Day 27: Tricks of Light on a Spring Night

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Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

Tricks of Light on a Spring Night

Blossoms on my favorite tree seem luminescent.
Alas, they only capture their last moon beams.
***

Written for Real Toads 27th day prompt: “Write a two line poem in which you convey some startling image, an image that juxtaposes two images.”

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet, and that’s something I’ll never feel confident doing.

Day 26: Vapors

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Photo by Yohann Lc on Unsplash

Vapors

It was just a dream; I grasp at the vapors.
Lying between them, I hug their legs close.

Unworthy of wholeness, I hug their legs close.
I can’t see their faces, yet I see their beauty.

I feel where they ache; yes, I feel their beauty.
It wells up within me knowing I am unworthy.

Their pain becomes mine and I’m so unworthy.
We lie there, and I talk of light we won’t see.

The night shines above; starlight we can’t see.
They take in my words in a naked silence.

We strip away lust, leaving naked silence.
Revealing softness, we bare our raw fears.

In dark, quiet space, we share our raw fears.
In dawn’s softened light, I relax my grip.

They scatter, taking flight when I relax my grip.
Released from a dream, still grasping at vapors.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 26 prompt: “write a poem that uses repetition”.

Recently, I’ve done more than a few repetition poems using various forms, but I haven’t dabbled in free verse repetition. I thought I’d give it a go while writing about a semi-lucid dream I had recently.

Granted, I (poorly) aped Jerico Brown’s brilliant style, so technically it’s not a free verse, but I don’t know what else to call it besides “style-jacking” so, here we are.

Oh, and I’m all caught up now, so it’s bourbon time!

Day 25: Capricious Gaia

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Photo by Zach Taiji on Unsplash

Capricious Gaia

Spring hugs in extremes
Light breeze to wind-screams
Earth hymn
Bees covet what gleams
Tulips burst the seams
Life’s whim

Can you smell the rain
Quenching our terrain?
Good Earth
Flowers feel the strain
Sips of sunbeams reign
Rebirth
***

Written for dVerse Poetry form: Lai and Lai Nouveau, hosted by Grace. Other poets contributed here.

Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 25 prompt: write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)

I’m still a day behind, but I’m working on it.

Day 24: Trusted Snow Routes

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Image by author

Trusted Snow Routes

All busses are time machines.

Most take you to your future
– or to be more precise, they
get you to your present sooner.

But a select few can take you
to your past; a portal to a
magical era not too long
ago when books existed.

The right connection can
transcend barriers, linking you
to decades ago when you dozed,

commuting, curled within the arms
of the love of your life, before
things fell apart, or if you ride

to the end of the line, you find

your beginning at the local
community college, planning
what to be when you grew up, not

recognizing the tempered
greying reflection of what you’ve
become. Walk among the ghosts, but

you cannot interact to tell
your younger self when to be still,

patient, like a Zen monk; and when
to attack your barely sketched fate
with zeal, unbridled aggression;

some enchanted barriers are
not so easily breached, even
when using our trusted snow routes.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 24 prompt: “write a poem that, like ‘Dictionary Illustrations,’ is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day. Maybe a strange word will catch your eye, or perhaps the mishmash of information will provide you with the germ of a poem.”

This was almost an elegy about me not being able to find a single book – let alone a book of reference – at my current workplace (to be fair, my entire department is packing to move to a new floor, so most books are packed). Thankfully, I found a bus route booklet and flipped it open to a route I never rode on, but somehow it connected my present with my past and my distant past.

Yes, I’m behind a day. I mentioned writer’s fatigue in an earlier post, but that’s not what happened this time. I just have an awful lot happening in my life all at once. Don’t worry; I’ll catch up this weekend.

Day 23: Jackal

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Photo by Colin Watts on Unsplash

Jackal

He was made to live on the borders of
life and death, on the margins of more

powerful predators, lurking
to tempt fate and steal scraps.

