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Day 13 Highlights

With Day 13's poems, I got the best of both worlds: poetry and music. I asked you to write a poem that's inspired by a song or lyrics from a song. Most of the music that inspired you was already known by me, so I found myself often humming the songs as I read your poems. Lots of fun, for sure.

Anyway, have fun reading (and humming) the highlights.


Southern Paradise

Inspired by Song in C by Cary Hudson

“…takes a swig of whiskey

And decides

He says boys

This here’s parardise”

The smell of catfish frying in the hot oil

Hushpuppies bubbling up to the top

Fills the night air with a heavenly aroma

Making the men hungry.

The beers iced down

Getting colder and colder,

Better and better

Making everybody thirsty.

Jimmy Ray picks up his guitar

Plays a song about his dog.

Some of the men want to tear up

But don’t.

They shake their head instead

Grab one of those cold beers,

Some a nip of whiskey.

Because most of them knew that dog.

Songs like that cut straight to the matter,

No doubt about it.

Jimmy Ray picks up the pace a bit,

Plays a song about his truck, the girl that left him.

The men really like that one.

She was such a bitch.

The night goes on

Them sitting around the fire

Cooking up good food

Playing songs about life

Enjoying their southern paradise.

patti williams |pwilliamswriterAT NOSPAMaol dot com


Going Home

Inspired by "Blue Bayou"

(Roy Orbison & Linda Ronstadt)

The ancient Cyprus stand patiently.

Their branches, gnarled with age,

draped in tattered gray shawls of moss.

Gators float lazily in the sluggish pools,

waiting for dinner to swim by.

Catfish snuggle into the muddy creek bottom,napping in the heat of the day.

Here and there a sunbeam slips through the dark green canopy.

The small shack is dark..listing slightly on it's wobbly stilts.

It is afternoon on the Bayou.

Quiet, sleepy, waiting...for me to come home.

Glenda Widger



“I'm sorry, I know that's a strange way to tell you that I know we belong, that I know I am… the luckiest.” –Ben Folds

I feel like I'm apologizing more and more

these days for the past I treasure, but,

I'm sorry that I defaced public property

to propose. I'm sorry I thought the best

way to explain how you've affected me

was to write a poem about erosion (you).

I know it may not've been the most tactful

approach to a proposal, calling you erosion

then graffiti-ing up Balboa Park that Thursday

when Nepalese police shot labor strikers

entering Katmandu, and the Solomon islands

rioted deep into the night, but you said yes.

The only explanation for the Nepalese

and the small island's full-scale riots I can figure

is that we offset the global equilibrium, somehow,

with the weight of exuberancy I carried

as we walked to the Prado, engaged.

We left the world slightly off-balance.

And I couldn't help but feel a little jealous,

when Ben Folds claimed to be the luckiest,

when the backyard was dimmed to table-candle

light, and we swayed to the music, half-dancing

and half just feeling the world rushing us toward

tomorrow, and the next day and the next day,

and I swear, it'll take an icepick lobotomy to remove

that moment from the tight clutches of my brain.

So don't even think about it, Ben,

that song belongs to me now.

Zebulon Huset |zebulonhusetAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


3 AM

"It was 3 AM when I heard the sound"

Jonathan Coulton-"The Big Boom"

By the time we heard the sound

it was already too late.

We knew that more were bound

to suffer Michigan's fate.

In the mindless din of screams

and stray car alarm peal

we watched as the stuff of dreams

brought a nightmarish ordeal.

The rising of the sun

just made the sight more appauling

as we heard that one by one

all of the cities were falling.

Now forced to move by night,

just one thing is understood.

We've all given up the fight,

hope is now gone for good.

John H Maloney |callentureAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com


“Peace Train”

(“Now I’ve been smiling lately, thinking about the good things to come; And I believe it could be, something good has begun.” Cat Stevens)

Dad and I sang it in the car,

on the way to school,

every morning.

And, as a child,

it sure was easy to believe.

(Of course,

it’s easy to smile when

riding bikes,

drinking from honeysuckles,

and singing with a cool dad is your life.)

Life gets older,

things get colder.

and bills,

and arguments,

and “what are we going to do?”s take over.

And yet, in my mind,

I can hear our voices.

They sing to me as a reminder

that life is oh so good.

Especially when you still have a father,

and three daughters,

who you sing Cat Stevens with.

Cheryl Wray |cherylwritAT NOSPAMaol dot com


The following prose poem was inspired by The Birds' Turn Turn Turn which was, in turn, inspired by a passage in Ecclesiastes. I am dedicating this to my mother who broke her Bird's lp accidentally and who has not forgotten the lyrics.

