Poetry Report: December 2019

Happy New Year, y’all!

My Confession

It was not so many years ago that I wrote my first poem; an exercise in rhyming couplets about Abilene, Texas. I wrote and posted it for the first day of the A to Z blogging and the National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) online challenges, both of which started on April (first) Fools’ Day. Each poem worked dual duty for both challenges in alphabetical order, cuz that is what A to Z is about.

By the first of May of that year, I’d written twenty-nine more poems. I felt a certain amount of pride (yay, I did it) mixed with relief, and some embarrassment about my ignorance of poetry, poets, and verse in general. The next year I wrote separately for each challenge, using the NaPoWriMo prompts each day and I have done so since.

Almost immediately, I loved poetry and embarked on a self-directed program of adventure to learn all I could about the craft and art of poetry. What is it they say about when the pupil is ready?

Since that experience, with one surgical exception in 2018, every day I have thought about, read about, written, edited, and/or read some poetry. Although, I probably did think or talk about it on surgery day.

I’ve bought, read, and reread books about poetry by the likes of Packard, Oliver, Hoagland, and other masters. I have often devoted entire days to a somewhat tireless pursuit of forms and styles; to the art and craft of poetry writing. I learned about poets, which ones I liked and those I’m not yet ready for. I’ve read biographies of poets, and I know many histories and life experiences from the Bard (or Omar or more ancient versifiers) to contemporary characters and personal poet friends.

One day while discussing poetry with a friend we decided we could refer to ourselves as poets after we had written one hundred poems. I claim it now, however, it’s still a forced thing for me to say even after so many poems and, in her case, a published book of poetry. I’m working on a book, too. No promises. I still suffer from imposter syndrome sometimes.

How It Started

About this time last year, I committed to writing at least one poem each day. I call them daily poems (I’m so creative) to differentiate from others. They average slightly more than 100 words each, although some poems are much longer and a few are shorter, like those for Sammi’s weekender prompts which have specific word count requirements. Most are handwritten into one of three medium sized notebooks. Others live in my laptop.

I work on (edit, revise, correct, review) every poem I have written before I post it. Dailies are first drafts and nothing more until I go back and work them.

The experience of writing 365+ poems has taught me much more than I expected. Sometimes (rarely) the first draft is not so bad, but every poem needs work.

I like to think I am a better writer, and if I may claim it, an improved poet for it.

Finally (drum roll)

December’s poem titles were:

  1. Closer
  2. When You Go
  3. Making My Bed
  4. Trudy’s
  5. Happy Days
  6. The True Void
  7. Barricade
  8. Finding My Way
  9. What I Miss
  10. Poetry Comes
  11. My Library
  12. Dream Library
  13. Friday 13th Fears
  14. How I Want It
  15. Cleaning Crew
  16. Electric Romantic
  17. Taste of Love
  18. How Difficult the Challenge
  19. Erect Buck
  20. Twelve Ways to Twenty
  21. The Desert Call
  22. Hubris
  23. Average Joe
  24. Why Do They Die?
  25. The Gentleman I Wished to Be
  26. The Sled
  27. Matters Matter
  28. Old School Casual
  29. Complex
  30. What if it isn’t perfect?
  31. Clinical VA

So, this is it. A year of poetry and 11 other end of month reports like this one. It’s a new year, new decade, and new poems yet to write, but 2019 and my 365-poems project are fait accompli.

Always look all ways. Seek the gaps and mind them well,
wherever you find them time will tell.

Oh, go ahead and click it. It’s only 11 seconds…

Poetry: Twilighting Verse

Day was turning to dusk,
soon to be twilight,
and a lovely sight, one my
muse would give me clues
to a perfect poem, this
sight to be the meter
of my metaphor
for the twilight of humanity,
but it was not to be.

Going to the pool
to swim my hour, to do
aerobic huffing and
puffing, to get my
workout, after a day
putzing while working
around the house,
the garage mostly.

Sometimes, even as poets,
the best we can do is to say,
“Yes, I was there, I saw that,
and it was beautiful.”

Then I jumped
into the pool and swam.
‘twas a clear dark night
when I got out.

Apparently, my muse
can’t swim and retired
early that evening,

Leaving me even
as twilight comes and goes,
to be a verseless but happy
semi-healthy poet.

Swim both ways to lap away the twilight looks.
Mind the gaps as we seek piquing peeks.

Sammi’s Weekend Prompt 129 (b)

Note: This is my second (Sunday’s) installment for Sammi’s weekend writing prompt: 44 words with twilight as the one-word prompt.
Click to hyperlink to Sammi’s page

***

The Sunday Marathon

Gathered in a crisp morning twilight to sip hot coffee, to gaze upon others ready to contest human limits against nature by running like crazed Greeks: a marathon; some hoping to win, most to finish; others, in their terminal twilight, proving they still can.

***

Look at twilight both ways, one nearing a dawning, the other after dusk,
but before a darkness crosses the veil between life and death.
Mind the gaps, but don’t lose sight of the end-goal.

Sammi’s Weekend Prompt 123 – Delicate

Sometimes, when it’s dark
and extremely cold,
you can go outside
into the wash of crystal clean mystery,
of frigid stillness soundlessly
covering your world,
perhaps luck will let you discover
the delicate beauty of freshly falling flakes
of glimmering clean dry ivory snow
seen by streetlights slowly drifting,
like tiny feathers floating down
to find fellows resting
on the ground or drifting
onto your warm hand,
there to melt and vanish,
or you may scoop some up
and with the soft warm vapor of your breath
gently sending angels
of transparent virgin weightless grains
of magic floating freely through
the colorless clean comfort of night.

Look both ways, up and down, mindful of gaps unseen.

click to go to Sammi’s page

Poetry: For a Little While

For a little while longer
I will annoy you with my
banal sarcasm, seasoned
with a pinch of wit.

For a little while longer
I will stare into your eyes—
making you uncomfortable.
I may annoy your sensitivity

With wise cracks or politically
incorrect observations of truth,
but only for a little while longer.

Until I stop, I will stake my claim
to a share of our relationship.

I may touch you, hug, or even kiss you
for a little while longer, and for as long
as I can. For a little while longer,
maybe forever, I will continue
to love you.

Of the forever possibilities, we’re all ignorant.
Look both ways here and now.
Do it now, say it now, mindfully minimize the gaps.