#NaPoWriMo Day 8: Poem – Free Verse – “Ambivalent Heart” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 8 , I wrote my own poem unrelated to the prompt.


“And I can’t be running back and fourth forever between grief and high delight.” – J.D. Salinger


Credit: Victor Freitas via Unsplash


Thoughts twist, wind, the fog is dense, and the staccato in my head throbs;

I wish I could explain it, but I can’t.

That moment where my eyes glaze and nothing in me knows how to fight;

When there’s nothing in me, I’m a sack of flour and I’ve folded.

As wheat in the grainery refined to dust,

Those moments I’ve nothing, and I slump, a leaf crumpled.

Fight or flight escape, collapse is imminent; the walls of Jericho tremble.

A smile, a sigh — what do I want? What do I do? What to say?

What roads we wander without knowing why, stumbling back and forth.

Then, my heart pumps energy bolts, lightening,

A fist squeezes my heart rigid, eyes of doe flutter.

Headlights incoming, is it enough?

You owe me nothing, we’ve two diverse paths,

Yet, ‘blue blue eyes’ catch me, and somewhere inside flutters;

Aching of past mistakes, selfish liars.

Scared I’ll never make it, waiting for clear words;

I don’t know what to say.

Ask me to let you know.

Ask, talk more, do something; I’m walled in place, and I can’t move.

I hate unsaid words, but some regrets strangle worse.

Never ever again, he broke me worst;

Never ever, because his eyes still haunt with that youthful glaze.

But, I go about my business and somewhere inside I glow;

A radiance lifts sedating fog, and sometimes I’m so alive,

It’s amazing, celestial enlightenment.

Sometimes, I’m so exhausted I can’t think beyond headaches;

My thoughts unravel and I’m nothing.

Am I never enough?

But sometimes that’s the problem, I can’t read brail or sign language, but I hum,

Lifted into the breeze as rice paper, far away —

Ask for help, leap!

Don’t resign to tears, not when you’ve the choice not to be crushed;

Go about the day, forget the fray.

‘Blue blue eyes –‘

Tonight I’ll sleep, twist the sheets, awake eyes puffed; then, sweetness infuses.

Tomorrow’s another day, and ‘blue blue eyes’ linger with an ethereal hue.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 6: Poem – Blitz – “Something” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 6 the prompt is:


Today’s video is this TED talk on “Why People Need Poetry.” Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of the possible. What does that mean? Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.


Credit: Thought Catalog via Unsplash.


What if the ever became all,

And you kept going still?

Still, you kept rising with the tide

Still, you kept writing and always had time

Time to live, strive, and heal,

Time to believe the words were real.

Real as any you’d ever heard,

Real as the sun blazing, moon a stage-light dreamed,

Dreamed, imagined, written, and spoken

Dreamed, perceived, with conditions to succeed

Succeed beyond wild illusion and the path of misery

Succeed beyond hypocrisy, a losing of yourself

Yourself climbs and soars

Yourself leaps, stomach drops, but you’re gliding

Gliding as the parasailer, survivor despite crashing

Gliding because rising is impossible without falling

Falling isn’t reason to let go

Falling isn’t reason to curl into a ball, weep

Weep for poetry’s drudgery, being mislead

Weep for the things you cannot change

Change despite the hurt, muscles yearning to stretch

Change take your life-bricks — build

Build dreams, light as air-particle hopes

Build your foundations stable as might

Might that lives inside because you’ll rebuild despite

Might that thrives, you’re free to write and be alive

Alive to heal, flourish, learn

Alive to be whatever you perceive

Perceive that age is not the truth of it

Perceive the truth is to age with grace; laugh at heart

Hearts beat strong, thump with reflection

Hearts collide and ache, the wise know well

Well that here as we are, we can only stumble

Well that the man upstairs knows it all

All with clarity, in someways, we have it all —

All the time to jot and dabble

Dabble to compose words that unravel

Dabble to sculpt, build up acrylic colors

Colors that blur, chroma creates illusory delight

Colors create the scenery, the backdrop

Backdrop to meander the verdant Amazon

Backdrop to shiver in the bright of Alaska’s midnight

Midnight is a place in life and in writing

Midnight is peace as words flow off your tongue

Tongue be silent, hands click faster, feather light

Tongue murmur the words as they pass onto screen, paper

Paper trails of dust to starlight trails, black holes of ice

Paper trails that mock, have us stumble

Ice melts, we’ve everything in our grasp

Stumble because other days, we’ve nothing — that’s something too.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 5: Poem – “Nonsense In Night” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 5, the prompt is:


“Today’s prompt comes from another poem by Kyle Dargan, called “Diaspora: A Narcolepsy Hymn.” This poem, like “Call and Response,” is inspired by the work of others, the poet Morgan Parker, and lyrics from songs by Beyoncé and Notorious B.I.G. The poem partakes of one of the most difficult poetic forms, the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way.”


Credit: Mari Pa via Unsplash


You can contend you’ve solved cryptic problems,

That you’ve grown beyond self-unraveling,

But, is life more than intrepid self-illusion?

Then, pain with aching splints wracks, words dravel.

Arch your neck, face towards bliss –sun heals;

Absorb relief, black-holes halt your travels.

Warped, sucked into sorrow, hate congeals;

Stone ’round your neck, going down; never drown,

Not in hazy moments, not in fields —

Canola golden-rod, yellow profound,

And the sky azure light; so blue, you breath life.

You were stuck a ‘sec,’ but never down.

Live and breath, ignore the mire — survive strife;

Don’t let the bruised night come again to strike.

Never let the slurping bogs constrict life,

Swim fast beyond the cloud’s stark, snowy white.

Beyond the shearling sheep’s velvet ‘yen’ yarn,

Ride capped waves of foam, with all your might.

Forever enthralled with life’s wild wild nights.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 4: Poem – “Soul Crooning Joy” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 4, the prompt is:


“And now for today’s (optional) prompt, inspired by Teicher’s poem “Son“. One thing you might notice about this poem is that it is sad, but that it doesn’t generate feeling through emotional words. The words are simple. Another thing you might notice is that it’s a sonnet – not in strict iambic pentameter, but fourteen rhymed, relatively short lines. Today, we’d like to challenge you to write your own sad poem, but one that, like Teicher’s, achieves sadness through simplicity. Playing with the sonnet form may help you . . .”


Credit: Preslie Hirsch via Unsplash


You can be around your things sad singing,

As if you were meaningless and abstract,

As if you’re loneliness was a forever fact.

You forget the joy of people mingling,

Then, azure-blue skies, clear your head’s ringing.

For a moment in lush nature you’re not lost,

Not alone, fretting and tossed —

As turbulent seas, their waves sling you into depths.

Perhaps, once you realize you won’t drown,

White-capped waves slow, gentle and soothing.

Without fear of hollowness engaged;

You can occupy yourself alone and grin,

Life’s balanced, you’ve both Joie a viva, and feel safe;

You can be alone, yet in a crowd — soul crooning.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 3: Lunes – “Seconds Slip” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 3, the prompt is:


“Today’s prompt is based in a poem by Larry Levis called “The Two Trees.” It is a poem that seems to meander, full of little digressions, odd bits of information, but fundamentally, it is a poem that takes time. . . I’d like to challenge you to. . . write something that involves a story or action that unfolds over an appreciable length of time.”


Credit: Heather Zabriskie via Unsplash.


Levitating light, airy and ethereal.

Baby’s mobile spins,

As the sundial’s shadow wanes.

*****

Ticks — children sigh, clocks circling.

Can’t read minutes,

Deduce digital numeric language better.

*****

Somewhere neither young nor old,

Decimals on smartphones,

Grandfather chimes, seconds slip, lost.

*****

©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All

Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 2: Poem – Free Verse — “To Live” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 2, the prompt is:

“Today’s prompt (optional, as always) is based on this poem by Claire Wahmanholm, which transforms the natural world into an unsettled dream-place. One way it does this is by asking questions – literally. The poem not only contains questions, but ends on a question. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that similarly resists closure by ending on a question, inviting the reader to continue the process of reading (and, in some ways, writing) the poem even after the poem ends.”