To Everything There Is

This is the season of forgetting. You send me emails with details that cannot align themselves with the stars of our past; the experiences you have had that cannot have ever been. Later when I enter your room you look blinking, pulling a memory that will tell you I am your daughter. I read to you from books until you fall asleep and your lids flutter. Do your memories come out to play in your dreams or are your dreams as confused as you are when you lean over my shoulder to try to discern the words you yourself taught me to read when I was the child, confused and grasping to find meaning in the glyphs, trying to remember the sounds of letters. When I visit and your face shows you know me, I forget not to cry and want to say a child being held instead of letting you go ever.

satia |satia62AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com



“This could be the end of everything…”

--Keane, “Somewhere Only We Know”

Wipers smear, taillights flicker red,

then fade; the world a greasy rainbow residue.

She sips tepid coffee as the radio

drones its headlines into tinny white noise -

Gunman opens fire, Marines press to remove Iraqi

forces, Turks angry over House genocide vote –

then segues into scratchy guitar wails

of unrequited love that curls

through a grey crush of monotony.

The familiar yearning flames from her gut

to her chest, catching her mid-sob. The sky opens;

God slices through the lifting fog

in brilliant gilded diagonals; for a perfect instant,

the City’s towers puncture the horizon,

shimmer into opalescent minarets, the receding cloudbank

transmutes into snow-capped pinnacles.

She smiles through her sip, and her heart

wings East, over the ocean to another continent.

To him.

Linda |drwasyAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


(Inspired in part by Hurt - Johnny Cash version)


I sit alone, always alone, speaking to no one,

talking to myself. I cut my skin, trying to feel

something, anything. Even pain is better than

this absolute nothing. Can you hear my cry for

help? You see the marks on my arm. “Why did

you do that?” You ask. “I don’t know.” My reply

is quiet. I wait for the yelling. “Shouldn’t do that.

It’s stupid.” You turn back to your coffee, fixing

your makeup. I watch you. I want to be you, cold,

aloof. I return to my room, listen to the music of

your youth. Old records that try to speak to me. I

cut my skin, and wonder if these records made you


Susan M. Bell |maylandwritersAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


When I’m 64

I must remember to remind

my children not to let me

wear white anklets and plastic shoes

not to mention a flowered muu-muu

even when no one is at home.

Renee Goularte |share2learnAT NOSPAMsbcglobal dot net


Winning Glory

"Glory days well they'll pass you by

glory days in the wink of a young girl's eye"

Bruce Springsteen


physical game, mind game, winning game,

not just a game,

an all consuming struggle to the pinnacle of success.

Play the game on and off the court.

Be on top of your game

front the post, box out, take a charge,

sprint to the help, rebound,

stand alone on the foul line

she shoots, she scores.

The roar of the crowd,

adrenaline pumping,

fast break, take it to the hoop.

The buzzer sounds

game over,

defying gravity

the team remains unbeaten.

Cameras flash

team pictures,

smiles through tears,

the Lady Spartans pose

arms linked,

state champion medals around their necks,

standing for a moment in the glory days.

LBC |lcaramanAT NOSPAMtwcny dot rr dot com


The Highway is a Clogged Artery Through the Heart of it All

"And you wake up

to the sound of a horn

that reminds you

that you're not dead"

-- "Traffic" - Chad VanGaalen

I am well-travelled

but only between

the same

two cities; I am

a master

of highway


My car

radio has been

asleep for two

years, I have too

much time

to think about

how many

people are passing

by with bodies

in the trunk

In Ohio

it is orange

barrel season: every

inch of us

is under


with broken


and hearts

In the fast

and slow

and stop

and go


we are large


running quickly

out of gasoline

And even

in the right


I am headed

the wrong way

k weber |ilovehateyouAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com


So let go, jump in,

what you waiting for?

It’s all right

cause there’s beauty in the breakdown-

It’s so amazing here

Let Go by Frou Frou

Let go

I want to turn the left side on my brain off-

unclasp the heavy buckle

that binds my heart closed,

swing doors and windows wide

to sun and breeze,

rush of love in and out;

I want to live at the centre

and breathe everything.

Jacquie Wareham |wareham dot jacquieAT NOSPAMgmail dot com


"Go ahead with your own life leave me alone"

(Billy Joel--My Life)

It wasn't my first affair, but it was my first divorce.

Fall of 1978.

I was driving down the highway from my disastrous job

With Billy Joel filling my head

When that old American Motors Eagle caught fire.

I grabbed a blanket from the backseat

(you can imagine why that was there),

jumped out of the car and opened the hood.

Flames were all over the engine.

I just started beating them with the blanket yelling

"I don't care what you say anymore this is my life!"

The flames died.

I started the car and drove on home

for the last time.

The flames were dead.

Nathan Everett |nwesignaturesAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

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