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Love Song

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They demand a love song
on a day
when I sit between
annoyance and anger.
I can guarantee
there will be
no sticky sweetness,
no sentimental platitudes,
no red roses
or frilly hearts.

No,
there will be
worn slippers,
sharp words,
a fragrant curry,
a dependable red blend,
a hand
and parallel footprints.

There will be
a steadfastness,
a calling
and a knowing
that no matter what lies ahead
we will face it
together.

There will inexplicably
be one
where
there are two.

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PAD 20

Prompt: Write a love poem (or an anti-love poem).

Capricious Chameleon

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Fickle beast!
It’s hard to nail you down on anything.
You change your mind in a second,
your clothes at the drop of a hat.
Always ready
to never commit.

The world will leave you behind
as you worry
whether to turn
left
or
right.

And all the young woman
cares to know right now is . . .

chicken or beef?

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PAD 19

Prompt: Write a poem with an animal title.

Waiting

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used to think
waiting
was a passive thing.
sit on my hands.
sigh a lot.
watch the clock.
count the minutes.
waiting
until
i forget
what i’m waiting for.

now i see
it’s an active thing —
working toward
that
for which
i’m waiting.

if i wait for peace,
i walk the path of peacemaker.
if i wait for love,
i serve others selflessly.

and while i wait
i wait
in hope.

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PAD 17

Prompt: Write a waiting poem.

City by the Bay

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Claimed for Francis of Assisi,
the conquistadors came
and built their Presidio at the mouth of the golden bay
and their Mission de Asis in the heart
of what would one day be
the lifeblood of the west.

Mad fever brought masses
and other fevers claimed them.
A stout few grew portlier still —
their homes built over the bodies of slave-immigrants.

The earth tried to shake them into the sea
like so many crumbs from a napkin;
the fire tried to consume them
and razed them to the ground.
But they rose up from the ashes like a Phoenix
and threw a party for the world.

A white cat creeps in and sits purring over the harbour
while each year taller buildings pierce the thick fog.
And still they come
seeking fortune,
finding an orange bridge with an annoying hum
and crooked streets running up steep hills.

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PAD 16

Prompt: Write a city poem.

My city-home.

Half of the Story

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When,
child,
did you learn
to fear the darkness?

When
did you begin
to fill the silence?

I created the rich, deep night
as a canvas for the tidal moon and burning stars,
as a blanket of peaceful rest.

I designed stillness
that you might feel my heartbeat,
that you might catch the melody of the gambolling galaxies.

I delight in your celebration of sunshine.
I joy in your joyful noise.

But don’t miss the beauty of midnight
and a thousand whispering trees.

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PAD 15

Prompt: Write a poem with the title “___________ Story.”

From Where I Sit

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The weary sun
stoops to push through the window,
flooding my desk with bright light.
Outside, her rays reveal
the tall, once-elegant grass
fading
from golden lustre
to brittle ecru.

The previously bountiful buffalo thorn,
full of ripe red berries,
starlings and barbets,
now bears but two or three
brown shrivelled seeds.

Shadows,
long and emboldened now,
creep up on the day
much faster than they did.
A chill touches the evening air.

And so Autumn
weaves her way
across the veld,
through the acacias,
laughing with the wood hoopoes,
playing hopscotch with bushbabies.

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PAD 14

Prompt: Write a poem “from where you sit.”

Raymond’s Monday

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Raymond was lucky when
a workmate gave him a bag of home-grown chilis.

Raymond was unlucky when
he touched his eye after chopping chilis.

Raymond was lucky that
he had milk in the fridge so he could wash out his eye.

Raymond was unlucky when
he dropped the milk bottle on the kitchen floor.

Raymond was lucky that
he had five cats and two dogs who loved milk.

Raymond was unlucky when
he stepped on a shard of glass from the milk bottle.

Raymond was lucky that
at the time he was wearing shoes.

Raymond was unlucky when
he cut his finger while picking up the glass.

Raymond was lucky that
he had a box of Band-aids in a kitchen drawer.

Raymond was unlucky that
the box was empty.

Raymond was lucky that
he had lots of fancy paper napkins left over from Christmas.

Raymond was unlucky when
his cats and dogs got into a huge fight.

Raymond was lucky when
he opened the backdoor and they all went outside.

Raymond was unlucky when
he closed the door on his finger.

Raymond was lucky that
it wasn’t broken and he hadn’t drawn blood.

Raymond was unlucky when
he went to wipe away a tear and stuck his chili finger into his other eye.

Raymond went to bed.
Maybe Tuesday would be a better day.

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PAD 13
Prompt: Write a lucky/unlucky poem.

This is a bit silly, but it was fun, however I think it needs more thought and work. Poor Raymond.

Prime

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  • the first.
  • the highest quality.
  • the greatest concern.
  • the first worship service.

(but in mathematics)

  • natural numbers
    divisible only by themselves and the solitary one.

Euclid described them.
Eratosthenes sieved them.
Riemann hypothesised them.
Rivest, Shamir and Adleman encrypted them
(after a night of wine and wisdom).
Sagan used them to talk to aliens.
Woltman dreamed of finding the largest one.

They are infinite and stubborn.
And like the steak,
the bigger they are, the rarer they are.

Prime
numbers.

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PAD 11

Prompt: Write a prime number poem.

(One quarter of the first 100 numbers are prime.
They are 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 47, 53, 59, 61, 67, 71, 73, 79, 83, 89 and 97.)

Get a Life

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Get a life
and make it
worth living.

Find a star
and hitch
your wagon to it.

March with the noble.
Sing with the joyful.
Dance with the exuberant.

Make each hour precious.
Leave your fingerprints
everywhere.

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PAD 10

Prompt: Take the phrase “Get __________,” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem.

Mother-of-Pearl Button

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I throw iridescent
rainbows.

Me —
made of mollusc mucus,
plucked from the ocean,
chipped into a circle,
four holes drilled into my heart.

Now I’m fastened
to a blouse
and pushed through a hole

throwing iridescent rainbows.

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PAD 9

Prompt: Write a persona poem (for an inanimate object).

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