Time to change gears. Here we are in June so we need a new word. Going back to the list of suggestions, I chose this one: WATER. Let’s see what you can do with it. For anyone who hasn’t jumped in with a poem before but has always intended to, here’s your chance.
Remember, this monthly exercise is meant to stimulate imagination. You can write directly about water or look for a different way to connect to the word so that water isn’t necessarily the main theme of your poem. The fun of W.O.M. challenge is to see how many ways you can think of to work the word into a poem.
Strange how the mind reacts to a word. I have no idea why MAY landed me in prison.
Visiting an Old Dungeon
by David L. Harrison
You could miss them.
m a y
Bare scratchings on the wall.
Slate or grave marker,
My mind seeks yours.
Were these your initials,
the skeleton of your name?
All that was left
of your earthly estate,
bequeathed to a future world?
Or perhaps you wept
at your lover’s name.
Did you hold her once?
Give her a child?
Was May the month
they cast you in,
in this lightless hole?
the iron gate of hell?
Villain or victim
you authored three letters,
a profound message.
I heard someone say that April’s word, “making,” was a challenging word. I thought so too but it inspired a lot of excellent writing. I enjoyed all your poems and thank you for participating. As you know, I delete everything at the end of each month so there is no permanent record of your work unless you keep one. Word of the Month is strictly an exercise but it’s a good one and has endured now for seven years. If I thought there was a book in it, I would save your work or ask you to select your favorites to resend, but there’s really no theme and I’m afraid that such a project would never get off the pad.
Be that as it may, this is May, so let’s not fight it. The word for May is MAY!
A number of librarians have joined us over the past month and I am convinced that librarians are poets at heart. Let’s hear from you!
I’m still drawing words from the list of those suggested by you. For March, let’s go with SLUSH. Seems fitting to me.
To Libby Payne and all the teachers and their young poets at Sanibel School who contributed poems in February, thank you. I hope you’ll be back and will spread the word among other teachers and students about the fun of playing Word of the Month.
We had a great run of poems and comments in January. Now let’s see what we can do with the word for February. It is LEAVES. Variations of leaf, leaving or leafing are acceptable. As always, I look forward to what you are inspired to write. And also as always, I appreciate the support you share on this blog. I love comments from people who say they feel safe and appreciated. We have a wonderful community of visitors and contributors.
For anyone unfamiliar with the site, you can post your poem by clicking on the box to the upper left of this post where it says, Adult W.O.M. Poems. Scroll down to the box at the bottom where you can post your poem or comment and click on post comment. If it’s your first time, your entry will wait until I approve you. After that the computer recognizes you and there’s never a wait. There is also a box where teachers can post poems by their students to the upper right of the daily post. We all love it when students join us.
At the end of each month I sweep away the W.O.M. postings to make way for the new ones. I keep no permanent record and of course make no claim on your work. I’m not sure if you can call your poem a previously un-published poem if an editor should ask, and I suspect that the answer will vary, but it’s my understanding that once your work has been posted you are protected.
This monthly exercise has been going on for six years. You don’t have to be published to join the fun so don’t be bashful. Over the years we’ve been honored by numerous poets of the highest caliber and they set examples that others can study. We’ve also been the leaping off point for many first-time poets and they have without fail found understanding, appreciation, and support here. If you’re newish to this game and have been wondering how your poem might sound to others, 2016 is a good time to find out.
Sometimes you’ll see poems placed in the comments to my daily post. Often these poems are in direct response to something I said in the post. Among a few noted folks who do that, Jane Yolen, one of the best in the business and lightning fast and Cheryl Harness, multi-talented artist and author, sometimes respond that way to kick off further discussion of the day’s subject. You can do that too if you like as long as you understand that people may or may not return to that day’s post but many will follow the Word of the Month column throughout the month. Either way I’m glad to see what you’ve written.
I rarely comment on the poems posted in Word of the Month. I read them. I enjoy them. I just can’t keep up with commenting on each one. However, many others who regularly follow W.O.M. are wonderful about commenting, asking questions, and issuing atta-boys and atta-girls.
So here’s to another good month. Let’s get it done!