Sunday, May 8, 2022

My 2022 GloPoWriMo Favourites

 





These are not necessarily my best 2022 poems, but they are the ones that gave me the most joy while I was writing them. So, here they are:


Image by Ri Butov from Pixabay 






I am so proud to announce that I was the featured participant on the NaPoWriMo website with this poem. 



Today I’m a Masterpiece



I fall apart at the end of each day, 

It’s no big deal.

I reinvent myself the next morning.

I piece myself together from the scraps

Of whichever dream I can still hold on to.

It’s no big deal.

The lungs still breathe, the heart beats, the brain thinks.

Though, whose thoughts those are today

I will need to find out.

So I drink a lot of coffee.

So I write myself down to see what happens.

I am work in progress, a moving picture,

a palace reimagined.

I am an active verb and I take an object.

Today I am

an enjambment,

an incomplete sentence,  

growing as I move about.

I am proud of the way I walk today, my feet

do carry me well.

Look, now I am already

a page of text,

a question unanswered, a snake 

winding beautifully.

I eat my tail and 

never end.


GloPoWriMo Day 13 - "Everything is going to be amazing"




Image by KoalaParkLaundromat from Pixabay





A typewriter



I wish I had a typewriter,

loud as a band of drummers in a street protest.

I am sure it would deliver a poem

all by itself.

A poem as dark and dangerous as smudged ink.

As unique as a set of fingerprints.

A poem winding beautifully like a new ribbon.

Each line clearly defined

by a bell and a clank.

A poem tangled like a bunch of keys stuck in the middle,

right where the truth was going to reveal itself.

A poem typed blindly from that place we go to when we close our eyes.

A poem always slightly tipsy,

with that one letter hovering treacherously 

over a neat set of well-behaved lines.

A poem as guilty as a smoking gun,

sweet as a cup of coffee

laced with arsenic.

It would be good at covering its trail.

It would tear itself in half

just when you thought you were done with it.

A fugitive poem, wanted by the police,

hiding in public libraries,

disguising itself as other poems,

produced on well-oiled machines,

where nothing ever gets stuck or smudged

and everyone tiptoes around you

and everyone hushes everyone else around you

because you are a poet

and your work is important. 



GloPoWriMo Day 24 - the style of hard-boiled detective novels




Image by congerdesign from Pixabay







What they left under my pillow





Over here, it is a custom to leave some money 

under the baby’s pillow.

My family is different.

We never keep money for long.

It just slips through our fingers.

We are never short of it either.

My grandmother wished for a never-empty wallet,

just like hers had always been.

When she was out of money, 

she kept chili peppers inside.

That was what her soul craved for, she said.

She also gave me the gift of stories.

Hers always had a pepper or two added in

and she could make animals speak in funny voices.

My other grandmother knew spells.

She talked to the stars and they listened.

She knew the spell which could cast your fears into lead.

The lead takes the shape of your fear. 

After that, the lead is afraid, not you.

I am sure I could do spells with a bit of practice.

My ancestors came from the land of magic, after all.

What I can do, though, is tell your destiny from coffee grounds.

That is not a bad gift either.

My father gave me his silences

and the maddening habit to tinker with everything

in an attempt to make it better

or just different.

My mother couldn’t give me the silence.

She never had any to give.

She couldn’t stop talking, even in her sleep.

She didn’t give me her looks, or her character.

She gave me her time instead.

She stayed on long after the rest of them had left.

When she had to leave (because everyone does, eventually),

 the silence was deafening.

I don’t know who gave me the curse.

It could have been any of them, or all of them.

Maybe someone forgot to cut the cord

and now I am connected to you.

And when you cry, I cry too,

even though I have no idea

who you are

or why you are sad.




GloPoWriMo Day 29 - the gifts received at birth









The Wrong Pair of Shoes




My mom’s friend could turn herself into a wheel,

a peacock in repose,

an eagle,

or a corpse.

All at her own will.

