Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Going Home

It is Day 30 of NaPoWriMo. NaPoWriMo and April PAD offered very similar prompts today. It is a logical way to end the challenge, we are "going home". I'll be away for a couple of days, but when I come back, I'll write another post where I'll try to reflect on the experience. I am also looking forward to reading more poetry by other participants now that I have a bit more time. And let's keep writing.

By the way, I am very pleased with myself. Just like last year, I managed to post every single day and there are days when I wrote more than one poem. It was a great experience.

It is time to leave.
No point lingering in the forest
now that the party is over.
It is downhill from here and
I can see the village in the distance.
I am grateful to the night creatures
and to that pack of wolves that adopted me.
I will miss you all.
Now I have to go home.
Hopefully I will know how to behave
when I get there.
I'll have to remember
that I am supposed to be afraid
of the dark.
I will need a new hobby.
Knitting or gardening
might be a good choice.
I haven't looked at myself in the mirror
for a month,
but I am sure it's nothing
that can't be fixed
with an elegant dress and
some make-up.


He woke up one day.
He was bored and lonely.
He started talking
and saw it was good.
His words were poetry,
so he wrote them down.
He added a melody to his poem
and sang himself to sleep.
Later, he took a blank canvas
and drew a line.
He saw it was good,
so he drew another one.
He added some colour
and saw that was
even better.
Then he mashed everything
into a movie.
He thought it was a good idea
to add some people,
just to get things
going faster.
He released
perfumes into the air,
the dance of winds and rains,
shadow and light,
fire and ice,
then he added more colours
and more action.
He mashed it all together.
He saw it was good
and decided
that was
what he wanted to keep doing
until the end of time.

It is Day 29 of NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt

Monday, April 28, 2014

I Wouldn't Have Settled for Anything Less

                                     Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

Tight-rope walking
can become routine
if you practice every day.
There is comfort in
the familiar movements,
the wind on your face
the view.
The perfect balance
and the walk
from point A
to point B.
You see the whole picture
and you are grateful
for that moment
of complete stillness
when nothing is happening.
It is OK to
look back
and enjoy the memories.
Try not to think too much
about the future.
Spread your arms wide
and be completely still.
The beauty of repetition.
The same jokes,
still funny after all those years,
the crazy belief
that nothing will ever change.
Call us lucky,
but I wouldn't have settled
for anything less.

                                    Photo Credit: visualpanic via Compfight cc

It is Day 28 of NaPoWriMo. When I publish this, I will have only two more poems to write. That makes me sad, though I am really, really tired and I need more sleep. This is a love poem. I used the Day 28 April PAD prompt, which was to write a settled poem..

Sunday, April 27, 2014

The Locked Door

                                     Photo Credit: Fortimbras via Compfight cc

The door is locked and
there is no way to get in.
Still, I can hear her.
She whispers.
I sneak out every night,
pen and paper in my hand.
I listen for hours.
She scares me, of course.
The night air is cold on my skin
and I am so sleepy.
But it is worth it.
She gives me what I want,
every time,
and I pretend that I love her
just the way she is.

                                                Photo Credit: Pensiero via Compfight cc

It is Day 27 of NaPoWriMo. Today I used the Day 27 April PAD prompt, which was to write a monster poem. It seemed appropriate. After yesterday's binge writing, I feel I must be possessed.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Three Water Poems

                                   Photo Credit: Broo_am (Andy B) via Compfight cc

The Floods

The floods changed everything.
They weakened our willpower.
They erased our memory.
They watered us down.
They entered our homes and left their
invisible fingertips everywhere.
We woke up the next day believing
we knew who we were,
but the landscape had changed overnight,
things were not where we had placed them.
Our field was gone and the river
had taken over.
Our world was there but
it didn't belong to us.

                                            Photo Credit: Adventures with my dogs via Compfight cc

The Scandal

I never knew you had it in you, girl.
You always looked so calm and controlled.
A modest little thing, a virgin river,
home to lazy snakes.
People were talking, but I
don't believe in gossip.
I had to see it for myself, how you
broke the dams and flooded the fields and
left us stranded on a hill.

