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

NaPoWriMo: Day 2

Notes

Why is writing notes

a crime

when taking notes

is encouraged? Isn’t

taking

rude and mean? Aren’t

we taught

to not

be bullies?

Writing is so much more creative,

personal imagination,

more responsible

than relieving

a person of their hard-won notes.

You can learn from both;

they both have a meaning,

a context;

so whyever is taking

better than writing?

Ah, a play on words: what writers look for. This came completely out of the blue; I was thinking about how if you wrote poems in class, you would probably be blamed for writing notes…and then I noticed the single-word difference between taking notes and writing notes, and how the “bad” one is actually “better” than the other. Since it was NaPoWriMo, how could I pass up a chance for poetry?

Unfortunately, play-on-words-ses are scarce, and it’s hard to recommend a way to create a poem about one. There is a different prompt that I will offer, though: write about NaPoWriMo; rather, a situation where writing a poem would get you either mal ojo (aka the evil eye) or in trouble. A conference? Walking down the street? While piloting a Boeing 747? How would you handle it? What would happen? What would you be writing on, and with what? There is an infinite amount of poems to write in this area, especially if you think of something absolutely ludicrous. While you run away from zombies, perhaps? Could be.

Write for your life!

-Aidyl

NaPoWriMo: The First Day!

See Me Silent, Voiceless

See me, voice dying

in tear, a woven never-bell marred

by wind,

bitter wind, rent

me heart-out, render

me right-side out

right-out

right-out

preposterous,

ripped,

ruined,

where am I now? Where

do I stand?

On what shifting seas,

which stay-less waters,

starless skies?

Where am I now? Where

was I when

my words died,

shriveled whisper like the husk of winter

rasping through the broken leaves

and gray trees’ bones

bare and cold in snow.

What was when my voice

faded on the wind,

rich trumpet of a dying unicorn

speared through the heart

by an unholy spear, forged

with suffering, cooled

in the blood

of tortured.

What am I now? No more

than ash,

hissing in the wind, voice

never to be heard,

what no one will ever hear

because they’re too busy listening

to the words of my funeral;

they never knew

where I’d gone.

I am gone,

vanished,

wind gnawing fierce at my skin

till it tore it all away,

Happy first day of National Poetry Writing Month (Oh, and April Fool’s Day)! Yes, I’m much later than I should be, and this isn’t a very good example of the month to come, but I was very, very busy! Neither was this poem written during the actual month of April! I’m really slacking off here, aren’t I? Oh well, let’s get right to the juicy poetry bit. You seasoned NaPoets out there know the drill: 30 days, 30 poems, 0 questions. I’m sure that sums it up for those who have no idea what they’ve walked into, as well, so I’ve got all the bases covered by now. Hopefully over the month I can inspire more than one of you to write a poem! Prompts will fly, words will sing with the joy of ballads long past…such enthusiasm!

The poem above, albeit rather depressing and melancholy, was inspired by a rather interesting prompt: simply find a poem in another language that you can find some way of pronouncing and use the phonetics to inspire words. The way I did it was I wrote down whatever English word was closest in sound to the foreign word I was saying. Then, since I can already speak Spanish (I was doing a poem from this Spanish Poems website), my mind threw in a few translations here and there, such as “dying” for “muriera”. That was the first two lines, hence their rather abstract thread; after that, I completely gave up the phonetic translating, as it was too hard for my brain (already trying to read the Spanish), and went right out to write the poem. But those first two lines created a mood that dragged me off and yanked out these words in a pattern which I still don’t know the origin of. To think I was actually feeling cheerful when I wrote it! I actually thought, “Wow, this is really depressing. Where did that come from?” as I wrote away. The result is that one-page poem, short for me, so vague yet inspiring a powerful mood. Fun and productive at the same time!

The prompt for the day is that which I used to write the poem above: find a foreign, untranslated poem and read the phonetics, “translating” it to whatever English words you’re reminded of. If you can’t figure out for the life of you how to pronounce the language, find someone who can, or you can use Google Translate–it might not be able to translate well, but it can pronounce words fairly well! If you’re more of an Apple person, throw the poem to Siri. Use as many lines as you need to get started–whether it’s one or the whole poem.

 Happy writing!

-Aidyl

First Signs of Spring: It’s Coming, All Right

Hints of Spring

Winter breaks;

spring might be

a constant action, but I’d swear

that it happens all at once, for,

just only the other day,

that near eternity away,

the day

was still, frozen winter,

only chickadees and Juncos

and dulled winter birds,

dripping snow,

and hissing wind

breaking the snowy sunlit silence.

But then, the day after the other day

the sun didn’t shine so weakly,

and there were robins, more robins

than the over-winter stay-at-home-mom-bins,

the never-migration nation,

new flocks flying frenzied,

cheerful chortling calls,

blazing breast, red;

and there are turkeys,

the whole pride,

expansive as a herd of buffalo,

spread out majesty

beneath the evergreens.

Then came the blue birds,

warm, deep, navy blue,

clear as a laugh, not like that swift

icy blue of those blue jays,

the flashing robin-like bellies emit sweet melodies,

robin-like songs,

they’re here early, for spring;

and I swear there

was just a glimpse of a chipmunk,

but now they’re

everywhere,

footprints scampering to and fro

over the snow although

the thaw’s faded and it’s not warm anymore. The great gargantuan gray

squirrels terrorize the bird feeder.

That soft silence is gone.

The melting snow

and subzero temperatures

are winter’s feeble attempts to freeze back spring

and win back the season,

but still the sun grows warmer,

the days yet get longer,

proud stand in the face of the bitter winds

and the March snowstorms.

We will wait: warm weather

with weary wayward winter

leaving, in its wake, peepers and flowers,

and fresh green leaves, grass,

and bugs–don’t forget the bugs,

those menaces that fill the air when the cold is gone. The trees

are shaking off the snow

like a down comforter

as it gets too warm in the early morning,

a heavy smothering layer that suffocates

as the sleeper wakes…

winter breaks.

I’m not too familiar with the seasons, given that I didn’t grow up where there were any noticeable ones. Therefore, I’m eager to witness the transition of winter to spring. You see, in my experience, it became “spring” on the 21st of March, exactly when you woke up. “Oh,” I would tell myself, “It’s spring,” and then work myself into a spring-like mentality. But now I’m noticing subtleties, exactly the opposite of autumn to winter; the sun’s beginning to feel warmer, the air less bitterly cold. Spring birds, chipmunks voles, and squirrels are starting to leave the places they spent the frigid months–and this winter, those months were very frigid indeed. I’m getting the impression that slowly, the world is thawing out, even though there are a few last “spring” storms in store for us out here.

What was most intriguing to me was that these little changes I described in my poem came about within a week or two. My bird feeder is being assailed by new, different creatures, (Such as a bear! I now have to dig up all the fallen seed and put the entire thing away for the summer.) and there are bird-songs hanging in the air that I haven’t heard before. It’s still quiet…but it’s not quite so lonely. So what if there have been a few more snowstorms and there’s another on the way? It’s slowly starting to get warmer outside, and winter can’t last forever….

-Aidyl