#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty Two

Tortoise’s Summer Residence

Backyard Oasis

Backyard trees grow tall to offer shade throughout the spring and summer
Children play digging their way to China before vacation ends
Palo Verde – green stick bursting with yellow flowers in April

Palo Verde in backyard

NaPoWriMo Prompt In a prompt originally posted this past February, Poets & Writers directs us to an essay by Urvi Kumbhaton the use of mangoes in diasporic literature. As she discusses in her essay, mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. This has the beauty of simplicity – but also the problems of simplicity, in that you really can’t sum up a culture in a single image or item, and you risk cliché if you try.

But at the same time, the “staying power” of the mango underscores the strength of metonymy in poetry. Following Poets & Writers’ prompt, today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty two of #NaPoWriMo. I’m not exactly sure if I’m on prompt but when I read it last night the palo verde came to mind. Gretchen wrote a lovely poem about sitting in the backyard for her poetry class and the professor commented that her shade was generic and could be anywhere. I told her we have a lovely palo verde tree in the backyard, if you mention the tree by name he can’t fault you for being generic. So I think having a palo verde tree in my poem invokes a specific place. Also Gretchen and I were sitting in the backyard yesterday and it was very windy. I told her, you could have yellow flowers raining down on you in your poem. She wasn’t particularly impressed with that; Yellow flowers are shitting on us. Well okay (yes it was very windy) but I told her that’s not very poetic.

The middle part of my poem is a memory of when Robin and a friend dug a big hole in our backyard one summer. Pretty much in the same locale as Speedy’s summer residence. I’m not sure if their goal was to reach China, but I remember as a kid thinking it was a possibility if one dug straight down through the center of the Earth. Robin’s friend just thought it was cool they were allowed to dig in the dirt. The other reason for this poem besides trying the sijo form again is I told Gretchen yesterday I write poems about the backyard every April but haven’t written one yet this year. Oversight corrected Lol! If you read the link to my previous backyard oasis poem, I talk about how they are getting snow in April back east. Yesterday I saw all the lovely snow pictures from Buffalo. If you ask me that would be the proper usage for shitting on us.


Bonus Sijo #NaPoWriMo 2021

Smart Refrigerator

New fangled technology is supposed to make life easier
with less hassle
Putting away groceries, my new fridge beeps reminding me
the door is open
Let’s play a game –
one of these things is not like the others

Commander Riker keeping an eye on the macaroons

Okay I may not have the true theme for sijo down, but I am having fun. Yesterday evening Shawn sent a text – I see macaroons have been added to the fridge. Yes folks, the damn new smart refrigerator comes with cameras you can access far away from home. So Gretchen wanted to play a trick on dad. She really wanted to take a picture of her hand flipping dad the bird, but the cameras take still shots and we didn’t test to see if they’d work with the door ajar. Well a few years ago Shawn bought me a Commander Riker action figure and I knew he could fit in the fridge. Gretchen had to pose him looking over the macaroons. Then we snapped a picture and told Shawn he may have to fight Riker for his cookie.

Then this morning after Shawn and Gretchen returned from the store, I was putting away groceries and the fridge started beeping at me. Yes, I know the door is open, I’m putting away food. I think we’re going to have way too much fun with all the new bells and whistles that came with the fridge. 😉 FYI this fridge replaced our original fridge we bought with the house. After having the same fridge for 21 years, we’re all a little enamored with the new toy.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Twenty

Noodles and Me

Morning Solitude

Tuesday morning coffee time, sit in bed and contemplate
Poetry before I begin my day of endless chores
The dog protects my solitude as she chases off the cats

NaPoWriMo Prompt Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.

Good morning and welcome to day twenty of #NaPoWriMo where I am off to an early start. I had to wake up Gretchen this morning because she wanted to go grocery shopping with Dad. So when Shawn got in the shower I got up and put the tea kettle on and then went down the hall to wake up Gretchen. Then once I had my coffee in hand I went back to my bedroom. Once Shawn got out of the shower I asked him, Did you forget something? Yes, he totally forgot he was going to have a companion on his shopping trip this morning.

Since I am rid of the other occupants of the house, I delved into the poem. The sijo is a new poetry form for me and it is short – I love short poetry forms. My first two lines came rather quickly but I was stumped on the twist. The dog is always under my feet or in this instance lying at my feet. One of the cats today is full of it. Apparently some puff balls were discovered under the old fridge when it was lifted up. I mean really attached under the fridge because I did make Shawn pull the fridge out Sunday so I could clean back there before the delivery of the new fridge and we did not discover any puff balls. A lot of dust and hair but no cat toys. So Mr. Pita has been running around all morning chasing the puff and every time he jumped on my bed, Noodles ran him off – Hey, Mom is working here.

I did a rewrite of my first sijo-

What should I write before my day of endless chores begins

I sit in bed, contemplate poetry sipping hot coffee

The dog protects my solitude by chasing off cats