Poetry: Sijo for Two (NaPoWriMo day 20)

The NaPo prompt for day 20 was to write a poem in a traditional Korean poetic form called sijo, in English of course. Sijo is a specific form with a little flexibility unless one wished to exercise poetic license to color outside the lines. Since these are only three lines of 14 to 16 syllables each, I wrote two for Tuesday.


Marvelous Melancholy

I forgot about something important. What being bored feels like.
Oh, how I long for the days when I could do what I wanted.
Now I can’t just up and do, up and go. I mustn’t fall on my ass.

***

A Taste of Tint

Like yellow, it has never been one of my favorite colors.
Did I ever favor any one color over another?
I’m starting to like orange. Never saw a color I didn’t like.


Look both ways. Then smile. Sing a song, “I’m Alive!”
Mind the gaps for forgotten sorrow or the taste of color.

Poetry: Rant (NaPoWriMo day 19)

Today is day 19. I was challenged by NaPoWriMo to write a humorous rant. In this poem, I was licensed to excoriate (I prefer bitch) to my heart’s content. I ranted about ranting.


Let Me Explain

I’ve been okayed to rant.
I should be good at this
cuz lots of practice,
but I need a subject;
like in a poem, something
specific to rant about.

I prefer small audiences
or choirs to preach to,
preferably from my own tribe.
I need to know what I’m
talking about, no random topics
that just piss me off for now;
politics, religion, or both might work.

I should stand. My face will redden.
I need not be near breakables,
like nick-nacks or small animals. I can
frighten cats, small dogs may cower
into a corner, and I need a timer.

Like I’m Italian talking normal,
I need to waive my arms and make
gestures about the size of fish I caught,
or the size of my antagonist’s penis.

If Yolonda is there, she will tell me
to sit on my hands and keep my mouth shut.
I’ll claim NaPo permissive prompt status
or poet’s privilege, but she won’t care.
She’s heard it all before.
I’ll call him “needle dick the bug fucker,”
for laughs, then I can sit down and let it all go.


Look both ways, be it a declaration of war,
burying the hatchet, smoking a peace pipe, or opening kimonos.
Mind the gaps because that’s where the trouble starts.

Poetry: Fear of Poetry (NaPoWriMo day 18)

The eighteenth day NaPo challenge was to write a poem based on the title of a chapter, as a prompt, in Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. After reading the “look inside” on Amazon, I bought the book at 4 AM. Then I selected Chapter 51, “Fear of Poetry.”


Fear of Poetry

They say, poems find us.
They say, we cannot teach how to poem
words, to think one, or to write one.
They say, we are not all the same,
but we are all equal, or should be,
simply different I suppose. King
thinks writers (poets) are born.

I fear no rainforest, not electricity,
nor my own subconsciousness;
yet ocean depths, being too high,
or the worst of my fears, being a fool
can imprison me: body, mind, and spirit.

Unlike others, poems came to me ever since
I was forced to memorize “O Captain! My Captain!”
at age 13, long before I understood much of anything.
But I hid my love of it for fear of what
poetry might mean to me. Like repressed memories
or unrequited love, I hid from, ignored what I loved.

Now behind that mental dam of fear is stored
years of unexpressed ME (or is it I?) – poetry.
Only in demonstrative anger
or stoically hidden sorrow did I feel safe.
Since owning that,
since calling myself poet,
then writing and thinking,
I let them out. One poem at a time.


Look both ways to see where it began and where it might end.
Mind the gaps because it’s never to late to be completely you.

Poetry: Sammi’s Weekender #205 (uncanny)

Click image for Sammi’s Blog

Magic Music

Music finds my mood,
picks at my soul
it finds my feelings,
uncannily,
making music mine.
Is our love for sound and music
the saving grace of life?
Or is it our destiny
not to think about it twice?


Listen to the music but look to see it both ways.
The gaps between the notes, a place where angels play.

Poetry: Nature Knows (NaPoWriMo day 16)

The NaPo prompt for Friday, April 16th, was to write a poem using a form called Skeltonic, or tumbling, verse. Skeltonic poems have short lines of three to six words, two or three stressed syllables, and are simple verses. There is no specific length. Lines must rhyme and new rhymes may be introduced. There is no alternating rhyme scheme.


Nature can be dastardly
Random in her apathy
Extending thru the galaxy
Giving freely of catastrophe
With all her immortality
With no kind of partiality
Uncaring of our flattery
In her lavish asexuality
At the center of gravity
Lacking godly spirituality
Devoid of all sentimentality
Guilty of total impartiality
What can I possibly say?
What will save us this day?
As to tragedy we give way
Maybe we should pray
To express our dismay
Of her uncaring touché.


Look both ways, in the blues and thru the grays.
Mind the gaps as there may be traps making all of us saps.

Poetry: Stupid People (NaPoWriMo day 12)

Today’s NaPo prompt is to write a poem using at least one word, concept, or idea from each of two specific dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

The online classical dictionary was too difficult to use, so I used one of my own. The sci-fi one was easier, but I couldn’t find “galactically stupid.” I got “fugginheadness” from it and piled on “gormless and vacuous” for the poem. I reached out to youtube for some help from George Carlin and a scene from the movie, A Few Good Men.


Like Average, Man!

If someone lacks intelligence, it’s not their fault.
No one arrives at birth, or from another planet
(the ones we used to call space cadets), and decides
they will join the fugginheaded, gormlessly English gang.

