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

Advertisements

Gray, Orange, Yellow, and Red: Fall With Rain

Drip, Slip

The gray

slipping through the leaves,

a backdrop of tea against colors so vivid

that you’d swear they’re burning

through the rain.

Deeper, brighter, stronger,

as the crystal falls and drips

and slips,

so slow,

lazy,

constant,

from a swollen sky, bloated, gray,

and airbrushed in patches

of blue.

The earth too grows thick and swollen

and oozes, can’t take any more,

pooling in puddles of gray and streams

of paint running downhill.

The gray slips and falls and drips,

tears for yesterdays

and what have beens

as it cleans the slate

for tomorrows and will bes,

and the will bees

that buzz,

sedated, wondering why

they’re flying in the rain.

Well, fall is definitely here and there is rain falling through the bright leaves. It’s such an awesome effect; it makes the color so much brighter! This poem was written rather randomly–don’t you get those times where you’re waiting and you just write something on a piece of paper that you have lying about with you? I haven’t had one in a while.

Guess what’s coming? NaNoWriMo, baby! Time for my fellow writers to bust up as they attempt to write 50,000 words in thirty days, a staggering task for any mortal. That’s 1,666 words a day, if you’d rather not do the math, and all you writers out there know what that much in a novel is easy-peasy lemon squeezy. Mmmm-hmmm, yeah, try that every single day. For thirty days. Through Thanksgiving, and work days, and those days where you just feel like banging your head on the keyboard in agitation.

Guess what’s also here! Cider! And cider donuts! One of mankind’s greatest inventions! Yup, fall is nothing without cold cider, pumpkins, pie, leaves, corn, and Starbucks. And every single party store that you pass telling you to BUY YOUR COSTUME NOW AND SAVE SOME BIG MONEY THAT REALLY ISN’T THAT MUCH IT’S ONLY 10% BUT WHO CARES IT HAS THE WORD SAVE IN IT! More or less the representation of many store windows around the holidays. I love deals. 5% isn’t anything to bust a gut over. 10% is neat. 20% is pretty good. 30% is worth checking out. 40% is great, but watch the wallet buddy. 50% is something to get out and check out. 60% is time to slow down the bus and take a role call. 70% is stop-the-train what have we here time. 80% is jump overboard let’s get happy. 90% is oh sweetness they’re either insane or going out of stock. 100% is how far off topic I’ve gone (plus the point where you’re surprised but numb to all joys) by now.

It’s a good thing that orange, yellow, and red look knock-out gorgeous with gray because too many fall days are cloudy. Especially with whatever mild storm just fluttered by. It sure did leave some incredible clouds clinging to the mountains across the valley. Fall is just a STUNNING season, especially when you get to ignore the wooly bear caterpillars’ Halloween coloration because the nonexistent black band is starting to freak you out. I know, I’m in for a really cold winter. But it’s not winter yet! It’s fall, which means there’s still time to get outside, find a moss-covered rock, and get down to writing more poetry–or the plot for my NaNoWriMoNovel.

–Aidyl

NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 29

First off the bat: April has been a very busy month for me this year, so I’m sorry I haven’t been able to keep as up-to-date as I would have wished this NaPoWriMo.  14 poems (before today) isn’t the best number from the years previous, but the fact that counts is that I haven’t let a whole week go by without actually sharing a poem with you.

So here’s a poem:

Magnolia

 “Magnolia” reads the paint can label,

and the driplet of paint upon the lid

is white with a yellow blush,

creamy calmness and serenity

mixed with a short hint of life

and warmth.

Not the crisp blue-white

of a fresh piece of paper

or new-fallen snow,

but the color of pale butter,

creamy buttermilk,

or ivory.

Clean and warm

like just-washed sheets that still smell

like that Febreze detergent

that your husband insists

is the allergen that causes his snoring.

White,

but not a cold white,

nor the greenish-yellow color

of sea foam;

it’s more like the color

of lovingly grown cotton

under a warm summer sun,

the kind of sun that almost forms glass

when its shafts pierce clouds or that falls between the leaves,

the book kind or the tree kind,

take your pick.

“Magnolia,” I read

from the paint can label,

and look at the fresh-painted wall with a smile.

 My family room has been in the process of getting a new coat of paint. The previous owners of the house I live in painted nearly every wall this…mustard green, I suppose you’d call it, a color that reminds you of pistachios, mustard, and being ill. This color was more of a gold in the family room, but in the now-painted living room, dining room, and kitchen, as well as in the yet-to-be painted stairwell, office, and master bedroom…there was too much. The dark color, combined with low ceilings and dark hardwood floors, was annoying.

