February Poetry Prompts

Each February for the past few years, I’ve participated in the daily poetry prompt exercise run by Maryland poet, Laura Shovan. This year’s theme is “Ten Words” with 10 words drawn from newspaper or other articles. Here are a few of the poems, with the 10 words. We actually started in January with some warm-ups.

January 24’s warm-up used the following ten words. I was stumped, so I used the words in order and split things up to create an alternative.

Trump reignited war over blocking foreign aid nongovernmental promote abortions

ALTERNATIVE FACTS

[Memorandum For]  Trump

Re: Ignited

Wa! Rover blocking–
Foreign aid: no[n] go Vern
Mental prom
O! tea   bortions
p^

January 29:

Words:  Division, wall, freedom, 20th century, overcome, spirit, historical, thank, appeal, suffering

Around me I see
appeals to the spirit that unites,
the way that overcomes division,
and I give thanks.

The crowds with their signs
and chants of support
for the stranger in need,
fill me with hope
that at last we will consign
the prejudice and hate
of the 20th century,
and all those before it,
to the dustbin of history.

Freedom from suffering
is not found behind walls,
but only when we gather as one.

February 1, 2017

Words: Psychology, pool, conceal, capture, actors, bravery, doubt, narrative, transcends, framework

There are days in which I gaze
into the pool of doubt
and question the narrative
that is the framework of my life.

What psychology is this
that creates a veneer of bravery,
conceals the possibility
that I am just an actor
in my own play,
a captive to my audience?

February 9, 2017
The prompt for February 9 was a quote from Senator Elizabeth Warren, “They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth,” spoken after being silenced by Senator McConnell after she started to read a letter from Coretta Scott King regarding Senator Jeff Sessions during the proceedings to appoint him as Attorney General.

Elizabeth’s Roar

They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth.
They can drown my voice in shouts from the floor.
I will stand fast in the face of rebuke.

Dissent is a danger we must uproot,
The repressive refrain, heard more and more.
They can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth.

No voice/no challenge, is what they conclude.
I may be silenced, but my presence roars.
I will stand fast in the face of rebuke.

Though some may think my criticisms rude,
and men may rage, as they have done before—
they can shut me up, but they can’t change the truth.

Not with us, against us, the current mood.
They move to right perceived wrongs; settle scores.
I will stand fast in the face of rebuke.

Those in power will do their best to prove
that progressive views are to be deplored.
They can shut us up, but they can’t change the truth.
We will stand fast in the face of rebuke.

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