Friday, April 30, 2010

NaPoWriMo 30/30 - Double Tanka

PERSONAL VICTORY

Don't let the fact that
you failed to win the prize make
you feel like you lost;
if you did your best, you won
in the most important way.

Prizes should not be
used to measure your self-worth;
it should already
be intact so no matter
what, you feel like a victor.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

NaPoWriMo 24/30 - Haiku

DO IT YOURSELF

Parents, your kids aren't
put on this earth to fulfill
your dreams; that's your job

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Special NaPoWriMo, 21&22/30 - For Alice

I just found out that one of our beloved poetry-family members, Alice "The Poet" Nicholas, was hospitalized with cardiac spasms. Some of us are writing poems for/to her while she's undergoing observation at Cedars Sinai. These two poems are Tanka, which is similar to the Haiku, except the formatting of the lines' syllables is 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. For more info about Tanka poetry, visit http://www.americantanka.com/about.html


PIECE O' CAKE

Alice is strong, so
this little bump in the road
ain't no thang for her
plus, she got too many friends
prayin' for her to bounce back

CONFIRMATION

I heard some great things
about Alice The Poet
and when I met her
she blessed me with her skills and
I found out they were all true


Get well soon, Alice! We're not done with you yet!

NaPoWriMo 14- 20/30: HAIKU TIME!

All right, it's time for me to work out some Haiku around here. Actually, I have a book that I'm working on called "Haiku You Do That to Me?": A Little Book of Haiku. I started it last year during NaPoWriMo time, and I wrote about 20 of them. I haven't worked on it since then, really, so I'm using this time to add some more to the pot. For those who aren't familiar with what a Haiku poem is, here's some basic info (cut & pasted from a site):

Haiku is a poetic form and a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. Haiku poets, which you will soon be, write about everyday things. Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences. Usually they use simple words and grammar. The most common form for Haiku is three short lines. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. Haiku doesn't rhyme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind. This is the challenge of Haiku - to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind in ONLY 17 syllables over just three (3) lines of poetry!

So, I don't always go for the great imagery; sometimes I go the route of making a good point or saying something witty. The idea is to do whatever you're gonna do (tell a story, make a point, etc.) in the 3 lines, making sure the syllables in your lines are 5, 7, 5. You might think throwing 3 measly lines together to make a poem is easy, but it's kinda not. In order to write a good Haiku, some thought has to go into the message, while staying on point with your line formatting. There are some hard-and-fast Japanese rules for Haiku poems which involve the use of seasons as part of the imagery/message, but a lot of the Haiku you see poets writing may not conform to that. Some people title theirs, some don't; I always do.

QUIET ANTICIPATION

Slumber caresses
my body while I dream of
tomorrow's blessings

PASSIONATE RAYS

Sun's kissin' my lips
warm 'n' soft like a lover
who's cravin' my taste

ONE-STOP SHOP

When searching for his
truth, the first place she checks is
the look in his eyes

PREP COURSE

Determination's
the first step when planning for
all life's victories

SHORT CHANGED

Access to my thoughts
will cost more than a penny
don't insult their worth

SENSE PERCEPTION

The sound of my name
dancing on your tongue is my
ears' favorite song

TIME-SENSITIVE EMOTIONS

He ships her his love
overnight from his heart, marked
return to sender

Monday, April 12, 2010

NAPOWRIMO BACKLOG

So, I'm a couple of days behind in Napowrimo. Hey, I been busy trying to have a career around here! But, I'll try to catch up this week. Gotta get my brain focused on some subject matter, and there is plenty; I just have to think of which topics to tackle, poetry style.

I will say, though, that I'm very happy with the work I've done so far. Friday's poem wasn't my best (and I kind of didn't mean for it to be); it was based on how I was feeling at the moment, and that was all I felt like saying. Of course, just like the poem says, I sucked it up and let the moment pass, and now I'm feeling much better today.

