{the #MoSt Poetry: 20}

Prompt #20 (for January 3rd, 2020) As we know, the ancient Greeks used six different words for the concept of love: eros, or sexual passion; philia, or deep friendship; ludus, or playful, childlike love; agape, or universal love for everyone; pragma, or longstanding love; and philautia, love of the self. Once you’ve looked over the list and have considered which of these loves most applies to you, choose one that relates the least to you. Write a poem that explores this type of love. Consider doing so as a prose poem without concern (at least right now) for line breaks—create your draft as something that looks like a prose paragraph. (Here’s a more detailed description — with examples — of a prose poem, in case the format is new to you.) You can always revise your prose poem and break it into lines and stanzas. For extra credit—or to get a jumpstart on February 14th!—try writing a poem or poem series that includes all six forms of love—or create and write about a seventh.
Ready, (Go) Steady, Flow…

do unto

“manunkind,” e.e. cummings called us, and i – agreeing – felt less in charity with caritas than before – the rounded vowels of agape overripe and oozing sticky connection, a web of corrupted sweetness – far too profligate, like the nose-stunning reach of a pollen… And who were these faceless strangers who deserved… what? that i stop for the crosswalk, and honor the Law? that i take in courtesy my turn in line, wipe down a weight machine, or stand on tiptoe in a grocery aisle with a woman bowed by age? is it only women and children first, never mind shy men and surly uncles? toward what world does agape compel me, into what weave am i shuttled whose warp cannot be sustained alone?

{the #MoSt Poetry: 19}

Prompt #19 (for January 2, 2020)— The Ballad of Ibrahim Cadwallader — In the tradition of Wendy Toftmyer, Jenny Entwhistle, Sam Tolan, Mr. Zocolillo, and Wendy again (Thank You, Gillian, for their inception), write a poem for/to/about a fictitious person named Ibrahim (or Ibrahima) Cadwallader. Perhaps Ibby has just decided to run for office and has come to you for advice; maybe he/she/they is being teased in your junior high classroom, or Cadwallader was the title of the first Turkish/Welsh album to last 50 weeks on the Billboard Techno/House charts (with Ibrahim as its songwriter and lead singer) and he’s asked you to collaborate on his autobiography. Or you just keep it very simple and write a day-in-the-life narrative poem about this character…or somebody else entirely. Have fun—and remember you are the only one who can write this poem!


fish out of water
Ibrahim swam that summer
the year he turned ten
abruptly tall – hunched with it –
shoved in with six pale strangers

“Abraham!” that name –
three broad syllables, all wrong –
his for three long days
a summer camp sobriquet
his shy correction unheard

but one boy listened –
amplified his objection
turning “Abe” to “Ib”
invited understanding
(incited apology)

Ibrahim – Cadwallader –
caught mid-squint – photo finished
grins, pipe-stem arms linked,
best friends, fair-freckled and dark
brothers, no matter color

{the #MoSt Poetry: 18}

Prompt #18 (for January 1st, 2020)— Otherku – Okay, I know this is too simplistic: “Right, so a haiku, huh? Like we did in fifth grade—three lines, 17 syllables, 5/7/5, somethin’ about nature, right?” For this first day of 2020, try to see the form with new eyes, and create an alternate haiku. Perhaps you’d like to try your hand — and fingertips for counting — at a lune, also known as the American Haiku (brief description here). Maybe your poem will have 7 lines, or 20, with syllable counts of 5/2/5/3/5/7/5/11/5/13… (in case you’re wondering, that’s 5 alternating with the first 6 prime numbers.) Maybe your theme ain’t nature, but pasta or particle physics. The important thing is to create your form; design the architecture, then let your wordplay find its way out.

Enjoy–and Happy New Year! Ready—Steady—Go.

6 am, 2020

smoke alarms, beeping
will destroy
resolve to sleep in.

{new year thoughts}

These are thoughts from author Talia Hibbert, filed here so I can return to them at need.

On Planning for 2020

1. Remember who you are.

If you know you don’t have the time or patience to decorate your planner with nifty little themes, then don’t.

If you hate exercise with the sort of burning passion typically seen in cruel-mouthed, bodice-ripping 80s romance heroes, don’t schedule daily HIIT classes from January 1st.

In short, don’t put pressure on yourself to be someone else. Trust me, it never works.

2. This is for you.

We’re often encouraged to set goals that will improve us. While growth is fabulous, being happy is more important than being ‘better’.

Everything about you, everything you’ve achieved, everything you enjoy, doesn’t have to become a neverending competition.

If you love to read, you could set a goal about reclaiming time to visit the library – rather than a goal like ‘Read 500 books!’

If you enjoy knitting, resolve to try new and exciting patterns in 2020 – rather than a goal like ‘Make 500 pairs of tiny socks for local misplaced toucans!’

3. Celebrate the present.

If you’re setting new goals for your job or business in 2020, that’s because you learned something in 2019.

If you’re setting a new personal or health-based goal, that’s because you’ve made the difficult decision to choose change.

While looking forward, don’t forget to value where you stand right now. You’re here. You made it. You did good.

If nothing else, this year will be full of moments when we arrive. Don’t forget to acknowledge them… you made it. You’re here. You did it. Good for you.