H is for horripilation- Poem: Things that are love/ Things that are not love

Mt. Rainier reflected in Lake Tapps

Today’s new word:

horripilation n. a bristling of the hair on the skin from cold, fear, etc.; goose bumps.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.” The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

  1. Write a love poem. All you need is love.
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Or not.

My poem

Things that are love

Diving into cold water starts a vibration
that tingles and lingers with horripilation
Curling up with words when the sky fills with rain
finding that poem to read again and again
The warmth of your silence as we both think and write
laughing at silly things, you collect a sound bite
things we say when we’re together
We laugh.

Things that are not love

Getting my blood pressure checked at the dentist
As if the dentist wasn’t enough cause for alarm
Shortness of breath while playing the flute
Everyone staring while the notes putter out
Florists who never deliver birthday flowers,
So you return from the door disappointed each hour
Bee stings and cupboard moths and midnight pillow spiders
Accusations.

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Smudgy and Lossy by John Myers.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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G is for grig- Poem: The Horror Show

martin-brosy-758535-unsplash

Photo by Martin Brosy on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

grig n. 1. a cricket or grasshopper. 2. a small or young eel. 3. a lively person.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem. The provided list of Professional slang is full of inspiration.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a lucky number poem. Some people have lucky numbers, some don’t. Wherever you fall on the lucky number spectrum, you can still write a poem about the phenomenon of lucky numbers and/or luck in general.

My poem

The Horror Show

The horror show began after
the baby catcher handed me the grig
I couldn’t find any joy
in the things that I previously did

The baby catcher said I had
pneumoencephalopathy that would clear up in time
but the grig stopped its bubbling
And I couldn’t stop its crying, so

I was sent to the Freud Squad, but
they made things worse
acted caring at first, but
were pill pushers all, and

The pills made me dizzy which
led to a fall and by trip number four
to the slashers and gassers they cured
my Acute Thespian Syndrome, but
replaced it with Mysterious Internal Spongeitis

 

The Planner Pages

Sorry I didn’t get these out yesterday, but life. One of the lessons I’m learning from this experiment is that an important part of successful planning is being flexible. Missing a deadline isn’t the end, it’s the opportunity to create a new deadline.

2019 April Week Two

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Deep Well by Dan Bellm. I’m really enjoying this small collection about a man facing his mother’s death. It’s beautiful in form and format.

Happy Reading and Writing!

F is for fainéant- Poem: After the Rain

cut wood between trees

Today’s new word:

fainéant n. an idler. adj. idle; indolent.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“After (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles include: “After Dinner,” “After You,” “After Hours,” and/or “After I Finish Writing This Poem.”

My poem

After the Rain

if the clouds break and spread
releasing blue sky, the sun bursting,
glistening droplets on glass and bush
the blue-green waves pumping rhythmically
then saws and motors fill the air as if
men and women held them still
as long as they could, but the first ray of sun
set them free

if the sun breaks free and turns
the glistening raindrops to steam
rising up to join the receding clouds
let the growling, whining, revving, gnarling
inform the fainéants of their indolence
there is no rest against nature’s encroachment
no peace for those who live
among the virulent trees

if the rain ceases and the droplets are greeted
by the warm sun, spring has sprung
and there is growth, nature encroaches
and the peace of winter, the silent void of winter
is filled with revving and whining and gnarling and growling
if the fainéant sit, their heads soon split

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

Happy Reading and Writing!

E is for eleemosynary- Poem:Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

iStock_000013284658_Small burning money

Today’s new word:

eleemosynary adj. 1. of or relating to alms, charity, or charitable donations; charitable.
2. derived from or provided by charity. 3. dependent on or supported by charity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

“Write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

“For today’s prompt, write a stolen poem. And no, don’t steal anyone’s poem! But you can write about doing such a thing. Or stealing hearts, stealing time, stealing minds. Or steeling your mind (remember: I don’t care if you play on my original prompt). Steal away into a comfortable place to write and break some lines today.”

My poem

Donations Eaten by Bureaucracy

Your altruism is in the mail
to eleemosynary systems of dilution,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to bypass through donated time, but
bureaucracy can ruin every good intention
Your altruism is in the mail

Regulations, rules–there must be control–change
behavior through punishment or reward,
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

You try to circumvent: offering temporary shelter;
donating clothes; preparing meals: inconvenience
Your altruism is in the mail

No one wants your eleemosynary roofs
if they mean invasive monitoring and checks
your altruism is in the mail
stirring the cycle of hopelessness

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Native Guard: Poems by Natasha Trethewey

Happy Reading and Writing!

D is for dysphemism- Poem: Pollock in the Playhouse

Today’s new word:

dysphemism n. 1. the substitution of a harsh, disparaging, or unpleasant expression for a more neutral one. 2. an expression so substituted, as “cancer stick” for “cigarette.”

