Tag Archives: challenge prompt

a good place to die – NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2

a good place to die

it is folk legend, instinct some would say, that animals
when they’re close to death wander off, alone to die

the perfect house in every way, one-level, secluded
on a hill, girded by hickory trees and wild pines, with
back windows facing east, front due west, undressed
to take advantage of warm sunrises and fiery sunsets,
textured white walls of swirling stucco, a fireplace,
garage attached, front porch and back, the perfect house

it’s only legend though; truth is, animals as they grow
old or sick, faltering, simply become weaker, slower

like my life, getting to the perfect house, the place where
I most certainly will die – in polite conversation we call
it a retirement home, or a forever home, though we all
know forever is not really forever –
getting here is a bit of a
journey, one must leave crowded house-lined King George
Avenue where pertinacious neon blots the stars from sight at
night, then travel along sleek four-lane byways flanked by banks,
churches, restaurants, dentists, service stations, and dollar stores,
curving, rising, dipping, along the rolling Blue Ridge feet, to
two-lane, no-pass roads, street lights replaced by looming
oaks, that lean over the winding bends, leaves dancing
from the rush of air displaced by passing cars, further
still, a turn, and then another, to a single lane, in an
unincorporated town identified by county seat, zip
code from a nearby, more civilized town with a post office,
past wire-fenced fields of grazing horses, cows, goats,
llamas and donkeys, down, down, around and up over
streams and creeks bubbling in the shadow of mountain
peaks, my dented mailbox leaning at the crux of a sharp
turn, there up, up, up, the driveway, she sits, sunlit
by day, warm green shingles beneath a 50-year metal roof
it is quiet, oh so quiet, but for chattering birdsong, and rustling
squirrels, the pensive, silent gaze of deer-folk greeting me

in fact, there are observed occasions where herds are known to stop, to wait
for lagging members, injured, vulnerable, to catch up to the safety of the group

neighbors at a distance dotting the surrounding knolls, this perfect
place, sans of things that no longer serve, knick-knacks, dust-collectors
and the like; my children will thank me in the end, when left with
little to dispose of my once busy, cluttered life and I am learning traveling
lighter has its benefits, most notable is time for reading, writing, planting
weeping pussy willows, irises, climbing rose bushes, sunflowers and
wild flowers, perhaps a dahlia cluster too amidst hybrid hostas in
the most lovely shade of blue, erecting bird feeders, feeders for the
squirrels too, and a lovely spot for barbecues to share with family
and friends who happen by, I’m in no hurry yet, to die, but this will
be my final home, the roaming of my youth long done, how lovely just
to sit a spell under the stars, and listen to cricket chirp and peepers peeping,
every night, good for sleeping, remembering the road that brought me here

it’s not intentional, their falling behind or wandering off, inevitably,
ultimately, they become too weak to return to the pack, never to be seen again


NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo Challenge Day 2: write a poem about a specific place — a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.


intoxicated

intoxicated

you entered
my heart,
you, to whom I am
bound like
a drunkard to wine
I begged
to be freed
from your kisses

~kat


A Blackout poem and digital artwork for Mind Love Miseries Menagerie’s Sunday Writing Prompt inspired by the poem, The Vampire by Charles Baudelaire. (See below)


The Vampire

By Charles Baudelaire

You who, like the stab of a knife,
Entered my plaintive heart;
You who, strong as a herd
Of demons, came, ardent and adorned,

To make your bed and your domain
Of my humiliated mind
– Infamous bitch to whom I’m bound
Like the convict to his chain,

Like the stubborn gambler to the game,
Like the drunkard to his wine,
Like the maggots to the corpse,
– Accurst, accurst be you!

I begged the swift poniard
To gain for me my liberty,
I asked perfidious poison
To give aid to my cowardice.

Alas! both poison and the knife
Contemptuously said to me:
“You do not deserve to be freed
From your accursed slavery,

Fool! – if from her domination
Our efforts could deliver you,
Your kisses would resuscitate
The cadaver of your vampire!”

Published in 1857.


mind blown – NaPoWriMo #8

mind blown

I don’t believe I knew what “brrrblubbbballlloooobalub” meant when I was new and my vocabulary was nonexistent, but I’m guessing I liked it all the same, smiling at my parents’ funny faces when they said it… I don’t believe they understood what it meant either, but it stopped me from crying, so they said it again and again…and again. They didn’t understand a lot of things those early years, as they grew up with me and learned about parenting, trial and error being key…somehow I survived barely, moving on and out before they lost their minds…you think I’m kidding… I should have said, before my father put a bullet between his eyes and my mother destroyed her body with years of drug abuse and doctor tripping…too much?

What I meant to say is that I have a pretty good idea how not to lose oneself to oblivion, not because I’m any less neurotic than my parents…I’m afraid my genes are laced with lunacy…but I have tried to learn from their mistakes, spent decades vomiting words to therapists (with an “s” because it takes time to find the right one who is not a bible-thumping, name it, claim it, pray the demon out of you, zealot), gotten the right mix, the perfect recipe, for my anti-depressive cocktail of pharmaceuticals, legal, of course, and I have tried to be good, to be kind, to be a good listener, to be a helper, but not a doormat, and to learn to say no, to learn to trust, to let myself love another person, and to give myself permission to walk away from anyone or thing that feels wrong…it has taken me a long time to figure out I’m okay…

sometimes I let out a roudy brrblubbbballlloooobalub when no one is listening just to feel the rush of joy that bubbles up inside me, centering me in the moment, so I can breathe in and out and smile. I think I’m starting to understand what that silly gibberish means after all these years. Absolutely nothing, of course and that is okay…that is okay.

~kat

A prose poem for NaPoWriMo 2019 #9 Prompt – Write your own Sei Shonagon-style list of “things.”


no regret – NaPoWriMo #6

no regret

i don’t care to entertain
or name the what if only’s
wondering may well beget
regret, the past can’t own me

~kat


…and just for the sake of “if”, I’m resurrecting a free verse poem from the archives:

lunacy

if you were brave
i could tell you who
i really am
jot my truths and epiphanies
like a grocery list
or like laundry, wet and
beleaguered hang
myself out to dry
it is troubling…normal
doesn’t fit my vocabulary
or my soul

call me lunatic
manic or insane but
i have noticed
the same wind catches
some leaves of grass
leaving others unmoved

kat 2001


For NaPoWriMo #6 Prompt: write a poem of the possible, a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world, I am trying a new form I found. The Awdl Gywydd, a Welsh form pronounced “ow-dull gee-youth” has the following rules:
• Four lines
• Seven syllables per line
• The final syllable of the first and third lines rhyme with the 3rd-5th syllable of the following lines
• The second and fourth lines rhyme and the a and c rhymes can slide a little. Here’s an example:
xxxxxxa
xxaxxxb
xxxxxxc
xxxxcxb


photographs – NaPoWriMo #4

photographs

my walls are covered with photographs
milestones of my life, of family
silly, happy smiles that make me laugh
precious moments, captured memories
if you visit you’ll notice them all
framed in glass, prominently displayed
in hopes their subjects might come to call
and know they’re with me every day
faded images, collecting dust
it’s been several years since they’ve been by
i’ve haunted  social media sites just
to see what’s new in their busy lives
time moves on, it’s memories that last
my walls are covered with photographs

~kat


A sonnet of sorts…rhyming with 14 lines in response to today NaPoWriMo Challenge Prompt: write your own sad poem, that achieves sadness through simplicity. Playing with the sonnet form may help you – its very compactness can compel you to be straightforward, using plain, small words.
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