Dear InstaMama – Day Eleven – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Mental Health, Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »

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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Copyright © 2021  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!

Rappel – Day Eight – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting 1 Comment »

Hi

I hated today’s prompt. I awoke later than planned and didn’t get the time to really sit with the feelings that came up for me, either: 

I call this one “Return to Spoon River,” after Edgar Lee Masters’ eminently creepy 1915 book Spoon River Anthology. The book consists of well over 100 poetic monologues, each spoken by a person buried in the cemetery of the fictional town of Spoon River, Illinois.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. [from NaPoWriMo.net]

 

I scribbled another poem that was whispering to me, but it wasn’t related.

My sons barrelled in around 8.45am and found me staring out of my bedroom window with tears on my cheeks, and I couldn’t explain that my thoughts are with a friend facing her grief head on today, as well as with those the pandemic has touched, and my younger self, and with all the tellers of the stories of loss and pain I have ever heard.  Where does one start with that?! 

The boys were offering hugs, so I gladly took them, but it all soon descended into a drama about Nerf Guns (!)  (If you have seen the Snickers advert with the Gremlin, you will understand why Eldest is not at his best before breakfast!  😉)

So anyway, I had read the parts of the specified anthology that talked about the Pantier family, and couldn’t really get into it.  I wrote half a ‘poem’ before the kids came through, and half after they went to get themselves fed (eventually. Why do they refuse so much?!). 

I don’t want to play about with what I scribbled, I just want to post it up and move on.  I hope tomorrow’s prompt is a kinder one!

 

Welcome to the pit

Where my hushed bones lie in order,

No longer protesting

At my wasted energies.

 

Gone is the womb that held

Your beginnings, wrapped in my second born.

 

Gone is the brain we prized,

Gone is the perfumed flesh,

– my laugh

– my tears.

 

My spark is out.

 

How much do you love me now?

 

 

Urgh 🙁 

 

In happier news (!!) Eldest really enjoyed the Fortnite-themed shenanigans in the park with his friends yesterday.  It was lovely to hear our boys (Youngest went too) relating all their team manoeuvres and near-misses to both sets of (slightly confused) grandparents over the phone 😉 I’m so glad another mum suggested I booked them in for the event!  Poor Eldest never got a party last year for hitting double figures, but he’ll definitely remember his 11th .

We were also doorstepped by some friends later, and the naughty twosome gave both our boys presents.  I always feel a little guilty for having bestowed birthdays just eight days apart, but our friends and family are lovely about it! I dread to imagine what any joint  21st/18th party will look like, however! I think I’ll move out until that hangover subsides from them…

Take care, and I’ll ‘see’ you tomorrow 😊

 

Monty X

 

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Copyright © 2021  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!

 

Dormant Fibs? – Day Seven – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Childhood, Other Poetry, Parenting No Comments »

Hello there! 😊

It is Eldest’s birthday, he’s a whole eleven years old.  Not sure quite what to feel about that, but yesterday’s Harry Potter viewing went well and we all enjoyed our ‘cinema snacks’ too.

I have been up for about an hour (it’s 7.10am), the rest of the house is snoozing peacefully…we’ll see how long that lasts while I write this up 😉

There were two possible prompts to go with on the NaPoWriMo site today, and they were short poetry forms so I attempted both.  The prompt said:

…there are many…syllable-based forms. Today, I’d like to challenge you to pick from two of them – the shadorma, and the Fib.

It then went on to describe the first form:

The shadorma is a six-line, 26-syllable poem (or a stanza – you can write a poem that is made of multiple shadorma stanzas). The syllable count by line is 3/5/3/3/7/5. So, like the haiku, the lines are relatively short.

I actually wrote this first one second, but no matter 😉

 

I light up,

fill a grey room with

pencil-etched

spider scrawl.

What clarity I’ve gleaned here,

Whittling at my soul!

 

I love this pic that I took in our local park on 16th November 2020. It quietly says a lot to me.

 

There is then an explanation of the second form (on the NaPoWriMo site):

Like the Shadorma, the Fib is a six-line form. But now, the syllable count is based off the Fibonacci sequence of 1/1/2/3/5/8. You can  link multiple Fibs together into a multi-stanza poem, or even start going backwards after your first six lines, with syllable counts of 8/5/3/2/1/1.

Well! I am allowed to write a form one way, then reverse it?! You can see why I originally chose to play with the Fib first 😉

 

 

A

dove

coos low.

Woodpigeon’s

slow-stirring, ruffling

feathers in dismay at dawn’s light.

 

As I take pictures of him sleep,

my child transitions:

another

year has

blessed

us.

 

Enjoy yourself, whatever you get up to today, and I’ll come back here tomorrow with tales of birthday celebrations and some more poetry.  The menfolk are all still quiet, so I’m off to get this published quickly…!

Hugs!

 

Monty X

 

 

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Copyright © 2021  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!

