NaPoWriMo 2022 Day 21 Sleeping


Thanks and shoutout to Simon Infanger for letting his photo be used for free on Unsplash.

Today’s prompt was one gleaned from the poet Betsy Sholl. This prompt asked me to write a poem in which I first recall someone I used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job I used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that I saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, I was to close the poem with an unanswerable question.

Happy writing to me! Happy reading to you!


When the sun is laid to sleep,
Darkness drips in desperation
The universe shifts and suddenly
I become your enemy.

Wordless and wry, my will resolves
into Nothing that will matter.
But why then does hunger remain?
Hunger is hereditary—

I read that once in a poem,
At least I think I did. I can’t
Seem to separate the silk sails
from the flagpole standing still

But my strong knees and stiff back
Can carry the weight of my will
So all is well. Or is it?
When the inky black beckons me

To lie down among the lilies,
I resist. I draw all that is good,
but the leaves still fall. Tell me why
do the leaves insist on falling?


Magic In The Ordinary


Photo Credit: Thanks 🙌 and shoutout to ShengGeng Lin.

Ok so… my dearest Tracy Jo told me that my writing has been rather dark lately. It’s entirely possible. I write to lay the darkness down in the light, and once the light hits it, it’s no longer darkness.

I dunno, though.

Maybe she’s right about too much, even if I do consider it a good thing.

Maybe I just need some magic in my ordinary days. A little “boost” in the form of a beverage. A little boost in the form of being with friends and family. Don’t we all need that kind of boosting after the crazy year we’ve had?

I’m hoping to have a summer filled with little boosts from family and friends. Maybe I’ll even follow some of the recipes in this poem to boost the magic the extra mile.

Magic in the Ordinary

Two ripe strawberries on the vine
bubbling champagne
one sugar cube

Three frothy fronds of dill
one fresh cucumber
a splash of gin

One yellow pineapple
amber rum
a squeeze of orange

Red bell peppers
a handful of cilantro
Don Julio Blanco Tequila
¡Al centro!

Valentine vodka
a bit of ginger beer
one squeeze of lime

A few drops of Angostura bitters
rich ruby port
a dash of orange curaçao

A wee bit of superfine sugar
two ounces of cachaca
freshly squeezed lime juice

Dark black coffee
a tip of Teeling Whiskey
fresh whipping cream

—Carla Picklo Jordan

Dancing Buttercups


Artist credit: Annelea

The world is beginning to dream again and so are we. I see strength returning to Tracy’s spirit, and it does my heart good. She was able to use her walker to walk to the sink, sit down and wash up her face and arms in the sink today. A milestone!

She said it felt so good. She changed into a personal nightgown and felt like a whole new person.

We are hoping to get her into in patient rehab on Monday but it is pending insurance approval. You know how it is…

It is not good enough that doctors, nurses, and Physical and Occupational therapists recommend it. No, the insurance company, not her personal medical team, must approve it first. Please pray with us she can go.

On another note, my dear friend Annelea has launched her website. Trust me, you want to click that hyperlink and check it out; she is a gifted artist.

I am honored to continue a collaborative process Annelea and I began several years ago. I write—she paints.

This poem is the second in our most recent collaboration. I am writing poetry for the paintings on her website.

After this year of pandemic and quarantine and staying home, I am ready for dancing buttercups on a far away shoreline. I hope you are swept away with joy and hope and dreams of summer.

Buttercup Dreams

I slept
in a field
of buttercups

by the Cape
where salty air

and shipwrecks
drift together
near the rocks

with orange-tip
butterflies nestled

finally free
once again
to dream

shall I
bear the joy

of living again
in this glorious
invincible summer?

—a draft of Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Listening to Your Life


Thanks to Ravi Roshan @ravi_roshan_inc for making this photo available freely on Unsplash

When I think of all the times I let the responses of others to my story guide the way I lived inside my story, I feel a kind of melancholy for the girl that lived within this kind of pressure box. Trust me when I say that I hold no one but me accountable for my response. However, I live now very mindful of how my own responses to the stories of others might affect them.

