Create Art Podcast NaPoWriMo2023 Poetry Prompt for April 19, 2023

Poetry Prompt for April 19, 2023

top half books with a sign sticking up displaying the word poetry, bottom half logo for podcast and title card

History of National Poetry Writing Month

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.

This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

My History with National Poetry Writing Month

I started writing poetry in 1988 after I had been exposed to T.S. Elliot in my honors English class in high school. In 1992 I started reading my poetry publicly at Espresso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. While living in Rockford Illinois I published my first book of poetry Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing in 2007 followed by Postcards From Someone You Don’t Know in 2008 Wisdom From the Sack in 2010 and Shaving Crop Circles In My Chest Hair in 2017. You can get copies of all of these books in my merch section. In 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.

What I am doing differently for Poetry Month

For 2023 I am not going to be just writing poems in April, I will be writing poems all year round. Also, since I will be writing all year round, I am using a different source for my prompts. There is a blog called Think Written and you can find it here. I will also be performing these works at Katora Coffee House here in Fredericksburg Virginia on their Friday Night Snaps Open Mic Poetry reading. Some of the podcast episodes you will hear will be a live recording of me reading the poem to a live audience, other times I will be reading it in the comfort of my home studio. I do plan on posting my work to the NaPoWriMo site and interacting with the poets there and see if they want to read their work on this podcast.

Todays Poetry Prompt

Now, cast your mind back to your own childhood and write a poem about something that scared you – or was used to scare you – and which still haunts you (if only a little bit) today. 

Summer Nightmare 

19 April 2023 

The heat had settled in for the season 

We were sweltering although the sun had gone down hours ago 

When building the house 

It was decided not to have central air or a basement 

Our neighborhood was rumored to have been built on a gravesite 

For the indigenous population 

It was the type of rumor to keep kids in at night 

But some rumors need to be heeded 

It was another night of sweating 

With the hum of fans that put us to sleep 

I knew I was dreaming 

Only to wake up to the sound of a broken window 

I peered over to my window 

The drapes were opened when they should have been shut 

And a figure was standing outside 

Readying what appeared to be a bow and arrow 

I heard a swoosh and then a thud in the wall  

Right above my stomach 

And then I sprang up 

Breaking the shaft of the arrow 

And ran to my parents’ room 

I forgot about the fan in my startled state 

And ran right through the fan 

Slicing up my knee and leg 

Waking my father who took me to the bathroom 

We cleaned off the blood in the tub 

And I frantically told him what happened 

I had awakened everyone in the house 

As we turned on the light in my bedroom 

We found the window intact 

The drapes pulled back 

But no broken shaft 

Just two arrowheads lodged into the wall 

Right above where I slept 

My father thought I had planted the arrowheads 

As one could find them easily in our neighborhood 

And decided to yell at me for breaking his sleep 

Telling me this was all in my wild imagination 

When we moved away years later 

The arrowheads I recovered from that night 

Were lost in the move 

But I still can feel the figure pursuing me 

And I always make sure the drapes are closed  

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