Friday, October 30, 2015

October DMC Wrap-Up + Giveaway

If you're looking for a Halloween party, sorry, you missed it— that was last week. Feel free to go back and check out all the beastly five-word ditties that came to play.

Today we're celebrating LOVE... which can also be pretty beastly on occasion, but not always. At the beginning of this month, Marcus Ewert challenged us to write a love poem. Hold on, not just any love poem. He encouraged us to write about relationships that may seem unrequited at one time, but turn out to be requited after all.

Ah!  Love's elusive key...

          (If it's anything like my car key, I'm in serious trouble.)
 Love padlocks, photo by Tim Kwee

The romance...  the torture...  the elation... 

We experienced it all this month.
And what do we have to show for all that emotional turmoil?

Poems, of course!

And lots of them. Ardent thanks to all who participated in this month's challenge, to those who  cheered us on, and to Marcus for coming up with a challenge that allowed us to dig deep and respond in some rather unique ways.

All poems are copyright 2015, and published with permission of the authors, who control all rights.

     by Janie Lazo

I crave her silky softness
As her slender body moves
Graceful passes so alluring
Still my touch she dares reprove
When I call to her she listens
But to hasten? no not she
Though I beckon - she ignores me
Too aloof to hear my pleas
So I sit alone in silence
I'm no fool, I shall not beg
Then this flighty, flirty, vixen
Soon is rubbing on my leg

                                                              CAT RANTS AND RECANTS
                                                                   by Donna JT Smith 
                                                                   (see the accompanying video here)

                                                               I don’t like you!
                                                               I can’t like you!
                                                               I won’t like you!
                                                               I will not play your silly canine game.
                                                               I can’t see you!
                                                               I won’t see you!
                                                               I don’t see you!
                                                               I don’t even know your so uncatlike name.
                                                               What is that now
                                                               That you have now
                                                               That can roll now?
                                                               It’s a rolly ball, neow, that’s a meowing shame!
                                                               For I know how,
                                                               Yes, I know how,
                                                               Oh, I know how,
                                                               I can make you, little doggy, take the blame!
                                                               You’re such a dog,
                                                               a loving dog,
                                                               a happy dog;
                                                               You have really much to learn; you’re over-tame.
                                                               I am sorry -
                                                               maybe sorry -
                                                               wee bit sorry -
                                                               That I think of you as, oh, so very lame;
                                                               For a friend who just annoys
                                                               You do have pleasant toys;
                                                               Perhaps I shouldn’t
                                                               This friendship I’ve
                                                               It could be lots of fun.
                                                               Let me rub against your nose
                                                               and in warmth here just repose;
                                                               Perhaps you aren’t that bad a dog at all.
                                                               But remember,
                                                               Just remember,
                                                               Please remember,
                                                               If ever I’m to blame, you’ll take the fall.
                                                               For I’m a cat,
                                                               and I’m all that,
                                                               I am THE cat -
                                                               and you are naught
                                                               you must be taught,
                                                               my friend, you’re Spot;
                                                               And I can’t believe I’m liking you a lot!

          LULU BELL
               by Leane Gill

          My new sisters name?
          Why, it's LuLu Bell.
          No, that's really the cat,
          but, be quiet, don't tell.

          Things were going just fine
          until she came along.
          Now I hear Daddy sing Lulu
          my favorite song.

          What's this I feel?
          Aw, she's squeezing my hand.
          It’s tiny, so precious –
          makes it tough to take a stand.

          Guess I’ll learn to share
          even my special toys.
          And be kind, learn to care,
          and create new loving joys.

          I think I might like her –
          this new person in my life.
          That's causing such a rift
          in my plan to cause strife.

          Oh gee, she just looked at me!
          right into my eyes.
          Then she went and smiled,
          and made me realize-

          There is plenty of room
          in my heart to show love.
          We each are unique
          and gifts from above.

          She'll color my world,
          and I'll color hers back.
          I'll be by her side
          even sharing my snack.

          We'll share good times and bad
          as we go through the years.
          I'll laugh when she laughs
          and dry any tears.

          It's a good thing, I think,
          this new sister of mine.
          So, no worry for me-
          We're each one of a kind.

                                                                                      Johnny Loved Miss Jones, His Teacher
                                                                                           by Linda Baie

                                                                                      Johnny fell in love first day of school.
                                                                                      Sadly, he soon learned of the rule
                                                                                      that six year olds must grow up first.
                                                                                      He really thought his heart would burst.
                                                                                      She was not meant to be his date,
                                                                                      and Johnny had to wait and wait.
                                                                                      Through all his schooling, he kept in mind
                                                                                      this first heartbreak, and, now resigned,
                                                                                      he searched and found a new love true.
                                                                                      To all the memories, he said “adieu”.
                                                                                      This time, grown up, he found a match:
                                                                                      she taught first grade, a perfect catch.

