NaPoWriMo 2020 – Day 9: Perfect Day

The prompt for today is to write a ‘concrete’ poem, one whose words and space are organised to reflect the theme of the poem. I went with the theme of a prayer and a perfect day. If you squint hard enough, you’ll see the shape is reminiscent of hands folded in prayer 🙂


First, awake
to the sounds of
birds chirping, the lilt
of their spring song reminding
you of rebirth. Kneel in quiet contemplation-
yield to the embrace of the rising sun, let its light
call out to the prayer lurking in the dark places of your tired heart.
When morning morphs into the heat of high noon, cherish the beauty of the
cherry blossoms pink against the skies, and when the day slowly slides
into the bosom of the night, offer up a libation of red wine
for deliverance from today’s troubles. Tomorrow comes
tomorrow but till then revel in your perfect day.

NaPoWriMo 2020 – Day 8

The prompt for today is to utilise a line or phrase from a twitter poetry bot as a jumping off point for a poem. I went with this from a Richard Siken poetry bot. Here goes: 

We know
who our enemies are –
they are us. They are
the memories of yesterdays
bubbling up, straining
against the resolve of
today to begin again.

NaPoWriMo 2020 – Day 7: Lenting

Today’s National Poetry Writing Month prompt asks us to use a news headline as a jumping off point. I chose to go with the one about the chap giving up solid food (and subsisting on beer only) for Lent this year. Enjoy:

The body aches
for absolution,
for forgiveness
and release from
the weight
around my waist,
this man born
by past seasons
of surfeiting.
So I offer this,
a libation of liquid
to quell the sounds
of my inner monologue.

NaPoWriMo 2020 – Day 6: Calling My Daughter Aoife

Off prompt today…
You have taken
seven years to get here
each one a memory
lodged deep in the space
between the hunger
of anticipation and
the malaise of hope deferred.
Now as I hold you
in my hands, and see
you, frail yet strong,
you are Mother returned.
I call you Aoife,
for you have brought beauty
to our broken places

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 5 – Morning

For Day 5 of National Poetry Writing Month, the prompt is to write something aligned with “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” originally developed by Jim Simmerman. Here goes (very loosely interpreted):

The sun parts
the curtain of the night
its light like a knife
cutting through the crust
of bleary eyes.

In its wake comes
the sound of birds waking –
a mellifluous melody
and tribute to the
muscle memory of
the cycle of life
and time.

A reminder that
as day follows night
you’ll get through.

NaPowriMo 2020 – Day 4: Dream

For national Poetry Month day 4. The prompt for the day asked to write a poem based on an image from a dream. I chose to go with dreams as a genre of mental experience.. Here goes.

What if a dream
is the whisper of God,
his touch, light
on the shoulder
a word in the ear
of the worn and the weary:
Come drink, fill yourself
with this water?

What if..

NaPoWriMo 2020 – Day 3: Live Anyway..

For Day 3 of National Poetry Writing Month. Today’s prompt is to make a list of ten words, and use Rhymezone to build a bank of words for use in a poem.. Here goes.

Without a care
the sparrow flits
between the trees
oblivious of the need
to fret for bread
or bed but returns
each day to its nest,
its place of rest
from the coming
and the going –
from first light
to the gloaming –
and the cycling
of the seasons
as they decay;
birth and death,
being and becoming.

The heart bears
the weight of anxiety,
the pressure
of the need
to sate the thirsts
of the body
and the soul
for touch
and for knowing
and the gnawing pain
of failing and falling
and doubting.

In the end
we trade the caul
first for a shawl
and then the shroud
of dissolution.
So live anyway.

NaPoWriMo2020 – Day 2: Place

Place, for NaPoWriMo2020 Day 2, the prompt being to write a poem about a place. My old house on the corner of 3rd and 39th with its stubborn grass and red earth came to mind. I miss it! 

I carry your memories in my heart,
the bright tint of your red earth
whipped to fine dust
by the Harmattan wind,
the whistle of your tall pines,
the smell of your freshly cut grass
in the aftermath of mowing.
I remember the sound of cocks crowing
the call of the muezzin, piercing
the morning air like a knife
and cherish the memories
of small things, of peace,
of beauty and of simple days.

NaPoWriMo2020 – Day 1: Peeling

And so in the midst of all that’s broken in the world, its Day One of National Poetry Writing Month for 2020. Today’s prompt is to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life. My choice is life as peeling onions.

When it all
falls apart,
like a ball
of yarn
slowly unravelling,
the wind whispers
in my ear: this is
how life is,
an onion, complex
in its layers
each hiding and
being hidden,
drawing tears
as its juices
released in
a flash rise.
In the stinging
we remember
the promise
of savoury things
where in the present
bland things lie.