PAD 2019 – Day 30

The final day! Woot! To anyone who’s been reading my poems, thank you. I write and post these drafts to keep myself on track, but it’s always nice to have the kind eyes of others on them too.

Today I decided to include all three of the prompt sites I’ve been using this month. A bit of a challenge since NaPoWriMo called for a micropoem. Packing more into less. That’s what poetry’s all about in many ways. So I tried to squeeze in the Poetic Asides call for a “stop” poem and the Stroll of Poets “standing in line” prompt.

 

tourist rest stop

 

cradled

by the rocky mountains

 

in the bathroom line

 

i hear “beautiful”

in six languages

 

 

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PAD 2019 – Day 29

The penultimate day of the poem a day challenge! I love the word penultimate. Today’s Stroll of Poets prompt was “room full of secrets” while the Poetic Asides prompt called for a __________ Again poem. Not sure the quickies I wrote really fulfill either prompt that well, but shhhhh….don’t tell.

 

whispering again

leaves plotting a quick descent

secrets of autumn

 

 

powerful people

disguised in expensive clothes

fill rooms with secrets

 

men with ideas

plan a covert whale mission

to harness power

 

* last one inspired by this kooky news story I read this morning

 

 

PAD 2019 – Day 28

Never has mixing prompts been so fitting. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem about poetry, while Poetic Asides suggested “re-mixing” a poem or poems that have been penned earlier this month. I mined the poems from earlier days for words or phrases, then blended them into this.

 

Uncovering a Poem

 

It’s there to be found when it’s time,

but it means digging.

Poking at dreams wanting to be left undisturbed.

Peeking over the gate to see what’s growing.

Snaking the imagination, back — to gather traces of memory,

forward — to plant something new. Words, the closest ones to you,

unshared, but there like family. Reflections, imprints,

the bark of a tree, texture revealed

when it’s rubbed with a pencil.

PAD 2019 – Day 27

Blending today’s Poetic Asides call for a “direction” poem with the Stroll of Poets prompt, “where the heart beats.”

 

Behind the sternum

 

is where the heart beats

in the most literal sense,

but also wherever it is that you

are closest to me.

 

It all comes down to impulses,

electric and erotic.

The zap of every kiss.

 

How fitting that it’s

about the size of a fist,

because of the punch I feel,

the pow, right in the chest

when I look at you,

remembering you’ve

chosen me.

 

PAD 2019 – Day 26

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem that uses repetition, while Poetic Asides suggested writing something about “evening”.  Here’s what came out of the mix:

Evenfall

 

Evening comes

faster the less you pay attention,

like everything that slips in unnoticed. Silver inch of growth

in the part of your hair,  shimmery skin cells sealing a wound,

lines on the face memorializing every frown or smile.

 

Evening comes

solemnly when you are not listening,

whispers of gold and pink asking you to let go

of fulgent preoccupations. A coolness in the gloaming,

offering calm restoration.

 

Evening comes

steadily no matter how much you long for pause,

reliable reminder of all you cannot, should not control.

Winds calm, stars test the sky with the first pricks of light,

darkness readies.

PAD 2019 – Day 25

I liked today’s NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a season-specific poem engaging all five senses and using a rhetorical question. I decided to blend it with the Poetic Asides call for an “exile” poem.

Exiling Winter

 

Why is it so difficult to banish?

That stubborn cold that burrows down to the bone,

pinch felt on the skin when you dare to step outside uncovered.

The look of winter remains long after spring has made its calendar declaration.

Gaunt branches poking at cloudy skies, the scent of fetid leaves in murky melt puddles.

Stubborn islands of snow and ice in the shadowy parts of a yard imploring a seasonal shift.

Guardian birds who’ve overseen winter’s term sing songs of eviction and welcome.

Leaveleave Leaveleave calls the chickadee. Come Come Come rallies the crow.

We munch sweet greenhouse carrots, savour tangy lemons imported from hot places.

Ingest what we desire  — freshness, tenderness, growth. Forced internal blooming

to overtake a season of still grey.

 

 

PAD 2019 – Day 24

I had a lot going on today and nearly missed the daily post, but where I live there is still 30 minutes left in this day. Running out of time actually works well with the poem inspired by today’s prompt from my local Stroll of Poets group. The call to write a “last of a kind” poem took me to this Mental Floss article, and led me to write this:

Endlings

 

Specimens that are the last

living member of their kind.

Such a cute term for something so calamitous.

 

In captivity, they’ve been given names:

Benjamin the Thylacine, died in Australia, 1936

Martha the Passenger Pigeon, left the world in Cincinnati, 1914

Toughie the Rabbs’ fringe-limbed tree frog, lost his life in Atlanta, 2016

Lonesome George the Pinta Island Tortoise , lived for decades on California’s Santa Cruz Island,

and was more than 100 years old when he died in 2012.

Turgi the Polynesian Tree Snail, the last of a species who inhabited the earth

from  1.5 million years BC to 1996.

 

Others who lived their final days roaming free, until they faded away.

We can never know when they really left, yet we write memorials to

Booming Ben the Heath Hen, last spotted in Massachusetts in 1932

and Celia the Pyrenean Ibex, whose body was found in 2000 in Spain.

 

What name will the last one of us have?

Emma? Hakim? Fabrizzio or Wei?

What will mark our passing,

how will it be known,

who can remember

or mourn

when there is no one left to write about us?

PAD 2019 – Day 24

Blending the Poetic Asides “free” prompt with the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem about an animal. These haiku-ish thoughts are almost found poems, inspired by a search of free pets on Craigslist.

 

free to a good home

sweet Chinese water dragon

her name is Betty

 

 

black and white tegu

affectionate and pretty

if you love lizards

 

 

have to move for work

cannot take Mister Cuddles

cat who loves warm baths

 

 

five guinea pigs, free

but please keep them together

they are family

Poetry Festival excitement

I am super excited to be reading at the Edmonton Poetry Festival today for Poetry Central 1 at City Hall, and honoured to be on the bill with four other poets I admire. The theme of this year’s fest is HomeWord, and I have tried to keep that in mind when I chose the pieces I want to share.

The fest actually kicked off yesterday morning with a BYOV (local poets organizing their own events at various city venues) called Poetry and Stillness. It was meditative and beautiful. The words were enriching. It gave me the focus and energy I need for the rest of the busy week.

Hoping to catch as many events as I can, and then finish with a workshop by Arleen Pare on Saturday. The Fest always puts on spectacular workshops.

Still plan to post the Poem-A-Day to finish out the month. If you’ve been reading any of my posts, thank you so much. And hopefully you’re poeming along too. The world needs your words. Poetry can be the force that makes us protect what’s important, and fight for the world we want. But Alice Walker said it better, with one of my favourite quotes about poetry:

“Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.”

 

PAD 2019 – Day 22

Working with the NaPoWriMo prompt today to write a poem that engages with another art form. I have been watching my nine year old daughter learning and loving to play the drums, so that was the first art form that came to my sentimental, parental mind.

 

Beginner Beats

 

After your first lesson you told me

to be a drummer, you only need a body.

A heart to pulsate.

A foot to tap.

A palm to pound

Fingers to beat.

 

When you drum,

your entire body, small but strong,

vibrates with life tempo.

 

The first sound you ever heard

was the percussive thudding

of my own heart, close to you.

Sound imprinted,

on the growing soul.

 

Primal instruments — the drum, the heart.

Soundtrack to battle, to rally, to rise.

Thrum of liberation, running through

our blood.