This challenge really is good for the creative juices. It's amazing to see what we poets come up with at the drop of a dime, as opposed to actually waiting for random inspiration. I've talked to several poets who said they weren't gonna get involved in Napowrimo because they didn't like the idea of "forcing" themselves to create because they felt it would take the fun out of writing; yet, at the last minute, they decided to get in on the challenge, and they're not only hangin' tough, but also coming up with great poems in the process. I just think that's fly. Period. The creative process is so fascinating. Even though it can be daunting thinking about trying to write something new every day for 30 days, once you get started, and you watch yourself push through the act, you feel so accomplished when you see your final product. Well, I do. Let me not speak for everyone else.

All right, lemme put on my thinking cap and see what I can put together before midnight. Maybe I can manage to make up for those two lost days, on top of getting today's done. If not, it's okay. I've done a great job so far. It's all in good fun anyway. Once it stops being fun, it's time to reevaluate why it's even being done, as far as I'm concerned.

Blog wit'cha soon!

Friday, April 9, 2010

NaPoWriMo 9/30

SKIN I'M IN

Today my skin wears real thin
This path I've chosen is rough
Feel like throwin' the towel in
But even if I tried to seek solace
In the arms of another path
I'm married to this-here way of life
So that affair would never last
See I've tried to escape it all
Turn my back and jump ship
But I fail each time I do
Cuz it's anchored to my hip
I just want it to sail away sometimes
Find a thicker-skinned girl to harass
But since I know I can't live without it
I suck it up and let the moment pass
These threats of leaving it behind
Are all empty and illigit
No matter how thin my skin today
This writing thing I will never quit








Thursday, April 1, 2010

It's National Poetry Month...Let's GET IT!

NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. The most challenging, sometimes grueling, 30 days of any poet's life. The time where we all put our brains to work overtime as we push ourselves (lovingly, that is) to make the effort to write one poem a day in April. Yep, that means by the end of it all, if we're not completely insane or haven't dropped out of the challenge by then, we will have at least 30 new poems added to our collections. If writing a poem a day for 30 days doesn't sound like much of a challenge to you, then you either haven't been part of this program, or you have, and you're able to bat out those poems with no problem, and you're just a damn show-off. Fine, then. Just don't throw it in the faces of those who are toiling over a haiku at 11:53 p.m., trying to get it done by midnight so we're not in [moral] violation.

I joined in late last year, around the 8th or 9th of April, and I have to say, it was fun some days, and others I really didn't think I'd be able to make myself produce anything, not even the above-mentioned haiku, which is only three measly lines. But me being me, I don't like to throw garbage together, so even the haikus had to be potent. By the end of the month, I was totally worn out mentally, but I did have some great new material in my poetry pot, several of them becoming performance pieces that I'm very proud of, and that are quite popular. So, you see, it was worth the struggle. And who ever said struggle was supposed to be fun, anyway? What it does is show us what we're made of, and how far we're willing to go to challenge ourselves to win in any situation. When we've done so (won, that is), we look back on the struggle and thank ourselves for taking it on and hanging in there.

Yeah, ummmmm...I'm talkin' a LOTTA smack right now, heehee, but the reality is, I'm a little nervous. It's day one, and I'm already sweating over the first poem, "Damaged Goods." Writing on cue isn't my favorite thing, and I've claimed to not be able to do it, but, actually, I had to do it recently, and I was happy with that poem; plus, I did it last April. So, I guess I should reevaluate my take on that subject, because, clearly, with some will, discipline, and concentration, I can write on cue and have the end result be quite satisfying.

Well, I've got till midnight to finish my poem, so at least that gives me the rest of the day to turn on the old creative faucet and hope it does more than drip; I need a full-blast flow...every day this month.

To those of you poets who are on board, good luck, and have fun! I hope to see and hear some of your new poems as we go along! Mine will be posted right here in my blog, so stay tuned! "Damaged Goods" will be up by midnight!