Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place


Word Nerd

I was astonished to realize that I have written nearly 100 poems.  I write poetry from time-to-time and for challenges like NaPoWrimo, but I guess it adds up over the years.   Even though I identify myself as a poet on my “About” page, I still have a hard time embracing it.   Poetry seems to be cool and hip only within a relatively small community of like-minded word nerds, such as myself.  I have had friends read my poems and snicker.  Or sometimes they say things like, “It doesn’t rhyme.”   They don’t stop to look at internal rhymes, alliterations, assonances, meter, metaphors, evocative themes and all the other characteristics of poetry.

Most people I know don’t read or even like poetry.  It is not mainstream anymore, not since before the radio and television age when poem-casting, along with story-telling and singing, were how our ancestors amused themselves around a fire in the evening.

Maybe I am not a poet and don’t know it.

Maybe, though, I have a different definition of poetry.   For me, poetry is not merely a form of entertainment or a literary art form to be mastered.  For me, poetry is crafting an economy of words intended to convey subtle, evocative, expressive ideas in unique, brief, and innovative ways.  I write poems to hone my word-smithing abilities.  Poetry is a writing exercise for me.  Poetry is not a noun; it is a verb.  It is about the process, not the product.

I know I’ve harped on this idea in past posts, but I will say it again:  I don’t mind if I am not a good poet.  Like any true nerd, I don’t care what people think as long as I am doing what I enjoy. 

If you are at all interested in reading some of my poems, here is a link to all 30 poems from last year’s NaPoWrimo challenge:  https://misspelicansperch.wordpress.com/2019/04/









The City of the Queen of the Angels

There is a plaque on Olvera Street that names the city wherein I grew up as El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles — The Village of our Lady, Queen of the Angels.

Look at any map and you will see it criss-crossed with streets named after saints: Santa Monica, San Vicente, San Pedro — to name just a few. The names seem to reflect — at least to me– a mystical and transcendent quality of this city.

With Angels Watching

Would it be that all the saints, all the angels, even the Queen of Heaven herself looks down upon this city?

city of angels 2

What would they see? What would they do?

Yes, they would weep over the poverty and crime, over the homeless seeking to make a living.

city of angels 5

And of course they would tremble with us when the ground shakes or the canyons burn.


Would they rejoice with the whales as they peek from the sea or sing with the coyotes in dark sycamore forests?

city of angels 11

city of angels 10

Did they watch over the mammoths in ancient days? Apparently not, it would seem.


Would they be in awe of the edifices we puny humans have built?

city of angelsWould they curse the traffic like I do?

city of angels 8Or would they bless the faithful in prayer?

city of angels 3

Would they hold back the rain but let the snowfall?

city of angels 7

Perhaps they would.

I don’t know what angels think, but I know they are here,

and they watch.


Images and poem by ljgloyd (2016)




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NaPoWriMo #22: The Witness

The prompt is to honor of the observance of Earth Day in a poem.     My poem is to honor the One who created the Earth:

The Witness

Some are swept away by the swell of music
as if they were struck by an ocean wave.
Some are moved by a caress of a loved one
as if a gentle breeze had touched them.
Others are split to shards like a lightning-struck tree
when they crack open the sacred word.

My being is rocked
when I see moon jellies floating in a blue abyss,
when I watch a sea lion dance
under her mirror-topped world,
when the dark presence of sycamores
and ancient oaks close over the mountain trail,
when a great bird spreads her wings and glides,
when a human is at one with the elements.

These are the Spirit’s witness to the world.

Ljgloyd (c) 2016



pelican flight






All images taken by the author

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NaPoWriMo #20: A Kenning Poem

nibI learned something new today.  There is a poem form called a  kenning.  It is a”riddle-like metaphor” that appears as compound words used in place of a single word noun.  This was a common device used in Old Norse sagas — and so it resonates with my Viking ancestry!  May I present a short kenning poem for your amusement:

Four-Cylinder Chariot

Four-cylinder chariot,
I had high hopes for you.
Down the highways and byways
To streak out of the blue.

I named you White Lightning
— at the time it seemed fine–
But you’re slow and more mellow,
So I’ve named you Moonshine.

Ljgloyd (c) 2016


NaPoWriMo #19: How to Make Lembas Bread


Today’s prompt is to write a didactic (a “how to”) poem with a mythological or fantastical theme. How fun!

Legolas: “Lembas bread. One small bite is enough to fill the stomach of a grown man!”
Merry: “How many did you eat?”
Pippin: “Four.”
From the film, The Fellowship of the Ring, (2001)

How to Make Lembas Bread (Elven Way Bread)

To the world of Tolkien
You lose yourself.
Don the ears
and dress as an elf.

