Monday, November 1, 2010

November Poetry Challenge: 1/30: A Missing Seasoning

Happy November!

November for a lot of my friends means NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. It is a challenge where you try to write a 50,000 word novella in just 30 days, where speed and output matter more than quality. It is a great tool to get you off your duff, and just write without the pressure to be perfect.

Well, I tried the exercise a few years ago, and made a discovery. I don't like writing novels.

I do however, really enjoy writing poetry. And during the normal course of events, I don't take the time to do it. So a few years back I personalized the novel writing idea. My own November challenge is to write approximately a poem a day, for 30 poems in 30 days. I've done this for I think 3 years. There have been some stinkers, a lot of middle of the road work, and a handful that were good enough to publish. One in particular I actually got paid for later on, which for poetry is rather rare.

In the past, I've used my Live Journal ( to chronicle the poems in, but I'm not over there very much any more. However, having to publish them somewhere gives me a boost of accountability, and keeps me moving through the exercise. So, I'm going to put them up here as I write them. Please bear with me. I'll put 'poetry' in the title, so if poems aren't your thing you'll know to skip over them. Of course, if you happen to like poetry I'd love some feedback and/or constructive criticism.

So, here's today's opening salvo:

A Missing Seasoning

I open the freezer door
for a deep breath of thin
cold air, and then wistfully
blow it back in a foggy
puff of memory.
I search the shelves
for stored bits of November.
There's no trailing drifts
of leaf-burn smoke here,
no endless farmer fields full
of dry rustling stalks
or bare waiting earth.
The white tracings of ice
won't spill out
to layer my morning walkway
with a chilled crystal carpet.
No, I live in a perpetual
Arizona summer now,
and even my freezer
says 'frost free'.
Dang it.

-Melissa McCollum


  1. So bittersweet... like baking chocolate.
    That made me miss my old home in WA. (^.^)

  2. I'm tickled that it spoke to you. :) Thanks for reading, and commenting.