 

Golden Cloak – Day Four – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Other Poetry, Parenting 3 Comments »

Good Morning!

I hid Easter eggs downstairs last night, and I am keeping one ear open for Eldest deciding he is just too bored to stay in his room, despite him already having had breakfast and been asked to amuse himself in his bedroom until about 9am, by which time I should have managed to get this all typed up.  His dad and brother are still snoozing, and I would like the egg-finding to be more of a family affair! Welcome to another day in the Restless house 😉

It is Day 4 of NaPoWriMo, and this was my task:

In honor of the always-becoming nature of poetry, I challenge you today to select a photograph from the perpetually disconcerting @SpaceLiminalBot, and write a poem inspired by one of these odd, in-transition spaces.

[from here]

 

I chose this pic:

and managed to scribble down two quick poems in my distracted state. Here’s the first:

 

Showing strange solidarity,

Whilst raising money (and eyebrows)

Queen Rapunzel threw her lopped tresses

From her former prison’s walls.

 

A golden cloak descended on the land,

Insulating her people

Through their harsh lockdown winter.

 

and on to the second:

 

Through deserted streets pound

Giant legs:

Two chasing four.

 

Four bounded

Two commanded;

Four ignored,

Two implored.

 

Four rested

Round a mountain,

Settling for a snooze

After a nice, comfortable scratch.

 

Two did not retrieve

What his golden pup deposited,

Did not stick around to hear

What the waking townsfolk thought of it…

 

I started reading The Land Of Stories series to the kids recently, so we have been exploring related Disney movies and talking a lot about Fairy Tales.  Does it show?!

I hope you have a lovely Easter Sunday, whatever you are allowed to get up to where you live.  Here (Central Scotland) there is actually a chance of a snow dusting, so we’ll see how that pans out when considering a walk later!

Keep safe 🙂

 

Monty X

 

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Copyright © 2021  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!

 

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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Copyright © 2021  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!

 

In Plain Sight – Day Two – #NaPoWriMo21

#NaPoWriMo21, Other Poetry, Parenting, Relationships 3 Comments »

Hi 😊

Today’s prompt was to write a poem along the lines of Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken. So, I came up with this, which leaves the reader to search for any other “roads” the narrator may be alluding to:

 

In Plain Sight

 

When she met him, she was hiding:

Toying with possible futures

From inside a retail whirl.

A newly toasted slice

Of utter self-loathing

Glowed from the embers she wouldn’t sweep up.

 

She was good at talking:

That mouth, when properly engaged,

Could spin attractive escape ropes;

Accommodate all angles,

Run far with fantasies

Until even she forgot their falsehoods.

 

So, they hid together,

Worked hard and “grew up”,

Bore new people, tangled with traditional roles.

Dishevelled wings fluttered from their piled laundry,

Followed her around, their offspring

Unravelling fabrics in awkward places.

 

Time squatted between the couple’s brows,

Encircled their smiles

And crept up their necks.

Something old and blue,

Borrowed from their intertwined histories,

Tapped at the veneer of “new normal”s.

 

Two prized photographs moved in –

Now reaped from the home

She’d never revisit,

From people she’d never re-hold –

Catching her on the brink of things

All set to rock her core:

 

The cosy coat of childhood

Still buttoned against the world…

 

The empty scroll of promise

Still clutched by too-thin hands…

 

Her older face, reflected, stared aghast,

Whilst he could see her happy, in the past.

 

I started writing this around 7am this morning, but made the error of going for a coffee break which alerted our eldest that I was awake, so it has taken until this afternoon to get it the way I want it and post it up here 😉 it’s so nice to wake up and know I’ve got a planned writing exercise, though!  I hadn’t realised just how much I’d missed it.

Hope you are all feeling good today, leave me a link in the comments to any poems you have been posting on your websites if you’d like me to visit.  Take care and I’ll be back here tomorrow, so please drop in again!

 

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!

 

 

 

 

Prized – #NaPoWriMo20 – Day 17

#NaPoWriMo 2020, Childhood, Other Poetry No Comments »

Howdy do!

 

Today, I challenge you to write a poem that features forgotten technology

Whispered the NaPoWriMo site to the poetic part of my brain….

 

I won it in a competition,

Got my picture in the paper

Grinning; with my hands clutched around the unopened box.

I suddenly had a source of isolation

In others’ words

(And from them…)

 

I could wander with song!

 

My Grandfather introduced me to the lyrics of Queen,

His neat capitals

On a black and beige cassette;

A gesture I really appreciated

Despite the sarky comment:

TO HER MAJESTY – THE QUEEN, FROM GRANDAD.

 

Someone had obviously tested

That my prize worked:

A Chris De Burgh tape

Was nestled within.

 

Grandad approved of him, too.

 

So: I went for many a walk, man!

