#NaPoWriMo Day 30: When Zeal Returns

I thought a couple of my fabric glass light boxes were nice illustrations for today’s return poem, but the way they were hanging on the wall wasn’t conducive to the photographs I wanted, so I rearranged them. It felt weird, but good, pulling them off the wall and swapping them around, plugging them in and enjoying them in a new way.

The poem

When Zeal Returns

Zeal returns at the break of dawn
before realization or consequence yawn

like a child on a swing who
soars and falls
higher and faster until
she tires or jumps
trying to fly
only to crash

Zeal returns with an ember of creation
before impossibility or discouragement’s gestation

like a comet it lights
my sky
for a while
its tail a dying
as it travels
from sight

Zeal returns when discovering the forgotten
before loss and grief get a word in

like a yo-yo on a frayed string
the return feels like
skilled control until
snap
it rolls
away

Zeal returns when it does
passion and zest without cause

like flowers and leaves
sun and rain
in the spring
bring a will to begin
something, anything
and clean and plant
to kneel in the dirt
let go
of the hurt and
turn my face, arms extended
to the wind until
it burns

Then zeal returns

 

A to Z Challenge

zither – a musical instrument consisting of a flat wooden sound box with numerous strings stretched across it, placed horizontally and played with the fingers and a plectrum (any implement for plucking a string, such as a small piece of plastic, wood, etc.). It is used especially in central European folk music.

zydecoPopular music of southern Louisiana that combines French dance melodies, elements of Caribbean music, and the blues, played by small groups featuring the guitar, the accordion, and a washboard.

Looking for a good definition of zydeco got me going through my personal collection of not only zydeco music, but a beautiful art collection by Earl Hébert. His warm joyous paintings of Louisiana life brightened my days. His studio was next to Royal Rags, the costume shop I worked at in the French Quarter. His beautiful book Zydeco Shoes includes his paintings, recipes, and a CD of zydeco by The Lucky Playboys “Plus d’chance–Que d’esprit” meaning More Luck–Than Sense. 🙂

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: Write a poem about something that returns

What a wonderful way to end this poetry challenge. I’m listening to zydeco, admiring beautiful paintings by an old friend and thinking about the return of zeal, passion, and zest for life.

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write a praise poem

Shelter in Poems, a virtual reading this evening!

Shelter in poems April 30 2020

Free virtual Event                 April 30, 2020 7:30 EDT

Academy of American Poets has an event tonight. What a great way to end NaPoWriMo. I was surprised to see names like Dulé Hill and Dan Rather on the list. I look forward to seeing which poems they read.

Enjoy This Day! Treat Yourself to some Great Poetry!

#NaPoWriMo Day 29: The penultimate poem

The poem

Total Trickster

It’s a complicated relationship
but then, isn’t every relationship–complicated
We keep it casual
He wanders over on a whim
takes a nap on my porch
either in the chair where I like to read
or the cushion on the bench
When I notice him,
I go out to say Hello
sometimes, when I open the door,
he’ll waltz right in

He’ll snuggle up to me,
put his head on my leg as I work
I cherish this time and try not to move
because if I do, he’ll leave
He gets mad if I go to the bathroom or if I eat
More often these days,
when I think we’re enjoying each other’s company
he lashes out at me
his moods change so quickly
I am often caught off guard
the language barrier can be frustrating

At the moment, he is inside my bass drum
a sign that he wants to hide
from the world as much as I do
Yesterday, I didn’t realize he was there
I thought he was outside
and he appeared in the middle of the day
The way he strutted across the room
I think he enjoyed surprising me

He’s a total trickster
changing the whims of the wind
with the flick of his tail
like Coyote, he draws in the fool with false wisdom
like the one-eyed pirate with a see-through eye patch
he prowls

He has trained me well
I do tricks for his affections
provide treats at his command
slide and click, slide and click
the glass door to his whims
all for a moment more
with this elderly feline
who chooses my company
over the chaos at home

A to Z Challenge

Yu – “An interval of the Chinese scale. The ancient Chinese divided the octave into twelve equal parts, like the semitones of our chromatic scale, which were called lu. Their scale, as commonly used, consisted, however, of only five notes, which were called koung, chang, kio, tché, and yu, and which corresponded to our F, G, A, C, D; koung or F being considered to be the normal key.” (from cambridge.org)

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: high praise to your pet

PAD Challenge

Prompt: Total (Blank)

