Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - List Poem

I had the poetry stretches for the month of April all planned out and written, but today's stretch got derailed by life. Not only did I get some very bad news on the home front this weekend, but William's guinea pig finally succumbed to a respiratory infection and died last night. While I thought about my own concerns and consoled a heartbroken little boy, several list poems came to mind. I must follow the muse when it speaks to me, so the challenge this week is to write a list poem.

Here are some resources you may find helpful.
So, that's it. Write a list poem about anything that strikes your fancy. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. :( Oh, Tricia, I'm so sorry. Poor Will.

  2. I am sorry, too. As my children grew up, we lost fish, kittens, several full grown cats, a hamster, an anole, two dogs, and a budgie. It never got easier.

    Here's my poem:

    How to Write A List Poem

    1. Gather your thoughts.
    Try using the hand basket
    you were using for your trip to hell.
    Or the tote bag from the garden shop
    since green is the color for now.
    Or maybe the backpack
    which you threw into the corner
    after your last abortive
    climb of Kilimanjaro.
    (Perhaps learning to spell it should come first.)

    2. Make an Actual List
    Try a grocery list,
    with numbers to the left.
    Don’t forget the eggs, the hummus.
    Or a To Do list,
    because it is fun to cross things off.
    Or a recipe, using good verbs.
    I particularly like: Stir. Whisk. Sear.
    Or in a pinch, Pinch.

    3. Gather sources.
    I prefer books,
    old hard covers discovered,
    in musty, fusty bookstores
    where a woman named Barbara
    or perhaps Mabel Jane
    adds everything up with a pencil.
    Children prefer the Internet
    which is democratic and erratic.
    My husband used his brain.
    He never forgot anything he ever read,
    could see the information
    nestled on its page.

    4. Write.
    Butt in chair.
    Write your poem.

  3. Good Lord, I hate following Jane Yolen, but I want to say I'm sorry for William. Such a hard lesson to learn in life, that pets have shorter lifespans than humans. Yet we must love animals and risk the heartache.


  4. Tricia, sorry to hear about the sad weekend. :-(

  5. So sorry to hear your sad news. Poor William :(. It seems like just a little while ago you got that guinea pig, too.

  6. Tricia, I'm so sorry about the guinea pig. Our (first) hamster died several months ago and telling my kids and sitting with them as they (we) cried was one of the hardest things I've ever done as a mother. I'm getting choked up now just writing about it. I'll say, though, that they recovered from the hamster's passing faster than I recovered from telling them - and kicking myself over what I might have done to prevent it. Moms and guilt, a natural combination.

  7. Sorry about the little guy, those things are always tough.

    List Poem
    First the alarm clock scream, I wake up.
    Second put on gym shorts, don’t forget shirt.
    Third off to the bathroom, I know what to do.
    Fourth sneakers are by the door, put them on.
    Five stand at the edge of my driveway, I want to go back to bed.
    Sixth start to run, run 2 miles.
    Seven sit in driveway, I am tired from run.
    Eight finally I am done, go to kitchen.
    Nine find my dish, do a little dance.
    The best is last, ten; eat a big delicious bowl of ice cream topped with chocolate syrup and sprinkles.
    Tomorrow I will do it again.

  8. I too am sad for your son's loss...we've lost a few pets over the years, gerbils, cat and a dog...many tears have's always sad to loose a living spirit.

    On to a lighter note, here's my list (fun to do. Thanks):

    A List of Lists!

    Today I made,
    A list of calls to make,
    A list of emails to mail,
    A list of groceries to buy,
    And rooms to clean,
    A list of meals to cook,
    A list of lists for my sons,
    A list of people to visit,
    And finally,a list of all the lists.

    Now it's time to do the lists!

  9. Tricia,

    I was sad to read about the bad family news you received--and about the loss of William's guinea pig. Our pets do become members of our families.

    I hope to return with a list poem for you.

  10. I never had a pet for the fear of losing it to death in front of my eyes :(

  11. Link to my list poem. Love your blog -- just discovered it a few weeks ago.

  12. Tricia,

    Here are two list poems that I wrote recently. I composed POET at the Magnetic Poetry site after reading Cloudscome's Poetry Friday post a couple of weeks ago. Cloudscome posted my poem at A Wrung Sponge.


    sculpt water
    paint colors
    create metaphors
    fashion fiery impressions
    chisel rhythm & symbol
    capture imagination
    ink beauty

    I posted the second poem, AND WHO WILL LEAD THE GOP?, at my blog Political Verses a couple of weeks ago.


    Little Boy Blue,
    Come blow your horn.
    Mitt's in the meadow.
    Mike Steele's in the corn.
    Rush is out riding
    His hippo this morn.
    Boehhner's in Congress--
    He's bitchin' and moanin'.
    And Newt's out of town--
    So, I guess, he'll just phone in.
    Governor Jindal's
    Gone into seclusion.
    He's getting a needed
    Rhetorical transfusion.
    Mitch M. is refining
    His partisan skills.
    McCain is out hunting
    For earmarks in bills.
    And where's Sarah Paylin,
    The gal with the glasses?
    Did she fall into
    One of Alaska's crevasses?
    Oh, dear! My oh my!
    What's the party to do?
    Hey, are you busy now,
    Mister Magoo?

    Happy first day of National Poetry Month!

  13. With a smile i will greet
    You,the first time we meet.
    I guess i might be bit late,
    but the traffic is to be blamed.
    We will meet at my fave coffee place
    A lot can happen over coffee they say.
    I will try my best to memorize
    how you appear in real life,
    We will reflect on the way we grew
    and how the first time each other we knew.
    We will laugh to heart's content again
    aon some crazy things and some so plain!!

    I am meeting two of my blogging friends this month for the first time.. This poem is dedicated to them !

  14. Hope Will is feeling somewhat better? Kids, my kids, anyway, seem to grieve hard and fast. Though my daughter still talks about each of our former pets with love and grief, the initial, *intense* heartbreak did not last long. Thank goodness, as it was unbearable to see.


    Here's my list poem. I'm working on some school poems this week, and today I did a list one.

    What If the First Day of Ninth Grade Is a Disaster?

    What if…

    …I miss a spot when I straighten my hair?
    …My mom hollers, “I love you! Have a great day!” as I walk down the driveway.
    …She doesn’t?
    …I leave my violin on the bus?
    …My locker is upstairs?
    …I get The Joy of Public Speaking instead of Funky Clothing Design for my elective?
    … I do not know a single, solitary person in any of my classes?
    …Chad Behr is in my Public Speaking class, and I pass out?
    …Seniors trip me in the hall?
    …We have stew for lunch (how could there be leftovers already!)?
    …It rains, and my hair totally frizzes out?
    …Nobody else has clothes like mine?
    …Everybody else has clothes like mine?
    …The speech therapist recognizes me and says hi in the hallway?
    …I just pretend to be sick?
    …I really get sick?
    …I’m still the shortest person in my grade?
    …My pants rip (they’re the tiniest bit tight)?
    …I miss the bus because I’m safety pinning my pants in the bathroom?
    …My dad tells me again how exciting the first day of school should be?

    I LOVE the hand basket you were using for your trip to hell in Jane's poem, and the to do list for the sake of crossing things out. I've been known to add already-done tasks just so I can cross them out right away:>)

    And Marianne, love your list of lists inside your list of lists. Ha!