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I write a poem each day;
during Poetry Month, I share ideas, rough drafts
and bits about my writing process

Welcome to Poetry Month 2014!

A poet uses many tools. Two are metaphor and simile. 

A metaphor compares two different things:
“Her life is a rollercoaster.”

A simile also compares two things, using like or as:
“Her room is like a disaster area.”

Metaphors and similes make word pictures; I’d like to become better at creating them. So every day this month, I’ll practice by posting a metaphor (or a simile) below.  I’m not posting a poem.  Just one piece: a metaphor for a poem.  

I’d love to read your favorites too! It’ll be like playing volleyball. (Whoa! Did you see that simile sail by?)

Curious to see what other children’s poets are posting during Poetry Month? Ask the mouth-wateringly-original Jama Rattigan–she’s compiled a list of who’s posting what all month long.

(For a bit of fun, Google the word “metaphor” and then click on “images”…or just click here)

Ready? Let’s start speaking metaphoreeze!  (Scroll down)

April 30th

WHAT’S A METAPHOR FOR AGING, I ASK MY 91-YEAR-OLD MOTHER


Happy last day of Poetry Month 2014!

I wish I felt happy.

My sister and I are in the middle of taking care of my 91-year old mother, as are so many of our peers. I don’t recommend it if you can avoid this life chapter. I’m trying to book a business class ticket to a beachside resort in Denial, but it’s not looking good.

I thought I’d ask Mom to help come up with one last metaphor for the MetaphorAffair I’ve been having this month.  And she did.

These are just rough notes; I’ve taken some liberties to leave stuff out and put stuff in…but essentially this is straight dictation: material for a poem to be written during a calmer period of my life, perhaps…

WHAT’S A METAPHOR FOR AGING, I ASK MY 91-YEAR-OLD MOTHER

A thief. A thief takes all your assets,
she says lying on the couch,
looking thin, grey, and so very small.

The thief sneaks in,
taking your confidence.
A thief takes everything you own.

You’re in your house that’s suddenly invaded by—
what do you call them? Aliens.
Those little guys in the sky.

Aliens that give you pain—
a terrible headache, just on the left side,
and stomach aches.

Aging is a thief who takes your memory.
You forget spoken words.
But not music.

 

I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu...and suddenly I was the parent

I drew this in November, 2010, after Mom and I walked around a park in Malibu…and suddenly I was the parent

 

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 29th

BATHING OUR DOG metaphor & simile


Howdy, Campers!

When I wrote a poem about my sister and me bathing our dog, Peanuts, I used the metaphor of war; there’s a war image in each stanza. See if you can pick out which are similes and which are metaphors:

BATH

My sister and I are pushing a big aluminum tub
across our brick patio to the grass
sounding like a tank rolling towards war.

I hold the hose and she turns the spigot.
Water thunders into the tub like a drum roll,
filling it up.

Searching,
We find him trembling behind bushes,
camouflaged.

We pull our prisoner across the yard,
his head down,
his paws gripping the passing grass;

then, my sister, because she is older,
lifts him above the tub…
and with a long sigh, he surrenders.

This poem was included in the book, Poems for Brothers, Poems for Sisters selected by Myra Cohn Livingston (Holiday House, 1988).

Go into your bathroom. Could a bar of soap be a smooth stone? Could the bathtub be a cooking pot…and whoever is taking a bath be part of the stew? What could a toothbrush…or a wet washcloth be?

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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nine × = 45


April 28th

CLUTTER metaphor


Hi there!

Here are two versions of one of my poems
(with a metaphor that hits you over the head with a hammer).

Version #1 as published by Cricket Magazine

CLEANING OUT
by April Halprin Wayland

this old shirt
used to fit
but now I can’t slip into it
out it goes with the give-away clothes

now my closet opens wide
it’s easy to find my clothes inside
hangers dangle
unoccupied

this idea
used to fit
but now I can’t slip into it
out it goes with my give-away woes

now this closet opens wide
it’s easy to find ideas inside
it’s swept–wind-blown…
with empty hangers of its own.