#NaPoWriMo Day 28: When there is nothing but memories

Screenshot_2020-04-28 'In one ear and out the other' Poster by marialberg

In One Ear and Out the Other print from photograph of fabric glass by Maria L. Berg staged by Redbubble

The poem

The Best Rooms Are Too X-rated

Thinking through the bedrooms
so many bedrooms
moving and moving
trying to make something mine
I tried to settle on one
to mentally linger, loiter
describe in detail
like a capsule through time

I wanted it to be a happy place
full of growth and creative industry
accomplishment or at least good dreams
and for a moment I settled on your room
that first room
with only a mattress on the floor
we sat together in the chair
and blew bubbles through the fan
That room didn’t need anything else
for a few weeks

Then I thought of our room
before the storm
the tall ceilings and

I realized that all of the best rooms
the very best rooms
are too X-rated
to describe in this public space
for prying eyes
to savor
and embrace

The prompts

A to Z Challenge

X bracing – a constructional characteristic of a steel-string flat-top guitar established as standard by Martin around 1850.

𝄪  the symbol for a “double sharp” which means to play the note 2 half-steps higher

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: write a poem about an old bedroom

PAD Challenge

Prompt:

  1. Write a look back poem and/or…
  2. Write a don’t look back poem. Because some folks just want to keep their eyes on the road ahead.

Reena’s Exploration Challenge

This morning, I found another prompt that I found inspiring. Over at Reena Saxena’s site, prompt # 131 is a quote that I could really relate to.

He had lost everything of value to him. There was an empty canvas on the easel, his colors and tools. What would he paint?

After Hurricane Katrina, when I had lost everything, I used fabric as my canvas. I had been working on an original technique of sewing layers and cutting that, when finished, looks like stained glass, thus “fabric glass.” The image at the top of the post “In One Ear and Out The Other” symbolizes trying to take all the bad and turn it into good.

My original pieces are all one of a kind, but I took pictures of them and loaded them onto Redbubble.com where they make them into prints, cards, clothing, pillows and other products.

 

#NaPoWriMo Day 27: Massive Wonderment

Gigantomachy

Massive Wonderment (2018) photograph by Maria L. Berg

The poem

A Review of Wonderment

At first glance, it can be confusing
and a little bit scary
the rush of heightened perception
opening the senses to floods of emotion
when facing the tremendous unknown

The impressive beauty of discovery
sparking the creative mind to
sort through the behemoth array
of memories and form
new associations
each texture astronomical
each smell pythonic

In moments of wonderment
it becomes easy to sit peacefully
without imposing hurry
and enjoy each herculean sight

I applaud wonderment its mighty perseverance
its elephantine stubborness
and ability to always stay in front
of the latest trends and fads

If I must find fault
it would be that sometimes
a sense of wonder can be too massive
overwhelming, even exhausting
but that is a warbly criticism
for sleep brings recovery
So bring on the wonderment
gigantic and colossal
Highly recommended

A to Z Challenge

whole step – interval of major 2nd, two half-steps between

wah-wah – is an imitative word (or onomatopoeia) for the sound of altering the resonance of musical notes.

warble – (of a bird) sing softly and with a succession of constantly changing notes.

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: a poetic review of something not usually reviewed

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write a massive poem

#NaPoWriMo Day 26: A Day Can Change So Quickly

the mountain's fickle hats

The poem

The Changing Days

A day can change so quickly
the sun slips behind the clouds
limbs break in the wind
becoming glass-shattering projectiles
the house floods, or burns, or burns while flooding
families shrink or grow
chairs are shifted around the table

Change will always happen
childhood dreams fleeting
take a lifetime to achieve
and once achieved warp and grow gargantuan
like Carl Jung discovering the matrix–
the simulation is now a garden snake
chasing its tail

How do we value change?
as dear as flying horses to fairy tales
or garbage to seagulls
as feared as homelessness
or a leader’s dangerous idiocy?

