The body as a state of union – NaPoWriMo 11

I have to admit, I got nothing from this prompt. However, I was determined to do it, so I turned to the trusty old Villanelle, thinking that some intense structure would help. It did. Now that I’ve done this, I’m wondering if I’ll suddenly get some inspiration for a stunning poem about my body as a nation state. If I do, I’ll let you know. Having said that, I guess inspiration is inspiration, wherever it comes from – even if it ends up being anti-inspiration.

I am an entity within my skin.
How often do I see myself that way?
Where do I end? Where does the world begin?

I’m blood, and flesh, and bones, and soul, built in
To something more than just the living clay:
I am an entity within my skin.

And yet, it feels like me, this scribbling pen,
Noting down all those words I wish to say –
Where do I end? Where does the world begin?

I guess it all depends on my instinct-
What’s me, what is kept close or pushed away –
I am an entity within my skin

Yet something physical is the linchpin,
My parts consider, conference, convey
Where my self ends, and where the world begins.

I’m not a team that’s setting out to win,
I’m like a  cast, that improvised a play,
Am I an entity within my skin?
Where do I end? Where does the world begin?

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November Yeats #13

‘Away, come away:
Empty your heart of its mortal dream.’ 
‘The Hosting of the Sidhe’ by W.B. Yeats.

Leave aside your mortal dreams
And step into their world of night,
Nothing is quite as it seems

On the terrace, peacocks scream
And show themselves for your delight,
Leave aside your mortal dreams,

In the hall, they primp and preen,
Display their beauties to your sight,
Nothing is quite as it seems.

Dance with shadow kings and queens,
Draped in dark robes of midnight,
Leave aside your mortal dreams.

Gorge yourself on chocolate creams,
Whipped from kisses and moonlight –
Nothing is quite as it seems –

But beware their tangled schemes,
And their smiles – a touch too bright? –
Leave aside your mortal dreams:
Nothing is quite as it seems.

A Villanelle today, inspired by Jane, and her good friend W B Yeats. The Sidhe are tricky folk, full of glamour and illusion. Best not to trust them. 

NaPoWriMo 27 – exploring taste

The tastes of summer float upon the breeze,
Look, and you’ll find them, here among
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves:

Lick salty skin from playing in the sea’s
Wild rolling waves the whole day long –
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze –

Picnics laid out beneath green shading trees,
Faint woodsmoke tang, that floats and weaves among
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves –

Vanilla kisses soothing grass-scratched knees,
Wild thyme, the flavour of a sky lark’s song,
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze –

Pods popping, bright green shiny peas
Bounce on your palm, and roll upon your tongue,
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves.

Relish it all, before the summer leaves,
Flavours fade quickly, and the nights grow long,
The tastes of summer float upon the breeze,
The tang of berries, ripped up basil leaves.

NaPoWriMo invites an exploration of taste. I struggled with inspiration. The Red Queen advises Alice:  if in doubt drop a curtsey. If she were a poet she would advise: if in doubt, try a villanelle. 

NaPoWriMo 17 – Nocturne

We have lost the very last of the light
Seeped from the edge of the sky at last
But, see, the stars are so very bright

We’re not quite ready to say goodnight
And the wine has grown darker in my glass –
We have lost the very last of the light.

The moths are foolish, they feel no fright,
As the candle lures them in at last,
When, see, the stars are so very bright.

There are rustlings happening out of sight,
Perhaps a fox, swift stalking past,
We have lost the very last of the light

Now the moon is rising, a sliver of white,
A lantern hung on a midnight mast,
And see, the stars are so very bright.

We sat and talked, and laughed all night –
Hard to believe how quickly it passed –
We have lost the very last of the light,
But, see, the stars are so very bright.

Insomnia – for Jane Dougherty’s Sunday Strange

I am caught in the net of the witch queen, Insomnia,
Who spools up my sleep like a silken thread,
And all the courtiers who trail in alongside her.

Anxiety is the first of her daughters
She takes up her place at the head of the bed,
Where I lie in the net of the witch queen, Insomnia;

Anger and fear, two bedraggled camp followers,
Shadow Insomnia, mark where she treads,
And all the courtiers who trail in alongside her.

The moon shines too bright, take a cool sip of water,
Don’t fight it. Read something, a book, say, instead,
As you lie in the net of the witch queen Insomnia.

I take note of the breath of the night time wanderers,
And the unsteady beat of Insomnia’s tread,
And all the courtiers who trail in alongside her.

The moon rolls on its way, past the wakening stars,
Sleep slips away until night time has sped,
I am caught in the net of the witch queen, Insomnia,
And all the courtiers who trail in alongside her.

This is for Jane Dougherty’s Sunday Strange. She hasn’t revealed the artist yet – that’s a surprise for next week. I’ve chosen a villanelle, which is curious, because I’ve just been over there and looked at the pingbacks and there’s another villanelle in there. It’s not the most obvious form to pick, so I wonder if there’s something about the picture? Anyway, it’s worth popping over there and checking out the contributions. Night_by_Edward_Burne-Jones_(1870)

Midnight Villanelle

Some of us cannot resist
The haunting owl’s cry:
Maybe we are midnight-kissed.
Soft twilight soothes us,
Moonlight makes us sigh,
Some of us cannot resist,
Fire burning in the darkness,
Watching the sparks fly –
Maybe we are midnight-kissed.
The bat’s swift darting thrills us,
And the fox creeping by,
Some of us cannot resist
A pale moon, dripping stardust,
Dark clouds rolling by.
Maybe we are midnight kissed.
The night world is our play place
I’ll tell you why
Some of us cannot resist –
It’s because we’re midnight-kissed.

I might be too late with this villanelle. It’s for Mindlovemisery’s menagerie. I think I could do better…need to try again at some point. Maybe not today.