NaPoWriMo: Days 19 and 20

Writing A Poem

The poem future constantly changes

as you write, constantly thinking

of connections

and conjunctions,

the future

is fluid.

Who Took My Cheese?

Who took my cheese? I put it

right here

for later, tasty tangy tidbit,

a taste to anticipate.

Lost: cheddar cheese;

aged two years, wrapped

in an oaken embrace

until

it’s silky, satiny, cream-colored

and smooth

as milk, like the hide

of a unicorn, except

less gross.

Every bite

of creamy goodness

was like a moment of brief heaven,

sweet-salty-savory

surprises

that were so familiar to me

with every bite.

I had sought

to extend the euphoria

by leaving it here,

safe

from temptation.

Now my hopes

for that coveted revisit

to paradise, but upon my return

I find

the memory of screams

as it was torn

from its proper position

and spirited away

to an unknown location,

most likely

the trash can.

How could you do such a thing

to me, let alone

that poor cheese?! Thrown

into a garbage heap with smelly socks,

diapers

and orange rinds;

such perfection

doesn’t deserve such a fate!

I shall go into withdrawal

from lack of cheese, no,

too late to fix

your wretched mistake.

Oh,

my poor cheese!

Well, that might seem extremely random to everyone reading this. “Where did the cheese come from and why did someone take it? Sure, that’s answered in the poem, but what inspired you to write that?” The answer is actually surprisingly simple. In the poetry workshop that I used to grace, sometimes side-conversations would erupt that disrupted a full fifteen minutes. A few details were significant enough for me to chronograph, such as birthdays, the word “sapphirine” (a type of gem), “consciously” (to remind myself how to spell it), unusual words, hash marks, or even chemical formulas. The upper margin of my journal from those sessions is littered with doodles and notes of the above. I was reading though the old pages yesterday, looking for something to read at an open mic, and encountered a totally random phrase. “Who moved my cheese?” I could tell it was a prompt, because farther down the page was an attempt to write a “who moved my chocolate” poem, which was quite enthusiastically crossed out. See what gems you can get from expired or filled-up notebooks? Even if it’s word barf, (as many of them turn out to be) it’s still an idea, and it has potential to inspire or evolve into something amazing!

Thus, for today’s prompt, I challenge you to write a poem about “Who moved my cheese/__________?”, where the blank stands for some object of value to you . For a quirkier pom, pick something sillier (eraser, rubber band, frying pan, watermelon, cupcake wrapper, etc.) I still think that cheese is your best bet, though!

Happy Easter!

-Aidyl

NaPoWriMo 2014: Days 11, 12, 17, and 18

Love Poem of a Pawn and Glasses

She felt

so small, insignificant.

He could see right through her,

she was a pawn in the face

of his face. But she loved

his clarity, clean boundaries,

well-sculpted edges and curves, chiseled

to godlike. And she? Well, she

had a figure that caught his eye,

that called for examination. She, overjoyed

that she could have caught

his attention,

smiled

like the queen that she could be

if she really wanted to.

Black/White

To a poet

or a writer

or an artist,

black and white

is anything but;

not

boring, it’ a skeleton,

the foundation

of all existence. Invertebrates

don’t exist

in creative reality

because they’re too squishy, they don’t

survive

the prodding

of lit critics.

And don’t say that creative reality

doesn’t exist

because it does,

thanks to creative liberties.

Air-bird Written Thoughts

All thoughts

gushing,

rushing,

released

through a pinpoint ballpoint

pressure point

release point.

It’s not legible

and I probably won’t be able

to read it

in six million years, but

it’s out there. Pent up thoughts

of days,

maybe weeks,

even months,

half a year

of poetry solitary

confinement, no contact

with another member

of the poet race.

Be free, thoughts! Spread

to the corners of the world, show

just what my thoughts are,

just what you are. Be

like the wind-bird air flyer-thoughts

of culture, spreading viral video

across the globe

and even to the parts of the world

that don’t have internet,

Imagination

is our internet.

