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The Freeze

Day four of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a poem as a prompt. This is based on a poetry lesson I received in the past.

Some poems come to you on their own, 
Others need to be coaxed or dug out.
With the first kind you don't need much help,
The second hides in shadows unseen.

If you need to write a poem now,
One of the ways that I've found to work,
Is to freeze the moment you are in.
Pay attention to what's happening now.

Engage your senses one at a time,
Capture the imagery around you,
What you see can often overwhelm,
What you perceive through other senses.

Capture your experience in senses,
To bring the reader to where you were.

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Fleeting Life

Day three of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a ‘glosa’. This is a 40 line poem where each 10 line stanza ends with a line from a quatrain of another poem. I chose the poem The Wicked Path Of Destiny – The Death Of Mankind by Joseph.

A fob watch on a wooden table

I had this notion as a kid, 
The entire world is just a prank.
Everyone knows this very well,
They're just putting a show for me.
Most folks pretend not to know me,
Family and friends playing the key parts.
There wasn't anything to do,
I simply had to live with it.
Feigning ignorance of all this,
I walk the face of earth once more.
This line of thought wasn't shared much, 
I didn't need additional reasons,
To be ridiculed by people.
I let myself forget this thought,
Accepting the elaborate farce.
What choice does a kid really have?
How much can you stray from what's told?
My life was on autopilot,
I got by doing the bare minimum
a mindless puppet; my strings are torn.
Life goes on with new challenges, 
There are always things to be done,
There are people that you must please.
Your expenses and needs keep growing,
One must struggle to stay afloat.
If you pause too long you will drown.
The struggle itself makes your life.
Stay afloat as long as you can,
Till staying alive becomes too hard.
The creaky bones, the bad eyesight,
So is this all there is to it? 
Is this all that we're meant to do?
Us social beings form a system,
Tiny cogs in a giant machine,
The forgotten elaborate prank.
Where everyone play both the roles,
Both the system and its victim.
Put this way things may appear bleak,
We can't do much for each other,
Yet the chance to turn wrong to right.
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Day two of NaPoWriMo. To sneeter, means to take a short nap. The prompt for today was to write a poem based on an obscure word taken from one of the tweets of HaggardHawks.

Two people taking a nap on a table.
I've always loved to travel, 
Not just to see new places.
The act of traveling itself,
Was something enjoyable for me.

It could be by road or by rail,
Was it the wind hitting my face,
Or the rapidly changing scenes?
Or just the thrill of movement.

I used to notice how all the rest,
Did not share this thrill of travel.
On journeys that are likely to take,
Ten or fifteen minutes to complete.

Almost everyone without exception,
Would have their head leaning on,
A surface or just hanging in front.
A snoring is almost a guarantee.

As a kid I used to wonder why,
People often slept while traveling?
A few years later I caught myself,
Doing the same thing on an outing.

Nowadays I take a nap quite often,
Once I almost fell off a bike,
While riding pillion late at night.
Bumping my head on the rider's.

I've taken naps while at work,
Without ever intending to do so.
I take a nap every time I travel,
Sometimes I sleep while standing up.

I've fallen asleep watching movies,
A nap when there's nothing to do,
Is the most refreshing thing that,
You can do for yourself any time.

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Day one of NaPoWriMo. As the prompts get tricky, I’m not going to mention all the specifications here. Today’s poem is to write a prose poem.

Jiu jitsu fighters in a chokehold position.

I saw my chance and I took it. My dad was distracted, I sneaked up behind him. With this new technique I learned, I was sure he’d be defenseless. Grappling was how we bonded. We were always trying to twist hands, or even fingers.

My right hand went around his neck, and pulled him back. I locked his left hand with mine. His right hand was too far to be a threat. I got a firm hold in, I trapped his left arm too. He struggled a bit looking to counter. I kept my grip firm and kept pulling him back.

He was out of options, he’d have to concede. This time I’d surely get the better of him. He felt heavy, he was dropping down. For a moment I thought, that was a trick too. It’s the oldest trick that he had taught me.

“When you’re held from behind, use your weight, drop down, the opponent will have to let go. ” I had to loosen my grip, he was heavier than me and he had stopped moving. He gained consciousness as soon as he touched the ground.

His blackout lasted only a few seconds. It was a relief once he was back up on his feet. That’s the last time I tried a chokehold. An accidental patricide is a horrific thought.

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Happily Ever After

Day zero of my tenth NaPoWriMo challenge. This has been one healthy habit that I have been able to maintain. Today’s early bird prompt is to write a poem based on a line from one of Emily Dickinson’s poems. The first suggestion was “Forever is short”. With the enthusiasm of a prompt starved beginner, I thought I’ll go with it.

