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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OCTOBER 31, 2014 8:49AM

I'm Beginning to Feel My Age

I’m beginning to feel my age creep in

as my neck sags to gravity, trussed with scarves,

and in my shoe size, a reliable number

now betraying me with inconsistency,

but I’m not where my parents were,

and my grandparents before them,

who stood on the front porch waving

after holidayRead full post »

OCTOBER 30, 2014 8:45AM

A Storm's Coming

A storm’s coming

they say and keep saying,

and the wind has been whirling

the leaves into an autumn uprising

moving across lawns

like a living, breathing thing,

and I am excited in my marrow

waiting for the blustering blow

and thundering clamor

to tremble me where I stand,

but thenRead full post »

OCTOBER 29, 2014 8:39AM

The Shepherd In Her Field

The shepherd in her field

waits with her flock kept for shearing

grazing aimless as they’re guarded

by a llama single minded

to inspect all intruders

who’ve stepped inside the gate

sizing threats to the ewes

who trust too easily the people

who visit from the city,

this gawker wanting onlyRead full post »

OCTOBER 28, 2014 8:26AM

All Fattened Bellies and Bloodied Heads

The day I met the farmers

disgruntled with their neighbor

sitting armed in his lawn chair

barrels aimed across the fields

where the deer grazed and plundered

leaving bucks where they lie

in backyards near the houses

and wives hanging laundry

was the day I saw what vultures do

in flocksRead full post »

OCTOBER 27, 2014 8:21AM

Sunday Mornings At the Dog Park

Sunday mornings at the dog park

where church meets for heathens

and their unbelieving dogs

whose loving masters

are savior enough,

where the poodle is exalted

in beagle hymns howling,

where praises raise from boxers

running the chain link fence,

where all dogs take communion

at the shared bubbling foRead full post »

OCTOBER 26, 2014 8:39AM

I Saw A Dog Today

I saw a dog today,

sitting on a patio chair

with his chin on the hightop

as he waited for a nibble,

and the curiosity of it,

the contextual surprise of it,

had all the patrons standing

to see him through the window

and to wonder over the situation

through bitesRead full post »

OCTOBER 25, 2014 8:35AM

I Look for the Costumes We Wore

The candy is in the bowl,

the biggest one filled with

chocolate for the kids

who I hope will ring the bell

and hold out bags for treats

and no tricking.

When I see them on the walk

or by the lamp post,

I look for the costumes we wore

asRead full post »

OCTOBER 24, 2014 8:33AM

Waiting for the Eclipse In the Open

Waiting for the eclipse in the open

was a risk, standing exposed

with eyes wide and posture sovereign

without a prayer

to see the moon take a bite of the sun,

and just a glance was partially blinding

so for a moment I struggled to see

the pen in my hand.Read full post »

Standing in the grand lobby

with people facing crises,

though I am not one of them,

I am approached by a man

whose sole job it is to offer guidance,

and I realize this place is not like any other

hospital I’ve ever set foot in,

where I am tempted toRead full post »

OCTOBER 22, 2014 8:52AM

Not Even A Spin At the Wheel

It’s been 35 years since the car rolled

and you lost your chance at adulthood,

not even a spin of the wheel

when we were girls on the phone every evening

covering the topics we missed all day at school

sharing the desk in accounting

and that locker in the greenRead full post »

OCTOBER 21, 2014 9:14AM

The Rain Cinquain

The Rain Cinquain


The rain

drops hard in quick

splashed spots like paint on boards

brushed with dots and smears in shades of





This deck of mine with mossy edges

is marked with rain that falls in dots

on its slatted surface

a polka field ofRead full post »

OCTOBER 20, 2014 8:30AM

Inhaling Restoration

To walk on the trail

on this spun-light day

with its ambient

filigree and amber

is to inhale restoration,

new air in the lungs

stirring oxygen staled

in the sealed up rooms.

It’s clean sheets

on the mattress at midnight,

hibiscus blooms

red before wilting

on the mulch bed,

tumbled towelsRead full post »

OCTOBER 19, 2014 8:57AM

Is It Wrong?

