Usually April is my favourite month, but with everything going on in the world, I fear it’s going to be an especially worrying and trying 30 days. But poetry has always been my balm against the harshness of the world, and a way to work through fears, grief and other hard emotions. I’ve been feeling so uninspired to write anything lately, but I’m hoping to use this month, and the daily prompts for the NaPoWriMo challenge, to get me back into writing practice. I may not post every day, but I will certainly do my best to write every day. Part of what I’ve always loved about this poem-a-day challenge is that it pushes me to write in styles or forms I don’t usually try, and about subjects I might otherwise never think of. While in the past I’ve thought of this as simply a good creative starter, this year I think it will be a good distraction too.
Wanna read, write, and create along with me? There’s no time like the present. I think the world is doing a good job of teaching us all that lesson right now.
The NaPoWriMo early-bird prompt is to write a poem about a favourite bird. So here’s my attempt to incorporate that topic with Ginsburg’s poetic style, the American Sentence. A little like a haiku, with seventeen syllables spread out over one poetic sentence. I’ve never written one of these before, but like I just said above, there’s no time like the present.
Two magpies squawk for bread, unaware I’ve got rationing on the brain.
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
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.
A few months ago I stumbled upon this great haiku contest sponsored by Whole Life Soaps. Write a haiku for a chance to have your words printed on a line of soaps! How cool! Poetry in the shower, baby!
Well my words won’t be washing anyone this year, I was so pleased to see that I cracked the top 15 out of 500 entries, which earned me an honourable mention.
This is my poem:
in a stranger’s bathroom
To see the other honourable mentions, runner up, and the excellent winning poem, check out the Soap Blog here.
If my writing had to talk about itself, it’d probably tear up a little, then confess that it often feels lonely and neglected. I always want to spend time with it, but it usually gets the shaft in favour of family and other job obligations. But I really do love it, I love who I am when I’m with it, and I make time for it when I can. In the past year I’ve realized if I want it to thrive, I have to give it extra special attention.
Last fall, I applied as an apprentice in the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Mentorship Program and was surprised and excited to find out that I’d been chosen . I was even more delighted to find out that I’d been matched with Sue Sinclair, an accomplished Canadian poet that I admire very much.
In those unseasonably warm October days, January seemed really far away. Oh, the plans I had to get a jump on my project! The words I would write, revise, and even polish to a shine. Then I blinked, or sneezed, or something, and here it is — the first day of the program. Unfortunately, some of the poems I’ve written are still looking a bit dull. And many others are just chilling out in my head, waiting their turn to see the light.
No jump start, but heaps of enthusiasm. I have a plan, a schedule and motivation. I have a mentor that I am thrilled to work with, and am part of a Guild that had enough faith in my writing to give me this opportunity. Over the next four months, my writing will get the attention it’s been craving. Now, in the immortal words. of Kool Moe Dee, “I go to work.”
I’m thrilled that the online literary and art journal Ekphrastic will feature two of my Monet poems this week, “Camille, at the end” and “Monet, in colour”.
Ekphrastic is an interesting new venture from Canadian writer and visual artist Lorette C. Luzajic. Take some time to check it out, and consider contributing. Great art breeds more great art!