An illustration of an open book showing a fairytale
They lived happily ever after, 
Is how most of the stories ended.
The resolution to make us happy,
With the crisis gone, things will be fine.
Is the normal life always happy? 
Or do they really mean to say that,
Nothing noteworthy happened again.
The adventure was an anomaly.
Ever after sounds like eternal, 
Surely they can't have been immortal.
Yes, they do live on through the stories,
Where we don't see them get old and die.
The stories survive ever after, 
As long as they're told or written down.
The happiness that is forever,
Hidden behind a suspicious veil.

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How to Build a Dystopia

Day thirty of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a poem giving directions to a place. I chose to write instead about directions to building or rather destroying a place. This concludes my ninth completed Poetry Writing Month.

A woman sitting with a begging bowl on the street.
A woman sitting with a begging bowl on the street.

Do a few noble deeds to build your brand,

They need not be real, even stories work.

Observe the people who make up the place.

Classify them by appearance or faith,

Any strong identity marker will do.

Find the biggest group, find out who they hate.

Prefer powerless groups who can’t hit back.

Build a narrative, confirm the worst fears.

Focus stories on the internal foe.

Provoke them at every chance you may get.

Capture this foe’s aggression in stories,

Sell these stories to your captive audience.

They hate the others, they’ll want to believe.

Keep fanning the flames of communal hate.

Continue with stories both fake and real.

Add more reasons to justify the hate.

Paint them as traitors to your own country,

Keep doing this till that’s the only tale,

You’ll win votes and the keys to the country.

Pander to your audience, oppress the rest.

All of your critics are conspirators,

Backed by the others who want you to fail.

If you do this right, it won’t be too long,

Before your supporters become your fans.

They’ll defend you even if you keep quiet.

The worshippers will not find fault with you.

Nationalism and faith are your best bet.

The more stories, the better your appeal.

If you’re finding this hard to believe now,

You could find dozens of cases like this.

Where leaders still rule with an iron fist,

With loyal followers cheering them on.

Even truth starts to become subjective,

The courts will also look the other way.

There’s no saying how long it can all last.

There’s no easy way to make it all end.

If you find a way, I’d like to know too.

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First Time Flyer

Day twenty nine of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a poem about the view from a window.

An aircraft window or a porthole.
An aircraft window or a porthole.

I woke up after a short little nap,

Not really sure what I was looking at.

It appeared like a huge rock formation.

It was an off white, could it be marble?

How could it be that no one has seen this?

Why aren’t there pictures of this marvel?

This cannot be real, could I be dreaming?

Then I saw the edge and it dawned on me,

I had been looking at clouds from above.

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What’s the Point?

Day twenty eight of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a poem made up of questions.

Greek army observing their independence day
Greek army observing their independence day

Why do people hate those who look different?

Why are we more trusting of folks like us?

Why despise people who are divergent?

Why hate people who don’t even know us?

Are they from a different community?

Is it because you don’t like their nation?

Do they somehow lose their humanity?

Are they devoid of human emotion?

Do they not toil to make a living?

Do they not cry when a loved one is hurt?

What makes you think they’re so unforgiving?

Aren’t we all going to end up in dirt?

Don’t all of some come from the same mother?

Isn’t it time that we came together?

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On the Periphery

Day twenty seven of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to write a poem based on a word from the dictionary of obscure sorrows. I picked the word midding.

A baby elephant reaching out to another with its trunk.
A baby elephant reaching out to another with its trunk.

At times I miss hanging out with my friends,

Those times appear too far in memory.

Like a good thing, a bad thing also ends,

Triumphs and defeats fill up history.

I think of those times, around a table,

Sipping on rum as someone starts to sing,

Hopefully soon we will all be able,

To meet without worrying about a thing.

I stay at the edge of the gathering,

But close enough to reach the plate of food.

The active folks stay in the inner ring,

People like me relax, enjoying the mood.

I enjoy the spotlight once in a while.

Staying in shadows is more my style.

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Silence of the Sheep

Day twenty six of NaPoWriMo. Today’s prompt is to make fun of something using an existing structure of a poem or a song.

A flock of sheep.
A flock of sheep.

A few famous folks find taking a stand,

Fruitful, fair, and they even have some fun,

Frightened folks don’t cross the line in the sand.

Filled with fear, from conflict they always run.

They forge a face, a facade to conceal,

Facts, figures, and the foulest reality.

Foreseeing foes, they can’t fight or even deal.

They fool themselves feigning a necessity.

Forgetting follies, will foil the future

Fancy facilities give an ecstasy,

A false feeling of their fine good nature.

Will also fortify their fantasy.

They remind me of those fairweather friends,

Who flee from your side when the good time ends.