I have a colleague friend who has been such a great example to me of what this looks like in real time. Whenever someone shares something that has been difficult or a problem, his first response is one of empathy. Solutions are given only upon request, and I have never once felt judged by him even when I know he would have done things differently himself.

Letting go of what others think and embracing how I feel is important for my personal well being, but it also serves as a keen reminder to me of the needs of others around me. Most of us just would like to be heard—most of us just want a listening ear.

And listening is an art form.

I suppose it goes hand in hand with being present and mindful. Sitting with someone in their story is very different from hearing someone’s story. To me, listening and sitting are partners in the work of living mindfully in the present.

Listening is paying attention.

So today I choose to pay attention. To notice those around me carrying sadness, or sitting in grief, or rejoicing in personal victory. “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep” is the exact definition of listening with your life. Jealously and envy dissipate when we truly rejoice with those who are rejoicing. Likewise, haughtiness and superiority go out the window when we sit in grief with those who are weeping.

Listening is being grateful in the moment.

When I am grateful for each moment in my own story, whether good or bad, I learn to sit with others in a kind of peaceful contentment that neither judges nor offers solutions. This is the very hardest for me. I always want to help and offer solutions, but most often less is more. Breathing in the positive of each moment isn’t just a simple-minded solution. It’s an internal game changer. Our whole outlook changes when breathe in the positive and breathe out the negative.

Listening to ourselves and others brings contentment.

The more we learn to listen, the more we encourage others to walk inside their own stories, the more content we will be inside our own. Listening to others encourages them to look the world in the eye and know that they are worthy, they are enough, and they are loved.

Are you listening?

You are worthy.

You are enough.

You are loved.


Lilting, her voice sang across the meadow:
breezing by, the butterflies danced to the tune;
grazing, the cows stopped chewing to listen;
buzzing, bees set about their pollen work;
resting, she settled into the tall grass
breathing out, she exhaled all of her worries.
sighing, she prayed another day to sing.

—Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

How are you doing today? I’d love to hear your story.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 16


Poem inspired by this commissioned work by Irina Charny displayed at Church of the Resurrection; Pleasant Hill, California; 2008

Imagine the world
a steady humming
of irrepressible joy.

Gather the light—
the sparks
of light dancing
in the shards.

Take the holy—
with kindness,
in gentle hands—
and repair souls.

—a draft by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.

NaPoWriMo2021 Day 7

You can purchase this groovy print here:

Today’s prompt encouraged us to try one of two syllable stressed forms: the shadorma, or the Fib.

The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a poem made up of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short. The origins of this form are not readily known.

The second syllabic form is much more forthright about its recent origins. Like the shadorma, the Fib is a six-line form. But now, the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. You can link multiple Fibs together into a multi-stanza poem, or even start going backwards after your first six lines, with syllable counts of 8/5/3/2/1/1.

Always wanting to break out of the stereotype box, I wrote a poem that included both forms. Not sure if this is “ok” or “against the rules”, but I don’t care. Writing it was a blast!


never seems to bring
the relief
of knowing ;
the answers I seek elude
the grasping of hands.

But sit still
and the answers come
resting in my open hands:
the wisdom I seek.

why these things
are happening now:
now is the time for everything.

Now is the time for everything:
open your clenched fists
to the

—draft poems by Carla Jeanne Picklo Jordan

Let me know what you think in the comments below. Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.

NaPoWrimo 2021 Day Five

Photo from

The challenge today was to write a poem that mirrored another by keeping the form and using the same beginning letter of each line. I chose “A hawk from a handsaw” by Rebecca Morgan Frank.

Honor from Haste

Those who cloak themselves in certainty
care not for reality but revel in
praise. Good fortune for them lies
only in the maintenance of
fitting outcomes and flattery:
Those who cloak too often hide the truth.

