April 28, 2011

Without Dogs

PAD Challenge, Prompt #28: write about a "world without ____"

No insulation of the sofa with hair, no
alerting the neighborhood of delivery
trucks, no whining for pieces of bacon-

but no warmhearted friend on stormy
nights, no doorbell for strangers in the
driveway, no cleaning of kitchen floors-

where would we be without dogs?

April 27, 2011

In the Dawn of Spring

PAD Challenge, Prompt #27: write a poem about "in the _____ of _____"
© Elizabeth A. Johnson 2011

Succulent breezes
infused with
sweet honeysuckle,
hazy blue heavens
reflected in
dewdrops
lingering on
creamy purple irises,
blushing azaleas
waltzing around in
luscious leafy splendor.

April 25, 2011

Rainbow Falls

PAD Challenge, Prompt #25: write about falling

Rainbows drip
earthward, irised rain
impregnates
arid sky,
infuses essence
into lackluster backdrop.

April 24, 2011

God's Courtroom

PAD Challenge, Prompt #24: write a prayer poem
An explanation of what prayer is for me- the freedom to enter the presence of a righteous God, to know that I am forgiven and pardoned from my utter unworthiness, and to commune with Him freely.

I enter the court and the judge
stands before me, righteous and
demanding of the same from me,
who knows only wickedness.

I cower before him, wanting to hide
my weakness, my filth, ashamed
to even look at his face, in his eyes,
knowing my sentence too well.

I shudder to think of the years
that must be spent abandoned
in some dark place of torture,
left only with my own stench.

I hear then- more than a whisper,
like a gavel slamming down- the
pronouncement, my sentence;
someone must pay the price.

I wonder astonished when I hear
that my life has been pardoned!
my transgression wiped clean, that
I no longer live with my sentence.

I stand amazed in the presence
of my upright judge, who has paid
the price of my crime with his blood,
pardoned me through his own pain.

I look and he calls to me, longing
for friendship with me, wanting me
like a father estranged from his child,
yearning for me to come home.

I run to him, boldly approaching his
throne, eager to talk and to know him,
hearing his thoughts, sharing them,
trusting his offering of love for me.

Posted simultaneously at Dog Fur and Dandelions
©Elizabeth A. Johnson. 2011.

April 23, 2011

Only One

PAD Challenge, Prompt #22: write about something there's only one of in the world
Based on the gospel of Jesus Christ, the power of His death and resurrection, as recorded in 1 Corinthians 15. For there is 'Only One' -

...of whose righteousness
we fall short, far from perfect
except through His son

...of whose perfection
we partake, freed from penance
through His sacrifice

...of whose resurrection
we profit, victors with Him
over sting of death

April 20, 2011

Tears

PAD Challenge, Prompt #20: write a 'message in a bottle' poem
I needed to have a different take on this prompt than how everyone else responded to it - and ended up spending most of the day before inspiration hit. I remembered the verse in the Psalms, where the psalmist declares that God had "kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?" (Psalm 56:8).

sorrows overflow
drown my eyes
break before you

remorse, regret
trickle away
baptize your book

griefs boil over
rise like the tide
overflow your bottle

April 19, 2011

Despicable You

PAD Challenge, Prompt #19: write a love or anti-love poem

Despicable, you
queen of hornets
invading my home
as an armed assassin.

Detestable, you
agencies of collection
who blot reputations
as if to censor them.

Disgraceful, you
store shelf unstocked
where labels still stick
as an empty boast.

Despicable, you
things that go wrong
with computers-cars-gasprices-pets-children-washingmachines-plumbing-finances-
       phones-lightswitches-coffeemakers-ovens-houseplants-vacuumcleaners-
       schedules-alarmclocks-electricity-weather-temperatures-muscles-hipsandknees-
       sinuses-sleep-anythingelseyoucanthinkof-
as though it were right.

April 18, 2011

Like Lamb's Wool

PAD Challenge, Prompt #18: take the phrase "Like (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title to your poem, and write your poem

Memories caress her fingers
like lamb’s wool and corduroy,
sateen and polyester, slipping
over her hands, buttons gently
nudging and zippers jangling,
as she packs away the reminders
of the years before adulthood.

