The Doggerel Days of April

Updated on May 9, 2019
snakeslane profile image

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.

April Poetry

April poetry month has come and gone, but the poems I wrote remain, and I've selected a few to share. This is a bit longer than what I usually post, I hope it's not too much.

These poems were written quickly, with no time for re-writes, from prompts/challenges posted each day online at the National Poetry Writing Month (napowrimo) website. Posted here in no particular order.

Shakespeare Remix*

If you would love me on a summer's day,

I would n'ere have grief to speak.

Tho youth, and dreams may pass away

Your care is everything I seek.

As summer's fruit ripens on the vine,

My heart is filled with joyous breath.

Knowing I am yours and you are mine

Together always, even unto death.

What binds us to earth easily falls,

'neath changing winds, and fate's cruel hand.

But now your brilliant verse sweetly calls,

And I surrender all to your command.

Faithful as your words cast warm light around me,

That our paths shall wind together through eternity.

* Day 27 prompt: write a Shakespeare inspired poem. My inspiration, 'Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?' (Sonnet 18) William Shakespeare, 1564 - 1616

The Out-of-Towner (A Prose Poem)

It was just a dusty ball field most of the year; three ball diamonds, cobbled together
by a maze of chain-link fencing. But it came together every Spring,
when local teams and out-of-towners would suddenly appear; and municipal
works crews would do their finest mowing (the cream job, riding around all day at the beach, certainly beat the usual manhole inspections, and other water and sewer concerns).

But this particular spring the season was pre-empted by a very special honour
bestowed upon our town by the Federal government, back in Ottawa;
who had chosen this little backwater ball field to host 'The Musical Ride'
(on tour across the country to celebrate some centennial event or other)
to boost civic pride, and show the colours of The Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

I drive by the park every day on my way to work; so I got to see the preparations that went in to this event. It was astonishing:

Chain link fencing torn down between the ball fields; full size flowering trees planted; grassy areas re-seeded, and mowed.

And a stables built to shelter the two dozen stallions that perform the musical ride (and the riders of course). It was quite the transformation, unbelievable really; and I have to admit I felt a burst of pride, the day of the ride.

All those pretty horses, unloaded out of trailers, and brought out to their temporary stables; and the Mounties in their red finery; and a huge crowd of spectators gathered, waiting for the show; so many people!
They spilled out onto the beach (all white sand at low tide) walking their children, and their dogs. It was like a city had landed; (a crowd, estimated in the thousands I read in the paper later).

I have to admit I didn't see the actual event, I don't like crowds, (but just the sight of it gave me a burst of pride on my drive by).

After the Ride, festivities went on right through the weekend.

And I was happy when it was over, and the horses loaded up, and the caravans headed back down the highway to the next rodeo.

It was all quiet again at the beach, park abandoned, when I spotted an old dog
(maybe a Shephard cross?) wandering around. A big old guy, greyed muzzle. I could see he didn't belong; figured his people must be around somewhere.

The next day, driving home, I saw him again, lying in the middle of the road, got up slow, and moved along (not far) when I came along in my car.
In the morning he was standing on the boulevard (such as it may be, just a grassy patch on the side of a dead end street). I watched him, and threw him a couple of dog biscuits, (which I noticed he sniffed warily as I backed away to give him some space).

Right then a car pulled up and rolled down a window.
That's the closest he's let anyone get, observed the woman in the passenger seat. we've been watching him, he's lost, must have been left here after the ride.
I went back inside, and when I came out he was gone, and the biscuits were gone.

About a week later I spoke to the couple in the car, and they told me the dog had got run over later that day, down the road a ways, where I first saw him.

He had looked so forlorn. It was as if he had nothing left to live for.

But the Musical Ride was a success by all accounts (so I read in the paper) And the stables got torn down, and the ball fields fenced back in again. And everything is looking trim for the season.

Like nothing happened at all.

Day 23 Prompt: write a poem about an animal


Away Today

All night I wandered in a dream,
the dream dreamed me, it seemed.
I laughed and laughed,
I had no past. The dream had intervened.
The dream was me, virtually, and I was the dream.
When it was time to wake, the dream said
No, no, no. You cannot go. You stay here, and I'll be you.
So I am away today, and the dream is me.
Not sure who wrote the poetry.

Day 17 prompt: uncovering or embodying feelings that may not be commonly presented, write a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view.

Monday Morning Monologue

Awake now, it's Monday child,
there's no retreat.
The cherry tree is blossoming.
Robins sing, get out of bed.
Make some coffee, pour the milk,
It is time for your ilk, to comprehend
the tragedy.
In the night, it
has rained,
you feel pained, at the start.
Another work week,
another catastrophe.
The hours loom, in the gloom,
no time for poetry.
You die a little, as you sigh,
with respect, you connect.
In the bright light,
aloof and cold, take a breath,
the world unfolds.
You write a letter,
hope it gets better.

