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.
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
on the growing soul.
Primal instruments — the drum, the heart.
Soundtrack to battle, to rally, to rise.
Thrum of liberation, running through
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem that “doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.” I tried to meld that with the Poetic Asides call for a “sketch” poem. Played around with spacing a bit in this one too, which I don’t often do.
Every rough draft is a sketch
a scribble of words dashing
across a page hummingbird thoughts
flitting, then caught inkblot memory
what does it mean and does it mean something
Adumbration is another way to say
outlined in shadow scratched with
a lead point snake imagination
wriggling, toward something draw a line
from one star to the next with your finger
string of light connecting
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.
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.
Mixing the Poetic Asides call for a “license” poem with NaPoWriMo’s suggestion to write an abecedarian poem. (Something I’ve never done before…which is likely painfully obvious).
PAD 2019 – Day 19
Always, bearing certain disaster,
everything finds great happiness.
I just kissed lovely morning.
New order perfecting quiet rights.
Still trees — ulmus, verbena, walnut,
eXhalted yellowbark. Zinging.
A little tired today. A little pressed for time. A little stressed. So I was happy to see the Poetic Asides prompt asking for a “Little ______ ” poem. Admittedly, this one was penned with little effort, but it did inspire me to listen to Fleetwood Mac while I work.
Fleetwood Mac called them sweet.
Sometimes I think it’s true.
There are truths no one can bear.
Souls who know
sometimes the real gift
are the words we don’t share.
A short one today because I’m busy, and also disheartened about the results of the election in my province. Want to stay optimistic about the future, both the social and environmental aspects of it, but some days that’s hard.
The NaPoWriMo prompt asked for a poem that presents a scene from an unusual point of view, like a rainstorm from a raindrop’s viewpoint. My take didn’t have that potential for beauty, but it was fun to write in the midst of my political wound-licking.
Comment From The Platform
I’ve propped you up for months
in rhetorical fashion,
and you stood on me last night
to declare your plans and passion.
Please don’t blame me,
when your lies are exposed
and the support goes a’crashin.
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.