clogyrnach poesy . . . i think

wine, grapes and flower stems
Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge handed us starter dough in the form of improbable statements. After taking a peek at them, I retired to R.L. Brewer’s List of 86 Poetic Forms for Poets, and decided to try my hand at the Welsh poetry form clogyrnach. It seems similar to the limerick – albeit more strict in syllable count. As far as rhyming component – thank god for online resources! And coffee. Lots of coffee. I’m not sure these really work for me — but as first drafts go, I guess they’ll stand. Maybe I’ll revise with wine in hand later. Cheers!
A mouse can’t eat an elephant!
You say to me, so desolate.
Might I inquire,
where is the choir
for hire?

The sun cannot rise in the west!
Our life together was so blessed.
With parallel play
we made our own hay.
Such a fray,
in this nest.

The clock can never strike thirteen,
when fingers sore must shell the peas.
My kitchen burdens --
they will never end;  
now I blend
butter beans.

A circle cannot have corners.
No end in sight for our mourners.
A thorn in my side,
their wails no delight;
Such a blight,
the hoarders.

Little Jack Horner tells no lie.
Stars will forever hold the sky.
Perched on his stool
his thumb a tool
a plum spools
from his pie!

By frozen heart I do abide
to hide away from hue and cry.
Your love was pretend,
your promises bent;
I regret,
pigs can’t fly!


The Perfect Hole

man fishing from a streambank

Child’s Play
filched from robin's beak
a siren song for rainbow trout –
she baits his hook

Anatomize This
flash of thin blade
belly leaks dragonfly nymphs –
her dance of finding 

No Matter. There’s Time. 
boots mired in mud  
hasty cast snags his black ghost –
sun clears the tree-line

Memory Fails
you fish hidden streams –
we are snails on dry land
porters of your dream

Find the Perfect Hole
dream of still days
a daffodil echo in time –
we yearn for pardon

How can life rewrite herself,
when the clock reverses time? 

Today’s NaPoWriMo effort combines multiple prompts into one poem. Day 16 was to focus on play; day 17 to retell a family anecdote. My sibs and I spent a lot of time trout fishing with our dad in Wyoming after our parents divorced. This was play; it was also an affordable source of winter food. My brother still wonders why I didn’t go into biology given my fondness for dissecting trout to find treasure in their bellies. We’d grumble about being porters for dad’s fishing gear and the long days scrambling through bushes, but as adults we have raised our children with a love of the outdoors. Keeping with the fishing theme: for day 18, I selected stanza 10 from a Fishing Haiku post and found a list of barely remembered – or perhaps never known – names for hand-tied flies. Day 19 asked us to write a descriptive paragraph and then cut words to make a poem. Day 21 required a consideration of the narcissism in our lives. I used the call for rebellion for day 20’s prompt as my encouragement to break the haiku sonnet rule. Hope you enjoyed!

I am the Giant of the Great Seas

ships sailing on water
I am the Giant of the Great Seas!
No ship may sail upon these waters.
This task in payment of a debt
given me by heaven-sent

folk who spared my sister’s seed.
I am the Giant of the Great Seas!
By shield and spear I cast you down,
your blood to mix with salted foam,

to keep alive her still unborn.
No ship may sail upon these waters.
I am the Giant of the Great Seas!
My task continues while she strains,

and groans to birth the babe in vain.
Your death gives life to those to come.
Your tears unwept. My promise kept.
I am the Giant of the Great Seas!

Here at the mid-point in NaPoWriMo, the challenge was to write a poem
about a villain in an unfortunate situation who is revealed to be human,
but still evil.  I toodled around the internet looking for a fairy-tale
outside the usual, and found the Adventures of Ciad, Son of the King of
Norway. Then I perused a lengthy list of poetic forms, and tried
my hand at using the quatern to capture the rhythm of the story. Here’s
to the Giant of the Great Seas.

insomnia always has a reason

setting moon with  trees
Nature’s soft nurse, how have I frighted thee,
That thou no more wilt weigh my eyelids down?
2 Henry IV (3.1.8-9)
to sink
she sank --
simple, see?
black silk rippled only once
her rapid descent
a clicking trot --
from flippers
to feathers
and now
to feet;
toes in muck
she strains to walk
the box maze lit  
with golden tea-cups;
at the center
the maître d'
serves her flies
she spits out nails  
that spin like lightening bugs;
she slaps and runs
but can’t escape
midnight moon’s final jest
and with a gasp she comes to wake.
We are such stuff
As dreams are made on. . . 
The Tempest (4.1.168-169)
Day 14 of NaPoWriMo encouraged a bit of dream play. 


