Day 20 — will these songs ever sound the same again?

Been reading some Emily Dickinson over the past 24 hours, so the layout of this poem has been affected by her typographic style with her Capricious Capitalisation & Extravagant Dashes. (I’d unconsciously kind of half-imitated it in my first draft, & when I realised I thought what the heck & pushed it a bit more.) Still in her early stuff, so the poems I’ve read haven’t really got the dashes working in full swing as she later did. (Which suits me just fine in this pome hahaha.)

obsolete soundtrack

it is now One Week —
since we Last Spoke
& I’m Bravely — Listening 
to my Special Playlist 

Made to Help me
get Through those
Bucolic Times when I 
was simply — Missing

You because we 
Hadn’t spoken — 
In half a day —
Or Whathaveyou

Not sure how
I’ll Make It —
Through these
Thirteen songs

— Ever Again!

Day 19 — you say you don’t like sweet things

A quick & tasty poem after a long first day back at work after my sick weekend. (It’s one thing to flesh up a poem over the course of several hours, then tweak polish & post it before climbing back into bed — it’s another thing altogether to craft one late at night after working two long shifts.) Despite that, I’m pleased with this one too.


cocos vox

if voices 
were biscuits 
yours would be

freshly-baked
Monte Carlos
with homemade
raspberry jam
& cream centres
if we’ve spoken
that day

— but more like
my grandmother’s
special recipe dark
chocolate biscuits 
dipped in even 
darker chocolate 
with mint on top 

if i haven’t heard it
in too long a time

Day 18 — promises unkept

Pretty self-explanatory.

fireflies 

all the things 
we said we’d do

long slow trips round
oz’s wide open roads 

revisit our favourite corners
of hobbit-country : discover new ones

christmas in talinn
a cabin under the aurora

form our own theatre 
company crisscross our plays 

round the country
take on : the world 

tell more of our stories
to each other

perhaps possibly perchance
find peace

but i didn’t even get to see : the fireflies 
down the bottom of your back yard 

Day 17 — Day 2 of the Festival of Grief

Today really is symbolic of more than just one loss: it’s a conglomeration of three anniversaries in one. The other two (one in June, one in July) grieve me too — but as they do not fall within Glo/NaPoWriMo they don’t usually get poems written about them. (Though the days of the FoG aren’t the only times poems get written or thoughts get thought about this topic). 

Given this month’s theme is love I’ve decided to deliberately include all three griefs in one poem. On the plus side, there are a multiplicity of loves on display within the poem, so it works on many levels.

Today’s poem is paired with one I wrote 28 years ago. It is included as bonus: an Easter egg if you like, not that you have to look too hard to find it.

advice from a fish

although today
commemorates
the first loss

you’re in countless 
poems, plays, story ideas
all three of you

for endless sorrowfilled years 
i wore your rings
round my neck

till they got 
too heavy to endure
& i was told 

by the fish 
for my own sanity 
take them off 

you knew too well
without the self-flagellation
of my despair

*****

BONUS POEM:

3 silver rings

around her neck
she wears three silver rings
on a gold chain
   & crucifix
one, a rose
one, a gallic cross
& one, all stars & moons

one each
for every child
which never was

Day 16 — the honeymoon is almost over

Northing much needs to be said about today’s poem.

the distance between us 

when you fly over it : really is extreme : but we’re talking : more : than mere geography : more than : dry flood plains : & barren dirt : for despite the multitude : of commonalities : we gleefully discovered : initially : it seems : different :: lifestyles : environments : modes of communication : (one of us : is loquacious : overshares ; one only gives : information : when crowbarred out) : risk-taking : bravery quotients : willingness to dream : desires for happiness : even : love levels itself

: mean :

since this morning : our souls tread softly : on the shells of grey : shrike-thrush eggs : crushing all song