Writing Not-writing

I wish that I could write

but for writer’s block;

that terrible region

of thought

with no exit,

no freedom, no

known way out.

But if I’m writing a poem

about writer’s block

does that mean

that I still have it? Or no?

Gah!

My sanity flees!

Yet…

how can I have written

any words

if I’m blocked? Freedom!

Un-blockage

of the block

turns it into a circle-shape (ha!),

rainbow bubbles that float

on the peaceful winds

of imagination.

There is a lot of imagination going on in all four of those poems above. That’s probably because I’ve finally hit back into that niche where my good and original-type of poetry comes from. I’m sorry if you have no idea what I’m talking about; you must feel quite lost! Some poets out there might get it, and they would understand what a lucid place it is. It’s exciting! Words come onto the page free and happy like butterflies made of shattered shafts of sunshine! *cue rainbow happy squee music* This is another moment when I really recommend a morning paper exercise (See here or here for a better description of it). So many of my un-blocking poems are like it that few are fit for anything.

Let’s return to the first poem. To better explain it, I’ll grant you your prompt of the day: write a love poem about two completely random, inanimate objects, anywhere in the room you’re in–or outside of it. If you’ve got a few Story Cubes, those would work really well, because you don’t want to unconsciously look for the best pair. For example, you could do a foot and the moon, an eye and an arrow, a face and a mask, or a bridge and a star (examples that I rolled with the cubes). They shouldn’t have anything to do with each other–like a queen and a king from a chessboard. A shoe and a sock. Salt and pepper shakers. They are way to similar for this prompt! Try a shoe and a pepper shaker, or a salt shaker and a sock instead. Go with more a DVD and a curtain tie. A teapot aaaaaaaaaaaaaand…a tennis racket. Seriously, I could do this all day. When I wrote my poem, the glasses were faced well away from the pawn, which gave me the impression that maybe the pawn was in love with the glasses because the glasses didn’t seem to care about her. And don’t ask me why the pawn’s a she–maybe because they turn into queens if you get them to the other side of the board? Who knows! Pick and fly with it. ;

 

NaPoWriMo 2014: Days 8, 9, 15, and 16

Terrible Beauty [Haiku]

Perfect sunny days

do menace with their beauty;

do I dare feel joy?

Bright Night

Lights

light up

the  night. I stand

in glorious velvet darkness, laughing

with the stars.

Finished Notebook

A filled notebook

is like a finished summer;

all filled,

full of memories, ideas,

experiences, stories,

but that luxurious freedom

of plus possibility

is gone, like a reigned-in tide,

tamed

to every extent. Gone

is the room

for expression, you think

not of the done, but the un-done,

undoing you

because you dwell on what you wish

that you’d done,

wish that could have been,

might have been, lamenting limitless

free imagination first perception

of everything

wonderful, fantastic, pioneer

in paper prairie; what wonders

will we behold? But no, we know

all wonders are charted

on every map;

discovery is gone,

leaving only memories….

Spring Relapse

Where’s spring gone? What’s happened

to the sun-frolic warm-air sweet-green-sugar temperatures, sweet

nectar of that cool-warm smell? Soft smell,

thick perfume that isn’t at all

cloying,

that doesn’t make you sneeze

except if you’re allergic to it. If you are,

sorry,

there’s nothing I can do

about that. What happened

to the spring peepers, the

clamor of birds and robins

ranging wild and free across the lawn? Where

are the rabbits and bugs

and bulbs? Where went those rains,

dewdrop cold sunshine and crisp life anew,

where

have those gone? When did it all

turn to bitter snow, race through summer

and fall

and slam back into winter? Did we backtrack?

Was all the spring a dream, all the warmth

a wish,

every sound a hallucination;

could we have been wanting spring so

that we should deceive ourselves

with its arrival? Where did all this

1.75 inches of snow come from? Icing

on the cake of winter’s cruelty. Winter,

are you a poor loser, can’t you

let the world go, can’t you tell

you’ve lost? Go home!

