Day 10, Donna L. Sadd’s Prompt: Write a Poem About Heart

By Jerry “Woody” from Edmonton, Canada [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Today’s prompt on Donna Sadd’s blog is to write a poem about heart. Here’s mine:

The token

in my story

was going to be

a golden heart,

until I heard

every book

crossing the desk

centered on

that symbol

of life and love,

so I decided

to move a beat

further into

another constant

of life: change.

Submit Work to an Anthology

Calls for anthology submissions. Sort through your short stories, children’s stories, and poetry. Then, mark your calendars. It is one way to catch the eye of an editor or agent.

Anthologies: Call for Submissions | Anthology Collections | Themes | Publish in Anthology.

In the Company of ________: The Poem

Every Wednesday throughout the year, Robert Lee Brewer offers a fresh poetry prompt on his blog Poetic Asides. This week is his two hundredth!

He challenges his readers to write a poem titled “In the Company of __________.” Fill in the blank with whatever comes to mind. Click on the link to read the responses.

Wednesday Poetry Prompts: 200 | In the Company of Blank Poems |

Here’s mine:

In the Company of Artists

when I was a child

I sat in the corner

and listened as my

parents laughed

and talked with their

friends in our tiny

walk-up apartment.

Once, at Christmas,

someone brought

my father a rainbow

box of colors and I

thought how wonderful

to play a whole

life long.

When I was a child

I stood low

and watched

as men in suits

and women in

best dresses

spoke softly,

admiring paintings

on the walls

of one or another

gallery and I thought

how wonderful

to share a whole

life long.

When I was a child

I sat very still

in the back

of my father’s

friend’s car

and watched

them paint the

afternoon, she

in the front seat,

he by the road

and I thought

how wonderful

to keep a whole

life long.

Write a Poem About Birth

We are nearing the end of the Poem a Day challenge on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog. It has been an interesting experience. I will either continue with my own prompts or find another community. You are certainly welcome to join me by posting in the comments.

Today’s prompt at PAD is to write a poem about giving birth. Click on the link to add your own. You can join in any time.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 29 | Birth Poem | Experience |

Here’s mine:

I kept telling

myself that

the Queens of England

did this

as I lay on the table

under blazing lights

coming undone

the most

private places

in full view

of strangers,

And then, the doctor

said, “He’s going

to be smart.”

A nurse said,

“What a pretty

little face.”

It was like

the blessing

in a fairy tale,

especially when

eyes still blue

as heaven

cast their

virgin gaze

on me.

Linda Armstrong, 11/29/2012, All rights reserved.

Write an Opposite Poem

Today’s challenge on Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog is to write an Opposite poem, using a previous challenge post as its basis. If you have not been participating, you can scan the previous prompts on the blog and take the opposite point of view, choose a poem by a famous poet and write a contrary reply, or do the same with a poem of your own. I looked over the poems I have written for the challenge this year and decided to use the one I wrote yesterday, “The Truth About Art.”  I wrote “Lies About Art.”

To read a fascinating collection of replies to this prompt, click on the link, and then, if you feel inspired, add one of your own. Anybody can join in the fun. You have to register for the blog to post, but it’s very easy.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 25 | Opposite Poem |

Here’s my poem:

Lies About Art

The harder

it is the better,

after all,

it’s about

the skill,

the height

of the leap,

the length

of the note,

the flawless


of a photograph

in an unforgiving


The best

is dearest,

after all

experts know

a fine


when they

see one

and no

great poet

has died


It takes

years to learn,

after all,

the wheel

has been invented

and there are

so many


to attend.


who would


to be called

a child?

Linda Armstrong, November 25, 2012. All rights reserved.

Looking Back at the PAD Challenge and a Matches Poem

The very first prompt this month on Robert Lee Brewer’s blog was to write a Matches poem.  I was looking back because today’s assignment is to write an Opposite poem using a previous challenge entry. I realized that I have not linked to the first few poems and this could be a problem because I want a convenient way to gather them to submit for chapbook consideration.

You can enter the competition, too, even if you haven’t been posting or writing every day. Just choose your 20 favorite prompts from the month and write to them. Then watch for submission information early next month.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 1 | Matches Poem |

Here’s my “Matches” poem.

We’re a match,

the two of us,

you with your

temper and me

too tempered

you with your

careful pacing

and me

with my wild

last minute


We’re a match

of seeming

opposites, seamed

so closely together

that sometimes

there is no space

between us

like sky

and sea at

sunset on the


2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14 | Stuck Poem |

Today’s prompt on Robert Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog is “stuck.” This is a good one for me, because I have not worked on my NaNoWriMo book since Sunday, and things were actually going very well.  I even know what to write next, but I seem to be stuck.

Read my rationalization poem on the blog. Then check out the great contributions of others. Add your own, too.

