Success; I Did It! Napowrimo 2017 (with a short sprint to the finish line!)

It’s the last day of Napowrimo. It’s the last day of my first year and first attempt of the Napowrimo challenge. I was doing so well throughout April, submitting a poem each day, until the last few days. Life got in the way as it tends to do and I was distracted. However, I’m not a girl to give up so easily, once a gauntlet has been thrown down, so here on my final Napowrimo post, you will find not 1, not 2, not even 3 but 4 poems, which complete the challenge.

Day 27 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem that explores your sense of taste.

My Response:

Heaven In A Tea Cup

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First the crunch satisfies.

The chocolate drops close my eyes,

as pleasure begins to rise

and swirls around inside me.

A cup of tea to wash down

the jewel in this perfect crown.

No greater pleasure is found

than a cookie and a cup of tea.

Day 28 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem using Skeltonic verse.

My Response:

Never Give Up

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Napowrimo has almost ended.

During April my mind has bended.

My honour now must be defended,

as I finish these final days.

The last three days, I’ve lagged behind.

I must complete the final deadline.

Whether or not it actually rhymes,

I don’t think anyone actually minds!

Day 29 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it. For example, if your favorite poem is this verse of Emily Dickinson’s, you might choose the word “stones” or “spectre.” After you’ve chosen your word, put the original poem away and spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. Then use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

My Response:

(From To Autumn, by John Keats, the word “mists”)

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The mist lies above the lawn,

hovering; a spectral form.

Beautiful yet surreal scene,

mystic haze, a ghostly dream.

 

Day 30 – on Day 30

The Prompt: Write a poem about something that happens again and again

My Response:

Sweet Addiction

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Again and again

I give in

to temptation.

All it takes is

a mere suggestion,

of sweet treats.

Destroys all

my good intentions.

I can’t resist 

the taste sensation.

 

That’s it. 30 poems written in 30 days. Would I do it again? Maybe. I need a lie down before I think about answering that. Were the poems any good? Some have potential, some need to be filed under “rubbish” immediately. It’s been a fantastic experience and I have learnt a lot. The main lesson, is that a good poem takes time. A first draft to meet a deadline is fine, but to produce something good needs time to ruminate, cogitate and deliberate. Poetry can’t be rushed.

Now for that lie down. 

Tinned People

I enjoyed writing this one, the concept amuses me.

Napowrimo Challenge Day 26

The Prompt:

Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? 

My Response:

Tinned People

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Little tins of people drive by;   

some are big, some are small, some long.  

At all times of the night and day,  

little tins are moving along.  

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Some are packed and chattery.

Others contain a single one.

Where are you going tinned people?  

Tell me, where did you all come from?

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From left to right, a constant stream  

of shiny black and silver cars.

What do you know? What have you seen?

Do you think there is life on Mars? 

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My questions fall on deaf tinned ears, 

as the tins keep moving on. 

Not a “hello” or “cheerio” 

From a single, solitary one.

 

I have “blurb”!

Today, I contributed to and approved,  the blurb that will be issued to the trade when describing my first Children’s Picture Book. It may even appear on the back cover. (I won’t dwell on how the word “blurb” frustrates me when the words “a brief outline of the story” could be used, this is not the time to be picky.) Today is the day to celebrate and be excited by the fact I have my very own blurb. I have blurb about a book that I have written. Me. My book. My blurb. Happy. 

Remote Space

Napowrimo Challenge: Day 25

The Prompt:

Write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.

My Response:

 

Remote Space

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Warm sunbeams stream through the windows

bathing my room in golden light.                                             

Propped by plumped, puffy pillows.

Nested, I settle down to write.

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A peaceful retreat tucked away,

so sacred, secure and serene.

Escape from everyday melee,

to conjure, create and dream.

Georgic

Day 22 Napowrimo Challenge

The Prompt:

In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.

Your Georgic could be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.

