PAD 2020 – Day 11

Used today’s NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem in which one or more flowers take on specific meanings. I used the suggested glossary of flower meanings and added it to a childhood memory.

 

First Emotions of Love

 

I didn’t know that’s what purple lilacs meant

when I nicked a bouquet of them

off the neighbour’s bush,

gripped them in my small fist

and thrust them at Mom

while she plucked weeds from the rows of carrots.

But from the look on her face, it’s clear she did.

 

close up photo of purple lilac flowers

Photo by Irina Iriser on Pexels.com

PAD 2020 – Day 10

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a hay(na)ku, which is a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. I decided to  chain several together into a longer hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that poet Vince Gotera invented during 2012’s NaPoWriMo.

 

planning the day – a hay(na)ku sonnet

 

wanting

to wake

with less worry

 

hunting

good news

like Easter eggs

 

finding

big numbers

in brief headlines

 

baking

sweet buns

is some distraction

 

hoping spirits rise

like this dough

 

buns

PAD 2020 – Day 9

The NaPoWriMo call today was to write a concrete poem. That is, a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. I decided to be cheeky (lazy?) and write a poem about concrete using a block shape. (In my word doc it came out in a perfect rectangle shape, but I can’t get it to work here!!!) I took much inspiration and a few phrases (including the last line of my poem, which is taken verbatim) from this Wiki page on concrete.

Committing to Concrete

When fine and coarse bond together, something hardens over time. A cure for solitude. Binders are necessary. If not limebased, than lovebased. Words that seal the deal. Actions that keep it from crumbling. Many non-cementitious types will be skeptical that the concrete block is better than gravel. No chance for this stone to roll, to scatter dust they might say. But aggregate strength is its own sort of freedom — knowing the winds of the world may wear on you less. The most romantic may link their initials in wet slurry. Wait for the united letters to become rock solid. If favoured, the mixture may be reinforced with rebar or two gold rings. How concrete is handled after it is poured is just as important as before.

Initials-In-Concrete

PAD 2020 – Day 8

Today’s attempt is another prompt two-for-one, combining the Poetic Asides call for a “future” poem, with the NaPoWriMo challenge to use a line, a phrase or word from a Twitter poetry bot as inspiration for a new poem. I used the pinned Tweet from @SylviaPlathBot, which just seemed to mesh perfectly with a future prompt and my own actively anxious state of mind.

 

It starts with a line from a Syliva Plath

 

I am not ready for anything to happen

yet I feel like I’ve been preparing my entire life.

Have you? We’re in this together, whether we like it

or not, but we didn’t walk the same path to get here.

We haven’t compared exit strategies. Worry

is a cruel teacher. Makes you a master of stasis,

mulling every kind of future, gluing yourself

to some version of a past. So little left for now.

If you can, imagine the frigid waters of a murky river

— one you will need to get across —

but that current, so tenacious.

Rabid dog crush of water that will not release you

from its teeth. I confess, since this started with her,

that I’m having a hard time remembering the shore.

Can you? Do you see it? Are the poplars still there?

The grassy cliffs? That spot where the mallards

gather in spring? Tell me it’s all still the same,

that nothing has or will happen. Tell me our limbs

will never tire from treading all this water.

 

wide_river_stock_by_tommygk-d6e0lt9

PAD 2020 – Day 7

One week into Poetry Month and I’ve written a poem (sometimes more than one) each day! Considering how creatively stunted and numb I’ve felt lately, I’m happy that any words are rising to the surface. Thinking about how to revise them into good words is a May problem.

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem based on a news article. It was a bit of a chore to find a story that wasn’t about the pandemic, but then I hit upon this interesting one about discovering the age of whale sharks. But, true to my nature, I ended up turning it into something with an undertone of doom.

This one is an erasure poem taken directly from the text of the article. I don’t do those often, because I find them extremely challenging, but this month is all about experimentation and breaking out of comfort zones (without leaving your house), right?

