Poetry Challenge #95: Coo-Coo For Coconuts

pina colada.jpg

Hooray! Hooray! It’s National Pina Colada Day!

So whether you do or do not like getting caught in the rain . . .

You are or are not into health foods or champagne . . .

Regardless your opinion on waking up at midnight—

Let’s put the lime in the coconut and bust out in poetry Pul-lee-e-e-e-sa!* PLEEESE!

Poetry Challenge #95

Coo-Coo for Coconuts

Thinking coconuts, tropical islands, pineapples ripe for the plucking, and coocoo birds write a poem. And yes, because the notion that there is even a National Pina Colada Day is slightly coo-coo, use as many words as you can think of which include the letters C and O in that order—and if you really want to cut loose, try including a bird call or two!

toucan.jpg

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

See what toucan caw-caw come-up-with!

Got Kids? Check out POETRY LAB, our* poetry prompts just for kids in ROAR! a delightful new kids’ magazine!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #93-Pretty in Pink

Close your eyes and repeat after me ten times: Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink Pink

Cotton candy.jpg
Or maybe a Florida Belle . . .

Or maybe a Florida Belle . . .

What images came to mind?

Did you imagine cotton candy clouds?

Flamingos?

Ballerinas?

. . . A Pop Star?

with sprinkles!!

with sprinkles!!

Poetry Challenge #93

Pretty in Pink

Use your Pink images to write today’s poem.

You might begin by listing everything that comes to mind related to Pink. Reorganize and embellish them to create a list poem.

Or, write a PINK acrostic poem, with each line beginning with a letter in the word PINK.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Pink Pop Star.jpg

Poetry Challenge #90: Like a YO-YO, Yo!

Donnie Osmond.jpg

“I used to be a swinger/Til you wrapped me round your finger . . .” Who can forget inspired lyrics like those by Joe South—or the singer who sang them to Hit status in 1971? (BTW: It was not Yo-Yo Ma.)

June 6th was National Yo-Yo Day. (Sorry for being tardy, I was so busy bopping to that oldie but goodie Donnie Osmond version, and twining vines around my backyard arbor, I completely forgot to post this prompt.) But, just like a Yo-Yo, I’m back!

Yo-Yo.jpg

Take a moment to ponder YO-YO. Who could have ever imagined how, with the flick of a finger, one could make a disc roll up and down on a string* thus providing endless hours of entertainment, inspiring more than one hit song, and now, if you’re game, poetry!

Poetry Challenge #90

Like a YO-YO

Write a YO-YO poem. It can be about a YO-YO, playing with a YO-YO, feeling like a YO-YO—up and down about something? Or, sure, YoYo Ma. Roll the sounds of it around in your mouth for a while and see what comes of it, Yo!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*According to the Museum of Yo-Yo History, “It is believed that the yo-yo most likely originated in China. The first historical mention of the yo-yo, however, was from Greece in the year 500 B.C. These ancient toys were made out of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta disks and called just that, a disc. It was customary, when a child turned of age, to offer toys of their youth to certain gods. “

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #88-What They Said . . .

I am a shameless eavesdropper. So bad in fact, that I’ll often shush Curtis (who does not talk much anyway) so I can focus on other diner’s conversations. Yes, I’m that bad…

New Haven Train Sign

Which may be why an old sing-along-in-the-car song, called Humoresque aka Passengers Will Please Refrain, has long been one of my favorites. Set to the tune of Dvořák's Humoresque Number 7 it’s begins with a New Haven Railroad toilet sign ends with If Sherman’s horse can stand it so can you and in between are snippets of conversation.  

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and Yale law professor Thurman Arnold take full credit for the “Bawdy Song.”  In his autobiography, Go East, Young Man (pp. 171–72), Douglas notes, "Thurman and I got the idea of putting these memorable words to music, and Thurman quickly came up with the musical refrain from Humoresque."  Because I know you’re curious, here are the abridged lyrics:

Passengers will please refrain
From flushing toilets while the train
Is in the station. Darling, I love you!
We encourage constipation
While the train is in the station
Moonlight always makes me think of you.
If the woman’s room be taken,
Never feel the least forsaken,
Never show a sign of sad defeat.
Try the men’s room in the hall,
And if some man has had the call,
He’ll courteously relinquish you his seat.
If these efforts all are vain,
Then simply break a window pane-
This novel method used by very few.
We go strolling through the park
Goosing statues in the dark,
If Sherman’s horse can take it, why can’t you?
— https://lyricstranslate.com/en/oscar-brand-humoresque-passengers-will-please-refrain-lyrics.htm
Your Poem Could Be A Song, too!

Your Poem Could Be A Song, too!

Poetry Challenge #88

What They Said . . .

Go somewhere crowded (preferably public) with a pen and paper. Jot down snippets of conversations. Or. If you can’t do that, brainstorm greetings—all the ways/languages/terms we use to say hello, goodbye or thank you. Arrange and rearrange the terms to create a poem with a melodic, interesting—maybe surprising order. Title your poem “Conversations” with the location and date. For example: Conversations at Starbucks May 22.