My Response:

Nature

Each blade of grass cools and cushions naked summer feet.

Pure daisy petals inspire children to form chains for halos and crowns.

Scented blousy roses tempt lovers to give away unguarded hearts.

Sage and stately trees steadfastly raise their arms in worship,

whilst housing birds, squirrels and bugs.

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Their roots protecting foxes, badgers and rabbits

in bracken covered burrows and mossy dens.

The bluebells delicate and snowdrops hardy,

the clinging ivy, sheltering scurrying insects,

all withstand the extremes of each season, weathered yet thriving.

Opening and closing in response to the sun,

reaching skyward in praise.

None needs man’s intervention.

Man takes the fruits of their labour to feed his own.

Frustrated that nature is not abundant enough,

not convenient enough, not quick enough

to satisfy man’s demands, he violates the earth.

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Tearing up nature, he manipulates and reforms the land

into ordered geometrical design;

to contain more production in a single acre,

to harness and harvest every last ounce nature can provide.

Like a caged tiger pacing, sleeping, repeating,

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she churns out crops, silently awaiting freedom.

She survives captivity and molestation.

When man has gone, she will flourish once more,

using his decomposed body as nutrients to feed the soil.

The largest, most dominant predators fall,

swallowed up and fossilised by the ground they once trampled.

 

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The roses arise more fragrant.

The bees produce a sweeter honey.

 

 

The Uncomfortable Middle

Again today has been a busy day. More birthday parties and social gatherings. I actually wrote this poem whilst sat beside a bouncy castle and a fully grown Imperial Stormtrooper! It may not be my finest work, but I’m still completing the Napowrimo challenge.

Day 15 of Napowrimo 

The Prompt:

Write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something. The poem could be about being on a journey and stopping for a break, or the gap between something half-done and all-done. Half a loaf is supposedly better than none, but what’s the difference between half of a very large loaf and all of a very small one? Let your mind wander into the middle distance, betwixt the beginning of things and the end. Hopefully, you will find some poetry there!

My response:

The Uncomfortable Middle

Too far from the shore to swim back.

Destination still out of reach.                     

The initial energy that pumped

through your veins has faded away.

b;og7Success and glory is yet unknown.

The middle is where we stretch and grow.

Dig deep and persevere.

Cultivate a belief in your abilities,

your unlimited potential.

Aching limbs, heavy muscles, heavy hearts.

Tired, we must pull ourselves up.

Clarity has left us.

Confused, muddled, blurred.

Search your mind. Search your heart.

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Seek out that elusive vision.

In stillness, listen for the quiet,

muffled voice amongst the turmoil

struggling to be heard. A whisper,

buried deep within, pleads “Try again.”

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Find the glowing ember and fan

the flames with courage. Let desire burn.

Allow hope to shine through. Stand tall.

Be heard.

Try, try, try.

Napowrimo guilt!

I felt I hadn’t tried hard enough for Day 9! So here is Day 9, nine lines, one more time.(I’m not convinced it’s any better!)

Quick Tidy

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Family are on their way!  

Grab the hoover. Pick up crumbs.

Plump up cushions. Quick room spray. 

Hasty tidy when guests come. 

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Fill the rolls in both loos.

Open the doors, let air in. 

Have we got milk for brews? 

Have you emptied all the bins?

Breathe, smile, “Do come in”

 

But Why?

To the mums who are quizzed more than Google!

Day 8 of the Napowrimo challenge.

The prompt: Write a poem that relies on repetition. It can be repetition of a phrase, or just a word.

My response:

But Why?

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“But why?” is the cry,

Deep sigh, who am I?

“But why?” so I try,

To explain, aching brain.

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“But why?” patience tried,

Brain fried, should I lie?

“But why?” “Because it is.”

Red mist, nerves twist.

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“But why?” in my ear,

Near to tears, anger rears.

“But why?” “That’s enough!”

Quick re-buff, tone too rough.

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“But why?” “Go to bed!”

