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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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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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!

Imprint – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 2

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

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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Opening – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 1

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

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

#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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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!