Three wishes – NaPoWriMo 27


Three wishes, and the third’s the charm, as
April fills the woods with green, and
perfumes everything, like some mad woman
in a posh department store. You promised me
three wishes, and I whispered them,
hot breath, up close against your skin.
June’s on us now, and that hot breath has
burn’d me more than you. Three months
since you first made that promise, and the
first wish was granted. And the second?
I don’t know. It’s cooled a little, in the waiting. I
saw a life without you, and I think that
you saw something, too. No charm, then, but
fresh wishes, cooler ones; new dreams.

Day 27 of NaPoWriMo and the prompt today is to take inspiration from one of Shakespeare’s sonnets. I’ve taken a couple of lines from Sonnet 104. I guess this is 14 lines, so you could stretch the definition and call it a sonnet but I haven’t followed any other rules.

Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burn’d,

Since first I saw you fresh.

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Empty – NaPoWriMo 4

The photo’s gone, the wall is bare;

the Sacred Heart’s been packed away,

leaving the faintest shadow where

the striped wallpaper didn’t fade,

and the piano’s out of tune,

silently waiting all alone

to be polished up and moved,

make music in another home.

The kitchen smells of nothingness.

It once was filled with cake, and chips,

and family rows, and happiness,

and sugared tea that burned your lips.

All of the things that made this home

are packed away, or lost, or gone.

Day 4 of NaPoWriMo, and we are asked to write a sad poem in simple words. They suggest we might think about writing a sonnet. This is a sonnet rhyme scheme, without any syllable count, and without a volta. A sonnot, maybe?

It’s Open Link night at dVerse tonight, so I’ll link this there, too.

Spring-cleaning Sonnet

How do you shed the lives you’ll never lead?
The shoes that dream of corridors of power,
the teetering piles of books you’ll never read,
the dress meant for a ballroom in a tower?
The hat that ought to shield you from the sun
on the bright terrace of some palazzo,
the trainers for a race you’ll never run,
the stockings for a lover you won’t know –
the lives piled in the corners of the room,
that gather dust, and whisper of regret –
the things you could have had, but didn’t choose,
or didn’t want, or never tried to get –
those lives are beautiful as snow,
but all snow melts. It’s time to let them go.

This is a re-write of a sonnet I put up a week or so ago. The original is here: https://fmmewritespoems.wordpress.com/2019/01/03/sonnet-i-moving-on/. It seems a bit greedy, putting up yet another sonnet, but Bjorn did say we could do revisions, and I thought it might be interesting to compare this one and the original.

I had some feedback on the original poem, (thank you, Lona, much appreciated), and realised that the volta didn’t really have enough impact. I have struggled with the volta in the past – it always feels like a bit of a punchline, and felt a bit tum-ti-tum. However, this whole sonnet exercise has clarified it for me, and I now realise it’s supposed to be a bit like that. So this is my re-write, with extra added voltation.

The art of confession – poem for dVerse

You think that I will show you all my scars?
You want me to perform some sick striptese –
open my heart to you, reveal my flaws?
What right have you to see what no-one sees?
You sense me brooding over my dark times,
tell me confessing all will set me free,
as if the past can be re-made by rhymes.
The stories I hold hidden cannot be
left lightly fluttering, like butterflies –
what secret guilts do you think you’ll uncover?
I clasp the memories of the times I failed,
I hold those memories tight as any lover –
you’d mould my pain into some fairy tale,
for in the end, confession is betrayal.

Anmol at dVerse is challenging us to write confessional poetry. A lot of my poetry is confessional – I think that’s the nature of poetry. In fact, I probably reveal more about myself than I realise whenever I write. This is, of course, a poem that claims not to be confessional, but there you go. Read it as a confession of my secretive nature… It’s also the last of my sonnets for this month’s sonnet challenge. This is the terza rima sonnet – you’ll notice the interlocking 3 line rhyme scheme. I needed to get one written, it was bugging me.