Credit: Ben White via Unsplash.


Sometimes I’m the spirit child,

Forever pigeon- faced cooing.

Sometimes I’m one-hundred-and-one,

Lapis Luzia blue eyes and crinkled skin,

As seconds tick, shoes tap the floor.

But to whose office am I called, faded bloom or seedling?

Sometimes I am the unsinkable youth,

Glorying in winds, summer wind’s bustle at midnight.

2:00 a.m. suppers, 2:00 p.m. breakfast –swallowed with Advil;

But sometimes it’s Aspirin, to thin retirement blood.

At times 2:00 A.M. is cornpops and milk,

When chicken breasts on salads, and protein shakes are grim;

I can’t swallow cardboard, but I’m not — I’ve tastebuds functioning.

Shall I have my shake to slim my physique?

Or, drink it too keep my nutrition in-sink?

Who wants to age frail, but neither do we want to be fat,

I think we never win,

Time is outside our boundaries.

And, sometimes I’m a teenager rolling with puppies,

With floppy ears and downy fur,

Tummy bare, rounded.

Sometimes my chest flutters, absorbing nips and belly rubs,

Because in such a short time,

She wheezed and I couldn’t awake to be there.

I knew enough, in the stillness of her beauty, what no breath meant.

Age took not her thick coat,

Only transported her to Elysian Fields,

Where we could not be together.

Sometimes I’m her bouncing through fields, cornering chipmunks,

Snuggling in the pack and running for miles.

Then, I’m the patient who’s wistful at her energetic tail.

Too tired to think beyond, the glory of her life,

To stretch and tag along at first so slow,

As she springs off of trees and barks like a bandit;

But, then I’m strong enough to ferry her across death’s rivers.

Later, I’m the painter with jubilant dreams,

Charcoal smudged, thick acrylics, immersed in sunlight.

Or, am the father-tree thick, ever-growing,

Am I one-hundred-and-fifty, here first;

Branches upswept, trailing the clouds.

But, you rip me out, brutally, as a beating heart,

My roots torn, paper shredded.

You make room for your concrete, your steel,

Your building and students, who know not my ghost.

Am I anyone or anything because I was?

Am I anything, was I once?

Now, I’m the knowledge they learn flourishing,

Then, I’m deep, rich dirt.

Reminded that in all homelands,

That all our histories are layer-upon-layer,

Sediment shattered, walls reconstructed.

Fire, earth, wind, and water didn’t end us —

What does? Will they remember before?

But then, I’m the tiniest weed, and still I live,

What’s life?

Your perception of what it is to be alive?


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

#NaPoWriMo Day 1: Poem – A’L’Arora – “Choose to Dream” #amwritingpoetry


For NaPoWriMo Day 1, the prompt is below:

“For our first (optional) prompt, let’s take our cue from O’Neil’s poem, and write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something. It can be a sort of recipe, like O’Neil’s poem. Or you could try to play on the notorious unreliability of instructional manuals (if you’ve ever tried to put IKEA furniture together, you know what I mean). You could even write a dis-instruction poem, that tells the reader how not to do something. This well-known poem by John Ashbery may provide you with some additional inspiration.”


Credit: Luis Quintero via Unsplash


I can’t instruct you with fine words to write,

Those have to gravitate from inside you.

I can’t make you sit, inspire you to jot,

You know what’s good writing, take quiet pause.

Perhaps, you’ll dream as the daylight expires.

Perhaps, you’ll save rhymes for a moment’s time.

I can’t force your words by pen or keyboard,

You must decide, set aside seconds — write.

*****

All the prompts in the world won’t bring fame,

You’ll have to practice every day and night.

Despite exhaustion, sleeplessness, family;

You’ll scribble ideas, create stories.

Or grab your phone, fingers tapping sweet tunes;

Let each note inside you burn to live, breathe.

I can’t shove you each day, candle light’s best;

But, sunlight burns too, when inner words seethe.