Yet, she couldn’t resist Turkish Delight with walnuts.

She would eat the whole box at one sitting.

She would then eat apples for a week, 

so that she could fit into her clothes.

She always wore silk, even at home.

Her mother was a fashion designer.

When I was at school, we spent a week in a factory.

It would be good for us, they said.

They gave me a job to do and I did it well.

I wrote numbers on some engine parts,

so that they could be paired later.

Numbers went from one to thirty

and then back to one again.

I saw those numbers in my dreams later at night.

I promised myself I would study hard

so that I never had to see those numbers again in my life.

There is a picture by Jean Francois Millet I once saw.

A girl sitting in the forest.

A basket of fish in front of her.

Her dreamy eyes staring into the distance.

Not really here, or now.

I believe the picture was called The Fishmonger,

The art critic commented on her shoes.

They were good quality shoes he said.

And he wondered why she stared so longingly into the distance 

with those shoes on.

A Serbian proverb says you should look at a man’s shoes

before you let him into your home.

I wonder what you think.

What sort of shoes would a man need to wear

for you to slam the door in his face?




GloPoWriMo Day 21 - write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time



Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay





Your Pantry Is Empty



Your pantry is empty.

You ate through

the cheeses,

the nuts and the chutneys.

You finished the honey and the imported wine.

There is no jasmine tea,

no lapsang souchong.

You are out of your 

fragrant rose waters,

organic olive oils,

balsamic vinegars and

vanilla pods.

You ran out of saffron and cardamom long ago.

There is no pink salt, 

no Ras el hanout, 

no Arabian sugar.

In fact, you are out of 

all of your usual spices.

Your pantry is empty.

Except for me.

I have been sitting here in the dark,

waiting for you to find me.

I am a little dusty and

it’s hard to read what I once was.

You think you can see peppercorns and cloves.

Even a cinnamon stick.

So I had to be of value once.

My date has expired, of course.

You should have thrown me out long ago.

I might even be dangerous.

Yet, your pantry is empty.

You don’t have a lot of options.

Eventually you will take that risk.

I have been here for a while.

I don’t mind waiting a little longer.



GloPoWriMo Day 20 - a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food



Bonus: Is this a short story, or a poem? Or both? Anyway, it is longish, so I am posting the link instead of copying the whole thing here:


The Pale Knight









Saturday, April 30, 2022

Porcelain Dolls

 


Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay






Porcelain Dolls




Secret they are, sealed,
like a plate of eyes.
They’re all exact expressions
of the one soul.
I fear to call. What should they hear me?
Something in me isn’t ready. 
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood. 

 





GloPoWriMo Day 30 - a cento

I used Poetry Foundation's collection of food poems

Here is the poem, once again, with annotations: 



Porcelain Dolls (annotated)


Secret they are, sealed,

Oystering, by Richard Howard

Like a plate of eyes.

Blackberry Picking by Seamus Heaney

they’re all exact expressions

of the one soul,

A Display of Mackerel by Mark Doty

I fear to call. What should they hear me

Harvest Song by Jean Toomer

Something in me isn’t ready 

September Tomatoes by Karina Borowicz

I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood 

Blackberrying by Sylvia Plath





Friday, April 29, 2022

What they left under my pillow

 

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay







What they left under my pillow





Over here, it is a custom to leave some money 

under the baby’s pillow.

My family is different.

We never keep money for long.

It just slips through our fingers.

We are never short of it either.

My grandmother wished for a never-empty wallet,

just like hers had always been.

When she was out of money, 

she kept chili peppers inside.

That was what her soul craved for, she said.

She also gave me the gift of stories.

Hers always had a pepper or two added in

and she could make animals speak in funny voices.

My other grandmother knew spells.

She talked to the stars and they listened.

She knew the spell which could cast your fears into lead.

The lead takes the shape of your fear. 

After that, the lead is afraid, not you.

I am sure I could do spells with a bit of practice.