Imagination engaged
–if you can–
pull out the bowls
and the baking pan.

Mix the flour, the butter
–please be exact–
the salt, the sugar,
the vanilla extract.

Take hold of wonder
An ability to believe
Have a vision
And you will achieve.

The dough has chilled
The oven’s been lit
A few hours later,
With a cuppa, you sit,

You come to rest
and enjoy the end
And hold fast your
power to pretend.


ljgloyd (c) 2016

Here is a recipe for basic shortbread.  To make it into lembas bread, you just need a little imagination.


NaPoWriMo #17: The Tale of The Four Thieves

oil bottle
For today’s prompt, we were instructed to take a specialty dictionary and use terms from it to inspire a poem. I chose a reference guide to essential oils and aromatherapy. LOL!

The Tale of the Four Thieves

Four clever thieves, living close and thick,
Robbed from the homes of the dying and sick.
Despite the plague they stayed in good health
and amassed a fortune of ill-gained wealth.
The sheriff searched long for the thieves he sought
Until Luck turned her eye and they were caught.

But the judge declared they would not die
If to his request they would simply comply.
“Tell me, I pray, of your profound good luck
And how this sickness you managed to duck.”
The ring leader stood and commenced to say:
“It’s a magical potion applied once a day.

Distill fine oils into a flask–
Excuse me, sir, which ones, you ask?
Lemon, Rosemary, cloves strong and dark,
Leaves of Oz and cinnamon bark.
Blend them together with sweet almond oil.
Inhale it deeply the sickness to foil.”

The judge was astonished and stood from his seat.
He eyed them coolly and said, “Rise to your feet.
We shall make this elixir you so freely give
and if it’s successful you will continue to live.
But even so if it does not fail,
The four of you must stay in jail.”
And so thus ends the four thieves’ tale.

Lgloyd (c) 2016

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Getting the Words Off the Page

colour-speech-bubblesPoetry was originally meant to be heard, not read.  If you have eighteen minutes and any interest at all in words, watch this video on “spoken word” poetry, a Ted Talk by poet Sarah Kay.    If you only have three and a half minutes, then just watch the beginning and listen to her poem, “If I Should Have a Daughter…”   The last three minutes are pretty awesome too as she performs her poem “Hiroshima.”


NaPoWriMo #15: Fun with Couplets

Writing Couplets at Five in the Morning

Couplets are the form of the day.
Not easy to write I should say.

One simple thought set in two lines.
The challenge, of course, is making them rhyme

Chaucer, Shakespeare, Alexander Pope–
These are the poets who can give you the dope

As for me the couplet is not the way.
It’s the freedom of free verse any day

Lgloyd 2016


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NaPoWriMo #14: A “San-San” Poem — Starlight Flamenco

flamenco-duendeOkay.  It’s payback time because I have written so many unrhymed, free form poems.  Today we are supposed to write a “san san” poem.  It is supposedly a Chinese poetry form that uses three images, phrases or ideas, repeated three times in a very specific rhyme scheme, a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.    And it was bloody difficult to compose.

Starlight Flamenco

Under a frosty star-lit sky
they cling together, one fiery heart —
two lovers engage their spiral dance.

Twin flames, flying high
They dance united, fearing to part
two lovers dance through the night.

Fearing none, they take a chance
Two fiery lovers under star light.

ljgloyd (c) 2016

Image:  ljgloyd 2006


NaPoWriMo #13: “Somewhere Between the Lo Mein and the Egg Fu Young They Fell in Love”

red lanternsThe NaPoWriMo prompt of the day is write “a poem inspired by fortune cookies.”  This was fun.  I have to say that I wrote this at 3 a.m. this morning so I wonder if that had anything to do with the fun-factor.   (This post is also in line with the Daily Post’s prompt.)

Somewhere between the Lo Mein and the Egg Fu Young They Fell in Love

A rain-slick night,
Red lanterns hang over a dark wooded booth.
Imperial Dinner for two.
Crab Rangoon and spring rolls.
Don’t forget the hot mustard.
Kung pao chicken and sweet-and-sour pork.
Stir fried broccoli in oyster sauce.
Their hands touch over the fried rice.
Moo shu pork and ginger beef.
Steaming cups of jasmine tea.
She giggles at his jokes.
Time slows down, eyes lock.
Check please.
Fortune cookie say:
“You will marry the person across the table.”
Fortune cookie say:
“Don’t panic!”

Ljgloyd c 2016

Image courtesy of Morguefile.com