At the Gate – NaPoWriMo Day 30

It’s the last day of NaPoWriMo, and we are challenged to examine the way that we begin and end our poems. One way we can do this is to take a poem we have previously written, turn it upside down (with the last line becoming the first), and edit it so that it makes sense.

I chose to do this with the poem I wrote for Day 1 of NaPoWriMo. The original poem started in a place of darkness and proceeded to a hoped-for state of light. Of course, reversing the order gave a different feel. With only a few words changed, the poem now ends by advising the reader not to be afraid of the dark (i.e., pain and suffering). I hope I can follow that advice myself!

I think the poem still retains the essence of hope and healing. If I have learned anything, it is that without hope, we cannot move forward.

angel statue

as you stand before the gate

she brushes off the snow and makes you beautiful

she carried you in a blithe but urgent rush

to your yearned-for destination

you ascend on angel’s wings

when light has failed you

so welcome the dark

How Not to Heal a Broken Heart

The NaPoWriMo prompt for April 18th is to write a poem about a rushed delivery of an urgent message. 


She sang

As naturally, as beautifully
As a siren
Once that sound
Had cured me
Of a broken heart
It only wounds more deeply
I squirm in the back row
Hold my chest
Lest my heart jump out
And pursue her
She trills her last note
And I wend my way forward
Rushing as fast as I can
Against the movement of the crowd
To hand her roses
A symbol of our love
Black roses
Desiccated, lifeless
She drops them
Knowing the message they convey
A death knell
For her
For me
Like the opera
She just performed
I’m closer now
I plunge the knife
Before security hauls me away
And I swallow the capsule
Taking one last look
At a dying diva

NaPoWriMo – More Catching Up to Do!!!

The NaPoWriMo challenge for April 14th was to write a riddle poem. I’m not sure this is much of a riddle, especially since the answer is in the last stanza—I hope that’s not against the “rules.” Whether or not this addresses the NaPoWriMo challenge, it is something I needed to say. So that, as they say, is that!


I’m a sharp pain

as from a hunting knife

serrated with a hook on top

to grab you

and bring you close

for the final kill


I’m a dull pain

as from a heavy anvil

planted firmly upon your leg

I will weigh you down

while you try to breathe

and stay still


I’m a throbbing pain

as from a pendulum too close

each time your heart beats

you feel me

you know me intimately

you wish you didn’t


I’m your poor, pathetic pain

the pain they ask you to categorize

on a scale of one to ten

the pain they they think

is either dull or sharp, throbbing or still

but not all at once

they pain you know

and they never will


Dear Poetry – NaPoWriMo Day 15

The NaPoWriMo challenge for April 15th was to write a poem that addresses some aspect of itself. So….I’ve written a letter of sorts, to my dear friend, Poetry.


Dear Poetry,

You are my closest ally

As I strive

To understand the pain

And the process of healing

Or not


My interim comfort

As more familiar comforts

Elude me

And the prospect of normalcy



My lifelong companion

Who wants to be normal? You ask

I have to answer, Not me!

So we walk toward the future



Weep Now – NaPoWriMo Day 8

Today’s prompt asks us to write a palinode, a poem in which the author retracts a statement made in a previous poem.

My previous poem was:

mourn not love’s passing

the winter of your heart

Only ensures spring

And here is my retraction:

weep now, mourn your loss

the winter of your heart

is a gateway to pain

Aubade – NaPoWriMo Day 6

Vision of Time by

Vision of Time by rolffimages –

Aubade to the Sandman and/or Jon Stewart

by Jan Brown


sun rays spill past the edges

of the window shade

was it really three hours?

the sandman was more vigilant

than usual

or his frenemy, St. Insomnia,

was less


in a fog of sleep deprivation

and searing pain

I cannot honestly say

“Good morning”

so I take my pills and wonder

could I find another three hours

with the right combination

of medicine

and a fluffy pillow



then perhaps I will lay quietly

and watch last night’s TV on my phone

Jon Stewart entertained the rest of the planet

while I tried to darken my world and sleep

presumably, he was more successful

at his task than I

now, perhaps, he can cheer me up

and help me face the humorless day


Playing catch-up: will need to post two poems today. (Oh, the horror!)

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 6 was to write an aubade–a morning poem. Usually, an aubade involves bidding farewell to a lover with whom one has spent the prior evening. However, the prompt asks us to focus on the start of the new day, with or without “lovey-dovey” stuff.  I chose without, obviously.


The Truth about Pain – NaPoWriMo Day 3

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenges us to write a fourteener. That’s a poem whose lines each have fourteen syllables.

My poem is somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but only somewhat.  Physical therapists, doctors and nurses are always asking me to define my pain on a scale of one to ten. That type of arbitrary definition can’t possibly describe the nature of my pain–nor, I’m guessing, anyone else’s.

Hmmm, it’s only day three, and I’m already ranting….

The Truth about Pain

by Jan Brown

If I could only tell the truth about my pain today

it wouldn’t fit into the scale of one to ten. No way!

It wouldn’t fit into a thousand scales or any notion

of normal human suffering. It would fill up every ocean

on the planet, and Mars and Venus, too. Don’t tell me that

you don’t believe, because I know you do. It isn’t what

I tell you that you would find so fantastic; it is just

the awful truth that I’ve left out, and yet I must.

For if I told you everything, you would be in dire shock

or possibly, like some doctors, you may not give a fuck.