Poetry Challenge #85-Yes, You May!

It’s May! It’s May! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are branching out—and so are we! Hooray! Hooray!

Ring around the May Pole

Ring around the May Pole

Mothre May I.jpg

Taking a cue from the musical Camelot’s Lusty Month of May song, in which merrymakers prance about singing “It’s May! It’s May! The month of Yes, You May!” we’re giving ourselves permission to break a few rules.

 

 

Poetry Challenge #85*

“Yes, You May!”

With “Yes, You May” as the title, write a poem giving someone (or something)—maybe yourself—permission to be naughty, mischievous, daring—in other words, to do something he, she, it—YOU—would never, ever do. As this poem is a celebration of May, use flowery, colorful, provocative language. And, if you’re in the mood to be extra daring, give permission to go all out by having every line begin with “Yes, You May” . . .

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

As if you need permission

As if you need permission

“Yes, You May!” Playlist:

Lusty Month of May from Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot

 *Full disclosure: This is a repeat of #33. We had so much fun we decided to do it again, because…We Can!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

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Poetry Challenge #37-Put Me In Coach!

Gayle Sayer.jpg

The “Kansas Comet,” Gayle Sayers, considered “one of the greatest players in NFL history,” was born on May 30, 1943.

(I don’t recall ever actually seeing Gayle Sayers play. In my mind he’s Billy D. Williams from the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. If you haven’t seen it, you should—bring tissues.)

Sayer, who played for the Chicago Bears, said, “I had a style all my own. The way I ran, lurchy, herky-jerky, I kept people off-guard…”

“Lurchy, herky-jerky” works! Football fans take note: For the record, Sayer piled up “4,956 yards rushing in his 68-game career and was voted to four Pro Bowls. Sayers scored 22 touchdowns and 132 points in his first season, both then-rookie records.”

Poetry Challenge #37

Put Me in Coach

Write a poem about football in your own “Lurchy, herky-jerky style.”

Or . . .

Write a poem to the “Coach” of your imagination asking to be “Put in” to something you really, really, really want.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 800 days ago! We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl

Poetry Challenge #36-In Memory of...Bees

Today as I was walking through the field, I noticed bees drunk with happiness, rolling on the golden yellow dandelions. So many flowers! So much nectar! So many bees!

bee.jpg

I was about ten years old when I experienced my first bee sting. I stepped (barefoot) on a bee in the driveway, jumped with the surprise and ouch of the sting on my toe, and my leg swelled up above my knee! I remember earlier bees than that, too: the bees that chased my next door neighbor when she poked a stick into their ground nest, the little boy from down the street who rode his bike through a swarm of bees and ran into our house to get away from them. So many memories, so many stories, all from one word: BEES.

Poetry Challenge #36

In Memory of . . . Bees

Now it’s your turn. What do you think of when you think of bees? Is it an experience you had with them? A lazy, buzzing, summer day? A fascination with the way they live? Write a poem/story about bees. You might try to write a paragraph first, and then cut it the way we did in Challenge #26. Maybe cut it by half the words. Then another half. Add so it makes sense. Play with rhythm and maybe rhyme.

Get buzzzzzzzy!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 800 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one is Cindy's idea.) If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl

Poetry Challenge #26-Take Away!

wordy bird.jpg

I'm a wordy bird! Are you?

Quite often we use too many words to get our point across. We’re going to do some math today and take away 25% of the words used in a poem. But don’t worry…it will be simple. Just do one step at a time!

25 discount.jpg

Poetry Challenge #26

Take Away!

Pick one of your poems. Count the words in the poem. Divide that number by 4 (round up if it’s not even). Take away (delete!) that many words. Reread your poem aloud. How does it sound?

Abracadabra! A poem becomes sharper, stronger, more interesting without so many words. . . And the best part is, if you don't like the way the poem sounds without the words, you can always put them back. Bippity-boppity-boop!

If the thought of removing 25% of your words scares you, check out this example of how Cindy Faughnan's poem changed when she slashed it by 25%:

Here's the Poem Cindy started with entitled 2/24:

I can’t watch the news.
I see those teens
so earnest, so determined,
so hurt,
and imagine the pain
and grief
of their lives.
There can’t be peace
on earth while
lobbyist make fun
of “white mothers grieving”
Every word is loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.

It has 50 words. Divide that by 4 and round up should be about 13. Subtract 13 from 50 and you get 37.

50-13=37

2/24 The 37 word version:

Can’t watch the news.
See those teens
so determined.
Can’t imagine the grief
of their lives.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
make fun of
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot
with no regard
for stolen innocence.

This second version feels stronger, doesn't it? But Cindy didn't stop there. "Can I cut another 25%?" she asked. 37 words, divided by 4 and rounded up to get 10. Subtracted 10 from 37 to get 27.

37-10=27

2/24 The 27 word version:

Can’t watch
those determined teens.
Can’t imagine the grief.
Can’t be peace
while lobbyists
ridicule
“white mothers grieving”.
Words loaded
and shot.
No regard
for stolen innocence.

WHOA! What a difference! Now you try it!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Select a poem to revise.

Do The Math! 

Take Away 25%

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7-Minute Poetry Challenge #21-Inside Out, Upside Down & Backwards

Gotta love DIY videos! And the folks who take the time to find them--like daughter Lexi, who solved one of the great frustrations of my life with the link to one short clip: HOW TO PUT ON A DUVET COVER Thank you Lexi! 

WARNING: Not all DIY tips work (neither do all poetry prompts) . . .

Dang duvet cover won't behave...

Dang duvet cover won't behave...

