PAD 2019 – Day 16

Working off the Poetic Asides prompt asking for a catch and/or release poem, and my local Stroll of Poets call to write a poem more about sound than meaning.

 

The Frequency of Calm

 

In. Out. In. Out.

As though it were that simple.

As though thinking doesn’t complicate even this.

 

Chase away the panic.

Catch the breath. Hold. Release.

 

Draw it in with a rush, flurry, gulp.

Let it out with a hush, whisper, sigh.

 

Draw, draw, aww, aww, awe

for this. Now.

Hold , hold, whole, whole, hole

of worry. Fade.

Let go, let go, here, here, hear

the whisper. Still.

 

Vibrato hum. Hum. Hum.

Om. Om. Om.

 

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PAD 2019 – Day 15

My province goes to the polls tomorrow. There seems to be so much riding on this election, and though it was a short campaign, I am sick of it. The anticipation. The punditry. Want the results so the band-aid comes off, and I can deal with whatever sore remains. All of this on my mind today as I read the Poetic Asides call to write a “prediction” poem.

 

I Predict A Riot*

 

One day until the election.

I’ve stopped reading poll results,

stopped making mental counts of

the election signs in my neighbourhood.

Stopped listening to reporters, pundits, soothsayers.

Who was it that said that the wisest among us

are usually silent?

 

I put on music instead. Brit rock.

Not London Calling, but somewhere familiar.

Somewhere where they understand the frustration

of the common masses, tired of what really trickles down.

But this song is so bouncy,

makes me want to shake it, not revolt.

On a day like today — cool, grey,

trees still stark and stiff from winter,

I could use a dance infusion.

Want to be moved to move

and not strain my thoughts

about why people believe what they do.

Why money is more valuable than care.

Why I still tell my kids to behave, be responsible

when what the world needs now

is lassies and lads getting lairy, sweet lairy.

 

* with thanks to Kaiser Chiefs for the title and the inspiration

 

PAD 2019 – Day 14

Decided to write something way different than I usually do by trying out the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem that incorporates homophones, homographs, and homonyms, or otherwise makes productive use of English’s ridiculously complex spelling rules and opportunities for mis-hearings and mis-readings. Tossed in a witch for good measure.

 

How to Dress For a Ball

 

“A ball!” she bawled, “I’ve never been allowed!”

“Why’ve those princes and princesses

asked this old maid now?”

She wondered aloud, “is it for naughty or nice?”

“A trick or a trap, a mistaken invite?”

Why they want her as guest is anyone’s guess,

if their kindness is a phase, meant to faze her

she will redress.

 

A witch has a role which shouldn’t be lessened,

if she agrees to go it will be to teach them a lesson.

Roll out the carpet for this crone

if you must, but do not groan when

she’s grown from a quean to a queen

in a gown and a crown.

 

She can sew so-so, but magic is best.

They’ll reap what they sow and likely say “Frack!”

when she wears her new frock, a truly bewitching dress.

To truly be seen she must make a scene,

a dye to cause dying hidden right in the seams.

“I’ll sidle up to their sides, rub the poisoned dress on their skins,”

“Too evil? ” she sighed, then wickedly grinned.

 

It had been their main game for forty-three years,

those tow-headed royals with their silky smooth manes,

to call her a toad, laugh at her green skin and beard.

They wanted her there to be the brute of the ball,

but the fate of this fête wouldn’t be up to them at all.

 

So she said a spell for her garb, made two fancy shoes too,

Looked in the mirror and nearly squawked “boo!”

A startling sight, at this site under full moon.

Who was this person, now beauty not crone?

Perhaps she’d keep this fine form

when she’d thrown them all from the throne.

PAD 2019 – Day 13

I was super excited to see today’s NaPoWriMo challenge asking for a “spooky” poem in honour of the 13th day! I decided to mix it with the Poetic Asides call for a poem about a “view.” The combination easily brought to mind a creepy family story that I begged to hear over and over again when I was a child.

 

From The Kitchen Window

 

Every family has their ghost stories.

My parents often talked about their first house together.

Haunted, said my Mom. Rundown, said my dad.

Cold breezes in the middle of rooms,

creaking and clacking from the attic when they tried to sleep,

and that feeling Mom couldn’t quell,  an unexplainable, eerie

presence hovering behind her whenever she stood at the kitchen sink.

 

She’d stare out the window while she washed vegetables or dishes,

focusing on how quickly the neighbour’s sunflowers grew, watching

kids play ball hockey on the road, waiting for my Dad to pull up

in his Chevy, come inside for supper, ask her about her day.

Waiting for him to convince her of her own vivid imagination.

 

Then the day they returned after two weeks away.

Pulled up to see a lawn in need of trimming, newspapers stacked on the step,

a few puddles offering proof of recent rain.

When their eyes seemed lured toward that square kitchen window,

they saw the curtains pulled back by some unseen hand,

then a swish of movement as the curtains quickly fell closed.

You had to have seen that, Mom said, frightened but relieved to have something

not reasoned away by a trick of the eye, old pipes, or a brain set spinning by loneliness.