Photo: Jessica Bigi
     by Jessica Bigi

I could hardly wait
in the summer for the bookmobile
to stop on my street.
I loved listening to stories being told.
Then once, on Christmas, I
got some books. I wasn’t sure why
all the words looped around my breath.
Jumbles of traffic jams
flipping forward and backward
as if diving into oceans of alphabet soup.
Letters jumping rope all over the pages.
At times I couldn’t even
write the words without them tangling
like balls of yarn.
One sentence, an hour-long highway
of loops and zagging words.
OH, the stories I could write and tell,
but I had wondered if books love me.
Until, at thirty-three, I read some poems.
At first they seemed to laugh out nonsense letters
till my breath sounded them out into perfect rhymes.
Rhyme skipped rope into stories
and without a doubt, I finally knew,
books love me too.

                                                   THE AFTERMATH
                                                        by Teresa Robeson

                                                   You might think my love is
                                                   though here’s what is integral:
                                                   it’s not calcu-you
                                                   or calcu-me
                                                   but calcul-US.

                                                                                                             by Janie Lazo

                                                                                                        For 'ere our views be twixt
                                                                                                        Our visions firmly fixed
                                                                                                        We go our separate ways 
                                                                                                        Our paths will not be mixed

                                                                                                        We stand alone in vain
                                                                                                        Both strong yet none does reign
                                                                                                        But at the corner waits
                                                                                                        A bond most strong when twain

                              by Mindy Gars Dolandis

                         Tuesday morning in July
                         Another scorching day
                         As I jog I yearn for you
                         The burn won’t go away

                         Tongue and lips Sahara dry
                         Sweat sets my eyes on fire
                         Every pounding pavement step
                         Thumps out my keen desire
                         wa-ter wa-ter wa-ter wa-ter

                         Tiny drops fly through the air
                         Descend on blades of grass     
                         Staccato sprinkler rhythm
                         Relentless as I pass 
                         wa-a-ter-r wa-a-ter-r wa-a-ter-r wa-a-ter-r

                         Almost home, around the bend
                         Rec center, pool, and lake
                         Neighbor’s yellow motor boat
                         Spluttering, carves its wake

                         Huffing, puffing, panting hard
                         I fumble with the key
                         Racing through the living room
                         The voice inside me screams
                         WATER! WATER! WATER! WATER! WATER!

                         Sprinting past the stove and fridge
                         Right to the kitchen sink
                         I shove my mouth beneath the tap
                         And open for a drink

                         Gushing like Niagara Falls
                         You cool my inner hell
                         Bathing every molecule
                         Refreshing every cell

A Rainy Evening with Turn Signal
by Windshield Wiper

          by Tabatha Yeatts


I say
     and forth

most of the time,
I'm silent

I can hear her
     left left left
     right right right
but cannot answer

ah, blessed rain
      that gives me voice


I say

by cbhanek

she is quiet

oh can't we turn?


I say

right right right
she says.

      by Michelle Heidenrich Barnes

Ten years.
She is the spring
after winter’s monotonous gloom.
What right have I to hold
such a delicate blossom in my brutish paw?
we waltz,
her sweet head rested
on my
                                                                                  she loves me…
Belle’s father is ill.
A daughter’s love is fierce —
strong enough to slay the Beast.
I lurk in the shadows
                                                                                 she loves me not…
Wound me, stranger—
kill if you must.
I am already numb.
Though the last petal
barely clings,
beauty still lingers.
She is in the library,
sitting down to supper,
walking in the garden.
Her gentle voice…
her voice...
                  I hear
                                                                 she loves me.

     by LeeAnn Blankenship

Despite those times you held me tight
Within your firm embrace,
Despite the kisses you bestowed,
You put me in my place.
“I’m just a loner, can’t you see?”
You asked one fateful day,
And though I tried to change your mind,
You turned and walked away.
To me, the love I felt was real -
I grieved and missed you so,
I wrote sad poems, wept a lot,
And couldn’t let it go.
But slowly, hours became a day,
And days became a week;
Then months passed by and, suddenly,
It didn’t seem so bleak.
I met a sweet and handsome man
And thought not once of you;
Ere long, I fell in love again
And found he loved me too!
And now for over fifty years,
We’ve stayed in love – it’s true.
But I found out you told my friend
I should have married you!

                                                                      TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY
                                                                           by B. J. Lee

                                                                     “Not fair!” I was telling my mother,
                                                                     “I love him, but he loves another.”
                                                                          Then, as they were wed,
                                                                          I turned someone’s head,
                                                                     and now I am wed to his brother.

Art: Michelle Kogan (click to enlarge)
     by Michelle Kogan

A fruity girl from Chicago
Loved mango, though not to swallow.
But sweet as she’d be
He wouldn’t love she
Mango rolled over to Margo!

The Chicago girl wouldn’t give up
She thought neglect might fill his cup,
Keeping her distance
Changed his resistance
Mango loves Chicago girl yup!

