I did it! I made it through April with over thirty new poems posted, inspired by NaPoWriMo and the Poem-a-Day Challenge. Congratulations to everyone who met these challenges. It was very fun to see the winners posted for last November’s Poem-a-Day Chapbook challenge. Congratulations De Jackson!
At the A to Z Challenge there’s an after-challenge survey. I enjoyed using the challenge to explore Janus words and phrases in my poetry.
I also enjoyed discovering art, craft and design sites I hadn’t visited before along with other writing sites.
This challenge isn’t quite finished. There will be a reflections post sign-up on May 3 and a blog road trip starting May 10th.
It’s time to get back to revision. This week I’ll be posting about my poetry revision process. I hope you’ll join me and share your tips and tricks for poetry revision.
Over at the A to Z Challenge they’re playing the Yes Game. My Janus word is yield which can mean; to give up, surrender, or relinquish, but also; to produce by natural process.
Today is Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub where you can share your best recent poem and read and comment on all the great poetry being shared.
This is the window
with the slightly broken sill covered in flakes of pop-corn ceiling with semi-sheer blinds that when open tuck up all wrinkled on one side through this dusty, cobwebbed window revealed by off-white sheers belted to hooks where a speck of a beige-dotted bug climbs there’s a once thought impossible view
because for my whole life it was blocked by next door’s tall firs providing cool shade lakeside my great aunt told me she did it on purpose to hurt her brother next door a family feud of unnatural proportion wielding God’s power one sibling on another imagine each day’s hurt never recovered
But they’re all gone now and I can finally see past the iron railing, the rhodie, and the hedge to the rippling water, a dock, and a buoy to the houses and the park, but above that what this table was so long deprived is the sky filled with mountain– ignore the threatening volcano inside– massive contrasts of blue and white glacier and rock, snow blanketed slopes it’s never not amazing, not one single time I look, even hiding behind complete cloud cover when a stranger wouldn’t know it’s there
I tried to think of any other window where I would rather look and suddenly, I am in the international space station, looking down on Earth my body is confined, but my view through this small portal is as if the eye of God. To see the sphere its atmosphere floating in the void to know the glorious insignificance of momentary stresses, bringing overwhelming strife, but seeing all connection of a day in life
But there’s no coming back from that I’ve already known what new seeing can do, would I want to add that fractured knowing too?
I only have this window for a ticking-clock of time, I want to be aware, to take in each tick of this view while it’s sublime, the years of firs blocking the way flew so quickly by knowing there are limits, a coming end erases the flaws in the pane, even the baked-on bird gifts that won’t scrape with a blade, all I see gleams this view holds a vivid shine
The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to write a poem that poses a series of questions. The PAD prompt is to write a remix poem. These should work well together. It’ll be interesting to look back through this month’s poems and see which questions spring to mind.
My Janus for the A to Z challenge is the letter X which can mark a spot, or delete it.
What sense would I heighten if I could? Which sense is the villain of my story?
Which smells trigger my memories? Are they pleasant smells or foul odors?
What color tints my vision? What do I see in the clouds?
What is this ringing in my ears? What voice do I hear in the dark?
Which word tastes best in my mouth? What flavor was the glue?
What texture represents me? Why do I step on broken glass?
How far do I want to see clearly? Which frequencies would I choose to hear?
What are the tastes I would enhance? Could there be a dial for only pleasant smells?
If I sign by the X and everything would be as soft as Levi, would I heighten a sense if I could?
Over at A to Z Challenge there’s a challenge to add some variety to the day. One of the options is to try a new kind of exercise. I saw cardio drumming for the first time on a mystery show from New Zealand. I have a yoga ball and drumsticks. I think I’ll give it a try.
The Janus word for today is vault (1) A small locked box; (2) the expanse of the heavens.
My parody was inspired by a silly thing Larry Kudlow said. After watching the segment, he may have been making fun of “plant-based” as terminology and not saying the ridiculously stupid thing he appears to be saying, but my poem’s a parody and the idea is funny, so his original intent can linger as nonsense either way.
Lest a Green New World, All Must Fear the Plant-Based Beer
We’ve all been warned it was on the “news” from that treasured vault, got those TV views
Do not listen to scientists if they don’t agree but he says there’s a study that supports, soon we’ll see
They’re coming for our summer meats no more family bar-b-q’s We’ll be roasting brussel sprouts and then what chaos ensues?
That’s right! We’ll be drinking plant-based beers removed of all that tasty flesh or at least that’s what Larry hears
No more hamburger in our hops no more bacon in the barley no more yak shank in the yeast might as well cancel all the parties
No fermented flank steak or bubbly buffalo wings Absent the Angus ale and the joy a perfect pork-loin pint brings
How will we get a buzz without a beefy broiled Bud and what will tint the goggles if there’s no sirloin in the suds?
*After writing my poem, I found this post about beers that are brewed with meat. Gross, but I felt it should be included.
