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 Report: April 2019

Poetry month is finished and we’re into May. Since I posted each NaPoWriMo poem, I’ll not recap, other than to say it was a great experience. Per the challenge, I was prompted to try a few new things with form and content. My congratulations to all participants. This was my third season with the 30 poems in 30 days challenge.

I plan to continue writing a poem each day during May as I have been doing each day of 2019, but I will need to work up my own prompts. I think May could be a good limerick month. Not sure how (or if) I will do that. I do not post every poem I write, but I may put up some Limericks I find written by others (with cred, if I can determine origins). And I do need to write some of my own.

Over on the Dispassionate Doubt page (my other blog), I have no ideas or plans. Something for sure, but not every day as was the case with the A to Z Challenge and my version of a skeptic’s dictionary.

Look both ways, back to March and April, and on to May and June.
Mind the gaps and cracks in everything, that’s how the light gets in.

Poetry: ?!? (NaPoWriMo) Day Thirty

Today I was to write a minimalist poem. Such is not in my creativity wheel house and my first impulse was to blow it off and write my kind of poem, but I connected it to something I saw hanging on a wall with other art in my daughter’s house. In trying to be true to the minimum challenge, I wrote the poem on a 2×3 notebook that is always in my right front pants pocket.

Look both ways, back at April and on to May.
Mind the gaps, wear sunscreen and shades.

Poetry: Salty Meditation (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-nine

Today I am writing to you from the boonies of Colorado City, Texas. My Monday morning challenge was to produce a meditative poem from a position of tranquility (it is like that here this morning, but I’m snickering), on an emotion I have felt powerfully. I’m not sure what I did, but I felt that.

Salty is a state of mind
on the inside;
on the outside,
Salty is all personality
one must acquire
a taste for the attitude,
with peppery retorts,
for a bit of salt
poured
on the wound,
for the taste of a tear
on my lips,
off your cheek,
on the rim of my Margarita,
or on my hands
with lime juice
for shots of tequila.
Today
my state of mind
is Salty.
© Bill Reynolds, 4/29/2019

Look both ways, attitude follows attitude. Mind the gap in meditative morality.

Poetry: Invisible Friend (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-eight

Today’s prompt was to write a poem about a poem, called a metapoem. I have written such before, but I did not realize there was a name. My poem is about poetry and me.

Like an invisible friend or part
of me, you were always there,
growing and forming, but
unseen by me—unloved
until now—so near
the end of my journey: my life.

My denial of self-darkened
truth, blinded me,
fed my pitiful rejection,
my failure to see you
always there, always with me.
Always you, but part me too.

Is it sad I never had
such; due to my own blindness?
Or do I celebrate the late love,
discovery of passion and purpose?
I must live today playfully
swimming in the purpose of verse.

Now enter my mind, my body,
and open this man’s soul to
the poetry—a part of me, I
didn’t even know I had.

Look both ways to find part of you, that you may be all of you. Mind the gaps but see them, touch them, feel them, look within for the parts that will complete you.

Poetry: No Rest for the Wary (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-seven

Today I’m challenged to remix a Shakespearean sonnet. I was offered several methods and any form, but I decided to write a new poem that expresses the same (or similar) idea as Shakespeare’s Sonnet XXVII, click here to read it (it is the 27th day, I like that number, and the Bard’s poem). I did 14 lines of about ten syllables (semi-sonnet?) with little attempt at iambic pentameter. While the rhyme scheme is imperfect, it worked for me.

Oh, I feel so tired and I’m so sore,
my poor old body can’t take it no more.
For this poor soul, it’s early to bed;
then begins, those voices in my head,
the muses of my mind. My body is done.
Listen to us–speaks my imagination,
I need to rise-up, and write all this down,
the body says no, but the mind says go.
I’m so torn between both sleep and to act,
no matter the loss, either way I loose;
for my body to relax, and my eyes to close;
hello, hello, we have words for you too—

damn it to hell, will this day ever end?
Will I rest my soul? And love you my friend!

Look both ways, for rest and for work.
Mind and write down the gaps, lest our muses desert us.

Poetry: Colorado Sky in Texas (NaPoWriMo) Day Twenty-six

Today, my poem uses repetition. As prompted, I may repeat words or a phrase.

It is a place and people live there.
But I can’t tell you why.
The interstate curves or jogs
as the Colorado River passes,
going somewhere,
But I can’t tell you where.
It’s hot in Colorado City
and it’s dry,
But I can’t tell you why.
In that small west Texas
town lives some of my love
But I can’t say much.
The water is bad, yet some things
grow, but I can’t tell you
how. Not much grows,
but they try—I can’t tell you why.

Confinement and warehousing
of living human flesh is done,
down yonder, in some
depressing hole, but I can’t
tell you much. Jobs, I guess.
The big white metallic groaning
wind monsters are there to send
volts and amps and megawatts
to somewhere, but I can’t tell
you where. Colorado City in Texas
has a past, tough people
in a rough place. It has a
future (maybe) but
I can’t tell you what.
They have a liquor store,
I think I know why.

Look both ways and don’t blink or you’ll miss why, or how, or where, maybe what.
Mind the gap near the dip, misery sleeps there.