MyPoPerDayMo Nov 2011

At the beginning of November, also known as NaNoWriMo* and PiBoIdMo**, I got a little bee in my overstuffed bonnet and decided to try MyPoPerDayMo--My Poem-Per-Day Month.  I guess I had coincidentally already written two poems in two days and was feeling powerful.  (It doesn't take much for those of us who don't Poet full-time to get excited about overcoming distractions and actually writing something.) 

I had never attempted a required-output project, and while no one was requiring it but me and the Personal Honor Angel on my shoulder, I was a little nervous.  I've decided to consider it a success:  I managed 27 poems in 30 days (and I know what the missing three are supposed to be; has their moment passed forever?)  Some of these were already posted on my regular blog page, but here they are, all together, in order.  I'm grateful to my critique group and members of my family who served as "receivers" and kept me on track.

What surprises me, looking back, is how randomly various they are.  I think of myself as having a style.  Looking through these, I wonder: what is it?

*National Novel Writing Month
**Picture Book Idea Month
(Fine Print: I, Heidi Mordhorst, claim and reserve all copyrights to the following works.)

# 1
November arrives

red night leaf
gallops through the gate
sidesaddle moon on his back


# 2
Ticket to Ride

These were the five words
I heard: precise while relaxed utopian August.
It sounded a fine destination.



Store-ybook Princess

she kicks through the plastic
with lucite heels,
breaks from her little box,
smooths her hair

perfect in purple
she twirls through the aisles
of her big-box palace
haughty but naughty under her crown

prances past security
straight into the schoolyard,
satin and spangles galore: who needs
a story when you've got a store?


Those aren’t real.
They’re extruded, molded, wired;
plastificated, posed;
glazed, lit, shot and shopped.




but it’s hard to know for sure.

Maybe it should be one word,
or maybe it should be two.

Maybe the chicken came first,
or maybe it was the egg.

Maybe she’s telling the truth,
or maybe he’s the one who’s right,

or maybe they both are.
Maybe nobody’s right.

Maybe it’s five ordinary letters, a common little word,
or maybe it stands for unchartable possibility.



speedcore beats reverberate
fireworks explode the chest
lipsmack kisses in the ear
this is how loudly I love you


2:27 pm

Each afternoon at this moment
if I could
I would kneel facing Mesopotamia,
touch my forehead to the clay soil
and honor the broad-shouldered,
tip-toeing gods of writing.

Instead at this moment
because I must
I bend facing Kindergartenia,
touch my hand to the fresh toil
and honor the tender-voiced,
heart-shouting words of writers.



Witch Hazel

I met Witch Hazel in a November wood,
bark-brown skin wrinkled over a wiry frame
bending to the chill wind

She held a forked wand over the ground,
picking her way between shrubs and trunks,
agile though greatly aged

Curled leaves of yellowing hair escaping her cap,
she straightened, spit sharply to the left,
snapping out two glossy black seeds

that landed at my feet. Witch Hazel
cast me an astringent look and swung her rod
northward, divining the path of winter



Sleep Like a Rock

I just need this sheet
and this duvet
and this blanket
and this quilt
and this fuzzy turquoise pillow
to make a good solid cloud of comfort
the ultimate boulder of coziness

and then I can sleep through
the whole hard night



Triolet for 11.11.11

Flames are floating on the frost,
Torches throwing off their sparks.
The lake of green is crackling, lost.
Flames are floating; on the frost
Flamboyant tongues of light are tossed.
They ride the wind in waves and arcs.
Flames are floating on the frost,
Torches throwing off their sparks.



Sasha's Smoothie Bar

Around the corner, not too far,
Is Sasha’s Russian Smoothie Bar.
His range of flavors can’t be beat;
My favorite is the purple beet.
He serves it up in frosty glasses,
a tasty borscht for all the masses.
If you prefer a cheesy treat,
Sasha’s paskha smoothie’s sweet:
it tastes like Easter in the park!