 

Endangered Creatures

 

Whale sharks swim in mystery.

Count lines in the vertebrae

like rings in a tree trunk.

Reasons behind age, what persists —

 

every living thing decays

the older the creature, the less you find

 

The hard part is these intensely vulnerable humans.

Why they exploit.

Scientists believe they      humans      can be helped.

Cooperation is key to survival.

This is a good news story after all.

 

whale shark

 

 

PAD 2020 – Day 6

Today’s poem is a short one, but blends a couple prompts and bits of inspiration. The NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem written from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and fantastically weird) triptych The Garden of Earthly DelightsI chose the naked man carrying the lovers in a mussel shell (image below), and added in the Poetic Asides call for a “trap” poem. The image immediately made me think of the 1980 Squeeze song “Pulling Mussels (From the Shell)” — which also happens to be a euphemism for sex — so, naturally, that made it into the poem too.

Under the Black Shell

 

Love is a trap, snapped

and those ensnared in its teeth

abandon all care for freedom.

I’ve carried lovers on my back,

felt the burden of the heart

when pearls of wisdom

are traded for beads of sweat.

Judgement lost in passioned frenzy.

How much innovation

has been wasted

by those who’d spend all

their waking days and wanton nights

pulling mussels from the shell?

 

download

PAD 2020 – Day 5

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem using 20 Little Poetry Projects. A daunting, but creative task, and one I’m still working on. In the meantime, I decide to do a micro poem based on the Poetic Asides prompt asking for a “moment” poem.

 

define this

 

brief, but impactful —

a moment is

but, um

it’s hard to fathom

one from the next

this month

when the moment of moment

um

keeps rolling

down

a hill

I can’t

see the

bottom

of

 

green grass field and trees under blue sky

Photo by Chavdar Lungov on Pexels.com

PAD 2020 – Day 4

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem based on an image from a dream. Several weeks ago (long before I watched Tiger King) I had a vivid dream about lions. It was one of those dreams that felt so real as I was having it, and has barely faded in its sharpness.

 

I Had a Dream About a Pride of Lions

 

loose in a field next to a Lloydminster gas station.

A young male ambled over to our car, sniffed at the crack in the door

where my daughter sat, wide-eyed and trembling, in the back seat.

Can he get in, Mommy?

And as I was telling her no, he stood, front paws on the window,

huge amber eyes staring, a thin string of saliva dangling from his fang.

 

an angry lion

Photo by Petr Ganaj on Pexels.com

PAD 2020 – Day 3

Using the 30/30 prompt offered by my local Stroll of Poets group today to write a “confession dare” poem. Came out as a sort of list poem.

 

Never ever have I

 

gone skinnydipping in the moonlight

watched Game of Thrones

kissed someone and regretted it

liked a Beyoncé song

eaten just one potato chip

wished upon a star

seen a cat I didn’t want to pet

sang in front of strangers

enjoyed doing math

used a hammer without swearing

missed my family more than I do now.

PAD 2020 – Day 2

Following the Poetic Asides prompt today, which asked for a “space” poem.  Found it difficult to come up with something cohesive, or even a title. This weird time forces me into a headspace where words don’t come as easily as they might have before. So when they do come, I feel as though they have been hard fought. It gives me appreciation for all the ways creativity works, and doesn’t work. Just another thing this present world is teaching me not to take for granted.

 

 

the space occupied by four bodies

in a small house

for three weeks

in the last gasp of winter

when snow fills

the empty streets

and the only visitor

is the neighbour’s cat

leaving paw prints

on the doorstep

like a calling card

from a more typical time.

 

the space between

the curtains and the window

where sunlight slips in

makes a bright spot

on the floor

like a not-so-subtle reminder

of an outside world

that exists and thrives

in absence of human interaction,

or intervention, where everything

forges on, without dwelling

on the challenge of now.

 

 

curtain