A daily poetry practice to generate and sustain the Life/Lines among us, for published and novice poets alike
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Write a short poem (rhyming not necessary) that includes each of the following 5 words (anywhere and in any order). Poems should not exceed 7 or 8 lines.
Send us your poem via our Submissions page or post on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #lifelines.
Poems submitted for April 3
Staple the branches together
To frame the window, a jelly-like hope
To see animals and light
Through the twigs, bark, and metal.
As they sway or snap, do it again
Branches, staple, window, jelly-like hope.
— Billy Acree
Las ardillas saltan de rama en rama.
Yo solo estoy autorizada para verlas
desde dentro, con mi jalea y mi pan, con mi respiración y mi horario.
Soy un animal que mira volar a otro, comer, defecar.
A través de la ventana los árboles me enseñan
las habilidades básicas para permanecer de pie.
— Laura Zavaleta
Claws against the window – branches or Bronte’s ghostly hand,
an animal terror that wrenches the gut, a nightly staple.
Is it desire or fear that promises to expose the interior soft as jelly and as red?
Munching on my whole grain bread with jelly
I spied out the window as I was filling my belly
My eyes searched through the branches
For my yard’s animal, my bunny
Whose staple of grass was filling her belly
— Maureen Kleekamp
The wind sways the aspen's branches
Outside my window. They move like jelly fish
Float in the sea, where the swimming animals,
Staples of my dreams,
Hold their silent dance.
— Robert Henke
My way to the A-38
on the way in:
thinking. tactics. taxis. taxes.
global trees with local branches.
teas. fees in threes. buzzy-bees.
on the way out:
a dead animal stapled to the clerk's
window... clerkgy... orcgy... maybe
brain jelly between two brötchen hälftens
— Tobias Feldmann
(International Writers Track)
animal crackers in my soup
monkeys and rabbits
branches bankings trusts
staple jelly to the wall
possess control substance
someone please crack a window
— Jay Buchanan
Save your soul
The animal inside is waking up
Tired of standing on a window
Holding the branches of memories
Wait my dear
Staple your anger
Spread it like a jelly on your body
Save you soul
— Jey Sushil
Track for International Writers
Purchase enough for two weeks, but only the staples:
-Bolt of cloth (sturdy)
-Feed for the animal (+grape jelly?)
-Memories (of the future, if available)
-Live oak branches (home)
-Color blue (sky and navy)
-New glass (for the window)
— Holly Gabelmann
Little known fact:
I hate jelly.
For most it’s a staple in P&J
I’ll just take the P.
My husband tells me to branch out.
“Without the J, the P just sticks to the roof of your mouth.”
Times like those I want to shove him out the window.
My animal instinct pushing me
to the brink.
Animal. Vegetable. Mineral.
At nine, I played this game
forehead pressed against the cold window
unable to move until something shifted in the outer world.
Animal. Twin-pointed rabbit ears above the spinach in my father’s garden.
Vegetable. Plum tree branches quivering in the near corner of the yard.
Mineral. The slightly swaying wood-topped wire fence that made good neighbors.
Something beyond the staple jelly stains on my pajamas to remind me
I was still alive.
— Steve Givens
Staple This Note on my Desk
Watch every animal
and all severally branched greens
outside my home office window.
2020 04 03 by Lloyd Klinedinst
Staples for quarantine:
books food dumbbells alcohol lube but
not the goopy sloppy KY Jelly kind
I’m partial to the silkier stuff and
I’m partial to staring out the window but
only partially envy the animal leaping between branches
It has only outside
but does it feel pleasure?
— Gabriella Martin
I’m old school they say,
Always prepared, never lacking
I made a pantry in my basement.
Not a window, but plenty of shelves.
There you will find Peanut butter and jelly,
Animal crackers and every staple I need.
My mind branches off to what if?
I’ll find it in my pantry
I hate my eyes and I want to cover them.
Cover the inheritance from my dad, the signature of my race,
Cover the window of my soul, as they would call it
Close them, but the sound of the world still surges
By endlessly asking me to cover them heavier, stronger
Or to disguise them, pretend that I have another soul
By decorating myself with another pair of windows.
— Wei Li
Where do blossoms go when branches just beyond
our window shed the final leaves?
When every animal seeking warmth and dark,
burrows below a mat of fragile scrap?
Do blooms distill to lace the season’s jelly,
altering staple sweetness, made new for winter oats?
— Cathlin Noonan
Headline image: U.S. Geological Survey on Unsplash