(NaPoWriMo was in April. I started the month planning to attempt poetry at least some of the time…but April turned out to be a high-stress and therefore low-creativity month. Ah well. I can still try out some of the suggested prompts, right?)
This is a poem of sorts inspired by the prompt for April 20 – write something using at least five words from a list.*
So show me, where does dry land turn to ocean?
The edge is slippery, elusive, lost.
Beyond the shore, the quahogs mimic stones.
Upwind, the forest generates owls.
Let’s quarry shells and build ourselves a house
Where owls swim silent overhead all night.
For a change, I’m going to tackle today’s NaPoWriMo prompt – not yesterday’s or next week’s. Today, the call is for “un-love” poetry – not “a poem of hate, exactly…more like a poem of sarcastic dislike.”
Yeah. I can do that.
You know me oh so well –
you’ve said so many times,
explaining me to me.
How grateful I should be!
I clearly need your help
because I never seem
to recognize the person
you’re acquainted with.
No, I didn’t forget about National Poetry Writing Month. It’s just that life in the tangible world has been demanding lately, and for a couple of days I wasn’t able to concentrate enough to write anything. (At all. Never mind attempting poems.)
Time to try again. NaPoWriMo offers a daily prompt suggesting form or subject or title or – well, who knows what they’ll come up with next? Anyway, the prompt for April 5 asked for a cinquain – a syllable-counting form giving a 2 – 4 – 6 – 8 – 2 pattern over five lines. On April 6, they asked for a valediction; a farewell poem.
It’s always dangerous to turn novices loose on things like this. What I came up with is certainly a valediction, indeed an elegy, but it isn’t exactly a cinquain. While writing, I forgot just what the structure is supposed to be…and, well, this was the result.
for my mother’s cat
Not always old –
mighty hunter who brought
dead mice for She Who Opens Doors –
age stalking year by year
left you too tired
Because today NaPoWriMo is asking for poems that feature lies.
I have to admit, I didn’t write the poem I’m going to post. I have no idea if anybody knows who did write it. I learned it from my children, who kept chanting it with their friends over and over when they were eight or ten years old.
You know what? I find it almost as funny as those little boys did.
Early in the morning, late at night
Two dead men got up to fight.
Back to back they faced each other,
Drew their swords and shot each other.
If you don’t believe this lie is true,
Ask the blind man – he saw it too.
And that’s why I’ve decided to participate in NaPoWriMo (National Poem Writing Month), which I just learned about half an hour ago. The goal is to write a poem a day through April – today’s optional prompt asks people to start with a line from another poem.
So here’s my first attempt, a tanka (a Japanese poetry form something like a longer haiku – five lines, with a 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7 pattern), starting with “Slowly, silently now the moon”.
Full Moon Viewing
now the moon floods all the sky
with her borrowed light –
stars shining with their own fire
drown, washed away, invisible.