Day 15 prompt: write a dramatic monologue.

I'll give it away to Simon today if it fits in the car

It's an old Captain's chair
salvaged from the Lower Pub
that's no longer there,
that's the rub.
It's sturdy, built to last,
a vestige of the past that's
now hard to grasp.
Brass tacks still intact on
red worn naugahyde seat.
From an era when real sea
Captains would meet, in a pub
at the dock, where old steam ships
would rock.
Drinking warm suds out of
bottomless jugs.
A chair where my Dad sat,
before his heart attack.
I'll give it away to Simon today,
if it fits in the car.

Day 12 prompt: write a poem about what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object.


The woman's guile,
to stitch awhile
at her embroidery.
A knot for peace.
A knot for love.
A knot for her posterity.

Day 22 prompt: write a poem that engages with another art form –

thanks for reading!

© 2019 Verlie Burroughs


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    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Thank you Eric, that's good to know!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Dear Peg, Thank you for the read, and your thoughtful comments. Why did I know you would appreciate The Out-of-Towner? I wish it wasn't a true story. I wonder what happened. Did the old guy get lost in the excitement? And then, did his people have to go, and leave him behind? It's a mystery. Too sad. And then for my part, I feel terrible about it. Is there something more I could have done? Thanks again Peg.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Verlie I kept this on follow. I like works that I can come back and it means something a bit different.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      16 months ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

      You have to know that my favorite of these delightful verses is the one about the leftover dog. Sad, poignant and a reminder that people often see animals as discards once their useful purpose has been attained, sort of like they see older people.

      I liked your Embroidery poem, too. Creative and unusual to combine different art forms like that. Much said in so few words. Well done!

      And the Old Captain's Chair reminds me so much of a red Naugahyde rocker we owned for years with a red ottoman that matched. The brass tacks were still intact when we let it go. It's something I still miss and can envision my first childhood dog lying next to my Dad in the chair, licking the wooden hands of the arms.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Thanks Centfie. It was a challenge, what can I say, much appreciate your read.

    • centfie profile image


      16 months ago from Kenya

      Your poems are enjoyable and some funny. What you've done there with Shakespeare's...

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Hello again Manatita.I hope Shakespeare will forgive me! Thanks so much for reading, and commenting.

    • manatita44 profile image


      16 months ago from london

      A touch of Shakespeare, my dear? Sorry about what happened to that dog.

      I like your dreams and your Monday monologue. Reflective.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Dear Mar, Yes, 'The Out-of-Towner' is too sad for words, a heart breaking moment I will never forget. Which is why I needed the joyful picture of your Miss Fannie on the page, to help balance some of that pain. And I thank you so much for permission to use the photo!

      The one-a-day April Poetry challenge this year (and last) has really helped me explore my range, and I'm thankful for that. But it was a bit of a marathon, and I am exhausted!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      16 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Well I am partial to you starting out this masterful collection with the beautiful Miss Fannie.

      The Out - of - Towner caused my misty eyes to pause awhile.

      Your range is amazing. Love, Maria

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Dear Bill, your comments are heart warming, thank you so much!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      16 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I will always be one of your biggest fans. You capture life with your see embrace life....and you give it back to all of us to enjoy. Beautiful work!

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Hi Mike, thank you, I was trying a different style with that one, happy you like it. Good to see you my friend. Hope all is well with you.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Oh that's too bad John. I should have let you know, there's always next year. It's a really good immersion. Thanks for the visit! I see you are doing some stuff on fairy tales. Looks interesting, I've got to get over there soon.

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      16 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello Verlie - The pace in the “Out-of-Towner” is near perfection. The pace, the voice, the artistry produced a literary ambrosia. Your style here is mesmerizing.

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Thanks Jamie, yes, it's in the bag. I'm exhausted. Thanks for your reads.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      16 months ago from Queensland Australia

      VerIie, I love your poetry and the diversity of it. I wish I had known about “napowrimo” National Poetry Month website. I probably would have engaged in this also.

      I particularly enjoyed reading “Out-of-Towner” and “Away Today” but they were all fantastic.

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 

      16 months ago from Reno NV

      Thank you for sharing here Verlie. Excellent job. Another April down and in the books! Jamie

    • snakeslane profile imageAUTHOR

      Verlie Burroughs 

      16 months ago from Canada

      Thanks Eric!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      16 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Nicely done.


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