Dancing in public was always a risk…

Maybe more smiling than grinning?! 1987, 9 years old, (I’m the one in the middle) having drawn a “house of the future” that was also a rocket. Mum said it was my descriptions of it that swung the deal 😉

Do you have a gadget that you remember fondly from your childhood? Please tell me about it in the comments, or link to your NaPo offering for Day 17. I’d love to read it!

 

Big hugs, stay safe, and off we go to Day 18!

 

Monty X

 

 

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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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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!

Of Volleyball and Meditation

Childhood, Random poetry, Relationships 1 Comment »

Hello 😊

I am a bit late this week with a post, time has marched ahead of me as usual. I hope you all had a good weekend?

The poems I am going to share today both came from my dabblings with the Randomlists generator on the 21st, in my writing session after my last post.  The first poem floated up after listening to some Mindvalley talks on YouTube (especially by Vishen Lakhiani) and the second just popped into my head from the words I was presented with, as often happens.   

I hope you enjoy them 😊

 

 

 

 

Prefer   Beg   Massive   Library   Stretch   Donkey   Guiltless   Sisters   Story

 

I prefer to meditate,

Then I feel I do not have to beg

For inspiration.

 

Instead, I am handed it

From the massive library of human consciousness –

Melded together in a new form

That seems a stretch for my mind.

 

But it is really the universe

That does the donkey work.

 

And I can sit here:

Revered and yet guiltless of fraud,

Pulled in the right directions

By a force greater than any of us.

 

Come, my soul sisters and brothers,

Let my story wash over you

And bid you strive for greater things.

 

 

 

 

 

Volleyball   Sheet   Calm   Jam   Lush   Injure   Collect   Next   Tempt

 

The smell of the ink

Made me think of long-ago Sundays

With my dad propped against the sun lounger

Hiding from our games of volleyball;

Turning each smudged sheet

While cultivating calm.

 

I would keep him company sometimes,

Dribbling strawberry jam

Down my t-shirts

While he pointed out the best football players

Or read to me a bit.

 

Our un-lush grass

Would see me injure myself a lot:

The smallest body

Jumping for the ball.

 

He would collect up my limbs,

Count them theatrically

And put me down next to him;

Tempt my smiles back

With sweet treats or songs.

 

It doesn’t matter how old I get,

Those memories keep me whole.

 

* WordPress seems to be messing about with the size and position of my images today, but hopefully you get the idea…

 

[additional pics are from Pixabay, here and 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!

Same Difference

Parenting, Random poetry, Random Short Stories 2 Comments »

Hello 🙂

I have been at the random word generators again, but this time I liked the words that Randomlists gave me so much that I used them two days in a row! The result was a poem and a story, which are below. Enjoy!

(As a quick note on the poem, ‘greet’ can mean ‘to cry’ in Scots)

Greet, thumb, trucks, supreme, damaging, vegetable, defiant, knowledge, cake

And greet he did:

His small, wet thumb useless –

Spat out against a hot wall of rage.

And none of his trucks were worth

Stemming the tide of his supreme ire for.

Didn’t we understand we were damaging his little brain

With our penchant for a vegetable-eating tot?!

He remained defiant

Safe in the knowledge

His tired mum would still bring cake

 

 

Greet, thumb, trucks, supreme, damaging, vegetable, defiant, knowledge, cake

He would always wave to greet them before sticking out his thumb.  Sometimes he knew who the driver would be, he’d been doing this so long, but not always. 

It would depend upon the company running the trucks, of course.  There were some who had strict regulations these days about picking up extra weight, or stopping before scheduled to and so on. He described all of this as a supreme “pain in the posterior” that was damaging his way of life.

He claimed that he had travelled the whole country beside one trucker or another – worked in various places for a colourful succession of low life cheats or miserly drunks.

He sat writing what he said were songs in a beaten up notebook marinated in the vegetable soup he always ordered.  The manager asked him if he could sing once, and whether his old guitar could still do a turn.  He said he’d give it a go, and we made good money on the bar that night – he definitely looked the part in his shabby slept-in clothes and with that defiant twinkle to his eye.

I haven’t seen him for a few years, however.  There were reports he’d struck gold somewhere doing…something…but no one I’ve talked to has what I’d call concrete knowledge of his whereabouts. 

So, I continue to serve cake in this lil backwater place, give free coffee top-ups and hope he blows in again someday soon.  I have made a pact with myself that I’ll tell him next time instead of making small talk awkwardly and hanging around waaay too much.  Maybe he sensed trouble and that’s why he bailed?  Mum has always said that’s what his father was like, too. 

Maybe I’ll just have to settle into the thought of wearing this floofy pink-striped apron for at least another year? If he hopes to wait me out he’ll find I can be juuust as stubborn as him.

 

And that’s all for today, folks! Have you been doing any art or other creative goodness recently that you would like me to come and experience? Please post a link to your blog or website in the comments below this post 🙂

 

[pics are from Pixabay – here and here]

Come visit the Facebook page and follow @ComfyRestless on Twitter

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!