Go Forth and Eavesdrop.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #87-How's This for an Idea?

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Sometimes, my head is full of ideas. But sometimes . . . At those times a little prompting is in order.

Poetry Challenge #87

How’s This for an Idea?

Choose one of the prompts below as your first line and write as fast as you can. If you get stuck, try another prompt. Or: How’s this for an idea: Write a 4 line poem using each prompt for one of the lines.

  • No one knows I’m here…

  • Here’s a neat idea…

  • I’m scared of…

  • I wish I could remember…

Pick a Prompt

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #86: Riffing Chicago Style

On a flight from Chicago, munching Garrett’s Popcorn (the best part of O’Hare layovers), my bygone Chicago Blues popped into mind—specifically one night I heard Albert King play Crosscut Saw*. It’s nicknamed “that dirty blues song” but, it doesn’t have to be. That’s the challenge!

The Garrett’s Kiosk at O’Hare, opposite gate B8

The Garrett’s Kiosk at O’Hare, opposite gate B8

Poetry Challenge #86

Riffing Chicago Style

Chicago Style Blues started as musical improv, performers creating on the fly, riffing off each other, daring each other, challenging each other and themselves to come up with song verses that fit the pattern. A performer starts with one line that fits a beat. That line is then repeated. Then a third longer line finishes the stanza with a word that rhymes with the previous two. Simple as that—if you’re a smokin’ guitarist.

Here’s the opening stanza of Tommy McClennan’s Crosscut Saw as Albert King played it:

Crosscut Saw
I’m a cross cut saw, Baby/ just drag me ‘cross your log I’m a cross cut saw, Baby/ just drag me across your log I cut your wood so easy, you can’t help but say ‘Hot dog!’
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crosscut_Saw_(song)#Albert_King_version
Albert-King.png

It’s said, one reason the second line repeats the first, which is so much a part of traditional Blues, is to give performers creating on the fly, time to think of a rhyming last line. For fun, blues players toss the song around, challenging each other by taking turns coming up with new stanzas.  Let’s give it a try. Here’s a template to get us started:

I’m a something or other, name,  just doing something somewhere.

I’m a something or other, name,  just doing something somewhere.

I verb the noun so easy, I’ll say or do something that fits and ends in a rhyme

My Effort: 

I’m a green frog, Henry, just sitting on a rock. 

I’m a green frog, Henry, just sitting on a rock.

I’ll hop and croak so loudly, I’ll blast you off your dock.  

Now that you’ve set a pattern, try stringing 2 or 3 stanzas together—or 5 for your own blues song.

Grab your air guitar and get Bluesy!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*From Wikipedia: "Crosscut Saw", or "Cross Cut Saw Blues" as it was first called, is a dirty blues song "that must have belonged to the general repertoire of the Delta blues".[1] The song was first released in 1941 by Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan and has since been interpreted by many blues artists.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1100-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #84: To Be or Not To Bee

hamlet.jpg

I’m no Hamlet—never played one, don’t live in one—But . . .  I do know the beginning of Prince Hamlet’s Act 3, Scene 1 Soliloquy in To Be or Not to Be. And now, if you didn’t, you do too. Thus primed, prompt on fair Prince/ess:

Poetry Challenge #84

To Be or Not to Bee

 “The verb "to be" is one of the shortest and most important—yet oddest—verbs in the English language. It is an irregular verb; indeed, it is the only verb in English that completely changes form in every tense. The verb "to be" is probably the most important verb in English.”—from “Thoughtco.” By Richard Nordquist:

Below is a list of past and present forms of the verb “to be.” And, just for fun, a fuzzy black and yellow buzzy bee. Write a Bee poem using as many forms of the verb “to be” as you can. One way to begin is to write each form of the word be on a line and take it from there.

Past and Present forms of the verb “to be”:

bee.jpg

I am                 I was

You are          You were

He/She/It is     He/She/It was

We are             We were

They are          They were      

And if you want to try perfect tense:  have/has/had been

Be bold! Be silly! Be—gin!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1100-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one is Cindy’s.) If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #82-Diamond in the Rough

 In the same way diamonds—the “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” gems/rocks/stones— come in many shapes, colors and sizes, diamante poems can be about anything.

Poetry Challenge #83

Diamond In the Rough

A Diamante is a diamond-shaped poem, simple as that. Diamante poems begin with a one word or syllable line. Each subsequent line grows longer by one than the previous line. The longest line is the mid-point of the poem. From there, the lines decrease by one until reaching the last one word line. The shortest Diamante has three lines of one syllable words.

Here’s a Diamante Frame if you prefer structure.

Here’s a Diamante Frame if you prefer structure.

One

Two words

One

Write a diamond-shaped Diamante about something you value.  

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1100-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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