NaPoWriMo 2021

March 31, 2021

The black mirror invites my inspection –
A scaled representation of the whole.
The wooden metronome in its foreground
Reminds one of rhythm and time’s passage,
The pendulum’s swing until the winding
Dies. The young girl, black like the mirror, plays
As her mother directs. The mother’s face,
More blue than black, leans in attentively.
A non-flowering plant rests in a vase.
A paintbrush seems out of place. It could be
A missing conductor’s baton. The sun
Bursts through the window as a slight breeze blows
The curtains askew. A ceiling lamp and
A table lamp compete to light the room.

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Today’s prompt is the animated version of SunRa, Seductive Fantasy

Sun Ra, man,
Our prophet and guide
Saint of inner space

In painting and music –
And growing flowers –
There is no finiteness,
Only infinity, he tells us.

Shapes and seeds
Abound – a never ending
Increase in variation –
Alternating generations.

LIke a trombone’s slide
Or a trumpet’s valve
Or vibration of strings
Across a bridge.

Every moment is
An improvisation –
A riff on a theme,
Removing the top layers
And building again.
– April 1, 2021 https://www.youtube.com/embed/bX_xh2do3eM?version=3&rel=1&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&fs=1&hl=en&autohide=2&wmode=transparent

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Today’s prompt is the Frost poem, The Road Not Taken.

The cherry blossoms are in full display
Today. We didn’t have to end that war
The way we chose. I can’t make up for what
The people lost but still I feel their pain.
We fought another war that both sides lost:
A sacred cause that should have been resolved
By smarter minds at a dinner table,
Not on battlefields. Dogwoods remind me
of cherry blossoms, white petals, not pink.
The tree that formed the cross where Jesus died –
A passing Easter thought not apropos.
Too much is lost in war, too many lives
foreclosed, the product of labor foregone.
I think about their roads and choices lost.
– April 2, 2021

unpacked and reformatted

Prompt was the Robert Frost poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

The cherry blossoms are
in full display today. A gift
To perpetuity from the Japanese.

We didn’t have to end
that war the way we chose.
I can’t make up for what
the people lost but still
I feel their pain.

We fought another war
that both sides lost:
A sacred cause that should have
been resolved by Jefferson,
Madison and Hamilton
over dinner in New York,
not on battlefields.

(How much might it have cost
To cut a deal? 620,000 lives lost
Is a price we cannot fathom,
a mortgage that forever haunts us,
a note that has no maturity date.)

Dogwoods remind me
of cherry blossoms,
white petals, not pink.
The tree that formed 

the cross where Jesus died –
A passing Easter thought
not inappropriate.

Too much is lost in war,
too many lives foreclosed
the fruit of labor spoiled
on the vine. I think about
their roads and choices lost.
– April 2, 2021

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The prompt invites us to examine liminal spaces. I didn’t like the photographs so I did an independent search and discovered the Sony game Echochrome. This sonnet resulted.

Echochrome dreams

“Change the way you perceive the world and the path will be revealed.”

I never played Sony video games –
But I recognize a good string quartet
When I hear one – all those years of playing
Viola were not for naught. Music moves,
One learns so much from its forward motion –
Pathways that touch form continuities,
And if you jump from one path you will land
On another. The gap that’s blocked from view
Between connected paths should not be feared;
A hole that’s blocked from views may not exist –
Until you step in it, of course, and then
You fall to lower levels. Closer things
Overlap things more distant – you see more
Detail in near objects than those afar.
– April 4, 2021

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NaPoWriMo 2021 – off the prompt and for the blog, only. For Gil Scott-Heron’s birthday party.

On By rdmaxwell55In NaPoWriMo 2021Leave a commentEdit

For Gil Scott-Heron’s birthday party

I skipped off my boat
And slipped into my car
For the show at ODU.

I was so close to the stage
I could smell the Afro-sheen
In his afro-ed hair.

The guys in the band started
Warming up. Always my favorite part
Of a concert or performance.

They played all my favorites.
But there was something missing.

What is it about the stage
That steals your art, robs you
Of its ritual value?

Or is it in the reproduction
Where the purity gets distilled
Out and discarded?

It’s winter in America – the empire
has fallen, crashed under
the weight of its own corruption.

You got your exit strategy?
I got mine. There’s still time to plan,
to jump off this sinking ship.

The final act won’t be televised.
it won’t be on the 6 o’clock news.
But you will know.
Yes, you will know.

April 5, 2021

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Work Day at the Community Garden

It was work day at the garden.
My ask was to clean out the tool shed.
Mirna was my work partner.

You could tell it had been closed up
For the winter – there were spider
And their spun homes everywhere –

Especially on the handles – spiders
Must know the smell of human touch
To put their webs there so uniformly.

The shovels had been put away
Dirty, clogged with dirt and clay.
We cleaned each tool with wire

brushes to knock the old dirt off.
We pulled out every piece and cleaned it
Then we cleared the floor of debris.

I closed the tool shed door from inside
To clean the groove that housed
the sliding door. I experienced a taste

Of claustrophobia that cleared
as soon as the door was reopened
And light poured into the space.
– April 5, 2021

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NaPoWriMo 2021 – #7

On By rdmaxwell55In GloPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo 2021, oral history, Poetry2 CommentsEdit

Three years from now, as the crow flies,
We plan to make our trans-Atlantic relocation.
My favorite coffee cup has a hairline fracture –
It may not survive the rigors of the journey.

There’s a lot to plan, to organize. Why are
So many folks developing pancreatic cancer?
Can living in Washington DC kill you directly,
(Let me check my thermoluminescent dosimeter)
Or it is the bad habits you pick up trying to cope?

Knowing what goes on behind the scenes
Is a curse, not a blessing, not a benefit.
I’ve always hated American-made B movies.
(What is Morgan Freeman selling? Please? )
Studio actors, musicians are living on borrowed time.

SAG awards their lifetime achievement trophy
To Joe the rapist, the bad dad, and his first mate,
Who literally screwed her way to the very top –
(Betrayed by laughter that seeks to shield her shame)
Proving to women everywhere that it can be done.

The Academy Awards are taking a different tack.
Joe gets best costume design for his life-like mask
That grins and lies. The rest of the crew (including
those I use to know and respect) in office share
Best ensemble for dramatic imitation – a new award

This year. They imitated a white house. Imitated
A cabinet. Imitated a government. And all our
Adversaries know it. And all our allies shiver in fear
(“Damn, what happened to the Americans?” They ask
Me in emails that self-destruct in thirty seconds)

For what might happen when they turn the lights on
And turn the cards face up on the game table.
It’s way past time for this one to end. Please, no
Overtime, no keeping the crowd in suspense.
Two minute warning. Leave early and beat the traffic.
———————————–April 6, 2021

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NaPoWriMo 2021 – Shadorma

On By rdmaxwell55In GloPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo 2021, Shadorma1 CommentEdit

Shadorma #1

the lockdown
has folks real grumpy.
Murder rate
is sky high
in the city and nearby
villages and towns.

Shadorma #2

the mayor –
obsessed with statehood –
dropped the ball
on crime stats.
Criminals get a free pass –
the streets are not safe.

Shadorma #3

the crisis
on the south border
is Biden’s –
no matter
what gets televised tonight
on 6 o’clock news.

Shadorma #4

do not fear
their threat to cancel,
to deny
your freedom
of expression. This is still
the land of the free.