Sammi’s Weekender #257 (luminous)

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Ominous luminosity

Nearby outside, a dark
electricity filled night
jarred us with
thunderous raging lightning.

Saint Elmo’s fire
danced and filled our cockpit
with ominous luminosity
from Palpatine,
to our fearless distress.


Look both ways for distress travels any direction.
Mind the gaps as you let the force be with you.

Note: Palpatine (Darth Sidious) was the name of the Emperor in the Star Wars movies.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 28)

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Today’s prompt was to write a concrete poem. I wanted to do all 30 prompts.

What I did instead was intended to be a black out poem in lieu of the prompt, I’ve done concretes before. Not today.

I decided that rather than black out unused text to create the poem, I would extract the lines from the first few paragraphs of a longer story. If I had more time, I might have attempted some art to overlay the blacked-out area.

If I included the entire narrative, it would have been too long with entire paragraphs blacked out. So, I extracted the parts/words/sections that made up the poem.

I selected the first few paragraphs from the titled section, “On the Rainy River” from the book, The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien © (published in 1990 by Houghton Mifflin).


Drafted

one story I’ve never told,
it would only cause embarrassment,
a confession…
makes me squirm,
I’ve had to live with it, feeling the shame,
it’s a hard story to tell.

if evil were evil enough, if good were good enough
I would simply tap a secret reservoir of courage…
Courage, comes in finite quantities,
it offered hope and grace to the repetitive coward.

I was drafted to fight a war I hated.
(You can’t fix your mistakes. Once people are dead, you can’t make them undead.)
…I assumed that the problems of killing and dying did not fall within my special province…

The draft notice arrived on June 17, 1968.
I was too good for this war.
Too smart, too compassionate, too everything.
I was above it. A mistake, maybe…I was no soldier.


Look both ways for reasons why and why not.
Mind the gaps. That’s where the booby traps hide.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 26)

Click the NaPo button above to open today’s prompt page with links to more poems.

For my twenty-sixth daily, prompted, voluntary assignment, today I was challenged to write a poem that contains at least one epic simile. These (Homeric) similes extend and develop over multiple lines with decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject. As suggested, I chose to write a complete poem as one long epic simile theme (salted with some metaphor) to carry the poem.


Flying Like Dragons

Like unleashed frightening awesomeness,
like giant thundering flying dragons with
massive wings lifting us skyward, roaring, breathing fire;
my brain blends with this pestilent machine, as if I’m guiding
an iron plague with deafening noise to wreak death,
to pour vengeance down upon their wrongs, a bane
to my enemies, a scourge of fire-for-fire. Flying
at invisible heights, with a sharp stinging tail, breathing
radiation into electrons, as my stealthy flying monster
seeks annihilation of the unjust.

Like a beast, it sees over great distances,
it smells its enemies in total darkness; then skillfully, silently
we approach as offensive defenders with hidden talons;
without emotion or fear, as if by kismet we destroy our prey
with automatic, irreversible, unmerciful curses.


Look both ways to see what is nearby but accept the limits of sensory perception.
Mind the gaps and trust your dragon’s instruments.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 24)

Just click on this button for the prompt page and more poems.

For the final Sunday and to begin the last week of National Poetry Month, I’ve been egged on to the sunny task of writing a poem that describes using hard-boiled simile. The prompt suggested similes such as those used in detective stories featuring a tough unsentimental protagonist with a matter-of-fact attitude towards violence. I slipped in some horror genre.


The moon that night reflected light outlining everything and everyone with tarnished silver lines and a grayish tint covering, like the lining of an old vampire’s coffin. Our faces were puffed and molted like poisoned mushrooms on stems growing out of our jackets. The tree we hung him from looked like a dragon’s skull with dead, dried bones — fingers and hands protruding in all directions. It was as bleak and hopeless as a baby’s funeral. The smell was as if standing in an old open crypt exuding the musty odors of long dead flesh. Gravediggers’ shovels made rhythmic sounds cutting earth like piercing chunks of lead striking burned ashes of dead bodies. No one made another sound. Each wondered if we had killed him dead enough, or would he rise again like the devil’s undead corruption? It was our common thought, a fear that united our cause but shadowed our minds like a haunting nightmare’s gloom. We were men, but that night we were like the evil undead lamenting a hopeless mantle of some human hell.


