Hi-ho Sijo – Day Twenty – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry 4 Comments »

Hiya 😊

The NaPoWriMo site said:

Our (optional) prompt for the day is to write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form. Like the haiku, it has three lines, but the lines are much longer. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise. For more on the sijo, check out the primer here and a long list of examples in English, here.

 

I found this tricky.  I wanted to write something quickly because I started late, but I had to slow down and think about how I was supposed to construct this Sijo.  How annoying, huh?

So:

3-4-4-4 (15)

3-4-4-4 (15)

3-5, 4-3 (15)

is the syllable pattern outlined in the first link the site gave me, and it has to go: line one = theme  line two = elaboration and then line three = twist and conclusion.

this was my first one:

A perfect, well-positioned, all mod-conned out, marital home.

Village life, four gorgeous kids, decent cars and a well-paid job.

Alcohol.  Covid takes its toll. Sudden lay-offs – depression.

 

Unfortunately, it’s clunky and cobbled together.  I had one more try:

In my tree, the fluffy clouds form pictures and sometimes birds come.

I stay still, listening hard.  It smells like rain and foliage.

My children call me down for tea.  I hid my pills by the swing.

 

There’s so much to poetry that I only learn through these prompts!  I like the second one better, but I’ll still not be winning any competitions with a Sijo just yet 😉

It’s nearly kid collecting time again!

Take care and I’ll ‘see’ you on the flip side…can you believe that’s me two thirds of the way through NaPo for another year?!

 

Monty X

[pic is from here]

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Ranty McRant Face – Day Nineteen – #NaPoWriMo21

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How Do?!

This was napowrimo.net’s prompt:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a humorous rant. In this poem, you may excoriate to your heart’s content all the things that get on your nerves. 

I’ve spent a lot of time talking/texting with another of my inspirational friends over the last three weeks or so.  Her commitment to taking action and working through problems is amazing.

So, what is getting on my nerves the most?

Yours truly!

It’s actually quite often the case, if I burrow down into my disgruntledness.  Endlessly boring, but there you go.  I wrote a rant anyway (not like me, lol).  It’s not particularly funny.

 

I’m sick to death of being ‘me’

the things I think about! I see

the worst that could go wrong, and yes

the grains of truth in every jest.

(To hear me speak you’d never guess

that I’m incredibly blessed)

I analyse the faintest hint

someone has found out that I’ve lint

where one would oft expect a brain.

My indolence provides no gain.

 

My reticence is in the spots

it shouldn’t be, and I have lots

of places where I should hold back

and don’t; so they then all attack

my sense of worth.  I talk too much

without any true point as such,

and think too far, but get nowhere;

hoard crafty stuff with undue care;

cry buckets at the simplest things;

hatch schemes that never comfort brings;

toil for hours with no pay, but

claim employment churns up my gut.

 

Watch all the influencers list

ways to catch up on all I’ve missed,

so get fired up, do twenty chores

(for which I’m usually too bored)

and end resentfully, in bed,

my pelvis aching, and my head.

 

But Jordan Peterson extolls

the best way to myself enrol:

it’s just to bargain (not to rule

as if I was thrown back in school

would even listen to the gist

when standing shaking cranal fists).

 

Just be fair (and even gentle)

on myself, and don’t go mental!

He doesn’t get my game is lost

before it starts, despite the cost:

Self-sabotage is waaaay too fun –

who doesn’t love a frantic mum?!

 

Just to underline some of the points above, this poem took so long to construct that I am going to have to throw this on the blog and scarper to collect the kiddies (I’ve done some housework today too, however 😉 )

Take care and I’ll ‘see’ you for Day 20. Byeeeeee!

 

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!

 

Catching Myself – Day Eighteen – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting 3 Comments »

Hello!

Hope you are all well?

The prompt for today was:

to write a poem based on the title of one of the chapters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. The book’s table of contents can be viewed using Amazon’s “Look inside” feature.

[from here]

I chose the title “catching myself” and actually wrote a few poems trying to ‘catch’ a thought.  None of them please me, but the below is probably the best of a bad lot:

 

I can’t trust my reality:

staring into eyes that are not mine.

Wearing dull clothes.

And a generic, pouched skin

(as if I bought it

with some giftcard)

My movements: backwards.

My motives: blurred.

Catching myself thinking: “that reflection must be me…?”

I gravitate instead

into the arms of my children’s chattiness.

 

I drink them in,

wishing 40 years could fall from me.

Running wild and free,

two madcap big brothers

showing me the ropes.

 

I’d still be a third wheel,

but I’d probably squeak less.