And now “Magnolia” has begun falling over many of the walls. It’s a lovely off-color white, white but not stark, and not quite enough yellow to make it actually yellow. The transformation is obvious, as if someone had kept one light on in each room. Now the sunshine actually has an effect. My living room, which has the most “Magnolia” in it, used to be listed in my mind as a naturally dark room. There were three lamps in it but none really had enough effect. Until the paint. And it’s bright!

Color has a HUGE effect on emotion as well as light. As I just stated, the green color reminded me of illness, but not all greens. Spring green, for example, is fresh and light. Blue is cool or cold, if it’s the wrong shade. Red, mixed with dark brown like our dining room, is warm and cozy. The NaPoWriMo website shared a prompt on writing a poem about color. You now write a poem about color–how does it make you feel? Is there a particular shade or tint of purple that you just love? Or is there a certain hue of red that you can’t stand? What do the words for a color make you think of? What color do you think would be amazing in a room? If you have one you can think of, mentally paint a room and place yourself in it. How does it make you feel? Use any or all of the questions to help you start writing, but whatever you choose to do, use color as your inspiration. The word color (does it make you think of crayons and a color wheel like me?), the words for different colors (Chartreuse, vermilion, sapphirine, lilac, mahogany, navy, lemon, etc), or the emotion of different colors.

I’d love to see what you come up with! 🙂

–Aidyl

NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 12

Sunshine Language

Drowsy dreamy sunshine sleepiness,

feeling the photons tingle across my exposed skin,

the light particles that have whizzed

across the galaxy.

Like a touch,

like speech,

from a being thousands of miles away,

in reverberating Morse-code

and a hum like a symphony

that is in a language I’m half a step from understanding.

The comprehension comes

when I stop trying to comprehend,

whence the tingle pierces

my skin

and enters my subconscious,

instilling me with pure meaning

like drowsing or divining.

A gentle warm electric blanket

made out of hot pins

that constantly rove over my body

and warm me inside and out.

It’s a comforting touch

because you can feel the presence

of a creature that,

although it is so far in your terms,

it is so close in its,

and you can feel that it is close,

like a warm embrace.

It doesn’t leave in a breeze,

but when you enter the shade

that code of a language

is blocked and you are left with a feeling of emptiness

as if your ears were chopped off or as if

you can’t see

anymore.

Cold and bare,

your skin  is no longer struck

by thousands of tiny particles

that were flung from the heart of a star

with the force of thousands of nuclear bombs.

And it felt so right,

that heat and warmth and contact,

but now it feels so wrong,

this vacancy,

this coldness.

But you have a sunburn,

so put on a little aloe

and SPF 50

before you go back outside

into those welcoming rays.

Whenever I’m sitting in the sun, like I was today, it feels like there’s a tingling across my skin. As I said in my poem, maybe it’s because tiny particles are being flung at me with the force of more nuclear bombs that you can shake a stick at (I love that expression, don’t you?), or perhaps it’s just me. I think its the former, though.

And that feeling of coldness, the lifting of a weight, like when a blanket is taken off you at four in the morning, it’s weird too, but also kind of nice. Especially if you were starting to get a sunburn. I mean, there’s only so long you can stay out in the sun without your skin becoming overcooked bacon. Ew, that’s not a very nice thought, even if you like bacon.

Don’t let your skin look like someone put too much Halloween makeup on it. (Hey, that sounds like a neat prompt…)

–Aidyl

Rainbows, Rain, and Mas Espanol (More Spanish)

Mujer Mejor

No estoy perfecta, (I am not perfect)

pero mi amor: (but my love)

lo me construye mejor, (It builds me better)

mejor que antes. (better than before)

Antes hoy (Before today)

estoy (I am)

en mi personalidad (in my personality)

fea, no feliz, (ugly, not happy)

cruel a todo circademe. (cruel to all around me)

Pero hoy, (but today)

contigo, (with you)

con el amor tuyo (with the love of yours)

que te dame (that you give me)

estoy hoy (I am today)

una mujer mejor, (a better woman)

una mujer con pasion (a woman with passion)

una mujer con razon (a woman with reason)

estar vivando, (to be living)

todo porque (all because)

te andas en mi corazon (you walk into my heart)

y te abrazas la buena y la mala (and you embrace the good and the bad)

juntos. (together)

Playing with a few Spanish words, I came up with this little poem. It went from no estoy perfecta to talking about how “I” was a horrible person but now I’m better because of you. Isn’t that nice of me to say?

Why yes, I think it is. Thank you.

You’re welcome–wait, what?

Never mind.

