Two Sijo

I bustle here and there, putting this and that where it belongs.
What’s this? A spider on the living room wall! That won’t do.
I hurry to take care of it. One spider squashed and flushed away.

He claims one room as an office; the girls work in their bedrooms.
Remote job; online school. Almost always, the cat is asleep.
If they don’t bother me, why am I bothered having them around?

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo21 Day 20 – Write a sijo, a traditional Korean poetic form with three lines of 14-16 syllables each, and each line consisting of two parts. The first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. Prompt from

Peace to your !

“On Seeing Ornaments for Sale…”

My first new poem since the end of April’s NaPoWriMo challenge. Peace to your !

On Seeing Ornaments for Sale at Sam’s Club
More than Three Months Before Christmas (2020)

Pre-pandemic, I’d have grumped and griped,
“It’s only September 2nd—cripes!”
But being sick of covid-19,
I don’t feel up to making a scene.
Whatever. I give the merest shrug.
It’s all I can muster. Blah humbug.

© Stephanie Malley


Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem of over-the-top compliments. Since I’m not feeling expansive at the moment, I’m instead posting a visual poem I worked on yesterday [an audio description can be found here] and also including the link for an ode to summer I composed years ago for a contest. Written in the flowery language of a traditional ode, it fits the prompt pretty well, I think. Peace to your ♥ !

NaPoWriMo20 Day 16 - I didn't use the prompt. 

“How to Survive a Pan(dem)ic”

Serendipity! I woke up with an idea for a concrete poem, and the prompt for the day is to write a concrete poem. It’s another pandemic poem, though; I certainly didn’t think I would be writing so often about it. Peace to your ♥ ! [An audio description of this poem can be found here.]

NaPoWriMo20 Day 9 - Write a concrete poem. Thank you to Maureen Thorson at for the prompt. 


In yesterday’s post I wrote that poetry can give people something to focus on other than what’s going on in their own lives, yet offered up a pandemic poem. Apologies again, as today’s prompt led me in the same direction. Still, tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett O’Hara famously said in Gone With the Wind (though I hope none of my poems is as depressing as I found the movie to be). Peace to your ♥!


Breathe deeply
now and then

or rather
breathe deeply now
and then relax

or better yet
breathe deeply now and again
i.e. repeat
and then relax

and let’s not forget
to cough in the crook of our arm
and leave off touching our faces
and wash our hands for 20 seconds
and greet from a 6-foot distance
and Skype instead of meet in person
and stop going places we don’t need to
and put on a mask when we shop
and keep up-to-date about the facts

oh gosh oh my

it’s easy to overlook
it’s not too late to try
please join me as I

breathe deeply.

©  Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo20 Day 3 - Write a poem using a word bank generated through use of an online rhyming resource, playing with sounds as much as possible. Thank you to Maureen Thorson at for the prompt. 


The Christophers have as their motto, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.” During this dark time of the coronavirus pandemic, NaPoWriMo is a lovely candle to keep lit. Good poetry has power, and even not-so-good poetry (such as one might write given only a day to compose :) ) gives both writer and reader something else to focus on.

Credit for the title goes to my third daughter, whose artwork (see above) also appears in two other NaPoWriMo images I created for this year. She may not be the only one to have come up with quarantime, but she’s the only one I know about. Peace to all ♥s!

a poem for the pandemic

The elementary kids used to wait
On the edge of Heritage and Old Gate
In a patch of rocks the new guy planted.

The bus no longer stops at half past eight
(When again, we can only speculate)
There where the lilac bush once enchanted.

That first novel day off, I took my walk
And saw a boy and girl, friends from the block,
Folding paper on the drab metal case

(Some utility’s) sprouting from the rock.
The girl was a Lindbloom; the boy, a Mock;
The paper, white and all over the place.

He held a white sword—oh, my fourth-grade knight!
Only in dreams could it answer our plight.
But it was an admirable plaything.

They must have cleaned up (I urged, “Do what’s right”);
Next morning her airplane had taken flight.
Both lilacs and children missing this spring.

© Stephanie Malley

NaPoWriMo20 Day 2: Write a poem about a specific place, using concrete details. Thank you to Maureen Thorson at for the prompt.