a cliché-a-day is how to pay the piper

chair in front of filled bookshelves
ignorance is free
while truth costs 30 silver pence

April showers bring only sludge
that slowly birth the sun’s defense

winter cooks hibernate
their tarnished snores fill the air

ungreased wheels forget to squeak
while crowbars pry up penny nails

he burrows deep beneath the roots 
and grants the cat his flapping tongue

questions hide from prying eyes
and books come in one color

the milk’s so thick it will not spill
the hotcakes mold and shrivel

with hair piled high, she sits alone
trapped by her fun-house image

as slow as eyes snared by insomnia
find your strength in sameness

you only need a single hand
to make our circle straighten

Day 13’s NaPoWriMo challenge asked us to play with “turning cliché’s on their head.”

Voila . . . hope it works!


shorebird cry

Your delight at a new-found surprise went unacknowledged, and so another nail in the coffin of crushed dreams was driven home. But what a delight, filled with choices! Ramble wooded trail or old logging road? Turn shoreline left or shoreline right? Bats arrow inland, on the prowl for evening bugs. Mid-day, seal pups sun. Old owl perches under the fir canopy, waiting for the rush of small feet. Find historical tributes to the displacers and displaced. This is where past, present and future community gathers; and the place you could not bring her.

sunbeam to shadow
tardy feet wander this trail
a shorebird cries

The day 12 NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a haibun about the natural landscape of where we live. Woodard Bay Conservation Area is a gem.

three seeds

flowering branch in early spring
three seeds form
          one to the pop and sizzle of man-made stars above
          one in perfect intent and hope of family, forever formed
          one by a spur-of-the-moment, well-stewed gamble
three seeds sprout
          one uprooted to granite and sky
          two twined together by fear and devotion
          three hopeful buds, long divided
three seeds flower
          one fears the stigma of pollen’s gift
          one longs for pollen’s security     
          one grafts a new bud and seedlings emerge
three seeds mature
          one clings tightly to past joys and tears
          one scorns the common account of years
          one builds up hope, help for posterity

Day 11 NaPoWriMo's prompt inspired a reflection on seeds. Enjoy!


mother’s game

eyes and ears on full alert
for toddler’s tumbled play
able hand whisks eggs in time
to junior’s violin practice
laundry bins hold clothes to mend
the broom waits for a dance
cat is curled by her dish
dog digs up garden’s bed
creamy coffee sits untouched
a nursling nuzzles milk-full breast
she heaves a sigh and softly smiles
with free hand loosens cotton dress . . .
there aren’t enough hours each day
but, still, it’s mother’s game we play

Day 10 NaPoWriMo


enter imagination

where north meets west
and south meets east
and up is down
and flat is round
i stake my heart
i root in ground ~
when little is big
and young grow old
and walls fall down
and glass fractures
i strain to see you
you flee from capture~
when hot is cold
and wet is dry
and soft is hard
and circles line
you gather fruit
from withered vines ~
when smooth is creased
and gold turns grey
i measure time
before we rest
by fluttering wings
trapped in your breast~

Day 9 NaPoWriMo called for  bringing something big and small together.


back to ground

bench on path in rain

let me
in search
of robin’s
in my dreams I sit, send heart and spirit to fly –
the bench

Day 6 NaPoWriMo encouraged us to play adventurously
with line breaks. I started with a writing a tanka and then
played with line breaks; definitely more art than science.


Lofty and Alone

Greetings, fine friends. This is catch-up weekend after falling off the apple cart. Day 5 of NaPoWriMo was a difficult –but ultimately satisfying — challenge to create something similar to the highlighted work in Translucence. Or, in plain talk: find a photo that grabs you, a poem in a foreign language, and react to both . . . so here goes!child with teddy bear walking on gravel roadway

Just as a small child: use your lips to suck salted dew 
drops into the moist cavern of your mouth. In those 
crevices and hidden places, the salt wakens new resolve. 
It is time. Even if you drag your dream by one hand, go 
home to self.


And, here’s the side-by-side with the inspiring poem: THE ONE LOFTY AND ALONE.