Day 29: Happy National Poetry Month!

I love rhyme. I love rhyming poetry. I write both rhyming and non-rhyming poetry, but I do love playing with rhyme. I’m actually sad that rhyming poetry isn’t really “in” right now. Many literary magazine editors state they rarely accept rhyming poetry.

But rhyme is fun. So today I experimented with a rhyming pattern. It’s not exactly right yet, but you can get an idea of what I mean, maybe.

By Michelle Garren-Flye 

Even the gray days of Spring
can waken dreams and desires
you’d forgotten from your youth—
maybe it’s time to relight old fires.

Write them all down as truth
and craving will become a blessing
that haunts even as it inspires—
you just don’t know what it will bring!

For Spring is a god who admires
the worshippers who don’t dispute
but accept the dreams he acquires—
they’re only meant to soothe.
Can’t you smell the green? Photo and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye

Day 26: Happy National Poetry Month!

It’s 11:40 a.m. and I want to do another live poetry writing. I’m going to find a poetry prompt. Be right back.

11:48 a.m. I’m back. I honestly didn’t see any poetry prompts I liked, but I remembered this morning when I walked my dog and how the spring wind felt. I’ve been sick and that cool breeze with the light scent of some sort of flowers felt good. Cleansing. I think I’ll write about that. So here goes.

11:50 a.m. I’m writing.

11:57 a.m. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

I step out into the fresh air
Feel the spring breeze wash over 
Lifting my hair from my face
Streaming over my mind
Pushing away the bad thoughts
It rinses away the sickness
And I declare peace
With myself and the world
You must deal with the darkness
If you wish to walk in the light
With the weight of the bad 
Finally gone from my head
I raise my chin and smell the spring
The green newness of it
With a hint of pink from somewhere

It needs a title, a bit of editing and I feel like there’s something missing at the end. I’ll be back.

12:01 p.m. This is what I’ve come up with:

By Michelle Garren-Flye

I step out into the fresh air,
feel the spring breeze wash over,
lifting my hair from my face,
streaming over my mind,
pushing away the bad thoughts.
It rinses away the sickness
and I declare peace
with myself and the world.
(You must deal with the darkness
if you wish to walk in the light.)
With the weight of the bad 
finally gone from my head
I raise my chin and smell the spring:
the green newness of it
with a hint of pink from somewhere.
And I think, this is better.

Keep in mind that all my poems will probably be edited again before I put them out. You might not even recognize some of them after that process is done! But this is the beginning. What do you think?

A hint of pink from somewhere. Photo and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye

Day 24: Happy National Poetry Month!

It’s the last week of National Poetry Month. I’m sorry I’m late, and I’m sorry this is a short entry and I’m sorry it’s rather a sad one. In honor of the baby birds I see broken on the sidewalk at this time of year:

Ode to a Baby Bird
By Michelle Garren-Flye

It’s that time of year when baby birds fall from the nest
and lay helpless on the ground with broken wings or neck
because they tried, Daedalus-like, to fly too close to the sun
too early and the gods laughed—and then they panicked.

Because if a baby bird learns to fly too well and too early
She may become a god, so they smite her back to the ground.

Is it better this way for the baby birds lying in balls of fluff
On the unkind ground that did not provide a soft enough landing?
They never knew love or fun or the thrill of the flight
(except for that one all-too-brief moment before the fall began).

But they also never knew the unkind world where hateful gods
refuse them the skies just because they’re jealous of pretty plumage.
Not a baby bird, but he did pose for me. Photo and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye.

