At the two-thirds complete NaPoWriMo Wednesday, my assignment, should I choose to accept it, was to humanize (anthropomorphize) a food.
Ask any front-line (combat) Army or Marine Corps Viet Nam War veteran about C-rations, especially about this one.
It is not an acquired taste
c-rats (thankfully) are nevermore.
But he who must not be named, you-know-who—of Hogwarts,
the Dark Lord of chow, bitter
Lord Voldemort of field rations
universally despised for bad taste.
In the boonies, in another world:
The Nam! What was in that can?
Bad luck shall befall if you say it— Ham and Lima Beans, say it
like a soldier: ham and motherfuckers
hated by virtually everyone,
thrown back like VC returning fire
by starving children: numba ten, GI!
International agreement at last.
The most disgusting (real) food ever.
(You gunna eat that?)
Look both ways and tell it like it was.
Mind the gaps when everything sucks.
Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command.
I wrote my poem as a more respectful, loving plea rather than a command, but the words suit the prompt’s intent well, as far as I’m concerned. My inspiration was the Peter, Paul, and Mary song, Day Is Done.
Our Day Undone
Tell me why you are sad, my son.
Let me hold your hand and listen
as you speak of woe. Call me
to your side as we talk, and we walk.
Stay near me. Tell me your regrets,
intone unknowns we both fear.
Is it wise for us to ask why, sadness
so deep we must cry? Tell me,
my son. I’ll be right here
until my last day is done. Burden my
purpose of commitment. I ask no easement,
but for your silence to clear.
Allow me to share this distress and bother
just as I’ve carried you before. I rejoiced
in your life, now let me suffer with you
the worst of your troubles. Let us be
like some small support
as we lean upon each other
and lift this load
until the healing is done
and sadness has passed.
Look both ways mindful of love’s burden.
Let compassion fill the gaps,
allow time and love to ease the pain until the day is done.
Today’s assignment was to be another fun one. It was a prompt developed by the comic artist Lynda Barry, (see the full tweet prompt here). For NaPoWriMo, it asked me to consider dogs that I’ve known, seen, or heard of. Then I was to use those thoughts as a springboard for a poem.
Must it be one or the other?
Either I prefer cats to dogs, or vice-versa.
Like I must take sides in some
canine versus feline conflict.
Must I own one to prove some
Is it wrong to treat an animal as a loved pet,
or to suggest an aggressive breed as not the best?
Synonyms for pets include loved, not family,
not as human, and now here comes the guilt trip.
Others see pets like children. Fine for them. To be right,
must I see the world through their eyes?
I’ve had a few pets, loved most, regretted few.
Most memories are good when all was well.
But all my pets, like many
of my family and friends are gone.
Unlike the Billy Collins humorous poem, The Revenant, most dogs seem willing to
let me be, the cats I’m still uncertain about.
And they like it that way.
Look both ways respecting nature’s fauna.
Mind the gap between the lion and the lamb.
Today, I was to write a curtal sonnet. That is a variation of a (real) 14-line sonnet. Both are fixed verse forms with rhyming according to a prescribed scheme. I hope you’re not holding your breath.
A curtal sonnet is a curtailed or contracted sonnet. It has 11 lines with two optional rhyming schemes. I see it as a mathematical variation of a six and five (or four and a half) line reduced sonnet form. I consider any sonnet brief, so a curtal sonnet is a reduction of a reduced form. This may be the only one I ever write. Nothing said it had to be good.
By Reason of Conclusion
My search for some gods needs logical proof,
To arrive at most honest conclusions
From science I seek logical answers
To discover reality and truth.
Turn scripture from some reasoned confusion
Thumb through pages, bemusing all chances
None of this explains your absence of love
If my mind can manage not being so
Show me now please, your better solution.
Given you by a deity above
Now you know, I am a pro.
Look both ways because at the end of the day,
a poor poem beats nothing at all.
Mind the gaps.
My interpretation on the mid-month NaPo prompt was to write a poem about something I dislike or find absurd. I concluded this because the assignment was, while seemingly counterintuitive, to write about something I have absolutely no interest in; but not like indifferent to (apathetic). I was also invited to investigate why I don’t give a damn. Here’s my take.
I’m curious about few woo-woo,
but astrology ain’t in my playbill.
Are there 12 or 13 signs?
There’s yer sign.
Who TF cares, Ophiuchus?
People read that shit?
Believe? Live by?
not by constellations,
not by birthdays.
Connect the dots,
but not that crazy way.
Fun, interesting, or amusing?
Blame the Babylonians. I couldn’t care less
if they left one hanging dingleberry.
You do the math. Is one two?
If I’m interested enough to care
I will ask, not your Zodiac sign,
but what kind of beer do you drink?
Look both ways when you stare into the night sky.
Identify stars, planets, and constellations.
That’s astronomy. That’s science.
Mind the gaps for the wonder of galaxies.
Today’s NaPoWriMo assignment completed the first two weeks of writing a poem each day during April. Also called the “optional” daily prompt, it was (“a fun one”) to write a poem in the form of the opening scene of the movie about my life.
I contemplated possibilities and searched for ideas when I came upon the opening scene for the movie, My Life Without Me. It inspired me to shed self-awareness and identity with confused limited personal pronouns, to message with metaphor and simile, and to use immature grammar while maintaining context.
Cinematically, the movie would open with fuzzy, abstract, calm, overlapping, multiple images of a young child standing in the rain, eyes closed, oblivious to life and environment (but not in the poem). A faint heartbeat would be heard as the narrator recites the poem. The ellipses indicate that the poem does not start or finish (neither begins nor ends).
Page One Opens
…we are standing alone
in the wet warm rain,
an unashamed adam and eve;
my bare feet floating in sultry green grass
feels the soft spongy muggy earth;
your small, young hearts hear; your body
without clothing is not naked;
i am shielded by water;
they are you,
i am they without knowing or caring
for anything but the feel, sound, and
taste of innocent rain; i am new taste;
comforting sounds; our blind eyes closed;
neither night nor day; just warm
moist comfort and muffled senses
in neutral emotionless rain…
Look both ways and mind the gaps later. For now, just be.
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.
Today I opened the napowrimo.net prompt page and read about poetry online journals (something Maureen is doing this year), the two poems from yesterday’s prompt she selected to highlight, and the day twelve prompt, which said to write a poem about something small.
I Wear the Ring
Aunt Lorry (we called Delores, Mom’s sister, that) loved me
more than I realized. When I was very young,
she’d send envelopes addressed to me,
from Washington D.C. with Dennis the Menace
cartoons cut from her newspaper.
I didn’t see the connection then. But I do now. It was the only mail
I received from an adult when not my birthday or Christmas.
When I graduated from Texas A&M University Lorry insisted
on paying for my class ring. Aggie rings are a big deal
to alumni (called former students). I still wear the ring—
more than fifty years later. I remember Lorry every time.
She never married, was old fashioned, traditional, and a staunch
Catholic. She wasn’t difficult (usually) but criticized
what she thought was wrongdoing.
Yet she was hopeful to the edge of naiveite.
Had she been any different, I suppose I’d still have my ring,
but I would not have had a famous cartoon character
as my childhood alter ego.
Lorry died about ten years after I graduated and whenever
I wear the ring I’m reminded of her.
I will be until the day I die. Such a small thing but a big
reminder of my old maid aunt, my childhood, love, and
how ironic it is when things turn out differently than expected.
Look both ways and remember familial days.
Mind gaps that may bring surprising results.
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.
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,
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.