*****

I can’t correct all your grammar, you’ll not see —

These ‘niggly ‘ errors you once thought were not.

Not anything series ’til you learned.

Now, each line has value; each mistake irks.

But, until you ripped apart each sentence,

You never caught on — adverbs are poison.

Now past words, are awash with repentance.

*****

So, now I leave you writer-child make space,

For my words, themselves, must tumble forth in haste.

We’re all hiking paths together –comment.

We all rock with troubled gasps, when the keys —

To our vivid imaginations hide.

When our characters that gloried, us demean;

When our plots tangle, webs weave and muddle,

But we’re all here, write awhile, choose to dream.


A L’Arora, a form created by Laura Lamarca, consists of 8-lined stanzas. The rhyme scheme for this form is a, b, c, d, e, f, g, f with no syllable count per line. The minimum length for the poem is 4 stanzas with no maximum length stipulation. The A L’Arora is named after Laura Lamarca as “La” is her signature. “Aurora” is Italian and means “dawn” – “Arora” is derived from this. This form is dedicated to Chad Edwards.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

100 Word Wednesday: Poem —FreeVerse —“Childhood Days Astray” #100WordWednesday #amwritingpoetry


Thanks to Bikurgurl for hosting #100WordWednesday.


Credit: Bikurgurl


Tears of glass splinter, threats exchanged

Paper walls structured, pretend accords signed,

I’m guilty, but I’m not alone —

I’ve learned to apologize when the stubborn refuse.

When their words of ire as fire singe,

Blacken each day with poison deranged.

Refusing to talk, barricaded in your fortress of white noise;

Pushing alliance ‘neath plush 1960 tree-green piles.

Values and assumptions, lumps and bumps,

Consider other perspectives, act beyond perceptions; no more spats without, “I’m sorry for every hurt.”

But we’ll pretend, and if I speak it, the truth doesn’t count.

Children never learn, it’s the adage that chokes you.

It’s never right to not forgive; it’s a flaw in us.

Your grudges are deep, and your reflections skewed,

Forgetting your words, a problem in a string of failures, things I can’t do.

So, you’ll impose and push, no comprehension of what’s suffered —

Boarders not to cross.

What can I do? It’s what you’ve instigated;

So, I kept myself hidden, avoided your target.

And still, we don’t deal in forgiveness, you never admit fault;

I hate you for it, because sorry heals a plenitude of wounds.

But for you it’s just a word, a paltry thing you won’t offer.

You crowd and yell, murmuring old woes, not peering past crumbs and specs;

The film catches, tulips budding now sputter,

The screen pauses, flickers and they fade.

Defective film clicks, cracked as hearts malnourished.

Every family unhappy, in a vicious cycle reacting to our childhood days.


©️Mandibelle16. (2018) All Rights Reserved.

Saturday Mix: Poem – “Goddess Pup of War” #SaturdayMix #amwritingpoetry


Thanks to Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting #SaturdayMix. Her theme today is Personification.


Credit: Action Vance via Unsplash.


They told me it was easy — that a wolf was born to run,

Never once did they talk about innocence, a scattering of light shunned.

When all the darkness mustered, and drove forth as Roman armies.

They told me I had to do it, but my frail hands shook.

My eyes peeped through my lashes, venom running through my veins.

For no one told me about the spilling,

The loss of life and gore; men now faceless, missing limbs.

Life left them in a quickening, and I peeked through the brambles;

Thorns stabbed into my paws, the moon haunted by shadows as if it too, hid.

I wandered around the copse, limbs prickling and tongue mute.

An anthemyst sky drew forth night, a small end to battle; and to camp for today they returned.

No side was bad, no side was good; each believed their god gave glory;

But I was pup who lay on crumpled leaves, moaning in the blood-scented air.

I was but an observer and the scenes were obtrusive; never failed to numb me.

They overcame my sleep, no place for pups as down to sleep.

And in the night I heard them weep, beg for life and help;

For moms to hold them close, for lovers to sing one more note.

And the night was a cacophony, until death silenced some;

And others fell into fevered sleep.

