Tag Archives: AprPAD

Ode to orca

oh orca oh orca oh orca oh
ho orca ho orca ho orca ho
ca rohor ca rohor ca rohor ca
orca ho orca ho orca ho or
r c-a r c-a r c-a r
c a-r c a-r c a-r c

or ca c
or ca do

oh orca
I wish I was m
like you

This is a sound poem, and it only works when you try to read it out loud (either in your head or when no one’s around 😉

I’ve never written a sound poem in my life. But yesterday (which means before our prompt was up!) this poem happened. I was in a train, trying to write a poem using the prompts from Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides. I had rather randomly chosen the orca as a subject to write about, but the muse kept quiet. I wanted to stick with my choice (I’m pigheaded sometimes) so picking up on the O of orca I wrote down Ode to orca as a title. Nothing came… Then I decided to just stick with the sounds and write something from there. #NaPoWriMo has done a great job in helping me write waaaayyyy outside my comfort zone 🙂

You can imagine my surprise when I read the prompt today: a sound poem. It’s no coincidence that I wrote this one after the last few days. When I struggled with the breaking-the-rules prompt, I though about the weirdest poem I know of: Kurt Schwitters Ursonate. A famous dadaist sound poem, consisting only of incomprehensible sounds.

Funny thing: I had only read about the Ursonate, and I believed it was the type of nonsense I don’t like (sorry Herr Schwitters). But when I looked it up on YouTube, and listened to it whilst writing this post, I really enjoyed listening to it!

I’ll link up to a radio recording of Schwitters himself in 1932 and a video of Michael Schmid performing the piece in 2011. If you first listen to Schwitters and then watch the performance, you can only imagine what it must be like to learn a poem like this by heart…




Attention seeker
peace of mind

Keeping it extremely short for today’s prompt, Narcissus or narcissism. One reason is that I’m still tired from breaking my brain on yesterday’s prompt. A second one is that I thought there was a different prompt, and I already worked on that one. I’m not sure whether I dreamt that prompt or if I read it somewhere. A third reason is that I’m a bit in awe of being the featured participant for today – with the weirdest poem I’ve ever written. I’m grateful and flabbergasted 🙂

I’d like to featured a fellow participant today, whose poem couldn’t have been more different from mine yesterday: Sam Allen’s Rebel with a cause, about a rebellious ventriloquist’s doll…

Bosch in Den Bosch


From my skin

I would like to get out of my skin skin yours out of mine It’s so tight tight so it is You see the narrow edges edges narrow, they see yoU-
Printed on my soul

: soulprinted I have no shortage, I do not have dreams

dreams I have not yours

Your shortage no have I
It’s just that – that just it

My skin is too tight


I would like to get out of my skin

skin my of out get to like would I

like a bucket that overflows

overflows that bucket a like

small rays

rays small
space space

more air

air more

informed informed

Really, I will not miss anything anything miss not will you, reallY

Really, I do not have dreams dreams have not you I reallY I would like to do it – it do to – like would you

for an instant -instant an for
I want to burst through my skin skin through your burst

Today brought the most annoying prompt EVER! It was called breaking the rules, and that a lot harder than it sounds. Every mathematician knows that true randomness is really hard to provide.  Before you know it, there’s a pattern. Breaking the rules was a discovery rich exercise.

I’ve been breaking a number of rules ever since I wrote my first poem – in English. I’m Dutch you see, and if there’s one thing I didn’t believe in it was writing poetry in a foreign language you don’t master completely.

NaPoWriMo has invited much breaking of my rules, in different was, just by providing prompts and inviting me to step out of my comfort zone. So I thought breaking the rules might be ‘too easy’.  Turned out it wasn’t at all.

You don’t even know what rules you have, until you try to break them – which is probably why the inspirator for the prompt, Alice Notley, started doing it. Or at least one of her reasons.

Some of my rules I discovered

  1. The poem has to make sense to me, one way or another. Silly, scary, serious, sexy… there’s much that’s okay. But total nonsense? Nooooo…….
  2. No different lay-out for the sake of being different, it has to serve a purpose. There’s a part of me that believes that playing too much with the lay-out is either a burden on the reader, or a way to veil a lack of writing skills, or both.
  3. The reader has to be able to understand what I’ve created, one way or another. Otherwise: what’s the use?
  4. I may not be boring. Chuckle, that closed a lot of roads down.
  5. I have to like what I put online, one way or another. I’ve tried to break this one, but I admit working on this poem until I liked it enough. Ironically, the criteria to decide on that were that I broke The Rules enough (the prompt), I broke My Own Rules enough (otherwise I’d still have felt off prompt), and I dislike this one enough to have broken rule #5 (which in the end means I’m sticking to a rule -> the prompt. Arghhh!!!! I’ve broken my brain enough now, I’ll stop here..