I don’t even know

what’s going on anymore,

but

it seems to be

winter

again.

Whew! What a lot of poetry! Lots of catching up…and we’re already halfway through April! Yikes! Quite interesting, though, how each of those poems range from a short haiku to a long, long free-verse poem (I didn’t arrange it that way, I swear!). The first haiku was written on a gorgeous spring day, when it must have been about 75 degrees outside. Of course, that was when I was walking through a cemetery, so it seemed a little malicious and deceptive. Perfection is a little scary–for example, the calm before the storm, days when the worst thing happens, deception, Venus fly traps, serial killers, creating a false sense of security…. That’s why it terrifies me when a trip is going smoothly; it means that something bad is going to happen.

Then you lose your ticket and everything is terrible.

Moving on to my last poem–which, obviously, is about the weather. Winter just. Won’t. End. There we were two days ago, with perfect, 70-degree weather and 50-degree nights, full of lovely springtime things, when–bam! It rains, the temperature plunges, and it snows almost two inches overnight. Now it’s 25 degrees outside, and the forecast doesn’t show it warming up too much for a while. It’s a pity, because with the warm, clear nights I was really looking forward to hauling out my telescope and seeing Mars at its brightest along with the lunar eclipse. But noooooooo, I didn’t take my telescope out the instant I could, the weather didn’t comply, and now it’s way too cold outside to even think of stargazing. (Have you even tried to maneuver a metal telescope when it’s freezing outside? I can tell you, it’s very, very cold.)

Back to NaPoWriMo, though. As a prompt, since I’m sure you’ve had enough writing about weather, I challenge you with a prompt from the NaPoWriMo website: Write a poem in which all lines are lies. Haiku, sonnet, lune, limerick, free-verse, prose–whatever form you wish, however long you want. The given recommendation is ten lines, but I’m sure if I did that I’d end up with longer. These lies could be about cake (Yes, I did. The cake is a lie!), anything edible, anything tangible, anything abstract, or anything at all that you can come up with. Have fun with it!

-Aidyl

NaPoWriMo: Days 7, 13, and 14

Dawn Bluebird

Blue dawn darkness,

sedate indigo,

sleepy sheet, fallow

fields far afield. And silence, only glitz stars

trembling in disquiet

in the quiet, flicker

faint like gemstones, the light

only a hint

of the roar in space

of themselves.

Silence, cold trees

and blue sky like satin, only

distant orange Mars

hanging

like an eye in the western sky, so bright

for the light darkness.

Silence…and yet…

echo bluebird,

cheery call punctuating

the silence, bright morning song

the color of the blue

of the bird, the same

as the

sky. Quiet,

only the bluebird

singing soliloquy, solo,

bell-like ‘fore dawn.

Silence,

cool silence,

full of song.

Crocus

Sleepy crocus, open your eyes!

Don’t you feel the sun

beaming hot from the skies?

Hear the sparrow! crisp and clear

melodies sailing, rippling near

and far, up and down. Poke your heads

above the ground and smile

in the sunshine of spring.

Fall Spring Leaf, Floating

Gusty wind, tearing

yesteryear’s dead decaying leaves

that were once a blaze of

and with

color, sending them

fifty feet into the air, more, spiraling

and drifting, a memory hanging

by an invisible thread. Dead,

it falls

among the new living.

Spring has announced itself in a hundred ways since I came back after a 5-day trip. Suddenly there were rich purple crocuses and the stalks of daffodils and tulips poking up through the dirt; wildflowers starting to show; there were Song Sparrows serenading, Chipping Sparrows calling, Yellow-billed Cuckoos, Olive-sided Flycatchers galore devouring all the bugs; pussy willows showing their catkins; the grass was greening up; and the air was warm and fresh. Of course, my delight after this cold winter is amplified by the fact that I’ve never seen a bulb (plant, not light) popping out of the ground, I haven’t heard a Song Sparrow or a cuckoo before, and there were no pussy willows where I used to live. Finally, it’s starting to sound, smell, look, and feel like the Aprils that I’m used to! At last the doors and windows can be open all day, letting the fresh air permeate every corner of the house. Even last night was in the fifties, a temperature normally reserved for summer evenings.