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own sad poem, but one that achieves sadness through simplicity.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Pick a painter, make him or her the title of your poem, and then, write your poem.

My poem

Pollock in the Playhouse

Stop crying! Why won’t you stop
crying? Get up! Get to work
Make phone calls. Find your stuff.
Stop crying.

Do you have to do that?
You’re killing a path through
the grass. I smell it on you
I can smell that

This isn’t working You
aren’t working. We’re only trying
to help you help yourself
Try this. You’ll like it if you only
try. Try that.

Better to leave her alone
To wallow, to swallow her pain
The pain that is all in her mind
Since she can’t leave the past behind
We don’t have time for this

All the whispers, so unkind
They find time to diss
the dysphoric with dysphemisms:
couch potato, cry baby, killjoy
negative Nancy in a black mood

I’m trying

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Poems: Maya Angelou

Happy Reading and Writing!

C is for cathect- Poem:Call of the King Fisher

800px-Houghton_MS_Am_21_(50)_-_John_James_Audubon,_belted_kingfisher

Today’s new word:

cathect vt. to invest with mental or emotional energy

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write an animal poem. The poem could be about an animal. Or it could just mention an animal in passing. Or include an animal in your title and fail to mention the animal once in your poem.

My poem

Call of the King Fisher

Surrounded by tall fir and cedar,
wizened rhododendron and cherry plum
She chooses a plastic pole (for securing a boat)
Perched atop, only room for one

Squat, blue and white, protruding needle
Her song, unique among the chatter,
cathected call commands my attention
She used to fly off when I came to the window

Day after day
The pole closer to the house
Not the other one
Year after year
Beak parallel to the windows
Not pointing in at me

This spring there is another
They chase each other
flirting through the skies
The farther pole stays vacant

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Wade in the Water: Poems by Tracy K. Smith.

Happy Reading and Writing!

B is for Brobdingnagian-Poem: Before Work

Today’s new word:

Brobdingnagian adj. of huge size; gigantic; tremendous  n. 1. a giant; a being of tremendous size 2. an inhabitant of Brobdingnag

I came across this word in a book by Roy Peter Clark. It was fun to find out it comes from the fictional land of Brobdingnag from Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. It’s funny how you don’t recognize things sometimes, when they are out of context.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that resists closure by ending in a question.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Today is Two for Tuesday. Choose one or both prompts.

  1. Write a worst case poem. What’s the worst that could happen?
  2. Write a best case poem. Take the worst and reverse it!

My poem

Before Work

I could not return to dreaming of lovers
And so the day has begun, I roll over
and push my legs from under the covers
Aches, stiff joints and pulsing veins
A few tempered steps before toe meets metal frame
Ignore the shooting pain
Tell me that’s the end

Drag that heavy ass up the stairs
There’s coffee to be made, but I glare
into an empty bag. I start the tea pot
In the haze of brainless morning I gulp,
The boiling liquid sears my tongue and throat
burning in my chest as if singeing my lungs
How will I know the end when it comes?

I relax in my chair and flip on the tube
I can’t seem to stop myself and turn to the news
Another shooting and so many lies
scandals, celebrities, murder and suicides
A Brobdingnagian pile of hubris and greed
putrid stupidity repackaged as need
I do not know when the end is coming

The shower runs cold, the water won’t heat
My clothes from the dryer smell bitter-sweet
I rush to the car, my hair worse than bad
The key does nothing, the damned thing is dead
I look up at the sky, all cloudless and blue
And instead of why? ask
Is the end coming soon?

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is When My Brother Was an Aztec by Natalie Diaz.

Happy Reading and Writing!

A is for Agita- Poem: How to take a picture of the mountain in the morning

the mountain in the morning

Today’s new word:

agita n. 1. heartburn; indigestion 2. agitation; anxiety

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that provides the reader with instructions on how to do something.

Writer’s Digest April PAD (poem a day) challenge:

Write a morning poem

My poem

How to take a picture of the mountain in the morning

Imbibe the pink hue on the air
Imagine its reflection off of the glaciered peaks
Rush downstairs and scour the regular places
Race back upstairs and inspect the most recent surfaces
Retrace your hurry downstairs, instrument in hand,
out the glass door, startling the birds at the feeder
Dart across the freshly cut grass, your naked toes
collecting cuttings wet with ice-cold dew
Ignore the agita of your stirred morning coffee,
rumbling in your blackened bowels
Steady your arms, your eyes, and your breath
Select the detail that will capture what is left
of the beauty you missed in your flailing
Push the button
Adjust your view
Push it again

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Best American Poetry 2015 (The Best American Poetry series) with guest editor Sherman Alexie.

 

Happy Reading and Writing!