For the month of April, I have tried to write a poem a day for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month.) It’s been surprisingly difficult to find a different theme or story each day. Nevertheless, I feel the process has pushed me forward as a writer by sending me into unknown areas. It’s giving me much needed rigour and discipline. I consider myself to be an amateur, with less experience in poetry than in short stories or plays. I only started writing poetry again last year, and even then it was fairly occasional. Forcing myself to write a poem a day has been a boon, as I have tried to improve each day.
I haven’t shared all of them because I feel most are fairly poor and in need of serious editing. However, here are a few. This first one was written early in the process:
Finally, I reach this summit after
Hauling my bag of bones and fat
Up the slope, I see magnificence.
A rolling vista of plenty spread before
My weary eyes, perfectly lit by the
Rotating earth and the apparently sinking
Sun. I take a picture of course.
Surely, this a glimpse of the infinite.
I am staggered by-
Oh, a couple of retweets and a like.
Staggered by the view, by the simple act o
of living and-
That reply is actually quite funny.
Nature in all its majesty is-
Oh a couple of likes on Instagram as well.
That thread on Twitter is still going.
I find the perfect meme
Back to Instagram while I wait, maybe Facebook
although Facebook is dead, no one is using Facebook anymore, why are you on Facebook? I check it anyway, just to see. Nothing of course.
Back to Twitter one last time. Nah, Nothing.
I tear my eyes away from the feed
To see hills darkening
And a wind starting to whisper
Bringing with it the promise of ruin.
This next one was written on the 10th.
You stalk the streets, a shadow
hunting for a solid object to link to.
You haunt dimly-lit coffee shops,
wondering if you have been downgraded
from translucent to invisible.
There is the bitter taste of ashes
on your tongue. You avoid street
lamps, not wanting the light to burn
away your essence. You are awake
At half three in an unknown part
of this strange city, far away from home.
You are avoiding eye contact. You are
walking. Why are you walking?
Where are you going?
You are swaying in flourescent churches
with little memory of the journey.
You are waiting for the dawn
Although you know it will evaporate you
like dew from a leaf. You wonder
how to spend your cursed seconds.
I will wait with you,
Sit with me.
This last one was written today.
Coverings over bones
Casually discarded at the bottom
of the dark cave wardrobe, creased
into a ball by time and worn by
pressure and clothes above,
you find an ancient relic of a jumper.
Flour is still caked on the sleeve.
It was meant to be washed years
ago, but slipped through the cracks
of minutes, sunk through the soil
Run your fingers over
the deep creases, the frayed sleeve
that your thumb always hooked in
the hole under the armpit
you always meant to fix.
Exhumed, it releases to the surface
a memory of making bread, the taste
long forgotten; lazy Sunday afternoons
and the faintest history of the person
you always yearned to be.
It’s a fun challenge and even if the poetry is no good, I’ve enjoyed pushing myself into a new area of writing. I’ll share some more once April is up.