Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo2016

Always the chameleon

You, always the chameleon
hid yourself in the headlines
you were everywhere I looked
and no one noticed you

You, always the chameleon
hid in the small print
whenever a problem arose
you’d pop up, unexpectedly

You, always the chameleon
What’s the colour of a chameleon at dusk?

Today is the final day of #NaPoWriMo 2016. I made it! We made it! Congratulations to all participants.

I’ve visited so many lovely blogs with great poems this year, which has contributed much to the joy of this daily effort. A great big shoutout to napowrimo.net, for the interesting blog. Every day there was a new prompt, a featured participant, a featured translated poet and a place for us to share our work. I can’t even imagine how much work it is to provide this every day, every year.

Today’s prompt was to translate a poem. I’m a Dutch person, living in the Netherlands, participating in English. Finding the right words in English has been a daily (fun) struggle, so I felt free to ignore this prompt 🙂

I had a lovely vibrant photo of a colourful chameleon, but when I put it in this post it just didn’t fit. Not with the poem, and not with the banner of my page. So this photo made it instead. Less happy, but apt. Satoshi Tomiyama posted this on Flickr, under this license. I didn’t alter it.

On repeat

I couldn’t stop thinking about the things you never did to me
I couldn’t stop thinking how that didn’t hurt
I couldn’t stop thinking about the things you never said to me
I couldn’t stop thinking. It hurt.

The prompt for today was to write a poem based on things you remember. The suggestion was to include specific details, mine is more of the ruminating kind.

napo2016button2

Wounded angel

The angel was blindfolded, but she knew her fate

“Why do we bury her alive?”
the boy asked
“What did she do?”

The angel was grateful to be carried

“Why us?”
the boy moped
“I wanted Beelzebub,
not a stupid girl.”

“She wounded him pretty badly”
his companion said
“I lost money on that bet!”

I know I wanted to write a poem when I saw this painting. What I don’t know is how I came across the painting. Was it a prompt somewhere? Was it on the app on my phone called Daily art (highly recommend if you’re into art, they come up with both well knows and unknown masterpieces)?

There’s more I don’t know. Did I read A Time to Every Purpose Under Heaven (called A Time for Everything in the US) by the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård before I wrote this? That book is so strange that you can’t look at an angel the same way after reading it.

The painting holds a sense of mystery, so I guess it fits that my memory is blurred. I’m posting this poem for #NaPoWriMo say 28 in the hope that as many people as possible get to see the beautiful painting by Hugo Simberg: The wounded angel (1903)

Desires

I want my life to be spiced with Patti Smith songs and shaped like my favourite Henry Moore sculpture
I want to be as bold as Courbet’s Origin of the world yet as understanding as a Townes van Zandt song

I want freedom to be non consistent
productive one moment, lazy another
wise many days, stupid some days

I struggle with being the best version of me
I struggle with accepting my flaws and limitations
I struggle with boldly sharing my brilliance
– even writing this sentence feels yuck

I don’t want a freaking manifesto!
I want the freedom to create my life with the ingredients the day brings
I want to be surprised by the possibilities and at ease at choosing
I want to take the fresh stuff and the stale stuff and make a choice for just that day
I want the freedom to create my life, every day, as it comes

To create from harmony and dischord
To create from opposites that don’t attract

Each morning is spring time, alive with what hasn’t been yet, attached to what has been for ages
There’s oxygen, there’s light, there’s warmth
I want to be that suckling lamb, wagging its tail
I want to be that tender leaf, breaking from its bud
I want to be the sun, warming up what’s called life

I want
I struggle
To create
I want to be

The prompt for #NaPoWrimo day 27 was to write a poem with long sentences. This one turned out to have a life of its own.

Image source https://www.henry-moore.org/images/o_lh556_af460_0_0.jpg

Divine comedy

If life is a divine comedy
would we recognise
the wittiness, the puns?

The sense of humour of the gods
might be
Monty Python like

It’s day 26 of #NaPoWriMo, I’ve been decluttering all day, and I’m too tired to think. I’m so happy I found this one in a note book.  It’s from January and was never published on my blog. That still counts on a day like this, I hope.

Image source: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/record.asp?MSID=6468&CollID=58&NStart=36

Clinical interview

napo2016button2Enters the doctor, looking like Daddy cool.
Understanding look. “On a scale of 1 to 10, how do you feel?”
I don’t play his game. “Are we talking Aeolian, altered or augmented?
Sotto voce: “Tests have been standardized so that test-takers are evaluated in a similar way”

I make him switch gender.
She raises her eyebrows: “Subatomic, cellular or human?”
I like her. “Classical Cepheids, D–σ relation or surface brightness fluctuations?”
She could be a sister. A brother. A mother to me. A soul mate. A saviour. A therapist.

I whist and eye her brain.
She yawns. “10 gigohm, I get it. The highest resistor code.
I might play your game. Do you feel mesa, micro or mega agitated?”
Lord Pascal strike me down. How many candelas per square metre can one woman be?

I pluck my eyebrow.
Me: “You’re searching for an order of magnitude?”
She: “Not just anyone can perform a psychological evaluation.”
Meanwhile I’m wondering: On a scale of 1 to 10: how did I get here?

“Okay”, I say, “which decade?”
One raised eyebrow.
“Frequency?”
1 hertz

This poem was already in the making when I read today’s prompt: “Today I challenge you to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words.” #NaPoWriMo day 24

This poem  started with the question “On a scale from 1 to 10…”, which made me wonder which scales exist. It turns out  many more than I know of, and I spent quite some (interesting) time on Wikipedia.

I’ve tried to capture some of the possible dynamics between interviewer and interviewee. The power play the interviewee tries to impose on the conversation. The clinical language/way of thinking versus the thoughts of someone in, well, a different mode.

There’s a lot more I could say about this one, but I believe poems should be read rather than explained. So if you want to know more, read it again and see what the next reading brings you 🙂