Thursday, April 27, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 27, 2023


I’ve missed quite a few NAPOWRIMO days, but today, while at the AATH (Association for Applied & Therapeutic Humor) Conference I was inspired by an opportunity to follow my own advice.


Today’s disaster can be tomorrow’s funny story.

                                                                Noreen Braman



Powerpoint Disaster

There was thunder and lightning in my presentation.

No, really, it was a sound file

Carefully placed and timed, I thought,

To enhance the Laughter Lightning Round.

But Zeus was feeling disrespected

how dare I use lightning for humor

Only he can control its form.

And that is why lightning flashed

and thunder roared

at all the wrong times

in my 4-minute speech

that was rewarded with smiles and laughter,

instant reframing of a disaster

turning immediately into humor.

©2023 Noreen Braman




Wednesday, April 19, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 16, 2023


Another Day to Die

Death lurks in the closet, in the attic, on top of the refrigerator, in a locked case with glass doors.

Death takes the children playing, in the classroom, on the street, sleeping in bed, watching a road race.

Death creeps behind a candy store trip, rains down over city and farm, ambushes from behind a patio door, in the middle of a birthday party, during a chat outside a home.

Death meets children betrayed, abused, stalked, ignored – absorbing breath and closing eyes, taking more killed by man. than nature.

©2023Noreen Braman

Monday, April 17, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 15, 2023

Hungry Birds


Dear Michael,

you warned about the hungry birds

that circle overhead waiting

just waiting

to snatch the fruit from your hand

gleefully flying away

swallowing it whole

then returning to their incessant circling

with unquenched appetites waiting

just waiting.

 ©2023 Noreen Braman


Sunday, April 16, 2023



Present Presence

only this moment is real

all else is memory or anticipation

pulling against the present

to distract, derail, and devalue

the influence of your presence

in this

the only moment that is real.

©2023 Noreen Braman

NANOWRIMO April 13, 2023

 a poem, a poem, my fountain pen for a poem!


Hop, Skip, Jump, Write


Words don’t form straight lines these days, they jump, skip, and hop around,

trying out each possibility

like shattered flecks of an enchanted broom,

rising up in some other place.

Some rudely demanding

shouting their names annoyingly,

others play hide-and-seek, refusing

to appear when summoned.

But when upon a golden page

they stop their motion and align,

In that final act of acceptance - their light worth every minute of chasing.



©2023 Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 12, 2023


Rhymer Reasons


Actually you rhyme so seldomly

why is that?

And metered form you run from, panicky

no stomach for it?

Trying hard to write in rhymery

but just can’t find a reason.



©2023 Noreen Braman

From a NAPOWRIMO prompt: “write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self”

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 11, 2023


For Love

In the softness of night, listening to your breath,

inhaling your warmth, thoughts of the day return,

gentle touch of reassurance, soft smiles connecting hearts,

hugs sharing strength, flowing between us.

Deep conversations bookended by laughter, silences wrapped in contentment,

the secret meaning of love squared, giving or getting unconditional support,

from love, for love, with love, we live.

©2023 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 10, 2023



Group Snapshot


Breathing in shared experience, breathing out laughter

bathing in endorphins, the secret brew of joy,

hands held high in delight, brings memory to life.


©2023 Noreen Braman



NANOWRIMO April 9, 2023

Hippity Hop

(still a day behind)

Easter Bunny, Easter bunny,

you filled me up with candy

don't take me wrong I like the sweets,

and the basket's really handy.

But if you really like me,

you'd help me out a bit

and write today's poem for me

instead of all this bunny....stuff.

(what? Do you think I'd really dis the rabbit?)

Sunday, April 9, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 8, 2023


Acrostic #2



Unify with




©2023 Noreen Braman

NAPOWRIMO April 7, 2023

April Baby


The distant ram is dim in the sky

now occupying space assigned to Pisces

held fast to March and April despite

galactic shifts in perpetual motion.

What stars twinkled down upon my birth?

do they count because I was ceasarian born

forcing the hand of fate and destiny?

