Firewalker v’s Poet #napowrimo 7

You can handle this,
You can walk barefoot on broken glass,
run at life with an intensity,
that is far too much for me.

You do that too, all the time,
there you are right inside,
making observations, taking notes,
trying to make sense of it all.

But I can’t be a hero every day,
like you, living at the edge of crisis,
I don’t know quite how you do it
the very idea of it terrifies me.

Of course you can, besides,
it’s better than sitting in a cupboard,
flamethrower in hand,
threatening to burn the place down.

Look, they were just words, written
in anger, I didn’t mean it literally,
just a metaphor on a rocky shore,
a strategy to break monotony.

And you don’t think your exposure
terrifies me? Constantly
telling people about our vulnerability.
Words that slap and burn my cheeks.

Burn your cheeks! You walk on fire,
dispel fear and limiting beliefs,
surely you know how to bring relief
to burning cheeks, and wounded pride.

No! Not always, sometimes,
I just want to hide in the shadows,
leave secret thoughts to slumber,
and cover them in cobwebs.

But, I have seen you in your power,
standing before the fire, wild and raw,
so, what was all that training for
if you can’t handle a little exposure?
I am sure you will manage,
after all, it’s only a poem.

Advertisements

Breakthrough #napowrimo 6

I never forgave her for dying so soon,

after the breakdown

turned into a breakthrough.

Then, when she bounced into my dreams,

all full of the joys of the garden,

laughing at the mud stains on her fingers,

and singing that Greenwood song,

childlike, just like she always was,

I was cross.

Of course, I didn’t show it,

I hadn’t seen her for a long while,

so I smiled at her like I always did,

and joined in with her chorus,

‘and we danced for the love of the greenwood’

knelt down and watched the snowdrops break through the soil,

I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

She was dead.

And I never forgave her for dying so soon.

(in memory of Kathy)

Here is the prompt. Today, we’d like to challenge you 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. Looking for inspiration? You might take a look at this poem by Lorine Niedeckerthis poem by Stanley Kunitz, or this one by Amiri Baraka.

The Questing Beast #napowrimo 5

Some cruel precursor

my furious question calls,

as the questing beast sleeps,

she is at the end

of the farthest horizon,

so far my gaze to exclude.

Her sadness, a mirror of humanity,

illusions to quell sovereignty.

Silence the profound quiet,

yet pensive thing of perplexity.

No one will be spared. 

Her calm is a violent storm,

to quell the infinite silence

of the questing voice,

underestimating sovereignty.

It is not dead, nor stagnant,

it is a gift, present and alive,

as the sun. Delight in the quest,

immense san grail of memory,

Do not frequent the dulcet questing beast.

This was a tricky prompt, I have posted it at the end. The questing beast seemed to speak from the Italian poem I chose to terribly translate to find a poem of sorts in it. Recent discussion with a Bard of Glastonbury have caused me to consider that Pellinor’s questing beast is a Giraffe … hence the image I have posted with this strange set of words that kind of make sense, 

From Wikipedia ….

The Questing Beast, or the Beast Glatisant (Barking Beast), is a monster from Arthurian legend. It is the subject of quests undertaken by famous knights such as King PellinoreSir Palamedes, and Sir Percival.

The strange creature has the head and neck of a snake, the body of a leopard, the haunches of a lion, and the feet of a hart.[1]Its name comes from the great noise that it emits from its belly, a barking like “thirty couple hounds questing”. ‘Glatisant’ is related to the French word glapissant, ‘yelping’ or ‘barking’, especially of small dogs or foxes.

The questing beast is a variant of the mythological medieval view on giraffes, whose generic name of Camelopardalisoriginated from their description of being half camel and half leopard.[2][3]

Sempre caro mi fu quest’ermo colle,
E questa siepe, che da tanta parte
Dell’ultimo orizzonte il guardo esclude.
Ma sedendo e mirando, interminati
Spazi di là da quella, e sovrumani
Silenzi, e profondissima quiete
Io nel pensier mi fingo; ove per poco
Il cor non si spaura. E come il vento
Odo stormir tra queste piante, io quello
Infinito silenzio a questa voce
Vo comparando: e mi sovvien l’eterno,
E le morte stagioni, e la presente
E viva, e il suon di lei. Cosi tra questa
Immensita s’annega il pensier mio:
E il naufragar m’è dolce in questo mare.

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like the work in Translucence, 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 (here’s a good place to look!) Ignore any accompanying English translation (maybe cover it up, or cut-and-paste the original into a new document). 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.

Intangible Chaos. #napowrimo 4

This is from day four of raw unedited poems … today’s Napowrimo prompt is at the end.

Hear in the silence,
of unfolded clothes
and creased up linen,
last night’s dinner
smells in the kitchen,
washing up stacked
to topple and drop,
dusty old corners
hiding lost socks,
damp towels in the bathroom,
and empty loo rolls,
grimy bathtub,
hair blocked plug hole,
a crack in the paintwork,
the dent on the floor,
crumbs round the toaster,
leaves by the door.

