Tag Archives: NaPoWriMo2018

In my next life

In my next life I want to be a scallop
and watch you with 110 eyes

In my next life I want to be an octopus
to embrace you with eight arms

In my next life I want to be a hagfish
and love you with all four of my hearts

In my next life I want to be a sponge
to kiss you with all my mouths
– correction –
with all my orifices whose function is to ingest food

In my next life I want to be a crocodile
and bite you like you’ve never been bitten before

In my next life I want to be a sun fish
I’d produce three million eggs for you

In my next life I want to be a pistol shrimp
my snap almost as hot as the sun

But these things
don’t add up
I’m just a silly old cow
who can’t stomach you

A skunk
– blinding me
A hairy frog
– you’d break your own bones to create claws
A Texas horned lizard
– shooting blood and chemicals at me from a distance

I choke on your quills
move away
and wait
for my next life

I know I can save you





Today’s prompt was to write a poem that engages with a strange and fascinating fact. Some day during #NaPoWriMo I wrote this draft, and I figured it suits the prompt rather well. I’m too tired to invest in a final version though!

30 poems in 30 days… we’ve did it again. As usual National Poetry Writing Month has been an inspiration, fun, exhausting and full of wonderful connections.

A great big shoutout to my favourite #NaPoWriMo website and the people who invest so much energy in it. This is what is known about them (copied and pasted from the website):

“NaPoWriMo is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Maine. She started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project. This site was designed by the very nice people at 2the9design, who know waaaaayyyyy more about back-end coding stuff than Maureen does.  But this site isn’t meant to be “official,” or to indicate ownership or authority over the idea of writing 30 poems in April. There is no corporate sponsorship of this project. No money is intended to change hands anywhere. Maureen just likes poems and wants to encourage people to write them. The site doesn’t ask for your email address, or any other personal information. Heck, you don’t even have to give your name.”

Maureen, I hope you’re in as much awe of the beautiful effects your website sparks (creativity, world wide connections, personal growth, etc.) as I am!

In my next life

By Angela van Son


Is there no way out of the mind?

Easy answer: No
Problem: You’re bound to eternally walk stairs that neither go up, nor down
Challenge: How to find your way when there’s no exit?
Dilemma: What’s worse, to keep walking or to stop?

Medium answer: Possibly
Problem: How can you know if you’ll like it?
Challenge: How to find your way when there’s no map?
Dilemma: What’s the exact amount of out you want to go?

Hard answer: Yes
Problem: You might not be able to get back
Challenge: How to find your way when everything is the way?
Dilemma: Do you want to go on a road to nowhere?

This was today’s prompt: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.

I chose Apprehensions, a poem from February 1962. I took the line that spoke to me most as a starting point: “Is there no way out of the mind?”. The end result surprised me, I wouldn’t have considered this a poem. But it’s where the prompt led me, and I’ll accept it as my entry for today 🙂

Plath’s question made me think of a famous litho by M.C. Escher, Klimmen en dalen , that he made in 1960. His piece was inspired by an article by L.S. Penrose, a British psychiatrist, geneticist, and mathematician and his son Sir Roger Penrose, a British mathematician, physicist and philosopher of science. Their article, first published in 1958 in the British Journal of Psychology, was (partly) inspired by… the artwork of Escher.

Full circle – or perhaps full Möbius strip 😉

Penrose Steps by Alex EylarSource: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hoyvinmayvin/5518848101

A limiting condition

When she opened her eyes and said ‘I love you’, he wondered Can it be true?
When she asked for his hand in marriage he asked ‘Are you sure’?
When she said ‘I do’, he secretly thought I find that hard to believe.
When they lived happily ever after, he played Will you still love me tomorrow on repeat.
It was only on her death bed that he plucked up the courage to ask Was it me you loved, or just that I kissed you awake after 100 years of sleep?

The prompt for today was to write a prose poem. I’m not sure I’ve done that. I’m also not sure I didn’t do that.

No feature today. I’m in a hurry, and I didn’t read a lot yesterday. My brain just said STOP.

16.000 points

If I was to fail
once more
I’d fail you
instead of me

I’m done failing me
I’ve practiced it
to perfection
but never got
a medal

No gold, no silver,
no bronze
– not even single use plastic

My bends and bows (hops, jumps and leaps)
a perfect exercise
got me no reward
at all

I’m done failing me
I’ll practice
failing you
to perfection

I’ll win the world cup

I’ve been looking forward to featuring A Dark Day by Jennifer Patino today. It’s beautifully written and contains several gems. Like this one:
“time & I don’t acknowledge each other directly
anymore, we question each others’ existence”

Today’s prompt on #NaPoWriMo.net was tarot, by the way.

Heal 16.000 points

Bad man

You know I’m bad, I’m bad, you know it
He sang his favourite song
each time he undressed

The butler would fold his clothes
so he dropped them on the floor
chortling I’m bad, I’m bad, I know it

He though about tomorrow’s headlines
as he adjusted his ears, grabbed his crotch
and gasped Who’s bad?

– spelling had never been his forte –

Todays prompt on napowrimo.net was to write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Mine appeals only to sight and vision. Does that make it half on prompt? 😉 You may recognise some earlier prompts too: upending, and the human side of a villain. Together that brings forth this unknown human side of a hero…

I’m featuring Azimuth today. I haven’t figured out which poem yet, I like so many of them! Maybe start with Déjeuner sur l’herbe, which includes the crying offspring of a troll. And then move to Up-ending the gift horse, which is rather descriptive in its upending (* snicker*). And then find your own favourites 🙂


Warning label

I am a bunch of self imposed rules
that make me worry
that make me fret

I am an antenna
that turns signals into static

Don’t make me think
I’ll start

but I won’t stop

The prompt for  #NaPoWriMo day 25 was warning label about yourself.

Today I want to feature Big sleep by Christopher Perry and Barbara Turney Wieland, alias Johnny and Woody. I love poems with an unexpected ending. When you’re there, also visit Terminus, about the times when everything ran on parallel lines.

Warning label Pensive

Revoke access

I did not agree
to third party applications
so when I found out
he cheated on me
I deleted him

I slept really badly tonight, so I’m in energy saving mode. I wrote this one during #NaPoWriMo day two, when the muse hit me on the head and I wrote several poems in one go. This one was written after Hard reset and Proposition. Computer jargon was the inspiration for all three. Todays prompt was to write a hopeful poem about loss. If I had chosen that, I would’ve written about loos of sleep and having a great day anyway 😉

Yesterday, as soon as I read Fossil, I knew I wanted to feature it. Sangbad Mitra wrote a sound poem very different from mine. He incorporated sound to tell a story and make it not only visible (which the words do) but also audible. It’s concrete, rich, particular and yet universal. Go and have a look!


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