Poetry Challenge Day 283 (Thu Jul 14)

We go through life wondering
about a lot of things:
Are we a good parent?
Are we a good partner?
Do we treat others with respect?
These are possibly the three most important
questions we can ask ourselves.
It is especially nice
when someone tells us we are
one of those things.
Affirmation helps us keep going,
it is also a gift.
A gift that we can take with us
whatever we do.

I often “wonder” if this poetry project is a good exercise. I think it is, and I think Billy Collins would agree. Billy is not just a Poet Laureate, he is the most popular poet in America. He writes poetry that people can actually understand. I suppose it’s fine that there are poets writing words that are both beautiful and hard to grasp. I suppose we have to read that sort of poetry from time-to-time, but it is rare to find a Billy Collins poem that does not speak directly to your head and soul at the same time. It’s probably too much to say that I try to write like Billy Collins, but he has been a huge influence on me and one of the very reasons for this project. I don’t profess to have anything like talent, but I do think that admiration and emulation are no disgrace and can lead to marvelous self-discoveries.

Dear Diary

Poetry Challenge Day 282 (Wed Jul 13)

Dear Diary:
I’ve been telling myself all week:
“Hang Fauci.”
So I went ahead
and put up his portrait.

How Far Can You Go?

Poetry Challenge Day 281 (Tue Jul 12)

T. S. Eliot said:
“Only those who will risk going too far
can possibly find out
how far one can go.”

I heartily agree.
This has been one
of the driving forces
in my life.


Poetry Challenge Day 280 (Mon Jul 11)

The motto
“Keep Portland Weird”
is not one the city
will need to worry about
giving up anytime soon…
Portland is the only city in America
with an annual bicycle porn festival.

One Good Trope Deserves Another

Poetry Challenge Day 279 (Sun Jul 10)

Ya, so…
Trump used the
“stolen election” trope
to raise funds.
So what.
Dems are using the
“Trump is the spawn of Satan” trope
to raise funds.
The distinction is largely rhetorical.
All I will say in regard to all this is
Trump might the spawn Satan,
but Dems (for the most part)
are just dumb humans.

A Mistake Is When You

Poetry Challenge Day 278 (Sat Jul 9)

Walk into a new venue
looking for the tap list
and all you see is the expresso menu,
so you order a quad iced Americano,
as the barista is pulling your coffee
you spot the tap list.


Poetry Challenge Day 277 (Fri Jul 8)

Life is a contradiction.
We want freedom.
Freedom to do as we please.
We also want someone
to share the adventure with,
to be there with us and for us.
Of course the reality is
these positions require compromise.

Getting Smarter

Poetry Challenge Day 276 (Thu Jul 7)

I told my neighbor
I needed to be smarter
about how I drink…

He told me to mix
my bourbon with
Smart Water…

Loosing Weight

Poetry Challenge Day 275 (Wed Jul 6)

I’m very skeptical
about the Ohio solution
to school shootings,
allowing teachers to carry guns
is sort of like
saying I’m going to loose weight
by eating pizza three times a day.

I can’t think of anything more ridiculous than allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom. I’m disgusted.


Poetry Challenge Day 274 (Tue Jul 5)

If I could remember
everything I have read
I would be tempted
to call myself a genius.

I’m not talking about
last year
I’m talking about
five minutes ago.

Every day counts
so read every day
learn something from it
the trick is remembering.

Happy Birthday

Poetry Challenge Day 273 (Mon Jul 4)

Happy Birthday America.
You made it another year.
The question is
will you make it one more.

I can’t even begin to express
the damage that one
Voldemort has done to you
over the last five years.

It may be obvious
but it bears repeating
I don’t know where all the
hatred and anger comes from.

But I know that we can’t
survive living this way.

Secret to Life

Poetry Challenge Day 272 (Sun Jul 3)

Love is pain.
That is to say
the wrong kind of love
is pain.
If you find love
that isn’t pain
you have found
of the secrets to life.

Secret To Life

Poetry Challenge Day 271 (Sat Jul 2)

The secret to life
is to learn how to enjoy
life like you are retired…
Before you retire.

Punctuation Psychotherapy

Poetry Challenge Day 270 (Fri Jul 1)

punctuation is
highly overrated

I was of
the opinion
that periods
were necessary
in writing

In truth
even the use
of periods
is open
to debate

at least
in my mind

I suppose
you probably
disagree with

that is okay

notice I am
avoiding apostrophes
as well
as periods

all other
forms of
for that matter

I am starting
to feel
better already

Two Birds, One Stone

Poetry Challenge Day 269 (Thu Jun 30)

I love turning the pages in my journal
even though I do it only occasionally,
largely because I’m afraid to see
what the pages might have to say.

I can’t bear the idea of discovering
the message lying there
that I only become aware of
after the fact.

What we have here
is a poem about journal entries
that began life as a journal entry.


Poetry Challenge Day 268 (Wed Jun 29)

There are a lot of things more entertaining
than cleaning a window,
but when you are actually looking out
of one freshly cleaned,
it’s hard to argue otherwise.

It can be hard to convince myself
it’s worth the effort,
but once completed it is
so just quit thinking and get the rags out.


Poetry Challenge Day 267 (Tue Jun 28)

Trying to figure out your PPO pharmacy deductible
is like a cat jumping into a TV screen to catch a bird.
It looks tempting, and almost doable,
but is ultimately very unsatisfying
and possibly even dangerous.


Poetry Challenge Day 266 (Mon Jun 27)

Retirement is wonderful.
It gives me time to write shit like this,
and the occasional lucid thought.

YMMV when it comes to “lucid” thoughts…

100 Days to Go

Poetry Challenge Day 265 (Sun Jun 26)

Only 100 days to go.
What have I gained?


All good things.
I’m better for having done this.
That is enough.

Question And Answer

Poetry Challenge Day 264 (Sat Jun 25)

How many poems can you write in a single day?
Answer: Three.

How many good poems can you write in a single day?
Answer: Open to debate.

In case you are missing the sardonic gene, I’m referring here to my own extraordinary poetry writing.


Poetry Challenge Day 263 (Fri Jun 24)

I sit alone on the deck
drinking a bottled water
(which I rarely do)
reading a book of poetry
(a very good one)
wishing I too could write poetry.
The cat lies on the chair next to me
a loyal follower.
At least I have one.
Not that I am seeking followers
(I’m not)
but the idea is a fascinating one.
When I think about that
I realize it would not be such a good thing
(to have followers)
too much responsibility,
not enough time to sit with the cat
and read good poetry.

It’s A Beautiful Day

Poetry Challenge Day 262 (Thu Jun 23)

It’s a beautiful day
I love the way the sun
is shining through the kitchen window.
I would like to capture
the feeling and sell it.
I would use the proceeds
to start a campaign to convince
the American people
that fake doctors and people with money
don’t make good candidates
for public office.

A Visual Tautology

Poetry Challenge Day 261 (Wed Jun 22)

Write a minimum
of three lines
every day.

Plutarch’s Lives

Poetry Challenge Day 260 (Tue Jun 21)

Everyone who wants to be educated
should read “Plutarch’s Lives.”

All of our Founding Fathers did. (It’s on my list… but I’m not quite there yet.) I wonder how many of our Congress People in Washington D.C. have? I would like to make that a poll question.


Poetry Challenge Day 259 (Mon Jun 20)

The demonization of Democrats
started with Ronald Reagan
and has reached its zenith
with Donald Trump.

Time will tell us if it has truly reached its zenity.