#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Eighteen

Wicked Intent

Passionate Shepherd
Outlaw on a poem walk
His third try to charm
She is not easily wooed
By obvious turpitude

NaPoWriMo Prompt And now for our (optional) daily prompt! This one comes to us from Stephanie Malley, who challenges us to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s  table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature. Will you choose “the poem squash?” or perhaps “grocery weeping” or “the blue socks”? If none of the 60 rather wonderful chapter titles here inspire you, perhaps a chapter title from a favorite book would do? For example, the photo on my personal twitter account is a shot of a chapter title from a P.G. Wodehouse novel — the chapter title being “Sensational Occurrence at a Poetry Reading.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day eighteen of #NaPoWriMo. Thirty years ago today Shawn and I went on our first date. We went to the movies and saw The Marrying Man – was that a clue for our future? A couple years later my mom got us tickets to see The Phantom of the Opera up in Toronto and a short time after that, I received a poem in the mail signed – The Phantom. You know it’s not advisable to “steal” poetry to woo your girlfriend who is an English major. The day we read the poem in class I started laughing; I do believe Shawn wanted to send an obscure poem I would not recognize. He probably would have been better off borrowing from a contemporary poet.

Ahhh.. But Shawn is not the only person to borrow something without permission. 😉 After thirty years, I’ve learned a thing or two.

NaPoWriMo Day 5

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)

I felt a Funeral in my Brain And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading treading till it seemed that Sense was breaking through and when they all were seated a Service like a Drum
kept beating beating till I thought my mind was going numb
And then I heard them lift a Box and creak across my Soul
with those same Boots of Lead again then Space began to toll
As all the Heavens were a Bell and Being but an Ear and I and Silence some strange Race Wrecked solitary here and then a Plank in Reason broke and I dropped down and down and hit a World at every plunge and Finished knowing then

Mourners to and fro
felt a funeral in my
brain. Sense was breaking
my mind was going numb in
Reason – Finished knowing then

8th Grade yearbook photo

8th Grade yearbook photo

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s exercise asks you to do something similar, but in the interests of creativity, rather than ill-conceived “correction.” Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it! (Not sure where to find some Dickinson poems? Here’s 59 Dickinson poems to select from)

I learned through Facebook one of my grammar school friends passed away yesterday after a valiant battle with brain cancer. I went to a small parochial school. My eighth grade graduating class had eight students, making us all very close. After 8th grade, I did not keep in touch with Liz. We went on to different high schools, but years later we did connect on Facebook. Though a comment here and a like there cannot compare to the old connection from school. Around 7th or 8th grade, my sister, Katryn, and I had a sleepover for our birthday. The other four girls from the class all came and we watched Stand By Me to quote Stephen King –

“I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anybody?”


I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, (340)


I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-three Phonetic Translation

Hit no more ocean
Hit no more you’re a mess
Ask nigh coo
You want more your nigh
My no want more me way

99 The Retired Emperor Gotoba (Website)

Hito mo oshi
Hito mo urameshi
Yo wo omou yue ni.
Mono omou mi wa.

How I regret my fallen friends
How I despise my foes!
And, tired of life, I only seek
To reach my long day’s close,
And gain at last repose.


NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt (optional, as always), is an oldie-but-a-goodie: the homophonic translation. Find a poem in a language you don’t know, and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds.

I was actually able to write a phonetic translation without looking at the actual translation under the tanka.  As you can see, my translation is nonsense.  But after reading the English translation I composed a verse that makes more sense.


Experience life
Travel across the ocean
Check off bucket list
Don’t grow old sitting at home
Wear sunscreen without regret


This was inspired by Gotoba No In and my friend, Wendi Mitchell who shared this song yesterday.


NaPoWriMo Day Two – Tanka


Sprouted from his father’s nose

Shinto god of sea

Summer storms rage: Darken sky
Sibling rivalry paled Sun


NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our optional prompt. There are many good poems based on myths. Lots of these use Greek or Roman myths. Consider Tennyson’s Ulysees or this more modern example by A.E. Stallings. But today I challenge you to write a poem based on a non-Greco-Roman myth. You could write a poem inspired by Norse mythology, or perhaps by one of these creatures from Japanese legend. Every time and place and culture has its myths and legends, so there’s plenty to choose from. Happy writing!


Thanks to everyone who viewed my first poem of NaPoWriMo14.  I had over 170 views yesterday.  After reading today’s prompt, I was on Facebook and saw one of those silly ecards: Why are so many people eaten by sharks? Don’t they hear the music? Yes, the soundtrack to Jaws still gives me the chills.  I thought it would be cool if Japan had a shark god to write about.  No luck, but the Shinto god of the sea proved to be interesting.  I used wikipedia to learn about him.