Ah, and now for the prompt of the day! Since I’ve already written a prompt about the sensual side of the spring season, here is one that isn’t necessarily similar to today’s prompt. Actually, it’s one of my favorite old prompts from a creative writing teacher I had. First, write a list of things you do everyday, such as a routine or something like taking care of the dog (food, walk, etc.) If you think your routine is utterly boring, so much the better. Pick a superpower; it can be gecko feet, throwing fire when you get angry, telepathy, being able to walk through walls–anything. Now imagine what it would be like to do your routine of you had that superpower. Do your sheets stick to your hands? Do you burn the toast by accident? Or is it so much easier than you thought it would be? On a related vein, what would a superhero do every morning? Make it as comical or serious as you want!

-Aidyl

NaPoWriMo: Day 6

Wooly Bear

Wave along, ripple,

fuzzy fluffy orange-black spikes,

get your Halloween costume off the road!

Don’t end up like your buddy there,

you’ll be squished,

your fuzziness,

I will weep,

your fuzziness,

take this olive pine branch

as a token of peace,

let me guide you

to safety,

take faith and fly

like your future self

to where the wheels will not rumble,

where the feet shall not

tread, lest they crush

your fuzziness’ delicate prickles.

No, get on the stick

you dastardly caterpillar! It’s for your own

safety and livelihood, don’t you want

to stay three dimensional? Then grab!

Grab for all you’re worth, but for heaven’s sake

don’t fall off

the branch!

It’s definitely another sign of spring when the wooly bear caterpillars come out again and try to cross the roads. Yes, nothing says “warm weather” like squashed orange smears! (Sorry, a little morbid there.) Still, it isn’t above forty degrees out unless you’re grabbing a stick or leaf to help their cute little feet cross the road. I’ve always been told that their spines were poisonous, so I never touched them. Of course, it was much harder to pick them up on a stick; they’d take forever staring at it, and then they’d either turn around or fall of the darn thing while you lift it up, the little–! But bugs mean warblers, and that’s real spring, for a birder, at least.

Spring is also a great time for walks. Besides the fact that you’re usually gasping for breath from being out of shape from the winter and the wind like knives, it’s a beautiful sense of freedom! And watching where you’re going so you don’t step on little critters walking around. You don’t have to take a walk (although I do recommend it) to try today’s prompt; just find a window and sit down. “Ah,” you say, “But what’s the prompt?”

Find any creature–whether you know that it’s an Olive-sided Flycatcher or not–be it caterpillar, moth, chipmunk, vole, or deer, find one and watch it. Look at its color pattern and think what it reminds you of. (e.g. fawn = “shy daisies”) What is it doing? Does it seem silly (aka crossing a street in the middle of a tire tread)? Humanize it: what does it want? What would compel yourself to do that? In other words, be the creature.

BE IT.

-Aidyl

PS: Unfortunately, I won’t be able to update with poetry through this week. I’ll still be writing, though, so as soon as I can I’ll post two poems–one new one, one from the previous week–to catch up with myself. Have a great week of writing, NaPoets!

NaPoWriMo: Day 5

Seasonal Battle

Look, breathe, smell, taste

the air, hear

the quiet mumbling

of constant water tumbling

out the ground and down the stones;

moist is the air,

smelling rich of green,

of spring,

of sweet nectar countryside smell,

living smell,

that was frozen in the bitter knives

of winter winds, all water frozen

into pikes. Snow smell

is gone, that snow

melting slowly, cramming

into every particle of  the dirt,

water table water balloon bursting,

oozing out of the earth’s every orifice;

the earth has hay fever.

