Insider – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 12

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Mental Health, Relationships No Comments »

Hello!

 

I give up, it is definitely going the way of the short poem this year!

Day 12’s prompt on the NaPoWriMo site asked me to construct a triolet poem.

 

Rules of the Triolet Form

The requirements of this fixed form are straightforward: the first line is repeated in the fourth and seventh lines; the second line is repeated in the final line; and only the first two end-words are used to complete the tight rhyme scheme. Thus, the poet writes only five original lines, giving the triolet a deceptively simple appearance: ABaAabAB, where capital letters indicate repeated lines. [from here]

I think the author of the above might have a different take on the word ‘straightforward’ to the rest of us?! Anyway, I think I figured it out 😉

 

Introvert In 2020

 

This staying in is music to my ears,

I never excelled socially at all!

Don’t you know I’m a slave to my fears?

This staying in is music to my ears!

Hat’s off to those with fancy-pants careers

(I know if I’d to do them, skies would fall)

This staying in is MUSIC to my ears,

I never excelled socially at all

 

Big hugs to anybody feeling trapped and hemmed in right now, I can imagine extroverted personalities especially will be feeling very ‘wronged’ at the moment. How are you coping with the social distancing restrictions? I hope you are doing ok and that you can find some positives within your day to stop you thinking about the grim side of all this for at least an hour or two.

I’m looking forward to Day 13’s prompt, NaPoWriMo seems to be flying past this year, but I am sure my days would feel slower if I didn’t have the kids about 😉 Catch you soon!

 

Monty X

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Again – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 6

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How do?!

 

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights said the optional prompt for Day 6’s NaPoWriMo jolly. I had never seen this piece of art, and if you follow the link you’ll see why it is such a good prompt to be given!

I chose to write a poem from the point of view of the owner of the third foot in the shell on the man’s back (to the left of centre, towards the bottom of the middle panel, with a description on the website marked ‘travel journal’) 😉 I decided that foot belonged to a woman…

 

Again

 

And again, he muscled in –

Bade me clam up and cleave to him.

 

My wisdom:

Pearls among swine,

His one wish my eternal command.

 

I am to be cloistered with his need,

Unobserved by the world;

Just flesh upon

A mere shell of all I was.

 

Not the happiest little ditty, but one of those that arrived in my handwriting within 5 minutes and I didn’t feel the need to tweak (apart from adding one word to the last line). Always a godsend when time is at a premium!

I think I will bookmark this painting and come back to it – so much to look at and think about! What characters do you like the best?

Keep staying safe and well, and I’ll ‘see’ you for Day 7!

 

Monty X

 

[The pic of Bosch’s painting is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2020  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Imprint – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 2

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Hey there 😊

 

Today’s optional prompt, on the NaPoWriMo site, was to “write a poem about a specific place” and to include details to make it feel real to the reader.  

 

Imprint

 

I stared at the flowers on the wallpaper

And they looked back.

I traced their faces

With imaginary ink,

Whilst sat on the loo.

 

I look for similar designs

In swathes of

Vintage material.

 

And a Liberty print,

Or crisp gingham check,

Can catapult me back

To the smell of the tile

In that childhood porch.

(Always that smell!)

 

And a black marble’s swirl

On a worktop…

 

But,

Somehow,

The patterns I seek

Are not available to buy.

 

As we watch more and more Dr Who while the kids are at home all day, I keep seeing ‘portals’ to the past everywhere and reflecting on their significance. I feel this is shaping up to be a bit of a theme…but there are 28 poems to go in the month, so maybe Day 3’s will veer down another path 😉

I hope you are all well and taking time to get creative yourselves? Take care, and I’ll see you in my third NaPoWriMo post…

 

Monty X

 

 

[Pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Opening – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 1

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Hi!

I really hope this post finds you all well?

I haven’t been doing earth-shattering things over the last few months that I was away from the blog, but interesting things none the less.

There have been teeth lost and creative offerings left under a happy little boy’s pillow. I will elaborate on that in future posts. 

