Meditation? – #NaPoWriMo19 – 29

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Mental Health No Comments »

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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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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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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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!

 

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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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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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!

Wishes – #NaPoWriMo19 – 7

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Mental Health, Parenting 2 Comments »

Hey there 🙂

 

It was Eldest’s birthday today, and the Na/GloPoWriMo prompt  decided to run with this nicely:

Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of gifts and joy. What would you give yourself, if you could have anything? What would you give someone else?

Happy writing!

Youngest’s birthday was only eight days ago.

I get sentimental at this time of year, I warn you now…the start of the poem is Eldest’s answer to “what would you like for your birthday if you could have anything?” while he was talking about his X-Box adventures 😉

 

“Sixty-four emeralds!”  – said with a grin

(For Minecraft – it’s all ‘invent’ry’ will fit in)

Why did I not know that all we’d to do

Was ‘dig’ him up a shiny green thing or two?!

 

I wish that my joy could be bought with such ease –

I’m standing here mourning that time is a thief,

And I’m wishing this handsome young man with bed-hair

Could somehow rewind a few years…it’s not fair!

 

Though, better still, please the capacity

To visit myself in my uncertainty

In each parenting stage (once at last I am wise)

With assurances, hugs – more rational eyes.

 

It would be nice to think in my quiet old age

I could comfort my young self, sow peace through my days;

That the next time I felt like collapsing in sobs,

I’d be at my own shoulder,

                                           whisp’ring softly:

                                                                       “Good job…!”

 

I am getting this up on the blog at a ridiculously wee hour of the morning, so I must dash, but I’ll be back later for day eight.  Ciao for now!

 

[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!

 

I Cannot Run – #NaPoWriMo19 – 5

#NaPoWriMo19, Childhood, Mental Health, Parenting, Relationships 4 Comments »

Hi!

 

A foray into the villanelle style was one of the three suggestions to get me crafting today’s poem.  Not an easy task, but I had a bash at it!

The site says:

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.

I also found it described as having a rhyme scheme of: A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2   on Wikipedia, where the capital A stands for a repeated refrain, and the number after each signifies which of the two it is…

I went for the version that has 10 syllables to a line, too.

Anyway, all this complicated stuff can be explained better by just getting to the poem!  So here goes:

 

I cannot run, also I cannot kill.

This conundrum – it haunts my waking hours.

Why’s every word they say so freaking shrill?

 

To stay civil is taking all my skill,

All I want’s ten minutes in the shower.

I cannot run, also I cannot kill.

 

Our two having a Lego superhero adventure together on the X-Box (semi-amicably)

“I can’t make brothers disappear at will…”

(Thank the lord our tablet still has power)

Why’s every word they say so freaking shrill?!

 

“I do not have a magic wand or pill.”

“Don’t make that face at me, your milk will sour.”

I cannot run!!  Also: I cannot kill.

 

“Get down from there! No jumping off the ‘sills!”

“Flatulence is not your superpower…”

Whyyyyyyy’s every word they say so freaking shrill…?!

 

Their hearts and tummies never seem to fill,

I feel one day they’ll all of me devour.

I cannot run. Also, I cannot kill.

WHY’S EVERY WORD THEY SAY SO FREAKING SHRIIIIIIIIIILL??!!!

 

Did I mention that the kids were on holiday this week and next?! 😀

Hope you got a giggle or two out of today’s poem (I like the superpower line!!), and I’ll hopefully be back soon with tomorrow’s offering 😉

 

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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!

 

Habitual Army – #NaPoWriMo19 – 3

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »

Hi 🙂

Today I decided to revisit the (double) Tetractys style of poem, using both today’s prompt from the Global/National Poetry Writing Month site and the nine words Randomlists’ generator gave me. 

I like a challenge…

To explain: I wrote a series of 40-syllable 10-line verses (with a syllable layout of 1,2,3,4,10,10,4,3,2,1) around the theme of a story that unfolds over a long-ish time period and incorporates the words below!!

 

As

Always

These are her

Habitual

Army of thoughts: negative troops of pain

Hop between recollections, turning her

Neuroscience

Toxic. Her

Friendships

Stale.

 

There

Was once

This lovely

Man, one kid each,

A comfortable house…but inside she

Would compare unfavourably, always

Sure happiness

Was just a

Fatal

Boast.

 

The

Children

Grew anxious

The man: distant.

She would judge herself harshly but still strive

To paddle against their tide; switch comfort

For perfection,

Teamwork for

Solo

Ire.

 

Proud

In a

Tight way (for

Failure could loom)

She stored up stories to keep them humble;

Baked and gave. Inauthentically kind.

Good manners with

Smile plastered;

Practiced

Act.

 

‘Grand’

Kids bore

Grander ones,

That seldom greet

This lonely figure in her scrubbed box, with

More windows than walls.  She dusts their framed smiles

By the mountain

She’ll traverse

Before

Sleep.

 

Hopefully you like what I came up with, and it makes sense…!

 

Take care, and I’ll 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!

 

Gewgaw – #NaPoWriMo19 – 2

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships 2 Comments »

Hey there!

Ok, we are on the second day of Global/National Poetry Writing Month!

On the site, participants have been challenged to write a poem that culminates in a question.

I thought it was time to face the Jimpix generator again – it always makes me enquire about the 
meanings of words, 
ask myself how the heck I make a cohesive narrative from the fodder it throws up, 
seek interesting ways to cobble together sentences and forage for the sense in the chaos… 

(I have learned that ‘gewgaw’ means ‘a (particularly useless) showy thing’,which tickled me)



He showed me a new gewgaw

Auntie had seen fit to buy

(I need more tat festering

Like a large thorn in my eye)

 

Her ploy had worked, however:

Waylon cuddles’ had ensued

(He rifled through her handbag

With his free hand, which was rude)

 

Picking through the hovel-y mess

Past Ruscles with his bone,

I then tried to serve dinner (and

Placate my rage hormones)

 

Husband appeared: the magic sis

Hastening his commute.

Raucous chat over parsnips,

(A floor filthy from his boots)

 

This man, that boy, this avalanche

Of ‘joy’…!

My brain disjoints.

I wear this weighty wedding ring –

But wonder: what’s the point?

 

I got a flash of an open-plan living/dining room and a newly-wed woman with PMT trying to entertain – totally at the end of her tether and regretting tying herself into being a wife/step-mum/sister in law…

Where would you have gone with this word selection?!

See you tomorrow 😉

 

[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!

Fragile Pieces – #NaPoWriMo19 – 1

#NaPoWriMo19, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »

Hiya 🙂

 

The optional prompt for NaPoWriMo today is to write instructions in a poem. 

In my usual way, I have decided to consult the universe and ask it to…instruct?…me by means of a random word generator.  Today I used Textfixer.  It appeared to have a rather vicious agenda to begin with…!

 

If you want to woo me,

Don’t make each conversation a bloodsport.

 

Don’t escalate my voice to fever pitch,

As I bare each tooth

And scatter my fragile jigsaw under your menacing glare.

 

Trying to account

For the irregular edges

Takes all my energy.

 

Forever missing something,

A capsule erroneously opened.

 

This ‘white whale

That eludes even itself.

 

Tempt me in

With the fizz of your intellect;

Praise my efforts

To disguise how convertible

I know your fickle pleasure boat to be.

 

Does this read as instructions, or just commands?!  Spot the mixed metaphors too…!

 

No matter: that’s the first ‘official’ April 2019 poem done and dusted!  Hurrah!

 

[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!