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Filtering by Category: writing by Sarah and Jeff

NaPoWriMo Poem by Us #5: 6 Insane (but True) Things About Chalk by Sarah

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Thanks to today's prompt and this idea generator.

6 Insane (but True) Things About Chalk

Once, every classroom in America had a small square stainless-steel plated hole to the left (or right) of its blackboard. Into this hole, teachers dropped the nubbins of expired chalk sticks. Demolition experts consider it good luck to uncover a stash of chalky pebbles from its lifelong hideaway during school renovations. She who finds the chalk, as the saying goes, chains her fortunes to the shooting stars.

The chalk in my hand today was once infinite coccoliths formed by infinite coccolithipores swimming in the ooze of the ocean floor. Wait, no, that is the Cliffs of Dover. They are made by the radial and continuous arrays of shells of infinite coccolithipores. We don't know why the coccolithipores formed coccoliths within their golgi bodies. Just that they were beautiful.

On the White Cliffs of Dover--famously white from their striations of chalk and black flint--the fae hide themselves among the fissures and crevasses. It is not the cliffs themselves that guard Albion from invasion, but the sprites with white hair and black boots who have carve arrows from birches and stand always at the ready, their bows notched and elbows high behind their pointy ears. They mark their kills as chalk hashes on their tiny fay belts.

When he was held in solitary confinement in the White Tower of the Tower of London, Ranulf Flambard counted the days by making hashmarks on the wall near the floor behind the door with a tiny piece of chalk. One hundred and 73 chalk marks later, he made his escape. He pulled a long silk rope from a flagon of wine, watched it roll lusciously from the window, and followed it down.

Beneath France, the crayères hold thousands of years of wine. The Romans carved caves in the chalk beneath Champagne to hide from Reynard the Fox and other native trickster gods. Reynard found them and replaced them with his barrels of champagne. No one knows how many chalk caves history has carved into the earth and forgotten. While some of the wine has no doubt spoiled, yet more may still be palatable. Bubbles do not spoil.

The sidewalk chalk is in a shoebox in the garage with the bubbles. Their love is a forbidden love, separated as they are by plastic wrap and moldering cardboard. But they smell the spring, and feel the air of an open garage door. Their time approaches. 


NaPoWriMo Poems by Us #4: For Willa, a haibun by Sarah

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

A poem for my daughter, after NaPoWriMo Prompt 8: Hello Haibun

For Willa

This day is cool but warming. She puts one glittering sneaker in front of the other; I hold her hand. Around the wood rectangle, balance and topple on the edge of the raised bed. Around around again. The sun now on our backs, spreading past the buds and branches. We listen to the woodpecker tattoo a neighbor’s tree for grubs. Hear the woodpecker? I ask. She raises a finger.

mommy hear it
hear it mommy

Tomorrow we sit again, outside, squatting on the wood frame of the bed. Woodpecker hear it? Mommy? There is only the rustle of last fall’s leaves. Woodpecker is the setting sun. Woodpecker is together. Woodpecker the pulse of early spring.

the woodpecker's
telegraphed code
here we're here

NaPoWriMo Poems by Us #3: X-Files Abecedarian by Jeff

Sarah and Jeff Boyle

Sometimes, the silly thing you have in your head falls right out onto the page. Here's my abecedarian:


You remember that
X-Files episode
Where the two
Very attractive leads (whose names I am
Unable to come up with right now)
Travel back in time
(Scully and Mulder—of course!)
Ready to put the hurt to
Quite a number of
Outhouses containing
Not one but two
Malicious tongues the size of doors
Licking every
Kid who needs to avail him or herself of the pre-modern
I love that one. I…
Holy crap. Could it be that I dreamed that?
Great. I haven’t been
Feeling well and I obviously shouldn’t have
Eaten those 3 pancakes the size of
Dinner plates so
Close to going to
Bed. I
Am just going to sit here in the dark awhile.