GloPoWriMo

I, Weary Traveller

Each day pens more detail
In the story of my life
Its ups and its downs
Its trivia and melodrama
Yet I hold no power
As an author’s quill does
No choice as the reader might exert
Unable to skip chapters
Or jump to the epilogue
I journey slowly through the story
Weary burdened traveller,
Stepping from page to page
Annotating the facts of the past
With no foresight of future lines

The NaPoWriMo.net challenge for Day 29 of Na/GloPoWriMo2017 was to take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it; then spend five minutes free-writing associations – other nouns, adjectives, etc. and use your original word and the results of your free-writing as the building blocks for a new poem.

I drew the word ‘traveller’ from one of my favourite poems, ‘The Listeners’ by Walter de la Mere.

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The Wall Crumbles Still #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

Of history’s walls
None proved more ineffective
Save to rally mobs

Obsolete as built
Unfit for useful purpose
Divisive folly

The wall crumbles still
Allegorical symbol
Relic of its age

For Day 26 of Na/GloPoWriMo2017, NaPoWriMo.net challenges us to consider what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today’s poems should seek answer that question, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist.

The Beasts of Caerbannog #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

The most foul, cruel,
Bad-tempered rodents
Any knight ever set eyes upon;
These rabbits had a vicious streak a mile wide:
Born killers!
Baring huge, sharp . . . ,
Able to leap about . . . ,
Behold the strewn bones!
Enter their realm, trembling,
Besmirched with fear . . .
Then, run away!

Day 24 of Na/GloPoWriMo and today’s NaPoWriMo.net challenge is to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. The additional challenge was to base the poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. This quadrille poem (44 words) draws on the images displayed which seem to have featured in the margins of bibles, and is inspired by the art of Terry Gilliam, and a scene from one of my favourite films of all time, Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

Ni.

St George’s Day #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

George
No knight
Certainly not English
No slayer of dragons
Myth

George
A saint
Born in Lydda
Martyred for his faith
Truth

For Day 23 of Na/GloPoWriMo, Gloria Gonsalves provides the NaPoWriMo.net challenge – to write a double elevenie. It was suggested that it might be fun to try to write the double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.

This second effort was inspired by today being the day we remember George, patron saint of England. You can read more about his story here.

An elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all.

Fear and Faith #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

Fear
A thief
Accomplice of doubt
Stealing away from me
Resignation

Faith
A gift
Given by grace
Saving me from myself
Affirmation

For Day 23 of Na/GloPoWriMo, Gloria Gonsalves provides the NaPoWriMo.net challenge – to write a double elevenie. It was suggested that it might be fun to try to write the double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.

An elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all.

Sharing the Fruits of our Labour #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

For six years sow your fields
and harvest the crops,
During the seventh
let them lie unploughed and unused;
Do the same with your vineyards
and your olive groves;
Then the poor among your people
may get food from it,
And the wild animals
may eat what is left;
For the seventh year is to be
a year of sabbath rest,
A sabbath to the Lord.

When you reap the harvest
of your land,
Do not reap to the very edges
of the field,
Nor gather the gleanings
of your harvest.
Do not go over your vineyard
a second time,
Nor pick up the grapes
that have fallen:
Leave them for the poor
and the foreigner.
I am the Lord your God.

The Na/GloPoWriMo Day 22 prompt at NaPoWriMo.net challenge us to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales. The georgic can be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.

The lines above draw inspiration from the laws given to Israel and recorded in the bible’s Old Testament books of Exodus and Leviticus.

The Land Remains Beautiful

Cursed after the fall
The land remains beautiful
Restoration signs

A new Heaven and new Earth
The hand of the Creator

To Adam he said, ‘Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, “You must not eat from it,” ‘Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.
– Genesis 3:17

Then I saw ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.
– Revelation 21:1

written in response to this week’s RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt (Challenge #145) – “Beautiful” and “Curse”

Be Blessed #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

Upon the mountainside
I listened to the Teacher
. . .
“Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth”
I’m meek as meek as they come, me
I could do with inheriting the earth

. . .
“Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy”
I show mercy when it’s deserved
I certainly deserve some myself

. . .
“Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called children of God”
There’s no question, I’m a man of peace
(I dare anyone to say I’m not)

. . .
Whoever has ears let him hear
so to receive the truth
Whoever has eyes let him see
through the lens of his heart
Then blessed are your eyes because they see
and your ears because they hear

“Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.”

The NapOwriMo.net challenge for Day 21 of Na/GloPoWriMo2017 was to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech.

True World Champions #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

True world champions play sports played by the world

A second effort at today’s NaPoWriMo.net ‘sport’ prompt, this time in the form of a monoku – the single-line haiku usually contains fewer than seventeen syllables. A caesura (pause) may be appropriate, dictated by sense or speech rhythm (following the traditional Japanese tradition of a break, and usually little or no punctuation.

Armchair Sportsman #NaPoWriMo2017 #GloPoWriMo2017

TV won’t be coached
No medals for punditry
So much still to give –
If armchair sports really were
I’d be an Olympian

Two thirds of the way through Na/GloPoWriMo 2017 – 20 down, 10 to go. Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt challenge is to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a sport or game.