NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo Days Nineteen-Twenty-One: Thinking Nag Champa

Days nineteen through twenty-one. No prompts used for these days. Frankly feeling a bit “slow minded” as one friend would say. But today, still I wrote some poems. They are connected in that I took the last line of the first poem and used it as a nudge for the second, and the last line of the second, a nudge for the third. So the content is different and changes, but there is also something similar woven through.

Writers block

Writers blank

Writers black

Vacuous still

No will—no current 

electric enough to spark

To startle out of this window gaze

The night’s gentle bow bends deep

And pink light fades to gray

Dusk of the day

No matter

Headlight beams 

slow drone 

down the street

Flick at the window and pass

Like the dawn 


cathedral glass


Cathedral glass

Cathedral stone

Cathedral golden

Warm yellow beams 

on bended necks and bowed heads

The fuzz of the skin

under sun’s white light

doesn’t ask and

is unseen

but it is 

the softest thing 

that makes a man a man

or a child a thing that breaths

Dust motes fall through light

Cathedral glass

Cathedral stone

Cathedral golden that holds

them all


Go to the room where they all stood

Room in the round

Long bands of colors and fractals 

case the wall and sing like prayer

Red shag strains to cup bare bodied feet

And on that warm woolen moss that scratches, there they sat

Sharp nag champa burns. Tumbles through the air

Ancient smoke of soul and body

whispers into the olfactory

to meet the factory into which the heart-blood beats 

warmly into the thoughts 

that make me me

And out again I breath

into the room where they all stood

Room in the round where

I am me

Being a poet, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen

The prompt for today included using the lines of an established poem to inspire new lines of a new poem. I turned to my favorite poet, Christian Wiman and a poem called “For D.” from Wiman’s 2010 book of poetry, “Every Riven Thing”.  You can read a bit more about Christian, the book, the poem, and hear audio of a reading of “For D.” here.  An excerpt of today’s prompt is below.

First, find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with). Use a piece of paper to cover over everything but the last line. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it. Now move your piece of paper up to uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem, and write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line. Keep going, uncovering and writing, until you get to the first line of your source poem, which you will complete/respond to as the last line of your new poem. It might not be a finished draft, but hopefully it at least contains the seeds of one.

White limbs

Slow disappear like the sun behind the horizon

None so lonely as the chasm of space that fills

in where you once stood

Black the sun has left, and with you only the breeze

the leaves felt

And even deeper still the growing stillness

of water once rippled now placid like glass

The present now an echo

of you looking over your shoulder

Being a poet, children, Comic book Villains, Comic books, Growth, Healing, Humanity, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences, the color of moments

NaPoWriMo Days 15-17: Retelling of Family Anecdotes, Play, And The Vulnerability Of A Villain

Another post with three days worth of poems. Forgive me in advance for the groan inducing,  day fifteen.

Our prompt for the day (optional as always) follows Gowrishankar’s suggestion that we write a poem re-telling a family anecdote that has stuck with you over time. It could be the story of the time your Uncle Louis caught a home run ball, the time your Cousin May accidentally brought home a coyote and gave it a bath, thinking it was a stray dog, or something darker (or even sillier).

Day Seventeen

All quiet upstairs

She slipped

Down the stairs 

and into the shadows and shelter 

of the basement

Hot little hands

Heat of the heart running through them

and down into the finger pads 

that magicked over 

castles and castles of  boxes

Card board—smooth and wooly

Found the one

The one she’d secreted in thought

down the stairs to find

Pulled it open with a rustle

Gleaming and nestled

Babies of treasure

The jeweled and preserved excitement of Christmas

all there nested in tissue and waiting

Fragile month of December

Round and glass

Smooth and painted

Handled like a mother’s egg

Life inside

Curious hands shouldn’t hold too long

scolded if touched or turned too long

Found her accomplice stool standing still

Climbed and dropped 

Each one, on the concrete basement floor

a colored crystal explosion

All for her


In this vein, our (optional, as always) prompt for the day asks you to write a poem that prominently features the idea of play. It could be a poem about a sport or game, a poem about people who play (or are playing a game), or even a poem in the form of the rules for a sport or game that you’ve just made up (sort of like Calvinball).

Day Sixteen

With the adult world swelling all around them

they fashion child kingdoms

to make sense

of what they see

Capes and tunnels and bands of warriors

Sunset dreaming and flying through trees

Leafy worlds and tiny islands

Heady breathless sweaty leaders atop hills and swing sets and decks

Makes pacts and rules and rule their people

Decrepit sewage drain becomes the promised land

The anthems of play

Mimic, mirror, make different


And now for our prompt (optional, as always). In her interview, Blake suggests writing a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil). Perhaps this could mean the witch from Hansel & Gretel has lost her beloved cat, and is going about the neighborhood sticking up heart-wrenching “Lost Cat” signs, but still finds human children delicious. Maybe Blackbeard the Pirate is lost at sea in an open boat, remembering how much he loved his grandmother (although he will still kill the first person dumb enough to scoop him from the waves).

Day Fifteen: The Vulnerability Of A Villain

Morning routine

Cover the hide

Hide behind

the white

The taunts were real bad sometimes

Paint  was his savior

Swiping and covering

Layers of closeness

Closer than anyone wanted to get

The white paint found on sale  was his friend,

and covered for him

Covered him and his gruesome skin

People didn’t care

 to linger too long 

No curious triangle glances

from the eyes

to the mouth

to the chin, that signaled a possible friend

That signaled the soft curiosity of  another human

Just sharp left turns from—

(Repulsed and afraid of)

From the man he sees in the mirror

Fingers hold the tin

Pop the lid

Moist dread

Empty pot

The Joker’s out of makeup