Life/Lines - April 30

Submitted poems for April 30, 2020

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.

Today’s words were contributed by your Life/Lines project team: Jean Allman, the J.H. Hexter Professor in the Humanities and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University, and Kathleen Fields, the center’s publications and communications editor.


Poems submitted for April 30

A novel virus blazes.
Imagine future
treasures: a long climb from here.
— Basho


The treasure is
in climbing forward
blazing novel paths
creating the future.

— 2020 04 30        by Lloyd Klinedinst


As we climb
to a novel future
we long for the blaze
of a treasure chest
at the top.

— Joyce S Brown



Unlike a sleeping dreamfire’s blaze it cannot be doused with water.
This horrid novel coronavirus is about us like none other.
As we view our future actions, keeping faith is one large measure.
But listen, act as if the climb back was per a map leading to treasure.

— Ted


Blaze a path to a brighter future
This novel virus causes much anger.
Dreams of summer is such a treasure
I climb out of despair with great pleasure.

Blaze a path to a brighter future
This novel virus causes much anger.
Dreams of summer is such a treasure
I climb out of despair with great pleasure.



The Way Forward

If the future is a mountain range
then we will climb;
blazing our own novel trail
as we go higher.
Growing stronger with every day;
treasuring each lesson
along the way.

— Susan Lively


Secret World of Ascent

We searched the future after a climb into a blaze of adventure (write this into a novel my companion remarked) we had come home to our own backyard it was treasure buried there who knew we knew now.

— james goodman    4.30.20


God’s way doesn’t measure a time
When the future will require such a climb
For a treasure with no reason or rhyme,
Just a novel requirement
After retirement:
I plunge through a violent blaze
A mere rat lost in a maze
On my way to Hades or Heaven.

— Phil Coleman


Life/Lines has been a treasure
in this strange and trying time
each day the expectation
of a new and novel climb

What words will be our downfall ?
what words will fire a blaze ?
what poems will change our outlook ?
what poems will turn a phrase ?

Tomorrow seems so bleak now
no words can quite express
how powerful this exercise
how dear to me this test

Can we expect more in the future ?...please say Yes

— T.M.Wilson


Oh what a treasure it will be
When the future will unfold and we will see
Everything we prayed for and believed
Our hearts are a blaze with desire
To conquer Covid-19 and make it expire
As novel research will climb to new heights to find
A powerful vaccine that will protect us in time

— Maureen Kleekamp


Though novel virus hangs like haze,
Like uninvited weather,
Into the future we will climb
With antiviral blaze.
Our antibody anodyne
Will free us from the maze,
And when it does I'll shake your hand
And in that touch we'll treasure.

—John Randall


Educating My Children at Home

The treasure book, open
inviting young eyes
to blaze upon the page
of novel sensations and future
ideas, to climb to the heights
of their mother's aspirations for them.

Another hallucination induced by the
unyielding background music of Minecraft.

— Tamara Taylor


Look to the future!
Write your novel!
Blaze that trail!
The treasure-trove of
Piles ever higher,
Another trash mountain
Of pandemic refuse

— Rita Winters


In search of novel treasure?
You must climb
through the blaze
of the future.

— James B. Moog


The future is a treasure we dig up.
It is like reading a novel; our imaginations blaze
with enticing flames and shadows,
and they burn in us as we go deeper,
climbing down into the currency of our values,
discovering so many of life's characters,
experiencing days like streets,
always forward until the wow on the last page.

— Dan Cuddy


The future is still a-blaze with possibility
even with no road map for this novel climb.
Find some treasure in our measure of utility
and bank on all the love that's spread, in this time.

— Laurie J.


Chapter books in second grade,
Billy and Blaze, were what sustained me.
Any novel full of horses: Man o’ War,
The Black Stallion, deserts full of mustangs
or Nez Perce ponies; any treasure from Marguerite
Henry or Walter Farley. The future
was four-legged and smelled of hay and sweat
and dust, a brown eye that made me swoon.

The willow I climbed, the branch I rode:
a poor substitute that never moved.

— M.E. Hope


A novel is a treasure,
to read without a measure.
You can climb future heights unknown,
quench a fiery blaze with a drone,
all by sitting comfortably
upon a couch in your own home.

— Kelley Lingle


Some future dark night
gathered ‘round a blaze
under a sliver of a crescent moon
we will tell stories of all this
when some grew strong and
others faded away
this bittersweet treasure of time
when we tried hard to climb out of ourselves even as we hunkered down
tried to see the saved lives and tragic deaths as more than
a novel of courage and loss in a time of pandemic.

