NaPoWriMo Day 17 – Nocturnal Whispers

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

Nocturnal Whispers

I bathe in moonlight often,
reminding myself – sometimes
directly, but often subconsciously –
that she and I are born from suns;

but beneath her muted, lifeless rock,
you and I share warmth, awareness,
though we are just chemical reactions,

compounds and elements also
from long doomed stars; just
sweaty bags of meat and skin seeking

to shape fractions of fractions of space
within our miniscule influence and
there be abstractions; apparitions

without physical form or mass,
conjured from a series of
micro-bioelectric misfires

we’ve collectively come to agreement
in defining as love and hate,

dividing the two in glib arrogance
as divinity might split day from night,

leaving heavy moon hanging in
empty black to help us find our way
through nocturnal whispers,

listening to our secrets,
mingling nutrients and emotion
through lunar tidal shifts,

compelling some to howl and
others to reflect in silence at

how such a luminous companion
could be both apart from and
a part of our collective journey

anyway, I see the moon tonight
and all I can think about is you.

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 17 Prompt:

“For better or worse, the moon seems to exert a powerful hold on poets, as this large collection of moon-themed poems suggests. Today, I’d like to challenge you to stop fighting the moon. Lean in. Accept the moon. The moon just wants what’s best for you and your poems. So yes – write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon.”

NaPoWriMo Day 17 Prompt

I do find myself writing about the moon a lot. This time I want with a deconstruction of sorts.

*Writer’s note: In the past I would have tried to make up the lost days, but this time I decided to let depression have its pound of flesh and just move on. Thanks for understanding.

NaPoWriMo Day 12 – Decaying Momentum

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

Decaying Momentum

Another wait-n-see casualty
epitaph-inscribed ellipses
waking-sleep at the wheel
watching his own eclipse
from hermetically-sealed airlock
objects in motion retain commotion
unless acted upon by aging’s gravest drag
and gravity fills complacency’s cavity
feeble Van-Winkle-eyes strain
and fail to read a copious account
of all the proper names
speeding past his
bleeding orbit  
of last gasps
and fading

But if you move …

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 12 Prompt:

“I’m calling this one “Past and Future.” This prompt challenges you to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction. A hat tip to Cathy Park Hong for a tweet that pointed me to the science fiction dictionary and to Hoa Nguyen for introducing me to the Classical Dictionary.”

NaPoWriMo Day 12 Prompt

NaPoWriMo Day 11 – Nwala’s Reply

Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

Nwala’s Reply

How do I move the way I do?
Well, how can you not, father?

Your melancholy puzzles me, cousin
Why do you not rejoice with us?

I see, son; still stuck in the mundane
Still corporeal, linear, limited

I gifted you with a name, and yet
Here you sit, awaiting more morsels

We tried showing it all at once
But fearful, you averted your eyes

Like this, you’ll never see the whole elephant
But if you move, it may become clearer

Do not worry, brother; take your time
We will embrace you when you’re ready.

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 11 Prompt:

“This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.”

NaPoWriMo Day 11 Prompt

I partially completed this prompt, but I dig the results. Check yesterday’s poem for the first letter.  

NaPoWriMo Day 10 – Nwala

Photo by Thiago Borges from Pexels


You came to me in a dream
The son I have never met, or perhaps
A forefather’s liminal return

I’d not heard your name spoken
But it rang like a bell from within

You spoke it from your mother’s womb
And that word embraced me, dancing

Unorganized, ready to receive you
I made space for your arrival

Cheap unused coasters tossed aside
Purple sharpie readied for notes

Bottle-opener – your granddad called-
 – the one you never met
 – or maybe you did in past lives
Anyway, he called them church-keys

Yeah, I never got the joke either
But I easily made space for it
So fitting you in was a shoo-in

A lighter, always a lighter
 – For incense, for centering
 – For the weed tucked away for weekend
For sage, to oust evil spirits

But that ain’t for you, unmet kin, whose
Name I never heard, but always knew

I never want to catch you either,
Though I do need to pause a spell
To catch my breath thinking of you

Please settle near me; know us better
Stay as long as you like and tell me
Everything you need to clear the air

Your name’s meaning is elusive
But it hails from Nigeria, along
With the brunt of our ancestry

How many lives have you lived?

Did you toil, like most of us, within
Colonization’s unending shadow
Or did you stand unbowed, unbroken
Mahogany-forged by African sun?

My curiosity boils over
Becoming fixated upon you

My non-born child, my dancing ancestor
Baltering through my subconscious
Hinting at realms greater than my grasp

Leaving droplet wakes on the surface
Nwala, how do you move the way you do?

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 10 prompt:

“Finally, here’s our daily prompt (optional, of course!). It’s called “Junk Drawer Song,” and comes to us from the poet Hoa Nguyen.

NaPoWriMo Day 10 prompt

(You’ll have to click on the prompt link for the description.)

*Writer’s note: WordPress editor just ate my biting criticism of it, so just know that I am most displeased with it and I will be going back to my other site after NaPoWriMo ends.

You know what it is.