 

Annnnnd tomorrow is another day 😊

 

Take care, and hopefully I’ll get the rest of the week’s posts out before lunchtime each day as the kids are back at school as from tomorrow!  I can’t really believe we’re going into the summer term already, the last of P3 and P6 for our boys ☹ They are getting far too big…

 

Monty X

[author’s own pics]

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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!

 

Dear InstaMama – Day Eleven – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hi!

My poem prompt for today (see here) was to write a letter to a fictional or famous person and then for them to write back. 

I am a sucker for watching people give me their opinion on how to live a better life (particularly other mums) on YouTube and Instagram.  Most of what I see I really admire, some of it I cringe at and some I never subscribe to because it has a vibe I can’t really get with. 

At the outset, I will stress that I know these are legitimate businesses, I have purchased and read a lot of books (and enjoyed them!) from and because of people I have followed on different platforms (whether they be mum vloggers, psychologists, decluttering experts, crafters, TED talk givers, business gurus, artists or whatever) and I am always fascinated by the discipline and thought that has gone on behind the scenes.  I know it sometimes takes hours for me to construct just one blog post, so I don’t know how they can put out so much content and not go crazy!

 

Dear Mama,

Your pretty kiddies in a row

Your business – thriving!

Husband – jiving!

All your cupboards out on show…

 

Thick make-up, in a hospital:

a quick procedure,

tweaked some feature,

home again and chores corralled.

 

I see you smiling, through their noise –

Planned activity

“neat” proclivity

exercises ‘midst the toys.

 

Inside this blessed benevolence:

kids’ private lives?

exhausted wife?

No camera trained in evidence.

 

You – weeping ball of stress, unseen?

Insta-addicted?

Doubt-inflicted?

Just extrovert in the extreme?

 

P.S.  I do not ask in ‘hate’

with your work upon my plate

I’d crumble; so I ask in awe,

and really hope your human flaws

have space, are honoured just the same

as other mamas’ in this game;

This life of service that we have

You guys sure make look pretty suave…

 

Dear Monty,

Thanks for your interest

in us –

Oh!

Can you please invest

in this course, this tee, this new set

of homewares – oh, and don’t forget

my new book launches in two weeks!

(I’m so excited ‘cos it seeks

to change bad habits into wins

and all these other fabby things

So please buy…)

Oh, now, where was I?

Yes!  Your letter! I can tell

that your comments do mean well

but, really, I am one smart girl,

I’ll teach you how to get great curls,

Whip yo’self into fab shape,

Tone your abs, portion your plate,

Fix money worries, clean your house,

Menu plan, crochet a mouse

D.I.Y shelving, paint your rooms,

Find 15 uses for old brooms

And still get my kids’ outfits neat,

conquer my laundry, feed the street;

attend meetings, scrub my floors,

put home-made wreathes up on my doors!

So really, when you look at YOU,

Then all the things that I can do,

There is no contest – is there, chick?!

So quit moaning,

and pay me

quick!

 

Please don’t take the above personally if you feel I am trying to drag other people down, (though I see a lot of the first letter’s stuff posted in comments etc and sometimes do think it myself, depending on the video).  Most people I follow are very open about their mental health and how “imperfect” life can be vs Instagram or YouTube ideals, however, and most look at advertising as “icky” in the early days of them gaining traction, but then begin slipping it into everything and it becomes “normal”. 

Every business has to advertise, and this is just the new model of doing it that society has adopted in the digital age.  I fully believe these mamas work hard for the money they get, and part of me is cheering that we are maybe finally recognising that the act of child rearing definitely needs stategy and planning – which isn’t easy!

There’s just part of me that wonders if we are falling into a new trap with it all? Hence the satire. But I still consume a plethora of this content myself 😉

Again, who am I to pipe up though, sitting on my backside writing a poetry post, whilst my hubby and Youngest sleep in til past 10am on this truly Sun-day morning?! My Eldest is whooshing about free-playing in our ‘sunroom’ with some superhero toys, and the only childreary/housework stuff I’ve done so far today is: hugged  my Eldest loads, denied him some screen time, listen to his long complicated ramble about Minecraft – and put in a laundry load full of underpants.

Plus my hair is a mess

Take care of yourself, and I’ll catch you tomorrow 🙂

 

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!

It Ain’t Junk – Day Ten – #NaPoWriMo21

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Hello!

As I said yesterday, I’m now a third of the way there! It’s felt a bit strange this year, writing after so long away.  It’s nice to get a post out before the day properly starts, to feel like I’ve accomplished something for me, but I don’t know…it still feels like a tug in a dangerous direction?

My prompt for today said:

It’s called “Junk Drawer Song,” and comes to us from the poet Hoa Nguyen.

