OctPoWriMo Day 24: A matter of degree?

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Hello, and welcome to OctPoWriMo, Day Twenty-Four!

What’s OctPoWriMo, you ask? Well, it’s a whole month of poetic creation – 31 poems in 31 days. It’s the creative baby of Morgan Dragonwillow and Julie Jordan Scott.

This year, I intend to follow all the prompts, and get the joy of discovery…

I hope you’ll stop by, settle in, and find a little bit of magic here!

Today’s prompt was about reality checks and guilty pleasures, and there were some word prompts, too:

Word Prompts:





I struggled with this; I didn’t have a feel for a poem in this topic. Instead, I combined it with the Stream-of-Consciousness Saturday prompt for this week, degree/degrees. I then used the text to create a found poem, adapting some of the text to (I hope) reveal my conflicting viewpoints on both prompts.

Or maybe not. I’m tired today, and distracted by other projects. Still, it’s a poem, there was a process, and, for me, there’s value in that, whether I hit the mark or not….

A matter of degree?

“It’s a matter of degree, “

“You’re lucky you didn’t

have MY mother.”

abuses and jagged edges

a matter of degree-

but abuse damages

not a matter of degree,

the nature of the abuse,

of abuser and abused…

long, intense journey,

hoops that must be jumped through,

tests that must be passed,

years of dedicated effort…

to attain a degree,

atestament to effort put forth,

all the requirements met,

level of expertise attained…

Does a piece of paper or sheepskin,

on the wall say anything

It can’t tell the passions,

can’t say whether it was

personal choice,

a calling,

something orchestrated

by one’s parents.

broken under the weight

of debt, or wasted time…


working in a grocery store,

as a dancer or

a tattoo artist or

volunteering or

many other things

prefer to learn for learning’s sake

native intelligence for cooking,

or acting,

or working with children,

or plants,

or animals.


interested in things that

offer no degree,

lifetime delving them

in blissful absorption

figure things out

as they go along,

sit in a lecture hall

while someone else

shares their impressions

people with their own ideas –

innovators and inventors

of our future,

seeking out new ways

of thinking and doing

nothing wrong with

having a degree,

nothing wrong with

going through a life

without a degree

something wrong with

living a life that doesn’t 

fulfill, enthuse, and delight

an infinitely higher

degree of worth

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