Friday, August 21, 2020


Howdy, Campers ~ and Happy Poetry Friday! (poems and link to PF below)

I've been playing with Golden Shovel poems a lot lately--they seem to tap into my pandemic-related moods I'm not even aware I have. Recently I began to use dictionary definitions instead of a line from someone's poem. I call those Golden Definition poems. And now I'm splashing in the waters of what I call Golden Quote poems. 

The idea behind all of these forms is the same: take one line and use each word of that line (in order) to end each line of your poem. C'est tout--that's it! 

I'll keep this short  (hard for me!). Here are four of my Golden Something or Other poems:


by April Halprin Wayland

I keep wanting things. I keep having

them, and then they're gone.

I keep flicking ashes, watching them go astray.

I keep playing with my watch or

watching mists disappear. I feel I've missed


something or someone. The

one thing that steadies me is the way

you sit still when I talk about being bewildered

in this wilderness. I feel I need a machete as sharp as

a surgeon's scalpel, something that hurts to

use. I keep opening drawers. I keep opening doors, as if I'm about to place

one foot outside. Should I?  Should I put it on this wet grass, going off in a new direction?

poem (c) 2020 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

One definition of LOST: having gone astray or missed the way; bewildered as to place, direction, etc. 

(I played with the last line just being "Etc," but that didn't work.  Then I made it longer, but it was a depressing ending. So I ignored the "etc."  And I can do that because I'm Goddess of Not-A-Golden-Shovel poems.)

by April Halprin Wayland

There is no hope,

but what there is

is everything else: the

jewels beneath the ocean, the feeling

that shivers over my arms when you do that,

a little blond head sticking out the window to see what

the squirrel is doing. There truly is

a field full of all the things I've always wanted—

so full, in fact, that I can

spend the rest of my life and be

in love with all the things I have and I've had.

poem (c) 2020 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

HOPE: Hope is the feeling that what is wanted can be had.

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland



by April Halprin Wayland

First there was the bear. But she was tired,

and by the looks of him, the bear was tired

too, with

dark circles under his eyes and seemingly nothing

going on in his tired

head. And with

everything the way it was, everything

sliding down the hill towards them, she was too tired

to deal with

something as trivial as the

bear. Surely the world’s

phone directory was heavy with other saviors. In fact, guess its weight:

there had to be a lot of goddamn golden names in there. Or what about the bear? He

was snoozing now. Choose HIM. Had 

he ever raised his paw to help?  Never.

Which meant it was his time to step up. He should be the one chosen

to fix everything, to

save the whole goddamn world, not her. Are you listening, Bear?

poem (c) 2020 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

Here's the quote: “Tired, tired with nothing, tired with everything, tired with the world’s weight he had never chosen to bear.”― F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Beautiful and Damned 

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland

by April Halprin Wayland

She wanted to thank

the dog. "Do you

write him a letter, do you thank him for

licking you?" she wondered.  Listening

to him scratch his rump (thump, thump, thump), she was overwhelmed with

love. Finally, she wrote, "Oh how I love your

wagging tail, your chocolate eyes!"

poem (c) 2020 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved.

Here's the quote from my friend Julie Rose Palmer, writer, poet, artist and musician. She wrote, “Thank you for listening with your eyes.” (about reading her emails).


How about you?  Try a GOLDEN SOMETHING-OR-OTHER poem ~ invent it. Then write it!

Thank you, Ramona, for hosting Poetry Friday at Pleasures From the Page!

posted with hope and gratitude by April Halprin Wayland and her dog, Eli 

drawing (c) April Halprin Wayland


Irene Latham said...

Dear Goddess of Not-A-Golden-Shovel: thank you for your beautiful words today... new directions and hope and bears! It seems you are having fun with these beautiful golden things, and that alone is reason enough to do them! xo

Linda Mitchell said...

A golden definition? Wow! I love that idea...and the lonesome place the poem took me. What wonderful lines of conversation between you and quotes as well. I'm glad you're having fun. These are fun to read. You give me ideas!

Linda B said...

I suspect you can be a goddess of anything you desire, April, this time, a golden shovel! I think I might try another you've inspired me so! I especially loved "Should I put it on this wet grass" - so much in that thought, at least to me. And I don't have a pet anymore but get some love from a granddog when I visit, loving his "chocolate eyes" & so I thank him!

