#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Thirty

They fell like the leaves
hours that float idly down
Nothing gold can stay

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now – our final (but still optional!) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

Good afternoon and welcome to the final day, day thirty of napowrimo where I write a cento haiku. I do like short poetry forms and this morning, nothing gold can stay popped into my head. When I realized it was 5 syllables I thought maybe I could write a cento haiku.

Falling Leaves and Early Snow – Kenneth Rexroth
Blizzard – William Carlos Williams
Nothing Gold Can Stay – Robert Frost

Anyone who has been reading my month long contributions knows I tried my hand at a cento on day twenty-two: Kisses. I’m not sure it reads as a whole very well. But Gretchen had to write a cento for one of her classes and I thought I’d give it a go. Maybe this small poem connects better. Let me know. And thanks for joining me on the wild ride that is April.

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-nine

Veronica and Katryn

The Awful, Bad, No Good Birthday Present

Happy birthday to me!
Wow!
It’s super bright out here
and cold!
Phew, that was hard work
but worth it!
I finally rid myself of that
pesky roommate.
Wait…
She followed me out here!
No!
Put her back!
Put her back, NOW!
I think I’m going to cry

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd here’s our prompt (optional, as always). In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty-nine of napowrimo where I write of a birthday present I was trying to escape from – the evil twin. 😉 After all my hard work to be rid of my roommate, she followed me out. I didn’t know that was possible. I mean I had to share food with her for nine months; I thought I was finally free. Yes, it’s fun to pick on my sister. #Fearthefork Kati!

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-eight

Cataracts
milky    white 
film       covers
lens    over    pupil
focus       dulls
stealing     your
Eyesight

                                        

NaPoWriMo PromptToday’s (optional) prompt is to write a concrete poem. Like acrostic poems, concrete poems are a favorite for grade-school writing assignments, so this may not be your first time at the concrete-poem rodeo. In brief, a concrete poem is one in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. For example, May Swenson’s poem “Women” mimics curves, reinforcing the poem’s references to motion, rocking horses, and even the shape of a woman’s body. George Starbuck’s “Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree” is – you guessed it – a sonnet in the shape of a potted Christmas tree. Your concrete poem could be complexly-shaped, but relatively simple strategies can also be “concrete” —  like a poem involving a staircase where the length of the lines grows or shrinks over time, like an ascending (or descending) set of stairs.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty-eight of napowrimo where I attempt to create a defective eyeball not sure I nailed this one, but I know how time consuming and tricky shape poems can be.

   Tea Time

 

                                              h                Kettle on
                                                 o        I remember tea      M 
                                                    t   pouring water into         i
                                                          cups set to steep           l
                                                          stir in sugar and      k

My first time participating in napowrimo (2010) Tea Time turned into a tea kettle. And the first poem of mine Melanie accepted at Silver Birch Press was a concrete poem –
Monsoon Season

Neither of these poems came to be without a lot of editing. Today I was trying to design an actual eye, but nothing I had seemed to be working so I went with a simple eyeball. I wanted it to be more rounded like an actual ball, but then I realized I have an astigmatism so my eyeball isn’t perfectly round, right? And the strike through hopefully lends to how hard it is to see with cataracts. Okay I just asked Gretchen and she affirmed it looks like an eyeball – Eye of Sauron. But at least it’s eye shape.

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty Seven

Past Summer Days

I am the sum of my parts
graying blonde hair and dimpled smile

Bright dimples appear on wrinkled face
Years spent under cigarette smoke

Childhood memories a smokey haze
Grandpa whistles cheery tune, Heigh-ho

Heigh-ho, heigh-ho it’s off to work we go
Construct a blanket fort in the family room

Watch TV inside cozy blanket fort
Learn kindness from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Ride bikes down to the neighborhood playground
Catch fireflies on warm summer nights

Spend carefree, warm summer days outside
I am the sum of my parts

NaPoWriMo PromptLast but not least, here’s our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty seven of napowrimo where I took some of what I learned in the poetry workshop I attended last night to write my duplex poem. The workshop hosted by the Virginia G. Piper writing center at ASU was ‘Your Four Strands’ and led by Roanna (Rowie) Shebala. She had us look at our identity through four strands: Mother, Father, Maternal Grandfather and Paternal Grandfather. I started this poem by talking about both my parents and then my paternal grandfather (who I remember more clearly) and it grew from there.

