#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day One

A Chance Encounter

He met her at a friend's birthday party.
She was not invited but sat in a corner, pretending to read. 
He would call it serendipity and claimed 
it was love at first sight. 
He couldn't take his eyes off her. 
His determined course of action - to know the mysterious girl 
reading alone in a corner. 
So he called the hostess of the party. 
She, in turn, set him up on dates with her friends.
Being a nice guy, he obliged despite the fact 
they were not
the girl he longed after.
Then one phone call, he became emboldened;
"Don't you have a sister?"
"Oh, yeah! Roni, someone wants to talk to you."
The sister looked up confused as she was handed the phone;
"Hello?"
"Hi, would you like to go out?"
Since she had never actually been on a date, 
the mysterious girl answered, yes. 
Once the details were worked out,
the girl was curious - 
who would be interested in dating her?
She asked her sister.
"He is one of my boyfriend's neighbors. 
He saw you at the birthday party."
She could not recall what the boy looked like, 
so before their date her sister drove her over to the boy's house. 
His mother informed them he was at track practice. 
Her sister knew where the track was, and they
drove over to get a glimpse of the strange boy 
who asked a crippled girl out on a date.

The strange boy and mysterious girl 30 years later

NaPoWriMo PromptAnd last but not least, our optional prompt! I got this one from a workshop I did last year with Beatrix Gates, and I’ve found it really helpful. The prompt is based on Robert Hass’s remarkable prose poem, “A Story About the Body.” The idea is to write your own prose poem that, whatever title you choose to give it, is a story about the body. The poem should contain an encounter between two people, some spoken language, and at least one crisp visual image.

Good morning readers and welcome to the first day of NaPoWriMo 2022. Where I write about my crazy husband. Once upon a time, when we were both still in high school, the boy saw me and decided he was going to ask me to his senior prom. First he had to figure out how to officially meet me. I know my long time readers know I’ve written poems about my sister and me watching Shawn at his track practice. This poem has taken up enough of my time this morning. I need to clean my house to get ready for our company this weekend. Thank you for reading my attempt at day one’s prompt.

#NaPoWriMo – Early Bird Prompt

Five Months Ago - Before 48

Acute early-stage geriatrics
Opaque vision  
              turns my world milky white
Cataracts blind my right eye
If to be "Elder" - means most pain

Youngest patient - not even fifty
Surgery to see clear again
Hits hard my pursestrings
I'm old enough, today 

Cataract Surgery November 2, 2021

NaPoWriMo Early PromptDickinson is known for her elliptical style, unusual word choices, and mordant sense of humor. Over the past year, I’ve experimented with writing poems based on, or responding to, various lines from her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to do the same! Here are a few lines of Dickinson’s that might appeal to you (the slashes indicate line breaks)

Good afternoon readers! And welcome to the early bird prompt of NaPoWriMo. And yes, as my loyal readers know I had cataract surgery at the end of last year about two weeks before my 48th birthday. So the lines from One Year Ago – jots What? spoke volumes. No one ever told me about the pre-mature aging that corresponds with cerebral palsy. I mean I really feel like an “Elder” – the eye doctor who first saw my cataracts in August was amazed. He remarked I was 15-20 years too young. Then the surgeon informed I was his youngest patient; followed by, You can no longer drive at night. On the positive side of all this – I do not drive at all because of the cerebral palsy so it wasn’t a restriction the surgeon thought it would be. Thanks for reading my first poetry attempt for 2022.

#NaPoWriMo Self Portrait

hosking

Self Portrait

Hopeless
Tied up in knots
Little girl in despair
Cannot coax bunny through the hole
Failure

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our (optional) prompt, which also deals with metaphors! Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates.” And there are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. (For example, this poem of Emily Dickinson’s). Today, however, I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

Good morning readers and welcome to the first day of NaPoWriMo. I know my self portrait is bleak, but a long time ago a five year old girl thought she was a kindergarten failure before kindergarten even began. I still flashback to the feeling of dread at my inability to tie shoelaces. So when the prompt mentioned tying shoes…

Let’s focus on a happy note. I did coax someone to give me the link to her Tumblr. Mom does not use the platform and I know thing two does not use Twitter nor does she go on Facebook very often. Saturday is the big day – 19 years old! Please go wish her a happy birthday. By the way, for those curious mom was also successful at teaching thing one and thing two to tie shoelaces. One would think I’d be over the dread of life’s early failure maybe someday.

