Catching Up – NaPoWriMo 13, 14, 15

I am playing a little catch up.

DAY 13 —–The prompt for the 13th was to write a ghazal. “This is an old Persian form of poetry, and rather strange if you’re used to European meter-and-rhyme forms. A ghazal is made of couplets. Traditionally, the two lines of the first couplet end with the same word or phrase, and then that same word/phrase is used to end the second line of each succeeding couplet. All of the lines are supposed to be of about the same length, although there is no formal meter or syllable count. If you want to get super traditional/technical, the last couplet is supposed to refer to the poet, either by name, or through some kind of allusion.”

Save, Caroline

Caroline waits tables on weekends, saving her tips
Bites her lip when he slaps her ass, saving her tips

Her feet swollen and stuffed in shoes a size small,
Step quick to get the beer drawn, saving her tips

Dollar store eye make-up hides bags from no sleep
Smile glued on with ruby red gloss, saving her tips

She pays the water bill reconnect fee, buys some beans
Wishes for a bus ticket out of here, saving her tips

Goes home, pours him a beer while he yells at her brother,
Tucks money into an ole’ grease can, saving her tips

He drinks all night, grabs at her, rips her only good dress
She counts her money while she cries, saving her tips

She tells her little brother not to worry, she’ll take him too.
Caroline waits tables this weekend, saving her tips

Day 14 – The prompt is to write a sonnet.  I am TERRIBLE at sonnets and I don’t really enjoy them, but here’s my attempt.

Laura Lye

The clock atop the wall did chime at three
My heart it stood and frozen skipped a beat
And drifted like a ship adrift at sea
For Laura Lye her maker she did meet

Oh Laura Lye, my tender and sweet bride
My sparrow, no more to sing in morning
My soul hath broken on the day you died
Sweet Laura Lye, left without a warning

At night I sit and think for to remember
The sweetness of her lips pressed up to mine
My Laura forever in December
I drown my loneliness in summer wine

Drunk from vine I dream I see her again
Oh Laura Lye, forgive me for my sin

DAY 15 – is to write a parody.  I wrote a parody of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 as a fun tribute to all my gay boyfriends and queer family who have ever loved disco balls and jello shots at 1am.  This can probably be blamed on watching too many Queer Eye reruns lately…

Parody 18

Shall I tell thee how much I love the gays?
Their art and face cream do rejuvenate.
For drag shows each and every Saturday,
She wins the crown to impress her date.
Sometimes too hot, her make-up shines
But 2am bar light is often dimm’d
Bears approach her with a drink, she declines
She likes her boyz a bit more trimm’d
By the time the neon lights do fade
He takes his heels down to the lowest
And disco dances now with his date
And how the rainbow family growest!
As long as men love men, and drag perform
I shall love the gays, just how they were born!

NaPoWriMo Struggle – and a $300 prize

On day 12, NapoWriMo put forth the most ridiculous prompt yet. So much so, that I could not do it. I’ve written poems since then (that are too private for sharing here). So I will consider my day 12 taken care of in my 30/30 challenge.  I will be catching up on days 13-15 tomorrow.  I want to give those prompts more time than I’ve had for it today.

In other news, I am pleased to say I won first place in a local poetry contest.  This really blew my mind.  While I knew this piece was my strongest work, I still did not fully expect to win.  When the third place winner was announced and read her piece, which was quite good, I thought I must not have even placed!  Winning first place is always a big deal (I guess, having never done it before), but winning in a contest with writers of this caliber is really an honor.  The prize was $300 to be put toward furthering the winner’s creativity.  I have yet to decide if my prize money will be taking me to a writing conference or go toward funding a new project I have started.  I am so happy to have money to put toward either endeavor.

 

30/30 #11 Senses

From NaPoWriMo:  “Today’s prompt asks you to write a poem of the five senses. Pick an experience that is very sensory, and of which you have a strong sense memory.”   My poem below is a memory of a first date years ago.
First Date

Moonlight glittered across the lake,
As we listened to the music of
Fish jumping, cicadas singing,
And the occasional snort from
The stallion in the stables.

We sat in easy silence.
You fed me raspberries by hand,
Served with champagne,
And let your finger brush my lips,
Ever so slightly.

As the night wore on,
You wrapped me in your arms
Under the cover of starlight,
Pulling me close to you for warmth.
The smell of home on your skin,
I knew I would never leave.

30/30 #10 Taking What is Found

The writing prompt from NaPoWriMo for today is to steal the first line from another poem and begin your poem with that line.  I chose “I Am Not Yours” by Sarah Teasdale.

 

Taking What is Found

“I am not yours, not lost in you,
not lost, although I long to be”

My heart is not yours,
discarded once, now
living again, moves
through darkness,
into Light.

My mind is not yours,
once consumed by you, now
filled with poets, philosophers,
Free of the dis-ease of
second guessing.

My body is not yours,
your possession once, now
moves freely on the dance floor,
finding my edges
in sure-footed steps.

No, “I am not yours, not lost in you
not lost, although I long to be.”

The sun, too bright
some days, leaves me
longing for the shadow
of being at your side,
lost in you.

It was easier to fade
than be here; courting joy
but also heartache, as lovers
in a life built around
being found.

I lean in, refusing
to paint it other than it was
beautiful and ugly,
everything and nothing,
I put away longing.

“I am not yours, not lost in you
not lost –“

30/30 #9 Baba Yaga Speaks

The prompt for today is to write a persona poem — a kind of dramatic monologue. To pick a character to inhabit — a person from history, an imaginary or mythical person (like Snow White or Zeus), or just someone you’re not  and write in their voice.

