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Things Have Changed

Verlie Burroughs is a west coast writer from Vancouver Island.



Flowers Scuffed by Bees

footprints in
the yellow powder.

Bee's knees
are dusty too.

feverishly doing
what Bees do.


NaPoWriMo Day 10 prompt: Write a 'Hay(na)ku; the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words.

Canadian Gothic

A ghostly cold crept in through the walls.
Night lasted past morning time.
The deflated moon limped eerily along
like a ship without a rudder.
A lone jay called through the dark
as if to say wake up it's day.
I followed its squawking out
into the violet scented gloom,
as I went to spread some corn around,
And nearly tripped over the body
of my brother Don, who'd fallen
drunk among the bracken.
Lord love a duck!
Don get off the ground you'll
freeze your ass get crackin!
He crawled on all fours in through the door
and collapsed in the middle of the floor.
I threw a blanket on him and he
shivered and asked for rum.
What the feck you doin out there Bro
Don't you know the war is on?
Sit up boy, here's your gun.

Then I woke up with a start.
It was a dream Jean, you worry wort,
I told myself.
The jays were agitating
As I lay contemplating.
A new day was dawning, and the sky sang
All was mellow.

Then Mr Hunt came up the rise
with his Post bag at his side.
Good morning Jean you look a sight
Here's a letter from your brother
I was sure I heard you say he passed away.
You look a fright, like you seen a ghost
What's the matter ?
I looked back in the room and saw
my brother in the chair.
How could he be there? When he died
in the war?
Mr. Hunt, I cried, That's him inside!
He just laughed,
You are mistaken!
What kind of drug have you been taking?
As he turned and walked away
I saw the sun was setting.
And I watched with dismay as the blue jay flew away.
When I went back inside the house
there was no one there
except an empty chair.
It whispered to me
You need a rest, you've gone quite loonie.
Take a load off now,
We'll sort this out somehow come Tuesday.


The Day 5 prompt was arduous asking you to include 20 specific poetic devices. For example:
Begin the poem with a metaphor.
Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
Use an example of false cause-effect logic.

Things Have Changed

Frail and Astonishing

A baby is born
an old man passes forlorn
a first breath
and a last [death]
laughter and crying
living and dying
upon the frailly astonishing


In this last poem surprising results came from collaborating with an online poetry generator. Who knew?


I linger at the lavender
crush it without rush
inhale it's amethyst ardor
trusting with my touch.


Write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. .

That's all for now. Thanks for reading!

© 2020 Verlie Burroughs

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