The one thing I didn’t want to do / was draw actual scenes
That were taking place in the book.

Mostly / I did portraits / of the characters
And did little spot illustrations
That were / mostly / meant to provide mood
And atmosphere.

I tried not / to draw the monsters.

I just wanted to create a mood
And not tell the reader too much.

I like illustration, but as a guy reading a book
I don’t want an artist telling me
This is how these guys look.

/ / /

This poem was written to the sketch prompt at Poetic Asides for day twenty-one. This also happens to be a found poem, the words coming from an interview with Mike Mignola.


Crystal Cave

We do not go to the see the lampenflora
But to see the formations and colors
We need to bring light into the cave

The highlight / pun intended
Is the cave where all the lights are turned off
And we listen to the water and its echoes

I have grown cynical
As I have been shaped by others
And not by water as this cave was

So I am not surprised
At how my fellow humans cannot tolerate
Either the dark or their own silence

For just one minute

/ / /

This poem was written to the day twenty prompt to write a dark poem at Poetic Asides.


When we were little
We were told
To color inside the lines

We did what we were told
To the best of our ability

What we were permitted to do

We were told the rules
And we were told to follow them

Perhaps we were taught the rules
By modeling
By example
Through a story

We were handed an invisible license
To act the way we were told

We colored in the bubble letters
Of that license
In our imaginations

Some neatly
Some sloppily

We printed our name
On the line

We did not know cursive yet
Signatures a sign of adulthood

We did our best to make the letters neatly
To have the right spacing
Between letters
And then between words

We were told which way
The lines were to face

The solid lines and the dotted lines
Were our guides

We were given a license to write
And ones for spelling and punctuation

And we were given a license to read

When we were older
We were told
To think outside the box

Now we were supposed
To ignore the lines

And the invisible license
We were given this time
Was blank

/ / /

This poem was written to the day nineteen prompt at Poetic Asides to write a license poem.

All the Animals

All the animals in the zoo / controlled chaos
Butting up against each other / and the system
Control? That is the illusion
Depending / of course / on your viewpoint
Everyone thinks their religion / is the best
For that is how we were raised
Gregarious or introverted
Hoping to do well / not to disappoint
Injuring none / especially ourselves
Just hoping for some justice
Kicking at the system / and its unfairness
Living our lives as best we can / or
Nothing seems quite good enough
Over and over again
Punishing us for our selfishness
Quietly / at night / when we are alone
Restrained in our own thoughts
Suddenly / up against ourselves
Thinking of the times / we were thoughtless
Under the illusion / belief / affront / that we were important
Vanity our guide
Xenophobes thinking we’re different
Yelling at us because we’re
Zebras / not horses

/ / /

This poem was written to the day nineteen prompt at NaPoWriMo to write an abecedarian poem.

Little Skills

how do you get your soft
skills onto your résumé
or in an interview

this will be a test
of your communication
skills and your initiative

can you solve this problem
and demonstrate your
decisiveness without

undercutting your ability
to cooperate in
teamwork situations

do you have the
responsibility to be
a leader when

it’s necessary
for you to be so
and the flexibility

to pull it all off
in an interview
and day after day

after they hire you
not such a little
thing to be soft

/ / /

This poem was written to the “Little (blank)” prompt at Poetic Asides.


I am not going to expound on the reasons for poetry
Though there are many

It brings joy to the poet and the reader
As well as other emotions / and the occasional thought

It is inherent in humanity / fundamental
As is storytelling, painting, singing, and dancing

But I am not going to justify it to you
You will just argue / there are more important things

And if I try to explain it to you
Then the mystery of it / the experience / is lost

This is not just my opinion
It is shared by countless others

I am not forming an argument
This is not an essay to persuade

I just ask that you read
And be open / and consider

/ / /

This poem was written to the day seventeen prompt at Poetic Asides to write a reason poem.


In the cabin used two weeks a year
The man sits / crestfallen because of the rain.

Across the way, there sits another cabin.
The man peers out his window at this cabin.

There’s always someone in this cabin
As there is now / and light from its windows.

In the second cabin, there too is a man.
His roof is leaking / but he is listening

To the sounds of the rain outside
And the water falling into a bucket inside.

The warmth of his cabin is not touched
By the rain or by the leak in the roof.

It is not his roof / but the roof above him now
And in this moment he is grateful.

/ / /

This poem was written to the Two for Tuesday prompt at Poetic Asides to write a catch poem or a release poem.

I Cannot Predict

I cannot predict / how this poem will end
I do not know if it will end in tears
Be they of joy or sorrow

How can you say before / you say?

I wish more people would think
Before they say
I wish I could predict that happening more often

And frankly don’t more people say
Than speak nowadays
I’m just saying

But the universe runs from order to entropy
So I don’t think I can predict / with any certainty
That we will proceed from order to order

I think I can safely predict entropy

I predict this poem will end

So this poem ends
An essay on prediction
No tears in the poet
Let me know if it brought you to tears

But maybe it left you with a thought
That you didn’t predict when you started

/ / /

This poem was written to the prompt to write a prediction poem at Poetic Asides.


Its uh good state two bee inn.
Their iz noh shame inn bearing you’re sole.

You’re spelling May bee bazaar
Az ewe try too comprise an assay,

Butt get you’re words down inn teh frist draught.
Ewe may allways revision them latter.

Ewe must except teh citation,
And entitle you’re assay w/ flare.

Bee shure too sight you’re situations,
And innclued them inn you’re biography.

Peak you’re readers innterest;
Thay will no too what ewe elude.

Do knot censure you’re thoughts,
Butt bee conscience uv discomfit.

Latter, appraise you’re work,
And fax those capitol letters.

Riting will take ewe from confusion
Too uh state uv clearity.

/ / /

This poem was written to the state poem prompt at Poetic Asides and inspired by the day fourteen prompt at NaPoWriMo, especially Taylor Mali’s poem.

Mine Monotonous fore Dramatic

Two bees are knot two bees. What is teh kwestion?
Weather its knobler inn teh mine too suffrage
Teh swings and arroz of inrageous fore-toon,
Oar two fake arms afresht uh see of tribbles
And buy posing anthem. Two dice—two sheep,
Noh moor; and buy uh sheep too says wee end
Teh hart-ake and teh thousand island schlocks
What flash is air too: its uh consomme
Devoured two bees fished. Two dice, two sheep;
Two sheep, percent two cream—eye, theirs teh nub:
Four in what sheep of debt that creams can cone,
Then wee have shuffleboard this mortgage oil,
Mush give uhs paws—theirs teh inspect
What makers calamari of sew long strife.

/ / /

Dis pome wuz ritten fore teh day forteen promped at NaPoWriMo too rite uh poem dat inn-corps-per-rates homofones, homografs, and homonimz.