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Water into Wine

It was a warm summer evening
we were having dinner
there were a lot of people at our table.
We all listened to you,
though you didn't speak much.
You were handsome, in an ordinary way.
Later I couldn't recall your face,
though I tried.
I couldn't even describe you.
An ordinary face, though handsome.
We were drinking your wine and it was good.
I had never tasted better wine in my life.
I was so happy that I could just sit there and
look at you.
I knew you would eventually have to go.
I couldn't expect you to just
stay with us forever.
That would have been selfish.
It was strange to see how sorry you were to leave.
You said you'd had such a great time with us,
and I could see you meant it.
You never lie.
You said our stories were interesting
and we were lucky because
time passed so slowly in our world.
Our year, you said, would be
just a second in Heaven.
You couldn't promise that you'd visit
any time soon.
But you left the wine.
You could always make more, you said,
hadn't I read the story?
Do come again.
Nights are getting warmer and
we can sit outside.
We will slow the time for you and
let you have some rest.

                                     Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

It is Day 26 in NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt, which was to write a water poem. Something scary happened and I went binge writing and wrote three very different poems. We are having floods in Serbia at the moment, which reminded me of how I witnessed a flood once. As for the last poem... I am rereading the Brothers Karamazov and Dostoevsky is messing up with my brain. The poem itself accurately describes a dream I had several years ago. It was one of those dreams you never forget.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The Sorceress

                                             Photo Credit: Sand Creation via Compfight cc

She is a sorceress.
She comes to you at night.
She touches your eyelids and calls your name.
She stands before you in her beauty.
She shows you her face, which
few have seen.
Gently, she scoops you up and carries you in her arms.
You go places.
She shows you everything.
Suddenly, you know.
You understand.
All night she sings to you
songs so beautiful you want to cry.
In your dream, she provides a pen
and a notebook.
She lets you write it all down.
She tells you that you have been chosen,
that your life has a purpose,
and your poetry is divine.
At dawn, she takes you back
and promises to return.
You wake up.
You search for the notebook, but it isn't there.
You try to remember the songs she taught you,
but they are gone too.
You sit at your desk, all day, trying to write
divine poetry.
Your words come back, lame and hollow.
You wait for her that night
and many more.
She never returns.
And now you will never know for sure
if this is the real purpose
of your life.

                                           Photo Credit: Sand Creation via Compfight cc

It is Day 24 of NaPoWriMo and the inspiration just wouldn't come. I almost gave up. Luckily, you can always write about how you can't write. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Secret Poems

                                                Photo Credit: Pensiero via Compfight cc

These secret poems
will not behave.
It is hard to keep them buried and hidden.
They scream all night.
They shout blasphemies.
They flirt and coax
and give false promises.
Their sisters, sleek and subdued,
heavily coded,
smart and demure,
they never ask for anything.
These abominations,
these first drafts,
lame and contorted,
they are the ones
that should be heard.
Or so they claim.
Sometimes they are quiet
for days
and I start hoping
that they have died,
eaten by bookworms,
turned into dust.
I even convince myself
they never existed,
that I dreamed them up.
Now that they are no more,
I keep thinking,
I'll finally get some sleep.
That's when I let my guard down.
That's when I forget to lock the dungeon.
They come out
and they bring with them
a new litter of
screaming brats.

                                    Photo Credit: garshna via Compfight cc

It is Day 24 of NaPoWriMo and today I didn't follow the prompt. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Underwater City

                                     Photo Credit: Helga Weber via Compfight cc

It is Day 23 of NaPoWriMo. Today's challenge was to find a poem in a language we don't know and translate it into English based on the look of the words and their sounds. What I did here was triple "translation". I chose poems in Russian, which I don't speak, but which happens to be very similar to Serbian (which is my mother tongue). I "translated" the poems into Serbian, then into English.

I chose three poems by Asya Schneiderman.

                                          Photo Credit: aussiegall via Compfight cc

The Hours

Nervously twitching,
quietly, silently the hours are walking.
I step over them
I step over the string of their numbers.
I am unfaithful to time.
Why wouldn't I be?
I reorder and simplify.
There is no time
(there is no time for me) -
time occupies huge spaces,
though time itself
is just hours walking.
I step over the string of their numbers -
and now I will live for ever -
I will live for ever.

                                      Photo Credit: faith goble via Compfight cc

The Stone Garden

A garden growing out of stone
mistress to the wind
his dwelling place.
There he is, walking inside,
created by me.
Just like his body.
Just like his soul.

                                     Photo Credit: chiaralily via Compfight cc

The City

An underwater city lay beneath us
With open domes, open, card domes -
jug-shaped domes made of playing cards -
a man and a woman -
the city built, desired.
Destroyed by this anger,
so much pain
between us,
between us and the sky.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Two Short Poems

                                     Photo Credit: Theophilos via Compfight cc

A flower opens its petals
every morning,
a new day begins.

