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” 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.


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! 🙂



NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 23

Birdsong Ritual

I hear the birds singing gaily

as they flit and they fly about.

I hear the birds. Singing gaily

dawn to dusk, melodies sailing.

I hear the birds singing. Gaily

praising the day. So many that

I hear! The birds singing gaily.

as they flit and they fly about.

 The poem I wrote above is a triolet, composed of eight lines with eight-syllables each. As you can see, a few of the lines are the same; namely the first, third, fifth, and seventh, then it’s the second and last. The rhyme scheme is very tight, too. I’ll show it:








The bold capital letters are the lines that are alike, and the lowercase letters show which lines rhyme with which. Very interesting, eh? Why don’t you give it a shot? If you think you’ll be confused, copy the rhyme scheme above onto your page and fill in the lines. You might find it easy to copy the similar lines before you start so you know where you have to put what new lines. (I didn’t end up doing that, but I wish I had)

There’s one week left to NaPoWriMo!


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 15

Yes, this may not be the most consistent April that there has ever been, but it exists, and isn’t that enough?


Riding up like the peak of a roller coaster

and folding wings while swooping,

spread, climb

fold, descend,

wheeling and curving in joy and life

of glory and ecstasy

and beautiful rhapsody

and delight that spring is here.

 In the town that I live, the arrival of the swallows is the signal that true spring has sprung. Their little muddy nests on the undersides of bridges and the eaves of houses are teeming with the activity of the constantly arriving and departing parents. If there’s time to study it during a rare, low flight, you can see the vivid colors. Most usually, though, all you can see are the dark wings and blotches of white. This makes them difficult to distinguish from swifts, which, although they have similar flight patters and shape, are very different birds. The easiest way to tell them apart is that swifts have longer wings. The swallows also have a particular dolphin-like whistling squeak as they soar free in the wind, a sound that suits their flight.

Watching these beautiful birds soar and climb makes me smile, no matter where or when I see them. They’re adorable, and can be counted upon to return annually to the same nests. I can recall seeing them for much of my childhood. Actually…here’s a prompt! Can you think of a bird, flower, insect, animal, or reptile that you see or saw often? Watch it or find a video online depicting it. Make connections between it, the season it’s seen the most, its environment, or any other connection that strikes you, happy or sad. Anything about any animal, whether you’ve seen it in real life or no, can be used under this prompt if you can’t think of anything. A poison dart frog? Fantastic. Comedic, thoughtful, melancholy…that’s up to you.

Happy Monday, if you can believe that such a thing is possible!


NaPoWriMo 2013: Day 11

Blank Page

I. White.

Pure blank white, with a

faint blue cast

or a slight tinge

of yellow.

Blank slate,

the purity of possibility,

the smell of new notebook

and new paper

or recycled paper, it doesn’t matter.

A million ways I could

use this page,

a thousand different tales

or different interchangeable words,

oh the excitement of an uncharted frontier!

Plot lines as of yet unfathomed,

the uncharted waters of story,

and the dim unimagined characters.


and nothing

is here.

II. Nothing.

Characters’ breath cut off in their lungs,

lives left unlived,

problems left unsolved,

questions remain unanswered.

Worse than a bad ending,

here, the infinity of possibility

shatters your mind as you try to conceive

the  everything

and nothing that can be,


the infinite amount

of irritating plot-twists

until you cannot possibly stand

to read the book again.

III. Devastating blankness,

so much to be said and yet unsaid,

perfect image of how,

perfect movie of how,

playing behind your eyes

but you just can’t seem

to put it to words.

You try but get so far as

only three or four words

before you trail off and stare

with a smile on your face that has


and nothing

to do with the annoyance.

It’s the story.

It’s the irritation,

the frustration

of not being able to communicate

just what you’re seeing,

like a Frenchman staring at

an Indonesia native.

IV. Blank,

crisp like snow,

fresh and clean and innocent,

empty and exciting

but cold and a bother.

But a blank page? What does a writer love more

than the freedom to express

exactly what’s on their mind?

Even if using it is now impossible

it’s the comfort of knowing

that if you must, you can.

Blank page, the exhilaration connected

doesn’t matter whether

you have an idea to chronograph

or not because it’ll be

a blank


Blank, white pages seem to be both the bane of me and the joy. I love the sight of a fresh notebook, just waiting to be filled. (A full one is sad because there’s no more room, but happy because it’s got so much of my writing inside) But when I’m working for words, like in National Novel Writing Month were I have to put something down, it’s suddenly a barrier, a cruelly smiling shapeless face that I can see without seeing. “It’s the comfort of knowing/that if you must, you can.” Well, as I said, forced writing makes it feel like “if you can, you must.” Like a stubborn hog, sort of. With free rein, your mind will ramble over hill and dale until you dig in with your heels or gaze around in bewilderment when your fingers slow, wondering how you got there. And the absolute second you pull just a little on the lead to make your writing move, it lies down and refuses to move. No. I won’t, just because you want me to.

Irritating, hmm?

Today’s poetry challenge: when you sit down to do something you feel you have to do, do you find yourself staring at a blank screen, page, canvas, or block of marble? What is that like to you? Or, how do you feel starting a project? When you finish a project? I’d love to hear it!