Sorry that I skipped last week, and since it was Christmas Eve I’m sure you all expected me to talk about something snowy or Christmasy or something of the like and were extremely surprised to see that I didn’t. I was feeling a little under the weather (which is a slight play on words, since it was rainy here on Christmas Eve)

Due to the usual amount of precipitation around where I live, the clouds have been forming some gor-geous colors and patterns in the sky. The most interesting thing, I find, is that on the north side of my house when there are many puddles and the sun is behind some clouds the puddles reflect my yard. They also reflect the blueness. After it rains the water turns everything blue, even the reds. Everything gets that cobalt or germainium blue that…well, doesn’t look out of place after a rain storm, to tell the truth.

One afternoon after a particularly heavy shower there was a blazing rainbow that lasted for at least twenty minutes. I’m not exaggerating here! And when I say ‘blazing’, I mean it was so intense that it could have cast shadows…almost. Seeing the colors reflected in the puddles on the aforementioned northern side of my house was dazzling. Seeing the rainbow ‘end’ in my house was even more dazzling!

I took a walk during that rainbow because it was so beautiful. When I came to the edge of the river near where I live I had an unobstructed view of the clouds and the last vestiges of the rainbow. Sunset had turned every color, even the blues and greens, into reds and magentas! It was like a tiny sunset on the east side. The rainbow arced out of gray and purple clouds like ugly (but in this case very pretty) bruises. Towards the ocean I could see the hazy downward strokes of rain as it fell on the shore. Behind me, towards the real sunset, was sherbet-colored light on blue clouds. To the north clouds gathered and bunched up as they passed over the mountains like a ton of sheep trying to jump over the same fence post at the same time. The little park nearby was filled with blues and darkened greens.

Rainshowers darken every color. When the light hits the soaked leaves and grass it creates a beautiful gold-green-blue color. I really do suggest taking a walk after every shower to somewhere near a body of water where you have a clear view of the sky. You’ll wish you had twelve of every sense so you could catch the complexity of every detail and even the smells…smells! You can catch car fumes, rain, grass, soil, water, flowers, fresh air, lightning, solitude, and so many more different scents. Compared to the cream-colored and dull indoor air, after-rain scent-amplified air is like a noisy, gaudy silk blanket next to burlap. It should be a perfume. I’d buy it.

I hope you had a delightful holiday season, whatever you celebrate. 😀

Oh, and the rainbow unicorns send their love, too.

-Aidyl

Fog Over My House And My Brain: A Poem and What I’ve Been Doing

Fog and Me

I’ve been everywhere with fog.

It creeps up behind me like a

playful jaguar and pounces,

wrapping around me and tugging to pull

my spirit out by the arm and take me along.

Riding in, upon, and beside her,

perched on top and holding misty reigns or

flying next to her and exploring.

One creature here,

existing in another dimension so that

even though she appears blocked or broken

she is everywhere.

Playful, alone,

it’s always just fog and me.

Looking at each other,

whether she’s embodied in the foghorn,

her voice to her silence in creeping up to envelop,

or in angry blue rain clouds high away from me,

too mad to socialize,

it’s like we share a secret,

just fog and me.

She’s my BFF and sister,

always there and waiting

for that simple understanding of the other’s feelings,

always,

no matter what and even though

we can’t comprehend each other’s shape;

to each, the other “isn’t physical”, “isn’t real”.

And she can be he too,

secret love–

it’s confusing when your BFF girlfriend is also

your boyfriend,

isn’t it?

Oh, sorry, I forgot that

you wouldn’t know.

You see fog?

Hmm, well,

you know, I see fog too,

but I’m sure that she no esta as they say in Spanish,

genderless third person,

no she’s not what you think.

Because fog and I are on the best of terms,

we’ve been everywhere, are everywhere, together.

Sometimes me in her, sharing her world

of rolling mist and shapes that do not restrict her,

sometimes she in me, sharing mine,

of solid things that do restrict me.

Whichever, it’s as

it’s been always:

fog and me,

me, and fog.

 Writing about my fog is really quite my thing. I have maybe five to ten poems about just fog, so when a friend of mine gave me the prompt, “choose something you write about a lot and write about it in a way you’ve never done before”, it was hard to find a way to look at fog that I haven’t before. Well, it turned out that this was the perfect poem. A couple of times I’ve tried to capture this idea that it’s just me and fog, but I’ve always failed to find the right words to describe it. Those of you reading this who are writers probably understand this. For those who aren’t, getting the words right is the hardest part of being a writer.

