A compilation of all 2021 NaPoWriMo poems appear here.

Happy reading!

Sleeves: A Poem | Day 1 of National Poetry Writing Month

We spend our life
Yanking on hems,
Wishing for sleeves
To hide our wrists
And wrap our fears.

Standing there
I watched you tug and
Manifest a corner
To fold into.
I felt the dispirited
Inkless messages
In each jerk of
Cotton, as if
My nerves coiled
To each thread.

Palms enameled in a thin
Coat of sweat,
You stretched the winkles
Widening each crease,
Making me wish
To decode anxious yanks –
Finding where we started,
Stopped, and hoped
Once more.

Embers: A Poem | Day 2 of National Poetry Writing Month

The living room glows
In fireplace fires,
Warm light dancing.

I chat with the embers,
Naming each one
And offering up personality traits
You refused to show the world.

Their blood orange fury cools
And I whisper each
A goodnight as
February eventide
Folds forward.

Tomorrow I’ll polish the fireplace
And learn to live without you.

Blue: A Poem | Day 3 of National Poetry Writing Month

Memories across
A silkscreen,
Ink smoothing over
The empty spaces
And soaking into
The front of a shirt
I’ll always wear –
The closest
You’ll ever get
To my heart.

A trick of the light,
Our story will always be
Blue.

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Birds: A Poem | Day 4 of National Poetry Writing Month

Next year
I’ll track the birds
Sketch their paths
And join the flight.

I’m leaving a past
Blotched in pewter,
Pursuing a future
Fluttering in hues
Of the best
Kaleidoscopes.

Legends of tomorrows
Transcribed
On wings,
Catching the feathers
To save forever.

Socrates: A Poem | Day 5 of National Poetry Writing Month

“Be as you wish to seem,” said Socrates.

Unleashed and
Running circles in my mind,
I saw everything you were
And all the things you weren’t.

I heard the whispers
That never bounced from your tongue,
And I could sort through your thoughts
Like a basket of shells.

I knew what made
Your heart beat,
And all the qualms
That kept you up at night.

“Be as you wish to seem,” said Socrates.

I wanted to see you
Beneath every cone of light
And inside the dimensions
As we chased a new feeling
And discovered the color of us.

“Be as you wish to seem,” said Socrates.

Journeying through life
With your shadow
As your friend,
Soaking into its silhouette
As if your shield.

Punching the signals to the side,
Sometimes you can only
Blame yourself.

Pebble: A Poem | Day 6 of National Poetry Writing Month

I wanted your
Sneakers
To catch dust
By the foyer door.

But after clouds rolled in
And rain fell,
My heart told me
I had better luck
Collecting dust
On the sills I clench tight,
Waiting to see your reflection
In the window.

So I fill your shoes
With weeds and pebbles,
The scraggly lump
And sharp bump
In your footsteps
Evermore. 

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Light Pollution: A Poem | Day 7 of National Poetry Writing Month

An arch of sun
Overhangs from the horizon,
Soon it will leave me too.

The streetlamps
No longer sulk
And headlights
Flicker.

Digital screens,
Colorful signs
Continue to dance.

The light pollution
Soothes me,
But burns the eyes
Of stargazers,
Planet chasers.

The perspective of
Beauty.

Hands: A Poem | Day 8 of National Poetry Writing Month

He could flip his palm
And grow a daisy,
Enrich my body with
Nutrients
In every touch.

He built me a greenhouse
To watch me grow.

In daylight I could see
But I leaned into the night carefully.

Like a planter turned toward the sun
You made me face the moon,
A hand reaching down from the stars,
Our own photosynthesis.

He could flip his palm
And grow a zinnia,
Enrich my body with
Vitamins
In every touch.

I bloomed
In his presence.

Wild: A Poem | Day 9 of National Poetry Writing Month

The headline splashed
Across local newspapers
That one summer
Had my wild blue eyes
Scanning property lines
And below the dip
Of pine trees.

“Do you think we’ll ever see it?” I wondered

“Did you hear that?” my brother asked

Wild Cougar Sighting

Summer days warped to nights
As we waited for eyes like midnight
Or as red as mushroom caps to
Flash us in the darkness.

I wondered how many times
Wild paws circled the streetlight
Outside my window,
Running beneath the stars
As if a zodiac sign on the loose.