Day 19: Happy National Poetry Month

For the past few months I’ve been working on a longer poem called “Where the Sidewalk Begins”. With all due respect to Shel Silverstein, I always wondered if maybe he was looking at things wrong in his iconic poem. As I’ve gotten older and fought life’s battles as valiantly as I could manage, I’ve become more and more certain it is so. Because the sidewalk may be orderly and straight, but it’s easier to avoid deception and pitfalls when you walk on it. And after fighting most of your life, maybe all you want is a little peace…

Anyway, I digress. I finished the poem today. You can’t read it here (sorry), but it will be in my next poetry collection, aptly titled Where the Sidewalk Begins. I haven’t decided if that one will be part of my Poetry Diaries series or not. It’s mostly love poems, so I may just market it that way. I’m hoping to have it out by June 30, which would have been my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary. Still is, I suppose.

On to today’s poem! I got caught up in the whole “night” concept from yesterday so I wrote this one. Hope you enjoy.

Night Comfort
By Michelle Garren-Flye

I’ll be the Night
draining the garish color of the day,
leaving shadows
to cushion you.
Let me surround you—
watch the red fade from the rose
and forget lost love
and hate.
Emerald greed is lost on me
and golden shame of cowardice
means nothing.
I will silence it all,
the blame and guilt
and distractions
from dreams.
Just lay your head on me.
Let me fill you with wonder
at my silvery beauty.
Let Night be your comfort.
Not a night picture, but pretty. 🙂 Photo and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye

Day 18: Happy National Poetry Month!!

Did you enjoy yesterday’s live poetry reading? I’m actually thinking it’s good for me to do stuff that’s not terribly comfortable for me, so I’m toying with the idea of keeping it up. I’ve tried recording myself reading poetry, but there’s something about the live aspect that makes it a little tougher. I mean, you’re basically just talking to the whoever shows up. I’ve never been a great conversationalist…

Anyway, moving on, today I have not one, but TWO poems for you. Yay! National Poetry Month has definitely shaken something loose in my brain so I can think poet-like again. Or maybe it’s spring, which definitely inspired these two poems, which started out as one poem, but I realized they’re actually companion poems.

I hope you enjoy.



By Michelle Garren-Flye


I’d like to be the light you see

when clouds part after rain—

transform leaves into glistening green glass

and reveal jewels on flower petals.

Can I be that for you?

I want to be the sunrise

at the end of the long night,

blooming over the horizon,

spilling into the fields

and onto your face with a soft shimmer.

Will you turn to me?

My desire is simple, really:

to be a glimmer of hope,

a shimmer of sunlight,

a ray in the darkness of night.

Is that what you want, too?




By Michelle Garren-Flye


I want to be the night

closely covering you,

a breath of a caress

graying out the day…

so you can leave it all behind.

You won’t be afraid of the dark

when the Dark is me, will you?

I’ll let the stars sparkle

and the moon set a path for you

so it won’t be all black,

but you’ll find comfort in me, too,

a rest the day cannot provide.

Fear has no place in me

because you will not be alone.

Cuddle up in me,

I’ll be your blanket,

silvered by starlight

and delicate dreams.


Spring is glorious! Photo and poems copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye

Day 14: Happy National Poetry Month!

Good morning! Today I’m presenting a fresh poem, but it’s actually one I wrote yesterday. I revised a bit this morning. And it’s all about this:

The world is a Monet painting. Photo by Michelle Garren-Flye

That’s what my yard looked like day before yesterday. Gorgeous, right? Absolutely. I love flowers. I especially love wildflowers. But spots of it were well over ankle-deep. I do not like snakes (I mean, I’m okay with them in theory, but since one killed my dog, I haven’t been super fond of having them near my loved ones). I also don’t like rats and mice in the house and keeping your yard cut back is essential to discouraging pest infestations.

And so I cut my yard. As much as it pained me to cut all those beautiful flowers, I did it. Because I’m a grownup, damn it. Sometimes that sucks.


By Michelle Garren-Flye

I mowed my lawn yesterday,

painful as it was to cut down buttercups

and crowpoison and violets.

I picked a few to make a bouquet,

but the rest I had to let go,

sacrificed to the mower’s blade.

Tell me please, what else could I do?

Rats love weeds and grass

and don’t care if flowers contribute

to the refuge they require.

In shadows, snakes slither through,

so the overgrowth must go!