Look both ways when identifying good and evil.
Each defines the other by its absence, yet the absence of one makes the other incomparable.
Mind the gaps when laying blame. Nothing is perfect.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 22)

Click this image to open today’s prompt page with links to more poems.

Today’s one-thirtieth of NaPo prompts challenged me to write a poem that uses repetition. I may repeat a sound, word, phrase, image, or any combination. I chose a name. (Note: published one day late because someone forgot to click on publish.)


When Nothing Else Can

Maybe Bukowski was right.
We are strange, we of the people.
Is someone’s world better
when we’re not in it?
Bukowski’s is gone.

Bukowski had a point
about hate’s self-sufficiency,
better to not care at all if love
needs so much help. Gratuitous
masturbation of the psyche
is all about Bukowski.

Bukowski was right when he said,
the world is full of boring, identical,
mindless people. They run from the
rain but revel in tubs of bubbles and water.
Where’s the glory here? said Bukowski.

Bukowski didn’t tell me to find what I love
and let it kill me, but I blame it on Bukowski anyway.
There is a loneliness in this world, wrote Bukowski.
Just drink more beer, more and more beer, now
that’s really Bukowski!

I think Bukowski was right when Hank said that
sissies have hard lives. And most important for me,
Bukowski said, nothing can save you except writing,
and equally important, a poem knows when to stop.
I think what Bukowski said is nuts, but also too true,
so it stops, but this is not the end of this Bukowski bit.


Look both ways when sampling the sweet and the sour.
Mind the gaps for clues of generations.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 Day 13

Click the graphic for the NaPo prompt page and more poems.

Today, in honor of the “potential luckiness of the number 13”, I was to write a poem that joyfully states that “Everything is Going to Be Amazing.” If I couldn’t find the enthusiasm to write myself a riotous pep-talk, I was to muse on good things coming down the track. This world offers us the persistent possibility of surprise. Right. Reminds me of people who say “happy memorial day.”

I grudgingly wrote to this prompt today with a contrarian pall over my heart. When I feel something is wrong, but no one will tell me what, fear of the unknown weighs heavy.


Nope. It Ain’t.

I don’t mean nothin’, Man.
We jus’ gotta get out of this place.

Look up at the stars, forget the mud
and reality. Live the dream, Baby.

It ain’t easy being green, or stupid,
or a timid runt. But love conquers all,

What lives it don’t flat out ruin.
Up against the wall. The man gotcha.

It’s a meaningless number, three
little birds just told me, freedom,

It’s just another word. We can check out
anytime we like, but we can never leave.

Every little thing gunna be all right,
if it’s the last thing we ever do.


Look both ways at the pluses and minuses.
Mind the gaps for ways to escape.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 9)

Click on the NaPo button for today’s prompt and links to other poems.

Because it’s Saturday, day 9 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and the 9th of April, my numerically poetic task is to write a nine-line nonet poem. A nonet renders out to about 36 words. It’s a brief form. The first line has nine syllables, the second has eight, and so on. The number of syllables reducing until you get to the nineth line, which has just one syllable.

I supposed that one could write an inverted nonet, which I did, beginning with one syllable and working up, line-by-line, back to nine. I felt like I had the time. Two poems, 72 words, 90 syllables. Not much for a Saturday. So, I also wrote a 57-word poem for Sammi’s Weekend Writing Prompt.


Never Understood

He had a quick pride which pained him much.
So many loves he’d won and lost.
His narcissism reflecting,
the part he’d never see.
Sadness lived within
his tortured soul.
When he died,
I still
cried.

***

Had
I known
of his soul,
the cost to him
was in no way small.
I never understood
many burdens he carried
they just split his being apart,
making it worse, the curse of his heart.