My sketch books sport doodles aplenty, I even went through a spate of following YouTube videos to start teaching myself one (and two) point perspective in drawing.  I managed to do a doodle or part of a larger drawing EVERY day from mid-February 2019 until the 13th of December, but then the kids caught a nasty tummy-bug-fever-thing – and once we got over that we were swept away by Christmas…but I got back into the practice of producing a doodle or part of a drawing every day by the end of January 2020 and I know it’s going to sustain me through all the lockdown measures in the weeks (and possibly months) to come.

I did have a nice little writing practice going, where I wrote at least 500 words a day, for more than six months in 2019; but it also fell by the wayside when the kids got ill. Now (somehow) we are in April 2020 and I’ve not written creatively with any regularity for a quarter of a year!!  Eeek!

But 2020’s NaPoWriMo challenge has urged me to fill that void with its optional writing prompts and thought-provoking nudges to look for inspiration in interesting places 😊

Today’s prompt was to “make a specific action a metaphor for your life”. I wrote the below, which is probably too literal to be a metaphor…

 

Upon Opening *That* Cupboard

 

And again: I face my nemesis

The place I dread – the one I miss

Out of the plans, because it is

A seething, shame-filled stack of shizz.

 

[But shizz I ‘need’

And shizz I ‘want’

Shizz that, if tossed,

My dreams would haunt!

(Because: a shizz-pile towering tall

Cannot mean I’m, in fact, small…?)

 

A past collected in one place

Becomes, then, a fixed point in space.

It matters (does it not?) that I

Could have my mess from rockets spied?!

 

A declaration: (arms outflung)

“I came! I lived! I AM SOMEOOOONE!”

 

And one day,

(Maybe?)

They could build

A new me

From the dust and silt…??]

 

The last few lines are something I turn over in my head a lot (!) so I have probably written something very similar on this blog before?! I have over 520 posts on here, though, so I have no idea how to begin looking for it, but know that one day history will probably roll its eyes at my repetitiveness 😉

Catch me in my next post to see what I make of Day 2’s prompt…

 

[Pic is from here]

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Autumnal Imposter

Mental Health, Random poetry, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

I am sitting with my milky cup of tea, looking out of our Eldest’s window at bright November sunshine this morning.  I dug out the quirky china mug that my Auntie bought me for my (second, I think?!) pregnancy and I am savouring how it keeps my caffeine hit warmer than other mugs.

The sky is the colour of a happy watercolour wash, and it is peppered by the snowflake stickers we stuck on the glass a few Christmases ago – Eldest asked to keep them there, so we did.  There are also still some of the chalk pen doodles from a few years ago, because he finds them nice to look at and I’m not picky about how it appears from outside.

I am not an Autumn lover, but I can appreciate it has beauty in it.  The colours can be breathtaking, the symbolism raw – and the general lean towards knitwear, layers and crafting obviously works in my favour 😉

I really should share a happy poem for this gorgeous-yet-frosty day…but the generator had other ideas.

Textfixer said:

So I responded:

 

imposter, blizzard, unsure, phenomenal, locust, distancing, rude, addictive, liberating

 

It’s a syndrome, apparently:

This feeling of being an imposter, hiding in plain sight.

 

Trapped in a blizzard of shoulds

Unsure which way is up.

 

Phenomenal self-doubt descends:

A locust storm munching

On all the harvest

You once thought you could count on.

 

Distancing oneself

From all who like to think they matter

Becomes a way of life. 

 

At first it feels rude,

But the relief becomes addictive.

 

That liberating silence in one’s head

Is better than any mere drug.

 

Maybe I’ll write a happy ditty tonight, when I think back on how nice it is sitting in a sun spot having cleared off our Eldest’s desk while he is at school.  How decadent it feels settling to apply myself to my creative passions in daylight; as the dust motes gather on all surfaces and the washing whirls in its endless rumbly rounds… 😉

 

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Copyright © 2019  Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Meditation? – #NaPoWriMo19 – 29

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Hello!