  • First, find a song with which you are familiar – it could be a favorite song of yours, or one that just evokes memories of your past. Listen to the song and take notes as you do, without overthinking it or worrying about your notes making sense.
  • Next, rifle through the objects in your junk drawer – or wherever you keep loose odds and ends that don’t have a place otherwise. (Mine contains picture-hanging wire, stamps, rubber bands, and two unfinished wooden spoons I started whittling four years ago after taking a spoon-making class). On a separate page from your song-notes page, write about the objects in the drawer, for as long as you care to.
  • Now, bring your two pages of notes together and write a poem that weaves together your ideas and observations from both pages. [From napowrimo.net]

 

Well, I chose “The Beautiful People” by Marylin Manson 😉 because who doesn’t need some industrial/alternative metal to listen to before 7am?! This song was one I was introduced to around the time I decided to go do a University Access Course (at the age of 20).  I was hanging around with some 2nd year students that were friends with a flatmate that the letting agency had thrown into my life.  They signed me into the student union before I even got my own card, and there were glorious rock nights!

This song brings them all back, and that feeling of being in a bubble from life where we circulated thoughts and theories and dress rules were broken, but it was ok because we were young and intelligent and could write/speak our way out of most things…

It’s weird to me that there are so many milestones that I haven’t recorded about my own life.  I really should be my intrepid biographer, using this so-called love I have for writing to document my time on this planet.  But it wasn’t until I ‘had a Google’ that I re-learned that my graduation day was the 3rd of July 2003.  As I had spent the best part of 5 years prior to that aiming for it (not to mention the 13 years of schooling 1982-95), you would think I would be smiling at that date every time it appeared on my calendar. 

But no. 

I had an inkling by then that my intended launch from it into High School teaching wasn’t for me, and I kind of slunk through it all in my head, feeling adrift again. Like I had, in reality, failed. 

The associations with the groups of friends I had accumulated dulled afterwards because it was as if I had broken the covenant that was between us: that we would talk trash and pretend we could be this way forever, but still emerge with degrees and take our places in society with growing modicums of respectability, etc etc.

But hey, the song also reminds me of the early days with Hubby, whom I met on 27th of March 2005, less than two years after I graduated.  We listen to a lot of rock in the car even now. Plus we’ve made two cool little people, and weathered all the ups and downs before and after, so there’s that 😉

Anyway, I have taken a pic of our kitchen junk drawer and I’m sure, if you look hard enough, you can see how heavily my poem is based on its contents!

 

IT AIN’T JUNK

 

Let’s cut up a dance floor

with our bag of bands –

from rock, to cheese, and back

we’ll measure out our alcohol trips.

 

Stick our photos in albums,

string our past along with us

through permanent mistakes

and marked successes.

 

The best days of our lives

form on us like lint

whenever life tries to brush us off.

 

We’ve no instructions, but

our memories are beautiful.

 

It’s getting late and the kids are wanting to watch something with me (I’ve wandered away from  this write-up loads and Hubby has returned from his Saturday morning foodshop already) so I’m offsky til tomorrow…take care of yourselves 🙂 

 

Monty X

 

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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!

 

Torch – Day Six – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry 2 Comments »

Hi!

The plan for today is for us all to watch Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on our home projector, with popcorn and Schloer.  Then there shall be hot dogs at lunchtime, liberally spread with tomato sauce.  This originally was to be tomorrow’s birthday treat, chosen by our soon-to-be-11-year-old  Eldest, but we are hoping for him to get to an event in the park tomorrow with his friends and little brother instead 😊 I am so glad we live in an age of being able to buy films to stream directly to our devices so I didn’t have to go and try and source it at Video Drive In…!

I got up about 7am this morning and I’m hoping to get this all typed up by 9am so that I can go and sort stuff out in the livingroom. So my poems today have again been kept short!

 

This prompt, which comes from Holly Lyn Walrath, is pretty simple. As she explains it here:

Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.

[from NaPoWriMo]

 

One of the first fantasy novels I ever read was The Awakeners by Sheri S Tepper.  I need to reread it because I really enjoyed it.  Hubby has been using it’s bulk to raise his stand for his work phone, so I had a flick.  Near the bottom of page 405 (in the 1989 Corgi edition) there is the line: They searched by torchlight.  So I went with that. 

(I divided what I wrote into two separate pieces because they didn’t feel right as one, although related)

SPACES ARE TWISTED BY DARKNESS

 

Crawling about on unkempt floors,

we two forage

for truth in dusty places.

 

Multi-headed things

gasp in unswept corners,

throw up many arms

against the intensity of our glare.

 

 

TORCH

 

Seize all the files!

