The Daily

A new poetry form created in a fit of inadequate self-confidence and creative desperation!

This is a new form that I created in October 2020.  Well, at least, I have never seen this form before.  Feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the world, but wanting and needing to produce work during my sabbatical, I came up with something I thought would be “too small to fail” (in the words of Ariana Huffington. Try it! I’ll be posting Dailies from friends and students in the coming weeks.

Form for a Daily

The form is based on a word count, determined by the month and day on which you are writing:  For example the daily word count for November 3 would be 11(month) +3 (day)= 14 words.

You can also use the number of the year for a few extra words.  To add words for the year , add all the numbers across.  For example for 2020, add 2+0+2+0= 4.   If your daily is November 3, 2020 your word count would be 11+3+4= 17 words.

The daily has only two word per line.  If you have an uneven number of words ( like 13), your first or last line will be one word.

The daily is unrhymed.

The daily must include a concrete image.

That’s it.  Try starting a daily now and sustaining it for several days or weeks. That’s when you start to see interesting synchronicity unfold. I found the low word count and restricted flexibility made this an easy form to work with.  I wrote a daily for each day in October (remembering William Stafford’s admonishment to “lower your standards”) and November.  Here are a couple of my early dailies:


The world
below is
opaque, pure
cloud, as
white storms
overtake the
valley. Blanked
out, we
commiserate with
orphaned, rain-rippled

As sunrise
cracks day
open like
an oyster,
the dog
in the
yard behind
ours obsesses
over his
fence, his
walk, the
ellipsis of
starlight. Listening
from our
bed, I
agree to

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