=================================

Rewrite:

CLEANING OUT
by April Halprin Wayland

this big shirt
used to fit
but today I swim around in it—
out go all my give-away clothes

now my closet opens wide
it’s easy to find the clothes inside
hangers dangle
unoccupied

this idea
used to fit
but today I reconsider it—
out goes what I used to know

now my life is opened wide
it’s clean-swept, wind-blown…simplified—
it’s easy to find the me inside

CLUTTER 1-15-11

Cluttered!

 

CLUTTER CLEANED UP 1-26-11 by April Halprin Wayland

Uncluttered!

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− one = 5


April 27th

DOORBELL metaphor


DOORBELL

This time when I press it,

no inside echo.

No door bursting open.

no lights,

……….no balloons,

………………no confetti.

Sometimes, life events make me more creative.  When my father died, poems poured out of me.

Other times, the well runs dry.

Guess which one today’s metaphor is trying to describe.  :-)

Is anyone answering your doorbell today?

doorbell

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− one = 1


April 26th

RASPBERRIES metaphor


raspberries (5)

I filled a blue bowl with raspberries and poured a few drops of honey over them.  I wondered what metaphor fit a raspberry.  I tried and discarded a few ideas.

The metaphor I chose was that each raspberry is like a little collective.  They reminded me of the miniature world in Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who (“a person’s a person, no matter how small!”)
…those Suessian apartments and all the little beings inside them.

The little raspberry hairs could be the raised hands of comrades as they discussed various issues. So, when do our tribes, our communities, begin? Early in our lives.  It’s comforting to be in an interest group where people really understand us.

I played around with a few ideas and wrote seven versions of the following:

LIKE A RASPBERRY
 
Who wants to write a story?
Okay, go sit around the art table.
 
Who wants to build space ships?
Sit on the Reading Rug.
 
Who wants to plant beans?
Go out by the garden.
 
They do.
 
They gather together,
each group already a little tribe
 
A comfortable clump of kids
holding hands, holding on

.

But this poem wasn’t where I was trying to go yet.  I could hear my friend Bruce say, “I liked the back story better than the poem.  You try too hard when you take on an assignment.”
.
So I wrote this–still a rough draft…but maybe more interesting?
.
RASPBERRIES
.
they are each a little collective,
you can even see
some of their hands raised
as they discuss
raspberry issues
 
What’s your metaphor today?

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− 5 = zero


April 25th

WALKING TO THE OCEAN metaphor


It’s Poetry Friday in the Kidlitosphere!  Thanks for hosting today, Tabatha!

If you’re just joining us, I’ve been having a metaphoraffair all Poetry Month,
keeping my eyes open for metaphors and similes…here’s today’s:

WRITING A BOOK
by April Halprin Wayland

It didn’t seem that far away
when you started.

And then there’s this hard hill.
Your knee suddenly aches.

The winds pick up.
Your hat flies off.

And when you finally get there,
the ocean is greener than you expected.

That’s my metaphor for today…have you found yours?

painting

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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six − = 5


April 24th

DOG AND MASTER metaphor


Metaphor?  What metaphor?  See below…

DOG ON A RUN

Dog’s on a run
fast and faster.

Dog’s not harassed—
he’s training his master.

Dog sees a squirrel,
then—disaster!

Dog makes a turn,
tripping his master

Gentle dog’s day is not going well.
Helpful dog’s master is madder than h…

So, you say, where’s the metaphor?  There’s no metaphor in this poem!

But what if the whole story is a metaphor?

My friend, the CEO of a company, is supposed to be the boss, right?  But I watched one day as her clients ran her ragged…and that’s what this poem is about, maybe not for my readers, but for me.

What’s the metaphor in your day?

