NaPoWriMo: Days 29 and 30

Favorite Colors

My favorite color

is that particular shade

when a full moon shines

on marine layer fog,

fragmented blue rainbows,

blue-purple clean-sweet coolness

like the best spring water,

sprinkled

with a dash

of starlight

like labradorite,

alexandrite that opal fire

on a cobalt background.

That color of a dream,

color of home

at nighttime

when you lie in bed

waiting

for sleep to come

while the moon peers in pale

through the window, white like scared

except that it isn’t,

not even at all.

Pre-dawn stillness

of a starry early 5:00 April morning

in the 50s,

temperature-wise,

and only the blue call

of a bluebird

serenading the silence.

Yes, that’s my favorite

color. Now, if only

I could bottle it up

and spray it,

that would be

my favorite scent;

at least, that would be so

if it wasn’t already

that lovely smell of….

Rain On Roof

Rain taps out

Morse code sign language

for calm,

no te preocupas

de nada,

“Don’t you worry about anything,

do not fear,

rest well:

I am watching through this night.”

It’s the last day of NaPoWriMo.

I wish the sun was out so I could watch it set, but only a little. It’s such a lovely evening, all that rain and fog draped over the mountain. It’s wonderful writing weather, except…the month’s over. I can’t believe it. Can you? Already? Oh well. How fitting that these last two poems are filled with nighttime.

Rain at night is beautiful, especially when it’s warm and misty outside, and you hear only rain falling. No, frogs do not count as fog, there’s that extra “r” in there. Extra “r”s are important; they’re the difference between “he” and “her” and “h”, “hee” and “here”. They croak way, way too loudly to be fog. Anyway, heading back to the rain–I think I’ve written about it as many times (or more) than I’ve written about fog. Every poet has a thing that they write about a lot, or that they think they do; some people have cows, I have fog, my old creative writing teacher had eyebrows…you get the point. Whatever your thing is, it inspires you a lot. In fact, that happens to be a prompt that I thought of as I wrote that rain poem: write about what you write about a lot, but try to see it in a way you’ve never seen it before.

Tough, inspiring, and fun.

The first poem is a mini prompt I gave myself: write about a favorite color, but use abstract thoughts that can’t have colors. You know, along the same line as colors of the wind. Hey, the work just as well. Doesn’t everyone agree that love is red or pink or whatever? And that envy is green? Joy yellow? Yet you also know the color of home, family, hatred, sweltering summer days, school…rainy nights during a full moon…things like that. Golden spring mornings. Rich, textured, orangey fall afternoons. Anything and everything that you can see has a brilliant color.

 I’ve hit so many milestones this month, and I’m so glad and grateful to you–my readers–for making that happen. I hit 100 followers on April  th, and got 30 more in far less time than any other 30; I had a new record best day for followers this month; I’ve gotten nice comments from several readers; and this is my 199th post, so if I’d stayed on track I would’ve hit 200 this month, too. Thanks to everyone for supporting my poetry this month! I hope if a prompt I gave inspired any poetry, then you’ll share it with me in the comments.

Happy end of NaPoWriMo!

-Aidyl

Advertisements

NaPoWriMo: Days 27 and 28

More Word Magnets

Sweet repulsive goddess,

delirious with the trudge

of

light blue lathering shadows

like a

sleepy

cry of

lazy diamond whispers,

a soft scream,

shimmering urge

storm-garden gorgeous….

And drunk pink petals

fall by the thousands;

together, they shine

summer.

Inky Hands

I wear my ink-laden hands

with pride

for the words I’ve written;

they are no cause

of shame,

nor

are the inkblots

across the paper

the smears,

the scrawls,

no, for they are all

universal sign of written.

I

am an artist. My fingers

are branded

with creativity, my page

with my thoughts.

I have a pen that tends to be very inky. I’m sure that all hand-write-ers out there have a pen just like it. It writes nicely; it writes smoothly; it smears a little if you don’t let it dry; and when the point is clicked it, it leaks ink everywhere. Into ink-globs all over the tip. Finally, if you try to write with that kind of blob, it makes real, honest-to-God inkblots. Can you imagine? INKBLOTS! Yes, they’re a sign of work well done. That’s one reason why writing with ink is so powerful; when you finish, there’s that sweet smell of pen ink hanging over your notebook. It’s the smell of victory–victory over the blank page. Those little spots of ink all over your hands are nice for the same reason. Yes, I can’t stand how it smears all over everything I touch, but it shows that I’ve handled a pen, that I’ve dared to use permanence. I used to be too afraid of pens. What if I made a mistake, especially if I was doing a math problem? It would be a tangled mess of cross-outs and ink spots where I’d left the pen on the page too long. My words were tentative ghosts, light gray lead floating across the page.

Then I realized that I didn’t really use the eraser much anyway; like I would with a pen, I’d just cross it out and move on.

So I tried using a pen.

It’s like making a pen sketch: scary at first–what if you make a mistake?–but very liberating because those words are bold. They show you’re not afraid to let your ideas free. As I said, boldness is intimidating, but not overly terrifying. All this sort of leads to today’s prompt. When you write, what kind of utensil do you use? Pencil? Mechanical pencil? Pen? Quill? Sharpie? Dry-erase marker? Highlighter (a bit hard to read)? Typewriter? Computer? Dragon (Naturally Speaking)? iPad or other tablet? What do you like about using your medium? What’s your favorite part? How does it contribute to the shape of the words, in your mind? How does it make the words tactile?  Let your writing inspire your writing!

-Aidyl

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: 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: 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