PAD 2021 – Day 4

The NaPoWriMo prompt for today asked poets to scroll through the photos posted on the Liminal Spaces Twitter feed and choose one to write about. There are many interesting and strange photos there, but this is one that sparked something for me.

Afterhours Mall

It’s a space reserved for
fashionable ghosts materializing
to try on Ray Bans,
lost children who never 
made it to the information
booth and withered at the 
bottom of a bin 
of glass-eyed teddy bears
as big as their fathers, 
trapped spirits of 
teens who’ve huddled together
like matched penguins 
outside a GAP
to protect themselves
from a cold wind of
or still-warm apocalypse bodies,
seeking security and supplies
in a place that has everything, 
neatly hung and shelved 
for accessible looting
and long, open paths, with
unobscured visibility 
as they scramble from one end
to the next to escape 
a tenacious,
undead horde.

PAD 2020 – Day 8

Today’s attempt is another prompt two-for-one, combining the Poetic Asides call for a “future” poem, with the NaPoWriMo challenge to use a line, a phrase or word from a Twitter poetry bot as inspiration for a new poem. I used the pinned Tweet from @SylviaPlathBot, which just seemed to mesh perfectly with a future prompt and my own actively anxious state of mind.


It starts with a line from a Syliva Plath


I am not ready for anything to happen

yet I feel like I’ve been preparing my entire life.

Have you? We’re in this together, whether we like it

or not, but we didn’t walk the same path to get here.

We haven’t compared exit strategies. Worry

is a cruel teacher. Makes you a master of stasis,

mulling every kind of future, gluing yourself

to some version of a past. So little left for now.

If you can, imagine the frigid waters of a murky river

— one you will need to get across —

but that current, so tenacious.

Rabid dog crush of water that will not release you

from its teeth. I confess, since this started with her,

that I’m having a hard time remembering the shore.

Can you? Do you see it? Are the poplars still there?

The grassy cliffs? That spot where the mallards

gather in spring? Tell me it’s all still the same,

that nothing has or will happen. Tell me our limbs

will never tire from treading all this water.