the time she was tied to the rails of the New York Early …”
“Bull’s Blood!” yelled Chioggio. He leapt forward with Bennin’s Green Tint in his eye
The room went Toscano. Verbena Bonariensis threw Amish Paste on Eden’s Gem
Joe’s Long Cayenne smashed through the Brandywine
and upended Mrs Burns’ Lemon into Ruby Moon with a Vermont Cranberry.
Chioggia was holding German Johnston in a Helen Mount
but the Striped German was grinning like Blue Hubbard.
“You’ve got a Perrenial Lupine on your hands, Chioggia.
It’s either me or your Love-Lies-Bleeding – make your Russel’s Choice Mix!”

“Send him to the Garden Of Eden” said a woman’s voice.
Standing in the doorway was Marina Di Chioggia
“and take this Yellow Pear to the Moskvich”
She threw forward the unconscious body of Antohi Romanian
German Johnston choked on Mike’s Wild Cherries “But … but the New York Early …”
“It was late.” replied Marina.

The End


Day 5: “Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities” Well, it didn’t really turn out as a poem, and it’s possibly the silliest thing I’ve ever written, but voila! All these heirloom plants are courtesy Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Stay tuned for part 2, Hoe Down at the Heirloom Garden Party, no just kidding. No more heirloom seed names.

Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Cruelest Month

January makes me weary
February’s cold and dreary
March is parched and makes me start
to feel like winter’s old already

April is for fools they say
still May will make me pray for June
too hot at noon, July just flies through
August odd gusts wind and love lost

September’s summer embers tempers
winter’s coming gloom until
October’s sober chill walks over
leaves under the moon and hills

November oh remember
weather cools the hearts of men and then
December’s end is cruelest
when we start it all again


Day 4: “I challenge you to write a poem in which you explore what you think is the cruelest month, and why” Good enough!

Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Someone hurt you
so you placed a sentry
at the door to your heart.

But the sentry let me in and learned to love
so you put a locked gate
in front of the sentry
at the door to your heart

But I found the key and the gate was flung open
so you dug a trench
around the gate
in front of the sentry
at the door to your heart

But I flooded the trench to swim across to you
so you took it all and buried it
at the bottom of a dark deep hole

The empty trench
around the rusty gate
in front of the lonely sentry
at the door to your heart

So you would never feel hurt again


Day 3: Didn’t follow the prompt for today. This just needed to be said …

Posted in Poetry Barn | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments