national poetry writing month, week 1


it’s national poetry writing month, and i am using this sheet of prompts offered by beau sia (check him out on instagram for more guidance).


april 1, prompt: still love


stone still 

the helpers didn’t leave

their patients’ sides

(we did…we all did)

the helpers came to be

open hands, the reaching world

the mercy

the helpers answered the call

bearing food, suturing wounds

catching babies, holding orphans

managing the destroyed bodies

wiping the tears 

of impossible grief

risking it all to be

prayer in action

the helpers came to serve life


and now they lay in a row





april 2, prompt: meet me


beloved — hello, hi

oh, look at your horizon eyes

raincloud come, let go

i’ll kiss each drop from your cheek

smitten with the face god gifted you

child laughing wild

elder knowing sly and shadow

parent shaping tomorrow

lover missing yesterday 

closest friend grieving

comrade, rising up 

confidant at the end of an era

you have touched every part of my life 

and i am changed


beloved it breaks my heart

i will never get to protect you

you will never meet me on the path home

i will never get to feed you 

this wall between us will fall

i know it, time and truth will bring it down

forever but so late

and too late forever


april 3, prompt: imagine more


do you understand

how many people

live in constant terror

pain, grief, hunger


how many people never get to dream

to live into their purpose 

to live in their health

to live at all

because you can’t imagine more


do you understand

how free we could be

how abundant our safety

ease, release and satisfaction

our foundation

how many people would dream themselves on purpose

into their thriving

into their sacred lives

if you would only imagine more

you tell me this is all

this is the way it goes

these are the only options

this is who gets to live

this is who gets to love

this is who gets to parent

this is all the safety we can muster

this is where we will settle

and this is what a life costs

and this is how humans are


but my love

this is only as far as they could go

i promise

as i practice

we can imagine more



april 4, prompt: the truth is


the earth gets so lonely

she needs to be worshiped


there is no right way

except the next step


our love is too narrow

for the wild world before us


so justice come forward

before the next breath

we fight for ourselves

when we fight for each other


we punish ourselves

when we seek our revenge


the truth is we need 

so much more than we offer


and hunger is always

around the next bend


the earth gets so bruised

she needs to be tended


there is no right dance

except the soft step


our dreams are too narrow

for the wild world before us


so let freedom claim you 

before the next breath


april 5, prompt WCNSF


baby, sweet heart,

little one, precious gasp

every day of your life

you race across time

baby turtle soft shelled on the sand

each breath one miracle

beyond the last note of lullaby


you grow us up every day 

make us an ocean of love for you 

for your lineage, for your future

baby, beloved — now wounded 

at least twice, all at the root 

this longing for you to make it home

even my breasts ache


my barren womb caves 

the earth in me quakes and churns

pouring and pouring my life toward you

unable to reach your shore

the serrated grief of knowing 

no matter the balm we bring

they, we, have taken more


april 6, prompt: let go


you think you have it down, life 

like god, you can wield the minutes towards ecstasy 

but you were only ever trained to

conquer a world that will never be tamed

crest a mountain that feeds on sacrifice

pour concrete over a quaking earth

put a ring on a mercurial stranger

and lie at every threshold

about something as bright as a feeling


most generations have a handful

of true moments, of whole people

who unhook from forced performance

who learn to be, and make, and love

mostly we get years of heart, breaking open

no time to grasp who we’ve become and 

if the age of monsters is over or

if we become the inevitable roar 

with all this repressed no and why


holding this grief pulls me under

but my grandfather said let it go

(at least a million times, holding all our hands)

as an act of faith, a holy motion

there’s so little time from which to make enough

make your mistakes, learn, again

don’t grow bitter as you age

let the youth have their own hours

yours are still pulsing, ripe – slow into them


sit still with me, i mean silent

pray for the lives you couldn’t pronounce/save

pray for the weight of the rope

that binds you to suffering

it is not only terror that connects me to you

it’s the deepest love, the easy one

don’t look back, let your ghosts come with you

and pray to the children of gaza

that someday you too will hear god laugh


april 7, prompt: vet


the vet

uses her scars

to show them a landscape

of survival


the vet

doesn’t fear the flood

that fills the river

she carved alone


the vet

keeps them safe

as they grow wild

their wholeness the victory


the vet

on tectonic faith

moves mountains

unafraid to weep