Category Archives: NaPoWriMo

Prayer of Worry, Prayer of Love

On seeing pictures of bombing suspects, I thought
how very much they looked just like my students.
And now on hearing that “they’re not from here,”
I’m worried about my students, who are from everywhere.
I want to say my students, to the world, to God,
How much I love them. They’re why I do this job
(however well or badly I end up doing it).

I love all my students, damn it.
I love my Muslim students. Christians, also,
of course, and atheists, and everything else, too,
But today it’s Islam someone might be using
as an excuse to beat up a much-loved student.

We come to God so many different ways.
Or not at all. Let’s go where we find more love,
let’s offer hopes and wishes, good thoughts and prayers,
let’s be for each other what we all need more of.

Headache Weather, Part 4

Everything’s tight,
everything hurts,
again with the shoulders
up by my ears.

Except for before
when I let loose
the sobbing today, right then
I was loose
all over, no crying for me,
no quiet tears, just heaves
of choking, some gasps,
a big, fat grief orgasm.

I am not pretty when I cry.

My sister was better acquainted
with the deceased, but, if I may,
let me observe how utterly
inappropriate her racket was today.
She says I’m cold at the core.
Well if I am, at least my ice
doesn’t go melting when and where
it ought not, leaving a big mess.


Standing with the smokers,
watching the shadows of clouds race
up the big hill, wishing I could
walk there and lie down
in one of the big green stripes.
Now a big cloud covers the sun.
Now everything looks gray again.
Even the green looks smudged.



for Jennifer F.

Headache Weather, Part 3

It was kind of a hard day, see,
because it was kind of misty
and I just could not get settled
on the the whole wiper setting
because one was too fast
and one was too slow
and the adjust-a-speed one
just wasn’t right at all,
so I was really irritated
when I got to the funeral.

Headache weather, part II


Lovely sort of fall day for April.
Perfect for the funeral I just went to.
It was one of those good ones,
I mean, I cared, but we weren’t close.
I welled up a little.
A perfectly brisk little grief.

Headache Weather, Part I

So far for National Poetry Writing Month, I’ve done a haiku-ish poem I like to think of as a like-ku, a parody, and some found poetry that led to a poem I found genuinely startling (did I really write a breakfast cereal called Jezebel Crunch that had little crunchy bits shaped like her hands and feet? Yes. Yes I did.)

So now let’s try some lines for a verse play, called Headache Weather. And then let’s see if I come back to it after today.

Just driving in the driving rain
my elbows up around my ears,
I thought, “This is the kind of day
that I call ‘headache weather’

because I get these migraines
I don’t call migraines.
I figure calling them that
gives them power I don’t want

my headaches to have. Words
and names and utterance,
they all can make things
really real. Real as birds.


Not really a verse play yet, just one voice speaking. Hm.