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 napowrimo.net (off prompt)

Post Na/GloPoWriMo 2022

National/Global Poetry Writing Month is now over, and I met 21 of the prompts from Maureen Thorsen at napowrimo.net, plus the warm-up prompt on 31 March. I responded twice to the prompt on two of those 30 days in April, although one was a concrete poem I wrote 24 years ago. Some days saw multiple poems written, with a total of 41 poems posted in April, including 3 with audio. All but two were in response to various prompts, some coinciding with napowrimo.net. Those other prompts were from earthweal, Colleen Chesebro’s Word Craft Poetry, The Sunday Whirl, Misky’s The Twiglet, and dVerse ~ Poets Pub (where I also responded with a prosery). Coincidentally, two of those poems met prompts at napowrimo.net.

My responses were in various forms, two of which – aisling and duplex – are new to me. All are listed here:

1 aisling
2 concrete poem (including one from the past)
1 duplex
23 free verse
4 ekphrastic poems (1 was a gogyohka)
2 haibun
1 haiku
2 list poems
1 nonet
1 prose poem
1 tanka prose
2 quadrille

In addition to these poems, I kept busy during National Poetry Month. I participated in a Zoom open mic with members of the Columbia Writer’s Guild and one with dVerse members. I also participated in a Zoom reading for “Poets in the Blogosphere,” organized by Luanne Castle and hosted by Liz Gauffreau. A video recording of that reading can be seen here. I participated in two live open mic sessions, one at Gumbo Bottoms Ale House in Jefferson City, Missouri, and one at Barb’s Books in Belle, Missouri. Also, I had a poem published by Vita Brevis Press, and I received notification that three of my poems will be in a forthcoming “Well Versed” anthology from Columbia Writer’s Guild (Columbia, Missouri).

It was National Poetry Writing Month that inspired me to start this blog in 2014, and I have participated in, and completed, the challenge each April since then. I always enjoy reading the many wonderful prompt responses from other poets at napowrimo.net, 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


Waiting for the First Leaf ~ haibun

Waiting for the First Leaf

Frank J. Tassone, American Haijin, provides a prompt that addresses an issue I have faced many times over the years. Days, sometimes weeks, have passed without poetry making an appearance, either through pixels or pen. And I’m faced with it once again, today.

Write a haibun about writer’s block? When my mind is filled with thoughts about the directions a tree branch might take, or the last days of hummingbirds at my feeder, I don’t know that I have the words that could describe the frustration I face right now when trying to meet the prompt. A leaf floating on a stream as I paddle beneath low hanging branches, spinning with its reflection as it does in my wake, could sooner bring words to mind. Or a sunset casting the trees in a golden light, offering a preview of what is to come when their leaves take on an autumn hue, comes to mind sooner than words about words that refuse to appear.

Give me those moments, and I may have the words to capture the beauty of nature. At the moment, the words to address writer’s block escape me. And so I wait.

brings milder weather
first leaf falls

This haibun is my response to Haibun Monday 9-27-21: Writer’s Block,
the prompt at dVerse ~ Poets Pub.

Thirty Long Days

Thirty Long Days

I knew that I had seen the worst
When poetry became a curse
For thirty days preceding May
A poem written every day

The well ran dry too many times
In both free verse and simple rhyme
But now it seems the end is nigh
I can relax and breathe a sigh

It’s back to writing when inspired
No daily written word required
And when at last my head has cleared
I’ll try this once again next year

~ Day 30 ~

Shared with Open Link Night: We are listening at dVerse Poets Pub