Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo 2017

Three Elevenies: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 23

 An elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is.

Here are mine:

Minds
collect facts
in your head
for remembering when needed,
perhaps.

Heads
collect hats
that they store
on racks, dreaming of
outings.
Clouds
hoard drops
meant for seedlings
but rain on parades
instead.

Planting Seeds: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 22

Planting Seeds

My father planted row on row,
straight furrows where the wheat would grow
nourished by the winter snow.

He knew the how of planting, and when.
He’d watch for all the signs and then
plant his yearly crops again.

Though farming’s in my family tree,
the seeds I plant are furrow-free.
I scatter seeds, then let them be.

Fanned out by an erratic hand,
they grow wherever they may land,
or thirst and wither where they stand.

If planting were a matter of need––
if I’d a family to feed,
of course, I’d plow and water and weed.

But as it is, the mystery
of what might grow means more to me
than the science of agronomy.

And though he worked from dawn to dark,
Dad’s life was anything but stark.
He paused to watch the meadowlark

and trace its flight from post to limb.
He watched the clouds catch light, then dim––
and a single drop course down one stem.

 

The NaPoWriMo prompt today had to do with planting a garden.

Childish Games: NaPoWriMo 2017, Apr 20


Childish Games

The dominoes go head to toe.
They must line up precisely so.
Why that’s so, we do not know.
It was determined long ago.

Rules of the game were made to last
ages ago, long in the past.
They tell us when to break our line,
when turning sideways is just fine.

Who can play, in perfect order.
How to avoid the table’s border.
When to ride each other’s train,
then when it is forbidden again.

Necessary rules to follow
lest our world turn blank and hollow?
Senseless rules to senseless games,
we line up tokens on boards and frames.

Sometimes the stakes are higher when
the rules, determined by famous men,
turn life and death, each token one
less calculated to end in fun.

All game pieces hidden away,
there to use some other day
when some fool says it’s okay.
Secrecy the rules of play.

Suddenly, the play’s no fun.
We want the gaming to be done.
Put away the games and toys.
It’s time for you to grow up, boys.

The prompt in NaPoWriMo today is to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game. Mine was based on the domino game called “Chickenfoot” or “Mexican Train.”  Ironically, in Mexico it is called “Tren Cubano” or “Cuban Train.”  Guess everyone likes to pass the buck.

Big Toys


Big Toys

The act of creation is the greatest art.
You must think of the whole as you create each part.
Things put in conflict must balance as well,
or what was once heaven can turn into hell.

Every yin has its yang as dusk has its dawn.

Every awakening gives way to night’s yawn.
But why peace must be broken by violence and war
is something that tests one’s faith at its core.

When the world is unbalanced by warfare’s grim sin,

It seems perhaps nature’s starting over again
to create a world less given to baking
recipes of destruction that will be our unmaking.

These nuclear toys require such careful tending,

or it’s become clear we’ll create our own ending.
And next time perhaps our creator will find
a recipe that doesn’t include mankind. 

 

The prompt for day 19 of NaPoWriMo is to create a creation myth poem.

Shooing with Tongue on the Tongue of a Shoe, NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 18

Shooing with Tongue on the Tongue of a Shoe

There once was a grouch named McPeevish McPue
who spent his whole life on the tongue of a shoe
where he shooed away flintocks and floogles and stuff.
As a matter of fact, he would get downright rough.

He would beat them with bagels and flog them with floggles
from the foot of their feet to the top of their toggles.
Then he bopped them again every minute or two
till those flintocks and floogles were beat black and blue.

But they just wouldn’t leave until McPue had sung
a rock-a-bye ballad with only one lung.
Then they leapt and they lithered until they were gung.
Now McPeevish McPue only shoos with his tongue!

 

Note: Floogles are fairy folk who get even with grouches by spraying foot odor into their shoes daily. I’m not completely sure what flintocks are, other than the fact that they drive McPeevish McPue crazy. 

http://www.napowrimo.net/day-eighteen-3/ (We were to write a poem making use of made-up words.)

Low Pressure Area: NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 17, Nocturne

 

Low Pressure Area

The dogs have crept in
through the unlatched door
and gather, one on each side of my chair,
demanding hands  
meant to be busy with words.
They are insistent—a reminder
that there is life
in the real world as well.

 I scratch ears and bellies and tails.
Whiskers I pulled out of the little dog at the beach,
thinking they were sea urchin spines,
have grown back in again.
They are so foreign in his soft pelt
that I forgive myself for earlier cruelties.

It is an oddity,
having dogs inside the house—
the youngest one still
not quite to be trusted,
yet the comfort of two companions wins out
and they settle as though it is a normal thing.
The wind stirs the areca palms outside my window,
waves them like tattered flags
behind the reflected immovability
of the fragile spiral lamp
reflected in the window glass.

Friends gone.
Just we three.
And it is so dark, so dark.
The fan stirs invisible currents
that seem to comfort us all with their presence—
the hum of the blades
a mantra we share.

Suddenly, this night is different,

as though a new channel
has switched on in my brain—
a new pattern for living,
or perhaps it is just the barometer,
doing whatever barometers do
to lift a mood.

The prompt today is to write a nocturne.

NaPoWriMo 2017, Day 16: What I Do with Love Letters

 

What I Do with Love Letters
(Forbidden Love)

In them, I talk about his eyes.
What they say to me across the room.
His foot against my foot
under the table.
The rush of air as he walks by.
His body’s honest odor.
I can’t pull away,
he can’t look away.
And yet we do what is necessary.

When I write what I really want to say,
I stuff the pages in my shoes.
Limp over them.
Dance over them, too.
Let other gentle men
dance me over
songs of him.

 
I’ve folded him
a paper mouth
to house his tongue.
I want my words on his palate
where he can taste them
salty
fragrant
cheeks
gums
tongue.

I want his tongue to press
my words
against
my cheek,
tattoo them on my face
where I can see them in the mirror.

Instead, I fold them into origami castles,
set them on the sand,
hope the wind and seagulls free them
before beach squirrels
shred them
into their full cheeks
and carry them
to hidden burrows
in the hillside.

The NaPoWriMo prompt today was to write a letter in the form of a poem.  This poem is about love letters.