Sonnet II – Sleeping Together

These early mornings when I cannot sleep,
I know the dull truth of that tired cliché –
you’re close beside me, but so far away –
if sleep’s an ocean, you’re down in the deeps;
if sleep’s a path, it’s one I found too steep;
if it’s a place, then I can’t find the way;
if it’s a tune, it’s one I cannot play,
if it’s a faith, I’ve lost all my belief –
yet there’s a pleasure in this lying here,
your presence, so well known, but always new
your warm skin, comforting as morning light.
I wonder if you know I’m lying near –
do you dream that I’m sleeping next to you?
Do you sleep better for my oversight?

My second sonnet – a Petrarchan sonnet – notice the different rhyme scheme. This is a new one on me, so thank you, Bjorn.https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/03/poetry-forms-the-sonnet/

Sonnet I – Moving on.

Among the shots of faces that I care for
too many snaps of things I don’t recall –
I’m cleaning up my life’s hard drive, and therefore
I’ll make a conflagration of it all –
these shoes will never clack down marble halls,
that dress is meant for places I won’t go,
crochet, it seems, is not my thing at all,
and how that box set ends? I’ll never know.
I’m shedding all those lives I’ll never lead,
throwing away the clothes I’ll never wear,
divesting all those books I’ll never read,
discarding all the posts that I won’t share –
those unlived lives are beautiful as snow,
but snow must melt. It’s time to let them go.

This is my first sonnet for Bjorn’s https://dversepoets.com/2019/01/03/poetry-forms-the-sonnet/‘s dVerse prompt. It’s a Shakespearean style sonnet – the kind I was brought up on. I’ve always found sonnets a little tricky – that final couplet feels like a punchline.

Heartache

I’ve better things to do than sit and cry
I don’t have the time for self-indulgence
If I keep busy here, time will have to fly
and if I fill my day up with employments –
the email that I have to send today,
the meal that must be cooked, the lunches packed,
the dishes washed and dried, and put away,
the TV programme meant to counteract
the fear and pain and anger that I hold,
the dark tide lapping at my easy chair,
the clouds that gather, the advancing cold,
the sharp-clawed crab that clacks and scrabbles there –
I cram my days with work and love and light,
but cannot build a wall to keep out night.

 

Frank is running things at dVerse, and asks us to write about heartbreak or frustration. I find few things more frustrating than a sonnet, so this is frustration in action! 

Narcotic – a brick for Jilly

I hold the needle, paused above my vein
pump a fist to watch it rise and bulge like
hungry goldfish lip-quivering for a grain
of tetra flake craving; a perma-blight.
What night-terror stands naked in the hail
leaves me gill-gasping, ravening for you
a gritty fix for this rapacious frail
Body, that yearns for something like the truth
Yet all I feed myself is empty lies –
False hope, false love, false joy, false everything –
A twisted ugliness that aches and cries,
Leaving me yearning, lost and grimacing –
My face and body coiled in painful bitterness
Empty of fullness, full of emptiness.

Jilly asked us to complete a sonnet, which as any fule kno goes abab cdcd efef gg. I’m not mad keen on sonnets – it’s that punchline thing which I struggle with – but I made an effort for Jilly because she is great. This is for the October casting bricks thing.

NaPoWriMo24 – sonnet

The wild hare

“Show me your magic” said I to the hare
Crouching before me, wild and strong and free –
She turned and was away before I reached her –
Why should she stay and show herself to me?
The rabbit is a soft, domestic thing,
The crow brings death, the fox, they say’s a liar,
The lark calls up the summer and the spring
But the wild hare runs towards the fire.
We make a story up for every creature
We give them tales we’re not prepared to own.
We turn a moral out of every feature,
Forget that we, and they, are flesh and bone.
They say the hare’s a witch. I think it’s true:
I’ve seen the grey hare leaping to the moon.

NaPWriMo 23 – A Sonnet

Now you are asking me to write a sonnet.

I’m sorry, but you’ve gone too far this time.

I’m not a lady poet in a bonnet

Using green ink to pen my breathless rhyme.

These days, you’ll find we write in blank verse

That doesn’t have a structure or a form,

I know you say that Shakespeare did the converse

But it’s 400 years ago that he was born.

I’d like to write a poem of sudden beauty –

The kind that makes you smile, or sob, or sigh.

Instead, I’ll do this with a sense of duty

And hope my rhyme and metre just scrape by.

I write this poem, NaPoWriMo, for you:

I’m doing it because you asked me to.