The final day! Woot! To anyone who’s been reading my poems, thank you. I write and post these drafts to keep myself on track, but it’s always nice to have the kind eyes of others on them too.
Today I decided to include all three of the prompt sites I’ve been using this month. A bit of a challenge since NaPoWriMo called for a micropoem. Packing more into less. That’s what poetry’s all about in many ways. So I tried to squeeze in the Poetic Asides call for a “stop” poem and the Stroll of Poets “standing in line” prompt.
tourist rest stop
by the rocky mountains
in the bathroom line
i hear “beautiful”
in six languages
The penultimate day of the poem a day challenge! I love the word penultimate. Today’s Stroll of Poets prompt was “room full of secrets” while the Poetic Asides prompt called for a __________ Again poem. Not sure the quickies I wrote really fulfill either prompt that well, but shhhhh….don’t tell.
leaves plotting a quick descent
secrets of autumn
disguised in expensive clothes
fill rooms with secrets
men with ideas
plan a covert whale mission
to harness power
* last one inspired by this kooky news story I read this morning
Never has mixing prompts been so fitting. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem about poetry, while Poetic Asides suggested “re-mixing” a poem or poems that have been penned earlier this month. I mined the poems from earlier days for words or phrases, then blended them into this.
Uncovering a Poem
It’s there to be found when it’s time,
but it means digging.
Poking at dreams wanting to be left undisturbed.
Peeking over the gate to see what’s growing.
Snaking the imagination, back — to gather traces of memory,
forward — to plant something new. Words, the closest ones to you,
unshared, but there like family. Reflections, imprints,
the bark of a tree, texture revealed
when it’s rubbed with a pencil.
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a poem that uses repetition, while Poetic Asides suggested writing something about “evening”. Here’s what came out of the mix:
faster the less you pay attention,
like everything that slips in unnoticed. Silver inch of growth
in the part of your hair, shimmery skin cells sealing a wound,
lines on the face memorializing every frown or smile.
solemnly when you are not listening,
whispers of gold and pink asking you to let go
of fulgent preoccupations. A coolness in the gloaming,
offering calm restoration.
steadily no matter how much you long for pause,
reliable reminder of all you cannot, should not control.
Winds calm, stars test the sky with the first pricks of light,
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.