Maybe we’ll catch a glimpse
Next summer.

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Fall: A Poem | Day 10 of National Poetry Writing Month

Fall
Used to be kinder
Before you came along.

The leaves used to
Speak to me
And the evenings
Were smeared in roasted
Hues, the kind you could
Stare at for mesmerizing minutes.

Fall
Used to be kinder
Before you came along.

Now
The howling wind
Sounds like insults
Pelting my eardrums.

Fall
Used to be kinder
Before you came along.

Azaleas: A Poem | Day 11 of National Poetry Writing Month

Apologies
Like azaleas –
Striking the heart
In bold beams, then
All meaning and color
From your words
Is lost.
Petals fallen,
Broom bristles brush
Them from sidewalks
Like fingers across
Wet eyes –
Removing the memory
Of extra stolen glances.

Apologies
Like azaleas.

Insects: A Poem | Day 12 of National Poetry Writing Month

I want to
Catch your words
Like insects in summer,
Stuffing accented pronunciation 
Deep into my ears
So I’ll always remember
The consonants
And vowels you made sound
Like poetry.

I want to
Catch your words
Like insects in summer,
Constructing pictures from
Conversations
So my eyes can see
Each pretty sound you vocalized
And each time eyelids kiss,
It becomes a gallery.

I want to
Catch your words
Like insects in summer,
So I can reflect upon them
Like lakes and the moon
And dispel them
Into the night,
And in fact I know –
They become stars.

Words and memories,
Holding hands,
Are always right
There.

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Roadside: A Poem | Day 13 of National Poetry Writing Month

You are on my mind
Like a roadside stand
Seen afar from a June mile.
Tucked beside rugged
Pennsylvania road,
You brush by my mind
In the most picturesque of moments – 
Transporting me to the streets
Only referenced in mythologies.

Yeats: A Poem | Day 14 of National Poetry Writing Month

You are on my mind

Just like an Irish legend,

William Butler Yeats.

Lenses: A Poem | Day 15 of National Poetry Writing Month

You knew how to pull
Proudness right out
Of my mouth.

Tendencies to over think,
I gazed deep into the realms
That blinked in my mind
And rewarded you with
The inverse of truths.

Imagination faltering
Between clear and foggy,
I brushed the lenses clean
As snapshots of bright days
Collaged the surfaces of
My mind.

You knew how to pull
Proudness right out
Of my mouth.

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Freedom: A Poem | Day 16 of National Poetry Writing Month

I first learned of
Gravity
When I lost grip
Of a balloon.

The balloon and I
Becoming smaller and smaller
To each other. 

When it greeted the sky
I knew there was no return.

Only later I realized
About letting go of all the things
I once appreciated fiercely.

The cruelness of freedom.

Paper Cuts: A Poem | Day 17 of National Poetry Writing Month

I have a scar
That slices through
My most meaningful smiles
And tucked between
My teeth are the names
Of those who told me to never
Stop grinning.

Like a twin
I thought of you as
The second blemish,
Marking permanence.

I’d rather have paper cuts.

Gone and over now
I’m thrilled to shake you off,
Comfortably curling fingers into my palm,
And slipping them into pockets like presents.

I can finally look at the spaces between fingers
Without seeing you hold them.

Daybreak: A Poem | Day 18 of National Poetry Writing Month

Endured familiarity –
A type of stability that somehow
Made my knees quake.
Counting on it
Like leaves turning coral
Or sweet morning notes of coffee.

Stepping in unison
To motions that
Came and went
Are back again,
Why do we treat them
Like a special occasion?

Breaking loose
Like the crevice of daybreak,
We rise again
In the treasures of
Uncharted territory,
Apart,
Like it always should have been.

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Hotel Mirrors: A Poem | Day 19 of National Poetry Writing Month


I want to see your

Face in hotel mirrors,

Sights like souvenirs.

Microscope: A Poem | Day 20 of National Poetry Writing Month

Fragment of a leaf,
Specks of sand, and
A slice of beet
Beneath
My wild blue eyes –
Yet I never was
A scientist in the making.

Now –
I gaze into the
Pixels that
Hold the weight of
Words, making my
Back straighten,
Knees lock,
Feet and fingers 
Press forward
As if flashing past 
Finished lines
Of a thousand marathons.