Hear in the silence
of storm before calm.
Nobody means any harm.

 

Today, we challenge you 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.” Concrete details like those can draw the reader in and let them imagine the real world where your abstract ideal or feeling happens. Happy writing!

‘Made up’ Workshops! #napowrimo3

A bit of fun for day three of Napowrimo … the prompt is at the end.

Here at ‘Made Up’ workshops,
we pride ourselves on the quality
of our ‘Made Up classes’
We can 100% guarantee
you will be ‘Made Up’
at the results,
Click here
to see a list of our
most popular
‘Made Up’ workshops
on offer now,
sign up
for more details.

Small print – Really small – honestly, don’t bother reading it, it’s not really important enough to be bigger and it absolves us of any requirements to deliver anything at all. ‘Made Up’ classes are for entertainment purposes only and have no direct benefit at all. Classes subject to extortionate fees and a lot of time and effort on your part. No responsibility or accountability can be placed on your class facilitator. If you get nothing out of it it is probably because you put nothing in, you ungrateful sod, try taking charge of your life instead of placing your faith in some kind of Made Up noo-nah if you don’t like what we got, we don’t really give a toss.

I’m gonna get enlightenment,
I’m gonna run a class,
Your spiritual revival,
A quick fix to last,
Smoke screen remover,
Ego massage,
A name retrieval,
Transflamation class,
Anxiety pleaser,
Super tantric blast,
A primal recital,
Have the last laugh,
Toe in the water,
Head out of your arse
Manage your anger,
For an hour and a half,
Become a believer
Step out of the dark,
Nothing deceives ya,
Get enlightenment fast.

Sign up for a ‘Made Up’
workshop today!
Special price for you!

Today, the prompt is writing a list poem in which all the items are made-up 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 (at least) half the fun. Happy writing!

http://www.napowrimo.net/

 

Poets Eat Peanuts! #napowrimo2

Day 2 – Napowrimo – Prompt at the end.

Poets Eat Peanuts!

Now look, it all makes perfect sense
first we forget the famous poets,
cut out all the pontificating self important poets
and scrap the big names who read for radio.
Then we take all the aspiring wordsmiths
and spoken word artists,
who would die without exposure,
But what are they going to eat boss?
They’ll think of something,
I mean, when we cut that performance budget
we can build a bigger stage
and double the size of our audience.
But they can’t just live off peanuts.
Of course they can, back in the day
the old poets thrived on them.
All they really need is a circle of eyes
and a few peanuts to survive.
But boss, they are poets, not performing monkeys.
Look, see it as an investment.
A cash crop if you will,
you grow the monkeys … I mean poets,
we put them on the stage,
and when the audience comes
up with the hard cash,
we give you some bread on the deal.
Deal?
But poets are starving to death out there.
Between you and me son, there’s too many of them anyway.

Lisa Goodwin April2018

Big bag of peanuts to Dambut who inspired the style of this poem with his own poem called Sugar Daddy from The Unfairy Tale.

Napowrimo Prompt – a poem that plays with voice. For example, you might try writing a stanza that recounts something in the first-person, followed by a stanza recounting the same incident in the second-person, followed by a stanza that treats the incident from a third-person point of view. Or you might try a poem in the form of a dialogue, which necessarily has two “I” speakers, addressing two “you”s. Another way to go is to take an existing poem of yours or someone else’s, and try rewriting it in a different voice. The point is just to play with who is speaking to who and how. Happy writing!

 

A Horrid Girl #napowrimo1

Napowrimo started on April 1st – and I am a bit late to the party so will need to catch up. Daily prompts can be found here – http://www.napowrimo.net/

1st April – Today, we challenge you to write a poem that is based on a secret shame, or a secret pleasure. It could be eating too many cookies, or bad movies, or the time you told your sister she could totally brush her teeth with soap. It’s up to you. Happy writing!

littlegirlwithacurl (1).jpg

A Horrid Girl

There was a little girl,

who had a little trouble with a stupid little rhyme.

She had a little curl

and a man friend of her mum’s would repeat it all the time.

Right in the middle of her forehead

it drilled, setting metaphor that did little to thrill her. He found it delightful

when she was good

and looked all demure, like she found it funny, or something other than frightful.

She was very very good

at not crying, or letting on that it hurt her as the terrible truth of it all set in,

and when she was bad,

thinking of all the things she could do to that man if she was allowed to hurt him,

she was horrid.

Lisa Goodwin April 2018

It is interesting to note that it wasn’t until recently that I realised that this poem had been a thing for me, living mythology … part of my story that I picked up along the way.

When I looked for an image to go with this poem, I saw the picture here from a book I had at the time! I think I might have modelled myself after her for a while – maybe I would have been a less horrid child without that little curl and that little minded man delighting in my pretence at being good while feeling bad.