I choose to write my poem in the persona of Baba Yaga.

 

Baba Yaga Speaks
The road is treacherous,
A hero’s walk,
Though little children find it,
Easily enough.

Where a man may shake with fear
At the heads speared on the gate,
The little child stands,
Wide eyed, in fascination.

My meager shack,
Crooked and flooded by rains,
Shames the women in town
Who warn their children to stay away.

Only the poorest child comes willingly.
Not put out by a little work,
To get the fire lit,
Or mash the grain.

This hut stands on two legs
Cut from a chicken and
Imbued with old magicks.
Moving in the cover of night.

When the towns people
Have come too close,
With their fear, and
Pitchforks, and lanterns.

They say I eat the children.
Steal them in the night from their beds.
Lure them with treats to the woods.
Trick them, into my pot.

I do no such thing.
Though it is true when they visit me,
The children are no more.
They’ve been set to task.

Setting down childhood,
They leave my little shack
Heroes seeking their obstacles,
Blessed by an old root witch.

30/30 #8 Rebirth

The prompt for today was to get outside and write.  I was outside today but did not write while outside.  I have been reflecting all day on Spring, Easter, Eostre, and the personal resurrection and rebirth that happens (or can happen) at this time of year.  The following came from some work I’ve been doing lately, but especially today, around my own rebirth.   I am metaphorically and physically making space in my life for more light – a new light – to shine.

Rebirth

Cleaning cobwebs from broken lanterns,
Polishing the pieces that still bring beauty,
Discarding the rest to make room for a new light.
The house of my soul begins its rebirth.
Spring has arrived.

30/30 #7 Green

Yesterday’s writing prompt was to write a poem where a specific color is the dominant theme in the poem.  Here is my piece:

Green

Folded neatly in crisp rows,
The money rests inside leather
Made from cows, who
Once chewed the green grass
In the field across the way.
Now, our green money crosses
Neatly from palm to palm
Without notice,
As we buy our lettuce,
Spinach, and artichokes
Covered in a pesticide
Used to spray the leaves,
To prevent the green bugs
From eating what we feel is solely ours.
Our fists tight on our precious green,
We trade quality for quantity.
As we introduce poisons.
And lab created asparagus,
Into our world view,
Our supper tables,
Our children’s sensitive bodies.
Our green, more precious
To us now than any square of grass,
Or rain forest.
We sell away a lush green world
For a world filled with
Paper, creased and stained
Green with greed.

30/30 #6 Orca

I am playing a little catch up here.  This is #6 (yes I am two days behind).  The prompt was to write about an animal and to include some animal facts in the poem.  I chose to write about Orcas because of a dream I had several years ago.  I still don’t really understand the meaning of this dream, but it has stuck with me for years as vivid as the morning I woke from it.  In the dream 3 orcas were swimming in a swimming pool below my hotel balcony.  They had called my name until I came out and looked down.  Then, they sang to me.  I woke up.

Orca

For 90 years
She swam.
Mile after mile,
Seeking her next meal.
Was it her determination
that caused us to dub her,
Killer?
We are so bad at naming things.
Calling a dolphin a whale
A survivor, a killer.

In every ocean,
You will find her brethren.
The black and white
Beauties against blue sky.
They come up for air,
Then disappear again.
Animal medicine says they are the teacher,
Carrying wisdom from the ancestors,
So we can learn to heal ourselves.

She moves in her pack,
Wolves at sea,
Tracking down the next meal
They work together,
Bringing down a blue whale
To be shared with the pod,
And the children.
These creatures
Still remember the importance of
Family.

 .

30/30 #5 Baseball

Today’s writing prompt is to write a poem about Baseball in honor of Opening Day.

 

Baseball

The day your dad died, we played baseball.
No more than 8 of us, we took to the open grass next to the garden,
Tall sunflowers, guardians of our childhood, silently keeping watch.
We ran bases marked by rocks Shannon had carried over from the side yard.
We had wanted to be them, our older cousins,
The youngest 10 years my senior, all of them baseball players.
We listened intently as they laid out the game for our understanding.
You pitched first and I went to bat.
Not a full team, we played by altered rules,
Allowing you to chase me to any base and tag me out.
When the sun set, we walked back exhausted.
You said only, “my dad is dead,” then went inside, too tired to eat.

30/30 #4 Devil Woman

Once again, I’m writing after midnight so my poem postings look a little off, but I’m committed to the 30/30 and will catch up soon.  I really disliked the prompt for day 4.  Write a poem that is essentially a blues song.  3 lines, 2 repeating, a total of 12.  I’m just gonna come right out and say it, this piece is no good.  In part, that is likely because I didn’t take enough time with it.  However, I needed to write and post something for 30/30, so here it is.  As you are reading imagine it’s a blues tune.

Devil Woman

The devil be a sneak, steal her way into your heart
Lord, the devil be a sneak, steal her way into your heart
She gonna hurt you like a hickory switch, before you even start

Shut the door now Johnny, don’t let the devil in
Said, shut the door now Johnny, don’t let the devil in
Cause’ you know that woman wanna fight, and she always gonna win

That man there at the crossroads put the devil in yer eye
Said that man there at the crossroads put the devil in yer eye
You shoulda listened Johnny, and let that woman walk on by

She as fine as tall iced tea, mean as a one eyed dog
She as fine as tall iced tea, mean as a one eyed dog
She done cut you down to size boy, like an old fallen log