My poem for June’s Word of the Month Poetry Challenge

Hi everyone,

I’ve been watching ants on our patio. Nights are still a bit cool for their liking but some days warm up enough to draw them from their deep nests down below the pavers. Here’s the result of my thinking.

Waking Ants

Pouring down the funnel into their bed chambers,
the same sun that sponsors weed seedlings
excites their dreams, gets them moving.
In ones and twos, they emerge uncertainly into spring.

Half awake, half asleep, staggering
like extras in a zombie movie,
each ant wanders in a different direction,
as though in search of where it left off
last fall when colding days
numbed purpose and changed priorities.

Somewhere there was a moth wing
that needed extracting from a spider’s lacy net.
Where was that cricket leg,
easily a 2-ant job to lug to the nest?
There was a freshly deceased bee...

Hard work –
when your brain is the size
of a fleck of pollen –
to remember
what page you were on when you fell asleep reading
the sites of your kingdom.

It won’t take long. New food will be found. Lines will form.
Ants, after all, must be ants. 

© 2023 David L Harrison, all rights reserved

The word for June’s Word of the Month Poetry Challenge is…ANT

Hi everyone,

I’m going to change the challenge a bit for June. You have one word, same as always, but this time the word means a specific kind of living creature — the ant. There are many kinds of ants, but for our purposes, an ant is an ant is an ant. So after you’re written about how busy the ant seems to be, what else is there?

What I think we’ll see this month is clever uses of metaphors, similes, fantasies, and other poetic devices to present the ant in interesting, unexpected ways. I’m already thinking of how I want to write my poem. I’ll try to get it posted in the next day or two to show an example of what I mean.

May the ants be with you!

Last call for May poems of the month

Hi everyone,

This week has the 1st of a new month in it so you know what that means. If you’ve been procrastinating about writing a poem for May, you are running out of time to put if off much longer.

If you need further inspiration, reread the poems that others have posted this month. There are some great examples of what the imagination can do when it starts with one word. The word for May is MIND. So now’s the time to put yours to it.

My 2nd Word of the Month poem

Hi everyone,

The beauty of poetry is that a poem can spring like Jack’s beans from magical thoughts. Pick an object, ask it a question of two, and off you go. Yesterday I paused in my writing at the end of a sentence, considering what might come next. My eye fell on the period, that tiny dot that divides one thought from the next, and the following quick poem was the result. It even turned out to be my second Word of the Month poem.

The Dot

This tiny dot, this miniature traffic cop, 
has no brain yet tells us where to stop,
without a mind enforces ancient laws
of composition meant to help us pause
before we hurry on and lose the thought.
Few things are more powerful than the dot.

(c) 2023 David L Harrison, all rights reserved 

The versatile 4-line stanza

Hi everyone,

I just read a remarkable collection of poetry by JARED CARTER called Darkened Rooms of Summer. I loved reading his work and also picked up some ideas for my own future poems. Carter writes verse as well as free verse. His verse brings many forms to the collection from couplets to villanelles to three- and four-line stanzas. One of his favorite forms is a four-line stanza with (usually) four accented syllables in lines 1 and 3, and two accented syllables in lines 2 and 4. The rhymes follow an ABAB pattern. Here’s a quick example of my own.

Seeking Rest

Persnicketier than any cat
making a nest,
the dog twists this way and that,
attempting rest. 

Rags long beyond clean
can do the trick.
Unconcerned with hygiene,
asleep that quick.

(c) 2023 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

It’s an interesting challenge to write these stanzas. Maybe some of you will try it this month inspired by our Word Challenge word: MIND.