For looking the part is key;  
keeping face is the outcome of
their desire. You see, life 
forgives but doesn’t forget. 
That youthful indiscretion now stitched 
forever as stigma on their cloak.

--a draft poem by Carla Jeanne

Don’t forget to let me know what you think in the comments below.

Share the love, write a poem, appreciate a good friend. Each moment is a new beginning.

NaPoWriMo 2021 Pre-Day One

IMG_3577*Stock Photo

The #NaPoWriMo2021 challenge today was to spend a few minutes looking for an interesting piece of art in the online galleries of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Then after selecting a piece of art, I was challenged to write a poem!

I chose this lovely basket designed by Linda Hancock. It is traditional Ohlone cultural art made in Sycamore Creek, California. The medium is deer grass stems, sedge root, dyed bracken root, and redbud shoots.

The original photo of her artwork is copyright protected, so I am including a link here so you can see it.

Under the Mushroom Tree

I am the beginning
and the end. Born under
a dense canopy of shade
near the sloping riverbanks.

A coastal live oak was my father,
moisture dripping from his long
green beard of lichens, feeding
the ground beneath his fallen leaves.

The earth was my mother–
my rich and bountiful safe place.
Within the peace of their embrace,
I spread my lateral roots.

In the beginning I remained
(adventitious shoots and all)
ardent in my work of tilling
and moving through the soil.

Content to reside safely near
my riparian home, I stretched
and grew, nourished yet hungry
to explore the Far Reaches.

One day the women of patience
gently drew me from my dwelling
and reverently excavated
my tangled, criss-crossed roots.

I was not afraid for I could
hear their song of thanks,
“Shuururu Xuyxuyta”,
sung like the Ohlone ancestors,

blessing my mother, praising
my beauty, and promising
friendship far into the future.
I could see the jackrabbits

and cottontails waving goodbye
as I left my haven, but I did not
feel loss. The keen drive to grow
dimmed as I looked ahead.

I was split and peeled, dried
and dyed with bracken root, woven
together with deer grass stems,
redbud shoots and a grateful heart.

I was happy living simply,
visiting my mother as I carried
her bounties in my newly
woven bowl. But the whisper

of the ancestors helped me
realize my story needed
to be told; my story needed
to be heard. So I agreed to move.

Inside my glass case, far from
my mother and father and far
from the river, I remain.
I am a lesson for future

generations on how to live
in harmony. I am the fruit
of the marriage of my parents—
connected to the past,

formed in the present,
alive on into the future.
I am the beginning
and the end.

–a Draft by Carla Jeanne

I’d love to know what you’re thinking. Please drop a comment below and let me know!

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day Eight

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. –Victor Hugo

NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month), my nemesis, my old friend, has whisked me away to places and spaces unknown yet again. The prompt was supposedly a “simple” one: write a poem about a flower. Having spent yesterday afternoon at the gorgeous Oklahoma City Botanical Gardens, this should have been an easy task. Lucky enough to have my sidekick photographer with me, I had stunning photos for inspiration. My friend Agi graciously printed my favorite, and I asked Little Wonder to paint it for me as I wrote my poem. I thought I would simply throw down a lil red flower ditty as the boy painted.

When the singing began from the back terrace, I was at once both enthralled and enchanted. His joy for living emanates from the core of his being. In that moment, listening to him sing as he painted his red flower, I felt honored to be in the presence of such pure joy.

Thus my simple little red flower poem became an ode to my wise and wonderful Little Wonder. I wouldn’t trade a minute with him for he is slowly teaching me the art of living.  the red flower

a little painter
squints in the sunlight
scrunching up his brow
in concentration
choosing brilliant gold,
vibrant red and green–
a kaleidoscope
of tapestried hues.
a lone red flower
rising stark but strong
centers everything.
how does he know the
vibrant story of
red hot life stands strong
as the universe
whirls wildly by?
a tiny prince of
infinite wisdom:
my darling sings and
peace settles.
 (Photo Credit: Tracy Kaye Photography)