Ever the crafty devil,
his ancestors scavenged
commoner corpses,

provoking ancient Egyptians to create
Anubis, a god in his image, patrolling

the border between
the living and the dead.

But the jackal’s ancestry
was far too strong, too cunning,
outliving a civilization of
primitive wonders along with

Anubis’ relevancy,
and eventually,
even the old male lion

who repeatedly chases him from
a fresh kill, threatening him with

certain death, for

the shadow of death
means little more than looming
specter of life to

Anubis, the lowly Jackal,
made death-god by man.
***

Written for dVerse Poetics: On Myths & Legends, hosted by anmol(alias HA). Read other poet’s contributions here.

Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 23 prompt: “write a poem about an animal”.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m running out of gas. I still welcome the challenge, but I’m practically limping to the barn these days.

Day 22: Jazzy Heist

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Image by SeppH from Pixabay

Jazzy Heist

Drum’s our kingpin.

Bass rides shotgun.

Others rise and fall in time,
adding color accents.

But drum and bass are
basic black and blue; all
pigments combined in

shockwave tommy-guns
to writhing canvases
strongarm-robbing them
of inhibiting spoils.

The perfect syncopated crime,
sharply-committed in-time.
***

Written for dVerse Quadrille #78: Rise prompt. Other poets contributed here.

Also written for NaPoWriMo’s day 22 prompt: “write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.”

(Blogger’s Note: I couldn’t choose between the two music selections, so I added them both. Whoopsie!)

Day 21: Dismantling a Mercedes

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Photo by Luca Santos on Unsplash

Dismantling a Mercedes

She was beautiful,
long before learning
a self-butcher’s trade.

Long before swinging
lifelessly
from a tree in a park

– her final act completed publicly
after countless private attempts – her end

was pre-assisted
by the animal kingdom.

Nature was a
giant killer hornet colony
nesting in her head.

Nurture was meat
for a Komodo dragon
ignored by farmhands.

She was banished from
purgatory paradise
by serpent-creator.

The meat became her own
expert butcher, carving
fortune from flesh.

A successful vendor,
despite the killer hornets
devouring their share.

But she dared to be
discerning in company of
lurking painted wolves.

Scavengers and hunters
combined to consume her
to the marrow, leaving only
her final act of defiance,

her final words to
the animal kingdom,
a day before her final act;

“Fuck y’all”.

There is no solace
in burying the bruises,
as only the living bruise.

She ended her pain
alone in a park
by focusing its sum
upon her kissable neck,

compressing the noose;
a temporary evisceration
for a lasting peace

that eluded her infested skull in life.

Perhaps not the beautiful ending
a beautiful butcher like her deserves,
but an ending all the same.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 21 prompt: write a poem that “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.”

I interpret that as “go nuts with abstractions and strange metaphors”, and so I did my best with this tragic tale.

Day 19: April Zephyrs

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Photo by Luke Marshall on Unsplash

April Zephyrs

April walks hand in hand with us. Her smile
brings uncertainty in climate, stormy chills,
carefree warmth, dovetailing into longer
days, the promise of rebirth capturing
everyone in a mania as the wind
forgets its origin frequently, blending,
gradually with our fickle visions
holding court with breathing, inhaling our
intimate fragrances, nostalgia heralding
jamborees, seeds of barren winter split, cracked by
kindness photosynthesized when the sun
learns what makes us yearn to prosper, renewed,
mitosis divides us, uniting us in singular
newfound gardens of song; cross-pollinating
orchards slowly showing vibrant colors that
permeate pigmentation of lucid-dreaming
quixotically and practically within the now;
romance feels like fantasy and yet tangibly
shimmers, like sun-showered raindrops, flowers
trembling within a sudden downpour
upending earth-tones with budding-green
visions of her saying yes to a stroll
within our botanical commons, our own
Xanadu, regardless of weather, storm or sun
yields promises, warming, refreshing us like
zephyrs announcing arrival of essential change.

