He Speaks Four Languages. We Share One.

How can I articulate
Our affection?

No known words explain
Our sparkly soul connection.

As if the Universe ordained
We were ready to collide.

In a single moment,
We boarded a borderless ride.

Showing the world love
One deep, magical blur.

A kitten and a lion
Hearts pure.

Bold in our quietness,
And vulnerable.

Our shared understanding
Transcends syllables.

~Just L (NaPoWriMo, April 1, 2017)


Published in the May 2017 Blender of Love Digest.

Becoming More Illuminated Each Day

NaPoWriMo Day 30: For the last day of NaPoWriMo, I’d like you to try an odd little exercise that I have had good results with. Today, I challenge you to write a poem backwards. Start with the last line and work your way up the page to the beginning. Another way to go about this might be to take a poem you’ve already written, and flip the order of the lines and from there, edit it so the poem now works with its new order. This will probably feel a bit strange (and really, it is a bit strange), but it just may help you see the formal “opening” and “closing” strategies of your poems in a new way!

Pushing back my hair (you had me)
Waxing Gibbous / Yet no syllables escape
Who am I to reason this tidally locked intoxicated swoon?
Your generous warmth envelopes my exposed parts
Under an 88% illuminated moon my fully exposed heart
I do not hesitate to participate, accepting my fate
Our full mouths agree under this waxing humpbacked moon
There is no second guessing / No false start
Exhaling our breath, surrendering to the lunar phase
Our tongues entangling is a foregone conclusion
You are kissing me and I thee / Most definitely
Without a single word a pact once made / No confusion
Over time this intention orbited our in-between spaces
Lighthearted and laughing, we had no destination
Effortlessly leaning in, sensing forces at play
Eyes piercing, no judgment, yet fixed is our gaze
(You have me) engaged in a gravitational conversation

~Just L (April 30, 2015)

Note: Originally published as “A Waxing Crescent Kiss” in the July 2014 Blender of Love Digest. I thought it would be fun to re-imagine that kiss in today’s lunar phase, and dare I say it, with another person! Thus, my heart going from 4% to 100% exposed.

High Marks

NaPoWriMo Day 29: Today, I challenge you to write a poem in the form of a review. You can review either animate or inanimate things, real places or imaginary places. You can write in the style of an online review (think Yelp) or something more formal that you might find in a newspaper or magazine. (I imagine that bad reviews of past boyfriends/girlfriends might be an easy way to get into this prompt, though really, you can “review” anything in your poem, from summer reading lists for third graders to the idea of the fourth dimension).

Exceeding expectations, you set a high level of capability
Identifies opportunities for self-improvement
Injects innovation, creativity, and generosity
Demonstrates good taste and reasonable judgment
Not to mention adventurous, smart, and funny
Plus the points you get for just showing up
Spoiling me with consistency
Comfortable in your own skin
Oh wait, that’s me.

~Just L (April 29, 2015)



NaPoWriMo Day 28: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about bridges. A bridge is a powerful metaphor, and when you start looking for bridges in poems, you find them everywhere. Your poem could be about a real bridge or an imaginary or ideal bridge. It could be one you cross every day, or one that simply seems to stand for something larger – for the idea of connection or distance, for the idea of movement and travel and new horizons.

Last year, at this time, the path in front of me seemed so long, and joy seemingly out of reach; and now, just one week short of a year — a hop, skip, and a jump later — So long!

~Just L (April 28, 2015)

I’ve lived in this house 13 years without a backyard

NaPoWriMo Day 27: Today’s prompt is the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince Gotera, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem.

Makes me
Think of grass.

Doesn’t know
I hold back.

~Just L (April 28, 2015)

I Mitts You

NaPoWriMo Day 26: Our last two prompts have been squarely in the silly zone – this one should give some scope to both the serious-minded and the silly among you. Today, I challenge you to write a persona poem – a poem in the voice of someone else. Your persona could be a mythological or fictional character, a historical figure, or even an inanimate object.