One thing I realised straight away is that these are MY hangups, and other people will have their own individual sets of rules and taboos. I would love to get more insights in those (yours). We each create or own barriers. All of us get stuck on writing in our own ways. I think that’s fascinating 🙂

Not even a real painting yet

You don’t even know my name

If I were a secret
people would look after me
try to hide me
whisper about me

If I were a secret
I would draw attention
I’d be cherished
I’d be held

If I were a secret
you’d want to know
everything about me
you’d keep me for yourself
you’d never let me go

But I’m not
I’m out in the open
you walk all over me
yet you never notice me
you don’t even know my name

You willingly share me
with everyone who happens to be
at the same place
at the same time

You move forward
without ever looking back
trusting there will always be
wherever you go

You don’t even know my name

From today’s prompt on #NaPoWriMo.net I picked up upon ‘compelling repetitive effects’. Or, at least on repetitive effects – if it’s compelling that’s up to you 🙂

I’m not sure how to introduce this poem, other than that I love it: https://thesilentcacophony.wordpress.com/2018/04/19/glopowrimo-19-30/. It feautures freckles and faucets, both in unexpected ways.

#That’s #NaPoWriMo day 19 done. Outside, in the morning sunshine. Have a good day everyone!

You don't even know my name

by Angela van Son


To the none

My mind will race you
to stay ahead

Darkness followed me around
surreptitiously, you never noticed

Push you to your limits
My own little death eater

Red or black – which do you prefer?
All of us will bleed purple ink

Only through voodoo
to be a pin cushion

Down, down, down into the depths
Your soul? I couldn’t care less

What will bug you no more
is my heart
it eats what it loves

Death by love
Had I not looked into the mirror
I’d see my own true worth

Shit numbers – strings of them
to the sounds of a thunderstorm

Say it now – and it will be heard no more


Today was the perfect excuse to get out Life, sex and death. A poetry collection (Vol 1) by David Ellis. The prompt was:

  1. Find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with).
  2. Use a piece of paper to cover over everything but the last line.
  3. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it.
  4. Move your piece of paper up to uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem
  5. Write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line.
  6. Etc.

The prompt also featured a lovely resource:  this collection of images of poets’ first drafts of their poems, complete with their crossings-out/notes. So I’ve made a picture of David’s book, and my first draft next to it. The purple lines are by David, the green ones were my response.

David’s poem called The Only Light That Matters In My World is a love poem, and it’s longer than mine. I simply finished mine after I had filled two pages in my note book. David wrote the poem April 2014. His poem is loving and light. Four years it sparks a poem that’s dark and heavy…

(By the way: my guess is April is not a coincidence, since I know David through #NaPoWriMo 😉

Many thanks to NaPoWriMo.net for the inspiration for day 18, and for the connections this month brings.

Death by poetry

When I read your words
I choked
on their meaning

Off prompt micropoetry for day 17 of #NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt made me realise I do not come from a line of storytellers. The prompt was to write a poem re-telling a family anecdote that has stuck with you over time. I could make one up, but I don’t want to do that. So, let’s focus on the storytelling of some fellow participants instead:

Bruce Niedt writes about Darth Vader wanting to make the empire great again.

Brian Ens wrote an ode to libraries – he describes a feeling many of us will recognise.

Flutterby wrote a beautiful piece a boy playing soldier. (Can someone please name the form for me?)



They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he fondled the dwarfs

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he provided the GHB for the apple

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where she couldn’t marry in white

They made him seem such a hero
but they left out the bit
where he called her ‘my immaculate’

She was no fool
She knew the ways of the world

She was no fool
She knew what he had done

She was no fool
She knew she’d have her chance

She was no fool
She knew she’d take revenge

One drop for each fondled dwarf
Two drops for every letter in GHB
Three drops for the wedding dress
Four drops for calling her Maria – the fool

He got a night cap
Every day
For the rest of his life
She lived happily ever after

Yesterday’s prompt inspired me even through my moodiness. I guess I upended it a bit, turning the hero into a villain. And the victim into a perpetrator. I happily blame/thank a fellow participant for that. Alison Dunne.She tweeted something that got me thinking:

I’ve decided in 2018 to keep a count of how many women are victims in the cultural stuff I consume, books, plays, telly, you know. Thinking of a catchy hashtag ? I’m fully expecting it to catch on.

I love altered fairy tales. There something about something SO familiar turned into something surprising that makes me excited, that makes me smile, that makes me happy. I’ve done a couple in the past, either prompted or unprompted.

Jenny Luddingtone wrote my all time favourite altered Little Red Ridinghood story last year, for the ‘poem from a minor character’ prompt. Yesterday she wrote one about the soft spot of the wolf – and she has a point!

Since I’m a fan, I searched yesterday’s NaPoWriMo.net entries for more fairtytale related poems, coming from the prompt to write a poem in which a villain faces an unfortunate situation, and is revealed to be human (but still evil)

I found poetry tales featuring these characters from the Northern European story book:
Snow White by Smitha V.

Cinderella by Charlene Delfin

Rapunzel by Vandana Bhasin

Captain Hook by N.K. Hasen

Loki by S.G. Liput

Please leave yours in the comments if you can add to the list. They don’t need to be from this year’s #NaPoWriMo. I used an old drawing of mine, for example 😉

Elixer by Angela van Son