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.

 

 

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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

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.

PAD 2019 – Day 20

Sometimes the prompts align seamlessly. Today’s Stroll of Poets prompt called for an “unknowable” poem, while Poetic Asides suggested poems having anything to do with “dark.”  Infinite possibilities, but this is what sparked in my brain.

Unknowable Darkness

 

Staring at the night sky, December, north of the 52nd parallel, fixate

not on every glimmering point of light, but the blackness that holds them.

Face bit by the kind of cold that reminds you you’re alive.

That distracts you from the impenetrable idea  of infinity.

Even darkness, silence have their wonders, but grasping them seems

impossible. Too much for an earthbound body to bear.

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.

 

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.

NaPoWriMo – Day 30

It’s the final day of this year’s poem-a-day challenge, and as always I feel simultaneously tired and invigorated. Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt asked for a poem inspired by a strange fact or historical nugget, while the Poetic Asides final prompt of the month asked for a coming-to-an-end poem. With a little internet exploring of weird facts and Wikipedia pages, I combined the two prompts to make this:

I get it, Frederic Baur

I’m learning
this strange fact ten years after
your death. That you, inventor of
the Pringles potato chip tube, asked
your family to put your ashes in one.
What flavour once lived in there
before you? Was it the bright red one,
iconic, yet housing the ho-hum plain?
Was it the green sour cream and onion,
a peppy shade to brighten up the
evermore? Were you paid well
for your ingenuity, your creativity,
your push to try something new
with the tried and true? Perhaps it’s
warped of me, yes, to think that once
you popped and now you’ve stopped,
but I can tell you this, Mr. Baur, organic
chemist turned food product sage:
I will never again gaze at that cylinder
of salty snacks without thinking of this
outlandish fact, and how  all of us just want
what’s left kept in what remains.

NaPoWriMo – Day 29

For the penultimate day of National Poetry Month, I used the NaPoWriMo.net prompt to write a response to a Sylvia Plath poem. Mine is not so much a response, as a stream of consciousness something-or-other that came from the line “Where do the black trees go that drink here?” from Plath’s poem “Crossing the Water.”

Image result for image bare branches

Black Trees

In a gift shop, I tell my friend about my recent obsession with bare branches.

I want to possess them in paintings, necklaces, a metal wall sculpture.
It’s the bud of spring here, and the trees are betraying this admiration.
Abandoning their minimalist life for something with more promise.
The birds, of course, rejoice, but it’s harder to see them in an elm, full plumage.
Harder to watch the small red chest of the robin shrink and puff just before he offers his melodic warble.
I imagine the solitude of a forest, fresh from a fire. Destroyer, perhaps, but purifier too.

It takes years before those charred, naked sticks are overtaken by new growth.

So many years, I could forget how to drink that stark beauty.