OctPoWriMo, Day 20 (Poem 19)

ReclaimingNot in the head space to play around with this too much, but hoo boy, the palindrome poems are tough buggers.  Here’s one for Day 19, when it was a suggested form.


Fairness in life —
Is that unattainable?
Freedom inalienable,
Injustice obsolete:
Only peace.


Peace, only obsolete;
Injustice, inalienable,
Freedom unattainable.

That is life,
in fairness.

This is for OctPoWriMo, 31 poems in (ideally) 31 days.  I’m behind, but I’m writing!  You should too, if the inspiration moves you.

OctPoWriMo, Day 20 (Poem 18)

ReclaimingI was actually kind of liking this poem until I had to do the couplets.  This is the challenge for Day 20, which was stopping time, with a suggestion of loop poetry as a form.  Loop poetry, I think, has potential for me, in some capacity, but not with the rhyming couplets.  God, I’ve really soured on rhyming couplets.

Anyway.  Here it is.

Childhood Flies 

The days are long, but the years are short;
Short pants creep above chubby ankles

Hands turning door knobs, opening doors
Doors that are out of reach no more

Little fingers tying fly-away shoes laces;
Lacing my fingers through his unkempt hair
Hair cuts and lost teeth, bicycles and braces
Brace yourself for the day he’ll leave, too soon

I willed those sleepless infant nights move fast
Fast moves the future, becoming the past

I want so badly to hold him still and make it stop
Stop the hands of time’s impatient clock

One day he’ll refuse to hold my hands
Hands tucked in his pockets as he crosses the street
Streets I walked him down, chasing his shadow
Shadow of the boy I loved in every sideways glance

He will always be my heart’s greatest love
Love withstands time, this I am sure of

I know he will not be this young forever
Forever my child, a bond time can never sever

This is for OctPoWriMo, 31 poems in (ideally) 31 days.  I’m behind, but I’m writing!  You should too, if the inspiration moves you.

OctPoWriMo, Day 17

ReclaimingHere’s something interesting: I decided to do today’s “madness” prompt, so I picked a form called a paradelle (which has an interesting history, having been originated as a joke/parody form), thinking “I’ll probably hate this, but I bet it would be well-suited to the subject matter,” and… I kind of wound up really having fun with it?  Who knew?

Anyway, here’s Wonderwall  the poem.


Sometimes I Cannot

Sometimes I lose my words, my tongue grown thick and dumb.
Sometimes I lose my words, my tongue grown thick and dumb.
My thoughts whir around like static on endless loops.
My thoughts whir around like static on endless loops.
Sometimes I lose my thoughts, like thick and endless loops grown static.
My words whir around on my dumb tongue.

I cannot feel for the numbness beneath my skin.
I cannot feel for the numbness beneath my skin.
A tremble in my bones like cold leeched in through floorboards.
A tremble in my bones like cold leeched in through floorboards.
The floorboards tremble; for numbness leeched in through my bones,
in like cold I cannot feel beneath my skin.

My senses can’t be trusted, they only betray.
My senses can’t be trusted, they only betray.
A seizing pain in my chest the only thing that’s real.
A seizing pain in my chest the only thing that’s real.
My chest seizing, trusted in only my senses
(Be they a thing that’s real). Only the pain can’t betray.

My pain loops on through, like my endless thoughts;
The numbness a thing that’s grown in my chest,
My dumb tongue seizing. I lose my senses, tremble and whir like thick static:
for only cold in my bones, leeched in around the floorboards;
Only I cannot feel real beneath my skin.
Words can’t be trusted.  They betray.

OctPoWriMo – get in on it!  Link ups are closed, but you can still write, write, write!

OctPoWriMo, Day 16 (Caught Up)

ReclaimingToday I opted into both the form suggestion and the theme prompt, so here’s a terzanelle about “falling.”

Pull Me Back

If life is a balancing act, then I,
I have always been one step from falling.
I need someone like you standing by

(When I hear the abyss calling)
Who can pull me back from razor’s edge
(I’ve always been one step from falling).

Those days when darkness drives a wedge
Between my mind and reality,
Who can pull me back from razor’s edge,

And offer me some clarity?
Help me navigate the space
Between my mind and reality;

Help me square up, face to face,
To the ghosts and voices in my head;
Help me navigate the space

And say whatever need be said
To the ghosts and voices in my head.
‘Cause life is a balancing act, and I,
I’m not yet ready to say goodbye.

OctPoWriMo is kicking my ass, and I’m trying hard to kick it right back.  Link ups are closed, but please follow along and write if you are moved to.

OctPoWriMo, NaNoWriMo, and Inktober

ReclaimingTomorrow is October 1st – what??  Can you believe it?  After the shortest summer of my life, I feel like the new school year just got underway, and now you’re telling me next week we’re issuing progress reports?  What is even going on?

