Poem: Camouflage in the City on Easter Sunday

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National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

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

For today’s prompt, write a sketch poem. My initial thought is to write a poem that’s like a sketch of a moment or an object. But you can play around with sketchy people or situations. Or just sketch something else together.

My poem

Camouflage in the City on Easter Sunday

mud splattered banana hand outstretched
open to releasing smoke
you are seen
prominently uncamouflaged
against the videocon dish by-stander not helping
clinging to the circles and ovals
once cool metal modern faces of Bert
or that paperclip assistant
no one wanted
now holding you up
and out of place
juxtaposed
definitely not a muddy banana in a jungle
though the animals have attacked
and see you clearly
your gray faces and black disc eyes
your filtered muffled barking holes
and holstered weapon
the animals are already back in their dens
but you are out contrasting
against white-washed walls
and Bert railings and satellite dishes
where is your leaf, your purple bulb
the sweet smell of tropical rain
to wash the blood from the smoke?

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Four-Legged Girl: Poems by Diane Seuss

Happy Reading and Writing!

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R is for ruddle- Poem: The Cave Wall

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Photo by Jennifer Regnier on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

ruddle n. a red variety of ocher, used for marking sheep, coloring, etc.

v. (used with object), rud·dled, rud·dling. to mark or color with ruddle.

Today’s word was found in a slightly roundabout way. I started at raddleman which directed me to ruddleman n. a person who deals in ruddle.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that “talks.” Write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life.

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

For today’s prompt, write a dark poem. Cave poems, poems at night, and no electricity poems–these are all appropriate for today’s prompt.

My poem

The Cave Wall

ruddle marks flurry along the cave’s wall
my only message
my only proof of existance
I mark the days, months
at first I doodled to pass the time
flowers, spirals, a cat, a little stick person
but this cough is more urgent
what to say?
not some old quote
someone else’s words
a legacy
meaningful wisdom
what has life taught me
to pass along?
Don’t get stranded
and die in a cave
wouldn’t be helpful to many
nor the next poor soul that sits here
reading my message
I decide
and the ruddle marks the wall
I doodle some spirals
I mark the days

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is The Rain in Portugal: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

q is for quires- Poem: Now I Lay Me

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Today’s new word:

quires n. 1. a set of 24 uniform sheets of paper. 2. Bookbinding . a section of printed leaves in proper sequence after folding; gathering.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Yesterday’s poem, Little Bee, is the featured poem on NaPoWriMo today. So exciting. Thank you.

Write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet. This is a prompt that lends itself well to a certain playfulness.

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

Write a license poem.

My poem

Now I lay me

acidic
bile building
calcium can’t conquer
dull drunks don’t drown
effervescent ellipses emit
fidgety film
gross
heart hurting
illicit illness insists
jerking jolting jarring jog
killing kiln kicks
license lost
morning
never new
obsess over oddities
plentiful patience, peeking peepers
quires quell quips
ruin reams
sleep
tortured tether
under urban upper-crust
vaulting value vanishes virtues
wintered wandering wonderment
x-ray xenomorph
yawn
zzz

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is A Trio of Tolerable Tales by Margaret Atwood.

Happy Reading and Writing!

P is for perfidy- Poem: Little Bee

little bee

Today’s new word:

perfidy n. 1. deliberate breach of faith or trust; faithlessness; treachery. 2. an act or instance of faithlessness or treachery.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.

This prompt is quite timely. Yesterday, I finished up Billy Collins’s Masterclass and there was a lovely section where he and Marie Howe discussed their elegy poems. Mr. Collins’s was “Death of a hat” and Ms. Howe’s was “What the Living Do.” When Ms. Howe finished reading her poem, I got that great WOW feeling. I can’t wait to go back and listen again, and read it when my hold gets to my library.

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

Take the phrase “Little (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then write your poem.

My poem

Little Bee

Floating
barely a breeze
slight current moving us mountainward
the wake of a boat passing
jostles into
a rocking, lulling
deliquesce

Then
little bee
your perfidy
How
did you find
my hand?

