Category Archives: Napowrimo

delish

i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

I love ( it )  to the depth and

breadth and height

(Elizabeth Barrett Browning, how do I love thee)

but

not thick brown rice and rice pilau

or mushrooms creamed on toast (!)

(Maya Angelou, the health food diner )

but

one thousand long slimy crocodile tongues

boiled up in the skull of a dead witch for 

20 days and nights with the eyeballs of a lizard

(Roald Dahl, james and the giant peach)

swish

oxtails languish on an earthen dish. Here are

wishbones and pinkies; fingerbowls will absolve

guilt

( Carol Anne Duffy, a healthy meal )

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i really really love tasty dishes

and i really love tasty food

(Harshita Chaudray, i’m a food lover )

downhill i came, hungry, and yet not

starved

( Edward Thomas, the owl )

i follow the aroma that rose from the kitchen

( Ravinder Kumar Soni, food for death )

ate and ate my fill

yet my mouth waters still

(Christina Rossetti, goblin market )

when i think of all the lollies i licked

and the sherbet dabs i picked

( Pam Ayres, oh, i wish i’d looked after my teeth )

the slime of all my yesterday’s 

rots in the hollow of my skull

and if my stomach would contact

(Sylvia Plath, April 18 )

asked me for a kiss

( Langston Hughes, suicides note )

to perfume the sleep of the dead   ( ….  )

( Sarojini Naidu, in the bazaars of Hyderabad )

oh, 

but

.

what am I to do with this invasion, 

contamination of my pretty (?)

( Marion McCready, two daffodils lying on a window ledge )

spread it on bread

spread it on thick

wash it all down with a cold cup of sick (?)

( source unknown , remembered from school )

never – in Extremity,

it asked a crumb – of me

(Emily Dickinson, hope is the thing with feathers )

but 

i’ll make my point – enough’s enough

( Carol Ann Duffy, boys 3, stanley )

 i repent,

(btw )

to the depth and

breadth and height 

i lament,

(btw)

jam, and jelly; and bread;

are the best of food for me!

( Edward Lear, the quangle wangle’s hat )

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net

Napowrimo Day 30

the final prompt

write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

mam ‘n me wicked sister

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they’s told me

me mam didn’t want me —ain’t that the truth ?

i’s cruelly tempted t’say she didn’t give me nuffin’— but life, she did, innit!

she give me over to me blood-sister

who wus just a year old ‘n knew no better

so i was a gift for her — a livin’ thingamajig for her to twist

‘n she did, bless her

.

so i wus told off ‘n played wif

so i wus pulled ‘n pulled ‘tween ‘em

bossed ‘n bent outta purer shape ‘n

i let ‘em ‘cos i loved ‘em ‘n just to fit in, innit!

‘n so i forgot what i wus

‘n what gifts i wus born wif

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i wus told i wus too bold ‘n that wus wicked

but i wakes up to the trickery ‘n breaks old enchantments

wif a wham-bam, thank ye mam

i takes this present that is me

i owe nuffin

i own me

but me, ‘n

i is bold, i is kind, i is smart, i is important

i is perfect, i is a rose, i ain’t a thorn, obvs!

me mam didn’t give me nuffin

she give me me

‘n i is free!

now, ain’t that the truth!

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 29:-

In certain versions of the classic fairytale Sleeping Beauty, various fairies or witches are invited to a princess’s christening, and bring her gifts. One fairy/witch, however, is not invited, and in revenge for the insult, lays a curse on the princess. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in which you muse on the gifts you received at birth — whether they are actual presents, like a teddy bear, or talents – like a good singing voice – or circumstances – like a kind older brother, as well as a “curse” you’ve lived with (your grandmother’s insistence on giving you a new and completely creepy porcelain doll for every birthday, a bad singing voice, etc.). I hope you find this to be an inspiring avenue for poetic and self-exploration.

ordinary rapture ( pardonnez-moi)

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at least we weren’t speaking french

there was another music etched between us

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etched between us, music notes no other could sense

‘specially in this midnight light at the hush-hush bus-stop

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stopped hush-hushed, this midnight light made ‘specially for us

cold lapping our bare legs, while tidal-tongues go lava-like

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tidal tongues turned lava-like, our cold bare legs lapping each others’ shores

eyes closed, listening for the bus, but not, ear buds in, connecting us

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us, listening, not for the bus, but for the budding connection without ears or eyes

goosebumps raised like brail, jingle-jangled to each touch

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touching raising goosebumps meant as maps, like jingle-jangle trail

dead-scroll pilgrimage attempt washed up on bus stop bench

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attempt a scroll on a dead-phone,stopped, this bench a washed-up pilgrimage

at least we weren’t speaking french

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 27:-

to write a “duplex.” A “duplex” is a variation on the sonnet, developed by the poet Jericho Brown. Here’s one of his first “Duplex” poems, and here is a duplex written by the poet I.S. Jones. Like a typical sonnet, a duplex has fourteen lines. It’s organized into seven, two-line stanzas. The second line of the first stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the second stanza, the second line of the second stanza is echoed by (but not identical to) the first line of the third stanza, and so on. The last line of the poem is the same as the first.

