Post Na/GloPoWriMo 2023

National/Global Poetry Writing Month is now over, and I met 10 of the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at, plus the warm-up prompt on 31 March. I posted a total of 31 poems in April, including 2 with audio. I responded to various other prompts, including those from Ronovan Writes (Weekly Haiku & Weekly Sijo Challenges), The Sunday Whirl, Misky’s The Twiglet (here, here, here, & here), and dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

My responses were in various forms, one of which – a sonnet – is among my least favorite to write. All are listed here:

1 palinode (in free verse)
3 ekphrastic poems (in free verse)
21 free verse (in total)
1 sea shanty
1 gogyohka
11 senryū (including 8 in 2 sequences of 4)
1 magnetic poem (one of the senryū)
1 tanka
1 American Sentence
1 sijo
1 sonnet


In addition to these poems, I kept busy during National/Global Poetry Month. I participated in several Zoom open mic events and viewed a Zoom event with three authors that included Lynne Burnette. I participated in three live open mic sessions, one at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House in Jefferson City, Missouri, one at Barb’s Books in Belle, Missouri, and one at Daniel Boone Regional Library in Columbia, Missouri. I was the featured reader at a poetry open mic at Savannah’s Coffee Corral in Pevely, Missouri. Also, I had poetry published in two anthologies – six poems in Reflections and Revelations, from Editor Susi Bocks, and three poems in Wolf at the Door, Nobody Home, from The Gasconade Press. I received notification that three of my poems are forthcoming in a “Well Versed” anthology from Columbia Writer’s Guild (Columbia, Missouri).

This year seemed harder for me than in the past. Thirty-one is close to the fewest poems I have written in the ten years I have responded to this challenge (thirty in 2015). This may be due to my busy month, or it may be this sign of my commitment to meet this annual challenge: Including the five poems I wrote about writer’s block there were a total of eleven poems that did not meet a prompt and that I might otherwise have saved for submission elsewhere.

It was National Poetry Writing Month that inspired me to start this blog in 2014, and I have participated and completed the challenge each April since then. I always enjoy reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at, where I’ve been introduced to many of the poets that I follow on WordPress. I look forward to next year’s challenge. Thank you to all who read my poetry this past month and especially to all who commented.

Ken Gierke


More or Less About Time ~ palinode

More or Less About Time

blank, black disc
tells me nothing
until a quick tap
or flip of the wrist
brings it to life
shows its face
chosen by me
to emulate analog
in a digital world
the only gear here

appearance simple
yet detailed
time a primary concern
weather at a glance
health in numbers
pulse, steps
another tap
exercise calories
and another tap
phone texts for eyes
younger than mine
still adjusting to digital

 I’m closing out National/Global Poetry Writing Month by actually being on prompt for
Day Thirty at, where Maureen asks us to write a palinode
– a poem in which you retract a view or sentiment expressed in an earlier poem.
Compare this to Watching Time, a poem about my heirloom pocket watch
written for an April 2017 challenge.

Random Transformation

Random Transformation

cohesive thoughts tenuous,
the poet stares at an empty page.
One abortive attempt after another,
long past the hope for something
lyrical, he turns to a word generator.
Even when they’re given to him
they yield naught, yet his resolve
remains steady. Always wanting,
searching for the right words,
the best he can do is transform them
into a poem about writer’s block.


Writing a-poem-a-day National/Global Poetry Writing Month 2023 has been difficult for me. This is my fifth poem about writer’s block. I’ve used the Kerfe’s random words, chosen by Oracle 2, including 9 of the words.

Shared with Day Twenty-eight at (off prompt)

Moon and Sun, Together

Moon and Sun, Together

In our early days,
I was not your secret lover,
nor were you mine.
But when the moon, sun,
and stars seemed to revolve
around one person, some
wondered who could be
the center of my love poems.

Poetry connected us
when we had to be satisfied
with the distance that separated us
and all I wanted was to be in
or at the edge of your atmosphere.
You responded to my poetry
with your own, but broadened it
with music by sharing your favorites,
reflecting the moon and sun back to me.

You may have to coax me
onto the dance floor,
but our song will always be
When the Day Met the Night,
by Panic! At the Disco.
Music continues to be
one of our strongest connections.


This is my response to Poetics: Let music speak, the prompt from Punam at dVerse ~ Poets Pub, which is write a poem about music that uses two titles from a list of songs from Linda Perry’s albums. I have used “Edge of Your Atmosphere” and “Secret Lover.”

Shared with Day Twenty-six at (off prompt)

Divine Intervention ~ ekphrastic poem

Divine Intervention

There is just one hell,
but everyone has their own
little pocket, right below
the surface for some,
so deep for others
they can pretend it’s not there
while it waits to surface
given the opportunity.

We may wish to never see it,
but some wallow in theirs,
divine intervention
the farthest thing from their minds.


“Divine Intervention” by Patty Gaffke ~ oil on canvas
on display at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House, Jefferson City, MO

Shared with Day Twenty-five at (off prompt)



with body language

in dysphoria

what they see
what she sees

their norms
her life

a name
is just the start

gender assigned
through conformity

a line
they will not
let her cross

refusing to
build rapport

rising above
their bias
not a consideration

so much to learn
for those willing
to understand

so much to gain
sevenfold and more
for those willing to risk

a risk for those
willing to live

This is my response to The Sunday Whirl #602, using the words provided.
rising | build | seven | line | risk | gender | granted | willing | name | learn | bodies | dancing

Shared with Day 23 at (off prompt)

C Jam Blues

C Jam Blues

Hoppin’, boppin’.
Strollin’ along.
Who is this cat?

Is he the bass,
layin’ down that smooth beat?
The piano, weavin’
highlights in and out?

No, man.
He’s the sax,
with places to go
and people to see.
He ain’t sittin’ still
for nothin’.

But what’s with this
crossing, his route
takin’ him
where he don’t belong,
headin’ north where
I-70’s goin’ more than 70?

But there he goes,
that armadillo startled jump,
straight up as a pickup
passes right over him.

So there he lies
feet up, his shell
flattened as a semi
crosses his path.

And this jam ends,
a long fade out
of a wail,
as if Mingus knows.

It’s been a busy day, including a 2+ hour drive to read at Savannah’s Coffee Corral in Pevely, MO (south of St. Louis), but I’m home in time to post my April-poem-a-day just under the midnight wire (Central Time). On the 60 mile (or so) stretch of I-70 heading east towards St. Louis, I must have seen a half-dozen armadillo roadkill. Of course, by the time we got to our destination I wrote this poem, listening to Mingus at Carnegie Hall Live (C Jam Blues).

Shared with Day Twenty-two at (off prompt)

Image source: Wikimedia Commons



We may tell ourselves
that no sane person
would intentionally
deceive themselves,
yet we also
tell ourselves
the truth
we want to hear,
fully aware
of the fallacy
in our own words,
when faced
with the facts
as our hypocnesty
bites us in the ass.

This my response to Day Twenty-one at, where Maureen offers the poem “Grace,” then provides a list of abstract nouns to use as the title for a poem that contains very short lines, and at least one invented word.