PAD 2020 – Day 18

Late getting to the writing today! I decided to use the prompt provided my my local Stroll of Poets group calling for a “happy to hear” poem.

 

wish you could hear

 

the gentle hush of one book page closing against another

a sunflower sprout’s first push through dirt

your finger brushing across the skin of my wrist

the harmonic tremor before a volcano erupts

a snowflake falling on my woolen mitten

a monarch landing on a marigold

the other butterflies you make stir in my belly

 

selective focus photography of queen butterfly pollinating on orange petaled flower

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PAD 2020 – Day 17

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem that features forgotten technology. I immediately thought of the cassette tapes of my youth. I still have some kicking around, with absolutely nothing to play them on.

 

Mixtape

 

Plan ahead. Write out the songs, then make your shortlist.

Abandon any that are too similar. Too off vibe. Think about

the mood you want, from start to finish. Each melody its own

chord in the brand-new track that is this mixtape. Start loud,

heavy, something to get the blood flowing and the ears perked.

Massage in the slow jams for aural relief, but don’t put ‘em to sleep.

Find a story and tell it. Think of your audience, always. Let ‘em feel

what you feel when you press play, when you hit the high notes,

when you belt out the chorus with your eyes closed. Dedicate it —

this passion project made of plastic and magnetic tape. Grab a good pen

and write out the track list. The start times too, if you’re really in love.

Draw a heart on the paper insert. Put their name inside. Use your best stickers.

 

close up photo of cassette tapes

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PAD 2020 – Day 15

Two weeks down! This is usually about the point in my poetry month, poem-a-day challenge that I lose some steam. I think it’s true this year too, but the fact that I’m halfway there, and haven’t (completely) run out of motivation yet is something to celebrate.

Today’s poem combines the NaPoWriMo prompt asking for a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music, with the Poetic Asides call for a “dream” poem. My favourite kind of music is definitely rock, which has apparently been true my whole life. I don’t actually like KISS as much as I did when I was wee, but I always appreciate a good guitar shred and anyone who puts it all out there on stage. There are many days when I dream of having that kind of talent and confidence.

 

I Wanna Rock N Roll

 

At age 3, my obsession was KIϟϟ.

Maybe it was the make-up,

or should I blame it on guitar riffs?

I don’t remember,

but my older siblings like to tell stories

of me trying to sing I Was Made For Lovin’ You

in my screechy, toddler voice.

I like to imagine

I did air guitar too.

I like to imagine

that even as a small child,

I dreamed

of being on a stage, leather-clad, breathing fire,

spitting blood, shooting rockets, blasting pyro

making drum kits rise off the stage like dark magic.

I like to imagine

that even though the drudgery of life,

all those inevitable responsibilities,

have tempered and tamed my inner rock star,

I hear my song and it pulls me through. *

 

*Last line is a lyric from “Detroit Rock City”

 

Kiss

 

 

PAD 2020 – Day 14

A bit pressed for time today, which means I’ve gone with a compressed poem in my attempt to hit two prompts in one. I combined the NaPoWriMo challenge to write a poem that deals with the poems, poets, and other people who inspired you to write poems, with the Poetic Asides call for a form or anti-form poem. One of my favourite forms is the haiku or senryu, and of course that means appreciating the work of 17th-century haiku master Bashō. Since this is hardly a traditional haiku, maybe I have written an anti-form poem after all?

 

Bashō I am not

but I echo in honour

of his superb form

close up photography of cherry blossom tree

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PAD 2020 – Day 13

Followed the NaPoWriMo prompt today to compose a sort of non-apology for things you’ve stolen. Came up with a short and silly list poem.

 

I’m no thief, but look closely and you’ll find

 

several spoons not native to my cutlery collection nestled in a kitchen drawer

my secret stash of candy, looted from my daughters’ Halloween buckets

two horror novels once lent to me by a person I no longer wish to talk to

socks my aunt let me borrow last Christmas — oh so cozy, so I’ll consider them a gift

quotes nicked from popular films, strategically doled out when I think I’ll get a laugh

a handful of pens from my former employer

a few small notebooks from that same employer (what writer can resist a notebook?)

a stolen moment up against the fridge while the kids played in the next room

these final words, pinched from Eminem’s lips:

                    No apologies! Nah, suckers, I’m not sorry

 

blur close up coffee coffee cup

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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 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 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 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.