GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XXIX: Rollercoaster

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt makes me think about the phrase ‘lost in translation’. Not because I’m literally “translating” from one language to another (an exercise NaPoWriMo has prompted before with strange and sometimes humorous results) – More because I don’t know if this distilled product is at all representative of what I started out with. But in the end it is what has come out of it. And perhaps therein lies the purpose. (Did that sound a bit pretentious? Coz I feel like maybe it sounded a bit pretentious ; P)

 

We met
Week before classes started
Naught

Didn’t really notice her
She got with someone else
A guy’s-guy. Handsome. White
Lot of things I wasn’t

Then
I remember
the night
All dressed up
Make up. The works
Just had eyes for her

Grew closer
More than her
Heart started to fall
Didn’t see me that way
They never do

In time she saw, desirable qualities
But I don’t know
Actually “desirable”
I wasn’t like the others
Instant
Maybe she settled

Always felt
Held back
Thought I didn’t think
She was beautiful
So wrong
Couldn’t get her to
Something missing
That instant attraction
Lack there of

I wish I believed
She believed me
Don’t regret much
Regret that
Never… one
Piece missing

Don’t talk about us
Too painful
Hurt too much to hear
The truth
That was part of it
Didn’t talk
Didn’t open up

I was smitten
Remember that
I’ll never believe
She was too

 

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GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XXVIII: “Heightened Discomfort”

Pain pain
Go away
And don’t come again
Another day

You’re making me cranky
You’re making me mad
And when I tell my friends
You make them sad

Pain pain
Go away
You’re quite the bother
I’ve got to say

You make me tired
You make me slow
You make me beg
When will you go

Pain pain
Go away
I just can’t deal with
You today

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XVII: Running Away From Home

For the life of me I can’t think of a family anecdote. I mean there must be dozens, hundreds even. But for some reason when I saw the NaPoWriMo prompt today my mind just drew a blank; and continues to do so. The one thought that did pop into my head was an amusing one though. It’s apparently a short little story of childhood hubris. I even remember it being published in the school magazine when I wrote about in Class/Grade 3 or 4. Sadly I don’t have the original to share. But, since we do live in the golden age of reboots…

(And do try to remember this is from the perspective of a 6-7 year old)

 

RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME

I’ve had enough of this
I’m supposed to be the favourite
How dare they ignore my tantrum
And leave before I can savour it

I’m supposed to get the attention
Coz I’m the biggest boy
I’m supposed to get the sweets
The first pick of the toys

I’ll teach them all to ignore me
I’ll run away and hide
Then  they’ll regret not doting
Then I’ll make them cry

I’ll pack my tiffin box
And I’ll get into my car
And by the time they notice
I’ll be so very far

Though there was a small flaw in my plan
Upon which I did not arrive
I was sat in the back seat
Because I didn’t know how to drive

That’s where they found me an hour later
Where I’d sat without a peep
And they tried not to laugh or snigger
Because I was fast asleep

 

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XVI: The Game

It’s officially the second half of Glo/NaPoWriMo 2018. And I am officially starting to run on fumes. So until that blessed second wind kicks in, my offerings may be a little strained or uninspired. Apologies dear reader. But, even sans muse we carry on.

Day 16. Poem 16.

 

Watch them with their heads hanging low
Eyes transfixed on their screens
Don’t they seem a sorry lot
Addicted to their machines

Is what you’d say if you looked on
Without a hint or clue
Of what it is these players seek
What they’ve set out to do

From the youngest lads and lassies
To the wizened and mature
Trainers of all ages
Out on a grand tour

There are battlers, there are collectors
And some just along for fun
There are the social butterflies
And those that prefer solo runs

They tap, tap, tap their way to victory
Battling elements and pesky bugs
They celebrate with heartfelt grins
Commiserate with sorrowed shrugs

We may have different missions
Or different styles when it comes to this sport
In the end we’ll fighter together
Be you “Ground Infantry” or “Air Support”