Anyway, I’m not mad, honestly, because (as we’ve established) fall is one of my favorite times of year, and one of the few times during the year I usually managed to eek out at least a little time to be at least a little creative.  In years past it’s been NaNoWriMo – which I’m doing again this year, though in what capacity (I’m usually a Rebel), I’m not sure – but this year I thought I’d also try my hand at OctPoWriMo, which is October Poetry Writing Month, along with Inktober.*  I know, when I get ambitious I go all out.

Challenges – especially challenges with a set start and end date – tend to work well for me, because they come with an established structure and deadline, and both OctPoWriMo and Inktober have resources that provide you with the opportunities for daily feedback and prompts as well (yet more externally opposed structure and a chance for immediate peer validation?  Yes, please!)

Adding to that, this year my husband expressed interest in participating with OctPoWriMo, which adds an accountability/competitive aspect to it – I don’t want to slack off when I’m up against my husband (yes, I know it’s not actually a competition, but it’s a tiny fire under my ass, so I’ll take it).

I’m excited to start creating, and sharing with you all – I’ll be doing daily updates throughout OctPoWriMo on my side blog, Rarely Tidy Writing, though I’m not sure if/how I’ll share my Inktober progress (I’m still feeling a little self concious about my drawing abilities, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.)

Who else is participating in any creative challenges this October?

*I’m not an artist – like, I don’t draw, can barely handle stick figures – but I want to.  Inktober will basically be barely decipherable sketches in Sharpie, but I’m hoping it will at least lead to habitual drawing, which might someday lead to me actually getting better.

Reclaiming Creativity: Bucket Lists and Mail Art


I know that I mentioned in my last bookhaul post that post-vacation, the nascent habits – which, honestly, had very, very little time to really take root – had essentially shriveled and died.  That wasn’t totally unexpected – it was too early in their development for them to survive such a massive upheaval as what wound up being an incredibly whirlwind week 1,300 miles away from home.

That being said, though, all the scaffolding is still here and still in place – I have my checklists, and a household that is still in decent (not perfect, but decent) shape, and there remains no excuse not to just jump back on the bandwagon.  Tonight I go back to my Good Night routine, and tomorrow I’ll wake up to my Good Morning checklist.  I also have a Breakfast, Lunch, and Snack planner (that I haven’t yet posted, but will once I pretty it up  bit) that I plan to start using to get me back on track eating right, and I spent a good chunk of the weekend at the gym.

So – Food and Exercise, back on track.  Habits, on their way back on track.  Cleaning, well, we’re close; we’re getting there.

So now it’s time to try to tackle some Creative stuff.

Ages and ages ago, on a now defunct site known as SuperViva, I was introduced to the idea of Bucket Lists – the things you want to do before you, well, kick the bucket.  Since then, across various services, on various websites, and in various pen-and-paper planner, I’ve been jotting lists of “someday” goals.

And then just, not doing them.  Like, at all.

You know the one time I kept a bucket list and actually made significant progress on several of my goals?  When I kept it on LiveJournal, and had actual people actually reading the entries, seeing the progress (or lack thereof), and holding me accountable.

So I decided to make and post one, here and now.  The link to the bucket list is here (it will also be linked in the nav menu!)  It’s not full of crazy or extraordinary items – just real things, big and small, that I’d like to accomplish or make progress on.

One of the things on that (sure to be ever-growing) list is to send and receive mail from all 50 states – it’s a goal that combines my love for hoarding small trinkets, and for making handmade cards and care packages.  It’s something that’s creatively fulfilling, because I get to mix, match, and make little pieces of art, and emotionally fulfilling because I know the person receiving that mail is going to love receiving a piece of real mail amidst the bills and advertisements.

So I went and resurrected my old profile on my favorite snail mail trading site, and found the first profile that seemed appealing – a woman in Texas who loves stickers, uplifting quotes, elephants, and bullet journalling.

Relevant recipient info:  favorite animals are elephants and penguins; they love their happy planner and bullet journal, and they like receiving inspirational quotes.  Pictured: personalized card (with penguin/elephant doodle), bujo/planner stickers, color-it-yourself inspirational postcard, double-side typographic art, two sew-on strawberry patches.

It is perhaps not the most artistic or creative piece of mail I’ve ever sent out, but after several years on hiatus, hey, I’m pleased with it.  It got me pawing through my craft stuff (which is the first step towards getting actual ~⋆crafty⋆~ ideas), and I know it will put a smile on the recipient’s face – and honestly, that’s the whole point.

I’ve set up a gallery to collect/document the mail I send and receive – it’s linked through the main navigation menu, and you can also find it here.

Feels good to be doing something creative again.  Hopefully this, like everything else, can be developed into an actual part of my lifestyle, and not just something I keep swearing I’ll do “someday.”