El leaping up a tree after a squirrel

El leaping up a tree after a squirrel

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “DOG AND MASTER metaphor”

  1. Ty Lacey says:

    To be quite honest, Eli looks like a Ginormous squirrel, shooting up a tree. :-)

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April 23rd

POMEGRANATE SEEDS metaphor


I’ve been an instructor with the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program for over 15 years.

Every class is different.  How best to describe my students?

~ a herd of deer?
~ a pack of wolves?
~ a litter of puppies?

Here’s a haiku I wrote after teaching the first class of a new quarter:

Twelve crisp, ruby sweet
pomegranate seeds: my new
delicious students

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

What’s your metaphor today?

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− 6 = three


April 22nd

FENCE simile


I found this in my files from 2005…here’s today’s rewrite:

ON A WALK

Mr. Feck’s fence
rumbles against my fingers
like my cat’s
…..thick
……….throaty
……………purr.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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six × 3 =


April 21st

CROW simile


I love crows.

I first wrote this poem February 20, 1999.  Last week I tweaked it a bit.

It’s still a work in progress.

What’s the simile?

His wings are as wide as the sky
They blacken the whole schoolyard.

I like those wings, his dark body
and his call, that shoots across the asphalt like a ball smacked hard.

I look for him each recess—
I wait.

His shadow
holds down my whole day.

crow

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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7 × = seven


April 20th

VIOLIN/BIRD metaphor


TAKING VIOLIN AT SCHOOL
by April Halprin Wayland

I open my case
tighten my bow
pluck a string to tune.
I love to listen to it chirp across the echoing room.

My friends are in class
reading about
a famous English king.
But I am training this wooden bird upon my arm to sing.

First published in Cricket Magazine;
also included in GIRL COMING IN FOR A LANDING—A Novel in Poems (Knopf)

This is the first time I understood the power of metaphor.

My teacher, Myra Cohn Livingston, gave us an assignment to write poems about music.

First, I wrote down as quick memories of music that I could. A list of maybe 24 ideas. From those, I chose the topic “taking violin at school.”

Then, I wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote, wrote: about leaving class, walking down into the dark basement with the violin case banging my leg, listening to my teacher, Sherman Plepler teach us, and my favorite session–when he played his violin for us and let us hear all of the animals and instruments he could make the violin sound like.

After that, I cut, cut, cut, cut, cut until I came up with this poem.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− one = 7


April 19th

TISSUE metaphor


I have a cold today. Probably because I was wrestling with the Beast yesterday
(see yesterday’s post).

What’s a metaphor for having a cold?  Hmmm…

An invasion…my body’s been taken over by the enemy?

A wet, windy day…on the day I’d planned a picnic?

A smashed banana?  That’s how I feel right now.

Or…can you spot the metaphor in the following rough draft
(which is also a mask poem and which includes personification)?

FLU

Day wakes up and stretches
her long, lean sunlit arms

Be gone! I close the curtains
for I’m glob of germs

and neither Day’s light laughter
nor her cloud-free charms

can change that I’m a tissue
all wadded up and gross

I’m full of yuck and—achoo!
I’m warning: don’t come close.

What’s the metaphor that defines YOUR day?

TISSUE

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “TISSUE metaphor”

  1. HypeFilez says:

    A lot of people don’t know what a methaphore is.

  2. Tabatha says:

    So sorry you’ve been feeling bad. You did a wonderful job with your poem! I really like your description of Day (“neither Day’s light laughter
    nor her cloud-free charms”). Nice ending, too.

  3. April says:

    Dear HypeFilez,

    Thanks for coming by.
    Just go to
    http://www.aprilwayland.com/poetry/2014-poetry-month/
    for a definition.

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six − 1 =


April 18th

BEAST metaphor


Have you ever had to fill out an official document that had to be mailed ON DEADLINE somewhere IMPORTANT that involved, say, MATH, which intimidated the stuffing out of you?

And have you ever, well, dragged your feet, doing everything but that?