Breaking
the flow
of a comfortable row
with a piercing
then stinging
then ache

like Sunday
in church
when I finally faced
that she would
never be there
again

I didn’t cry
when you told me
she died
a surprise call
on a sunny
afternoon

There
was a space
where her face
was replaced
reality swiftly and suddenly
stung

I keep
breathing
and flouting
and singing
before
the bee
on a leaf
in this lake

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is What the Living Do: Poems by Marie Howe.

Happy Reading and Writing!

O is for ostracon – Poem: I Am a Piece

Today’s new word:

ostracon n. a piece of pottery, usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In an archaeological or epigraphical context, ostraca refer to sherds or even small pieces of stone that have writing scratched into them. Usually these are considered to have been broken off before the writing was added; ancient people used the cheap, plentiful and durable broken pieces of pottery around them as convenient places to place writing for a wide variety of purposes, mostly very short inscriptions, but in some cases surprisingly long. -from Wikipedia

In ancient Greece ostraca were used to vote which citizens should be ostracized.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

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

Write a reason poem. If this prompt seems unreasonable, just remember all the reasons you write poetry or enjoy cooking, dancing, singing, etc. Or provide a reasoned argument for your lack of reason. Only you know your reasons.

My poem

I Am a Piece

I am a piece, an ostracon
I am not broken
I am whole and of the whole
I am unique in size, shape and site
I am your surface, your history,
your judgement

I will not return to the whole
I will bare a name, carved, scarred into me
I will hold its weight upon me immemorial
I will be counted among the other ostraca
I will grow in number and strength, deciding
your fate

I have heard the reasons:
I have been abundant and plentiful
I have been accessible and pliable
I have no other useful purpose, but
I have lasted through time and space to witness
your erosion

Reading

This month, I bought myself a very rewarding birthday gift: a year of access to Masterclass. I love it! I’ve already enjoyed about half of Neil Gaiman’s class and Margaret Atwood’s class. The classes come with beautiful, unique workbooks and videos about the craft from the authors. It’s wonderful.

Yesterday, they added a poetry class by Billy Collins. Though I was not familiar with his work, in the introduction video he showed a lovely sense of humor, so I dove right in.

To my great joy, my library system had a couple of Mr. Collins’s collections for immediate access as ebooks and one as an audiobook and a performance of Mr. Collins reading his poems on audio as well. Needless to say. This week’s inspirational reading will be Billy Collins heavy.

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Horoscopes for the Dead: Poems by Billy Collins.

Happy Reading and Writing!

M is for maypop- Poem: Seer

Queen of Swords

Today’s new word:

maypop n. 1. the edible fruit of the passionflower, Passiflora incarnata, of the southern U.S. 2. the plant itself. 3. South Midland and Southern U.S. May apple.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.

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

Write a prediction poem. Make a prediction. Write about another person’s correct or incorrect prediction. Or, you know, be unpredictable.

My poem

Seer

Come into my parlor
Let me light your way
What is the burning question
That suffers you today?

For that, an easy answer
I can see here in your palm
When you see a maypop
Your true love will come along

But what is this?Let go my hand.
Stop this. Let me go!
Your touch, it burns my skin
There’s something more you desire to know

I see a coming conception
A joining of two worlds
A calculated abomination
A new hell on earth unfurled

Your union is a combination
Of demonic and divine
At this you reveal your real question
“Where is the other kind?”

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Hum (ALA Notable Books for Adults) by Jamaal May.

Happy Reading and Writing!

K is for kayfabe-Poem: The Art of Kayfabe

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Photo by Martin Kníže on Unsplash

Today’s new word:

kayfabe n. 1. (in professional wrestling) the fact or convention of presenting staged performances as genuine or authentic.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object?

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

Take the phrase “The Art of (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: “The Art of Writing,” “The Art of Painting,” “The Art of Showing Up to Parties Fashionably Late,” and/or “The Art of Being Awesome.”

