Poetry Per Diem

A poem a day. Maybe some of them will be good.

Robyn Martins

Robyn Martins
June 21
I am a freelance writer embedded in Small Town, Ohio. I have decided to write a poem every day as a discipline, and like a good potter, I intend to set aside a few as keepers. While I do the sorting and pruning, I'll post them all here.


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APRIL 20, 2014 8:04AM

A Fire on A Cool Night

Sitting by the fire on a cool night

with warmth on my face

and a chill at my back

I am the dividing line

between hot and cold,

and I feel them both at once.

The popping wood glows

as it crumbles,

and my cheeks flush

with ember heat.

Invisible windRead full post »

APRIL 19, 2014 8:47AM

My Garden of Eden

I get lost inside my computer monitor,

a window taking up most of the desk.

I sit facing this frame for my work as if

wearing blinders hiding the rest of the room,

and everything else around me disappears.

The bookshelves,

the dog,

the burgundy rug that needs a good vacuumingRead full post »

APRIL 18, 2014 7:39AM

A Day at the Gallery

I sat in the gallery,

behind me an exhibit worthy

of strolling admirers

being complimentary of the 

visuals on pedestals 

and the explanations on the walls.

Before me a window

onto the city street

and the parade of pedestrians

ignoring the treats just this side

of the door.

One by one,Read full post »

APRIL 17, 2014 8:08AM

My Dear Harry Houdini

For months, I have obsessed 

over an abscess,

an alien making its home 

in my abdomen,

giving it names like The Damned Thing 

and Rosemary’s Baby.


I would flinch if the dog jumped

in my direction,

and wince as I rolled 

onto my right side at night

for fear ofRead full post »

APRIL 16, 2014 7:37AM

No Fair Tennis Without A Net

Kurt Vonnegut once wrote a letter to students at Xavier High School in NY, and in it he referenced a quote from Robert Frost—“Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net.” In response…


No fair tennis without a net.

It’s like loRead full post »

APRIL 15, 2014 7:51AM

Tuscany Three Ways

As I continue to experiment with poetry forms, I have written three poems based on the print hanging in my living room (thank you, Ethan Allen). 1—a word sonnet, 2—a traditional sonnet, 3—free verse


#1—Word Sonnet 






goldRead full post »

APRIL 14, 2014 7:59AM

Between the Perilous and Secure

Granddaddy’s acreage was just across the bridge,

a wide-planked one spanning the creek

meant to keep the cows out, or in.


I would stand on the edge of this frontier,

my toes touching the hewn wood

and my heels safely in the cut grass.


I would look out towardRead full post »

APRIL 13, 2014 8:05AM

Rain Soaks the Hammock

APRIL 12, 2014 7:32AM

Night Terrors—Sonnet

(My first sonnet, following a relatively traditional structure. A friend felt this form seemed like a straight-jacket, but I'm not so sure. I would appreciate comments.) 

I lay awake in my bed at night

as the house settles still in the dark.

Dilated eyes trace edges daylight makes stark

but inRead full post »

APRIL 11, 2014 7:46AM

Missing My Magic Power

I went to bed worried and woke up worried

all because you said “bad things” in a sentence,

and I feared for what the simple words were masking.

Did you harm yourself while I slept,

or hate yourself even a little,

or did you find some way to stop your fullRead full post »

APRIL 10, 2014 7:52AM


A day of what to do.

No laundry to speak of.

Bed made.

Tables dusted.

Windows washed of dog dribble.

Kitchen cleared of breakfast debris.

Last bit of work completed.

Emails replied to.

TV off on purpose.

Friends away at the office.

Book so dull it snoozes under its own cover.Read full post »

APRIL 9, 2014 7:47AM

What April Is

Dog in Shade 


Balancing footfalls

 on the line ‘tween sun and shade

season’s conundrum. Read full post »

APRIL 8, 2014 7:25AM

My Fantasy Concert

My friend asks the question

to spark conversation at the table—

What is your fantasy concert?

