Ah, I hate to do it. But I think it’s for the best.
I am proud to have made it to April 20th; given the momentous shift my life (our lives) has taken in the last month and a half, I am incredibly and sincerely proud of anyone who has continued to create, especially for themselves, for the sheer purpose of creating, and I include myself in that; I’ve not produced the greatest work of my life during the past twenty days, but I’ve created something every day, and I have a lot of raw material to work and rework and build off of.
All this to say, I’m dropping both challenges, both A-to-Z and NaPoWriMo.
I’m planning on continuing drawing, painting, and writing, but I’ve opted to also take on several other projects that, with the addition of parenting/homeschooling and maintaining a household, is making the challenges a burden rather than a fun creative exercise. I still have several ideas I’d brainstormed for upcoming songs (from A-to-Z) that I want to follow through with — it just won’t be on the work-a-day schedule.
Good luck to those still seeing this through, and I wish you all a successful final ten days.
The night after the funeral, I walked
Still naked and damp from the shower
Through the hallways of my house.
I lingered in the doorways like a ghost,
Shadows settling like dust in the corners
And crevices of each room.
I moved through darkened rooms by touch,
Trailing my fingers along planes and angles,
The familiar geometry of my life,
Stopping to trace the curves
of my mother’s mantel clock,
The strange organic prickle of succulents,
The skin-soft leather of our old loveseat
Where she sat, heartbeat-warm, alive,
Less than a week ago;
The sweet peach note of her perfume
Lingers like a sharp exhale
Every time I fluff the pillows.
My fingers twitch instinctively
Against the cool ivory keys of the piano,
Striking one lingering, discordant note.
It’s strange how much the same
This world remains, I think,
Without her in it.
Her fingerprints still mark the edge
Of the glass-topped coffee table;
Her slippers tucked under her chair.
These are the remnants of a life,
This is what we leave behind. I wander,
A ghost. An orphan in my own home.
Prompt Day Nineteen: Based loosely on the idea given by the prompt of a “walking archive.”
The blank page beckons
(By turns taunting and tempting)
Urging idle hands
To work in earnest.
I pick up pen, put it down;
Flip to a fresh page
For a new fresh start;
How my mind loathes a blank page,
How its purity
How shameful to sully it
I pick up the pen,
And, by and by, the words come.
Are they the right words?
Maybe the right words
Are nothing more or less than
The ones that you write
Day Sixteen: Off-prompt. I asked my son what i should write about, and his answer was “poetry.”
Strangeness on strangeness;
Why should his life make sense now
Amidst such chaos?
And if he’s honest
(Which is how he prides himself)
It’s not unwelcome
There’s a comfort in his warmth,
In the way his hands
Gently graze his knee,
Settle on his back to sooth,
Brush back errant hair.
And there’s a comfort
Knowing nothing could shake him
Like their lips meeting.
Life is so damn strange.
(But thrilling in it’s strangeness).
He closes his eyes.
Lips soft against his,
The scent of wood smoke and pine
And warmth inside him.
Life’s so goddamned strange.
Or, his life. Their lives. (Their life?)
He can live with that.
Day Fifteen Prompt: Off-prompt ’cause I’ve got a new OTP and I’m bad at traditional fanfic but great at channeling schmoop into gen poetry that makes people feel like they are definitely not quite in on the joke. Literally all I’m gonna say about that for now.
“I can’t,” my son says.
“I can’t. We’re in quarantine.”
The girl blinks, eyes blank.
“It means we can’t play.”
He fiddles with the doorknob.
“Not until later.”
He closes the door,
But peeks through the hanging shade.
“I wish this would stop.”
In the yard next door,
The girl plays with her cousins.
My son watches her.
Day Twelve Prompt: The suggestion was to write a triolet, but I’ll be honest, I fucking hate triolets. This was something that happened today between my five-year-old son and his next door friend.
Warring on my tongue,
The sharp tang of vinegar
And sweet chocolate
Back of my throat thick
With cheap chocolate bunnies
From the dollar store
From the tang of salvaged eggs,
White flesh stained rainbow
Gorging ourselves sick
(As was Easter tradition)
On eggs and chocolate
Day Eleven Prompt: Um… honestly don’t remember, ha ha. Did this one a day late and definitely went off prompt.
Waking to birdsong;
Diaphanous afternoon sunlight,
Budding leaves gold.
At my birdfeeder.
Days grow warm.
I stay inside.
Prompt Day Ten: I used the prompt to write a hay(na)ku, a poem of three lines with a one-word incremental growth in each line. This is a hay(na)ku sonnet. Also, if I seem to write a lot of tangentially quarantine-based poetry, I hope you’ll understand.
There are some flowers they say that bloom only at night.
Yours lips are flowers whose petal open only at night.
Your fingers press softly into the flesh of my throat.
Bruises, like garlands of bellflower, adorn my neck tonight.
You pick flowers for their beauty, not caring that this kills them.
You braid my hair, weave in fragrant jasmine that bloomed just tonight.
In the morning, you weave me a crown of daffodils and say I’m your queen.
A diadem limp and browning, withering fast in the summer heat tonight.
Sometimes I pluck petals from daisies and ask if you love me.
You tell me I’m yours, but that doesn’t seem to answer the question tonight.
Spring and summer make promises that fall and winter can never keep.
I reach for you hand, but you pull away. I feel a chill in the air, tonight.
Prompt Day Nine: Off-prompt. I wrote a ghazal instead. Also, didn’t post it yesterday, my bad. Things were a little crazy.
Button eyes, sewn smiles;
Under the seams runs the pain.
Each stitch, a heartache.
Fabric scraps and time
(Endless and empty hours)
Are her legacy;
Proud to handcraft well-loved toys
For their own children.
But her kids don’t come.
They’ve grown, have kids of their own
Who don’t know her name,
Of her arthritic fingers,
Or her depth of love
(Her depth of sorrow,
Should be left, she thinks, unknown).
She threads her needle.
From every corner,
Button eyes watch in silence
As she starts to stitch.
Prompt Day Eight: I followed the prompt, visiting @carsonbot and choosing a line to become the basis of my poem. My line was, “under the seams runs the pain.”
The trash can crashes;
My son throws back the curtain.
A band of vagrant thieves
Flee like masked bandits;
The teeth-chattering echo
Of their claws follow.
Prompt Day Seven: Went off-prompt. Today was so busy, I didn’t attempt until 10 pm when I asked my husband what I should write about for a quick poem, and he said, “raccoons.”