PAD 2020 – Day 27

Today’s Stroll of Poets prompt asked for an “altered state” poem. Not surprisingly, my busier-than-usual mind went to a place of questioning and worry.

 

BrainWhys

 

Therapist says

You rely too heavily on the ordinary mind.

 

As though I possess a back-up, extraordinary mind,

tucked in my purse, or hidden somewhere inside me.

Leftover brain of a vanishing twin.

 

But I curb that bit of sarcasm.

I’m paying to listen, receive, as well as talk.

In the ordinary mind, she continues, we can become stuck,

ignoring the usefulness of

           altered states, like mindfulness.

 

A non-verbal mode. Just here.

 

Leaving the present

at that very moment,

against all advice, I wonder

 

why we’ve become hard-wired to think

in ways that so often erode our happiness?

Why just being is something we need to be taught,

prodded into practicing?

Why does “consciousness” sound like

“constant mess”?

Why does my ordinary mind

have so many damn questions?

 

brain

 

 

 

 

PAD 2020 – Day 26

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was an interesting one, and could prove fruitful on days when I have more time. Still working on my draft for the CV2 2-Day poem contest, so the daily April poem is taking a bit of a backseat. But I did a little experimenting with the prompt, which asks writers to fill out an almanac entry for the day, then use it as a springboard for the poem. The almanac questions are listed above the poem, with my responses. Then the short poem I wrote below. Obviously I didn’t put all the responses in there, but it still ended up a little everything-but-the-kitchen-sinky.

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather: Crazy wind

Flora: tulips braving spring; blowing trees

Architecture: Bungalows

Customs: coffee; toast; news; try to write; more coffee

Mammals/reptiles/fish: 2 cats, 4 humans; a hurried house spider I met in the laundry room

Childhood dream: to be a teacher

Found on the Street: winter’s leftover grime

Export: grief – get it outta here

Graffiti: my daughters’ sidewalk chalk drawings

Lover: Thankfully, yes

Conspiracy: only my own self-sabotaging procrastination

Dress: black leggings and a Fight Evil With Poetry tee

Hometown memory: walking by the weir

Notable person: Justin Trudeau

Outside your window, you find: kids’ toys tossed about

Today’s news headline: Don’t rely on herd immunity to reopen economy: Tam

Scrap from a letter:doing better than expected…

Animal from a myth: unicorn

Story read to children at night: Charlotte’s Web

You walk three minutes down an alley and you find: a broken wine bottle; daffodils sneaking through fence boards

You walk to the border and hear: silence

What you fear: something happening to my kids

Picture on your city’s postcard: Broadmoor Lake

 

 

Whether Outside

 

Steady roar of wind, like the din of a moving ocean.

Out the window I see trees arced like waves, a loose strand

of Christmas lights left on the neighbour’s bungalow flapping against the roof.

I’d like to ask this belligerent wind whether it could carry my grief and anxiety away

with the clouds of street dust. Toss it around like my daughter’s pail of sidewalk chalk.

Clear my brain of all this worry rubble, thoughts mulled and twisted so often they’ve turned

to pebbles. The kind that find their way into your sandals when you walk down the alley,

searching for defiant tulips and daffodils who’ve snuck through fence boards. The kind that

distract you so much, you wonder whether you’ll ever see those flowers blooming again.

 

abstract background close up construction

Photo by Photo Collections on Pexels.com

PAD 2020 – Day 10

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt called for a hay(na)ku, which is a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. I decided to  chain several together into a longer hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that poet Vince Gotera invented during 2012’s NaPoWriMo.

 

planning the day – a hay(na)ku sonnet

 

wanting

to wake

with less worry

 

hunting

good news

like Easter eggs

 

finding

big numbers

in brief headlines

 

baking

sweet buns

is some distraction

 

hoping spirits rise

like this dough

 

buns

NaPoWriMo – Day 9

Today I tried to combine the NaPoWriMo.net  prompt to write a poem in which something big and something small come together, with the Poetic Asides prompt calling for a “Battle __________ ” poem. Took a conversation with my Dad as inspiration, and used the writing to help tame my own burgeoning worry.

Battle the Weather

 

Morning phone call.

You start with the temperature,

-5 still, but better than yesterday. Supposed to

be in the pluses again by the weekend.

This damn province.

 

Then you give me the real headline,

preface of Don’t worry, but…

 

It could be nothing. Seeing the doctor tomorrow.

Probably lots of tests. We’ll know when we know.

 

I parrot it back, you don’t worry either.

Child counseling parent, or maybe

both of us

just saying what’s said. Rote words.

Learned eventually.

 

But I know

how even a small worries

bloat so big

fueled by the constant hot puff of

whatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatifwhatif

 

Mine’s already growing. I feel it,

hollow balloon in the chest, rising.

Little brain ember, taking hold,

starting a fire that will keep me burning

all night long, working to throw

drops of reason

on a fear inferno.

 

But hope builds too, or can.

In quiet places. The same spot

softened each day with silence.

Faith flourished, not with expected words

like Don’t worry, but with something true

and lived.

Remember six years ago, Dad,

leaving the hospital? December.

-31 with the wind chill.

You told me the sky

looked too blue to be that cold.

Damn this province! If the cancer didn’t kill me

this weather surely will.

But I saw you take a breath, deep,

zing of cold filling your lungs.

You shut your eyes and smiled.

 

November PAD – Day 22

Today’s prompt asked for a ____ Day poem. All I could think of was “A Day”, and what a day it was, it was.

22.

A day seems so long when the sun’s still on its way, the coffee is hot, and you can almost see the blank hours ahead, like a long country road in summer. I was travel ready this morning, prepared and packed, motivation easy to reach in a mental carry on. How quick it all runs off course, when the phone rings, and crisis, small but real, is on the line. A different city, too far away to help, but close enough to think I should be helping. Somehow. The day is no longer enlarged by possibility, but crushed by those pointless words — wish and worry.