Poetry Challenge #37

Put Me In, Coach…

The “Kansas Comet,” Gayle Sayers, considered “one of the greatest players in NFL history,” was born on May 30, 1943.

(I don’t recall ever actually seeing Gayle Sayers play. In my mind he’s Billy D. Williams from the 1971 movie Brian’s Song. If you haven’t seen it, you should—bring tissues.)

Sayer, who played for the Chicago Bears, said, “I had a style all my own. The way I ran, lurchy, herky-jerky, I kept people off-guard…”

“Lurchy, herky-jerky” works! Football fans take note: For the record, Sayer piled up “4,956 yards rushing in his 68-game career and was voted to four Pro Bowls. Sayers scored 22 touchdowns and 132 points in his first season, both then-rookie records.”

Write a poem about football in your own “Lurchy, herky-jerky style.”
Or . . .
Write a poem to the “Coach” of your imagination asking to be “Put in” to something you really, really, really want.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 800 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #36

Memories of…Bees

Today as I was walking through the field, I noticed bees drunk with happiness, rolling on the golden yellow dandelions. So many flowers! So much nectar! So many bees!

I was about ten years old when I experienced my first bee sting. I stepped (barefoot) on a bee in the driveway, jumped with the surprise and ouch of the sting on my toe, and my leg swelled up above my knee! I remember earlier bees than that, too: the bees that chased my next door neighbor when she poked a stick into their ground nest, the little boy from down the street who rode his bike through a swarm of bees and ran into our house to get away from them. So many memories, so many stories, all from one word: BEES.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think of when you think of bees? Is it an experience you had with them? A lazy, buzzing, summer day? A fascination with the way they live? Write a poem/story about bees. You might try to write a paragraph first, and then cut it the way we did in Challenge #26. Maybe cut it by half the words. Then another half. Add so it makes sense. Play with rhythm and maybe rhyme.

Get buzzzzzzzy!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

Poetry Challenge #35

Riffing Rhyming it So!

Let’s begin with the old nursery rhyme “Rain, rain, go away”: Here’s the 1st stanza—it can continue . . . as long as the rain falls.

Rain, rain, go away,
Come again some other day.
Little Johnny wants to play.
Rain, rain, go away.

Think of something you’d like to go away. If it’s not rain, something else—whatever you would like to go away. Begin by substituting what you want to go away for the word “Rain” every time it appears. (It works best if your “go away” thing is only 1 or two syllables; if it has a long name you’ll have to abbreviate it.)

Next, skip to line 3 and substitute your name for “Little Johnny.” Mine is “Crazy Kelly”—cause the rain is driving me CraZy!

Now, you have a choice. Do you want to riff the easy way? Or the harder way?

Easy way: Notice how every line in the original ends in a rhyme: Away, Day, Play? If what you’d like to do is “play” or rhymes with play, you’re on easy street. Simply substitute what you’d like to do for “play” throughout the nursery rhyme. Easy as that, you’ve created a new chant. Or…

Harder way: If you’re ready to really riff, think of some similes for the phrase “Go Away.” Here are a few to get you started. (Because I am still hoping this chant works, I’m sticking with rain.):

Rain, Rain, hit the road . . .
Rain, Rain, take a hike . . .
Rain, rain, wave bye-bye . . .

Crack open that rhyming dictionary again because WHAT you’d do if whatever you want to go away, really did do just that, needs to rhyme. I, for example, need to come up with rhymes for “road” “hike” “bye” that I’d like to do.

Now put it all together. Feel free to change other words, mess with the pattern . . . heck, skip rhyming all together if you want. After all, it’s your riff. Here’s mine:

“Rain, Rain take a hike,
Curtis wants to ride his bike.
Rain, rain wave bye-bye,
I’m sick and tired of staying inside!
Rain, rain, hit the road,
Or CraZy Kelly will EXPLODE!”

Wha-lah! Just like that you’ll have created your own nursery rhyme. If you’re lucky it might even work!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Kelly Bennett and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!