This game we play may seem silly
To onlookers and passers-by
But we play for our own glory
We play for our team’s pride

This may seem just a game to you
A revival of a fad once was
But to catch them all is our test
To train them is our cause

 

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XV: The Joke’s On Me

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt reminds me of a poem from a former challenge – An Ode to Batsy – honestly looking back it was one of my favourite prompt poems to write. And today’s challenge offers the opportunity to revisit it… and perhaps offer some more depth…

True the prompt probably imagined this a little different, but my mind can’t help but go to Alan Moore’s haunting yarn in ‘The Killing Joke’ (as well as the DC Animated feature starring the voice of my own personal God – Mark Hamill). So in honour of these greats, I offer this humble homage

 

You know I wasn’t always a clown prince
Once I was just a man
Hustling and struggling to get by
Living life on another’s demand

Instead of this beautiful grin before you
There were tired lines from a long day’s shlepp
And I was full of sad little dreams
Instead of my signature pep!

Instead of this gun pressed against this man’s temple
I probably had a briefcase and charts and a stamp
I probably never would have thought
Of turning a child’s skull into a reading lamp!

I probably had a wife who loved me…
Or some sort of family to call my own
Maybe I had a son named Timmy
Maybe… I had a home…

But it’s all so terribly blurry Batsy!
Not as clear as the blood on this knife!
Besides where’s the comedy?
In a son and a house and a wife!

I’m an entertainer extraordinaire!
I thrill and I awe and I chill
I’ll do anything for a standing ovation
I’ll maim and I’ll bludgeon and I’ll kill

It’s all such a colossal joke!
Every little thing these open eyes can see
But when I look, no one else is laughing, Bats
So I guess the joke’s on me

 

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XIV: In Dreams, I Walk With You

While I remember being curious about Freud’s ‘The Interpretation of Dreams‘ in school (Yes. I was that kid), I’ve never spent so much dwelling on dreams, other than sometimes as a source for bizarre inspiration. I’ve certainly never consulted a ‘Dream Dictionary’, something I did today to think about today’s NaPoWriMo prompt. I was pleasantly engaged. And lightly inspired…

The tea cup represents
A state of fragility
And if chipped a latent fear
Of tedious domesticity

When swinging from its handle
It suggests a lack of hope
Like that of a man
Playing once last time with rope

But if full of sweet tea
It means joy and good wishes
If dirty, possibly guilt
Over not washing some dishes

If Red, Brown, or Yellow
You are craving a trip
Unless it turns Blue
Once you’ve taken a sip

An empty tea cup implies
That you need to drink more water
When surrounded by stuffed Hobgoblins
That you hate your daughter

Tea Cup (noun):
Powerful dream symbol
See also G-Strings,
Altoids, or Thimble

 

P.S. Apologies to any confused readers who don’t get the Title misdirect. And kudos to the fans of a certain underrated piece of brilliance who did! (Hey! I’m proud of you!)

 

 

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XIII: The Dirty Dance

A curious NaPoWriMo prompt today. And an unsure poet with half baked ideas. Surely a recipe for a quirky piece for Day 13…

A man and a woman stood
Stares locked in anticipation
Upon each’s forehead
Nervous precipitation

Hands reached out cautiously
To undo metal teeth
Eyes darting to the other
To ensure consent was seen

With a small little act
Bodies suddenly to life
The tension in the room
You could cut with a Ginsu knife

Limbs became intertwined
Breaths were inches apart
Pouring was the sweat
Racing were the hearts

Hair and pillows went flying
At times so did a curse
Something rather unmentionable
Ended up inside her purse

Till at last they found a pause
And wits returned slowly
Reflecting on what they’d created
A mess most unholy

And at last one of them spoke
With redness in their face
I think its time to put
The dog back in the suitcase

(For those who might not have guessed, the idiom/phrase I went with for inspiration was “let the cat out of the bag”)

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XII: A Forest Among the Towers

Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt has us visiting a fun challenge from last year – The Haibun – It’s not the easiest form to describe (apologies if the link provided send you down a rabbit hole like it did me ; p) but it is an interesting one to employ. The combination of short prose and haiku poetry lends it a character that certainly helps it stand apart from my usual poetry, so I’m happy to try it again today. If you’re looking to learn more, I really liked the essay by Aimee Nezhukumatathil that NaPoWriMo shared today.

