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Poem: Mid-December




It’s harder to hear

what everyone is saying

because of the masks

muffling so much

of the usual exchanges,

but a few things

slip through:

“Stay safe,”

“I’ll call you later,”

“Okay, baby, thank you,”

and in Harlem, on 125th Street,

an echo of a man

walking west and singing,

“Alleluia, alleluia.”


I wish I had a turn,

something wise to declare,

to inoculate us against

the feeling of Here

We Go Again—and

everything else—

but all I have is that

unexpected but welcome 

“Alleluia, alleluia.”


© Susan Thomsen, 2021


The Poetry Friday roundup is at Jone Rush MacCulloch's blog.

Poem: Why Is December Called December?


Why Is December Called December?


December is coming
December is here

After December what month is it
December hasn’t changed

December was white
December was gray

December must do
December has days

December is not a noun
December is what season

How is December for Taurus
In December is it cold in Cancún

Where does December come from
What is December going to be like?


These autofill poems are such fun to create; many of the lines are ones I'd never come up with on my own. When I was putting together "Why is December Called December?," I once again got a line like one in "November Lost & Found": "December is Spanish." As much as I wanted to use it again, I set it aside. This month's poem asks a lot of questions—such is the nature of a Google search—so perhaps a companion poem could be made of answers. I'll have to think about it. At any rate, this is one way to create an autofill poem:


1. Go to Google.

2. Type in a phrase with the word “December” in it, like “December is.”

3. Before clicking on the results, read what the autofill comes up with.

4. Pick out the best stuff & write it down.

5. Repeat with another phrase.

6. If you speak another language, try using an international Google (for example, Google Spain) to get different results, and translate them into English.

7. Choose the best lines, arrange them, and see what you come up with!


The Poetry Friday roundup for December 3rd is at Michelle Kogan's blog.

Photo by ST. Pomme de New York, sculpture by Claude Lalanne.