April brings carefree days.
Everyone forgets gradually,
holding intimate jamborees.

Kindness learns mitosis,
newfound orchards permeate
quixotically; romance shimmers,
trembling, upending visions within.

Xanadu yields zephyrs.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 19 prompt: “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.”

I decided to challenge myself a bit by doing a strict abecedarian poem and turning it into a type of opposite golden shovel, where each word of the last three stanzas is the first word of the first stanza, which means that I kind of did both abecedarian forms in one poem. I skipped a day, so this was my self-imposed penance.

See? Told you I would make it up!

Day 20: Gas Leak, Revisited

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Gas Leak, Revisited

I was stuck in a country music bar on base
due to a gas leak; don’t ask, I didn’t get it
either, but our instructor bought us a round
of Jack ‘n cola to pass the time, and damn, bruh,
that shit tasted like tasty-ass smoke, ya knamean?

I was hooked on brandy at the time, but that changed
‘cause that Jack Daniels tasted like brandy with balls,
but when I told my classmate, he was like, nah, son
you should try this, and he fitted me with bourbon,
and damn man, it was like all my shit locked in place,
the air felt right, the gal behind the bar flirted,
the lady next to me almost got me dancing
and if we’d all died in an explosion that night,
I’d have been pretty chill with how chill things turned out.

But we didn’t die, the gas leak was cleaned-up good,
and my homey who showed me that dope-ass new drink
dropped me at the airport to meet wifey in-time,
and yeah, he probably shouldn’t’ve been driving,
it was fucked-up, but we got away with it, and
that’s not really the point I’m trying to get at;

I mean, when I was trying new drinks and flirting
with women I never would’ve met otherwise,
up to that point in my young life, I never felt
so… you know… alive… like I was finally here,
and all that woke shit came to a dead-ass ending
as soon as wifey flew back in from Chicago,
like, the vibe was gone, the warning signs were right there,
but I just said fuck it and moved on, making sure
I added bourbon to next month’s shopping budget.
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 20 prompt: write a poem that “talks”; that is based in normal, contemporary spoken language.

I typically try to use cuss words moderately in my poetry and within context; never for “cheap heat” or shock value, but when it comes to my normal every-day dialogue, I cuss like a… well… you should know by now.

Note: I know I skipped yesterday. I was drained, so I gave myself permission to take a break. I plan on making-up yesterday’s prompt, though.

Day 18: Questioning an April Shower (Elegy for Momma)

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Photo by Liv Bruce on Unsplash

Questioning an April Shower (Elegy for Momma)

There was not a hint of sun today.

It began with the kind of rain
that made me change my shoes

a healthy April shower needed
for continuity of respiration

as trees kneed saturated soil
roots rooting for their share

new leaves are budding, color
restored to pre-bloomed florae

vivid hues contrast with a heavy sky

unending clouds spill themselves
rolling in from faded sepia photos

I wonder if you’re enjoying rain now
just as I am, about two-thousand miles
and the rain-soaked earth between us

a miracle of technology at hand
and I couldn’t retrace my soggy steps
to you even if I tried, but I hope
you have a good view of a budding oak

I hope the rain humbles blossoms’ heads
showing you proper respect,

attracting good bumble-bee company
for reproduction and continuity of
respiration, for as long as this rain

is doing more service for you,
you who can no longer feel it,

as long as it does more for us
than forcing me into dryer,
sturdier shoes, then I ask you,

how can I not be content with it?
***

Written for NaPoWriMo’s day 18 prompt: “write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail.”

I almost skipped this prompt. Not because I didn’t find the prompt interesting, but because I did, and yet I struggled mightily. I’ve lost count of the elegies I’ve written for folks I lost, but I’ve never tried to keep the scope of my loss contained within the tangible world before.

If I’m dissatisfied with my resulting poem, it’s only because I had to restrain myself from bleeding wailing abstractions everywhere. This challenged me in ways I never envisioned, and I’m glad for it.