Tag Archive | shovel poem

O! none but

O none but s

silence parched and
depleted even of rage,
refutations to give to death’s
denial of the eternal–
which shiver stands distilled, concentrated, cold?

Today I used yesterday’s NaPoWriMo prompt, to make Shakespeare’s sonnets our poetic inspiration.  I wanted to do a Golden Shovel poem–I like them, and I haven’t done one in a long time.  The line I used was from Shakespeare’s Sonnet XIII, “and barren rage of death’s eternal cold?”

o none but close up s

What is a Golden Shovel?  you can read about it here.  And do read both Gwendolyn Brooks and Terrance Hayes as well.



Here (Ici)

jm 3c wht s

To be born.
To die.  Each journey
a sudden wave.

–Sonia Sanchez

jm 3c stitching back s

I seek spiders to
prepare this tendu—to be
threaded between born,

between weaving hours stretched to
hold, between the words “to die”.

jm 3c close up s

Treasures wide, deep—each
turn records time, a journey
of endless song, a

ringed cacophony—sudden,
spiraling shadow—spin wave.

jm 3c stitching back close up s

A double tanka shovel poem using Colleen’s prompt words, based on Sonia Sanchez’s wonderful haiku.  The NaPoWriMo prompt today asked us to question our future selves, but to me time circles around, and the future has little meaning in isolation.

You can read about shovel poems here, and read more of Sonia Sanchez here.


The stitched monoprint was inspired by Joan Mitchell’s painting “Ici”.

The Door is Always Open

the door is always open s

“…that what you fear the most/could meet you halfway…” –Victoria Williams, “Crazy Mary”

The horns that
make you.  Tell me what
endures:  you,
masked with fear,
burning life to ashes,
the ender?  Or the most
wild transformation that could
be?  We meet
face to face.  But you
pause.  Halfway.

Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, was the inspiration for my junk mail collage and poem.  For some reason, it reminded me of the song “Crazy Mary” (it’s true, everything seems to remind me of a song); and I wrote another shovel poem.  Although Victoria Williams wrote the song, I’m partial to Eddie Vedder’s version.

I was reading recently that many scholars think the Devil is really all the horned gods of pagan religions turned into pure evil by the early Christian church.  Gods inspire fear as well as reverence.  Whether Devil or God of Fertility–both know the ways of the snake.

The Way Over

stepping stones s

like so many
I step between two rivers
vanishing in to
the bisection of a cross
a sanctified stillness but

I pause here caught I
listening can’t reach can’t
penetrate can’t seem

to understand to
vocalize the sounds which find
knowing language my
echo is immense my way
merges under and over

stepping stones ilkley

When I saw Sue Vincent’s photo prompt, above, this week, I immediately thought of Jimmy Cliff’s “Many Rivers to Cross”. 

And I do like a shovel poem.

City of Dreams, Part 2

mondrian city s

Surrounding me the
reflections in colors blue
and bluer, the light

shines in space that was
destined to instigate my
prism road to blues.

Fractured and spun and
circling around into the
other kinds of song:  red

for instance, or light
glowing yellow, and what was
that orange song?  Oh my.

Listen: eyes and mind
turning combinations all
colors.  Here are my

yearnings. They ask love’s
expansiveness:  please take me in
and sing me.  Not in vain.

This collage is also a response to Matteo Da Vinci’s “City of Dreams” painting, but it required a different kind of poem.  I used Miz Quickly’s prompt for a shovel poem, a form I’ve used before and like a lot.

My source:  Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain”.  If you read down the last word in each of the lines of my poem you’ll find two lines from the song:

“…the blue light was my blues, and the red light was my mind
All my love’s in vain”

You can find out more about Robert Johnson here.