defiant chill in the air

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summer’s here, not gone, you insist

it’s beauty emptying and fermenting

tempting trees to bare their teeth and throw down arms

though barely September, winds whinge and whine

querulous as a passels of squirrels rustling and thieving stashes of nuts

but autumn comes in hobbling like two old biddies in dirtied petticoats —mouths

prattling, puckered as a skinny cow’s arse and just as fetidly malted

shocking as the hot stench of wolves on the cooled nostrils on a fist of horses

shivering, prickling as a torment of digits in agony on the return of blood as tips thaw out

summer’s not gone… you insist, hunkered into your nest of jewels and tattered letters —

like a tiny brown shrew nibbling whortleberries that stain like gossiped loot —

the colours, taste and scent that lasts well past memory, dribbled and inked in wines

behind preserving glasses- solitarily grasping at remnants of loves and leaves almost gone

to seeds, pulling heads in for a duration you shall not mention or admit —

except in the writing of this

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not a haiku

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p.s A whortleberry is a forest-foraged berry, also known as a bilberry or huckleberry. Traditionally, after a harvest of them was sent to the kitchens of London and other important towns, ( from Porlock and its environs ) remnants were sent to be used in the dying of airmen’s uniforms. (So i’m informed)

https://www.napowrimo.net

Napowrimo day 26.-

A couple of days ago, we played around with hard-boiled similes. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that contains at least one of a different kind of simile – an epic simile. Also known as Homeric similes, these are basically extended similes that develop over multiple lines. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they have mainly been used in epic poems, typically as decorative elements that emphasize the dramatic nature of the subject (see, by way of illustration, this example from Milton’s Paradise Lost). But you could write a complete poem that is just one lengthy, epic simile, relying on the surprising comparison of unlike things to carry the poem across. And if you’re feeling especially cheeky, you could even write a poem in which the epic simile spends lines heroically and dramatically describing something that turns out to be quite prosaic. Whatever you decide to compare, I hope you have fun extending your simile(s) to epic lengths.

lady of Avalon

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i dream i’m drowning

it’s an old one

but it no longer owns me

now i’ve come home to avalon

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thoughts of rain awake me

the lady comes again for me

from across the levels blurred in

a banging of silver bangles

a breathing womb of grass and apples

a trembling of limbs still stuck in the suck

of muck-moist land that’s been drained for ages

until it rains; and it rains

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she is ages older than me, yet young

she speaks an older tongue, voice

fizzy with dialects of scrumpy cider and musky crusts of ancient cheddar

echoes dance from dank chalk caves

wassail wassail wassail

and so it was

and so it is

.

i dream her lovely face

etched upon a sorrow of cloud

heavy as half a pound of moonlight

light as a fragrance of lemoncakes

i dream her silken garments

and steely armaments

reflected in the ancient lakes of this summer land

do you see me, she rasps

swirling me in underwater loves

she drags me to her breast where i rest

kisses the stone of my bones

unheeding of the summons of Merlin

defiantly ungifting trinkets to the kings

the legend of the lady

awaits a feminist twist

shhhh, she whispers, coming

and i dream myself asleep

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not a haiku

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ps

I moved the the isle of ancient avalon last year. Do you know where that is? Quite simply, Somerset in the West Country of the UK, near Glastonbury. I felt a pull to come here and so here am i. Still dreaming…

https://www.napowrimo.net

NaPoWriMo day 25

prompt is based on the aisling, a poetic form that developed in Ireland. An aisling recounts a dream or vision featuring a woman who represents the land or country on/in which the poet lives, and who speaks to the poet about it. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that recounts a dream or vision, and in which a woman appears who represents or reflects the area in which you live. Perhaps she will be the Madonna of the Traffic Lights, or the Mysterious Spirit of Bus Stops. Or maybe you will be addressed by the Lost Lady of the Stony Coves. Whatever form your dream-visitor takes, happy writing!