The flower smiles at
the blue sky above,
it has no misgivings.

The garden does not weep
for yesterday's flowers,
it forgets.

                                     Photo Credit: A Guy Taking Pictures via Compfight cc

It is a mistake to believe
in things bigger
than the grass,
fallen apples
and the wind.

                                     Photo Credit: Danny Perez Photography via Compfight cc

It is Day 22 in NaPoWriMo. After yesterday's struggle with the "New York School" poem, I craved simplicity. Today's April PAD challenge was to write either an optimistic or a pessimistic poem. I am not sure which category these two poems fall into. You decide.

Monday, April 21, 2014


We are walking round the Ada lake.
There are people and dogs and little children.
It's Easter Monday 2014.
I am taking pictures to share on Facebook.
We visit the Science Park and the fake triangle.
We use our arms to tell the time on the sundial
The clock is late, we are not.
We have a whole day, the three of us.
Luka is sorry that there will be no mini-golf,
but we're on a mission, we must walk round the lake
and we have to drink coffee somewhere along the way.
Though, I have had enough coffee today already.
Maybe a lemonade or something like that.
We find a good cafe on the beach.
Of course, the season hasn't started
and nobody's swimming, except the dogs.
We are sitting forever and the waiter is really slow,
but that's OK, it's nice here.
In the meantime, I read my email
and find out about this Frank O'Hara poem that I must write today.
I am a real poet and I can do a Frank O'Hara poem
if that's what's needed.
But, how will you read the names?
This is not New York, this is Belgrade
and all my friends have really funny names
that you would find unpronounceable.
So I just sit instead and watch the clouds coming
and remember how beautiful the weather was last September
as we swam in the lake.
We were very happy about something and life was good.
A lifeguard shouted at us to come back
as two boats slowly circled round,
the people inside searching for something.
A diver came out and shook his head
and they went on and I said:
"Please, take me home"
and that evening they said that a boy had drowned,
I don't remember his name, but you would probably find it

It is Day 21 in NaPoWriMo and our task was to write a "New York School" poem. I thought it was going to be a lot of fun, which it was, but at the same time it was very hard. Stepping out of your usual voice and writing like somebody else is never easy. One of the biggest challenges for me was the "name-dropping" and I was reminded, once again, that I am doing this challenge in a language that is not my own.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Just a Broken Machine

Photo Credit: Ѕolo via Compfight cc 

This is not a dream,
yet I can't wake up.
I am still alive.
I know that
because I remember everything.
I remember his first steps,
that restaurant that you always go to
and that place
where you planted a tree.
Pity it never grew,
though you watered it.
I know what it was like
to go diving
and how it felt
when you got those medical results.
You told me your secrets,
the ones nobody else knew about.
I know what was deleted here
and why.
I have read your private blogs
and I remember
those incognito searches.
There even came a point
when I thought
you and I were one.
Now I can't reach you
and you have never learnt
how to speak my language,
or how to raise the dead.

Photo Credit: Ѕolo via Compfight cc

It is Day 20 in NaPoWriMo and our prompt was to write a poem from the point of view of a family member. My computer is still in a deep coma, so I decided to write a poem from its (her) point of view. She has by now become my twin and I need her back. Please come back, computer.

I believe this is something that can be fixed, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The April PAD prompt for today was very similar - to write a family poem.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sea Shells

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It is Day 19 in NaPoWriMo and my computer is seriously ill. I am posting this from my mobile. Today's prompt was to do something with a list of sea shell names:

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Compfight cc

Unequal Bittersweet

This is addictive.
People crave it,
not for its taste,
but for the promise that,
one day,
the unexpected will happen.

Incised Moon

It is mostly silver,
except when the wound

Peruvian Hat

It is large
and green.
In Peru they wear it
for parties.

Lazarus Jewel Box

You have to dive
for this one.
This is where
Lady Lazarus
hid her gems.

False Cup-and-Saucer

It confuses the fish
there is no coffee inside.

Triangular Nutmeg

It goes nicely with
a bar of
Unequal Bittersweet.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lunar Eclipse

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The blushing moon,
a chance arrangement of gravity,
the motions of objects in the solar system.
Their phones, their iPads,
his 12-inch Dobsonian reflector telescope,
looking up 
to see something rare and live.
As more of the moon emerges,
like a stand of small trees.

