sunrise over swamps

sunset over melancholy seas

NaPoWriMo 2013: Reflections

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It’s finished! I have completed the 30 poems in 30 days challenge. And, boy, was it difficult.

It started out well – I had enough ideas in stock to get  me through the first week or so of impromptu poetry writing. After that, though, it became a difficult journey of trying to challenge my creativity.

It surprised me, too, to see the themes that arose. In my mind I would like to be a nature poet, more in the vein of Gerard Manley Hopkins or Mary Oliver. In reality, I am a fumbling amateur struggling to string together a sentence while heavily swayed by my inner emotional torments.

However, this in itself was a lesson. I enjoyed the accountability of having a daily task to write. I also enjoyed playing with the words. While I will not be too quick to leap again onto a “one poem a day” schedule, it did spur me to get more active with my writing. The process is quite cathartic, and good practice at developing new ideas.

I am hoping to reshare the best of my contributions to NaPoWriMo 2013 at my RedBubble portfolio, but I would appreciate some reader feedback first. If you have a WordPress account, please feel free to hit the “Like” button or even rate my NaPoWriMo posts (please be kind!) if you particularly liked one, or two. Or share/comment as you wish. I will use any positive and constructive feedback to determine which five or so pieces of writing get immortalised at RedBubble.

A big thank you to the dedicated readers who kept up-to-date with my NaPoWriMo offerings. I enjoyed exploring your contributions, too!

 

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Poem 30 of 30

It had to end, somehow.

It was a closeness too close to be sustained

without it falling in one direction or another.

 

To become as one, one mind, one flesh,

to be forever bound in soul and spirit:

impossible for mortal fools who stepped already onto such a path

never to find a second chance to turn back and start over.

To diverge somewhere along the way:

necessary for the one who let her heart be won over

by the words of a new voice that had no place to speak but

who whispered thoughts of love into her ear.

 

There’s the dead end. The barrier at the edge of the path

and she sees its full warning and declaration:

to forge ahead is to find adventure, a new zeal for life and unmarked territory

but one plagued by curses of death and disease.

To climb the wall is to accept certain suffering

for no good reason.

 

There’s the end point, and the only answer:

it’s not good enough to throw oneself off the cliff’s edge

for though the fall is exhilarating,

she will meet her end impaled on the jagged rocks

and the blood that will be shed

is too significant and too important to waste in a violent libation to the earth.

 

She watches the moon rise and thinks of him,

the sunset and thinks of him.

His name plays endlessly on her mind

until she is sick from the thought of him

and the knowledge that somewhere, now,

at any moment she lets her heart rest on him

he is not thinking of her.

 

Silence reigns over her and she is afraid to speak

lest the deepest recesses of the darkness that plagues her

finds voice and gives away the secrets.

There is only one who can know, and it’s not him,

it’s another one,

one who alone can carry her dark thoughts away

and exchange them for light:

pure light, greater than she can perceive

until all the curses woven into her body

are burned away.

intpowrimo_cherry

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Poem 29 of 30

The fence harboured a little sanctuary: the tiny cottage with its verandah and rose bushes and palm trees, home to the nuns in their brown habits.

They were gardeners, artists and teachers. To walk along the gravel driveway between the convent and the school

was to walk a mysterious path. It seemed that a sense of awe and stillness settled over the house

so small but in my childish eyes it was a mansion.

There was the one day one of the sisters allowed me to peer in the front door.

I saw framed paintings of saints,

a crucifix on the wall,

and then we were sent on our way with some errand of particular importance.

I imagine none of those nuns, were they alive today,

would know the power of imagination they wielded over the little country girls

in our grey pinafores and grey jumpers and grey stockings.

It was an outpost of God’s Kingdom on Earth,

the little house with its garden and verandah

so plain and simple to the eyes of an adult

but, to a child, the home of mystics.

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