Blot out my name,

rent my biography.

 

You beam in my beam,

I wake in your wake,

we’ll break if we brake.

 

Ok, that’s all for just now, I hope you are doing well and you’ll come back here to see me tomorrow 😊

 

Monty X

 

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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!

 

Hearken – Day Five – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Random poetry, Relationships 2 Comments »

Happy Easter Monday!

This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem… [from here]

I had a Google, and ended up choosing this poem:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by W I L D E R (@wilderpoetry)

[above should be a picture of Wilder’s poem that starts “some things are left unsaid” from her collection entitled Nocturnal]

I first found this picture on Pinterest, and then followed it back to Instagram.  I really love the poet’s style and all the art that goes with her poems.  She has notebooks and journals out too, I feel I am going to have to investigate if I can buy some of her merch on the UK Amazon…!

Wilder’s poem has 8 lines and follows a 6,8,7,8,5,5,7,7 syllable pattern.  As it was in the prompt to reuse the first letter of each line, I took it as an excuse to incorporate alliterative play 😉

 

Sequestered suppressed slice

languishes listlessly; leaving

worryful whispers winding

behind baleful banality.

Time tendrils taughten.

Masks, make-up, make-do

leeching lustre, lessening.

Youth yields. Yesteryears yellow.

 

After I wrote the above (and walked down to my kitchen to meet reality, etc) I thought that maybe the poem warranted a different level of “play”.  So I looked closer, and went on to write:

 

some creature shirks the light

like yearned dreamscapes maddeningly

waiting out unconsciousness,

but I will hearken back and feel

the world’s cruel folds and

me once razor-edged

like there could be beauty here

you wanted to return to.

 

I think the second one fits the prompt better? I use the whole words that the poet began with, and the lines are around the same length as Wilder’s, too. I kept the syllables straight for each line, and played a bit with her imagery, but I know there is more I could have done with running the ‘creature’ and ‘dream’ theme through the whole piece.  Anyway, with all my word-wrangling, kid-soothing and keyboard-tapping it is now lunchtime, so I’d better go…

Hope you are well, and I’ll meet you here tomorrow!

 

Monty X

 

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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!

My Universal Truth – Day Three – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting, Random poetry, Relationships No Comments »

Howdy-doody-oh?!

Welcome to day three, where the prompt asked me to spend quite a bit of time setting up the material for my poem:

Today, I’d like to challenge you to make a “Personal Universal Deck,” and then to write a poem using it. The idea of the “Personal Universal Deck” originated with the poet and playwright Michael McClure, who gave the project of creating such decks to his students in a 1976 lecture at Naropa University. Basically, you will need 50 index cards or small pieces of paper, and on them, you will write 100 words (one on the front and one on the back of each card/paper) using the rules found here.

If you follow the link in the quote above, you will see why the rules necessitated me getting a good chunk of time to myself.  Indeed, number 11 even reads:

Select the words in isolation, preferably alone, with no distractions, in candlelight. Approximate a meditative state. Even the cat must not bother you.

 Well, I don’t have a cat, but I do have an Eldest son.  He could be heard rustling about in his brother’s room at 6.38am this morning.  Upon being questioned (and informed of the time), he rolled his eyes and told me in a not-so-inside voice that he was searching for a book.  He then proceeded to flounce back into his own room (with a few rumpled pages of a comic), complaining of a sore throat, promising that if some honey was administered, he’d go back to sleep (which he categorically did not do) and generally felt slighted that he couldn’t barge into others’ rooms whenever he chose!  My morning only went downhill from there, and so here I am rushing to get my laptop free of my tappings before Youngest commandeers it for his Fortnite forays at 3pm.  

How dare I try and carve out some morning quiet time to be creative?!

Having made my deck of words and roped Youngest into drawing me out 9 cards at lunchtime (Eldest was still in no mood to participate) I finally had all I needed to compose my poem. 

It took me about seven minutes to write. 

I wonder why…?! 😉

 

 

Violent, Breathe, Envelop, Loquacious, Connect, Geometry, Tactile, Yarn, Silky

 

Violent protests meet my small attempts to breathe.

We envelop them in love,

Only to suffer their loquacious assaults.

I had thought my striving to connect

Would mean they understood me, too.

(It seemed just simple geometry

A tactile  triangle of fulfilled needs?)

But my intertwining of words

Is not seen to be as worthy

As, say, my playing with yarn;

That wooly/silky/squishy/fuzzy/touchy-feely stuff

Is OBVIOUSLY good…

 

 

**Sigh**

 

Big hugs, and I’ll catch you tomorrow 😉

 

Monty X

 

 

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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

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Relationships No Comments »

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!