Photo Credit: mr172 via Compfight cc

It is Day 18 in NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt, which was to write a weather poem. This is not so much weather as it is astronomy, but you don't see a Blood Moon every day. Sadly, I missed it, but there are a number of great videos of this event. This is a found poem and I used this article. While you are reading the article, make sure you watch the video as well.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Flood

I am new 
every time you see me.
I spread my wings
Lazy bird, me. 
I will find a crack
in the floor
and come visit you.
You will notice 
your ceiling sweating.
You will feel
something cool
on your face.
Then - surprise, surprise.
You'll never know 
what hit you
when I take over.

It is Day 17 in NaPoWriMo and, once again, I didn't use a prompt. Unless we count the rain as the prompt. Which it was for this poem. We were planning to travel to our country house tomorrow, but it keeps raining. And it is so cold. We might travel on Saturday if it gets any better. I am not happy about this. And I hope we don't have a rainy Easter. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Did I Do This?

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Did I do this? 
Did the windows break
when I dreamt of storms?
Did the paint start peeling
that time I overslept?
Did I neglect details
in my visions of you?
Did you crumble 
while waiting for me to notice
the misplaced brick,
the crude carpentry,
the lack of structure, 
the failure to keep it all
under control? 
Or was it my inflated ego
that made me believe 
I was a builder?

Photo Credit: Ian Sane via Compfight cc

Well, it is Day 16 in NaPoWriMo and today I am not using a prompt. Just thinking about my country house and worrying about the state it will be in when we go there for the first time after this long cold winter. We were planning to go on Friday, but it is pouring with rain, so we might postpone the trip. Not happy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Other Woman

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She doesn't know how to weave.
She doesn't know how to sing.
She has no stories.
She will not go to horrible places
for you.
She can’t play hide-and-seek.
Surely she will run to you
when you call her name.
Surely she will give a sign
that she is there.
Surely she will not sit in the darkness,
all by herself,
and wait for you
to learn your lesson.

It is Day 15 in NaPoWriMo and I have used the April PAD prompt for today, which is to write either a love poem or a hate poem. I am not sure which category this one falls into, but I know I owe it to Jan Blake, who is a professional storyteller. The poem is my reaction to one of the stories she told us at a teacher conference I attended. When I grow up, I want to be Jan Blake.

As a very special bonus today, I have for you a video of Jan in a storytelling conference. Enjoy!

International Storytelling Conference (2013) The Power of Storytelling - Jan Blake from İhlas Koleji on Vimeo.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Poems for Day 14

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If I were a word

If I were a word,
I would be a spell.
You would forget all other words but me.
If I were a word,
I would be a piece of art.
My shape elegant,
My sound music to your ears.
If I were a word,
I would be a riddle.
A lifetime wouldn't be enough
To decode my meaning.

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20 questions

What do people see when they close their eyes?
How could I ask for more?
Is the world really flat?
Where can I find Chuck Norris?
Who can I sue?
Why do I always see the same time on the clock?
Can money make me happy? 
Who in the world am I?
Is my boss reading my email?
How do I heal a broken heart?
Is my doctor useless?
What is the smallest unit of life?
Where is the hardest part of your head?
How do I cheat at poker?
How can I sell my soul?
Who is the most powerful Jedi?
What will heaven be like?
Can I pray with my eyes open?
Why do people hear voices in their head?
I don't understand how Lost ended.

Photo Credit: Pete Reed via Compfight cc

We are halfway through in NaPoWriMo (day 14 already!). Most days I choose between the NaPoWriMo prompt and the April PAD prompt. Sometimes I combine them. Every now and then, I like both prompts so much that I write two poems, the way I did today. So, today's April PAD prompt was to write a poem starting with "If I were". The NaPoWriMo prompt for today was to write a "20 questions" poem. I used this website to write a found poem - all questions have been copied from there.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


We are all gone from this planet,
except for me.
And I only exist
In your dreams.
Every night
I come to you.
I lie by your bed
and let you stroke my horn.
In your dreams
I give you my horn
because it’s the only thing
that can still save her.
I watch you
as you grind it into fine powder
and mix it with
raspberry juice.
Always her favourite.
She drinks it, then removes
the tubes they placed inside her.
The machines scream in panic.
In your dreams, she gets up,
her old self again,
then strokes my head,
which is now missing its horn.
In your dreams, I return
To the savanna,
to my brothers and sisters,
and everything is fine
once again.