Remembering summer days in Buffalo, NY. This poem was written six years ago. The #HaikuChallenge word yesterday was jar and a lot of people were tweeting about fireflies which made me nostalgic even before the workshop started. My piece yesterday:

Lightning bugs twinkle
Washed out peanut butter jars
Catch their summer dance

Then during the workshop last night, I remembered the one time my dad carried my mom upstairs because Kati and I told him to ‘bring mom upstairs’ after he tucked us in I wrote down two lines of a haiku. I finished it this morning with todays #haikuchallenge word, slice.

Girls bedtime request
Dad carries mom up the stairs
Slice of happiness

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-six

Backyard Fire

Fire’s Dance

The heat engulfs you
within a lover’s arms
impossible to resist her tantalizing
touch

The flames rise up and lick
all the oxygen, escalating
your desires with her last gasp of
air

She moves like a dancer
surefooted across the stage
captivating you with her every
step

Watch her seductive dance
You begin to fixate
Caught up in the trance
And slowly suffocate

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s Paradise Lost). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty-six of napowrimo. I’m not sure how many of my readers are aware, but Arizona is fighting two wildfires right now. The one north of Flagstaff made national news. Last night I enjoyed watching a fire in the backyard contained in our fire pit; and as I posted my late prompt from yesterday, I realized it would be easy to talk about fire in simile. This poem quickly wrote itself. Thank you for reading my take on epic simile.

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-Five

Spring Love Letter

Cast your window wide open
Feel the last cool breeze of spring
Summer heat will soon swoop in
And upend our little fling

Please do not despair dear friend
Our little tryst will not end
Summer leaves before too long
And Autumn will play our song

Cast your window wide open
Feel the breeze upon your skin
The summer season has been
Dreary to keep you pining

Keep our song close to your heart
Feel the last cool breeze of spring
Summer cannot pull apart
And upend our little fling

NaPoWriMo PromptToday’s (optional) prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aislingrecounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights, or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves. Whatever form your dream-visitor takes, happy writing!

Good morning and welcome to a late edition of napowrimo day twenty-five. I did write this poem yesterday and then let it sit in my journal. I’m not sure why I didn’t take the time to post it except maybe because I don’t feel it’s truly on prompt. Speaking of today’s prompt also feels like a big undertaking. This evening I get to attend an online poetry workshop hosted by the Virginia G. Piper writing center at ASU. Maybe I’ll find some inspiration there if I don’t write something before then. Thank you for reading my late napowrimo offering.

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-four

Bone Dry

Pen in hand
open to
blank page

Gossamer
the ebb
and flow
of verse

NaPoWriMo Prompt Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.

Good evening and welcome to day twenty-four where my mind refused to speak in simile. So I read my book most of the day. I picked up The Midnight Library by Matt Haig and started reading it when my semicolon haiku was posted on the Haiku Pea podcast. A little eerie of a coincidence since the subject of the book is suicide. The protagonist, Nora, is able to try out various alternative lives on the premise there is a multi-verse from all the different choices we make in life. Our root life goes one way and a new branch grows off the choice not taken. It’s interesting to wonder what your other selves lives are like. Nora in between life and death after attempting suicide gets to find out.

Blank Slate

The last week
of April
is here

Well of
Inspiration
dry as the
Desert

#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-three

Multiple Braces

My right side spastic
growing up with CP
clunky and unwieldy
my night brace
would beat up
my left leg
rolling over in bed.
Then the day brace
made of plastic
to keep my right foot
growing properly
better than the boot
easier to sleep
not good to race
or even keep pace
run, jump, or leap
no longer for me


NaPoWriMo PromptAnd now for our daily (optional) prompt. Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day twenty-three of napowrimo where I fiddle with rhyme. The #HaikuChallenge word today is brace and it made me think about my old braces. I’m not sure I capture Kay Ryan’s style well. Here is a haiku I wrote last year about me and why it was a bad idea to play wearing my leg brace.

Jump rope at recess
without removing leg brace
Snaps under pressure