— Steve Givens


the future turned to the past
and said "treasure each moment.
these are novel times."

the present turned to the future
and climbed its way forward,
blazing its own trail.

— Sabrina Spence


I saw the future one night in a blaze,
when my head was all lit up.
I thought, could this finally be
my secret treasure? And now I find
the hill I climb is not so novel.
My fabulous friends are by my side
and every one of us is awake.

— Matthew Freeman


30 April

There was no future
after the blaze.
Nothing left except the
steep climb.
There is a treasure
I was told.
There was nothing
except the Novel,
The past of mine

— Jey Sushil (Track for International Writers)


The future requires a sacrifice.
After an hour of climbing I reach
the open meadow.
I build a pyre and watch the blaze
consume my treasures:
a strip of memories from the photo booth, dog-eared novel, rabbit’s foot.
The smoke carries my wishes
Straight to Odin’s ear.

— Anonymous


A Very Mini Pseudo Sestina

Oh the ladders we must climb
and the obstacles we must blaze
through to get to that rosy future.
But, Dude, life doesn’t work like a novel.
The very page you’re on might hold the treasure.

— Carol Haake    4/30/2020


(After W.B. Yeats)

The poems of April come and gone,
I sat—no solitary man—
Drawn to the future through Life/Lines.
A novel concept: I could climb
From lassitude for writing rhyme!

While on our splendid poems I gazed
My heart, not hiding longer, blazed.
A thousand poems: collective treasure,
A grand success by any measure,
Thanks, Center, for our common pleasure!

— Robert Henke


From Small Pox to Covid: A Brief History of Empire

Novel Coronavirus, what a treasure you have been,
He licks his vulva lips and sniffs his ruling thumb.
You have filled the future with endless sport,
Although there is no more Turkey left to Endow.
In every Crisis lies Opportunity
Let's Climb our New World, Skewer our Flag on its Flank
New Names, New Languages, New Foods: Surplus, Redundant, Budget, Waste, Slash, Streamline, Fire, Freeze.
Gobble gobble.
A new species is born, part owl part fowl.
Leaner meaner webbed feet blaze over the wreckage.

— Anonymous


Networking. Ugh.

We stand to gain a future
From novel conversations
Practiced talking points
Dressy casual calculated ease
Handshake by handshake
Grin by scheming grin
Why climb when one can simply elevate?
Pitch life’s purpose in 30 seconds
And when doors open—ding!
Blaze a fresh trail on well-worn turf
Follow this map to treasure

— Erin G


You offered a steep climb
To new heights in the mind
With a novel way to blaze
A new trail through the maze
Of all the words of many poets
That I will truly treasure
In no small measure
In glancing towards the future

— Betty Springfield


Could I blaze a novel route for my walk?
Are there more possible routes for the future?
I treasure the time I exercise outdoors, happy to walk around, climbing back into my house satisfied.

— Margaret Fourt Goka


the novel treasure
of “one world” blazes
for humankind
until we climb from the fog and
see nations brawl over facemasks

— John J. Han


the future
blazes ahead
a treasure
to novel over
sometimes a grueling climb

— Terrie Jacks


True Hope

True hope is not the false comfort of wishful thinking. Or the longing of a wistful dream.
True hope is awake and fully engaged. The unshakeable certainty of presence. In a future, unseen.
True hope bears witness to the silence when it listens for beauty and truth.
True hope finds contentment in meaning. The visible evidence of the invisible proof
Of all that we hold in common. Our uncommon souls. And our common source.
The novel accident of creation and the nobility of evolution reveal that the treasure is the life force.

The sun blazes behind unbroken clouds that shroud the mountain as we climb.
But we know the sun and the mountain are there. And so, we climb.

— Kevin Farrell


Into the Future

learning to treasure turtle time
may be the only way to climb
into the future.
moving slowly as a snail
I may blaze a novel trail
into the future.
perhaps I'll just sit beneath this tree
and let the future come to me.

— January Kiefer


Challenge Accepted

Thanks for the novel way to display
my treasure of unbound words,
the opportunity to blaze the page.
A saving grace that edged me on
through the past, into the future,
and helped my present literary climb.
Your poetic prompts have been a life line.