Once more the seasons turn

to a battleground,

winter versus summer,

but watch the lengthening

sunlight

burning

away the winter,

burning

the cold air,

burning

the snow to bitter meltwater,

burning,

stroking

the skin with a thousand words,

a thousand thoughts. Cold north winds,

cold and harsh, again, bitter

at defeat, receding

to calm warm winds that carry in Spring

with her lacy petticoats.

Smell her perfume

on the wind;

she’s here.

I was a little surprised to see this post connect with two other posts that I’ve already written: one a NaPost about sunshine, the other about feeling fall, which is the idea of fall and spring being “battleground seasons”. The nights are cold, winter’s time, and the days are warm from summer. The temperatures romp wildly up and down the thermostat until the mercury just stops working because it’s so fed up with having to go up and down so far and so often. One day, the wind blows fierce in one direction, and the next day it blows just as hard in the opposite direction. Again, the “cardinal” seasons are at war.

As I grew up, April always meant “high spring”, a really warm time that quickly blends into summer. A lot of my NaPoWriMo posts from years past are about summer, which I find funny now. When I moved to the Northeast in the summer, I found out quick that the seasons come up and smack you in the face. It’s still a little odd to be someplace where the weather is the first thing you check, not some innocent little thing people don’t usually notice because it’s so nice. But for a poet, it’s wonderful to be in a place where you can walk out your front door and in about fifteen minutes of sensual information, you know how the seasons are.

I also got into the mindset of spring just starting on a single day, the equinox. Very interestingly, I found out that the seasons nearly changed so quickly. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had our last snowstorm (which I cross-country ski-ed on roughly three seconds after it stopped, and it was the best ski I’ve ever done–not that I’ve done too much), and that was it. The next day it was 40 and it rained…and rained…. Suddenly the snow was gone, the grass was green, the temperatures had leaped up to 45, and you could immediately tell it was spring.

Wherever you live, your prompt today is to go outside into your yard or a nearby park and just walk around. Look first; see what color the grass is, and the leaves, if there are any. Then listen; do you hear any spring birds, running water? Touch, next; bend down and put both hands on the earth and just feel it. Smell; throw your head back and breathe in, pollutants and all, seeking for the smell of spring. And taste: what do you imagine that the water, the earth, the leaves, the air all taste like? What do they really taste like? You could pick one and just write about that, or do all and write one long poem. It’s up to you.

Feel the spring. It’s here.

-Aidyl

NaPoWriMo: Days 3 and 4

Gone Is Winter

Gone is winter

with sharp icicles and snow,

bitter winds and subzero bite:

the teeth have fallen out.

Gone is winter,

the frosty chilly nights

and silent moonlight snows,

with listing whistling winds

blowing

white dust long across the ground.

Gone is winter’s solitude,

the chill in sunlight’s edge,

the silence of the meadows;

no, there’s spring here instead.

Melting Snow

Sad ice clumps

fade into the ground, mud;

bare gray grass.

The latter poem, which is for April 4, is a retake of the normal haiku. Being a bit of a haiku purist in that I’ve done it since I was little, I hesitate to call it even an American “haiku”. It is technically a variation of a haiku invented in America by Robert Kelley, called a lune. The format that I used (via NaPoWriMo.net and originally by Jack Collom)is based on three lines: 3 words, 5 words, 3 words, which fits English far better than the syllabic 5-7-5 format. Basically, it’s a way to get your haiku done fast’n’easy. Hey, no one ever said that fast food was either authentic or good for you…nothing against the lune, though. There are plenty of English haiku variations, from the lune to Allen Ginsberg’s American sentence, and most of them are the seventeen-syllable pieces that we’re used to awkwardly mouthing out and counting with fingers to write. They’re all their own unique form of poetry…but I still won’t call them haiku.

Your prompt for this fourth day of April, fellow NaPoets, is to–guess what–write a haiku! Or a lune! Or any variation, really! You can look it up or make it up, but it should have a similar structure to a haiku, capiche? Or at least something that a haiku lead you to write…prompts are all about stirring up your imagination.

Go whereforth your inspiration leads you by the hand or by the ear!

-Aidyl