So–yeah, that was me all last week and part of this week.  I finally tied myself to my chair, consulted my math-happy husband…and, hey!  It wasn’t such a big deal after all.  It’s done, done DONE!

What metaphor says this best?  I was stuck on a rabid bat trapped in my office.  Then I played around with a hairless, noxious beast.  Then I got very tired and wrote a poem about my friend Esther Hershenhorn’s 3rd grade teacher, Miss Atmore.  It’s a dumb poem and has nothing to do with metaphors, so you don’t get to see it.  But at least I wrote my poem today.  My friend Bruce and I call dumb, tired poems Place Holder Poems or PHPs.

So, yes, I wrote a poem today and no, you don’t get to see it but here’s a picture I drew for an old blog post that reminds me of that awful form that scared the daylights out of me that one day I may write about in a poem:

Note that I called him the Big Beige Monster of Second Rate Writing...but we'll pretend he's that evil form I filled out...

Note that I called him the Big Beige Monster of Second Rate Writing…but we’ll pretend he’s that evil form I filled out…

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “BEAST metaphor”

  1. “Place Holder Poems or PHPs” – Love. Will steal. ;0) As they say, “Metaphors be with you.”

  2. Linda Baie says:

    I’ve never heard of your idea of “Place Holder Poems”, like Robyn. Terrific, and no poem, but fun picture! Thanks, April.

  3. Ty Lacey says:

    I get what you mean by shuffling your feet, doing anything BUT that particular thing, then you HAVE to do it, and it turns out to be either not bad, or bleh.

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seven × = 42


April 17th

SNAKE metaphor


Here’s a poem I wrote in 2010.
I’ve just spent an hour rewriting it.
First I’ll show you the poem as I found it,
then I’ll show you how I have rewritten it so far.

December 14, 2010

My watch is a snake
winding around my wrist.
Still. Frozen. Waiting…it thinks I don’t know
it might strike
at any
moment.

April 16, 2014

A snake
winds around
my wrist.

It watches me.
It might strike
any second.

 

What metaphor struck you today?  Look out!

from morgueFile.com

from morgueFile.com

 

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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April 16th

CANDLE metaphor


My 91-year-old mom has been ill and lying on the couch so much these last few months,
I was startled to see her in her reading chair as I walked up her front steps today.

Here’s what I am playing with for today’s poem:

Today,
I know
all is well.
Because today
Mom is a candle
glowing on the sill
of our window.

What metaphor showed up in your world today?

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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six + 3 =


April 15th

SHATTERED GLASS metaphor


Have you ever noticed that when you’re shopping for a couch, suddenly you see couch ads everywhere? It’s as if someone turned off your couch filter.

That’s what’s happening to me during this whirlwind metaphoraffair.

People are talking in metaphors!  I just came from a meeting and I swear, within 15 minutes, four people used vivid metaphors and similes.

WOWEE! It felt as if I were riding class 5 rapids!

One woman, reflecting on how badly she was treated by family members, said that she thinks of them not as bad people but as if they were made of glass.  She said we’re all broken…we splinter differently, and the pieces can be quite beautiful.

What’s your metaphor?

broken glass

 

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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seven + 9 =


April 14th

MY MAMA’S TEETH metaphor


Some people aren’t talkers.  They’re doers.
They may not be able to put into words how they feel about someone,
but their actions show how they feel.  Their actions are metaphors for their feelings.

Here’s a rough draft of one of my poems that illustrates this–(fictionalized but true):

MY MAMA’S TEETH

My mama’s teeth stuck out
when she was a bitty girl and they still do
now. My mama saved her money, every little nickel
and we took two buses and walked a long hot time
to get braces on my teeth which make me cranky.
That’s how she says

I love you.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− 7 = zero


April 13th

EYEGLASSES metaphor


Eli, trying to see things from my point of view

Eli, trying to see things from my perspective

My friend Bruce Balan did not understand the metaphor of yesterday’s compost poem. I’m sure he’s not the only one! I started to write the following response to him:

I think this is the poet’s challenge. The real reason we spend so much time on each word, each swollen period. To hand what’s so clear (to us) across the table to the reader, who does not wear the same pair of glasses.