— Linda O'Connell


as the novel virus
blazes its trail and
numbers climb
treasure the future
it will have happened

— anika


Novel’s a virus. Novel’s a story.
A climb into the future, where Life is the Treasure.
In a blaze of high hopes and uncertain danger
champions emerge, born from the peril. Still,
you ponder the impossible challenge and wonder—
who wins and who loses? Who lives and who dies?
This virus, this story, so suddenly real—how does it finish?
Will you find the Treasure of Life and survive?
You wonder and wonder with a shiver, a sigh—
when this is all over, how does it all end?

— Bernie Mossotti  4.30.2020


His future is ablaze
Treasured memories gone forever
Isnt it a novel adventure
Climbing down in despair daily?

— Braveheart Gillani


After the dentist
You pick from the treasure chest,
searching for that future.
It might be the mini-
war guy
Blaze of form-mold glory.
The novel mini climb-
rope guy
Or was that about
dropping not climbing?
The stupid tangled parachute
that never saved anyone.
The best access
was in pictures, those mini
showing us the world
in plastic.

— Patty H


a climb
into the future
blazes some novel results
in chasing after treasures
one should proceed with caution



a novel future
is what lies ahead
what treasures shall be found
will we blaze a trail that climbs mountains
reach new heights
or fall
time will tell

— Anonymous


Words are neither novelty nor treasure;
Fresh indents chisel every passing day
Blazing eyes a thousand miles away
They seek to rise, to pry, to measure
Stems and stalks of flourishing displeasure
Chronicles of climbing hopes, astray
If only words could generate and pressure
A future without yesterdays.

— Nicci Mowszowski


Sun-dazed, we wrote our fortunes
like lines from an underbaked novel:
You will climb to great heights!
Your future doth blaze with glory!
You will be someone's treasure!
The last one I closed in your palm:
Your lucky numbers are... ,
left you to fill in our story.

— Stephen Reaugh


Blazing my Path

Now, for my next feat!
A novel, set in the future, intelligent and captivating prose.
Of course, a happy ending. We need one.
I will climb the ladder to success, fame, and fortune!
I will have treasures untold and the adulation of millions of readers.
Oh, crap! During my daydream, I burned when I meant to sear.
Back to reality. Take out for dinner...again.

— Kim Lehnhoff


Don’t be too concerned with the future
When today is just awakening
Blaze your own trail; be original
Write a novel while you’re young
Climb a mountain when you’re old
And most of all
Treasure life, every moment, savor it,
The sweetness and the sour
Before the flame flickers

— Anita M. Ashworth


Forever Present

My treasure I do not hold in my hands.
It cannot be found far off in the future.
I do not have to climb the highest mountain,
Nor go out in a blaze of glory to find it.
My treasure is not novel or unique.
It resides within my soul - ever present.

— Karen Engelkenjohn 4/30/2020


In the future there will be novels written about us
and the way we climbed in and out of trouble,
just like every generation before us,
looking for treasure
that is always buried over the next hill;
and they will read about us
the way we watch a blazing bonfire
sending its showers of sparks
higher and higher into the summer sky.

— Bethany J. Davis


Treasure this novel life that you live
After all, it’s special, a gift like no other
Plan a future for others as you make your climb
When you think it's 'bout to go up in a blaze
Don’t despair
Have a drink, take a walk, say a special prayer
Then, get ready to do it all over again

— Griot Lois


The Road Ahead

When you climb the lonely mountain
Mark the last tree at the timberline.
You will need to backtrack this way
After finding internal treasure,
Your name engraved on novel tablets--
This piece of future yours alone
Heaven’s fire blazed on your face
Ecstatic with the quested message
As you descend this first road home.

— Jo Schaper


The signs were misleading

Into a blaze of sorrow
Where treasures disappear
Along an easy road,
Forces you to climb down
An embankment to explore
The ground where future stops
Are planned by committee,
A reality that didn't exist until today
Outside novels and hair salons.
The signs were misleading, but
They were always there.

— Mary Elizabeth Horner


No one can tell the future.
There's no time more novel than now.
So blaze a trail,
Swim the depths,
And climb to heights
In search of
The hidden treasures
In life.

— J. Thomas


The Quest

We slowly climb and blaze a trail.
We surly hope that we don’t fail
For the future depends on our guts and grit
Not to forget our ingenious wit
We, must think outside the box we know
Embrace novel ideas that may show
A path to success on many fronts
Keep looking, embrace the treasure hunt.

— Jan Newman LA72


Sunday gems--
Warm blaze,
A climb into bed.
In future,
We might miss these treasures.

— Rebecca D.





Headline image: David Clode on Unsplash