Day 15 —  Day 1 of the Festival of Grief

My two wallowversaries are quite close together this year — Good Friday & Easter Sunday. GF being Day 1 of the Festival of Grief, ES Day 2. Each year I don’t know whether I’ll write about my grief on the date it happened or the day. Some years it’s both. The interesting thing about choosing a theme for the month is it makes me approach topics I’ve written about countless times with fresh eyes. Such as this …

to pin a wish

my only-ever astral child 
my first star girl
my free spirit
my whispered wish

only briefly tethered 
postmarked but never delivered 
addressed but never sent
never faded 
never dimmed
always present
in my heart 

would’ve loved you 
with my whole soul
every ether of being
guided you from child 
to woman as best i

cradled you
comforted you
held eggshell close
gifted free range
love love loved 

walked you down 
any aisle — assuming 
i could see given 
my eyes are waterfalls 
simply imagining 
such moments

the first wish i’d make
if any benevolent genie
ever give me a chance

my beautiful wondrous 
astral-only child 
my heart was torn away 
the day you ran red
down your mother’s legs

Day 14 — Papilio ulysses, the Ulysses butterfly

Lucky enough to see a dozen of these over the past couple of days. Even somehow managed to secure some photos which is pretty cool given how flitterfast they are.


bright blue symbolism

bursts of bright blue : electric flashes : which seem to steal : all light : from the surrounding air : just as it sucks : all air : from my lungs

wingspan as wide : as my hand : intense iridescence : for a moment : then gone

if love : was a colour : it would be this blue : this azurite brilliance : distillate of endless Australian sky : emperor of blue

the males : aren’t all that bright : being strongly attracted : to anything blue : mistaking mere colour : for females 

despite my best : intentions : i see symbols : in everything

Day 13 – my favourite myth about love

During NaPoWriMo there are a plethora of sites & groups publishing writing prompts to help poets overcome the terrifying prospect of the blank screen or page day after day for 30 straight days. I rarely have a problem finding a topic but I usually check out what the prompts are in the groups I’m part of, just to see if there’s anything that interests me. 

An Australian-run group called The Dirty Thirty’s chosen topic today was myth. The number 13 is lucky and scary and shrouded in myth. So today, let’s talk myths. In your poem, find creative ways to include the actual story your myth was based on. 

This is manna from heaven for me & I immediately thought of one of my go to topics: the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice. I love this topic so much that I have several books devoted to the subject & I’ve written at least a dozen poems around the theme; the best of which I one day hope to publish as a chapbook or suite of poems (as part of a bigger volume) called songs of under earth. 

The Death of Orpheus

after many years : wandering : ever-mourning : his lost Eurydice : Orpheus worshipped : only the Apollo-sun

one morning : at the Dionysian oracle : on Mount Pangaion : while greeting dawn’s rosy fingers : with his peerless lyre-playing : as part of his : daily sun god salute : the Maenads : resenting Orpheus’ refusal : to honour : his previous patron : sought to harm him : threw sticks & stones : yet the lilt : of his music : was so sublime : & so strong : the rocks & branches : refused to strike 

enraged : they threw themselves : instead : in a furioso frenzy : ripping : rending : wrenching : his mortal body : to shreds : blood lust madness : engulfing them all

when the women : who tore him apart : tried to cleanse : their gore-covered hands : the river sank : below ground 

as did : Orpheus’ shade : finally : to be reunited

Day 12 — more than a Ronan Keating song

Some relationships seem to throw more challenges in your way than seem completely reasonable. Today’s challenge: the possibility of a positive Covid test.

rollercoaster

surely the thrill 
of the rollercoaster 
(such as it is)
is that it’s only 
meant to be 
a wild ride 
not a lifestyle

Day 11 — some : days

There’s probably more things I could add to the list, but this is a reasonable start.

… are worse than others 

some days : i feel further 
from you : than others
so : i try harder
to bridge : the gap
with jokes : that fail
to do : their job 
create : moments
contrary to : what’s wanted
which is : to add joy
gift : happiness 
share : proper peace

with : you