Tabatha said...

I'm charmed by these conversational, clever poems! Thanks, April! xo

April Halprin Wayland said...

Having fun is what writing poetry has become for me, Irene. Not a thing I have to do every day, the cherry on the top of each day. Thank you for your beautiful works you continue to pour into the world for all of us.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Great, Linda! And isn't that what this community is all about? Giving each other ideas? Playing with words?

April Halprin Wayland said...

Linda B ~ it's interesting that you talked about that wet grass... It's such a rich physical sensation to me. The difference between staying inside a stuffy home and tentatively touching all of the outdoors...

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you Tabitha. I really appreciate you coming here today. 💕

Ramona said...

Such a wonderful collection of golden poems! Thanks for sharing all the varieties with us. I wrote a golden quotation poem early during the pandemic (quote from Irene in Dictionary for a Better World) and it's still on my fridge. It's easy to see how much fun you had with this activity and I'm sure we'll see more play to come in future weeks from our community.

Alan j Wright said...

April, Golden Shovel poems, as many of us know, provide a fascinating challenge. Whilst rewarding, they do require persistence and word agility. For this reason I believe you deserve a gold medal for your prolific output here. Clearly you have thrown yourself into this with significant endeavour. Well done!

mbhmaine said...

These are wonderful! I love how you've created your own version of golden shovels and to such wonderful effect. Both "Lost" and "Hope" really moved me. That curious, wondering "little blonde head" especially gets to me. Thanks for reminding me again of the "field full of all the things I've always wanted." I'm excited to give your new forms a try!

Carol Coven Grannick said...

April, your posts got me started on a self-directed journey of poetic form challenges (some of which I'm doing with my wonderful poetry critique group) that seem to open my brain to poetry I wouldn't have known was there! Thank you for today's "golden" post!

Janice Scully said...

These are wonderful, April. I especially liked. "There is No Hope." And then of course, there is.

CS Perryess said...

I love where this format takes you, April (& takes me, too, as a reader). Fabu, say I.

April Halprin Wayland said...

How you have time to respond to everyone is beyond me! Thanks for your comment, Ramona. 🤗💕

April Halprin Wayland said...

Wow, Alan, thank you! ~ I'll accept that gold medal on behalf of all the gold poems that blossom in our community!

Carol Varsalona said...

April, how much fun you had writing your Golden Poems. I do like writing golden shovel poems but your golden somethings have their appeal to me also. There is No Hope was one of those that I fell in love with.

Catherine Flynn said...

Golden shovels are one of my favorite forms. How clever of you to come up with these variations! I love how "There is No Hope" still manages to end with love and grace. And I love the idea of writing a thank you note to the dog. Now I'm off to find my dictionary...

Margaret Simon said...

I love your claim to be the Goddess of Golden Something or Other poems. These are so wonderful. I enjoyed wandering the lines to try to find the shovel, then going back to dig deeper into your own lines. Thanks!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Oh, Dear April - I hear YOUR voice in each one of these stitched-together golden word wonders. (Though I am jaded/cynical enough not to have been able to get Russia out of my mind with the Bear poem... that symbol is too strong for me these days! Intentional?)
Thank you for your usual: frankness and hope all intertwined. XO

April Halprin Wayland said...

mbhmaine ~ thank you. I just came back to this post and realized I hadn't said hello to everyone. I love that"little blonde head," too... I looked around the room and saw a photo of my boy when he was young...presto ~ that piece of the poem.

April Halprin Wayland said...

That's wonderful, Carol. Inventing forms is so freeing!

April Halprin Wayland said...

... I need to see the world that way, Janice
Especially now. ❤️

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, CS! And thank you, always, for dropping by. Someday we'll gather and write with others again. I would like that.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thank you, Carol. Hope came to me as I wrote that one.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Warning, Catherine ~ choose short definitions and quotes!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Thanks, Margaret! I'm embarrassed that it's taken me so long to respond to yours and others' comments, when you hosted Poetry Friday and commented all day ~ wow!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Robyn. I had to go back and check out that poem! Russia wasn't on radar when I wrote it... but it's neat that YOU made this connection.

Don't we always say that readers are allowed to layer their own ideas on literature? So,cool!