I live in a congested desert. Beaten and blinded by a harsh sun. Deafened by the roar of a million beating hearts and tired lungs. Trapping myself in concrete and steel and rubber.

The sun is glowing
The streets full of life and noise
I begin my day

The day ahead is long. There are mountains to wade through. Oceans to recall. A plethora of faces and names and dates to sift, absorb, categorise, sort and toss aside.

Oaken thrown awaits
Within my fort of papers
The pen is my sword

Yet in all the hustle and strife and boredom and gray there is something else too. Even amongst the dust covered steel of the city there is life. Unflinching, unbeaten, unbending, unbreaking.

Out nearby window
The trees are basking in light
Stood mighty and proud

As far almost as the eye can see. There is an army of trees. Hiding the sprawl and the struggle. Flushing the drab pallet of gray and brown and tan with splashes and shades of green and yellow.

A sea washes over
Flooding my view of towers
Painting a new scene

I am lost in the full branches. Mesmerised by the rays bouncing off the leaves. The bleating of metal monsters fades amongst the thought of chirping birds.

The sun seems welcome
And the noises fade away
My mind is quiet

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day XI: The State of (My) Union

God bless this union
For none else may
Let’s speak of its state
As we’re here to do today

Our economy is booming
Our growth cannot be beaten
Though our physical resources
Have come to be depleted

Each industry shows escalation
We have scaled new heights
Now is the time to invest further
With greatness in our sights

Our climate has greatly shifted
And the change cannot be denied
But we have succeeded in adapting
Or atleast, we’ve begun to try

Our foreign policy remains firm
Though our partners may differ
We have made new allies
Our coalition grows bigger

Trade alliances have been severed
Treaty obligations have been tossed
But we are renegotiating
To compensate the loss

On domestic affairs
Our Southern states are suffering great
But we are thankful to our allies
For providing humanitarian aid

Our people are afraid
But they are resolute and proud
To struggle and to fight
Not to cower or doubt

Hardship builds a nation
And in time ours will wane
And we shall be greater for it
With dignity we bare our pain

Countrymen keep heart
For good times come ahead
The struggle is real
But heed these words I’ve said

The future of our union
Has vigour and force
And we shall persevere
We shall stay this course

 

Today’s poem inspired by the latest NaPoWriMo prompt

GloPoWriMo 2018: Day X: Tunnel Vision

Do you ever remember a moment of clear pain? Do you ever revisit it? How long do you suppose until you can go back to a moment in time and finally start to see beyond it?

At any given time there are a million-billion things occurring around you – from a molecular to a universal level. Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt challenges us to “write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happening at once”. So I decided to challenge myself to go back to a (somewhat) distant memory. One I’d never seen beyond a few cubic feet. And recall (or imagine) the larger scene, because the one lesson I’ve ever drawn from life – is that it goes on – all around you – with or without you – sometimes it just takes time to figure that out…

 

I watched her smile
I saw her blush
The radio played a peppy song
A bicycle rung its little bell
My heart welled with happiness
And immediately shattered

I heard the tremble
In her timber
A man was walking his dog
The sun peeked through the clouds
She bit her lip
And I stabbed my nails into my thigh

A deafening silence fell
My phone buzzed, a Pokemon appeared
Lights turned from red to green
The old suspension creaked over potholes
My stomach churned
I fought back the sick

We turned a corner
I drifted miles away
An elderly woman crossed the street
Two children on swings in the park
The car came to a halt
My world had fallen out from under me