NaPoWriMo, Day 5

Today’s prompt:

“Today’s prompt is a little complicated, which is why I saved it for a Saturday, in the hopes that you might have a little more time today than during a weekday. I think this is a very rewarding form, though, so I hope you’ll enjoy it! Today I challenge you to write a “golden shovel.” This form was invented by Terrance Hayes in his poem, The Golden Shovel. The last word of each line of Hayes’ poem is a word from Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem We Real Cool. You can read Brooks’ poem by reading the last word of each line of Hayes’ poem!”

I ended up also drawing inspiration from a Rumi poem, which I’ve posted first, then the short poem whose words I used, and then my poem, below:


This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jelaluddin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks

1079. Written after thieves had broken into his hut, Monk Ryōkan (translated by Steven D. Carter) 

At least the robbers
left this one thing behind —
moon in my window.

My untitled poem:

Joy, at
Last.  It is the least
of what I deserve.  The
twin demons of fear and sadness, those robbers
of full-hearted living. They left
no room for savoring the ripeness on my tongue. This
is what I learned:  to take them by the hand, one,
then the other.  The thing
is to make them feel acknowledged.Then they deliver their messages and leave me behind
for the right amount of time. Then I have room to notice the
pure glow of the moon,
the delicacy of the breeze, the light in
my beloved’s eyes.  My

wish is to remember Rumi’s words, to let each emotion, in its time, in the open window.


7 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo, Day 5

  1. Pingback: Beauty Is… {A Golden Shovel} | Lifechimes

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