Without Solitude

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Good morning readers! Today is National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day. I hope my family and friends are turning the internet green as everyone should be sheltering in place. Since I’ve already shared my green shirt and poem for today, I thought I’d share a few other poems I’ve been writing for the #haikuchallenge on Twitter. I know I said my routine is unaffected staying at home; but that was before Shawn’s job went on staggered days to limit the number of employees at work.  He makes medical equipment so it is an essential business but they’ve moved everyone to a four day work week.  Shawn has been home the past three days and I miss my solitude.

Miss my alone time
When we return to normal
Bask in the silence

Always home alone
I talk to myself often
Pastime will finish

It is fair to say
My same old routine suffers
From overcrowding

Here is a post I wrote a couple years ago about March being Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Today is also the one week mark until April 1st and napowrimo. I signed up to participate again this year and since there are no standardized tests to score, I should fare better on the daily prompts. Last year was the first time I did not write for all of them; it was a little disappointing.

One week ’til April
Keep up writing poetry
Whether fair or foul

 

AZ Matsuri Honorable Mention

So far I have not written too many new poems in 2019. I’m slowing up too early in the year, but back in February I did write a “sportku” for the poetry pea podcast (look at my only February entry for the link to listen) and I wrote a couple for the Arizona Matsuri Haiku contest. The festival was the last weekend in February; it seems even they are running a little slow this year because I just got the link to this year’s ebook today. And I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my haiku made honorable mention again this year. After I submitted the haiku they included on page 58, I recounted my syllables – oops… I didn’t think the haiku would be chosen. I put eight syllables in the second line, but maybe due to the fact it’s 17 total syllables and English and Japanese syllables aren’t equivalent, it works. My haiku in the 2018 ebook.

Meanwhile Shawn and I had our 2018 taxes done yesterday. Today’s #haikuchallenge word is ghost.

Tax season haunts me
as I watch my refund shrink
face pale as a ghost

At least we did get a refund but it was significantly smaller than previous years; still better than owing. My return to work paperwork was accepted so now I’m just waiting for the invite to grade essays. Then my afternoons will be busy reading though it hasn’t impeded my poetry writing before this year I just seemed to have lost momentum.

#HaikuChallenge Monsoon

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Palo Verde in Frontyard 

Destructive monsoon
Creates hurricane force winds
Treetop tips over

I posted how the haboob Monday night took the top off our tree in the front. Because the bottom branches are thick, the tree caught itself. Probably a good thing, as it tipped towards the driveway and may have landed on top of Rachael’s car if the bottom branches weren’t there. Well Tuesday Rachael was off from work, so we went out to do back to school shopping; and wow there was a lot of storm damage to clean up. I called a tree company on Wednesday; they could not picture how the tree could catch itself. I told them there is no rush. The tree isn’t blocking the road and there is no other damage. Thursday morning they came out to look at it. Unfortunately they are very busy and can’t get to it for awhile plus Shawn did not like the price. So the top of the tree is still dangling from the top.

Then last night the West Valley was hit with another intense monsoon storm. An entire house out near Buckeye was destroyed. When I noticed the wind picking up, I told Rachael to move the car out of the driveway. The above picture was taken today, so the storm last night did not create any more damage to the tree. Hopefully Shawn can get it trimmed up tomorrow. The #haikuchallenge word today is tip. I knew this would be a perfect photo to go with my haiku. Monsoon season really likes to show off in August. This was the same palo verde tree last year (the photo on right; wall was in neighborhood but not our property).

Palinode Haiku

Doctor appointment
Resist laughing my ass off
at husband’s faux pas

Confuse appointments
Ends up at dentist’s office
Give husband away

Appointment mixup
Cannot give husband away
Too entertaining

Yesterday Shawn was suppose to go to the doctor’s for a followup on his high blood pressure. I figured I’d make Gretchen’s well check for the same day, but they didn’t have appointment times back to back so I had to schedule Gretchen for the afternoon when Rachael would be available to drive. Monday night I tell Shawn he has a doctor’s appointment. Tuesday I get up and sit with him on the couch; we’re talking as Rachael heads off to work. I ask him about his BP and remind him of his appointment time. He leaves for the appointment right at the time of the appointment! A few minutes later I get a text, Did they call yesterday? Yes, 8:20 appointment time. Ten minutes later he’s back home and aggravated. The appointment is August 7th. Yes, your dental is August 7th; you had a doctor’s appointment today. He argued a dentist is a doctor too. True but how often do you tell someone they have a doctor’s appointment for a dentist visit? He went back out in a huff and no, I could not resist laughing. Yesterday’s #haikuchallenge word was resist so I had to find a way to write about my entertaining morning.

