Just Enjoy Yourself Poetry Marathon 2020 Week 51

We are in the last days of 2020 and this year’s Marathon. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’m ending the Marathon habit with next week’s session, after four years of working in this way plus another year in which I did a quarterly week-long event. In other words, I’ve been Marathoning in one way or another since 2015.

Arcadia University, Landman Library, 2017.

It has worked out well for me, but things have changed, and now I will approach my writing in a different way. I don’t know what that way will be. It will evolve.

Montgomery County Community College, College Hall (Breninger Library is part of this complex).

During these years I have written a LOT of poetry. I had decades of pent-up thoughts and feelings and experiences and memories to express, it seems, all of that inside me and now it’s on paper. I am very grateful that the circumstances of my life have allowed me time, energy, motivation, and the ability to focus on writing as I have done. I also am more grateful than I can say for everyone who has been reading along with me during these years.

Chestnut Hill College, Logue Library, 2017.

As you know, I also really love putting my work into print, and I have a lot of print books to show for it. (Look here on Amazon if you are wondering what I am talking about). I enjoy the tangible record they provide. Maybe someday my little granddaughter (now aged 4 1/2 months) will be interested. Even if she is not, I feel a sense of satisfaction in my work. That and all the support I have gotten from readers means a lot to me. Thank you.


Sounds like this is the winding-up speech. No, we have one more week to go! Let me get back to where we are today.

Here are a few things from today’s session.

I’ve been collecting phrases/sentences for a while – with the criteria that they fit a syllable count of 3, 5, or 7. This way, I can use them for haiku, tanka, or shadormas. You know how I liked counted syllable poems, and I’m really enjoying collecting words like this and seeing what happens. Let’s go!

This haiku started off with the red cardigan. I was reminded of a sweater my grandmother wore. It was a long time ago; she died around this time of year in 1978. I still miss her and my grandfather.

the red cardigan
my grandmother wore it out
many decades past

This tanka began with the neighbors laughing. I wrote it right after the one above, and I was still thinking of my grandparents. I spent a lot of time at their house. This poem is a few of the memory sensations I have from that time.

the neighbors laughing
the broom scraping on concrete
the screen door slamming
the rusty melody of
bringing in the garbage cans

No, you do not have to put up with it.

This tanka started with in the half-darkness.

in the half-darkness
over a box of popcorn
he leers. I decide:
Ladies’ room. Break up by text.
Go home. Good thing I drove.

People meet in all kinds of ways.

This haiku started with the mis-heard phrase through chatty burping.

Through chatty burping
we got to know each other.

This shadorma started with the misprint.

Yes. Let some dreams come true.

the misprint
that led me
straight to you
choose the wish over reason
let some dreams come true

7 thoughts on “Just Enjoy Yourself Poetry Marathon 2020 Week 51

  1. The cinema scene is a life lesson I think all people should learn. My parents raised me to be polite but to also be assertive and to suppress the politeness if my gut instinct told me I had to get myself out of a pickle. It’s a message I have tried to pass on to my kids.

    The burping poem made me laugh. So true that people can find commonality and connection in all sorts of ways.

    Goodness I miss libraries.

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