I’ve watched you for a long time now
You come close and then retreat
Sometimes you even turn me on
If only to feel my heat.

Just when I think we have a moment
I hear you phone a friend
“Oh yeah, since becoming an empty nester
Those days have come to an end.”

I understand you’ve been burned a time or two
And daily interaction is beyond all reason
Yet I know you own The Pleasures of Cooking for One
And enjoy other delights of this season.

I see you sitting on the wood floor
With wine between your knees
I don’t want to be jealous of the refrigerator
So won’t you visit me, too, soon please?

~Just L (April 26. 2015)

Girl, you gotta rock it, baby

NaPoWriMo Day 25: It’s the weekend, so I’d thought we might go with something short and just a bit (or a lot) silly – the Clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name. You can write about celebrities, famous people from history, even your mom (hopefully she’s got a good name for rhyming with).

Jenner, once hailed the world’s greatest athlete, on gender transition confirmed, “Yes for all intents and purposes I am a woman.”… “I am building a glam room. We’re going to totally rock this place!” She said excitedly, “And by the way, that night [at dinner],”

Sawyer noted, “she looked great and really happy.”

~Just L (April 25, 2015)

going nowhere with you fast

NaPoWriMo Day 24: Today, I challenge you to write a parody or satire based on a famous poem. It can be long or short, rhymed or not. But take a favorite (or unfavorite) poem of the past, and see if you can’t re-write it on humorous, mocking, or sharp-witted lines. You can use your poem to make fun of the original (in the vein of a parody), or turn the form and manner of the original into a vehicle for making points about something else (more of a satire – though the dividing lines get rather confused and thin at times).

(i do not know what it is about you that closes and opens checking accounts more frequently than you make deposits in strange women; only something in me understands the lie of your eyes is deeper than all the piles in the African savannah) nobody, not even the cattle, has such large dung

~Just L (April 24, 2015)

Original Work:

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
By  E.E. Cummings, 1894 – 1962

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience, your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully, mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully, suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens; only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands

The Play Continues

NaPoWriMo Day 23: I challenge you to take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (regular playing cards, tarot cards, uno cards, cards from your “Cards Against Humanity” deck – whatever), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Now, begin free-writing based on the card you’ve chosen. Keep going without stopping for five minutes. Then take what you’ve written and make a poem from it. 

There was a time I thought an evening wrap was essential
Yet, secretly I was keen on the dud’s tousled style
I found it more attractive than the formal dance date’s smileMystery Date
Sure he had the tuxedo with the white jacket
Surely this man with flowers would be a good provider
But did he have a leather bomber?
Would he wrap me in it in the rain?
I prefer a man who sports a face beard shadow
One who is witty and makes me laugh
His kiss must make me swoon
But his outfit need not match
My favorite game from 1965 is all a blur
Yet its lingers in my closet, along with a silver fox fur
The mystery of it all still rocks my world.

~Just L (April 23, 2015)

Super Rainbow Fertilizer

NaPoWriMo Day 22: Today is Earth Day, so I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature. One great way of going about this is simply to take a look outside your window, or take a walk around a local park. What’s happening in the yard and the trees? What’s blooming and what’s taking flight?

My great fortune to have a city park at my doorstep
The vast sky of blue to the west beyond
Kisses my face in the midday
And its pinks warm my heart with the falling sun
Fresh cut grass tickles my feet and stains my knees
As I pick polished rocks from the pond
Dandelions spread their seeds
Making wishes possible
Cherry blossoms line the street like confetti
Celebrating yesterday’s rain
The buzzing I hear could be bees or allergies
People walking their dogs or laughing babies
Meanwhile weeds push through the cracks in my head
Letting in light further than it has ever been
And roots of contentment are settling in
All of this I survey from my front yard
Yet I feel it on the inside, too
Love is blooming like super rainbow fertilizer

~Just L (April 22, 2015)