Merger

Were it not
For empty spaces
Longing looks on book end faces
Meet and greet in office places
Stolen glances
Handshake plans rolled out in blue
Negotiations to build it big, build it new
Brush by shoulder
Contract signed, scope defined, schedule set
Ribbon cut in time for press, suit and tie and fitted dress
Late night smolder
Ought not share with all stakeholders

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Today’s challenge is to write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks. That could be a poem with very long lines, or very short lines. Or a poem that blends the two. You might break to emphasize (or de-emphasize) sounds or rhymes, or to create a moment of hesitation in the middle of a thought.

Lunch

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Look at the landscape for ruins of the open
can. Beware the vermin whose goal dare dip in man’s sweet blossom tea
Bolder than a goat to overdose in blossom

Not you goat that wonder to water. The can in your lunchbox
Smitten to touch. Embolden that drop tin.
The wasteland along for a beating

Trek the terrain guided by your instinct
Halt at deep addition. Dampen your wonder for the flow of nature
Deep in this ‘hood should only be vermin

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The Day 5 NaPoWriMo challenge is to write a poem that reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph. Now find a poem in a language you don’t know. Now start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph. It will be a bit of a balancing act, but hopefully it will lead to new and beautiful (and possibly very weird) places.

This was an interesting challenge for me as I had originally hoped to write about an isolated mountain saddle above Maligne Lake in the Canadian Rockies. I stopped here alone last summer for a lunch break in the middle of a hike. It was peaceful and beautiful. As I unwrapped the lunch that I’d carried for ten miles I was greeted by a Pika who scampered nearby begging for bits. As I worked through the original poem it steered mine towards the pika and away from the breathtaking view before me.

Here is the poem in a foreign language (my guess is that it’s German.)

Das Boot 4

Ook in een landschap dat te ruim is of te open
kan je verzuipen, zoals de man weet die diep in een bos
ten onder gaat aan een overdosis bomen.

Net zo gaat het onder water: je kan in een luchtbel
zitten en toch voelen hoe de druppels
weifelend je longen betasten.

Trek je terug in je gedachten als in een instinct.
Haal er diep adem. Dompel je onder in flarden natuur.
Diep in je hoofd schuilt de ongerepte variant.

Here is the translation. I did not read this until my poem was written.

Also in a landscape that’s too wide or too open
you might drown, like the man knows who deep in the woods
succumbs to an overdose of trees.

The same applies to the underwater: you can be in an air pocket
and still sense the droplets
hesitantly feeling out your lungs.

Retreat into your thoughts as if into an instinct.
Take a deep breath there. Submerge yourself in scraps of nature.
Lying hidden deep inside your head the untouched variant.

It’s interesting that the original poem could have stood alone to describe the feelings I wanted to share about the first photo.  Somehow in my translation the pika insisted on being seen.

Race Ready

Cork from the bottle hung mid air in flight. Streamers, confetti, knee in a lightning jitterbug dance
Threadbare breath, sweat stained shirt, hands Jello and glue in a toothpick plane seat belt bound
Shield and sword in stored trunk, decoder ring on my lap, utility belt wrinkles my cape and leotard pants
Cumulus cloud dreams, pocket coin for the well, lift on airstream, vision of blue ribbon crown
Old Glory on peak, Neil Armstrong on the moon, Rosa Parks in a seat, my touchdown finish line swoon

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The Day 4 NaPoWriMo Challenge is to write a poem that is about something abstract – perhaps an ideal like “beauty” or “justice,” but which discusses or describes that abstraction in the form of relentlessly concrete nouns. Adjectives are fine too! For example, you could have a poem about sadness that describes that emotion as “a rowboat tethered with fishing line to a willow that leans over a pond. Rainwater collects in the bottom, and mosquito eggs.”

My poem is about the abstract qualities that come with preparing for and running a 100-mile race: Excitement, Anticipation, Courage, Hope, Accomplishment

Naporock Lineup

Sonnet Stage
Orange Apple Rose
Breaking Breakfast Toes
Faulty Lines
Pirate Skies
Geriatric Stones

Quatrain Stage
The Cue
Erotology
Skew
Stall At Sea

Haiku Stage
Falling Mellon Head
Sopping Wet Bed
Xtra Exes
Billy Red Dress
Purple Death Pledge

Ballad Stage
Erect
The Wall
Defect
The Crawl

Limerick Stage
Gingerbread Jones
Jumping Dog Bones
Siren Sin
Ginseng Gin
Hostile Hormones

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The challenge for Day 3 of NaPoWriMo is to write a list poem in which all the items are made-up band names. If band names don’t inspire, how about a list of titles for romantic novels? Or new television cop dramas? They can be as over-the-top as you like, because that’s half the fun.

I decided to create my own multi day concert.

Na/GloPoWriMo

It’s that time again for a poem a day, which in years past has been National Poetry Writing Month celebrated in April.  You gotta love that this year the organization has renamed itself to be inclusive of the worldwide community that comes together for this month of fun. This Sunday, April 1, which coincidentally is Easter and April Fools Day,  will launch National/Global Poetry Writing month.  Nice to add a bit of a Glo.

In preparation of the our month long journey I got out the laptop to dust off the cobwebs of this Blog site.  Whew, it’s been awhile since I’ve been here.  Funny that the final post was an Easter inspired entry.  It’s crazy reflecting on the year that has past since I wrote that last poem.

This year I’ve been in and out of retirement. At the moment I’m in again. Part of this journey has been about redefining what retirement will look like for me. I’ve discovered that my brain loves a challenge.  All play and no work is not a perfect fit for this fun loving, long running, tech savvy poet.

Thanks to Na/GloPoWriMo April is sure to be another month of discovery, so here we go.  Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Peeps

Yellow Peep box
Marshmallow mocks
Left over from Easter
No one would eat‘er
Tossed in the can
With bacon drip pan
Apple core bran
Muffins and spam
Milk carton crush
A rotten tooth brush
With no one there
Along came a bear
Smelling the air
Tipped over the bin
Potpourri from within
Strewn here and there
Delighting said bear
For all but the Peeps
Which no smart bear eats

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The good news about being so many days behind in the NaPoWriMo challenge is that I will have plenty of left over prompts to get me through the next couple months. Today’s challenge is to write a Skeltonic verse. No skeletons involved. Rather, Skeltonic verse gets its name from John Skelton, a fifteenth-century English poet who pioneered the use of short stanzas with irregular meter, but two strong stresses per line (otherwise know as “dipodic” or “two-footed” verse). The lines rhyme, but there’s not a rhyme scheme per se. The poet simply rhymes against one word until he or she gets bored and moves on to another. Dipodc….not sure I got it.

By the way, this Peep-Bear story is true.

Shared Paths

Trails
Build bonds
Time travels underfoot
Girlfriends navigating life’s trials
Together

Rivers
Shiver timbers
Whitewater fording soul
Current against linked arms
Forever

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This year I find myself so far behind in the 30-day NaPoWriMo Challenge. Here it is Day 23 and I’ve probably only written ten poems. But okay, I press on anyway.

The prompt for Day 23 is to write a Double Elevenie. An Elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. A Double Elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all.