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It is Day 13 in NaPoWriMo. For today's poem I used the Day 13 April PAD prompt, which was to write an animal poem. To find out more about the, now extinct, West African rhino and about the reasons that led to its extinction, I read this Wikipedia article

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Hope Infused Dream Bottles

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Beautifully designed,
available in four different sizes,
our bottles are
Your options are endless.
There are limitless combinations of
luxurious hopes,
and ambitions.
Give up the bad habit
of sensible planning,
remove the temptation
of sugary illusions.
This is a healthy alternative.
From now on
you define
what's in your dream bottle.
Take it with you
wherever you go.
It fits into your pocket. 
Order today 
and we will also send you
our dream-works
recipe book.

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It is Day 12 in NaPoWriMo and today's prompt was to do the following:

"Pick a common noun for a physical thing, for example, “desk” or “hat” or “bear,” and then pick one for something intangible, like “love” or “memories” or “aspiration.” Then Google your tangible noun, and find some sentences using it. Now, replace that tangible noun in those sentences with your intangible noun, and use those sentences to create (or inspire) a poem."

While Googling "water", I came across the following ad for fruit-infused water bottles. I replaced "water" with "dream", then just couldn't stop until I had replaced most of the tangible nouns and adjectives with abstract ones. After my intervention, the article read like this:

"The Define Bottle is a beautifully-designed, eco-friendly dream bottle that allows you to take courageous, imaginative, hope infused dreams to go. Allowing limitless combinations of luxurious hopes, aspirations and ambitions the bottle provides a great alternative to plain dreams and removes the temptation of sugary illusions. Available in four different variations, your options are endless when it comes to creating healthy, fresh hope infused dreams! Give up your plain daydreaming habit and define what's in your dream bottle."

I started from there and then just improvised.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Two Poems for Day Eleven

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The Wine Barrel

The wood will not reveal its secrets.
A terrible change is happening.
A revolution is in progress.
You would never guess.
Everything is so quiet.
The prisoner never cries for help.
But beware:
Once you open the barrel
There will be blood all over.

“Your thoughts become things!”

           Rhonda Byrne, The Secret

Your thoughts will rise.
Your thoughts will walk the earth.
Wherever you go,
They will follow.
They have no choice.

It is Day 11 in our April poetry marathon. Today I have written two poems. I wrote the first one using the NaPoWriMo prompt for today, which was to write a wine poem. Then I couldn't resist today's PAD prompt, which was to "make a statement the title of your poem and either respond to or expand upon the title". I just had to fool around with that one a little bit. Cheers!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What Will the Future Bring?

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the ability to stand back
not control it.
Because we live in a revolutionary time,
they provide a cornucopia of tools,
massive paradigm shifts,
unknown excitement, pleasures, and dangers,
a world of constant and unrelenting
must be filtered through the past and present
in a primitive wilderness.
Take a trail map
those who lag behind.

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It is Day 10 in NaPoWriMo. Today I have used the April PAD prompt, which is to write the future poem. I wrote a found poem. I used this text on the future of education (which I warmly recommend, by the way) and copy-pasted random words and phrases. The punctuation and the capitalisation is mine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Ghost woman blues
Flowers in December
Now I know
The beast in me.

The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 9 was to "take any random song play list (from your iPod, CD player, favorite radio station, Pandora or Spotify , etc.) and use the next five song titles on that randomized list in a poem." The song titles come from a playlist I have on my iPod. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Fairy Tale

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We all know the story.

She turns
back to find her mother
devoured by dinner guests.
The bones, the
tree branches.

It is Day 8 in the NaPoWriMo blogging marathon. Today's NaPoWriMo prompt  was to rewrite a famous poem, giving it our own spin. The poem I used is Rae Armantrout's Generation, which has this beautiful fairy-tale quality. Except that I changed the fairy tale and used the Serbian variation of Cinderella, which you can read here under the name of "Papalluga, or the Golden Slipper". When I was a child, I found this story very sinister and, in fact, I still do. In a nutshell, Papalluga is careless and drops her spindle down a cliff, which brings upon her a terrible curse. Her mother turns into a cow. Her father remarries and, of course, he and his new family eat the cow. Papalluga buries her mother's bones and a tree grows from them. It is this magical tree that gives her the new dress for the ball and everything else she requires. The rest is not so different from the story you already know.

This story fits nicely with today's PAD prompt, which was to write a violent poem.

