My ticker tape shows a lot of ups and downs

Today I wrote my seventeenth poem in seventeen days, and I’m not even sure if I want to post it! Maybe I’m stretching myself too thin. Maybe everyone doing this April poem challenge is. But, at the same time, it’s only a poem. So what, right? They aren’t all going to be good ones, or ones for the ages, just a record of a moment in time.

The following little poem came from Robert Lee Brewer’s idea to begin with “All I Want Is…,” and then fill in the blank with a word. Some people wrote very funny poems. One guy wrote that all he wanted was to have some hair on his head.

All I Want is a Pixie

She’ll have translucent skin
traced with a fan of blue veins.

The jellied knuckles of her hands
will roll and wave as she riffles

through the stacks of papers on my desk,
filing and shredding during the long

tunnel of my sleep, yet she is no dream.
Like the Shoemaker, in the morning

I’ll find the laundry folded,
smelling of lavender and wind,

a loaf of cinnamon bread on the counter
next to a pot of just-brewed coffee.

She ‘ll want nothing for herself,
but she’ll take delight in the tiny

spring dress I’ll make for her
out of dandelions and jasmine.


That poem is code for “my house is a pig sty and I don’t want to clean it.” I grew up with a mother who was a clean freak, and my grandmother was even worse. I have stacks of paper all over my desk, and there’s dog hair on the blue comforter in my office/guest room. My dog sleeps on the bed while I sit at my desk. Why did I pick dark blue when I have a white dog? And why do I avoid cleaning?

Here’s a rondeau I wrote yesterday, as practice for one I wrote later. I’m posting it here just to have a record of my insanity progress. And also to give you a good laugh. Just don’t cringe, please.

Ticker tape

Bankers and poets are in the red,
each one living in dread
that the well has now run dry,
that today is the last high.
In the morning all bets

are off, horoscopes remain unread,
writers and auditors stay in bed,
robbers only dream of heists,
because we’re all in the red.

Hot tears have been shed,
divorce and panic widespread.
Some have sacrificed
fatted calves, or decried
the wisdom of talking heads,
just to deny they are in the red.


7 thoughts on “My ticker tape shows a lot of ups and downs

  1. Michelle says:

    “Maybe I’m stretching myself too thin.” C, you’re doing amazingly. This requires such discipline. I can imagine how you must feel by now, it makes me feel anxious just thinking about it.

    I would love a pixie to fold laundry smelling of lavender and wind. How beautiful.


  2. paisley says:

    my house is a den of dogs that has graciously allowed me entrance so i do and say as little as possible to interfere with the way they keep house………. but a midnight sprite could be just the answer i am looking for……


  3. Dick says:

    I love the pixie one. It’s a sort of post modern version of those little verses to be found in tiny square Edwardian/’20s volumes decorated with wild flowers.

    As to thinning out – I couldn’t even manage a poem a week. What a stockpile you’ll have by the end of it all!


  4. Carole says:

    I don’t think you need worry about spreading yourself too thin. I would love a pixie too – my mother was fanatical about housework although my grandmother was spasmodic like me – I have cat hairs on the brown bedspread next to me as I type.

    I think the rondeau, in common with some other rhymed forms, is well suited to humour or polemic.


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