Inspecting the world in clips
Like paragraphs
And dialogue interrupted,
Dashes and ellipses,
I place characters and their flaws
Their desires and dreams,
Obstacles and outcomes,
Settings, expositions,
Climaxes and resolutions
Beneath a scope
To turn it upside down
And make everything okay again.

Yet I never was
A scientist in the making.

The Moon: A Poem | Day 21 of National Poetry Writing Month

What if I sent
A thank you note
To the moon?

Earning my trust
Just like the astronauts –
All those miles away.
You’re a secret keeper unlike
The falsified others
I’ve met before.

Beams like hydration
Sifting softly through
Cracks in the blinds,
You listened to the
Concoctions of scenarios
Inside my mind.

What if I sent
A thank you note
To the moon?

Like necklaces
Weaved in the sky,
You are surrounded by stars
Gleaming then burning out –
Blinking into a void.
Things will always swap to
An entity of no longer
And the paint on people’s faces
Fades into a rearranged truth.

We sit on the same level
Of understanding
And, oddly, in the silence
I felt most alive.

What if I sent
A thank you note
To the moon?

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Ice: A Poem | Day 22 of National Poetry Writing Month

Like a block of ice
Stuck in my mind,
I heard your name everywhere.
Louder than the silence
Of snowfall,
Quieter than the frenzy of
A train –
Falling somewhere in the middle
But it still made my ear ache.

The magnitude
Of a single syllable,
Blaring loud
And I wished to burn it from
Existence.

It came with its own scent,
Its own pang of pain
In the pit of my stomach
And the back of my heart.

Winter: A Poem | Day 23 of National Poetry Writing Month

We followed each other closely,
I
gnoring the death that was only a shooting star away.
N
ow, we daydream in silence –
T
aunting each other as if reality obeys. Our minds
E
rratic like hurricane season,
R
ationalizing is far too simple.

Artificial: A Poem | Day 24 of National Poetry Writing Month

Every canvas you made

Could fool the museums.

Reviewing critics

Wrongly astonished but,

I could see through the fiction.

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January: A Poem | Day 25 of National Poetry Writing Month

Reflecting on
Olden Januarys,
We sort memories
Attempting to make sense
Of it all.

Once an empty jar,
Collections of life
Brim, the lid gives.

Using horoscopes
Like flashing arrows,
Coaxing us in a direction –
We still always
End up here.

A type of old
A kind of new,
Fresh like summer shorts worn first.

Reflecting on
Olden Januarys,
We sort memories
Attempting to make sense
Of it all and
We still always
End up here.

6:00pm : A Poem | Day 26 of National Poetry Writing Month

I find myself wishing
For November’s 6pm light,
Dimming fast and enveloping
Every atom into the night.
Envious of dark spaces –
Silhouettes intriguing,
I count them as I drive past.
The few hours before
And after midnight
Are redundant comfort
And sometimes it can’t come
Soon enough.

Highway: A Poem | Day 27 of National Poetry Writing Month

I never got the chance
To witness how your hands
Fold over the steering wheel,
And the degree your head tilts
As you drive.
I never experienced
What it was like to press 70
On the summer highway
With you.

I visualize your eyes
Replicating in color of blurring landscapes –
The pale blue of distant mountains,
The gold of the evening,
The green of the present.

I once hoped
For trips in unison,
But now I’d rather spot you
In the rearview.

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Hay Bales: A Poem | Day 28 of National Poetry Writing Month

Warm secrets
Resting in my ear,
I roll them tight
Like a hay bale
And store in the richest
Compartment of my heart –
Labeled in evermore,
Even when I felt
The off-beat of yours.

Unmasked truth
In the wild movements and
Subtle flinches as you
Move through life.
Exposed tidbits
Of all the things you
Try to hide,
I roll them tight
Like a hay bale
And store in the richest
Compartment of my heart –
Labeled in evermore,
Even when I felt
The off-beat in yours.

Exposition: A Poem | Day 29 of National Poetry Writing Month

Expositions in daydreams,
Nightmares sneaking into resolutions.
You are the person looming
In the backgrounds of mental polaroids
And the voice I assigned 
In my mind.
You are all the things
I can’t decide
And all the things
I don’t want any longer.

Electric: A Poem | Day 30 of National Poetry Writing Month

You are the
Electrocution
That felt right.

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