NaPoWriMo Day 4 – Clipped in Transition

Photo by Michael Förtsch on Unsplash

Clipped in Transition

We all will face
our oncoming storm
in our own way

Some rush through chores
reclaiming hemmed,
partially frayed
fragments of self
from the line

Others shelter in silence
within groaning layers
that once stood stoically,
limbs shushing sudden blasts
as pressure shifts

The bleeding-edge peers
over liminal horizon;

sooner or later, but inevitably,
en masse, or individually,
it will swallow us all

You will either rest here,
or you are on your way

Written for NaPoWriMo Day 4 Prompt:

“In honor of the always-becoming nature of poetry, I challenge you today to select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces. Will you pick the empty mall food court? The vending machine near the back entrance to the high school gym? The swimming pool at what seems to be M.C. Escher’s alpine retreat? No matter what neglected or eerie space you choose, I hope its oddness tugs at the place in your mind and heart where poems are made.”

NaPoWriMo Day 4 Prompt

I couldn’t find a good way to cite the photos there, so I used one from

NaPoWriMo Day 2 – Not Yet That Road

Photo by Dan Visan on Unsplash

Not Yet That Road

And what of the difference anyway?
All paths lead to this chambered next gasp
To deconstruct is to sift away
Foundations where we live, love, and play
As time’s fleeting grains fall from our grasp

Dare you rule regret as garden path
As miserly as man’s own timeline
Fill ledgers with dread’s feeble new math
Flog missteps with chaste, unbridled wrath
Or admire our road’s divine design?

We are not this somber switch-backed trail
Our value, more than stone, earth, and bone
Our feet dare not scale where we prevail
Stardust exhaled, we sail cosmic gale
Sown tracks overgrown best left unknown

I toast every knotted twist and turn
Woodland, universe, and I are same
We learn, unlearn, as winds of fate churn
Until the earthen soil I return
I care not from which path that I came.

Written for NaPoWriMo’s Day 2 Prompt:

“In the world of well-known poems, maybe there’s no gem quite so hoary as Robert Frost’s ‘The Road Not Taken.’ Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice.”

NaPoWriMo’s Day 2 Prompt

I’m no Robert Frost, nor would I presume to place myself on the same level (as Jay-Z put it, we’re not even shooting at the same baskets), so I opted to go with the “there is no spoon” approach.

The System Of A Down video I embedded is actually about ADHD, but I really liked the chorus and how it took me in a different direction, so I included it.

She is…

Photo by James Wheeler from Pexels

She is…

a peace profile
in sepia tones and
cotton candy dreams.

She is of crescent moons
golden curves and
star shine reflected in
half-open eyes of
REM sleep
digesting another day
on the apex of praise
attention, and even parody;

a knowing eye-twinkle at rest;

grace under any light
lunar or lampoon;
even among blackened
new moon night;

She is earthshine;
a crest of coral ocean foam
only hinting at the volume
of her riches within;

of permanent afterglow
guiding her acolyte home.

She is of resting face, lines
curving down at the corners;

not a frown, but layered
determined peace; a portrait
of meditative resolve
smoothed upon a
capricious landscape.

She is a cosmos
unto herself
but even she has
her breaking point;

she greets me at her center,
with shoulders slumped;
her horizon curves
back onto me,

and I learn of the depths
of my own strength
holding heaven aloft
with only my two frail arms
and everything I am

The nature of things is that
I am and she is.

But often I am
because she is.

Occasionally I am
so that she is.

Blueberries for Reina

Photo by andrew welch on Unsplash

Blueberries for Reina

I’ve never eaten a blueberry. I confess I didn’t follow my grandma’s golden rule; don’t knock it till you’ve tried it. They look vile and undignified; like grapes that didn’t quite grape correctly. But my grandbaby is housing those things like they’re nature’s candy, leaving blue and violet streaks everywhere; a little Rembrandt. Every so often, she offers me one with compelling questions of “Uhn? Uhn?” hanging beneath our sun-streaked skylit afternoon. I politely sing, “No thank you!” which always gets a giggle from her before she crams nature’s mess artlessly into her tiny face. She’s more blueberry than toddler now. Maybe I should try one next time she offers.

sea of blue and green
bird chatter and child’s laughter
we breathe together


Reina, destroyer of blueberries, all cleaned up now, focused hard on play. (Image by author, used with permission.)

Coyote Azure

Photo by Hugo Kemmel on Unsplash

Coyote Azure

Trailing the golden hour
everyone craves and praises,
there’s another wondrous state;

a shade of blue found
only in nature,

in latitudes nearing the poles,
nearing summer solstice,

just beyond sunset,
just before night snaps shut,

just above shadowed tree line,
when the sky reflects only
what’s needed; apology,
forgiveness, promises vowed
and kept, secrets shared

with roosting songbird and stirring frog as
coyote announces dinner to her band;

other than sunlight’s brashness,
coyote azure is the only color
that is felt and heard
more than seen.

Today is cloudless and fair,
and I look forward to
hearing this evening’s colors.

green branch and vine reach skyward
grey heavens drift indifferently
I too sit with back to nature
we all seek the unfeasible
gleaning meaning from raindrops

My first attempt at a Gogyohka.