Nightingale – NaPoWriMo Continues

This is in response to the Twitter poetry challenge #haikuwordgame. The prompts are “patience” and “dusk.” I am behind a day for National Poetry Writing Month, so I wrote two haiku 🙂

I hope you enjoy the musical “extra” below the poetry!

Wikimedia - Public Domain

Wikimedia – Public Domain

patience turns to sadness
nightingale sings for his love
in the grim dusk
at dusk he puffs his chest
he sings of his prowess
impatient for love


When We Were Young

Welcome to Friday Fictioneers! We are a community of writers from around the world who post 100-word stories between Wednesday and Friday each week. The stories are all based on a photo prompt provided on Rochelle Wisoff-Fields’ blog.  Please visit Rochelle’s blog for more information…and join us if you wish!

This week’s photo is by fellow writer Sandra Crook. Thank you, Sandra!

Sandra Crook river img_0818

Photo Copyright – Sandra Crook

When We Were Young

by Jan Brown

When we were 20, we met by the river. He was fishing; I was birdwatching and practically tripped over him. He said I was the finest thing he had caught all day.

When we were 30, we bought a raft and paddled our way through whitewater rapids and waterfalls.

When we were 40, we bought a canoe and glided through still waters. We lay on the side of the river, making love under the stars.

When I was 50, I drove back to the place we met, but the river was filled with trash.

I could not scatter his ashes there.


If you missed my blog post on the Pacific “trash vortex,” (and you probably DID miss it!) you can read it here.

To read more Friday Fictioneers’ stories, click the link:

NaPoWriMo 26 – Song of Angels

The NaPoWriMo challenge for April 26th is to write a curtal sonnet, a form invented by Gerald Manley Hopkins, an English poet and Jesuit priest. This is shorter than a regular sonnet, having only six lines in the first stanza, four in the second, plus a “half-line” at the end.  Meter and rhyme, if any, are left to the poet to decide.

Song of Angels

by Jan Brown


If we left this earthly plane, if soul took flight

If we could shed our form and dance as light

If we could signal thoughts with just a blink

If we could forego sleep and drink the night

And let our white hot energy delight

Then life would be mere spectacle, I think


So let me go, and do not hold me tight

Resist my pull, and we can float away

We’ll sing the song of angels through the night

And watch the stars wink in the Milky Way

…one eternal Light

NaPoWriMo 19 – Sparse Doves

Wikimedia Commons - Photo by Kazvorpal - CC BY-SA 3.0

Wikimedia – CC BY-SA 3.0


sparse doves in winter

husband stays behind

to stand guard


Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to compose a poem inspired by the name of a sea shell.  Yes, there is a sea shell called “sparse dove,” and that made me think of the sparse population of mourning doves during our frigid winter.  In the fall, mourning doves begin to migrate: first the young birds born that spring/summer, then the adult females, then the males. However, some males choose to stay behind to protect their territory in order to re-establish nests the following spring in the same area. I admire their bravery; they stay in the colder climate despite the shrinking food sources and the possibility of frostbitten toes. This is because the female chose the nesting spot during courtship. Mourning doves are monogamous, so the brave male, like any good husband, will try to give her what she wants!

I’m also fond of the male mourning dove’s attitude toward equal parenting. He forages for nest-building supplies and brings them to the female, once she has chosen the spot. She then weaves the twigs into a loose circle around herself. The partnership is not consummated until the nest is built. The parents share brooding responsibilities equally, and once the newborns arrive, both mother and father produce crop milk and share feeding responsibilities.

Finally, there is no more endearing trait of the male mourning dove than his call, a yearning, melancholy cooing sound that is the reason for the species’ name. I love a man who sings to me. I really do.

NaPoWriMo 17 – Morning Song

Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem that provides a detailed description of something using at least three of the five senses. It’s recommended that we describe something we encountered or experienced today.

Morning Song

by Jan Brown

morning feels like the aftermath of an assault
surely someone had attacked her knees and hips
while she fitfully slept
perhaps an angry debt collector
a sour-faced enforcer or
a fundraiser for the arthritis foundation
wielding a baseball bat

the acrid odor of stale sweat
another reminder of the night’s
pain and thrashing
gives way to the sweetness
of lavender body wash
doesn’t smell at all like lavender
still it’s delicate and flowery
giving purpose to the wisps of steam
that reorganize the kinks in her tendons

taste buds waken against their will
to the dry minty medication
that melts in her mouth
as advertised
a dozen more pills
to wash down with breakfast
she gives thanks to whichever greek god
created fat-free yogurt
and all the tiny morsels of mango
that lurk at the bottom of the plastic cup

she greets the world outside her window
seasonal colors waiting to be seen
but doesn’t come alive
until she hears the morning’s song
a harmonious cacophony of birds
going about the business of a warm spring day
the rhythm of lawn mowers and leaf blowers
the whistle of the train
the soulful latin jazz refrain
morning’s almost gone
but her song remains



NaPoWriMo 12 – Happiness is….

The National Poetry Writing Month challenge today is to write a “replacement” poem. A replacement poem has elements of a “found poem,” but uses more of the poet’s own words.

We were asked to select a noun representing a tangible item (in my case, I chose “ecosystem”). Then, using found text, replace that word with one representing an intangible quality. I used the Wikipedia entry for “ecosystem,” selected five specific sentences, and replaced “ecosystem” with “happiness.” Then I built the poem around those five statements (five stanzas). I included a few other found phrases from the Wikipedia article as appropriate. I hope you find it meaningful.


Happiness is a community…

we move as many

within the one

undulating, traveling a loop

creating energy

releasing it back to the group


The energy that flows through happiness…

rays of the sun

travel great distances

to nourish and delight

creating love

at the speed of light


Happiness is controlled…

by external events

by internal resources

by the passions of two

creating hope

for me and you


Happiness is subject to periodic disturbances…

shooting stars of fallen dreams

black holes of despair

darkening the skies

creating doubt

with wretched lies


Humans exist and operate within happiness…

a diverse world of wonder

in a constant state of flux

amidst the worst adversity

creating life

requiring faith in you, in me





This is in response to the February 19th NaHaiWriMo theme of the day: “baby.”  It prompted me to think back to a horrible winter 32 years ago, when it was 25 degrees below zero (Farenheit) with strong gusts of wind at my mother’s graveside.

But the most wonderful nephew in the world kept us busy later at home. I remember the smell of the soy formula that he burped down the back of my burgundy tunic. I remember how he cried constantly, unless I walked him around the house, holding him up high. I remember his sweet smile when I did.

Thank you, Rob.

at the funeral

baby cries and coos

cycle of life

Staring into the Polar Vortex

For all of you who have been brutally sucked into the polar vortex, I wish you warmth. Soon. Very soon. Meanwhile, I hope that this trio of haiku will resonate with you as you fight the cold and snow.


waiting out the snow — silent songbird


home and hearth

well guarded

fortress of ice


cold sky

silver mist

over an empty heart