My poem

The Art of Kayfabe

Gray metal folded and forgotten in the closet
scuffed, dented, not quite trustworthy, not quite stable

Kayfabe your faces with humility,
patriotism, determination and love

Pulled out for card night and large family gatherings
a last resort when every other option is used

For you, the fans, it’s reciprocal see?
Of course, those baby-faced heroes love you.

Not spine supportive, uncushioned
uncomfortable, the back hitting blades

Kayfabe the heels with narcissism, egomania
rage, sadism and bitterness

Quickly re-folded and wall-leaned because
one would rather stand

They don’t love you.
It’s good for you to boo.

But tonight, a glorious tool, a gimmick
tonight, the star of the show

Kayfabe a romance
some boobs in his corner

On the edge of the ring made of shiny barbed wire
surrounding some things that will soon be on fire

Will they? Won’t they? She looks
mad. Did he cheat?

Unleashed in a way
that was not intended

With her sister? Her mom?
Is it true love forever?

With the same passion as helping
you reach forbidden cookies

Will she fight her sister and her mom?
A victim vs. cheaters tag team?

And acting as stage to your paper dolls
and holding your paint can, or muddy boots, or filthy cat, but mostly
those extra unseated guests

But not tonight
There won’t be a butt in this seat tonight

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart by Alice Walker

Happy Reading and Writing!

J is for jequirity bean and jumbies- Poem: Origins

Abrus_precatorius_pods jequirity bean

Today’s new word:

jequirity bean (Abrus precatorius) n. 1. the poisonous scarlet and black seed of the rosary pea often used for beads

jumbie n. a type of mythological spirit or demon in the folklore of some Caribbean countries

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem of origin. Where are you from? Not just geographically, but emotionally, physically, spiritually? Maybe you are from Vikings and the sea and diet coke and angry gulls in parking lots. Maybe you are from gentle hills and angry mothers and dust disappearing down an unpaved road. And having come from there, where are you now?

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

Write a dedication poem. This is a poem dedicated to a person, an animal, or an organization. Or hey, objects work too–like a poem to a rock or paper bag. Put the dedication in the title or in a line under the title (“for Mother” or “to the heart-shaped rock between the creek and the tulips”).

My poem

Origins

I come from the land of Forgotten Mangled Memories
near the town of Twisted Tradgedies
just outside the city limits of Confirmed Reality
in That Never Happened County

The house had many messy rooms
valuable trinkets–fragile, carefully selected
glared at me from every surface
collections of colors, shapes, lines and faces lingered
framed and under glass, covered and consumed
every inch of wall, protective box
each side made slightly smaller
though each world could be fallen into

Called by sound waves traveling along a string to
the ringed cans of past ears becoming
words never said, misinterpreted meanings
Emotions coat all with thick detritus
leaving nothing clear, the jequirity beans
I strung to fight the jumbies scattered
I see them everywhere
The combination of our colored lenses
tint it all a sickly hue
making us turn away and not want
to look back

 

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is All of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver

Happy Reading and Writing!

I is for ipseity- Poem: Whatever It Is

Today’s new word:

ipseity n. selfhood; individual identity.

National Poetry Writing Month prompt:

Write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon.

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

Write a lone poem. Perhaps the poem is about a solitary wanderer or person who just prefers to go it alone.

My poem

Whatever It Is

It’s not the heat it’s the humidity
the frustrating accumulation of droplets of sweat before even grabbing a towel after a cold water shower, losing ipseity in the hopelessness of the dark triangles under armpits along backs under breasts where bellies can’t hide against fabric, perspiration can’t and won’t relinquish the damp, moist, swampy, Petri dish of microbial life
Yeah you right

It’s not the heat it’s the stupidity
the brain beating endless summer of torrential sunbeams pounding and pounding at damp flesh, glassy-eyed, immobile, barely functioning bodies swimming from one air conditioner to the next like sharks focused on survival, the shot-gun blast filling the electric sky promises short-term relief, heavy drops blending all the sweat marks into one is but lagniappe
Laissez les bon temps arriver bientôt!

Reading

Today’s poetry book for inspiration is Fast: Poems by Jorie Graham

Happy Reading and Writing!

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!