That being said, while Lexi and I were step-by-step smoothing, rolling and unrolling our perfectly stuffed duvet, (maybe because my upper half was not fully inside the cover as usual), a 7-minute poetry prompt popped into my noggin. (And, if you have a few moments left after you finish and need a laugh, click on the DIY Projects Gone Wrong link below.) Here Goes.

Poetry Challenge #21

INSIDE OUT, UPSIDE DOWN & BACKWARDS!

Begin by taking a minute to read through the poems you've already written and select one you think is HORRIBLE! or one you are excited to revise.

First: Giving yourself a pat on the back for having written it! 

Now: Mix it up. Pluck a line out of the middle and move it to the beginning; move the last line to the first; the first line to the end, etc. etc. And so forth . . . 

Why? Sometimes a poem is like a duvet cover, you've got to turn it inside out to make it work!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Mix It Up, Baby!

Have FUN!

ear1.jpg

Upside Down, Inside Out & Backwards Playlist: 

  1. HOW TO PUT ON A DUVET COVER
  2. DYI Projects Gone Wrong
  3. Upside Down by Joe Jackson
  4. Upside Down Boy You're Turning Me by Diana Ross
  5. Shake It Up Baby from Ferris Bueller's Day Off

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge at more than 680 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl

7-Minute Poetry Challenge #16-Can You Say COLD?

Confession Time...again: I've been so busy holidaying, I neglected posting last week. (I hope you Challenged yourself.) In case you have qualms about the value of this SSSSSTTTREEEEEETCH read what gazillion-times published author Jane Yolen writes about her ongoing poetry challenge. (BTW: Did you know you could read a different one of Jane's books every day for a YEAR!) 

"I started writing a poem a day seven years ago as a personal challenge.  I didn't expect to be happy with any poem on the first draft. But I did it for three reasons: 1. Finger exercises 2. Brain exercise 3. Sales: This was an unforeseen plus. I've gotten at least a half dozen picture books out of those poems and sold a hundred or more to journals and anthologies, and used them in books of my own. My writing had taken a huge step forward. I have no plans to stop."-Jane Yolen in the SCBWI Insights (Jan. 4, 2018).

Poetry Challenge #16

Can You Say COLD? 

For inspiration, here's my view on this Blizzard Blustery BRRRR day. 

For inspiration, here's my view on this Blizzard Blustery BRRRR day. 

Brr!!! It’s a cold time of year! The sun sparkles off the ice-covered branches, the deck makes loud cracking noises, and I can breathe big clouds into the cold air. Write a poem about the cold. Begin with the line, “You know it’s cold when…” and think of all the things that make you know it’s cold. I hope you’re wrapped up in a blanket!! 

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge at least 640 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

ear1.jpg

Can You Say COLD? Playlist:

 

 

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7-Minute Poetry Challenge #14-Remember First!

B. learns the art of snow angels!

B. learns the art of snow angels!

Poetry Challenge #14

Remember First! 

Do you remember the first of something in your life? Maybe you remember the first time you rode a bike, the first time you visited someone by yourself, or the first time you went somewhere by yourself. Maybe you have early memories of reading or writing or hiking. Who did these things with you? Where were you? What did you like? What feelings do you remember?

D. learning to climb "high-high!"

D. learning to climb "high-high!"

Make a list of anything you remember about some first event. The more things you write down, the more you’ll remember. Add detail and play with the words and order to make the best poem you can. Try to repeat sounds for effect.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think too much; just do it.

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For inspiration a few songs to rev up your rememberer:

We 3 learned how much writing we could do with 7-Minute Challenges! 

We 3 learned how much writing we could do with 7-Minute Challenges! 

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 640ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl

7-Minute Poetry Challenge #10-And To Think That I Saw It . . .

Kudos Friends for clicking over. If you've been following along, you will notice I have changed the title of this series. It is still a strrrrretch I'm hoping you're up for it! 

Recently, in light of our collective efforts to be more culturally sensitive, this book (which was brought to mind by the title of this prompt) is being banned because a   mural in the Dr. Suess Museum   depicted a scene from this book has been deemed racist. The mural, or that section of the mural, is being replaced. I am not sure where this leaves this first book by the beloved Dr. Seuss. To read or not to read it, is a question for you to decide. To ban it is shut the door on an important conversation.   (As Theo is long gone, he can't weigh in on the discussion.)

Recently, in light of our collective efforts to be more culturally sensitive, this book (which was brought to mind by the title of this prompt) is being banned because a mural in the Dr. Suess Museum depicted a scene from this book has been deemed racist. The mural, or that section of the mural, is being replaced. I am not sure where this leaves this first book by the beloved Dr. Seuss. To read or not to read it, is a question for you to decide. To ban it is shut the door on an important conversation.

 (As Theo is long gone, he can't weigh in on the discussion.)

And still only a 7-minute commitment. I just shortened the title so we could get to the Challenge  faster. Here goes (courtesy of Cindy*) Grab a pen for Big #10!

Poetry Challenge #10

AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT . . . 

List 10 or more things you saw on the bus or in the car this morning on your way to work or school. Or take a walk and list things you see. Pick 5 of the things and put one on each line. Add detail or metaphor (it looks like a…it is as ___ as a ___).

If you can get a friend to do this with you, put your two poems together when you’re both done. Switch every other line. Then read the poem and see if you want to move some lines around to get it in a better order or change some words to make it rhyme (or not rhyme) or sound better.

And if you have more than one friend do this, even better!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 600 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge be sure to let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem, in the comments!

Want the 7-Minute Stretch sent to your email? Click on SUBSCRIBE  to receive email notification when entries are posted on Kelly's Fishbowl