…but instead of sending him that email, I decided to try making THAT idea into a metaphor (which may also be too obtuse!)

The title, MY FONDEST WISH, is from a phrase a beloved elementary school teacher always says to her class in one of my favorite picture books, I REMEMBER MISS PERRY written by Pat Brission, illustrated by StĂ©phane Jorisch (the illustrator of my book, NEW YEAR AT THE PIER). I’m not sure it’s the right title, the right energy. But if you’ve read the book, it would be very evocative.

MY FONDEST WISH

Your glasses? Amazing—
the exact prescription as mine!
Sentences tilt the same way for us,
and each swollen period
bobs up and down in the water
like a beach ball.

Our taste buds? Incredible—
they’re indistinguishable!
So when I hand you a thick slice,
you reach across the table
and it’s bittersweet and creamy
to you, too.

Wow!

======================

Is the idea behind the metaphor(s) in the above rough draft clear?  Can you find the simile?

What’s your metaphor?

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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9 × = sixty three


April 12th

COMPOST BIN metaphor


Here’s another metaphor in a rough draft poem
about the same topic as April 11th
(read today’s poem first, then scroll down to find out
what I’m really writing about.)

WHAT LIES WITHIN THE BIN

Sometimes it’s good:
sliding the tines of the rake under a big pile,
lifting, then tossing it
into the compost bin.

Your chest swells,
you breathe the earthy air
with a feeling of deep
accomplishment.

Sometimes it’s not:
scooping up all those separate pieces
of who-knows-what,
dumping them in.

And then that awful thought:
Should you have been more careful?
What did you just cover-up?
What’s at the very bottom?

This is about dealing with a pile of emails.

Eli and the compost pile 4-11-14 (2)

Eli and one of our compost piles

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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2 + = eight


April 11th

STAGNANT WATER metaphor


Happy Poetry Month Day 11!
Can you guess what the title of
my work-in-progress poem is? Answer below.

At first they rained down
and I stretched my dry palm

opened my mouth
welcomed each drop

they filled
my well

Pitter-pat pitter-pat
on and on

the well overflowed
I slogged through mud

now unhinged commas
swim in circles

and there’s a
dank dangerous stagnant smell

========================
Could you guess what the metaphor of
stagnant water might be in disguise?
The title of my poem is OLD EMAILS.
Ick, right?
I just slogged through a pile–whew!

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

 

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− seven = 2


April 10th

A WASHING OF HANDS metaphor


Sometimes it seems I’ve died and gone to Metaphor Heaven.

As when I first read former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s poem, “A Washing of Hands.”
Here’s what Kooser says about metaphor:

“you want both sides to work perfectly well together. It’s a matter of paring away the things that won’t work in the comparison and being sure that the only things in the comparison are ones that play on both sides.”

A Washing of Hands” by Ted Kooser begins,

She turned on the tap and a silver braid
unraveled over her fingers.
She cupped them, weighing that tassel,
first in one hand and then the other,

In fact, I’m sending you to Lauren Camp’s post to read the whole poem right now. Click here.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

Heaven indeed.

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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two × = 8


April 9th

DIGGING DOG simile


Myra Cohn Livingston used to make us write haiku every day. Many haiku.
And work on different rhythms, too.  Work and work and work.
Just like practicing scales on my violin.
They may not have been pretty,
but that’s the way I finally “got” it.
That was the beginning of my 10,000 hours.
I called them Poetry Scales.

Guess what? Searching for similes or metaphors = Poetry Scales!

The poem I wrote today describes how I finally found something worth writing about.
Here’s the part of the poem where I used a simile:

Sitting at an old picnic table,
I paw through my day like a digging dog,
looking for that One Thing.