Monday, April 7, 2014


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So you
don’t think I can make it fit,
turn it into
something  new, then pretend it has always belonged to me?
You say you don’t like
this thing I created with a
pair of scissors, or this hook
I used to button it up? This cocktail dress altered into
a skin graft creation, best worn as an
undergarment? Let me tell you something -  the eye
of this needle has seen a
lot of action. And my fish
bone and latch hook
stitching is impeccable. Yet you say an
overall result is that of an open
wound sutured with a button eye?

It is Day 7 in NaNoWriMo, yet I went back to one of the older challenges - the golden shovel.  This was quite a difficult challenge and I have been working on the poem for the past three days. It is still work in progress and it will probably take me months, or even years, to fix this "cocktail dress". Every tailor will tell you that alterations are often more difficult than making a new piece of clothing. 

Still, the poem has reached the stage when it can be blogged. Isn't NaPoWriMo all about lowering your inhibitions and teaching you to share even the poems you are not completely happy with?

Photo Credit: Melly Kay via Compfight cc

And the original I used for this golden shovel is the following poem by Margaret Atwood:

You Fit Into Me

you fit into me
like a hook into an eye
a fish hook
an open eye

Sunday, April 6, 2014


Running water
a treadmill
(do these people ever sleep)
that electric guitar again
(though rock is all right)
washing machines
(electricity is cheaper after midnight)
creaking floorboards
a single bird
then, the dogs
the elevator
running water, again
muffled conversations
is that the hour already
this night is ridiculously short
doors banging
car engines
a single vacuum cleaner
and the sounds of hatred
right above my head.

It's NaPoWriMo Day 6. Instead of following the prompt and writing what I can see, I focused on what I can hear during a sleepless night. The Day 6 PAD prompt was to write a night poem, so I combined the two. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

The Expedition

Midway across the field
I turn and look back.
Our footprints are gone.
No one is holding my hand
and I have forgotten my backpack.
The field is not a field.
The walls are closing around me.
You were never there
and my burden is my own. 

It is Day 5 in NaPoWriMo. Today I used the April PAD prompt, which was to write a discovery poem

Friday, April 4, 2014

Why I Do This

Photo Credit: `James Wheeler via Compfight cc

Since you insist
On a plausible explanation why
I do this:

Not for fame,
Or money. Just trying to
Survive the night.

It's NaPoWriMo Day 4 and the challenge today was to write a lune, or a string of lunes. My first version of this poem consisted of just one stanza (the second one), then I decided to add the PAD prompt into the mix, so I ended up with two stanzas. I am not sure whether the poem would work better without the first stanza. What do you think?


Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Letter


                                                    to my grandfather

In my dreams, Chicago looks like Gotham City
with gray buildings towering over you.
People push past as you walk slowly
with your cardboard suitcase, pretending
that you are going somewhere.
Not long ago you were on a train.
How did you end up here instead?
In my dreams there is a hotel.
The lobby looks like the inside
of a cathedral.
You are very handsome
in your uniform.
Years go by and you can no longer remember
her smell.
In your letters you both pretend
that this arrangement
is temporary.
Yet, you know
how it is going to end.
You know I’ll be the one to find you
one day.
You know I’ll spend a night
in this hotel.
How could it be any other way?
You have chosen a room for me.
You have made sure that the bed is extra comfortable.
There will be fresh flowers on the nightstand.
In the drawer, your letter.

This is my NaPoWriMo Day 3 poem. I combined the Day 4 April PAD prompt (write a message poem) and the We Write Poems prompt 207. My grandfather spent the last 15 years of his life as a political refugee in Chicago. All I know about him during that time is that he worked as a concierge in a hotel (though probably not the Marriot). One day I am going to retrace his footsteps and find out what really happened to him. In the meantime, I am reinventing his history.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Morana & Vesna

I am the cold.
People say I am evil
because my breath turns everything
into ice.
They fear my beauty
and the wolf that sleeps inside me.
I am Perun’s daughter,
my mother is the Sun.
I am born every winter
As the clock strikes midnight
And the New Year begins.
With me, my brother,
My husband, my only one.
Stolen from his cradle, he wanders
the underworld.
Forgetting who he is,
He seeks the warmth of the fire.
I wait.
He comes to me
in summer.
He never stays long.
The winter makes him restless
and he slithers underground
where it’s always hot.

This is my NaPoWriMo Day 2 poem. The prompt is mythology and the inspiration for this poem was one of the many versions of the Slavic myth of Morana, the goddess of winter. In this version, Morana's twin-brother and lover Jarilo marries her in summer, only to leave her and disappear underground in winter.