And while the others answer

with great ones like the Beatles live or

Beethoven conducting his own symphony,

I say a concert in which I am performing.

This is not because I am a greatRead full post »

APRIL 7, 2014 8:07AM

Dear Black Eyed Pea

I look at this picture of me

at the ripe age of four,

with the pixie haircut,

the dress my mother made

and those big brown eyes—

Black Eyed Pea, they called me—

and I’m glad the kid doesn’t know

what’s in store for her.

If I could talk to herRead full post »

APRIL 6, 2014 8:23AM

The Passage of Time



The passage of time

is one of the saddest things.

I have always thought so.

Daughters moved away,

but we once shopped for little dresses,

played with toys on the floor

and watched cartoons


The blind cat was made to rest,

but he came into my houseRead full post »

APRIL 5, 2014 7:57AM

Sometimes the Sun Shines

Exploring the villanelle form again, this time in iambic pentameter.

Sometimes the sun shines through the transom window
as if the clouds might be heading out east at last
but the light is eclipsed again by a cast shadow.

You wonder if something has blighted your sight but know
it must be vapors th

Read full post »
APRIL 4, 2014 8:01AM

I Recall An Evening

I recall an evening aboard ship

after dinner but before a floor show

I would just as soon have skipped.

The astronomer was on deck

with a telescope mighty enough

to pick out Jupiter’s moons.

Night skies above and flowing seas below,

I marveled at the stars visible

when ground clutterRead full post »

I marvel at what my sisters have become,

friends of mine, though we were early foes.

We’re tied together—our shared history is our sum.


Handmade dresses and cornbread is where we’re from,

and bickering and pranking nearly to blows.

I marvel at what my sisters have become.

&nb… Read full post »

APRIL 2, 2014 8:31AM

My God is Not My Belly

My god is not my belly,

but planning a meal around a filet

drizzled with a buttery wine sauce

helps me enjoy the day a little more

than if cheese and crackers 

were all I looked forward to.


Inviting friends to sit at my table for food

prepared with theirRead full post »

APRIL 1, 2014 8:05AM

Van Gogh Variation

Van Gogh came to Cleveland,

so I drove in to meet him,

anticipating his swirls and colors

I knew from other museums

and books I had read.

Audio gadget to my ear,

I took small steps through galleries,

stopping to look and to listen,

to learn and to see what

IRead full post »

MARCH 31, 2014 7:57AM

Van Gogh Came to Cleveland

Van Gogh came to Cleveland,

so we parked the car and bought our tickets,

because how often does that happen?

His tour was pretty specific,

but our visit was about the Master in general

and the fact it was his birthday,

and that Daughter used to be an art major

andRead full post »

MARCH 30, 2014 8:12AM

When the Dog Is Sick

When the dog is sick and vomiting

and the husband is down with a bad back

and the kids away aren’t telling you everything

and the delinquent appendix gives a tug

like a toddler vying for attention,

you settle on the sofa

with a cup of coffee

and a fresh cookie,Read full post »

MARCH 29, 2014 8:48AM

Our Walk in the Wind

Walk in the Wind 


That wind out there, 

it parted our hair

as the dog and I

walked in the neighborhood.

It gave us a shove from the rear,

along with the dry leaves

scratching the asphalt

and the rolling trashcans

left too long on the curb.


I’ve never been able toRead full post »

MARCH 28, 2014 8:16AM

Being None the Wiser

No alcohol

No rock-and-roll records

No playing with face cards

No dancing, cussing, smoking, chewing, 

going to movies, gambling, believing in dinosaurs…

The list went on and on

and Mama subscribed,

and so goes the household.

But Daddy taught us poker

and craps at the kitchen table,

and DRead full post »

MARCH 27, 2014 8:22AM

Calling All Satellites

Isaac Newton explained it

with his law of motion

and how an object will remain 

where it should be

until something interferes with its path.

The littlest satellites stay in orbit

until something pulls them

to a brighter star, for example.

It seems that is exactly

what has happened to myRead full post »