Hey!  Let's Dig Here!

Eli (r) and friend looking for the best spot to dig for metaphors

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

2 Responses to “DIGGING DOG simile”

  1. April, Thanks for these wonderful lessons in metaphor. This is a weak area for me, so I’ve loved reading your posts.

  2. April says:

    I feel as if I AM getting better at metaphor-brain, Doraine. Thank you for your comments!

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eight + = 9


April 8th

BIRDS metaphor


I have a friend who works in the TV biz.
I started writing a poem about how tired she was after such long hours.

I tried out these metaphors:
A Shar Pei (that wrinkled dog from China)?
An old 12″ ruler—used for years, wood numbers blurred?
A faded thrift store stuffed bear, its nose hanging by three threads?

Nope. None of these.

I kept writing.  I got down to the core: how badly I want to save her from
the mean and demanding people she works for.

Here’s part of the first draft:

birds
flapping at your window

birds
shrieking through your phone

birds
scratching in that gravel

peck,
……..peck,
…………….pecking
for the sharpest stones

Now it’s your turn: what upsets you?  What metaphor could describe it?

BIRDS POSTER

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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3 × four =


April 7th

SHAMPOOING simile


I was at the hair dresser today and in my current state of must find a metaphor,
I wondered how I would describe the delicious feeling of her fingers scrubbing my scalp.

beauty salon

from morguefile.com

As she moved me from the shampoo sink to her chair, I scribbled in my little notebook:

Scrubbing my soapy head,
Mommy’s strong fingers
are…roller brushes?
are…farmers tilling soil?
are…rough, tough waves?

Then I thought, hmmm…maybe I have it backwards.
Maybe it’s not that Mommy’s fingers are ocean waves but that ocean waves are like her fingers.

Here’s where the thesaurus can either be helpful or drive me stark, raving mad:

Ocean waves crashing,
{bashing, shattering, cracking, smacking, punching, clobbering, pressing, stroking,
massaging, kneading, pushing, playing, molding, brushing, fingering, patting, sweeping, pawing,}
ACK!

Finally, after two hours and 21 revisions, I either nailed it, surrendered or gave up. You decide.

Salt water waves foaming over the sand                   
like my grandmother’s fingers shampooing the shore

How about sharing a simile or metaphor of your own…or someone else’s?

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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two + 7 =


April 6th

LAYER CAKE metaphor


Today is my son’s birthday.

I had been trying to describe hunger in a simile to a friend.
I told her that hunger is like close range gunfire.   It scares my body that much.

Today, in thinking about a metaphor which describes my son,
I realized that he is exactly the opposite of hunger to my body.

He is delicious.

THE OPPOSITE OF HUNGER

My son is
the opposite of hunger.

My son is
a layer cake

—so many layers!—
with sweet cream between

(this is a rough draft…please respect my (c) 2014.  Thank you!)

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “LAYER CAKE metaphor”

  1. jama says:

    Yes to the layer cake metaphor!

    And it’s too cool that your son was also born in April. Delicious indeed. :)

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× six = 36


April 5th

WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT? simile


For Poetry Month 2014,
I’m searching for metaphors and similes.
Join me!  Here’s a bit more on this month’s project.

It’s working!  In searching for them every day, metaphors and similes have started singing in my brain!

I am watching a family on the sidewalk after a rain.  They are looking up, faces glowing, pointing and drawing arcs in the air.

Here is part of  my poem:

making arcs
with outstretched arms
like windshield wipers
their faces teachable
like open apples

(of course you know what they were looking at…)

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

Now it’s your turn:  look around.  Find your metaphor or simile!

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

3 Responses to “WHAT ARE THEY LOOKING AT? simile”

  1. Richard Moore says:

    Mushrooms
    Sylvia Plath

    Overnight, very
    Whitely, discreetly,
    Very quietly

    Our toes, our noses
    Take hold on the loam,
    Acquire the air.