 

“…Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend…concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.” [from the NaPoWriMo site]

 

Well, I don’t know about you, but if I ‘meditate’ on an issue I’m having, my inner wisdom has a way of never pulling her punch.  I get it squarely between the eyes and have to stop flinching and actually accept the lesson before I can move on.  I get a lot of these home truths dealt to me while doing mundane things like washing our dishes, folding laundry or just wandering back from the school run looking at the sky…

Something I read (or someone said) might stay with me, and my inner wisdom will shrug and tell me that I might not like it, but if I look across the patterns of my day-to-day there is this piece of evidence, this silly sabotaging habit, this phrase I use that proves that person/book was at least half relevant to something I’m wrestling with.  There is usually a very annoying list of achievable steps that gets presented to me as well, or a YouTube video pops up that is ridiculously well timed…don’t you just hate that?!

This poem came out of our need to start tweaking things around the house now that the kids are getting more independent and the fixtures and fittings are not holding up as well as they used to, etc etc… 

 

If it gets too good they’ll change it,

Better not get comfy here;

Then your confidence won’t be hit

When ‘they’ turn – and you can’t steer.

 

So: these walls did not get painted

And this carpet’s still the same

As the day the previous owners

Picked it out – yes I’m to blame;

 

And there’s still unopened boxes

Lurking in our storage piles

That I have no heart to ditch yet

So keep lugging o’er the miles.

 

I think I’m waiting for some signal

That I can trust what is good

Not to vanish like a mirage

If I drop my guard. Then: stood

 

In the glow of my achievements

(And the knowledge I now hold)

I’ll stop running scripts from childhood

And refusing to be bold…

 

So that’s my little pep talk with myself over for another day 😉

That’s the penultimate poem of NaPoWriMo dusted, too!  Whoa!

Catch you tomorrow…

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Shaking Up A Sonnet – #NaPoWriMo19 – 27

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health No Comments »

Hey there!

 

“…I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, like “hey baby, this poem will make you immortal” (Sonnet XVIII) or “I’m really bad at saying I love you but maybe if I look at you adoringly, you’ll understand what I mean” (Sonnet XXIII)…”

[NaPoWriMo site]

 

It is our wedding anniversary today.  We sat on the couch with the kids and watched a couple of nervous 30-somethings say their vows to each other, remarked upon the length of my dress and how hard it was to walk in, calculated how old different family members must have been then, etc etc.  Our Youngest liked the song we’d picked for our first dance (Katie Melua’s Nine Million Bicycles), and our Eldest was asking about the logistics of me getting in and out of the bridal car 😉

So when I read the prompt for today’s NaPo contribution, I decided to look at Sonnet number 27 (because we met on the 27th of March 2005 and were married on the 27th of April 2008…) and I realised that it was a fitting Sonnet, as it is about being really tired after a busy day, but one’s mind spanning the miles to a lover as soon as one lies down.

Being a ruminator, however, the 3rd and 4th lines have a darker meaning for me, too:

“But then begins a journey in my head
To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired…”

So I decided to change some of Shakespeare’s words to tweak the feel of the poem from  one of romantic infatuation to one of anxiety.  I have given Shakespeare’s lines in grey and the ones I’m using in blue, so you can see how they compare and contrast…like the good wee English scholar I was taught to be, haha.

** Trigger warning for some of the imagery I’ve used **

 

Weary with toil, I haste me to my bed,
Wearing a tee, Hub snoring in my bed,

The dear respose for limbs with travel tir’d;
The dear lord knows I’ve never been so tir’d;

But then begins a journey in my head

But then begins a journey in my head

To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:

To work my mind, when body’s work’s expired:

Woman behind a book of Shakespeare's work

 

For then my thoughts–from far where I abide—

My stupid thoughts—their whirl I can’t abide–

Intend a zealous pilgrimage to thee,

Intend a zealous voyage out my tree,

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,

And keep my drooping eyelids open wide,

Looking on darkness which the blind do see:

Musing on pointless questions I do see:

Save that my soul’s imaginary sight

The demons that I should keep out of sight

Presents thy shadow to my sightless view,

Present their shadows to my helpless view,

Which, like a jewel hung in ghastly night,

Which, like a slipknot hung in ghastly light,

Makes black night beauteous, and her old face new.