Look both ways and up and down before asking why or why not.
Mind the gaps in mirrored perfection of human discernment.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 6)

Today, I’ve been challenged to write a variation of an acrostic poem. But rather than spelling out a word with the first letters of each line, I’m to write a poem that reproduces a phrase with the first word of each line.

I chose Find what you love and let it kill you. (Attributed to: Charles Bukowski [unlikely], Kinky Friedman [more likely but with like instead of love], Van Dyke Parks [attributes to Friedman], and Anonymous [possible, but someone said it first]; and if it was Kinky, who used love first?)


Seriously

Find my reason for being, my why did I not die,
What is it that makes me do the things I do?
You may have some thoughts about my dilemma;
Love or hate and genes and things, like moon phases,
And everything about what I was and now I am.
Let us feel, taste, smell, see, and hear all there is.
It is my life, after all, and I must find it or
Kill myself trying because this is too important for
You to take things like love and death so lightly.


Look both ways while searching for all the love to live for
and all reasons to die. Mind the gaps for gods with all the right answers.

NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 2)

The second day NaPo challenges me to write a poem based on a word of my choosing from those featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words.

I chose the word misimprove, a transitive verb meaning to make worse while attempting to make better or to use something wrongly or poorly. The word has the same meaning as disimprove, which is easier to find. However, the latter lacks the important feature of attempting to innocently improve or make something better, a definition Merriam-Webster claims is archaic.

Both mean to make matters worse. Both remind me of the humorous signs in auto repair shops warning of the higher cost of repairs when shade tree mechanics have applied their shady talents.


Forgive My Misimprovements

Let me count the ways.
Bolts broke when I overtightened nuts
or worked to remove rusted ones,
When I used too much salt or bleach
or hot sauce, when I sanded or sawed
too deeply, when I erased too hard
making holes in paper, when I forced
instead of finessed, or took it apart
unable to reassemble.

I remember when
I downshifted on ice, drove too fast,
aggravating made things worse;
when I changed your battery
but reversed the polarity,
when I backed out slowly
without looking, and the day we
got stuck in the mud.

I changed the word but misspelled
the better one, I should have asked
before trying to fix your problem
(made it worse), all this
to make things better.

I trained to much, went too far,
and pressed too hard;
solutions I suggested
made matters worse. I defended
and that offended. I loved too much,
told the painful truth, tried to help,
gave you a such a push or pull leading
to your spill. I pranked something funny
that wasn’t, I said yes,
said no,
said nothing,
said something,
all to misimprovement.

To pile on worse woe
I tried, and things worsened more,
problems intensified, situations
aggravated, and problems compounded.
Yet, if I stop,
nothing ever gets better.


Look both ways for the questions to the answers.
Mind the gaps and ask, what is it you want me to do?

Monday’s Rune: War Poetry

But First

To balance my blogosphere life, I shall henceforth post my unprompted poems (or prose), called runes, on Mondays (formerly Thursday) so I can plan to post about every other day.

I claim King’s X for April because I hope to be working my way through 30 poems in 30 days with National (Global) Poetry Writing Month (napowrimo.net). I try to write to the daily prompts/assignments (it’s optional, I’m not that masochistic).

Thus, I shall post every day in April. When possible, I will combine or do a second post on Friday Fictioneers and Sammi’s Weekender. I will also try to read and comment on those challenges when I can.


Why Can’t We Be Friends?

What is the difference between
genocide, slavery, life,
and freedom?

It’s war. Granted. War is bad.
It’s literally hell on Earth.
Innocents and soldiers are killed.
War’s destruction is
without logic or proportion.

But pacifism is worse.
Evil cannot be appeased.
War is the symptom.
Humanity is the cause.
Hate is the disease.

Choose well but take a side.
Peace is a dream guarded
by nightmares. History proves
we always get the war we want.
There may be no winners in war,
but there are losers. I’d rather not.


Look both ways in the real world.
We must always fight for what is right.
Mind the gaps for seeds of hate and find the first casualty of war: truth.