Tag Archive: NaPoWriMo

[And now for today’s prompt: Today I challenge you to write an abecedarian poem – a poem with a structure derived from the alphabet. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You could write a poem of 26 words, in which each word begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. You could write a poem of 26 lines, where each line begins with a successive letter.]

Making sense of the letters in my soup

As i gaze out on another African sunset

Black clouds gather in the distance

Creating the possibility of bad weather interrupting my highly anticipated view

Despair might easily set in

Except that i have chosen to rather be filled with hope

Focusing on the beauty that is before me and not

Giving in to the trouble that may lie on the horizon.

Hope lies firmly in sharing in all the good stories being created around me

Instead of listening to the cacophony of anger and pain rising up 

Jostling for position as to who owes what and when will it all just be enough.

Keep calm and breathe, i tell myself

Lest i, like so many others, get swept up in the distressed and depressed

Momentum that seems to be building up around me

Negating those things which would tell us everything is going to be okay

Oh, but will it? i ask myself

Perhaps i am too idealistic or optimistic or over-enthusiastic in my belief that

Questions the tide that seems to be building up so much steam

Reasonable doubt keeps me from throwing in the towel and 

Surrendering like so many who have sold everything and given all their money

To the people selling the plane tickets to the greener grass on the other side

Until you get there and glance back and are surprised by the 

View which lets you know that your grass was greener still

Where will i land on all this?

X marks the spot and right now that spot is beneath the very ground where i stand

You may kill me here but as the very first cut draws blood you will see that

Zuid Afrika runs deeply in my veins…


[to return to the beginning of this poetry challenge and catch up on the story so far, click here]

[Our prompt for the day (optional, as always) plays of our resources. Today, I challenge you to write a visual poem. If that’s not specific enough, perhaps you can try your hand at a calligram? That’s a poem or other text in which the words are arranged into a specific shape or image.]




of water

might seem to be

inconsequential but in

these times of incessant drought

even one single solitary drop of water

might feel like a tsunamic wave to the

person who has not seen any sign

of liquid refreshment for weeks

especially if you offer to place

place said drop on

their tongue

[To continue to the next poem, an abecedarian, where each line starts with the next letter of the alphabet, click here]

[And now, without further ado, our prompt (optional as always) for Day Eight: today I challenge you to write a palinode. And what’s that? It’s a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem.]

It has always been you

It has been claimed

This by myself

In previous Aubade,

That coffee was

The thing i dreamt of

When in bed i laid

However, when my wife it read

She was not quite amused

So like a biased judge i now

Consider me recused

You see, she’s always been the one

My lady, tbV

[aka the beautiful Val]

Who slumbers beside me

This “coffee” was a passing fad

A once-off dalliance

And i will make it up to her

If given half a chance

[a little p.s. i must add

if you could keep this quiet

you will know why and understand

just as soon as you try it

i have made peace with my dear wife

we’re stronger than we’ve been

as long as she does never find

my drug patch of caffeine]

[For the next poem in the challenge which is a calligram aka shape poem, click here]

[Today’s prompt springs from the form known as the aubade. These are morning poems, about dawn and daybreak. Many aubades take the form of lovers’ morning farewells.]

Just For A Second

as i stumble out of bed, you are nowhere to be found

i had hoped that you would be waiting for me

but no, yet again it seems like i will have to be the one

to come downstairs and chase after you

my mind drifts back to the last time we met

the sensation that ran through my body 

the moment my lips touched you

and how i knew that we were meant to be



or at least for a day

and then repeat this ritual again

why don’t you stay

why do you insist on running out

and making me pursue you once more

i stand alone in the kitchen for a few moments

thinking of nothing but you

and then suddenly something stirs

and you are there before me

looking way too hot for me to touch

and so i wait

time passes

and i feel something has cooled 

once again it is i who will have to make the first move

you give no resistance as i bring you to my lips

and once more my whole body celebrates our union

and once more just as it begins

it is finished

i look down

and you are gone

and yet i am the one feeling empty

as i ponder to myself

should i pour a second cup? 

[for the next poem in the challenge which was about money, click here]

[National Poetry Writing Month – composing a poem a day based on a prompt – Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!]

I, not Death, stood up

it was not death.
I stood up… and all the dead…

lie down?

It was not night for all
put out your tongues,
for noon was not frost

my flesh I felt crawl

 fire, for just my marble feet, could keep cool

 and yet, it tasted, like them all

 the figures I have seen set for burial

reminded me, of mine as if my life were shaven

and fitted to a frame

i could not breathe without midnight
’twas like a key ,
when everything that ticked has stopped
and space stares all around
or grisly frosts first autumn morns
repel the beating ground

 but, like chaos
stopless, without a chance
or even a report of land to justify despair

[with apologies to emily dickinson, based on her poem, ‘It was not Death, For I Stood up’]

[For the next poem, an Aubade, which i think is my best one so far, click here]

[And now for today’s prompt. Love poems are a staple of the poetry scene. But because so many love poems have been written, there are lots of clichés. Fill your poems with robins and hearts and flowers, and you’ll sound more like a greeting card than a bard. So today, I challenge you to write a “loveless” love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows.]

word unspoken

the unwashable grease stains beneath his nails
still there after countless washings
from that time he drove out to rescue you, midnight last week
and changed your tyre at the drop of a hat

his favourite jeans relegated to the back of the cupboard
displaying the splotches of paint he couldn’t hold at bay
as he ‘just dropped by’ that saturday morning
when you and some friends who never showed up were going to paint your wall

the old cellphone he pulls out to text his parents
to let them know he is going to be late
looks pitiful and ancient when held against your new gleaming smartphone
the one he quietly handed to you, when yours had slipped
and smashed its screen upon the floor

his face, after you have left the room
the edges of his mouth, shortly after you smile at him
the lingering he does at events that you attend
all speak a thousand times the word that he cannot

[For day 5’s challenge which involved a reworked Emily Dickinson poem, click here]

And now, for our optional prompt! Today I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Given the day, i decided to go for an Eastery theme:

Easter, in fourteen beats

An air of doom and gloom has descended upon the earth
Friday night’s unfortunate events made Saturday tough
People dull-faced like zombies trying to take it all in
Listening for but not hearing any sign from above

And now, on the third day, will it be any different?
Do we hold on to expectation or simply give in?
As we gather with our friends, there is not a lot to say
Til suddenly, a door bursts open, and, “I have seen Him!”

Can this even be true? No-one knows what to make of this
His closest friends have already taken off down the street
Peter is quite fast, but John overtakes him on the way
Enters an empty tomb with nothing but a folded sheet

A group of fisherman at night trying to catch some fish
An instruction comes from the man they see upon the shore
Suddenly the net is breaking, could this possibly be?
Will they be reunited with their rabbi friend once more?

As He bids His final farewell He reminds them once more
You will be known by others in the way you show your love
With this message burning in them, Jesus knows it is time
He can ascend with confidence back to His home above

[To continue to Day 4 of the Poetry challenge, click here]

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