Speaking of writing, I’m sure that you aforementioned writer-readers have been wondering if I took part in NaNoWriMo this year, since I’m a writer and all. “What the heck is nano-reamer?” you might be wondering. The easy answer? National Novel Writing Month, all of November, where participants spend all thirty days writing 50,000 words. The more difficult answer? Seven hundred and twenty hours of writing mayhem composed of writer’s block, struggle with word count, and lots and lots of Red Bull (or highly caffeinated coffee, take your pick) I actually did step up to bat to face this challenge and came away with a half-inch thick manuscript (missing the final scene, of course) hefting fifty thousand words, rounded down by a little. The insanity of it all was overwhelming! Trying to hit one thousand six hundred words a day? Sometimes it was easy, but most of the time it was nigh impossible. Daily as my progress was charted on the website (they use a nice regular slope to show how many words you should get in each day) I was constantly going under and struggled to stay within the same ten thousand words. During Sunday nights I would race forward in my Maserati in the shape of random scenes and inexplicable conversation to beat the day’s tally by three or four thousand words, but during the week I’d stall again. Until…I somehow linked together my scenes (mind you, I wrote in a patchwork and sewed it together roughly with hemp) and powered through to the end. I would like to thank the writing prompts on the website…the prompt “Include some serious conflict due to a cinnamon roll…” really helped me add two or three thousand words to my novel.

I hope you non-writers aren’t falling asleep back there. The good news for all is that my life is back again (even though it’s mid-December. I’ve been working on editing my novel) and I will have somewhat more time to spend writing blog posts rather than a book.

And now I salute you with honor and dignity and inform you that the rainbow unicorn-ponies have sent their best and wish you a merry Christmas and happy Hanukkah full of joy and friendship.

–Aidyl (and the rainbow ponies)

Jumbled Up Poems and Astral Koi

Astral Koi

Beneath my silken waters flow

orange fish with silver below.

The water and places that they go

are secrets only they will know.

~

As the moonbeams fall down on the pond

fish swim through it and upon.

Silver fins on some, waving as a silver wand,

other ones, crowns silver donned.

~

From the sky bright moonbeams stream,

and up them swim the kings and queens

fins waving, the scales! how they gleam!

Then to vanish, gone, ‘tall a dream.

~

A dream only, and one quite queer,

for koi-fish never disappear.

But…for truth? it does appear

remains in the pond a single silver tear.

~

From a koi-fish swimming from his home,

was cast this tear, and it alone.

The last he called swimming into the sky

was “Goodbye, mine pond, goodbye!”

~

Now these orange fish of ours

swim themselves among the stars.

Look up one night, away  from this Earth of ours,

and see a fish-shape, swimming way afar.

~

High up in the skies do show

orange fish that silver glow.

The stars and places that they go

are secrets that only they will know.

This poem was pretty interesting to write. My new poetry book has a swimming koi on every single page, which is pretty neat. This inspired me to write about koi, which is the first stanza.Then the poem kind of went from there, rambling on wherever it pleased, which is the case with most of my poems. That whole “fish swimming up a moon beam to swim around among the stars” thing was totally out of the swirling chaos of before poems exist.

Before a poem actually gets written down, your mind, rather, your creative writing part, is like an empty pond. Little ideas trickle in over time and stay there, all swirling and random and gaseous and colorful. Ideas and emotions are jumbled together, but they can’t work because they don’t have a vessel. Think power building up, energy, but it doesn’t have anything to flow into, a piece of wire to complete it. Sometimes all this building of emotion comes within a minute, other times you get a neat little idea and it doesn’t flow for years. A single glance, a thought, a few words…anything can complete the circuit and make you realize, “Oh, look at all these ideas!” and they pour out as if your completing thought was a faucet.  Some writers, after they’ve been writing for a long time, a one or two ideas combined with one perspective, word, or prompt can unleash either a tidal wave or just a trickle of water that they can magnify a thousand times.

A poet, when that one completing thought is found, just before the actual neat click into place happens, these jumbled up emotions flow into the front of their brain. All is the past, present and future, all knowledge without order. A poet’s job is to bring these ideas into manifestation, give them bodies and form, squeeze them into words to give them image and concept, and bring an order that makes sense. Whole words can get caught in that thought jumble and flow out in big clumps. They fit together, and they flow neatly into the form of a poem as if magnified there. A beginning writer can get overwhelmed by this flow, and not be ready for it, and find it gushing through them before they can get a pen for it to gush through like ink instead of them…before like ink, it’s all gone.

And as often as not, the little poems are connected, sort of magnetically or by a little string, so when you write one, that acts as the completing thought and the other poem comes tumbling out like hat boxes in a closet or shoeboxes on a shelf in the store, only you don’t have to clean up. You pull on one, intending for it to come out alone, but all these others have their shoelaces tied to that and you’re buried.

So write. Keep a notebook with you so when a little trickle falls out you can catch it on paper like a snowflake, otherwise the snowflake will melt forever. You might hear that time and time again, but it really helps. If you have a neat sentence or combination of words in your head, write that down too. Those alone can be cool!

See you next week! 🙂

–Aidyl