We couldn’t take it if seemingly vacuous souls made
such choices, like ordering an IQ from a menu.
But there are some out there in the world, whose
behavior is ordered right out of willful ignorance.

And I’m not sure that every Mensa member is sane.
I try to understand. I really do. But please tell me.
What is with those who join the fan club of the
Galactically Stupid? Super-stupid on purpose?


Look both ways from dead center under the bell curve.
Mind the gaps and disregard outliers.

Poetry: The Shadorma and Fibonacci Forms (NaPoWriMo day 7)

My seventh day NaPo adventure is to write at least two poems structured in forms that have a specific number of lines and specific syllable counts per line: the shadorma, and the Fib.

A shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem. Each line’s syllable count is 3/5/3/3/7/5.

A Fib, besides being a white lie, is a six-line form where syllable count is based upon the Fibonacci mathematical sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. I may reverse line syllable counts after the first six to 8/5/3/2/1/1.

In both forms, I may use multiple six-line poems to create one multi-stanza poem, provided I use six lines per stanza and the appropriate syllable count per line. Neither form is mentioned in any of my books on poetry, including the Third Edition of Turco’s, The Book of Forms.


Intimacy

dance with me
be my love partner
hold me close
i hold you
step with time to forever
let’s dance into love

forever
i am your lover
music plays
steps we know
we endure as years twirl past
we dance together

(Inspired by the songs “Dance With Me,” by Orleans; and “Dance Me To the End of Love” by Leonard Cohen)


Tree Hugger

All
Life
Is one.
Together
In this challenging
World of delicate us and truth.

Symbiotic mutualism
Will still save us all
Together
We are
One
Life.

(Inspired by this quotation, “It cannot be said too often: all life is one. That is, and I suspect will forever prove to be, the most profound true statement there is.” From A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson)


Look both ways in life and love.
We are not, and wouldn’t survive, alone.
Mind the gaps, plant trees, and be kind to animals.

Poetry: War’s Bitterness (NaPoWriMo day 6)

The irony of today’s prompt is that it comes from Holly Lyn Walrath, who wrote of prompts, “…they all suck.” She poses this one as simple.

“Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

I want to finish this assignment today, so I am amending the prompt slightly.

I have lists of lines (quotes) from books I like. Examples I considered from Bukowski’s poetry book, Love is Dog from Hell, (also the title of one of the poems) include:

  1. “Sissies have a hard life.”
  2. “I never quite understood what it all meant and still don’t.”
  3. “Human relationships aren’t durable.”
  4. “Just drink more beer, more and more beer.”
  5. “An early taste of death is not necessarily a bad thing.”
  6. “Hit that thing/hit it hard.”

I rejected them for a sentence from Tim O’Brien’s book, The Things They Carried. The protagonist is referring to his decision to be drafted and go to Viet Nam, rather than flee to Canada.

“I would go to the war—I would kill and maybe die—because I was embarrassed not to.”

I used each of these three independent clauses as the title for a quatrain. Then, I wrote the overall title of the combined poem, but I left the original lines.


War’s Bitterness

I would go to the war*—

Not to defend my country
or the Constitution, or our freedom,
or our way of life, to a war
I did not believe in.

I would kill and maybe die*—

Even my own countrymen would
condemn me and others who did
see themselves as defenders, many heroes
who would be wasted in a war they hated.

I was embarrassed not to*—

I cried. I didn’t want to go. I felt
that I had no choice. Could I kill?
Would I be killed or maimed?
Would I ever understand why?


(*Taken from the boat scene while fishing on the Rainy River in the book, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien.)

Look both ways. Feel the pressure. Decide.
Mind the gaps, especially those in your mind.
You’re only a living, fallible human.

Poetry: See No Evil (NaPoWriMo Day 1)

The day one prompt challenged me to write a poem inspired by watching “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.

Click link to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bX_xh2do3eM


See No Evil

She asked permission to paint her room.
We agreed without knowing anything.
The nineties were pointless trips to nowhere
without boring rhythmic sounds of psychedelia,
like coos of Mexican doves
invading my ears, dulling my brain.

As with straight lines and square corners in nature,
nothing made sense without the age and drugs and booze
opening accepted altered states understood only
by artists who painted strange images upon
home wall canvases in rooms to sleep, to dream.
Unaware of, but fearing, impending nightmarish doom.

Why did monochrome pointlessness happen?
I want to cry. Sometimes die. Because life is a lie.
None of that is possible for the imprisoned people,
unable to see whatever reality there is or isn’t,
when certainty is a soundless death
after a meaningless life of pitiful existence.


Look both ways, but never look back.
Mind the gaps where the music stays.

Poetry: A Pantoum


Morning Cat

Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.
It feels good to expand my arms into the air,
to feel my body push against itself,
to feel my life physically trigger another day.

It feels good to stretch my arms into the air,
quietly announcing my arrival before dawn upstages me.
I want to physically trigger another day in my life.
before dawn steals my self-awareness, that “I’m alive” feeling.

I enjoy quietly announcing my arrival while
admiring the cobalt blue and sunny pink sky colors,
as sunrise steals my awareness, an “I’m alive” feeling
that makes me want to make the best of the day to come.

I admire the cobalt blue and sunny pink morning skies
and I want to feel my body push against itself,
as I hope to make the best of the day to come.
Sometimes, in the morning I stretch like a cat.


Look both ways when you’re feeling a bit catty.
Mind the gaps. Especially the ones behind the eyes.