If you unlock your hell for me with just a gentle twist of key won't I rise with holy wind in my sails? Long soiled hands can wipe away the soot and rain from our cracked mirror if you unlock your hell for me. What if together we nursed new life into toothless dreams held captive? Won't I rise with holy wind in my sails? But fair is fair and our tête-à-tête requires for you, a key from me! But only if you unlock your hell for me. Is pride our worst sin? Or is it greed? If I unshackle you and you free me, won't I rise with holy wind in my sails? It’s a curious thing how rising flame can promise birth, a new-found spring. If you unlock your hell for me, won't I rise with holy wind in my sails?
I hope the sparrow who greets this new day sings of shooting stars and the rising sun sings of leaving home and choosing to stay sings of dew and spider webs freshly spun. I hope the cricket who has fallen mute finds shelter in leaves that litter the ground finds shelter in bark or under a root finds shelter beneath a granite cold bed. I hope the red fox who creeps through brown fern can avoid the hunter who lives next door can avoid the bloodhound’s eager concern can avoid the grey mouse’s bloated form. I hope the green day brings with it fresh eyes to chase away the dreams black from this night.
First, the glint became the spark became the seed.
Who knew eyes could still dream?
Second, the seed grew like a weed and crowded out hopes and forgotten dreams.
Who knew resentment ground wheat in paired stones?
Third, the weed, once a seed, was plucked from a garden now littered with debris.
Who knew Uriel would forever bar the gate back home?
Fourth, the weed, now a scrub tree, fights to send roots deep under fault lines.
Who knew seismic energy was just one danger?
Fifth, the scrub tree shades a bloom, yet unformed.
Who knew a scrub tree could foster new life?
Sixth, the scrub tree sheds its leaves to fertilize soil for the new seed.
Who knew the pearl of great price grows only from sacrifice?
Seventh, the scrub tree is chopped and well-seasoned.
Who knew that in dying, life still lights a fire?
The day 2 prompt for NaPoWriMo challenged us to pose questions in a natural setting, inviting the reader “continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem.” This seemed like a no-brainer for haiku or tanka. Enjoy!
Welcome to NaPoWriMo 2019! The first prompt asked us provide the reader with instructions. I wish I had a better grasp on these instructions when I was a parent — the saving grace is that I can practice slowing down as a grandparent! The poetry form I used is a French form, known as a “lai” which is a nine-line poem in an aabaabaab pattern. “A” lines get 5 syllables; “B” lines get 2 syllables.
Today’s final NaPoWriMo challenge asked participants to “write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact.” Enter Atlas Obscura with the “bridge to nowhere” in Dunbar, Scotland. As the article suggests, it does provide grist for the grind mill of imagination . . . or at least the opportunity to question how nowhere and somewhere are defined. Enjoy!
How do you stand alone and free? ~dance with me How do we cross the great divide? ~side by side How do you soar when others float? ~of wings we boast Look you! From pillar to post, from sea to sea and land to land from my mouth to your tiny hand: dance with me side by side--of wings we boast!
NaPoWriMo Day 29 challenged us to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. I selected Ariel, and decided to experiment with the ovillejo poetry form, popularized by Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616). The ovillejo is a 10-line poem comprised of 3 rhyming couplets (or 2-line stanzas) and a quatrain (or 4-line stanza).
Wish you were here? Yesterday was wet. 30 degrees difference in the air. Jane still wears flip-flops. She doesn’t care. We wander Olympia’s streets; sip wine, snack, fondle old works of art. A few pink blossoms cling to trees, still barren of leaves. The men in blue are everywhere to be seen. Ah, Arts Walk: clarion call to embrace a divided community. It starts with an all-skate: pick up litter, shovel feces, scrub off graffiti but no amount of scrubbing covers up years of poor planning, of devil-may-care-go-stick-a-gun-in-your-ear-and-pull-the-trigger-already-and-why-in-gods-name-are-you-still-here? Jane and I sidle past a cast-off stray with a staked claim to an empty doorway. He pokes accusing toes at us through torn wool socks and ragged duct tape. They lost the good fight. We step under the lintel next door, into warmth and light and another glass of blood-red wine.
NaPoWriMo Day 28 challenged us to write a prose poem in the form/style of a postcard. After a few muddled attempts, I realized my mind was still working through last evening’s experience, so I reprised a poem I wrote in 2016, Olympia Almanac.
The postcard was found online at www.zazzle.com
It’s 4 a.m. and Robin Redbreast scrapes nails over chalkboard Sól lights her pine-fed torch stabs bloody fingers deep in earth I play possum to your prod shun the unwashed kiss oak floor groans with your retreat a williwaw births new gooseflesh It’s 5 a.m. and Robin Redbreast plays tug-o-war with nature’s plow fairly caught in lusty writhing to seed cocoon with eggs and sperm I slide quivering toes ‘cross tangled flannel sheets sticky scent muzzles my nose fingers of aftershave close my throat It’s 6 a.m. and Robin Redbreast stills fledgling cries with worms and seeds an eggshell silence fills warming air nest hardens 'neath Sól’s watchful gaze I creep slowly past our cast-off socks and empty cans the coffee pot gurgle carries a sour bite that stays our anxious, seeking hands
Too old to trampoline? Too young to die! Who knew at forty-nine, time had passed me by? But hark – look again! No age bias here. Long before 40, I had other ailments: Back blown from tear-off, knees from running bases, torn calf dancing hip-hop high blood pressure (too many cookies). The world spins crazily from a car that tossed me aside; mice have eaten my tendons, my eyes are going blind! Seems like this is the best time to get on that trampoline! I’ve nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Just heed the warning sign --. This toy is suitable only for those on a downhill slide. Day 25 of NaPoWriMo challenged us to write a poem that takes the form of a warning label -- for our very ownselves! Google brought me to 13 Strange Signs and Unnecessary Warning Labels -- an adventure in strange, indeed!
on granite she built, for children yet to be born our taproot anchor, she cast seeds of early dissent we still trace her footsteps to feed the next generation, we crumble bare rock sink roots and spit seeds on granite she built, and still feeds our dreams
eight little words
fill ears with fear
who knew diamonds could sting?
eight little words
fleece eyes with tears
you knew our gospel truth!
eight little words
meet in the middle
they saw —
they saw the rusted iron gate —
eight little words
squeeze snakes through clenched teeth
who knows the taste of despair?
eight little words
to carry such weight
Day 23 challenged us to honor a poem based in sound, perhaps something overheard, like a song lyric or phrase. Often for me, the written word echoes in my inner ear like a clarion bell, refusing to let go until I do something with it. The imagery and story found in Verse #2 of Ms. Wieland’s poem for NaPoWriMo yesterday certainly captured my inner ear. Consider the many understandings prompted by: “I’m cornered in the circle of your arms.”
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? Decadence! 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!
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 to return