4.19.14  NaPoWriMo PROMPT:  today’s (optional) prmpt. This is a bit silly, but it’s Saturday. I recently got a large illustrated guide to sea shells. There are some pretty wild names for sea shells. Today I challenge you to take a look at the list of actual sea shell names below, and to use one or more of them to write a poem. You poem doesn’t have to be about sea shells at all — just inspired by one or more of the names.

Peruvian Hat
Snout Otter Clam
Strawberry Top
Incised Moon
Sparse Dove
False Cup-and-Saucer
Leather Donax
Shuttlecock Volva
Striped Engina
Tricolor Niso
Triangular Nutmeg
Shoulderblade Sea Cat
Woody Canoebubble
Ghastly Miter
Heavy Bonnet
Tuberculate Emarginula
Lazarus Jewel Box
Unequal Bittersweet
Atlantic Turkey Wing

One never knows where a word will guide you.  Join me.


Unequal Bittersweet Quest


You clam up when I yearn

for dialogue.  What do we do

with this forbidden subject?

Is it just an American thing?

We are culturally unprepared?


We will all do it so why not

scamper along the options road.

Death.  It is our end gift.

Do we want to go with earth

or fire?  Our bone sacks

already sag.  Where do they

want to be?  Liberated

by fire so friends can take

chunks of bone and ashes to toss

over mountain tops and rivers?


Or settled sweetly beneath earth

where roots can bind 

and earthworms rid us of the unnecessary?

Perhaps near a towering cedar

where ravens will sing my name in sunbreaks

and owls will remember me into the night.


It is part of the aging conundrum,

this resting place, the cave that tends

the final inert body. 


Where shall we be, my Love?

Together always in spirit

even if one is earth and the other fire.


C.J. Prince


Moonstone on Labrdorite 8 April 2014

NaPoWriMo PROMPT:   (optional, as always!) prompt. Today, let’s rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin. While any famous poem will do, if you haven’t already got one in mind, why not try your own version of Cesar Vallejo’s Black Stone Lying on a White Stone? If you’re not exactly sure how such a poem could be “re-written,” check out this recent poem by Stephen Burt, which riffs on Vallejo’s.



Moonstone on Labradorite

   After Cesar Vallejo’s “Black Stone Lying on A White Stone”


   I will die in a down comforted bed, of course on a rainy day,

On a day I’ve remembered since birth, a day on earth

Where robins bounce in rusty orange vests

And the cat will purr me asleep on that day,

Tuesday or Saturday, by then it won’t matter.


I will hold amber in one hand, azeztulite in the other,

And I will remember my replaced joints and reconstructed

Parts that will only last so long and even today I notice

The resistance to movement as I walk the road, not

Alone for the dogs pause here and there, all

The company I need.


C.J. Prince is dead.  Will anyone still be alive

Who would notice or care;  she keeps making friends

But the less she moves, the more distant they become.

Who will scatter her ashes to the four directions

And honor the goddess?


There need be no witness for the days of the week,

The tumbling of months and years and decades twine

Within the bones of my body, the place of memory

Swirling now beyond the earth into the solitude

Of the milky way where I walked before

On a rainy day.


C.J. Prince



Postcard Poetry Fest: August 20, 2013

Then and now merge with a shimmering understanding of multidimensional time.  Does it matter that you only want to dance?  How is the present sprinkled with mosaics of the past?  Here’s another poem from the 7th year of Postcard Poetry Fest and my first year of participating.



Image credit: ebay.uk

Just Over Her Shoulder


Dance, you say.

But she cannot remember.

Her barefeet so far away.

Numb lips without words.


He never liked to dance,

endured her coaxing

when they were young.


Her head is hollow now,

a gourd without rhythm

as he walks a tight rope

without a net.

   Death always whispers

   behind her ear.


   C.J. Prince