And still I knew I would miss

the cheerful heads I decapitated

so I stole a moment to admire

Nature’s beauty I must erase.

A masterpiece of color and scent

nevertheless met its fate.

The bouquet I picked from my backyard.
Photos and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye.

Day 10: Happy National Poetry Month!

And this is what I love about poetry. Mostly it grows naturally.

And this is what frustrates me about poetry. Natural growth can take a while.

By “naturally”, I mean that poetry is mostly organic. A seed is planted in your brain and then, bam, it’s a poem. Last night for instance, I was staying at an Airbnb with my daughter. I saw this set of instructions for guests.

I laughed and asked my daughter, “Well, that’s fine for summer and winter. But what about weather like this, like in weird spring?” (There was a frost warning last night, to give you an idea.) And then I said, “Weird Spring would be a great name for a band.”

She agreed and we moved on, but those two words stuck in my brain. And it turns out, they make a pretty decent poem, too.

Weird Spring

By Michelle Garren-Flye

That moment when the air stops

and a stillness falls

like just before a storm

but then the music crashes in

and it’s weird spring

and you’re on the road again

with violets blooming

on the brick walls

and words dripping from arbors

like sweet-smelling jasmine

or wistful wisteria

and everything is purple all day long

and gold at night

when you hold my hand in the moonlight

because it’s weird spring

and anything is possible.

Weird Spring flowers. 😉 Photo and poem copyright 2023 Michelle Garren-Flye.

National Poetry Month, Day 30, Verse 30

And so we have rushed, headlong, to the end. The end of April, the end of the beginning of spring, the end of National Poetry Month, and the end of my renga.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my life up to this point. I should definitely be past the beginning of spring. Well established in my, ahem, fifties, however, I’m not certain if I ever had one.

This year, this project forced me to look closely at the spring that was not just happening, but living and breathing all around me. I saw how the flowers bloomed, how they started as tiny buds, but because they knew from the beginning what they were supposed to do, they just did it without question. They spread petals, inviting the visits of pollinators and the gentle brush of spring breeze to spread the pollen that not only makes us sneeze but also carries their DNA to another willing recipient.

The flowers do this because they know what they are meant for. As human beings, we question. We doubt our talents and our abilities and our purpose. This leads to anger and resentment and despair. Most of us never fully experience our spring and are therefore not ready for summer because we’re stuck in that thawing stage at the beginning, unable to fully realize our potential because we just don’t believe.

(As an example, I’m doubting these words even as I write them.)

It’s a difficult thing believing in yourself. Going all in for what you want to do and be. More and more I’m trying to do that. Maybe even at this point in my life, it’s not too late for spring.

Poem and illustration copyright 2022 Michelle Garren-Flye

National Poetry Month, Day 29, Verse 29

Ever considered doing something kinda nuts (nuts just because it’s totally out of character for you, not like dangerous or anything)? I feel like I’ve spent most of my life rushing headlong toward the end and now I want to put on the brakes and just enjoy. I might get whiplash if I put them on too hard, though, so I’m still hesitating. Hesitating while rushing onward.

Poem and illustration copyright 2022 Michelle Garren-Flye

National Poetry Month, Day 28, Verse 28

On Saturday I actually give a fairly long speech about the history of poet laureates. I’m a bit nervous, not to mention ambivalent about closing my store for a couple of hours to do it. But it’s the last day of National Poetry Month, and I’m discovering I actually like public speaking once I get past the scary moment at the beginning—and if I am fully prepared with a written speech that I’ve read out loud several hundred times. This was an interesting one, too. I had to do a lot of research since I didn’t know that much about poet laureates (I had some idea that it came from Greece because of the whole “laurel” thing). What I found was equal parts interesting, amusing, and inspiring. If I wrote the speech right, maybe it’ll come out that way for my audience.

In the meantime, my spring renga is rushing to its close.

Poem and illustration copyright 2022 Michelle Garren-Flye