A day can change like
the whims of Mt. Rainier’s cloud hats
or a stain finds satin on a walk to school.
The cardio-glide found on the roadside
pairs well with cheese and wine,
so it does not produce change,
not this day
however, the vinyl records and books
do well to lighten the mood
because a day can change so quickly

 

The prompts

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: “Almanac Questionnaire”

PAD Challenge

Prompt: Write a change poem

#NaPoWriMo Day 22: Fun With Idioms

netherlandish-proverbs

Netherlandish Proverbs (1559) Pieter Bruegel the Elder

The poem

Pay The Duck

Quit throwing cream into their eyes
and blowing little ducks
the thief has a burning hat
and is pushing the facts with his belly
but the pussy cat will come to the tiny door

We see whose mother is spinning black wool
he’s in a drifting boat with the bark falling off
and he keeps hanging noodles from his ears
but slippery ground does not recognize a king
and the frog in the well does not know the great sea

Did an elephant stomp on his ear
or are his ears lined with ham?
Some still have tomatoes on their eyes
They bought a cat in a sack
who put fleas in their ears

Stop ironing my head
empty barrels make the most noise
out here at the end of the world turn left
because the carrots are cooked
and it’s time to pay the duck

 

The prompts

A to Z Challenge

slur – a curved line over or under two or more notes. Played legato without tonguing or changing bow direction
staff – 5 lines and 4 spaces on which notes are placed
staccato – the note is separated and played shorter with space between notes

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write a quirk poem.

#NaPoWriMo Day 21: International Love with Wordplay

a collage of Starry Night by Van Gogh and cut outs from Arabian Nights illustrations by Virginia Frances Sterrett (1900–1931)

Starry Art Deco Arabian Nights (2020) collage and photo by Maria L. Berg

When Maya and I first started Artifact Puzzles, she had the idea of creating a series of smaller puzzles that went together into a large puzzle. She made prints of these beautiful illustrations to Arabian Nights, but even as small puzzles, the dpi of the images wasn’t high enough, so we moved on to other ideas.

As a person who loves stickers and art, I still have those original prints and found a fun use for them today. Since my sister and mother both recently did my Starry Night puzzle (and both complimented the difficulty and the shapes); I had it on my mind.

The prompts

A to Z Challenge

rallentando – gradually getting slower
ritard – gradually get slower
rubato – (robbed) flexibility in the speed of certain parts of composition

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it.

Today’s resource Poetry International

I would like to visit Indonesia, so I chose an Indonesian poem called Winter Festival by Afrizal Malna

I didn’t get through the whole Winter Festival poem (not even half), but I got a lot out of it. This prompt

is a great creative challenge and gave me a lot to work with.

PAD Challenge

Prompt:

  1. Write a love poem and/or…
  2. Write an anti-love poem. Because some folks just aren’t that into love poems.

The poem

inspired by Winter Festival by Afrizal Malna from the Indonesian

Cooping Picasso

Peck away, bank men are ye
took her away, lock and key
took her away, lock and key
Man, a sorry thank you?
not coos (or woos)?

Oh rang, Oh rang Berg auntie – muddy
kept a lock to tear us up
or talk the alarm
bang a gong raw
Maui, purge ye

Hen, draw many a moo
can cooping Picasso
Ya ain’t been cock of the museum, Ludwig
Ma can, Peeling Polly
Take knee gear, Ia

Hit ham separately
language, dull lamb, multitudes
separate language, dull lamb
multitudes celibate
take one, borrow

Edith and Emily utopian
took a knock at the mantle
Oh rang, Oh rang, member @ruintoomoody_coffeecoffee
car you tell upon
dandelion-lion go home.

 

Have fun today!

 

 

#NaPoWriMo Day 20: Homemade Gifts in Isolation

homemade scarf

The poem

Warm Fuzzy Thoughts of You

I pulled the scarf you made
from the cubby in the closet
something sticky found its way
onto its knits and pearls
so I gave it a cool rinse
before rubbing it to my cheek
like a pastel kiss of greeting
then wrapped its curling edges
around my neck and shoulders
like a warm, soft hug
its melange of bright colors
like hours of smiles
and fun conversation
memories of you to
comfort my isolation

The prompts

A to Z Challenge

quartet – A performing group involving four voices or instruments. A string quartet, consisting of two violins, a viola and a cello, is the most common.

quantize – Quantization is a process used in the production of digital music. To quantize, simply put, is the process by which notes performed by a human are made by the computer to more closely match the tempo and beat of the composition.

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: write a poem about a homemade gift

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write an isolation poem

#NaPoWriMo Day 19: Sound Collecting

This morning, the prompts inspired me to go out for a walk. I wore gloves with the full intention to collect small things I encountered along the way, but once out there, I didn’t want to bring home little bits of plastic or the weird broken vial. The little flowers and squirrels didn’t want to come home with me either, so I collected these pictures and memories of all the sounds.

