I have not been on the ball this year writing a poem a day as I’ve tried to in the past, but I still want to celebrate this month dedicated to one of my favorite art forms. So, this year I’ll share with you poems that I’m currently loving. Some are in the public domain, so I’ll post them in their entirety; others are newer, so I’ll post links. One such will be today’s poem.

I was introduced to this poem through Poets.org Poem-A-Day email and liked it so much that I entered it in our school’s annual POETRY MADNESS competition. (It won its first round.) Here is the link to Ada Limón’s “Instructions for Not Giving Up.” https://poets.org/poem/instructions-not-giving We need these directions after the past couple of years we’ve all endured. Stay strong. Read poetry. Be well my friends.

Turning on Your Teacher Brain: Guest Post on Norton’s K-12 Talk

We’re baaaaaaaaaaaack! Back in the classroom that is. And while it feels so good, there are still many challenges. Check out my post on Norton’s K-12 Talk Blog for more on my thoughts about adjusting to this new school year

PAD 16: A City Poem

I’ve fallen way behind on posting, and a little behind on writing, so this may continue into May… For April 16th, the prompt is to write a city poem.

Spring arrives as it normally does

With warm days and cool.

The flowers start to bloom,

But, not all make their appearance this year.

The bed is sparser;

Some of the bulbs seem 

To have been transplanted.

The bearded flowers, however,

Are faring the best,

Their hidden faces waving in the breeze;

The resulting garden is both

Uncanny and familiar.

As I head back into the city 

After most of a year at home,

I look around at

So many shuttered businesses;

The familiar sidewalks are

Sparsely populated, but 

The streets sport new structures

To bring dining to the streets.

The masked faces avoid eye contact

Even more, it seems, than before, they just

Rush along to their next stop before

Barricading themselves back 

Behind their doors. 

The city’s the same, yet

Oh so different.

PAD 15: A (Blank) Story

The prompt for the 15th was to fill in the blank, make that your title, and poem. Here’s my effort:

A Bedtime Story

Watching TV, my eyelids droop,

Weighted blankets embracing my  face,

But the story is good,

So I fight to keep them open,

And then, the yawns come,

Great gaping gawps that stretch 

The jawas to the limit and end with

A Chewbacca-esque Wookie cry which

Obscures crucial moments of dialogue,

And then, the head nod

That neck wrenching swing into oblivion.

No longer can I fight it.

So, I go to bed.

And I sleep.

For two hours.

And then,

The rest of the night,

I toss and turn like

Socks agitating in the washing machine.

And my mind!

My mind enters Bizarro-world

Writing new episodes  for the show

I couldn’t finish watching,

Until a half hour before the alarm goes off,


I fall fast asleep.

PAD 14: From Where I’m Sitting

This morning I offer another catch up posting with hopefully at least one more later today. The prompt for the 14th was to start with the phrase “from where I’m sitting.” I checked the prompt and wrote the first draft while waiting for my husband to return to the table during our first foray into indoor dining in some time.

From where I am sitting

The view is so strange yet

So familiar.

The textured walls with the 

Glossy exposed faux-beams divide

Sections of wall into gallery spaces,

The familiar paintings, photographs, pots, and plates

Decorate the space in an eclectic yet unified vision,

But the tables are few.

The swaths of exposed carpet

Are wide.

There is an eeriness in our return

To indoor dining.

Happy to see the wait staff we have known

For years,

Greeting the owner and wishing him well,

Wanting to support this local business,

Our local community,

But at the same time,

So glad we’re seated near the door;

No longer do we worry about a chill;

Instead we wish for ventilation.

Everything once familiar is new again.

PAD 13: Lucky/Unlucky

Trying to catch up in posting the daily poems. The prompt, appropriately, for the 13th was to write a lucky or unlucky poem. You can decide which this is.

The medievals portrayed luck as a wheel

Spinning you from top to bottom

And back again over the course of a lifetime.

Sometimes, that how it feels now,

But we’re spinning faster and faster until

The wheel pops off its base like a top,

And somehow, when it’s spinning so quickly

You never feel like you’re on top.

PAD 12: Six Word Poem

No, the prompt is not to use only six poems, but rather to use at least three of these six words in the poem: convict, great, play, race, season, voice. I managed five.

The lounging cat is sleeping in my lap,

One arm sticks out in 

Suspended animation

His side rises and falls in

Regular rhythm;

There is no play this evening,

No racing across the floor chasing

An imaginary prey.

His normally expressive voice,

Usually a vast array of warbling tones,

Is soundless;

Yet, one eye periodically pulses open

Just a slit before he squeezes it closed again;

He’s keeping a sly watch on me.

In what seems like a slumber of 

Great comfort and contentment,

He silently convicts me of

Abandoning him

By returning to work

Outside the home.

PAD 11: Prime Number

I’m a day behind now, but still poeming. I had a hard time with yesterday’s prompt of a prime number. Nothing was coming to mind, but today, we returned to the school building for the next phase of hybrid learning, so I asked one of the math teachers to talk to me about prime numbers. I, of course, knew what they are, but I needed more insight. So, thank you Peter for talking to me about why we teach prime numbers and what they do. By the end of the day, the prime numbers churned enough to produce this love poem to my hubby.


In mathematics,

Prime numbers are

A method of categorization.

In the system of division,

Knowing a number is prime

Let’s you know to look no further;

A number divisible by eight is

Also divisible by four and by two,


If a number is divisible by seven,

That’s it.

It stops.

Those two numbers: seven and …

Are a couple,


Together forever,

Like you and me;

You are my seven. 

PAD 10: Get (blank)

Today’s prompt is to fill in the blank, make that your title and begin.

Get Writing

I sit down to write

Primed and ready to go!

Today’s the day I finish

That first draft,

That looming behemoth of possibility

Brewing in my brain for months, years

Weighing on my subconscious;

I’ve been lugging it around with me

For too long

It’s time for it to come out,

Get on paper,

Today’s the day!

So, I sit down to write,

Clearing away the detritus of the week,

The textbooks, planbooks, gradebooks of last week’s lessons,

Filing away the articles, rubric, and graphic organizers

(Oooo, this one looks promising, maybe I could…

No, put it away.)

Bringing the coffee cups and remains of yesterday’s lunch to the kitchen

Wiping down the desktop;

Clearing my space; clearing my mind.

Today’s the day!

And I sit down to write,

Pulling my notebook from between the bookends

Pushing them closer together so what remains 

Doesn’t topple,

Tidying the collection: dictionary, thesaurus, more notebooks;

I scan the pages for where I last left off, 

Trying to decipher the roadmaps I made in multiple colors,

Blue, black, red, green,

Stars and asterisks and arrows

Till I pull the files of pages already printed so

I can match the end of one with 

Where to begin in the other.

I fire up the computer.

Today’s the day!

As I sit down to write,

Notifications chime and I reach for the mouse, 

But no, don’t look, not now. Instead,

I return to rereading my pages, putting my mind

Back in the story,

Entering their world once again,

Noticing small typos or inconsistencies and making 

Brief notes in the margin

(No stop, finish first; stop editing.)

I lean back in my chair,

Staring up at the ceiling, pondering Billy’s next move, or

Could Steve say this? Tom do that? 

And I make some notes, add a sentence or two and continue reading till

The door opens and you call me in for dinner.

The sky is dark, the day is done, but no matter,

Tomorrow’s the day.