Friday, April 2, 2021

#NPM | Playing with Poetry This Month

As we leave one month of challenges we enter another. I stated in my last post, the SOLSC challenge has ended and we have now entered April which is National Poetry Month and also considered by many to be National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo). 

Last year during this time, I was still on my old blog with Word Press. I didn't post a poem every day, but I did make an effort to write one every day. I enjoy the lower stakes of that, as some poems just need to take seed in my notebook before I return to them. 

So, I don't have some grand project or commitment this month. My only goals are as follows: 
1. To check out the daily offerings at Ethical ELA's #verselove 
2. To make my debut with the Poetry Friday group (hosted this week by Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.) 
3. To publish one poem a week 

What I like about this, is that one can lead to two and two can lead to three. It keeps things simple and low pressure. What I don't want happening is a repeat of March where I focused more on my side project of slicing instead of my main writing project of finishing my novel. I don't need to focus on poetry... and yet two days in and I've already written two poems for #verselove and one just because.  


I won't share both here, but I think it's fitting to kick off this year's poetry month by revisiting a poem from my old blog. This was in response to the first day of #verselove and the Shadow Poem prompt.


A shadow poem can be a lot of things, according to host Stacey Joy's explanation on Ethical ELA, but what I took it to mean was that using one poem, you look for it's shadow. I liked the idea of revisiting a poem I previously wrote and thinking about the shadows of that poem. 

When I think of shadows, I like to imagine the monsters and other creatures that lurk there. I remembered pretty clearly a poem I originally wrote last year about a small town in Louisiana that already had some creepy vibes. I’ve taken out some of the words — hidden them in the shadows — and what’s emerged is the monster I was alluding to all along. I like how much more creepier the poem became using this strategy — it was fun! 


Original Poem: A Forgotten Town 
"Shadow of a Forgotten Town" by Erica Johnson 

Driving back 
the right time 
to see fields and fields 
I recognize 
but little else. 

patches of rural 


that break up the stretch 
a place to rest. 
I don’t mind 
the quiet 
by myself 
just me 

ghost town: 

barely there 

all that seems
to be a colony of bats
and the king of 

audacity of this declaration 
find signs of life 
in this ghost town. 
Between the tower 
no signs of 

just the remaining bat s 
rotting welcomes 
all a town of undead 
hiding from the sun: 
Your town may be next.


  1. Creepier and creepier indeed! Very fun!

  2. Yiiiiikes.
    Also, I love the revision, the idea of a "rotting welcome" is just... perfect and ugh!

  3. I really like this notion of a shadow poem. I have taken the same topic and written on it in different forms, but not reflected on a poem this way. I love the direction you've taken in this reworking.

    1. I'm not usually one to revisit my poems so this was certainly an interesting challenge that I wouldn't have pursued on my own. I'm quite happy with what came of it.

  4. oh....I'm so glad to meet another person enjoying #verselove. I truly do, LOVE the prompts and community at Ethical ELA.
    And, what a fun and creepy story poem. Love it!

    1. Hello Linda! I know I've seen your name in the comments for #verselove. I'll keep a closer eye out from here forward for your poetry.

  5. I've driven across eastern Colorado & then Kansas on my way to the east & thought your poem was going "that way" but your surprise that became a scary & creepy poem is wonderful. I will watch out!

  6. I need to check out the Ethical ELA prompts I think. I never heard about shadow poems and your poem brings that scary, creepy element of being lost and a town being lost to "progress" and the bats.....I would be sure I had a full tank of gas around there!!Janet Clare F.