Poetry Prompt

1. Open your laptop
2. Drop in Billy Collins’ mouse and watch it
3. delete everything you wrote last week then
4. recreate words from its footprints
5. Accuse the words of lying
6. Fan them with a bellows until they blow off the screen and
7. land behind your eyes
8. When the words form tears
9. remember they are only mouse droppings
10. lying beneath the lines of your poem

~bw 22
The Napo prompt for Day Four suggested a poem in the form of a poetry prompt.

She believes God was in the trees.

“The bones of the dead
are excavated, scattered, and sold.
Shrines are blasted from sacred
rock in the name of patriotism.”
-Tiffany Midge “Night of the Living Dead”

She follows patterns of shadows
that dance across the wall
lengthening dusk toward the
closet, where high on a shelf she rattles
the bones of the dead.

Culled from forest floors
each bone holds the secrets of
stardust tracing lines within a void.
She misses the trees
where patterns of shadows, like bones,
are excavated, scattered, and sold.

Her dad said trees were sentinels of time
always watching. She believes that trees
held stories forever remote and inaccessible
bulldozed by the highest bidder,
Shrines are blasted from sacred

places where patterns of shadows
no longer fall. She opens the box of bones
and inhales the forest floor grateful for
secrets and shovels. Grateful for her bravery
against the movement to destroy what’s gone
where every lie was a
rock in the name of patriotism.

~bw 22

Day Three

Glosa One


Your body was your temple of doom. Your body was your
crutch. Your body drove your death to the front of that
truck on Montana 200. I imagine you cackled as you
flew through the air finally cheating life of itself and

If the dead could talk would you whisper or scream?

Last night in a dream a song about angels fell from your
fingers and landed on Evel’s soft padded paw tap tap tapping
my face awake. Months have passed with no thought of your
life flashing before your eyes. Then a poem about bodies inspires
dreams of fingers and angels and somehow you are

~bw 22

Using Napo’s day one and day two prompts, I wrote this prose poem. From day two’s prompt, I used a word from Haggard Hawks’ Twitter feed for the title. Fleetings are animal tracks or footprints left in the snow. A bit of poetic license at play here. I thought about powdery snow and how quickly it blows away. And how my hand went to my cheek when the cat’s insistence woke me. And how the poetic process brought a friend long gone to a dream. Poof.

How Can I

How can I breathe?
How can I be?

Dropping dead in front of my students has never been a fear

until today

You three young people who
I love
more than my brother
more than my cat
more than Harold Chenille

You laugh with me
You read with me
You cry with me
You cook with me

You share your life with me

hoe cakes
sausage links
Bacon and time
Moments and

A meal
A feel
The four of us steal
(and it’s not even FriYay)

Raise your cups to Christmas
Orange juice
And us

And then…

My heart becomes cayuco in an ocean storm
Fluttering and falling
(fear that it is failing)
It races and slows

I have to take this call

Don’t let me die in front of you
You three
You trifecta
Keep my heart afloat

Purpose and sarcasm
Ripple my soul

We visit sideways
We ebb and we flow


My engine runs on fear today.
It strives to hide while
all these shiny wings fly by.
There is no truth,
only mornings
that witness
the why.

Pricing papers
shredded and shed.
Life splits into pieces.
Do you feel it?

Not free.

Visit The Sunday Whirl

Open, Clear.

I keep thinking I’ll reach this spacious place.

Simple, like pancakes.

But no.
Butter drips through blue-berry stacks that
kill the drowsy plains of afternoon with dreams that shatter sheep, baa – baa – baa-ing over faltering fences.

I keep thinking it will get easy -er.
Seek and ye shall find they say.
Knock and the door shall be open.

Nothing clears into a blur of grace
like blueberry pancakes
whoring their way to something else.
Forks ignored.

We are all afraid of each other.

Maybe we should be.

I shiver like a root in the rain

Repentance cannot work alone.
To carry this clarity disparages despair.
Hope is where expectations appear.
Righteousness replaces sin.

If we consider incompleteness a verb
this hasn’t even started yet,
so how will it ever end?

Brenda Warren 2020



For today’s piece, I dove into the Anne Carson Bot on Twitter. The italicized line and “shiver like a root in the rain” are quotes from the Bot’s twitter feed.

out my window

I am Gladys Kravitz
watching a dead girl rise.
Her pungent eyes cast a stench of black syllables
she spits at the street.
Her glances taste like the rotten apples
Lilith rued in the Garden of Eden.
I am not Gladys Kravitz
but I can’t stop looking out my window.
Slithering succotash.
The dead girl stops to vomit then smiles as
she spins a whistle round her finger.
A broken digit of Paradise.
A field of flowers, serpents, and flame.
To the corner she leaps in one bound
like a black tarp in wind.
She’ll soon be meeting Adam,
that heavenly dealer.
Stifle your needles with your head!
Carpe diem.
The needle needles Adam to exorcise her demons.
Together. Apart. We watch the dead girl rise.

Brenda Warren 2020



Written following the Napo Day 5 prompt