I confess I don’t quite understand prose poetry. I see poetry in some prose writing, but I don’t see the point in intentionally typing a short, free-form poem in paragraph form. So, I have done it, starting with my standard form and then a prose version. Still, hmmm. I felt compelledRead full post »

OCTOBER 18, 2014 8:27AM

I Beg These Leaves

On this gusted day,

the leaves blow in bunches

falling, no, floating to the grass,

driven crossways to rug the ground

for a raking

and I sit here watching

feeling the wind on my skin,

and I beg these leaves

float down to me

pile on me

rug me, no, blanketRead full post »

OCTOBER 17, 2014 8:40AM

"Too Much."

Not sure which to focus on,

which level to lean my ear to,

the bubbling fountain more gray noise than white

with copper and froth,

the pop song belting tinny from the speaker

flaking paint from the wall,

the chattering children at the top of the stairs

finishing every sentence withRead full post »

OCTOBER 16, 2014 8:40AM

Scraps of Our Bustle and Rest

The dog collar on the table

the shoes on the floor

the sofa with last night’s blanket

tossed thoughtless for morning

the glasses you were wearing

the scarf I draped on the chair back

the book open where I’d read it

but hadn’t yet turned the page

the browning apple I’dRead full post »

OCTOBER 15, 2014 8:12AM

Were My Ancestors Fearless?

Were my ancestors fearless, I wonder?

Did they stake their land

armed in tartan

and hammered swords

when Normans crossed over?

Did they hunt with the king

or did they plough his fields

with their heads down?

Were they unconquerable

in spirit?

Did they board ships from hunger?

Did they landRead full post »

OCTOBER 14, 2014 8:28AM

Ode to the French Horn

I got a little adrenaline rush after practicing my French horn, and then this happened, somewhere between tongue-in-cheek and dead serious.


To hold the horn with both hands

is to lift up the dignity

of the majestic and the rustic

at once.


Nobles and ignobles stand taller

sit tallerRead full post »

OCTOBER 13, 2014 8:36AM

Road Trips Aren't What They Used To Be

Road trips aren’t what they used to be

squeezing into the back seat

feet on the hump

pestering the sisters until one of them snapped

I’ll slap all of you, I don’t care who started it!

Windows down, hair blowing

giggling over nothing so much

Mama pinched the bridge of herRead full post »

She combed through 80 years or more
Of filed images and stories
Until she put her finger on the ones that fit
The questions posed to her
About her brothers
Or her wedding
Or that time when she was five
And then retreated into silent rifling through,
Focused on something only she… Read full post »
OCTOBER 11, 2014 9:47AM

The Way Time Travels

The way time travels,
Not like the highway that remains
After you've moved on it
And you can go back and ride
The same dips and rises in the asphalt,
Not like the river bed
Where water meanders round bends
The same as when my father fished
And my mother baited the… Read full post »
OCTOBER 10, 2014 7:55AM

Because No One Thought to Make Repairs

Those friendships you have,

the ones you forged on the playground

and kept through all your stages,

have they held you in place

like a tether to the stake

that marks your beginning?

I’m asking because my friendships

have not lasted nearly so long.

The girl on the swings

who broughtRead full post »

OCTOBER 9, 2014 7:40AM

Somebody Left the Gate Open

Somebody left the gate open

my father used to say

when trapped at a stop sign

with his blinker on,

cars for as far as he could see

and no chance of our turning left

any time soon,

a throwback to his boyhood in the pasture

shooing cows toward the barnRead full post »

OCTOBER 8, 2014 8:16AM

Let’s play This!

Let’s play This!

my kids used to say

about a game they had devised,

paper-trail scavenging with

notes left as clues,

one on the piano bench 

that sent you to the basement

where one would direct you 

to the front porch

and so on and so on

until the final locationRead full post »

OCTOBER 7, 2014 9:05AM

A Mug of Sturdy Earthenware

That evening I went to dinner

with the conductor and the soloist

and each needed coaxing

to express his impressions

of the performance he had given

and it was me who held the platter

for them to set their words on

and their delicate dispositions

carefully balanced

like tea cups easilyRead full post »