Who would you rather
I lather?
Is it you I should halp
by scrubbing your scalp,
or one of your buds
I should suds?
As long as there’s soap,
I’ll never say “Nope,”
not to diva nor doggie nor dope.
No matter where,
as long as there’s hair;
just tell me who and I’ll do it—



#14 Ideograms


. fingertip touching
inescapable conclusion

, tiny lung inflating
with anticipation

? nose turned up, sniffing;
eye searching for clues

“” wagging tongues
passing on the gossip

! fist at the end of a long arm,
thumping the table



you have eaten up
sand and snow, lava flow

now your belly glows so big
that you have to lie back
in your blue hammock
your many arms thrown wide
and just shine


one of The Missing




I swim the serpentine spine of a
steel-shingled leviathan

it skims the base of a canyon of coral
steeples skinned with glass scales

even deeper, schools of flashing
fish swarm north and south

a lattice of ribs arches above
the sea bed, something shipwrecked

nearby a steely cephalopod
crouches enormously over its cave

I’m one of the
slow-motion minnows
that bumps its nose bumps its nose
against a shiny sea-cloud, asking

in all this vastness
where am I?


The  PrOblEM

Let me tell you how I solved it.

I put my pencil to the paper
and I moved my hand
which moved my arm
which moved my shoulder
which moved my heart

and a poem rode out

streaming on liquid hooves, melting
up and through my shoulder
down and through my arm
out and through my hand
through my pencil onto the paper

and the POEM solved the problem.




These boots are a black mask for my feet.
Far from my face, still
they shift my balance, turn me into a bandit
who steals into secret identities, then

sneaks out wielding Xena’s sword
and Sappho’s pen,
climbs into Amelia’s Electra
wearing Nancy’s miniskirt
chewing a mouthful of Penelope’s bubblegum
as she blows out a story
as fireproof as Saint Joan’s.

#20 cheatingly resurrected from the past

one, two
green and blue

three, four
on the floor

five, six
see them mix

seven, eight
that looks great

nine, ten
let’s paint again!


This one’s short—
the briefest snort
to show contempt
for a house that’s kempt.
Who needs the table
or a kitchen floor
clear of debris?
Why take the time
to tidy up
when writing’s
what buoys
Heidi up?



My Best Effort

Day by day I wax poetic.
My son’s response is: “That’s pothetic.”


#22 found internet poem
Pitching Wisdom Part 1:

The slider is a faster-breaking ball than the curve
It is not as fast as a fastball but
It is faster than the rest of a pitcher's pitches



This poem politely obligates you
to empty your mind

This poem emanates
pepper, oregano,
eucalyptus and mustard

This poem consists of
protons orbiting
electrons with momentum

This poem swishes past in
pleated organza with
epaulets of mousseline

This poem is locked
in a prison, ordered to
endure manacles

This poem is made of
opening endlessly in May

This poem passes over,
erasing your mind


#24 Zoolostic Poetry

The p is a fiddlehead fern unfurling
the o is a place where a rabbit has
hopped in snow
the e is a snail inching silverly over the soil
the m is a Bactrian camel humping over the
desert of verse


#25 Black Friday

Second of The Missing



Knock Knock

who is at the door.
what is she carrying.
where did he come from.
when are they leaving.

how do you know.
because from now on
everything I write
will be in question.



timer on
she measures out
the hated sticky syrup, pink
swigs it back with water gulps
without me


#28 Hay(na)ku is a 3-line poem of six words with one word in the first line, two words in the second, and three in the third.

when I realized

same day
but much later


#29 OINK Tuesday

Dads at Work

His dad is a window cleaner,
Her dad drives a rig.
Your dad is a dentist, and
My dad is a pig.

He goes to work in black and white.
They call him Spotted Swine.
He roots and snuffles, rolls in mud;
He snorts and is porcine.

At home he cleans his hairy ears
And tucks away his tail.
He joins us at the dinner table
Then reads through all the mail.

Tomorrow will be like today.
My dad will go to work.
He’ll eat his lunch out of a trough—
A porky piggy’s perk!


Last of The Missing: the conclusion

(Fine Print: I, Heidi Mordhorst, claim and reserve all copyrights to the following works.)