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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


Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on May 26, 2020:

Gnite, sweet dreams.

manatita44 from london on May 26, 2020:

Seems so. Off to bed any moment. 01: 08 here. Good night.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on May 26, 2020:

Hi manatita, thank you very much. Must be late there. Are you burning the midnight oil?

manatita44 from london on May 26, 2020:

Excellent! Self-portrait appeals to me a lot. Succinct and charming. very vivid too.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on May 19, 2020:

So true Demas.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 17, 2020:

If none of our dreams, fell apart down our lives' seams, there'd be fewer screams.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on May 17, 2020:

Thanks so much for reading. And many thanks for your kind comment.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on May 07, 2020:

So beautiful. If only world leaders could arise so fully to their challenges, as you have to yours!

Muhammad Faisal from Faisalabad, Pakistan on April 19, 2020:

very nice

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 15, 2020:

Hello Mar, been thinking about you, hope you are staying well and safe, Appreciate your always warm presence. Thank you my friend.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 15, 2020:

Thanks Lora, appreciate your reading and kind comment!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on April 15, 2020:

I'm particularly drawn to Canadian Gothic and Bob Dylan - thanks for both, dear Verlie.

Love you and hugs,


Lora Hollings on April 14, 2020:

Sounds like quite a challenge, and you certainly rose to meet it, Verlie. I really like your originality, beautiful verse, and the vivid imagery of your poems. My favorite is Canadian Gothic. Great work!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 14, 2020:

Hi Dora! Thank you, that was the one thing I wasn't sure if I had accomplished because I failed miserably at logic in University (embarrassing). Can you tell me how I used it? I'm not seeing it, but I know I tried really hard to grasp the concept, so maybe I did it without knowing? No rush for a reply, I'm just curious where you see that. I might learn something here. That would be nice.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 14, 2020:

It seems that you met the challenges effectively. I especially like the example of the false cause effect logic in the first poem. Well done!

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 13, 2020:

Hello Eric, Thanks for the empathetic read. Good to see you, hope you are well, and riding out the storms safely.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 13, 2020:

Hi Kari, Thank you much, hope you're doing good too. Take care.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 13, 2020:

Morning Bill, you honour me with your patronage. I'm going to take your compliment and run with it. Thanks so much.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 13, 2020:

Thanks Muhammad, kind of you to comment.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 13, 2020:

Hi Li-Jen. Thank you. I appreciate your feedback, It's always refreshing to see your take on things.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 12, 2020:

Holy! I've got mail, thank you each of you. Can't reply at the moment. Have to write a 'Triolet' still today. I promise to come back asap. This poetry thang is a tough gig. Who knew?

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on April 12, 2020:

Wonderfully done, each so different I cannot pick a fav. Tough challenge, well done.

Kari Poulsen from Ohio on April 12, 2020:

I enjoyed these, especially "Canadian Gothic". I hope you are well, Verlie. Stay safe!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 12, 2020:

You are something else. "The deflated moon"...little gems like that make me wonder if you are another species of writer, and I mean that as a huge compliment.

Happy Easter,Verlie! Thank you for your friendship!

Muhammad Faisal from Faisalabad, Pakistan on April 12, 2020:

This is really very beautifully arranged.

very good work.........

Li-Jen Hew on April 12, 2020:

Hi Verlie, thanks for sharing the poems. You did well for each challenge. I like the originality in your poems because the rhymes are endearing as if your poems give off a nice fragrance through the harsh reality. And the self-portrait poem's simplicity makes it sweet and deep. Nice one.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 11, 2020:

Thanks John, the prompts really make you stretch which is kind of exciting for me, I need the challenge.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on April 11, 2020:

Loved all these poems, Verlie. They are all so diverse in subject an style. These prompts were certainly a great challenge and you nailed them. Well done.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 11, 2020:

Hi Lorna! So nice to see your lovely comment from another writer here who I admire. Fun that you imagined the Bees wearing boots, that's so cute. Once again I am impressed with how much the reader shares in the 'making' of the poem. Thanks for your good wishes. Right back at ya lady.

Lorna Lamon on April 11, 2020:

Wonderful poems Verlie and each poem had its own unique challenge which you kicked out of the box. I loved "Flowers Scuffed by Bees" and I had images of little bees wearing boots. "Canadian Gothic" had a classic feel to it - very impressive. A great collection beautifully written. Stay safe and keep well.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 11, 2020:

Thank you!


Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 11, 2020:

Ann, Thank you very much, so nice to see your comment. The NaPoWriMo website is easy to find, and posts a new prompt and resources each day in April. I will add a link once this page gets through the QA process. It's worth checking out for sure.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 11, 2020:

Hi Rinita, you should see me smiling at your sweet comment. I'm so happy you came along today to read. Yes the ten word poem came in handy, I would have been stuck without it. You take care too my friend.

Verlie Burroughs (author) from Canada on April 11, 2020:

Hello Jamie, good to see you again this April. Thanks for the encouraging words. And thanks for the update! I see you've been posting, and I am looking forward to reading your new poems, over the next few days and weeks. I'm happy we can take this journey together.

I am staying well, we haven't been as hard hit as many others. We are being asked to stay home except to work, and necessary outings.

Ann Carr from SW England on April 11, 2020:

Absolutely brilliant! You've done an amazing job in complying with the conditions. I didn't realise there was a poetry version of the WriMo day!

'Canadian Gothic' is outstanding. Well done!


Rinita Sen on April 11, 2020:

Brilliance is shining through all of them Verlie. You cracked some really tough challenges there. The first one, I've read before, in 10 word Tuesday, I remember. Loved it then, love it now. The gothic one gave me a sort of Robert Frost feel. Stay well and continue to churn out more brilliant work dear friend.

Jamie Lee Hamann from Reno NV on April 11, 2020:

All of your poems here are awesome! You did an incredible job with each challenge! I am glad that I remember your poetry from years ago and can think upon how your style has polished and your skill improved, exponentially. I talked with Thomas yesterday, thoughtsandwiches, when was that 2011? Anyways he is working as a mechanic for a mutual friend and does not write much anymore. He survived cancer! I am doing well with the kiddos, so much has changed yet stayed the same. I hope you are well Verlie and thanks for the great poems. Jamie

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