My ancestors came from the land of magic, after all.

What I can do, though, is tell your destiny from coffee grounds.

That is not a bad gift either.

My father gave me his silences

and the maddening habit to tinker with everything

in an attempt to make it better

or just different.

My mother couldn’t give me the silence.

She never had any to give.

She couldn’t stop talking, even in her sleep.

She didn’t give me her looks, or her character.

She gave me her time instead.

She stayed on long after the rest of them had left.

When she had to leave (because everyone does, eventually),

 the silence was deafening.

I don’t know who gave me the curse.

It could have been any of them, or all of them.

Maybe someone forgot to cut the cord

and now I am connected to you.

And when you cry, I cry too,

even though I have no idea

who you are

or why you are sad.








GloPoWriMo Day 29 - the gifts received at birth




Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Onion

 

The Onion












GloPoWriMo Day 28 - a concrete poem
I used two online tools - PicMonkey to create the image and Prezi to create the video.




Wednesday, April 27, 2022

The Boy Who Ate the Wall

 

Image by 美桃 魏 from Pixabay






The Boy Who Ate the Wall




At night he could hear wolves howling.

His thoughts were loud and they were scary.


When his thoughts scared him, he ate the wall.

A chunk was missing behind his pillow.


Behind his pillow there are no traces.

This lonely house was not his home.


This lonely house is where he lived.

The wall used to taste like school.


He eats the wall, but leaves no traces.

School is a dream he still has.


Even the dead have their dreams.

He walks through the school, it makes him feel normal.


He walks through the school and leaves no traces.

At night he can hear wolves howling.




GloPoWriMo Day 27 - a "duplex"




Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Nettle Picking

 

Image by jhenning from Pixabay





Nettle Picking



The enemy never sleeps.

They were ready for us when we came.

They saw us from their narrow slit windows.

They were watching from behind their murder holes,

ready to pour burning tar and quicklime.

Still we advanced.

We had our shears at the ready.

You don’t go nettle picking unarmed.

We wore a full suit of armour on a hot summer day.

Thick boots were necessary, the field was full of caltrops.

The enemy managed to surround us 

and we were heavily outnumbered.

Yet, we fought valiantly.

We suffered a few casualties, but that was inevitable.

My index finger stung.

My husband’s ankle itched where the sword pierced the skin.

We won in the end, of course.

Our cause was just and our faith was strong.

Our reward was rich:

a pot of nettle soup with some cream on top.






GloPoWriMo Day 26 - an epic simile





Monday, April 25, 2022

The Fairy of the Meadow

 






The Fairy of the Meadow



We are in your dream now.

I have visited before, but of course you don’t remember.

We can’t hold onto our dreams.

It would be a mistake even to try.

I don’t trust humans when they are awake. 

Not any more, at least.

My sisters and I were here 

long before your kind came.

Ours is the magic of the land and the water.

It is the oldest magic that exists.

You can find us in clouds and on mountaintops.

Yet, lately I have grown fond of this meadow

so I’ve decided to settle here.

I am not sure how long I will stay in your world.

Times have changed and I don’t seem to fit in.

Still, the meadow is nice and could use some protection,

so I am in no hurry to leave.

Most humans have moved away from here.

They live in cities now and rarely visit.

I am all alone most of the time.

Except for that oak.

That one is almost as old as I am.

He keeps me company, who else do I need?

When you wake up, leave some honey on your doorstep.

And, who knows, I might visit again.



Whose Dream


Who is the dreamer here?

Whose dream are we in?

Maybe the meadow is the one dreaming

And the two of us are caught inside.

We are the ones in the meadow, after all.

Not the other way around.

We are in a dream now.

That’s all we need to know.

The grass is soft, the sky is full of stars.

We won’t remember this tomorrow.

Nor will the meadow remember us for long.






GloPoWriMo Day 25 - an aisling
You can find more on Slavic mythology and vilas (Slavic fairies) here.