against all advice

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salt-swooped, enticed

from the dark deep lake of his eyes

washed up on your shore

left there

balanced on a blade of his hair

bent-winged

you take a second chance at his skin

which has the look of tin 

left out in a recent storm

yet glinting

dangerous as a virus starting 

fished from his mouth

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an unfamiliar curl of dull light like

a line of syllable struck on an infinite yet vacant sky

sickles you in its soiled embrace

he circles in again

patient like a surgeon

from a distant planet

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you gulp you rumble yet fail

to notice sap that blooms and spills

ecstatic from his ruinous touch

that acts like a compliment, but isn’t so

conspicuous

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you wilt you mumble

as he picks his teeth

larger than easter island monuments

as you swoon

sucked clean as a puckered scar

flapping there, un-speeched

beached on remnant happiness

no-one else gets

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this vice is your 

kryptonite

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 24

 Hard-boiled detective novels are known for their use of vivid similes, often with an ironic or sarcastic tone. Novelist Raymond Chandler is particularly adept at these. Here are a few from his novels:

  • A few locks of dry, white hair clung to his scalp, like wild flowers fighting for life on a bare rock.
  • Dead men are heavier than broken hearts.
  • From 30 feet away she looked like a lot of class. From 10 feet away she looked like something made up to be seen from 30 feet away.
  • She smelled the way the Taj Mahal looks by moonlight.
  • He looked about as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel food.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to channel your inner gumshoe, and write a poem in which you describe something with a hard-boiled simile. Feel free to use just one, or try to go for broke and stuff your poem with similes till it’s . . . as dense as bread baked by a plumber, as round as the eyes of a girl who wants you to think she’s never heard such language, and as easy to miss as a brass band in a cathedral.

via dolorosa

swallow as you

go, torn as you

are from cartography of

celestine desert

atlas of cloud

ordained shadow

formed before your

time. stumble past

luminous dials that died

eons ago

knowing you are

encrypted up on

bricked up sun.

tarnished as you are

weary as you are

navigate the milky

blemished gurgle.

hurtle forth, go!

follow no one

least of all

god

lost, lost… no known

end in sight

only dust.

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not a haiku

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NaPoWriMo day 23

Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem in the style of Kay Ryan, whose poems tend to be short and snappy – with a lot of rhyme and soundplay. They also have a deceptive simplicity about them, like proverbs or aphorisms. Once you’ve read a few, you’ll see what I mean. Here’s her “Token Loss,” “Blue China Doorknob,” “Houdini,” and “Crustacean Island.”

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

we’re both slaughtered

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breath in my throat

catching like vomit

run rabbit run

separated from the pack

spindle-legged antelope weak

thought of escape

run rabbit run

can it can it can it

make it make it make it

weeping screaming imagining

sweat hot sweat hot breath hot swear hot

on my tail

nailed snapping crapping sobbing

stopping

catching breath

stopping

caught cobble-hobbled wolf-whistled

run rabbit run

down

noooooooo

throat cut my blood

pulsed howl watch detached

legs splayed face bodypressed to the carpet

helpless now

breath in my throat

catching like vomit

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 22:-

In honor of today’s being the 22nd day of Na/GloPoWriMo 2022, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a sound, a word, a phrase, or an image, or any combination of things.

fare well

i used to know my sister

til i knew her too well

i don’t miss her

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i used to work as a school teacher

i learned to show and not tell

i don’t miss this either

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i used to paint fine art pictures

i’d stick them up on walls to sell

not one was a keeper

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i let them all go

used up

i used to try to think

i used to be a dreamer

i stopped

i started

to linger

in liminal places

erasing these faces

i surrender

to a sweeter power

and

i woke up to be her

but who is she, ma belle?

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 21 prompt:-

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. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.

indignant breakfast

me wus , i profess, perfectly happy

as bread

but instead me gets sliced and stuffed

under a red hot grill til i’m toast!

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wusn’t it ‘nuff me got pummeled ‘n punched

when me wus just a bit of dough

— me didn’t need that!

and unceremoniously shoved in an oven

— me actually loved that!

i rise under torture a beaut!

but toast?!

an insult

even if some like it hot, up to a point, me don’t

aaargh, nearly burnt

meeeeee!

ahhhhh, smooth sooth meeee

with butter and jam

wham!

what’s this…?

teeth! struth!

i can’t believe it!

what new hell is……

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not a haiku

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https://www.napowrimo.net/

NaPoWriMo day 20 prompt

write a poem that anthropomorphizes a kind of food. It could be a favorite food of yours, or maybe one you feel conflicted about. I feel conflicted about Black Forest Cake, for example. It always looks so pretty in a bakery window, and I want to like the combination of cherries and chocolate . . . but I don’t. But how does the cake feel about it?