NaPoWriMo: Days 21, 22, and 26

Word Magnets

There was one whisper tongue

of raw spring

like life-spray,

delirious

with languid luscious day;

lazy moon

shines

with smooth diamond music.

April Shower Night

Dark gurgling shadows

of green-blue-black

wet with rain

and river water; heavy

with water,

The air

lies close,

like after-shower steam

but better,

because it isn’t hot.

Sleigh-bell jingle

jangle spring peepers,

unable to sing

when those bells do;

their replacement.

Now they croak melodies

into the darkening night,

skin damp

like the air.

Deep blue sky

shot with faint sunset shine

through patches of heavy

rain-clouds, punctuated

by silver sapphire stars, sparking.

Piercing Clouds

Sunlight reach

across valley, shafts through broken clouds;

gleam

behind every blade

of grass, put fire

in every  rain-soaked stone,

soggy bough,

slick buds. Touch the flowers

with their heads bowed in misery

from the cold rain,

cup their chin

and raise

their gaze

to meet yours, bright daffodil eyes

gold and shining rain-glimmer

with adoration.

Lance of fire,

why are you hotter now,

gold-er now, fierce pale glow

filled with rainbow in your every

sun-drip drip-drop golden gray yellow blue

raindrops of gentle joy.

It’s good to see your smile

after winter’s bitter jaws.

Ka-way-too-busy-till-late-in-night. -.- I sigh with regret and sorrow at my inability to keep my commitment to blogging. Who knew that my internet would be too slow for a day, too? Or that I would be stricken with allergies-slash-cold? Oh well…at the very least I haven’t given up yet!

Here have arrived those April showers that will hopefully end up bringing gobs of May flowers. Yes, gobs of them. I love wildflowers; they’re so…wildflower-y! I really wish I could skip through allergy season, though. They’re definitely not fun! I mean, pretty blooms and new leaves are all very well, but do they really have to spew their pollen everywhere like a (pollen) fire hose set on projectile vomit? (Ew)

 Aaaah, there are only four days left to NaPoWriMo. Can you believe it? Where did it all go? Maybe it seemed so fast because it was so hard to stay caught up this year. I haven’t had time for all the prompts I wanted to try, and the poems I wanted to write…and all the days I didn’t want to miss, of course. Every April, though I end up with at least twenty new poems that had never existed before and more than the previous year. I hope the same goes for you.

I didn’t really use a specific prompt for the poems above. Well, except for the first, Word Magnets. That comes from a set of magnetic words specifically geared for inspiring poetry (more specifically, these). If you don’t happen to have some of those to play around with, grab a newspaper (or a book with a bunch of cool words in it). Close your eyes and pick random words; then cut them out or just write them out into a poem, which would be an option I would prefer to use if I was using a book. Sometimes you get really intelligible poetry, but even that can sound much deeper than you initially intended it to be. Those kinds of poems are always fun, because later you come back to it and go, “Wow” when you had no clue what it meant earlier. Random word barf is strange that way.

Stay allergy-free!

-Aidyl

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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