Yet, the crimson morning came with an ominous bells knell; I failed to close my eyes all night.

The clashing of metal, the tangy smoke of guns,

Invaded my nightmares as the half-dead lay silent, if only to live through one more day.

And a tiny wolf crept forth, and through the carnage lunged.

She lengthened each foot and grew tall, silvery fur huge snow-white teeth clasped, titanium claws split bone.

And she knew in the end all had been lost, but she was born to run — to hunt;

She was the goddess of war, and hers was a warrior’s life or death to give.

It never mattered that through each year,

She was still a babe crying in the darkness numb, half-dead after battle.

Half-dead of heart to survive such gore; so, she let loose her demons,

And the fates chose the victors, if there ever are any?

She knew too well as cherub tears fell, nothing was just or fair in war — suffering was the only assurance.

Suffering and the fairy-man’s boat rowing, as if he had all time,

All the time in the world, because he did; and she howled as the dusk once again swept.

She lay down in the copse, a wolf pup again; goddess of war without a pack.

Lady whose job was to perpetually morn, to pick and choose, and forever feel the pain.

Knife and gun, nightmares and terrors, for peace was an infinity — the only dream she had.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.

Photo Challenge/Saturday Mix: “We’re Done” #amwritingpoetry


Thanks to NELNEERAJ of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Photo Challenge and Sarah of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting Saturday mix on the theme of onomatopoeia and the three words rustle, thud, and hoot.


Credit: Google

Our balance as love-birds is precarious. We’re alike yet, so different. Holding our Adho Mukha Vrksasana‘ handstands, eyes closed; our breath mingling. It’s a habit of ours, mutual meditation of bodies and minds. We breathe deep, yet struggle to hold our pose.

A rushing sensation floods my brain. My blood pumps downward and dizziness threatens.

You groan. “Hold it five more minutes.”

I say nothing. You’re too close, I need distance. I’m sick of this arrangement. You take flight far from me; there’s never any communication, until you’re home. It’s as if I don’t exist for you until there’s no one else.

My muscles relax and I flex my feet, rolling my body through my spine, then my hips, until I’m in table top, and then, sitting cross legged. You’ve noticed nothing. Do you ever? I shove your side. Your spindle-legs flail in the air; you can’t right yourself. Thud!

“What the hell.” You glare and examine the scratches on your body.

I shrug. “Too much. I can’t keep this up.”

“Huh?”

“Everything.” My lungs ache; I feel caged. I want to scream.

“What’s wrong with you?” You cock your head and study me, hands on your knees. Your beady eyes send nervous chills.

“Her, all the hers. Cassandras and Stephanies. Kassies and Ashleys.”

“You’re the only Claire.”

I stand. The sun’s hot on my arms as I yank on yoga pants. Crisp spring leaves rustle above me in the river valley along with the some hooting bird. The breeze quickens, and I shiver, stretching high into mountain pose.

I peer at him, as he considers me. “I think I’m tired of peacocks like you. I don’t need your strutting or the women. The never knowing where you are, or if you care.”

You frown, run your hands through your hair, while your toes dig into the grass. “What are you talking about?”

“I need to concentrate on other things, not where or who you’re leaving here for next; the never knowing if you’ll return.” I turn, shoving my feet into pink Tom’s. My breath eases. I’m relieved that I said it, finally.

“Claire, stay. Please.” You twist your hippy-beard and your beady eyes beg.

I close mine and sigh. ” I can’t; no more.” You reach for your water bottle, gulp it before slamming it against a tree. Twigs crack, the bottle dents.

You swear, but don’t follow me as I hike back to the car. When I no longer see you, my body quivers, wracked with sobs. With each step I rid myself of your poison.

A few minutes later I rub my eyes with my hoodie sleeve. I don’t care that they’re pink and swollen.

That’s when it hits me –the silence of no drama, no worry weighing my entire being down as stones. I let the silence permeate me; a peace I haven’t experienced in years crashes over me. We’re done. My lips turn upwards and I smile. I haven’t done that in years either.


©️Mandibelle16. (2019) All Rights Reserved.