Needless to say by the time he got to the doctor’s office, it was well past his appointment time and he had to reschedule. Ugh! Rachael did get home from work and we managed to get Gretchen to her doctor appointment without issues. The #haikuchallenge word today is away and I would give Shawn away but then I would miss all the fun. Gretchen asked if Dad would have missed his appointment if he and she had back to back times. Yeah, no because then I would be going too and I would have made sure we left earlier and which doctor’s office to go to.

May Celebrations

 

Last weekend Shawn and I enjoyed the wine and jazz walk in Phoenix and the last photo is my Mother’s Day fondue dinner. Shawn made an excellent fondue though I told him I wasn’t a fan of his photo. Despite how the wine looks, it was also very good. This weekend we are celebrating someone’s birthday.

Mother’s Day dinner
give credit for excellent
fondue recipe

Celebrate birthday
credit daughter ten more years
watching Great Gatsby

Last night Rachael, Gretchen and I were watching the most recent Great Gatsby, as Gretchen was watching it at school since they read the novel earlier this year, but they did not finish the movie. Near the end, Nick realizes it’s his birthday and he’s 30 years old. I turn to Rachael and ask, “How does it feel to be ten years away from 30?” 😉 Yes, she will be 20 tomorrow. And I can now share this quote:

Sylvia Plath

“You are twenty. You are not dead, although you were dead. The girl who died. And was resurrected. Children. Witches. Magic. Symbols.”

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Rachael’s 19th Birthday at Blu Sushi Litchfield Park, AZ

Reading, Reading and Even More

Reading. 😉 Yes, it’s that time of year again. I’m doing remote reading and scoring tests. I have officially made up Rachael’s lost grant money with the hours I put in by the end of shift today. The rest of my time scoring this season is nice cushioning.

Since I’ve been reading, I haven’t really spent much time on poetry. But most years I’ve used May as a destress from writing 30 poems in thirty days in April. On the school front, Gretchen got an A in Eng 102 and Rachael got an A+ in OChem 2; she’s signed up for 20 credits this coming Fall semester. Gretchen took her AP US History test today; next Wednesday is her AP English test. The day before Rachael will be interviewing over at ASU to help out the veterinarian (one of the job opportunities I stopped waiting to hear on before I bought airplane tickets). Rachael is also signed up to take the GRE in August before the fall semester begins.

Tomorrow is the #Urbanwinewalk in downtown Phoenix, hopefully Shawn and I will be able to spend some time over there. And of course Sunday is Mother’s Day and then Monday is back to work. Gretchen has only two weeks left for high school. Then Tuesday May 29 her ACE summer courses start – Public Speaking and Sociology!

April Survivor

 

Verse may drive her mad
Desperate poet’s story
April survivor

Good Morning! And welcome to May, aka decompress month. Yesterday was May the 4th and Shawn and I went to the party at the Arizona science center. As we were getting in the car, Shawn asked me for directions to the science center. I don’t know; it’s downtown. It’s not like we haven’t been there before. Shawn looked it up and it said, now closed. I laughed, I know it’s an after hours party for old geeks. You had to be over 21 to attend. I had the Romulan Ale (not Roman autocorrect) and Sonic Screwdriver. Shawn had a Butterscotch Wookie (I think) I can’t remember now. And we basically got to roam the science center without little beings running all over the place. Then we went over to Grand Ave. It was first Friday. That is where I printed the May the 4th be with you poster. Yes, I rolled the printing press myself.

And as you can see, the verse did not drive me mad. I wrote over 30 poems in April, counting the #haikuchallenge poems for twitter. I missed one prompt. But I did more than one poem for a couple of the prompts so over all I’d say it was a successful month. Arizona schools got back to work yesterday. Gretchen had a full day of school again. Yay! But Thursday was Rachael’s last exam for her semester, and still no word on her summer gigs. She is now home. Which will be a good thing for a little while anyway as Gretchen has to take the math placement test at EMCC for her fall ACE course. She was going to take it today after her final Eng 102 class, but she looked it up and the testing center is only open Monday – Friday. Rachael will have to bring her over one day after school. I told Gretchen she should have taken it on one of her days of no school, but did she listen to her mother?

May the 4th story
Doctor, Captain, Wookiee meet
Science with a twist