Makes blessed night dangerous, and her sweet face skew.

Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,

Lo! thus, by day my limbs, by night my mind,

For thee, and for myself, no quiet find.

For Hub, and for myself, no quiet find.

 

I rather enjoyed messing about with the bard’s work 😉

Only three more April poems to write for this year!  I can’t believe that I have managed to keep up (and post up) an entry for every day with all the holidays and kid wrangling.  (I know a few, like this one, have had to be backdated by half a day or so, but the poems have still all been accounted for).

Meet you back here later 🙂

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Elegy – #NaPoWriMo19 – 18

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health No Comments »

Hi 🙂

 

I write about grief and loss a lot.

I wrote a poem after the Grenfell Tower fire news bulletins (here), and the Manchester arena attack (here).

When I was 18 I wrote one about the horror that unfolded at Dunblane.  I lived not far from there at the time, and the death of children particularly haunts me.

I even write about imaginary loss sometimes.

Or ‘just’ how grief crumples you up.

I fervently miss a few people in my life, but I write most often about the void I experience  without my maternal grandmother (see here and the second poem from here, for example) she even creeps into short scenes I have written from prompts people have left me on my Facebook page!

So, when the Global/National Poetry Writing Month’s site said:

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail”

You’d think it would have been easy to comply.

Nope.

I enlisted a generator for inspiration and wrote a poem using all of the nine words I’d been given, then realised it read better when shaved to about two thirds of its size… I only ended up using “execute” and “describes” in my final cut.  I am not being a stickler for my usual generator rules for NaPoWriMo though, so it’s all good 😉

I don’t know if what I wrote meets the prompt for you, but I know that I’m referencing four relatives who have passed on in the poem, so I think it does…

 

I spend evenings wrapped in fluffy cardigans:

Ironed flat

Over a decade ago.

 

I still enunciate on the green hearth rug

In my head.

(Though I saw on the internet

The walls of that room

Came down a while ago –

And the paint and plaster job

Made it kind of difficult

To fathom where they even stood)

 

I searched for any mention

Of familial singing exploits

In 1930s papers.

 

I have deciphered a housewife’s handwriting –

The meals with which she grew my grandfather –

I’ve charted her obsessions,

Though she never knew my name.

 

 

I’ve started studying faces.

Each pencil stroke I execute

Feeling more intimate and magical

Than the last;

A connection to ancestry

Emerging slowly.

 

The bend of time sometimes visible

As the flow describes how we got here –

And how we’re never truly gone.

 

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

 

Vigil – #NaPoWriMo19 – 17

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships 5 Comments »

Hiya 🙂

 

“Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that…presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop” 

[Glo/NaPoWriMo prompt, from here]

 

I have concealed myself

At the foot of your bed many times;

Waking to the dawn,

The dust,

Your steady breath at last.

 

You never discover my vigils.

You’ve not spoken to me in days.

 

I know how he hits you:

How your sobs sound

Through two floors

And many tight doors.

 

Why does he always return?

Why do you allow such violations of your peace?

 

He reeks of things

I’m not sure you quite fathom.

It’s hard to tell he ever came from you.

 

Your face last night looked different.

I know it made you flinch, but I just had to lick it clean.

 

 

What’s happening there, then…?

 

Catch you back here tomorrow 🙂

 

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!

Will I Dye, Doc? – #NaPoWriMo19 – 8

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health 2 Comments »

Hiya 🙂

 

Today’s Glo/NaPoWriMo prompt was to incorporate slang from the world of work into a poem.  So I complied:

 

Went to my family doctor, see?

Acute pneumoencephalopathy

It’s quite rare, and a tragedy

(Not catching though, apparently)

Something to do with this blonde dye

Having seeped in through my left eye

And messed about inside my brain…?

 

There’s a chance we won’t speak again

🙁

 

So: hopefully I will be back tomorrow?! 😛

[Pic is from here]

 

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Copyright © 2019 Montaffera All Rights Reserved

Please do not use any of my content (posts, pictures, poetry etc) without my permission, but feel free to link back to my blog if something catches your eye. Thank you!