NaPoWriMo Day #20

The prompt for Day #20 is here.  I love stuff like this.  We were given a list of random words and invited to use at least five of them in a poem.  Mine turned into a prayer.


“Prayer in Five”

Elusive ghost of
wind and breath and salt and fire:
remind me; don’t let
my mercurial ego
squander the miraculous.

NaPoWriMo Day #17

The prompt for Day #17 is here.

To balance the valediction we wrote earlier in the month, we were invited to write a poem of greeting, a hello poem.  This one took the form of a recap of some of my musical experiences in the past several months.



“Hello to the Music(al)”

Hello, Dolly!  It was so nice to finally see you
after hearing lots about you. 
Take her wrap and find her a lap, fellas;
because this kid’s glowing and she’s not going away.

Hello, my name is Elder Price.
Overpriced, you mean,
and while you were quite funny,
I was sure the lightning was going to strike the blasphemy.

Hello, little girl! So many paths worth exploring.
Just one would be so boring!
Look at that red cape, plump flesh, and naïveté,
and Bettelheim and my course content splayed across the stage. 

Hello, hello, this is Romeo,
calling from a jackpot telephone,
the line a fresh blast from long ago,
and hello to no fear and no souvenirs.

Hello, darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again (every night).
A filled-up Central Park was never so silent
with people hearing (but were they listening?).

Hello…is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.
But, child grown and dream gone,
my comfortable numbness is hurting.

NaPoWriMo Day #16

The prompt for Day #16 is here.  We were invited to find a poem in another language, not look at the translation, and “translate” it ourselves based on what the words look it.  It was pretty much a rape-and-pillage scenario up in here.  This feels almost disrespectful.

Here’s the original:

Mas há uma saída? Imagina na insónia as florestas que crescem a essas horas noutras regiões, os comboios que as atravessam para alcançar um destino no futuro dos outros.
Há uma saída? Imagina a noite cheia de cidades violentas, o retumbar das máquinas nos subterrâneos e a chuva a cair no plástico negro dos morangais, todo o sofrimento e incerteza do mundo.
E de manhã, repara, está bonito o tempo. Os amigos acordam no quarto ao lado, descem à cozinha para fazer o café. Mas há uma saída?
© 2005, Rui Pires Cabral From: Longe da Aldeia Publisher: Averno, Lisboa, 2005

And here’s my attempt to find meaning:

Have you said mass?  Imagine now insomnia as loud flowers and essays of our hours, or combinations that travel to our cankerous destiny— no future for us two.
Have you said…?  Imagine a dark night of violent cicadas; return the machines to belowground, carve a chair that’s not black plastic, mornings, everything is sauce and inserted into the world.
It’s man, repaired;  it’s beautiful, or it’s time.  Or it’s friends who accord no quarters or larder; go down to the cozy for father or coffee. Have you said mass?

Well, I’m way behind in my daily poetry prompt assignments…and that’s…ok.  I am still writing, and I will catch up when I can.  I have some to post.  You will notice gaps.  It is what it is.


NaPoWriMo Day #14

The prompt for Day #14 is here.


Leo (July 23-Aug. 22):  The other ages you have been are inside of you.  That’s 
what gives you compassion and patience for those who are younger than you.  
Joan Didion:  “I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the 
people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not.”  
Madeleine L’Engle:  "I am still every age that I have been. Because I was once a 
child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to 
moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be."
Captain Anamnesis:  Superhero, Patron Saint of Writers and Effective Grownups

My power is my memory
of every age I’ve ever been,
and I can make you unforget yours, too.

NaPoWriMo Day #13

The prompt for Day #13 is here.

I’m looking forward to working on this one, honing it down, revising it.


The first leg took us
under flatpan grey sky
to the local pub,
eyes trained on
her cowboy-booted, blue-clad leg,
past a yard of palms
conjoined at the base,
like Siamese twins
fully fused at the root
but sprouting differences.
This leg featured
her college freshman discourse,
revealing her changed—
more social, less bookish.
The pause in the walk,
the oasis, the pub,
brought good food and insecurities,
the painful self-awareness of the young,
but with openness and trust.
The kerfuffle at the table
—the ever-present cell
bringing news of debt
and parental distrust—
ruffled her feathers and self-defense.
But the sticky toffee was a revelation,
when she could focus on it.
The second leg,
return trip home,
in darkness and chill,
filled the air with
reassurances of life’s learning curve
and you’ll-be-fine’s.
Then on sofas, pensive,
with woodsmoke and candle flame
revealing the easy bruises of youth,
we all learn (still) to
plan for the future
but live in the now.


These have been languishing (or perhaps deepening) in my journal this week as I have been in the wilderness that is Grading Hell.

The prompt for Day #12 is here.


"What I Never Told You, My Friend, Is"

That sunny, chilly freshman day
when I rode with you to L.A.
to get a taste of my first protest
—activism apparently God’s behest—
and we stood at the clinic and shouted and prayed,
till the fitted-black-t-shirted team came to play,
when we all linked arms, made a line, and prayed harder,
and their biceps responded in kind, with slogans much sharper:
            Born-again bigots, go away—
            Racist, sexist, anti-gay!
that, God help me, but
my divided
      constricted heart began un-be-ing,
and in that moment,
I found myself, reflexively, agreeing.
Not Your Mission Field

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