Fiction, Poetry and Havering

Gammelor Goodenow

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

 I was tempted to change my prompt, but decided to hold firm–so nobody is obligated to write a sestina for today’s prompt (but if you want extra credit, both Nester and myself would love to see a few sestinas today. For today’s prompt, write an animal poem.

My first attempt at a sestina. Not very good, not at all pentameter and only slightly iambic. Picking a trochee for one of my end words was not the brightest idea I’ve ever had.



Driven Bats by Sestina Form



The animal we call the bat

is often symbol of the night.

In our minds it flits and flies

as dark embracer of the wild

and haunts each eerie, unlit tower

that thrusts itself against the wind.



A silent flutter on the wind—

the graceful darting of a bat

as it leaves its nesting tower

and goes out hunting in the night;

as beautiful as it is wild,

every beat a call to fly.



Some in you see mice that fly

and scream whene’er you’re on the wind,

but I see you as glorious wild

incarnate as a wooly bat

that keeps me going in the night

here locked away in lonely tower.



In dusky light you are a flower:

Unfurl two petals, spread to fly,

a dark hibiscus in the night,

off chasing insects on the wind.

Enchanting is the lowly bat

that bears the secrets of the wild.



When he was up, the crowd went wild,

‘cause he could hit to farthest tower,

another chance for his mighty bat.

His solid hit at speed did fly

and out of stadium on the wind,

then hit a flittermouse in the night.



A strong, well-set and gentle knight

who fought against the violent wild

once heard a crying on the wind–

A damsel fair in highest tower.

So forth on gallant steed did fly,

and swooped to rescue like a bat.



A clinging bat awaits the night

So it can fly both free and wild

Above the tower, leaf on wind.


Gammelor Goodenow



Saturday, April 12th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a city poem.

This poem is about the city of Fall Mill, which is the setting of both novels I’m writing. It is written in the voices of my three main characters, as if each one had been told to write a poem about Fall Mill.



Fall Mill


i. Neilly

I moved away from here one time

to the bustle of New York,

could never afford Manhattan

and came home broke.

Folk here are friendlier

or maybe just less rushed—

When I have trouble getting by,

someone always helps.


ii. Gray

City of my birth.

Where my father’s gardens grew.

Cliffs and ruins to climb.

People to protect.


iii. Mini

The mills that made a living

Have crumbled one by one.

The flood that rent the city

Has wiped out all I loved.

The waters made the city,

And the waters took my home.

The city has no joy for me;

The city holds me on.


Gammelor Goodenow



Friday, April 11th, 2014

For today’s prompt, make a statement the title of your poem and either respond to or expand upon the title. 



Time Is an Arrow


But not for the sleepless.

It stutters and stumbles

from midnight to six

an all-night drunk

that won’t go home:

Then picks up the pace

as a fresh day dawns

with sunshine and zephyrs

it sprints on its way

while we stutter and stumble,

our minds turned to stone.


Gammelor Goodenow


Thursday, April 10th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a future poem.





That robot they sent

in place of you

as if it could replace


or distract me from you.

I knew

With each rocket they sent to destruction

that the prisoner they killed

was never you,

your heart still beating

after each spectacular crash,

an echo in my chest.

I knew

they hadn’t killed you yet.

I knew

I would breathe your breath again.

I knew.


They could never stop me knowing.


Gammelor Goodenow


Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a shelter poem.



This house here

And all the others—

High rise, ranch, Victorian farmhouse—

Need to be painted,

Re-roofed, maintained.

Front doorstep crumbles,

Cobwebs drape ceilings,

Walls grow faded and worn.

Inside we huddle

Swathed in bathrobes

Gathered around our flickering screens.


I could live in a melon crate

slats wide open to let in rain.


Gammelor Goodenow

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Prompt: Write a peaceful poem.


My heart as wide as the ocean

Where I float effortlessly

Out beyond the crashing waves

Cradled by brine of origin

Salt blood in my veins.

Skin sack that divides us,

I feel it melting away.


Gammelor Goodenow


Monday, April 7th, 2014



I live in dreams

more vivid than my waking life,

more tangible.

My mind a multi-winged butterfly

trapped by flesh cocoon.


Gammelor Goodenow


Sunday, April 6th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a night poem.



I went out walking

on a soft summer night.

Fireflies were winking,

Orion strode high.


On a soft summer night

solitude means not alone:

Orion strides high,

raccoon scuffles stone.


Solitude means not alone—

nighttime full of company.

Raccoon scuffles stone

trying to find colonies.


Nighttime full of colonies—

fireflies were winking.

Trying to find company

I went out walking.


Gammelor Goodenow


Saturday, April 5th, 2014

For today’s prompt, write a discovery poem.


While watering day lilies,

shoots half-grown at best,

sudden motion startles me.

I wait a moment, hose at bay,

but nothing further happens.

“Toad, perhaps,” I lightly guess

and go back to my spraying.

A panic of furry, brown blobs

scuttles out from leafy hide

then huddles in the open.

Five tiny rabbits.

Quietly I back away and hope

no fox or hawk will discover

the tender prey that I uncovered.


Gammelor Goodenow


Friday, April 4th, 2014

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Since (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.


Since I dyed my hair bright orange


I see a bird in the mirror

tropical plumage ready to take flight;

a coral-reef clown fish

gliding past anemones;

a California poppy

waving wild in the breeze.


Anything but the drabness of me.



Gammelor Goodenow


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