Archive | April 2014

I Believe in NaPoWriMo

     I became aware of National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) only in the past few years.  I committed to participate last year, writing a new poem a day for the month of April, 2013.   I thought, “Piece of Cake! I can easily do that.”   Be careful what you think, when you have not yet participated.    Writing a poem, good or bad,  each day is work, requiring thought, editing, rewriting, sleeping with words and eating with revisions in your head.  You will become obsessed, possessed, and ultimately assessed by what you write.   You may set a theme,  but I predict life will interject,  and you will most likely  find yourself veering to address the personal or political event of the day versus the pre-chosen topic.  Last year, on April 12th, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and so THAT became an unexpected focus.   Participating in NaPoWriMo helped me pare the experience down to its essence.  I started each day for weeks and weeks with long, exhausting analysis and introspection, then cut and cut and cut until the bottom line appeared on the page.  

     Whatever your theme or plan, outline or free association,  it is an exciting experience in the discipline of writing every day.     Feel free to join me while I weave my NaPoWriMo, 2014! 



What at THRILL to be published

I love writing and I love gardening. I had the chance to combine the two in an article for The 13th Floor, an e-zine about Klamath Falls, Oregon. I am the Inattentive Gardener in the April issue 🙂

Life is Good…get your hands dirty!”
Loves of the Inattentive Gardener

DAY 8 NaPoWriMo

This week marks the anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis…all is well, but the results pop into my head often enough to warrant a poem or twenty…I hope you get the chuckle in this…my new breasts now reside on a shelf in my closet, available to use in any sized pocket I choose

DAY 8 NaPoWriMo


I never could wear the pretty ones,
Bras, that is.
I was confined to the heavy duty, utility type.
No stretchy shoulder straps,
No plunging push-ups.
My God, if I’d tried a push-up,
My chin would have suffocated in cleavage.

Nope, pretty bras were never for me.
And now that I don’t need them–
Could buy any one I want in any size I want–
I have no desire to put one on.
No stretchy shoulder straps to bug me.
My God, certainly no push-up for my breast forms.
My chin is safe to breathe.

rJo Herman 4/8/14





There was something awry at this morning’s Mass.

Something was skewed.

It may have begun before I arrived late, just after the initial blessing,

But in time to confess to almighty God and all my brothers and sisters

That I have greatly sinned,

Through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault.

We all beat our chests, then sat,

Then stood for the reading of the Gospel.


We all did something different.

Some of us stood, some knelt, some sat, all at the same time.

One man was oblivious through the ringing of the Eucharist bells,


Reading his missal even after Father said “Please kneel.”

Everyone looked at everyone, half up, half down, not wanting to be the one to get it wrong;

Uncertain what to do

As if none of us had ever gone through this same ritual

At least three hundred times in our lives.


Perhaps it was the shifting of the pews earlier this month

That led to the confusion on ancient procedure this morning.

One thing is certain,

Change is in the air at St. Mark’s Catholic Church.




rJo Herman 4/3/14