2012 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14 | Stuck Poem |


I’m stuck
like the needle
on a vinyl
three days
without progress
or loss
I just
have to
state what
I want to do
and a state
of entropy
sets in
in me loves
and still
wants to
stay still
though I
still still still
to keep
Copyright Linda J. Armstrong 11/14/2012. All rights reserved.

and here’s another, inspired by another poet’s post:

For Jacqueline

They say
when stuck
in one of
his intertwined
tossed the
canvas out
his window
into the intertwined
branches of one
of his trees,
only to retrieve
it when unable
to resist the
way it had
entwined itself
with his entangled

Poems from Previous Challenges

This collection of poems has been forwarded from my Posterous blog archive.

I I warned you that I have too many interests. I have been writing poetry as long as I can remember. Every year I find myself drawn into National Poetry Month. I didn’t write a poem a day. The weather was too beautiful at the end of the month. If you want to see the great prompts by Robert Lee Brewer, visit,month,2011-04.aspx.

From minute to minute
I move, like the destiny
of a dragonfly from
penetrated egg, through
wiggling nymph into the
blue summer sky, skimming
lakes of possible futures,
but moved, inexorably, by
ancient tides within
my blood; the multiple eyes,
the segmented soul, the
fragile, beating wings.



Like a curtain pulling back
for an anticipated performance,
first light creeps down from
the juniper-fringed rim of the
Colorado National Monument,
spilling into canyons where
eagles nest and bighorn sheep
rest in blue shadows. Subtle,
at first, as if in imagination,
it intensifies, like a rising
overture, until the full face
of the edge of centuries is
lit. From power lines along
the road, rows of birds watch,


If I had never been born,
my father would have painted longer,
and might have been known
before he died, rather than after.
If I had never been born,
my husband might have married the dancer
who studied French at the Sorbonne.
But if I had never been born,
my daughter would not be the same,
and that one change could shift
the course of stars.


He lays out colors
along the edges of an
enamel tray, feeling
an electricity across
the empty center that
nobody else can sense.
(18 words)

Don’t Speak, Listen

Walking the canyon trail,
We fall silent,
After so many years
We have heard all the stories
And know the refrain of opinions.
Off to the right, on top of a rock,
Poised against the storm-darkening sky
A bird lifts his head and sings out,
Beckoning a prospective mate.
He pauses and a grumble from the distant
Interstate fills the stillness.
Then, he sings again.

What if I had awakened late
and joined the registration
line at the end? Then, the
art class would have been filled
and we would never have met.
Then, I wouldn’t have taught
and we wouldn’t have bought
that house in the mountains
where we spent so many happy summers.
We wouldn’t have slept in the back
of the jeep or rocked our child
in the house on Lincoln. You wouldn’t
be you and I wouldn’t be me
if I had awakened late and joined
the end of that registration line.



Blow up
the balloons.
the candles.
Sing the
familiar old song.
all the gifts.
Or just
Open your eyes,
And give thanks
Yet another day.

(16 words)

Eleven Eighteen

Outside the window, rain is falling,
giving shadows color on the silent
street. Washed clean, a cool breeze
brushes the young pine in the front
yard, and also the tall cottonwood
that has become too hazardous to keep,
creaking ominously in spring winds
that just died down. Inside, I have
been downloading poetry from rich
centuries for the magic tablet I carry
to read on future trains and planes.
A wind chime plays. A sweet bird sings.

Never Again

Will I tell a friend
who has started to annoy
me that she has
and how and why.

Never again will
I go to that one last
dinner, or walk, or concert
Just to be sure.

Never again will
I try to rescue
a connection that
never really was.

Instead, I will be
as busy as I always am
Wishing things weren’t the way
they are, but are.

Maybe I’ll Be Better

Maybe tomorrow I’ll
follow all the resolutions
I make with so much sincerity
as I slip between the covers
and pull up the blankets tonight.
Maybe I’ll walk a few miles
in the morning, write dozens
of pages, and after dinner
skip the cookies.
Maybe I’ll be kinder, wiser,
and more beautiful tomorrow,
or, maybe, I’ll wake up
and be my same old self
for yet another imperfect day.

In the still orchard
peach blossoms unfurl petals,
soundless firecrackers.

………… the blue……………..
………..April sky, among……………
…….soaring larks, a dragon…………
…………writhing in the……………
………….shifting wind…………….
(10 words)

Do not stash your soul away.
Do not shackle it to clocks.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Don’t insist that it make hay.
Never keep it darning socks.
Do not stash your soul away.

Go to meet it every day.
Undo knots and open locks.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Never try to make it pay
or use it to outwit a fox.
Do not stash your soul away

like a winter coat in May
buried in a cedar box.
Let it fly and sing its say.

Let it, like a wild wolf, bay
and bound among the mountain rocks
Do not stash your soul away.
Let it fly and sing its say.