Day 28  Index poem    PAD 2023

Before we delve into day 28, I want to say that I am so excited to have been selected as featured poet for Day 27 by Maureen, the matrixmind of the Napowrimo site for my “Yellow Celosia of Hope” poem. Thank you Maureen! So happy I have persevered and wrote the poem as well as planted my Celosia in the garden yesterday (I really did!)!

Now, I’ve written a slightly playful, fairly esoteric poem in response to day 28 prompt. I used the interesting index in my old poetry handbook from a time when books still had an extensive index, copyright 1940! For those who would like a definition of the term consonance, here’s one from the poetry foundation.  I include one snippet from my index that inspired me.

A consonance to death

Did the Daemon Lover have dactyl words and feet?

Oh, no, he was just a daffy-down-dilly!

Villon’s Des Dames du Tempts Jardis would

not have a thing to do with that dilly!

“I can understand that,” said the

Daughter of the North as she danced  away

to “Danty Baby Danty”!

No worries, the Earth Turn South

by morning, if we can make it

through the night despite Eidolons

lurking over the bed. Eidolons—

Eidolons? Eidolons! Is there

an echo in here? No, it’s only

the baby’s Echolalia.

Yes, a baby, no death,

perhaps a consonance to death

will do, bath, myth, broth

or sleuth will suffice!

No death, just truth, after all,

it’s the end of a perfect day!

            Jacquelyn Markham (4/28/2023)

Day 20 Found by a Future Scientist PAD 2023

To appease my grumbling muse, I decided to delve into a stanza pattern to write today’s poem.  The “Terza Rima” (a poem with interweaving rhyming triplets or tercets) is a form that poets have used for long poems or as a stand alone short 3 line poem.  One famous example of Terza Rima with three tercets and a final couplet is Shelley’s of “Ode to the West Wind.” It has a specific rhyme pattern that goes like this: 1,2,1; 2,3,2; 3,4,3;4,5,4 and the couplet uses the rhyme sound from the central line of the preceding triplet, so it goes 5, 5.

Shelley’s poem has five sections, however, and you may want to check it out here.

Below is my poem, “Found by a Future Scientist,” that responds to Napowrimo’s prompt “Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.”

Found by a Future Scientist

What thing is this,

a pendulum moving to and fro

in perfect rhythm, yet tedious?

The weighted piece—a rod of sorts—must go

ticking, tocking, ticking, tocking torture.

My science sees no purpose in this show.

Back and forth ticking I must endure

as I study this strange artifact.

In this task, my expertise looks amateur.

Yet, after hours, days, months—to be exact,

I warm to this past piece as treasured bric-a-brac.

            Jacquelyn Markham (4/20/2023)

Day 14 Parody or Satire Rewrite    PAD 2023

Elizabeth Barrett Browning (

Today’s prompt is another rewrite.  Thorson says: “And now for our (optional) daily prompt. Hopefully, this one will provide you with a bit of Friday fun. 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).”

My attempt at the prompt on day 14 has an interesting twist. The poem is not so famous, but the poet is—Elizabeth Barrett Browning.  In 1856, Barrett Browning published Aurora Leigh, a “novel in verse” that follows the title character, an aspiring poet, through several pot-boiling twists. In one revealing passage, Aurora’s cousin and would-be suitor, Romney Leigh, summarizes his attitude toward her and women writers of that era in a passage that I quote below. I rewrote that passage.

So, I rewrote the poem from a feminist perspective and titled it “Woman Poet Extraordinaire”

Woman Poet Extraordinaire

Therefore, this same world

that you understand and influence

with your strength and courage will

always be changed by you and  

women of the world. Women brave,

strong, and at work in the world

will always change it by their very presence.

You are more than a doting mother and a wife!

You are more than a sublime Madonna ,

a seductress, or an enduring saint.

You are divine!

You are woman!

You are leader, artist, writer,

inventor, healer, builder.  

You are poet extraordinaire!

            Jacquelyn Markham (4/14/2023)

Here’s the original in which her cousin addresses her, knowing of her aspirations to be a poet:

Therefore, this same world
Uncomprehended by you must remain
Uninfluenced by you. Women as you are,
Mere women, personal and passionate,
You give us doting mothers, and chaste wives.
Sublime Madonnas, and enduring saints!
We get no Christ from you,—and verily
We shall not get a poet, in my mind.

The Poetry Foundation explains: “As starkly sexist as the above passage might seem to contemporary readers, the idea that women and female experience were incompatible with poetry continued to hold sway for the next 100 years, until second-wave feminism of the 1960s and 1970s brought a political and cultural watershed. Women fought for equal treatment and civil rights; meanwhile, women poets created structures to support one another while profoundly changing poetry itself.” (

We only have to look at the last two United States Poet Laureates to see “women poets extraordinaire”! Currently, Ada Limon and former, Joy Harjo. Two of my favorite poets.

Thinking about poetry and peace

Denise Levertov, has said in “Work and Inspiration: Inviting the Muse,” that “poems come into being in two ways.” She goes on to say, there are those poems that are “inspired” and those much more common, poems created by the poet’s conscious process that eventually leads to “unpredictable inspiration.” I have experienced both, but as she says, we would not write many poems if we only counted on the “given” or inspired poems. Instead, most often, we must mine the gold!

Although I have not found the quotation, I know it was Levertov who advised we think about poetry everyday, so until I find it, please take my word for it. So, today, just a few days before the poem-a-day challenge begins, I am consulting Denise Levertov and thinking about poetry and its process. I hope you will too.

I am sharing with you her poem, “Making Peace.”

Making Peace

By Denise Levertov

A voice from the dark called out,

             ‘The poets must give us

imagination of peace, to oust the intense, familiar

imagination of disaster. Peace, not only

the absence of war.’

                                   But peace, like a poem,

is not there ahead of itself,

can’t be imagined before it is made,

can’t be known except

in the words of its making,

grammar of justice,

syntax of mutual aid.

                                       A feeling towards it,

dimly sensing a rhythm, is all we have

until we begin to utter its metaphors,

learning them as we speak.

                                              A line of peace might appear

if we restructured the sentence our lives are making,

revoked its reaffirmation of profit and power,

questioned our needs, allowed

long pauses . . .

                        A cadence of peace might balance its weight

on that different fulcrum; peace, a presence,

an energy field more intense than war,

might pulse then,

stanza by stanza into the world,

each act of living

one of its words, each word

a vibration of light—facets

of the forming crystal.

Denise Levertov, “Making Peace” from Breathing the Water. Copyright © 1987 by Denise Levertov. Reprinted by permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Source: Breathing the Water (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1987)