PAD 2020 – Day 2

Following the Poetic Asides prompt today, which asked for a “space” poem.  Found it difficult to come up with something cohesive, or even a title. This weird time forces me into a headspace where words don’t come as easily as they might have before. So when they do come, I feel as though they have been hard fought. It gives me appreciation for all the ways creativity works, and doesn’t work. Just another thing this present world is teaching me not to take for granted.

 

 

the space occupied by four bodies

in a small house

for three weeks

in the last gasp of winter

when snow fills

the empty streets

and the only visitor

is the neighbour’s cat

leaving paw prints

on the doorstep

like a calling card

from a more typical time.

 

the space between

the curtains and the window

where sunlight slips in

makes a bright spot

on the floor

like a not-so-subtle reminder

of an outside world

that exists and thrives

in absence of human interaction,

or intervention, where everything

forges on, without dwelling

on the challenge of now.

 

 

curtain

PAD 2020 – Day 1

Today’s draft combines the NaPoWriMo prompt asking for a self-portrait poem written through an action, with the Poetic Asides prompt calling for a “new world” poem.

 

Grocery Shopping in the New World

 

The future used to seem limitless

but now I can’t see past 14 days.

Two-week wait for online grocery delivery.

We have the essentials

but I indulgently crave bananas.

Is it worth braving the snow, the microbes,

the condemning looks of neighbours

as they peek out from their blinds?

I poll everyone for their needs, wants

and substitutes. Who knows which shelves

will be empty today? I add yeast to the list.

Creating a sourdough starter is an act of faith

I never needed until now.

I clear and disinfect a counter. Order everyone

to treat it like a surgery table. Do not touch.

When I return, laden with bags and worry,

I need a safe spot for cleaning. To sanitize

everything from out there before we use it

in here. Wipe boxes, scrub cans, bathe

fresh produce in a soapy sink, like I did my babies.

When I return, I’ll throw my gloves and mask

in the garbage bin. Leave my boots at the door.

Strip and carry my sullied clothes down to the laundry room.

Wash my hands, I’ve lost count how many times today.

Clean everything I think I touched.

When I return, I won’t answer my kids when they

ask me how it was. Craving some taste of the

outside world more than the chocolate ice cream

they’re watching me unload from the bag.

How can I tell them that no one smiles, not

even the ones without masks? That no one even

makes eye contact? That store aisles now

islands of solitude — only one person at a time

may survey soup selections. That every product

selection comes with risk mitigation. Strategy.

Can I reach that box of cereal at the back

without touching any others?

How long

can we last

without touching?

 

grocery cart with item

Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com

 

 

PAD 2019 – Day 30

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

 

cradled

by the rocky mountains

 

in the bathroom line

 

i hear “beautiful”

in six languages

 

 

PAD 2019 – Day 29

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.

 

whispering again

leaves plotting a quick descent

secrets of autumn

 

 

powerful people

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

 

 

PAD 2019 – Day 28

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.

PAD 2019 – Day 27

Blending today’s Poetic Asides call for a “direction” poem with the Stroll of Poets prompt, “where the heart beats.”

 

Behind the sternum

 

is where the heart beats

in the most literal sense,

but also wherever it is that you

are closest to me.

 

It all comes down to impulses,

electric and erotic.

The zap of every kiss.

 

How fitting that it’s

about the size of a fist,

because of the punch I feel,

the pow, right in the chest

when I look at you,

remembering you’ve

chosen me.

 

PAD 2019 – Day 26

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:

Evenfall

 

Evening comes

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.

 

Evening comes

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.

 

Evening comes

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,

darkness readies.

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.

 

 

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 21

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.

 

Depiction

 

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

completely different

to you?

 

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

us all.