NaPoWriMo: Eightsies! (Day 8)


I’m small,

but I wanna be tall,

’cause at the mall

one store has a huge ball

and it holds every-colored  shawl!

I really wanna touch them all

but I can’t, ’cause I’m small.


This poem was written on a very simple prompt: write with the voice of a child! It’s easy to accomplish that by using words like “wanna” “cause”, contractions, and avoiding larger, more sophisticated words. Make ’em up, too, like “sparklesplosion”, which catches an eruption of numerous sparkles with a more charming tone.

Have fun!


NaPoWriMo: Day 4

Tinted With Nighttime

Serene soft silky

satin whisper-walkers

dreary drifting above

candy-colored world

tinted with nighttime and dew

like baby spiders on breezes

with tiny white parachutes.

Thinking there is music

but you can’t quite make out the tune;

if you focus on it

it flees like a

shy draiad.

This poem started almost randomly, with a few words that sounded good together in the right order: “Serene satin silky whisper-walkers”. Sounds neat, doesn’t it? Sounds like something you can do, wouldn’t you think? Oh, I’m certain you can make something up like that. Just take an idea of a time, place, or image and grab a few words that fit that place.

(And sorry for missing yesterday and the day before. Life got away from me)


NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 1

Softly Through the Night

She walks

softly in the dark,

her foot on nothing but

still stepping,

still shining with a light

that envelops her whole body,

that is nothing save

the intensity of her soulfire, the

light of her love that still burns even though

he stopped loving her,

stopped seeing


long ago.

But she didn’t stop

seeing him.

She didn’t stop

seeing anyone,

but then they stopped seeing her,

until the fire of her soul told her like a crystal ball


step into this world of darkness


nothing mattered,

nothing but


Now she stopped

seeing everyone, and

everyone stopped

seeing her, and

she walked slowly through

the darkness,

shining foot stepping

on nothing but still feeling,

still stepping,

part of the only light

in this place.

And she walked,

looking for the only other person

that she could see,


who stood in both worlds


Whenever she found him she would

step in front of him and stare


like echo at Narcissus,

having learned long ago that she could not speak

to him, and

could not touch him,

whence her fingers would cause him to

disappear. She

would then have to wander,

wearily, until she

found him again, so

she chose to see his face

over letting him vanish,

even if

his eyes stared through her indifferently,

even if he never responded to her words,

not even to her touch although

his image did vanish,

but she didn’t care


what of this was different from that other world

that she had lived in,


She wasn’t part of his world,

he was all of hers,

and all she ever saw was him

anyway, so

the blackness never bothered her.

She didn’t know

if she was in a new world entirely,

or stuck in her mind, gone mad

with heartbreak,

or if she walked through all things mistily,

walked through her world ghostly,

and although she was there only saw

him. She

stood in the nothingness and looked


saw a distantly glowing figure,


like a ghost,

walking, talking, dancing,

but not with her, to her.

Her approach made no difference,

it didn’t matter if she spoke or not,

but she placed her hands

in the air beside him

and waltzed with him

in painful pretend glory.

And all she saw was


an all he saw was


so what was different

from the world she was in before?

Suddenly in confusion

he paled, then

laughed nervously to his

real partner, said:

“For a moment you looked

like a girl I knew,


but I

can’t recall her name,

and now her face has vanished too.

Just as well.”

Tears stung



and his blurred like watercolors,

but she danced,

on and on,

refusing to stop,

but her trembling fingers,

her distracted eye,

combined to force one mistake

of the placement of her fingers,

which brought his face,

his waist,

in contact with

her hands, and he

paled, widened his eyes,

in shock, in alarm,


“I felt her. I know it.

There’s no mistaking it. It

was her,

though it couldn’t be,



voice began to fade,

his glow to dim,

and she

was alone again, weeping

tears hot with anguish.


fell to her knees

on the floor unseen,

and released two painful sobs

from her tense, hot chest.


glowing, fell, and vanished,

then their flow ceased,

quenched, and

she stood,

face calm, almost grim,

wild but determined.

And she walked softly in the night,

glowing feet treading

on nothing

yet treading

as she went, seeing nothing,

seeing no one,

none save him.

And what was different

from the world she had

inhabited before?

This poem was inspired by the phrase, “She walks in beauty, like the night,” from Lord Bryon’s poem “She Walks in Beauty”. The phrase was part of’s prompt “to write a poem that has the same first line as another poem.” Following were a few first lines, including the one inspiring my poem. That line morphed into “She walks softly in the night,” which is the baseline for the poem I wrote.

And how about you? (“Me?”)Why don’t you give the line a shot? If you read poetry, there’s got to be a line from some random poem that never fails to make you half swoon in the beauty of the English language. Or if you want, write a simple and interesting-sounding sentence and mix it up. Or pick eight of your favorite words and fling ’em together. “Bubble acrid tasteless dissolves empty and  cold-hearted” is a really neat sentence. I’d like to see where someone goes with that, since I have no idea what it means. (Hey, I’m just the writer. Those words sounded right)

Or you could even write a poem full of random words. Use one, fumble for another word that fits, use it, and keep going. When people read it, they’ll nod and smile like they understand your work, but you can laugh inside and be delighted in the knowledge that you yourself have found meaning in only about a quarter of your poem.

I’d love to see what you come up with on this first NaPoWriMo day! Post in the comments if you wish.