NaPoWriMo – Day 11


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The Secret Meaning of Flowers

You offered to landscape
My yard—a new yard
A new house
Not yet a home
You chose yellow acacia
For friendship, you said
Only later did I discover
Its true meaning:
Secret love

Our first date
Led straight to my bed
You never left!
You added red
For love
I was not ready
To be loved

Over time, white snowdrops
And candytuft
For betrayal and heartbreak
You could have watered them
With your copious tears
Still, I remained untethered
You finally resolved
Your pain
Or so I thought

Herbs grew in the window
Fragrant basil and bay
For hatred and death
After a year, you imbued
A calm elegance
To the back garden
White chrysanthemums
For mourning
On top of my unmarked grave




National Poetry Writing Month

April is National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) — a poem a day for a month! Today each of us is challenged to write a poem about an action (in my case, singing) that is a metaphor for our life.

To read lots more interesting poems or to participate, visit the National Poetry Writing Month website.

from her mouth

from her mouth
the melody saunters
through the spring rain
her voice carries high
finally rests upon a cloud

from her lungs
the lyrics march
down city streets
a pounding thunderstorm
forcing wind to cry out loud

from her diaphragm
the music flows through pews
the scent of God’s green earth so sweet
the sanctuary moves
to the power of her voice, profound

from her heart
the music pumps like blood
magnificent it beats
resonates through rafters
and shouts God’s name out loud

from her breath
now gasping short and low
a voice near silent, still
no storm, no wind, just whispers
of angels’ wings on clouds


NaHaiWriMo – Day 6

NaHaiWriMo (Prompt: fireflies, glow-worms)

Note: “skyglow” is just a pretty word for “light pollution,” or the encroachment of city lights on the natural habitat of fireflies and glow-worms. The ambient light of human civilization interferes with the communication of the males who are trying to find a mate by flashing light in a specific pattern. They only have one mating season in their tiny lives, and it is only a few weeks, so anything that interferes with courtship is a real problem. Add this to the effect of pesticides, herbicides, and deforestation….

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