Perhaps there is more influence

from birth in a Wood Goat year

and other birth symbolism yet to explore.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Friday, April 7, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 6, 2023




Spiraling ladders of fate

spinning in every cell

distant cousins to the Fates

dizzying threads to weave and cut.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 5, 2023




Years of lists and goals and plans

plotted more carefully than executed,

reams of paper filled and filed

terabytes of digital words,

photos and artwork and decor and collections,

gathered and saved, with laughter and poetry and books

as armor holding back the future,

when decades shrink to years, and every hour ticks loudly.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 4, 2023

 Practicing What I Preach

Not so funny when the ankle turns

and wrenches everything above

while bags and boxes fly about

landing on your head

As you hit the ground.


Knees and elbows are first to complain

screeching from scrapes and indignity

Not so funny indeed.


Until the children you bore

and sheltered from harm

are paralyzed with laughter

as they try to help you get up

tears are running down their faces.


And years later they still enact

the choreography of the moment

each move a gymnastic trick,

because after all, I was basically ok,

mostly injured by embarrassment

and now proud to be the favorite example

of reframing for humor.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Monday, April 3, 2023

NAPOWRIMO April 3, 2023


Blippity Doo-Dah


The blips are there

I have no doubt.

But wonder what

blips are about.

Am I too stressed

too full a plate?

Moving too fast

with too much weight?

Does anxiety

hold me in sway?

Those scary things

are years away!

Or are the thoughts

sounding alarm

trying to keep

My brain from harm?

Or crying out

Alas! Too late!

The blips herald

my aging fate.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Sunday, April 2, 2023

NAPOWRIMO 2023 April 2, 2023

Change of Seasons


Twice a year a solstice

twice a year an equinox,

heralding seasons

based on orbital positions

creating specific length of daylight.


Meteorological seasonal arrivals

rely on historical temperature ranges

And possibly school vacations.


While the astrological change of seasons

depends on ancient zodiac calculations,

telling me as I pass through the sign of my birth,

despite being centered unarguably in Spring,

that I am seasonally summer.

More proof of the cruelty of April.


©2023 Noreen Braman

Saturday, April 1, 2023

NAPOWRIMO 2023 - April 1, 2023 For Bill

For Bill, Wherever You May Be


We met once, but, you’ll forgive me

I have no recollection,

no matter how I try to see your face

all I have are photographs, service records,

And lingering questions.

Now almost triple the years you lived

on a quest too long in getting started

I trace paths nearing obliteration.

Your influence strong in its absence,

empty spaces have their own weight.

Trauma passes on to new generations,

genetic strands woven into those who never knew you

but carry you with them just the same.


©2023 Noreen Braman



NAPOWRIMO 2023 - The Cruellest Month Returns

 Here we are, once again, the first of April. National Poetry Month, National Humor Month, Autism Awareness Month, Child Abuse Awareness Month, Jazz Appreciation Month — and that is just a fraction of April's responsibilities. It is also known as the "cruellest month" thanks to T.S. Elliot's poem, "The Wasteland."

For me, April is a bit more personal, the month I was born, an observation that is forever entwined with the sudden sickness and death of my father, 3 weeks after my birth. He got to hold me once, tears streaming down his face. His cause of death was listed as "uremia" - the family recalls being told it was from nephritis. So many years later, I collected his Marine Corps. service records, have a medal sent to me, and find something disturbing on his death certificate.

There is a second line for "cause of death." The second line says "pending chemical." No test results are attached. Suddenly, all the TV commercials about a water problem at Camp Lejuene become personal. I've been on a quest to get those Veteran's Hospital records, if they still exist. This is too much of a coincidence. Can the mystery of why a healthy 23-year old, new father, died suddenly from nephritis/uremia/renal failure?

This year, I dedicate my participation in NAPOWRIMO to the father I only met once, and I strengthen my resolve to find out what happened so many years ago.

Noreen Braman

William Johnston Braman