April 17, 2011

If

PAD Challenge, Prompt #17: write a 'big picture' poem
Yes, I have been keeping up with the PAD Challenge. No, I haven't had much time to post those poems on here over the past week or so. Yes, I hope to get back to it this week. Stay tuned...

If helpless lilies
are robed in such eye-catching
colors and perfume-laden scents;

if baby sparrows
are cared for and kept, well-
fed and warmed by another;

if sea anemones
are nourished to life and
caressed by warm currents;

why would I worry
about tomorrow, when I am
so much more than these?

April 09, 2011

B.C.**

PAD Challenge, Prompt #9: write about a time of day

Two bubbles of baby blue look out
under eyelids still heavy with sleep,
blankly staring at the long day
looming ahead, the bleakness
of never ending to do lists, the
curse of too few hours in the day.

They wrestle half-heartedly with
eyelids that want to sleep, drawn
by the sunlight peeking around
bedroom curtains but lulled to
sedation by larger darkness. Slowly
they open wholly and make way

down the hall, past the sleeping
dog, past clocks announcing the time,
past animated neon lights, into the
haven, where those baby blues light
upon stainless steel and glass, half
full already with steaming black gold,

that brew of champions, nectar of
liquid perfection, which calmingly
arouses the senses and wakens them
to the optimism of a new day. Somehow
the world seems less bleak after a few
sips of sweet creamy breakfast blend.

**(before coffee)

April 07, 2011

What If

PAD CHallenge, Prompt #7: write a "what if" poem
Form: triolet

If words truly were golden
then we would all be millionaires
with mansions crafted by pen-
if words truly were golden,
we would be the elite of men
and women, without any cares-
If words truly were golden
then we would all be millionaires.

April 05, 2011

Battered Reality

PAD Challenge, Prompt #5:  write something either goofy or serious

Though she had no
dough, yet she kept a
half-baked smile on
her floury white face
as she panned for success,
rolling with the punches,
kneading so much and
yet rising to the challenge,
not sugar coating the
cold hard facts but
milking things for
all they were worth.

Benedict

PAD Challenge, Prompt #5:  write something either goofy or serious

He egged her on,
cracking up at his
scrambled jokes
evidence that
his brain was fried,
beating the punch lines
nearly to death,
no yellow-bellied
chicken afraid
to poach laughter
out of her hard
boiled shell,
keeping her
sunny side up.

All Ears

PAD Challenge, Prompt #5:  write something either goofy or serious

I was all ears,
awaiting the kernel
of truth promised
in that husky voice,

nearly popping with
suspense as he stalked
around it, fielding my
questions of a-maize-ment:

but, shucks, too many
cornpuns spoil the
corn; that’s a grain
of truth in itself.

Cookie Monster

PAD Challenge, Prompt #5:  write something either goofy or serious

News of a theft
reached to my ears,
a theft so great
it brought me tears-

a masterpiece
made with such flair,
formed with such love,
was no more there-

but yet the thief
left evidence
that he had grabbed
the jar’s contents;

the crumbs bespoke
his burglary
of cookies sweet
and sugary.

April 04, 2011

Four Year Olds

PAD Challenge, Prompt #4: pick a type of person and poem about them
Written for my niece, who is four.

So aware of life-
brown eyes wide, pink mouths open-
taking in the world

but not standing still-
young bodies hop-skip-jumping,
so in love with life.

April 02, 2011

From Carolina, With Love

PAD Challenge, Prompt #2: write a postcard poem, make it personal

Windows frame the day:
impressionist blues and greens
with one sphere of gold-

a King Midas day
only missing one facet:
the light of your smile.

April 01, 2011

PAD Challenge, April 2011

Not only is April the month of "NaPoWriMo" (National Poem Writing Month), but Poetic Asides is also hosting their bi-annual Poem-A-Day Challenge. I will be attempting to write to the prompts from Poetic Asides, but may have a few more thrown in from other prompt sites. Stay tuned for plenty of poeming!

PAD Challenge, Prompt #1: what got you here


PAD Challenge
summons an age old
love of words,
plying phrases to
sweep and swell like cresting waves
on paper.