The poem

The Sound Collector

It starts with the dogs running to the fence barking
they don’t stop after I have passed
as if I was the on button and someone lost the remote

then the squirrels skitter up the pole
one settles at the very top and peers down
while the other chitters at me from over the cylindrical transformer

a couple passes me on the other side of the street
we all say “Good Morning”
the first words I’ve heard today

a large dog’s deep bark echos
its own response
a stimulating conversation

I hear a car coming,
but it never passes me
I am half way around my walking loop

ahead I am surprised by
the beeping of a truck backing up
the prime truck delivers

to my right, a woman clearly says
“Not right now”
from inside her house

she is interrupted by the prime truck backing up
the click of crows feet landing on a roof
and someone opening and closing a door

a cyclist changing gears
speeds by leaning forward in full regalia
the wheels whir

the prime truck beeps, rolling out of another driveway
it drives the short distance across the street
clicks and clacks as the van doors open and close

small birds sing in counterpoint
the prime truck beeps
the gruff neighbor says, “good morning”

the morning dove calls like a sick goose
guggle-guggle–wow, guggle-guggle–wow
the prime truck beeps and beeps and beeps

The prompts

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: create a walking archive

PAD Challenge

Prompt: use these words

  • bump
  • embrace
  • fixture
  • howl
  • lonely
  • resolve

#NaPoWriMo Day 7: I read the news today, Oh Boy.

Collage illustration of poem

The Moon is Mine (2020) collage by Maria L. Berg

Blogging A to Z

I am not doing a great job of bringing my musical terms into my poetry, but they are still fun words to explore. Maybe I’ll use them to write little micro-fictions instead. That could be fun.

I recently read that April is also International Guitar Month, started in 1987 to promote retail guitar sales. Though I am not in the market for a guitar, I did find this fun playlist from NPR Celebrate International Guitar Month With These Guitar Greats.

This got me thinking about MoPop (It used to be the Experience Music Project) in Seattle. I headed to there website, but they don’t have virtual tours, so then I looked around for who did have virtual tours and found some fun ones:

Joe Bonamassa’s Vintage Guitar Studio Tour (this one made me say Whoa)

The National Music Museum

The National Blues Museum (this is the kind of virtual tour I had hoped to find at MoPop)

The David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) Guitar Collection

Musical Instrument Museum (this one is a little tricky to navigate, but worth the effort)

And there are more. I found an intriguing international collection at musicandenglish-interactivelearning.

I may end up spending quarantine in the Liszt Academy. Yep. This is now my mind palace. It’s amazing.

I cannot figure out how a single person can be bored. There is so much to explore. My time is flying by. I could spend an entire day in only one of these museums. Except now I’m never leaving Liszt Academy, so that could be a problem. 😉

Today’s musical terms:

fermata – a musical symbol that indicates to hold/pause on a note, played as long as the performer/director wishes

forte – loud

Fine – end of the song, stop here

NaPoWriMo

Prompt: a poem based on a news article

I cannot believe that during this unprecedented time of pandemic, when people are suffering and dying, losing loved ones and family members; medical professionals are desperate for supplies and people are bartering with toilet paper; the president of the United States thought it would be appropriate to sign an Executive Order on Space Resources. That’s right, he wants to profit from space mining. That is what he’s thinking about.

Quote from the “fact sheet” :

“Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view space as a global commons.”

So he makes a Space Force then creates a reason for there to be wars for it to fight? What a horror show. Does he think The Emperor from Star Wars was the good guy? Or does he just like his looks?

I also happened upon an article showing that we can’t even manage the National Laboratory at the International Space Center: Report criticizes management of ISS National Laboratory. I’m sure we’ll get it all sorted out before the death star is fully functional.

PAD Challenge

Prompt: pick a piece of clothing, use it as your title

The poem

The Business Casual Space Suit

The man is on a mission
Talk about an ill-fitting suit
He has a moon to conquer
and another planet to loot

The man needs a taller tower
and his snake oils are now lunar
His wreckage is universal
powders promise to get you there sooner

The man without compassion
inspires every greedy crook
but they don’t break any laws
because in space he re-wrote the book

The man is on a mission
His suit feels bulky, flattens his hair
He can’t wait to bounce on the surface
and remove his helmet when he gets there.