Art: Miranda Barnes (click to enlarge)
     by Miranda Barnes (age 12)

"I love you, Ice Cream."
"I love you too, but Ketchup,
we won't work as two."
Till one day, there's a
science breakthrough!
"So what if no one likes ketchup-
flavored ice cream?"
"Yes, that's true! And now,
I'll always be with you."

Art: Jessica Bigi (click to enlarge)
     by Jessica Bigi



Pickles bumpy sour sweet
I munch mouth fills
Crunching crunch-crunch
Krispy-krispy ketchupy
Laughing puckering
Enjoying every krispy crunch
Smiling more pickles please

                                             WILL YOU BE MY PARTNER?
                                                  by Kathleen Mazurowski

                                             I'll be the mac,
                                             If you'll be the cheese.

                                             I'll be the carrots,
                                             If you'll be the peas.

                                             I'll be the cream,
                                             If you'll be the freeze.

                                             Here is my heart,
                                             You have the keys.

So THAT's where I left those keys!

If you're feeling inspired, you have until tomorrow, October 31st, to send your unrequited/requited love poem to TodaysLittleDitty (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the contact form in the sidebar to the right.

Participants in this month's challenge will be automatically entered to win a copy of MUMMY CAT, by Marcus Ewert and illustrated by Lisa Brown (Clarion Books, 2015), autographed by both author and illustrator! (One entry per participant, not per poem.)

Alternatively, you may enter the giveaway by commenting below.  If you contribute a poem and comment below you will earn two entries in total. Comments must be received by Tuesday, November 3rd.

The winner will be determined by and announced next Friday, November 6th, when we reveal our new Spotlight ON interview and ditty challenge.

Best of luck!

Don't miss this week's Poetry Friday roundup with Jone at Check It Out.


  1. Michelle, I am enjoying reading the poems on unrequited love. You have a very nice collection. I see that I will need to revisit your site to continue my reading. Have a great Halloween weekend. I am trying to put the proper spook into mine. My desserts have a dappling of blood drizzled all over them. Hope to have photos up for Celebrate This Week and CelebrationMonday.

  2. What I wonderful group of poems good luck to everyone I will have to read thought these a few moor time they are wonderful

    1. Jessica, I thought yours to be so very, very beautiful! Love it, love it. Love the tangled words, and so glad you found that books DO love you! You have an awesome way with words. Bookmobile day was my favorite day as a child! And when we drove into the! The public library was like heaven!

    2. Thank you Donna

  3. Thank you so very much, Michelle, for amassing such an amazing array of love poems. Dare I say it reflects a true labor of love! :) ...And the best kind of holiday treat. God bless you. Am looking forward to a new DOM challenge! Thank you!

  4. Thanks for the recap, Michelle! Turns out I had missed a few of these. :)

  5. Always a marvelous group of poems, Michelle. I do love how different each approaches the challenges. Thank you!

  6. These were a fun read! Such love in them! Glad it didn't have to stay unrequited!

  7. How funny is it that you have several entries about unrequited love for those mysterious creatures who deign to share our homes--cats?!

    1. Cats are like the epitome of the enigmatic love-hate-disinterested relationships!

  8. How lovely these unrequited love stories! Sorry I didn't get to play this month, but so glad I stopped by to read these gems.

  9. Math, science nerds here - just LOVE Teresa's AfterMATH! They're all great - but this one grabbed my heart. Shouldn't Hallmark scoop that one up for the geek card line? <3

  10. What a great topic idea--and how fascinating to see all the different approaches to it! Thanks for sharing the inspiration and gathering up all the results!

  11. So much fun this month. I love them all.

  12. Fabulous, one and all, but Teresa's math poem was my favorite! Very punny!

  13. Much too much going on this month for me to enter, I hope November is better. Thanks for sharing everyone's gems.

  14. There have been some great ones this month - I'm sorry I never had the time to submit, but hopefully I can with your next challenge!

  15. I love the Aftermath poem. Excellent!

  16. Oh, what fun! Each of these was a delight - so many takes on love!

  17. Once again you created a platform with Marcus Ewert that brought out some amazing poems. Thanks Michelle for all the good you bring to the poetry world. =)

  18. These are wonderful, Michelle! One of these days I am going to join in on one of your fun challenges--thanks so much for sharing all of these!

  19. I can't believe I never got the challenge done this month! Great job to those of you who contributed!
    Here's a quick poem about one of the loves of my life:

    Chocolate, my love,
    you make me see
    nothing's so bad
    if you're with me.

  20. These are all terrific, Michelle! Thanks for sharing them!

  21. What a fun wrap-up! I sat down to write one a couple of times and got nowhere. I'm so impressed with what the poets did.
    I love everything about Ditty of the Month!

  22. All the poets have wrapped us in love, with these.

    The twist at the end of the little boy who loves his teacher & the math terms poem are especially sticking with me this month.

    I was maybe too full of love with events of October & didn't get heartstruck in time to contribute.

    Finally, MUMMY CAT by Marcus Ewert and Lisa Brown sounds well-wrapped!