No more said.

Hanging head.

Feel the guilt.

To the hilt.

Tears spilt.

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Kiss his head.

Stories read.

Be-lov-ed.

 

 

 

Nose-blowing Days

Day 1 – Napowrimo challenge (or how to make a fool of yourself online!)

As promised, warned, threatened; here is my attempt at the Napowrimo challenge, to write a poem every day for the whole of April.

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In the name of creativity, I sacrifice my virtual ‘street cred’. Actually, as I’ve not yet earnt a shred of street cred, I guess there’s nothing to lose and everything, in terms of developing my poetry skills, to gain.

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I ask of my non-poet friends; be kind, and bear with me.

I ask any poets out there, to be harsh.

Any advice or guidance will be welcomed.

I need all the help I can get!

Here goes.

Day 1 Prompt 1;

“In honor of today’s interviewee, I’d like to challenge you to write a Kay-Ryan-esque poem: short, tight lines, rhymes interwoven throughout, maybe an animal or two, and, if you can manage to stuff it in, a sharp little philosophical conclusion.”

My response:

Nose-blowing days

The walk to school

is sweet

‘tho puddles soak

our hasty feet.

Rain batters, 

‘brollies’ tatter.

Perfect make-up runs

and streaks,

but then I see

your innocent glee,

finding a worm, squirm

on the path.

The bird on highest

bough sounds

the roll call

as we scuttle past.

These hand-holding, 

nose-blowing

days pass

too fast.

 

 

Procrastination

There are not enough hours in the day.

I’m sure everyone could put up a fair argument to support this theory. Here is mine today;

  1. I failed at the morning pages (writing 3 sheets of A4 as a stream of consciousness at 5.45 am before getting out of bed) – I’m so disappointed in myself for not being able to complete this task for the last two days. This was largely as a result of item number 2 on my list

2. Eyestrain from the day job. As we prepare for the introduction of a new global computer system. Data cleansing has been the intense focus, rendering me useless after 8.30pm

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3. Preparing for a new work structure. I am a new team member with a new boss in a new under-manned function. Initially planned as five people we have three.

 

 

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4. A deluge of visitors from IBM and global Operating Units means restaurant, toilets and car parking facilities are overloaded. The daily trudging commute seems to continue through to a scramble for a parking space onto the queue for breakfast and even extends into the ladies!

 

5. A request from a writing group for attendance tonight for an author’s presentation, I know that despite my body screaming stop, and my families unspoken “don’t go” I will be there and return home at 10pm to collapse on the couch.

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6. A study of Virginia Woolf. I started this book last night even though I knew for all the reasons above, I shouldn’t…. it’s calling my name even now as I type.

 

 

7. Preparing mentally for Napowrimo; Writing a poem a day for each day of April. Again the spirit is willing, the flesh feels weak, but I will do it.

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8. Working on poems for poetry group. I have two underway and feel the pull of them every hour. In practice I’ll probably dedicate an hour to them just before I need to present them (not my favourite tactic).

 

 

9. Reading to Jack. Everything stops to read to my son at bedtime. Of all the items on this list this is my priority and one I love, although I can be found sleeping next to him beyond the stories, before waking to rush downstairs and pretend it never happened.

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10. Teenager stropping. I removed (almost surgically) my 13 teen year old daughter from her laptop, iPhone and iPad as a consequence of her disrespectful tone. She hasn’t spoken to me for 2 days in protest. It’s on my mind, but between points 1 through to 9.

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11. My partner would like to see me awake.

 

 

 

 

12. Need to research Darth Vader cakes and decorations as instructed by the afore-mentioned 4-year-old, nearly 5-year-old son. Bouncy castle ordered, guests invited, cake and balloons need sourcing.

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13. Procrastinating to avoid a huge work task which is frightening me – an IT task which is way outside my comfort zone, hence writing this list!

 

 

 

14. Not getting fired for writing to do lists and whinging.