    Nobody sees us,
    Stops us, betrays us;
    The small grains make room.

    Soft fists insist on
    Heaving the needles,
    The leafy bedding,

    Even the paving.
    Our hammers, our rams,
    Earless and eyeless,

    Perfectly voiceless,
    Widen the crannies,
    Shoulder through holes. We

    Diet on water,
    On crumbs of shadow,
    Bland-mannered, asking

    Little or nothing.
    So many of us!
    So many of us!

    We are shelves, we are
    Tables, we are meek,
    We are edible,

    Nudgers and shovers
    In spite of ourselves.
    Our kind multiplies:

    We shall by morning
    Inherit the earth.
    Our foot’s in the door.

  2. B.J. Lee says:

    Very nice! I love the *faces are teachable.* Is this what a teacher experiences when looking at her students’ faces? hmm, this one is teachable, this one is not. It is an interesting metaphor to me.

  3. April says:

    Thank you for that most amazing poem, Richard–wow. I especially love that last stanza.

    And B.J: I kept looking for royalty-free photo of a half an apple. Since I’m traveling, I couldn’t take one myself. That openness is what I saw in my last group of students.
    We’re not always so lucky, are we?

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eight − = 6


April 4th

FLAG metaphor


from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

For Poetry Month 2014,
I’m searching for metaphors and similes.
Join me!  Here’s a bit more on this month’s project.

I’m thinking about my nephew.  It’s his birthday.

What’s a metaphor for this radiant young man?

A star?  A fresh-picked grape, bursting with flavor?  The peal of a bell?

Or perhaps a crisp flag, snapping in the wind?

I’m playing around with this metaphor in a rough draft:

BIRTHDAY BOY

You are a flag in the wind
beaming your colors
on this blustery day

Join me–what’s your metaphor today?

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

One Response to “FLAG metaphor”

  1. Wow, April. What a neat series. Happy birthday to your nephew-flag! I wish him warm winds. And I’ll be back.

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9 + = thirteen


April 3rd

MORNING GLORY simile


morning glory

For Poetry Month 2014,
I’m searching for metaphors and similes.
Join me!  Here’s a bit more on this month’s project.

I looked out my window today as a young couple, walking hand and hand,
turned to walk up my neighbor’s driveway.

Hand and hand.  What’s something to compare that to?

I thought of our morning glory vine threading through a fence.

Hand in hand, like a morning glory vine…hand in hand, your hand, mine.

Raw material for a poem someday?

Perhaps.

What’s your simile?

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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six − = 2


April 2nd

WHITEWASHING WALNUT TREES metaphor


walnuts.
For Poetry Month 2014,
I’m searching for metaphors and similes.
Join me!  Here’s a bit more on this month’s project.

As kids, my sister and I helped whitewash the trunks of the walnut trees on our farm to protect them from sunburn.
Whoever thought that trees could get sunburn?

At the end of the day, it was eerie to look back on row after row of white tree trunks.

Here’s the metaphor in a part of a poem I’m writing:

I swig a drink from my canteen
look back upon this grove of trees
their leafy fingers wave to me
a ghostly wave
from ghostly trees…

 

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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− 4 = one


April 1st

TANGERINE metaphor


For Poetry Month 2014,
I’m searching for metaphors and similes.
Join me!  Here’s a bit more on this month’s project.

The other day I wrote a poem about a tangerine.

In my poem, the tangerine was a gift,
and I looked forward to eating it,
to having all of its tangerine sweet-ness to myself.

But my friend came over, crying.

I gave her my beautiful tangerine.

Was my poem about a tangerine?

No.  I used tangerine as a metaphor for my day.
I’d planned to spend it happily alone.
Instead, I shared part of my day with my friend.

from morguefile.com

from morguefile.com

poem © 2014 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved

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4 − = one


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