A few of those got me thinking. National Work Zone Awareness might be difficult if you are observing Sky Awareness. And Every Kid Healthy may conflict with National Princess Week. However, Sky Awareness could combine with Princess Awareness if you see castles in the sky, and Medical Laboratory Professionals can be appreciated for keeping Kids Healthy and Infant Immunization. Lots to think about, but I’m kind of stuck on Sky Awareness Week. The idea that people might only be aware of the sky for one week in April is interesting and surprising. 🙂
Nephelococcygia and the art of sky awareness
It’s finally here the nationally recognized week I’ve waited for all year
Those seven days to lay down outside and shift my gaze
up to the sky and become aware of things that fly
like jets and seaplanes eagles and ducks pleasantly observed until it rains
and clouds in layers creating shapes for nephelococcygian players
shifting and forming fantastical beasts and faces and castles before the storming
when I’ll run inside but still be aware the sky will abide
above and at week’s end when awareness shifts back to the earth to tend
sky unobserved like a falling tree in the forest, eyes closed no clouds to see
NaPoWriMo has a fun prompt where I’m to find an article about an animal and replace the animal name with an abstract or other specific concrete noun. The Poem-a-Day challenge is to write a question poem and my Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is unbending; meaning both rigid, inflexible, refusing to yield or compromise, as in “his stance against reform was unbending”; or becoming less tense, relaxing, as in “unbending a little, she confided…”
Flying Dream Felons?
Though flying dreams are not endangered, they are vulnerable because their habitats are vanishing
a concerned citizen called authorities after noticing boxes– flying dream traps– on trees in Florida
Americans aren’t the only ones who find dreams adorable they’re small, furry exotic notions valued and thought of as pocket pets
while it is legal to breed flying dreams, in most cases, it’s illegal to take them from the wild and sell them to wildlife exporters
and flying dreams make awful pets unbending in their nocturnal enterprises, they make a lot of noise at night and they have sharp teeth
imagine how the dreams must feel taken from their homes and sent to foreign lands
Inspired by “Flying squirrel felons” by John Kelly, published in the Washington Post April 13, 2021.
I just enjoyed the first presentation of Crime Writer’s Week with author Leigh Russell. She had lots of tips for writers and mentioned poetry often. I’m looking forward to the next panel. I hope you will find time to enjoy some of this free conference this week. I have crime in each of my novel manuscripts from literary fiction to science fiction and even in some of my poems ;). And I’m having fun thinking about all of them.
There you are swimming to the surface as I want to dive in Laying some eggs –that will be tiny fish by the thousands soon swarming the ladder– leaving a trail of excrement, flaunting your occupancy
You slimy, slippery, carnivorous cannibal, yeah, I saw you slipping into shallow waters under children’s feet to freak them out with your slithering slime, then shimmering off to hide in the shadow under the dock
Don’t you know that’s why you’re so easy to catch? but that’s another tease isn’t it? The excitement of the tug on the line then your scales are sharp and cut and you’re so full of bones, not enough to fry you’re only good for choking on
I was inspired by the chapter “collage” to look at some collage programs online. I had a lot of fun with Word Art, creating a shape for each line of my poem, starting with another chapter title, “Who were you in my dream?”
Then I put those images into another program called ribbet to make a shape collage. I didn’t enjoy ribbet as much as it made me sign up for a 14 day trial and wasn’t as simple and straight forward as Word Art. But, it made a fun collage to illustrate my poem.
There’s a lot going on today. The Write Hive Conference has workshops and presentations all day and it’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday (#SoCS) with the prompt “mash,” so that should be an interesting combination (a day of stream of consciousness while attending a conference).
One of the sponsors for Write Hive is Prowritingaid which will have another free conference next week. Crime Writer’s Week starts on Monday and has interesting presentations and events all week. The Networking events look like fun.
Over at the A to Z Challenge they are asking what you do on your “Off Day.” I really like today’s Janus word, overlook (1) To watch closely; (2) to fail to notice
Time for some stream of consciousness. Hopefully, there will be a poem in there.
It worked! All of the prompts came together. Even “mash” got into the poem. Just for fun, here’s a section of my stream of consciousness before I got to the poem:
. . . “mash”: a pulpy mass. I mash black beans, then fry them up for my feta and beans on toast. That’s pretty much the only thing I mash. I just mashed a tiny, black sugar ant that crawled on me, that’s what my summers are about” mashing ants. Not this year. This year I will win the battle somehow. . .
The battle plan for the ants goes on for a while then I get to the poem when I write, “What does any of that have to do with mash or overlook or the moon or waiting?” Then the poem kind of spilled out.
He is a Selfish Moon
Am I waiting for the moon, so I can mash his stupid, smug face in– the way he overlooks the pain he brings, the tidal pull of our waters, powerless to the moon’s whims
that peeping moon’s bright light, pouring across the lawn, and streaming through windows in the middle of the night, does he think I don’t see him reflected in the water in the morning?