For NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 19 Prompt: write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even give directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem. I used bold text to show you which words I lifted from the prose to create the poem that follows.
This prompt plays out like a deconstructed haibun, using free verse rather than a tanka or haiku/senryu. It also reminds me of doing “black/white out” poetry. At any rate it is a fun way to create a poem. This is my day in day out. Wrote this little break out on my lunch break…back to the grind in 3-2-1.
I spend my daylight hours in a cubicle under a dropped ceiling fitted with fluorescent lights. There is a vent above my head that grinds and blows intermittently throughout the day. I believe that the stale air blasting is laced with dust and black mold from the shadowy crawl spaces in the upper mezzanine partly because I burst into coughing and sneezing fits when the HVAC system kicks in. I heard that the company decided not to do a mold sweep of the building because it didn’t fit in with their ever shrinking budget. Such is life in corporate America where the shareholders and executives are king and the workers are paupers, slaving day in and day out, pinching pennies from the company’s bulging profits. I would likely go crazy, perhaps I’m already a bit mad, if it were not for the floor to ceiling picture windows that flank the outer wall of my cube. At least I can glance out briefly, when my nose is not buried in a spreadsheet and watch the world drift by. It’s a small perk that makes coming to work at dawn and leaving at dusk, bearable. Sometimes, when I dream at night, I dream of dusty gray cubicles but sometimes I dream in color.
daylight in a cubicle fitted
with fluorescent lights,
stale air laced with dust and
black mold burst, coughing,
sneezing mold sweep,
ever shrinking is life, where workers
slaving day in and day out, pinching
pennies, go crazy. windows flank
the outer wall. I glance out
briefly, watch the world drift;
sometimes, when I dream
I dream in color.
I am a windy city, mid-westerner transplanted in this land of giants, a southern city nestled between looming blue mountain peaks. My home sits under a giant star on a century-old plot steps away from the site of World War victory gardens that have sprouted rows of two-storied townhouses.
I will likely breathe my last here in this place of contradictions; of backwoods red-neckers and modern progressive high-risers, old-timers and Gen Z’s. It’s ironic that I moved here to be closer to my children and grandchildren. I rarely see them, life and busyness nipping at their heels, but I love it here just the same. This strange place, with its lilac-honeysuckle infused breezes, evergreen spaces, magnolia trees and mist-draped hollows, is growing on me. My Chicago twang has noticeably tempered to a smooth southern drawl. Y’all come see me sometime.
pause with me a spell
where sunlight bleeds through pine trees
and mourning doves coo
we’ll sip sweetened tea
and talk about the weather
while nor’easterns swell
A Haibun/with 2 Senryu for NaPoWriMo 2018 Day 12 Challenge Prompt: write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.
I imagine words that become poems are like fireflies, floating in my head; flying embers, glowing amber-red, ever so briefly, lost forever if I don’t snatch them up, singeing my fingertips ink black.
shush, can you hear it?
the flicker of a new thought
becoming a word
An “Extreme Haibun” (55 words maximum for the whole poem) for Jane Dougherty’s Daily Poem Prompt.
Today’s word of the day is phub. Dictionary.com defines phub as a slang word that means to ignore (a person or one’s surroundings) when in a social situation by busying oneself with a phone or other mobile device: hey, are you phubbing me?
Wiktionary tells us it’s a word that was created by combining the words phone and snub sometime between 2010-2014. But we’ve probably been phubbing for a bit longer, even though there was not a word for it yet. Phub, they explain, was coined by Adrian Mills at the McCann advertising agency as part of a campaign to promote the Macquarie Dictionary by creating a new word.
Have you been phubbed? It’s certainly a thing. We are attached to our phones these days, what with tweets and posts and texts that bombard us on a minute by moment basis. And by game apps; those addictive,mindless diversions that divert our attention from everything around us into a strobing screen…just one more round…a win, at-long-last. I’m must come clean. I have probably been a phubber. I may not have intentionally phubbed anyone, but I’m most certain I have done it. Not that I can recount a clear example. It’s all a blur.
I think it’s a good practice to establish rules of etiquette in this age of pocket media devices by setting up situational “no mobile device zones”. For example meal times, forcing everyone around the table to engage in conversation. Remember conversation? You don’t? When I finish this post I’ll send you a text link to Wikipedia so you can learn about it. 🤪 better yet, here’s the link…CONVERSATION. Sorry…didn’t mean to shout at you. 😊
you know, we should talk
true friends don’t let friends flubber
texting is for bots
When…I’m old enough…I get that promotion…I’ve saved a bit more money…I lose weight…the kids finish school…the stars align…the light turns green…the time is right…I get that job…I retire…I finally get that degree…I’ve proven myself…the coast is clear…I’ve got nothing to lose…I have more time…I get lucky…I’m ready…tomorrow comes…
Excuses, excuses! Dreams have a way of slipping away. Because life…and excuses. Life scribbles nonsense on our beautiful clean slate when we are young. We forget, we give up, we settle.
But dreams don’t die generally. They’re still in there. It’s never too late. Dreams realized don’t necessarily need to come with the fame and fortune of our youthful idealized aspirations.
Sometimes all it takes is a willingness to just do that thing you dreamed of. Sing if you’ve always wanted to sing…alone…in the shower..in the car. Take that class, not with that piece of paper at the end in mind, but for the joy of learning. Cook like a gourmet. Travel…even if it’s to the town next door. Experience it’s hidden treasures. Every place has them. Paint, take beautiful photographs, learn to fly! And if you’re like me be a writer. Fill journals, notebooks or a blog, with beautiful words; even if no one reads them but you. It will change your life. It is life…beautiful…hovering…waiting to be lived!
Have a wonderful week of dreams realized. You deserve it!
Shi Sai Sunday’s Week in ReVerse – 29 October 2017
she’s in there somewhere
breath of life, thick
rouged red, lipstick-stained teeth,
longing to be touched
so tell me, who’s smarter?
when will this end?
this dark night of souls
embracing all of life
beautiful life hovering
A shi sai or ReVerse poem is a summary poem with a single line lifted from each entry of a collection of work over a particular timeframe and re-penned in chronological order as a new poem. Unlike a collaborative poem, the shi sai features the words of one writer, providing a glimpse into their thoughts over time. I use it as a review of the previous week