I did, Dad replied, voice nearly a whisper.

Guess it was wondering when we’d finally be home.

PAD 2019 – Day 12

Uniting two prompts again today — Poetic Asides call to write a “The Art of _____” poem, and NaPoWriMo‘s suggestion to write a poem about a dull thing.

The Art of Polishing

 

the dull spoon at the front of the drawer is begging for it

luster lacking, spots of corrosion

this spoon has seen some things.

 

spit shine won’t work or it’d be gleaming

all the times it’s entered someone’s mouth

it needs a rub, a good honing,  friction, baby.

 

a vigorous reminder

that there’s silver vitality, a sexy sheen

hiding under layers of grey experience.

PAD 2019 – Day 11

Another prompt mix, taking the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem of emotional, physical or geographical origin, and the Poetic Asides call for a dedication poem.

 For All The Feline Confidantes

 

In the smallest bedroom

with the brightest carpet

I remember sunlight waking me

before I was supposed to leave my bed.

Then by the squeak of a door, left open a crack

to tame the night dark, I knew our black cat,

had entered to offer a morning greeting.

 

Strange to say a cat could be your first real friend,

but there he was — my playmate, consoler, the best listener.

On nights when my parents’ arguing spilled under closed doors,

their raised voices disturbing so much more than my sleep,

the cat’s warm body, steady purr, comforting me.

 

This morning I find my daughter, damp-eyed and tense,

running over worst case scenarios about a spelling test she thinks she’ll fail,

a friend who doesn’t seem to like her anymore, whether she’ll have time

to practice her drums well enough before her next lesson.

Big worries wracking a small body.

My  words of reassurance interrupted by our grey cat, pushing into the room,

jumping on her bed and curling up on her belly. She asks me to leave,

tells me she’ll be out in a minute, and as I close the door, I see her lean over,

whisper into his ear. Grateful she has a safe soul to help carry her fears.

PAD 2019 – Day 10

Today I am dealing with a computer crash and trying to recover lost  writing and info, so the poem is a bit of a quick dash. I used the NaPoWriMo prompt to write a poem incorporating a regional or personal weather term, and added in the Poetic Asides call for a “lone” poem.

 

Orphan Cloud

 

Lone puff of white in a summer sky,

I asked my Mom where are all the other clouds?

She said it was an orphan cloud,

solo and strong,

not lost, but exploring

the big blue,

just as we all do.

PAD 2019 – Day 9

Writing about love is hard, isn’t it? Especially when you’re not really the romantic type. So here’s my attempted response to today’s “love or anti-love” prompt from Poetic Asides.

The Non-Romantic Defines Romantic

 

adjective

conducive to or characterized by the expression of love

noun

a person with romantic beliefs or attitudes.

 

By definition then, who isn’t this? Who hasn’t

felt this?  Only monsters  unwilling to consider

the way the features of the person most desired

adopt a kind of supernatural glow at sunset.

Or the way electrical impulses of the heart disrupt

when the person most desired brushes their hand

against your thigh. Or the way hunger of the belly

dissipates when thoughts stutter over the person

most desired and  hunger of the soul takes over.

Or the way the voice of the person most desired

becomes the most pleasing vibration to pass through

the inner ear. Or the way scribes of every language,

every age, have fumbled for millennia to write a single

phrase that can capture the emotion stirred when the

person most desired looks at you and moves their

mouth into that gratifying shape known as a smile.

PAD 2019 – Day 8

Today I mixed up prompts by accidentally reading the Poetic Asides call for a “lucky number” poem as simply a “luck” poem. I mashed in my local Stroll of Poets prompt for “a good day” poem, and this is what popped out.

 

A Good Day

 

A good day starts

by believing luck is on your side.

That fortune’s picked a favourite.

That you were born under a good sign.

That some resident of Heaven is smiling upon you.

A good day starts

the night before, when you spot the flash of light

blitzing through the dark. The shooting star

Ptolemy said, is an assurance that the Gods

are paying attention.

A good day starts

by spying a four-leaf clover, stroking a rabbit’s foot

rolling a seven, having a ladybug land on your shoulder.

By recognizing all these things as happy accidents

and still  feeling worthy of your own happiness.

PAD 2019 – Day 7

Pulling another prompt two-for with Poetic Asides call for a “jealous” poem, and the NaPoWriMo suggestion to write a poem about “gifts and joy.”

On three hours of sleep

 

How jealous am I of the gifts a sunrise offers?

I’m green like the grass, wishing I could rise so triumphantly.

No birdsong in my croaky first words.

No glisten of dew around my puffy eyes.

Yet I awake to a home zinging with energy,

the rhythm of quick footsteps, uncontained giggles,

and a cat willing to exchange a nuzzle

for the sound of a can opening.

I’m envious of the Sunday morning slumberers,

shrouded in warm quilts and undisturbed dreams.

But I am here. Now. Doing. Experiencing.

Reminding myself that present is a wonderfully loaded word.