He was my uncle. We had family, by name, and uncles. They were nice to me, wanted me to play and have fun, and they drank a lot of coffee. Still drinking when I came back. The coffepots those days were a lot larger than now.
He was my uncle, drove politicians and always looked nice.
Then suddenly there was another uncle driving huge trucks for the military, The barracks were nearby and he drank coffee too, from the same pot.
I didn’t know my mom was pregnant thought: too much coffee made moms fat. I had to stay with gram, and I loved it! Then there was a baby sister.
She was different. Didn’t have our family’s nose, so ‘she must look more like her mother’, people said.
And when the gossiping started I had to go to a children’s home. I saw others come and go, like drivers of black cars and huge trucks.
I knew my sister looked like one, but I crept in the safety of my own being
Later they did tests at school. So my sister suddenly knew her bloodtype. It didn’t combine with my dad’s. I said nothing. She was so proud to know something about herself!
She didn’t bond, was a stranger, married and moved away, died. Never said goodbye. Just like the man with the nice black car, leaving one huge question: he drank lots of coffee with my mom, why?
I remember the days when the woods behind the university were jungle
a jungle of life with the blackbirds and the robins enjoying their lives with the marters and rabbits life was nature and nice
Then the paths came and human voices a bicylce going to and fro they called it the wood now we were allowed to play there no discoveries, we had those, but huts, and just during the day
a jungle of life, less blackbirds and robins, but children, enjoying their lives, with their huts and the rabbits life was special and that was nice
Then the machines came with their noises building a hall and a road used by students and teachers no children allowed lights during the night for safety and exposing architecture the area was even placed under prefecture so even for animals the last bit of nature was closed
a jungle of life. The humans take over machines and buildings are covering the earth The place where once I was playing, became the place of a memory’s birth
a jungle of life with the blackbirds and the robins enjoying their lives with the marters and rabbits life used to be nature and nice
Day 30 – 2021 – number 1 Prompt: write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” First a short one, for the person who thought the one of yesterday was too long.
And then the door… always take the door the one without window
close your eyes against the sun and step outside like when you’ve spun in a merry go round
Day 30 – 2021 Prompt: Written by Jacqueline Saphra, and featured in this group of prompts published back in 2015 by The Poetry Society of the U.K. Write a poem in the form of a series of directions describing how a person should get to a particular place. It could be a real place, like your local park, or an imaginary or unreal place, like “the bottom of your heart,” or “where missing socks go.” Fill your poem with sensory details, and make them as wild or intimate as you like.
No yelling of the neighbour’s kids. No judging views from parents, the purple muscari in green, like gram had in her little secret garden, some wind, moving the tulips yellow, red, yellow with orange stripes
clickety clack my feet on the pavement clickety clack my shoes on the street
it’s like moving away from the pull of the earth lilacs so dark they can hardly be seen in the night
go left now, hear the buzz of the far away radio see the boys on the skateboards against the eye of memory projections it’s how you find your road through life
clickety clack feet on the pavement clickety clack shoes on the street
then enter the park they forgot the entrance the yellow brick road and the red shoes projections, I said so
go right see the bench and the animals behind fences but during the night they can’t be seen the donkey will come to you and the goat will talk to you
then go back that smells better and follow the path
clickety clack beside the grass clickety clack on the path
to where the willow weeps its silver and golden tears in shadowy water where the ducklings move up and down on the growing waves
You’ll feel calm now with a soft breeze brushing your cheeks
While your feet clickety clack follow the path clickety clack cross the street clickety clack see the tulips the muscari and a little rose that has never be seen
Day 29 – 2021 Prompt: “in the window.” Imagine a window looking into a place or onto a particular scene. It could be your childhood neighbor’s workshop, or a window looking into an alien spaceship. Maybe a window looking into a witch’s gingerbread cottage, or Lord Nelson’s cabin aboard the H.M.S. Victory. What do you see? What’s going on?
They walk by friends and lovers of the past carrying their load of life on their backs and in their eyes.
I would want to hug them once again make them shine with kindness
Say sorry for hurting them I’m sure I did
they pass the window on their lives I had the time of minor worries eagerness to live and love self confidence growing in the woods the sun the campfire It was the time I danced
they walk by the friends of now
I’m still not sure they like me enough
I will walk by the empty window mutter a silent greeting to the person I once was
will I dance again? or walk like an old lady with a pendant and a ring I kept my memories lingering on the square of life
Day 23 – 2021 Prompt: Write a poem that responds, in some way, to another.
As a critic it’s my habit to respond to what others write or say. So I decided to write to the 5th push on the zap button of the TV. A beekeeper filling pots with honey.
It’s when the trees climb the mind of men grows small the stairs to heaven only accessible to the light
then birds sing and little men in planes watch through curved windows they only see trees
Wijobe walks with bare feet protected by the gods he’s hungry and asks his sisters bees for some food
When he tastes the honey he hears the women sing pounding the maize on the ground some sweetness will be added today less hunger and more smiles while the gods protect his feet the birds sing and the bees follow him for a while
Day 22 – 2021 Prompt: Mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. The mango is a literary device, especially in Asian literature, to symbolise unspoken thoughts and feelings or those which can’t be conveyed anymore. So in this part of the world it’s a developing concept. So I’ll take it my way.
The vase it was the vase on the table the table in front of the window with tulips growing like she was feeding them far more than love and attention.
First straight, like a young child reaching for the sun then bending like I’m bending now I’m growing old
and finally touching the tablecloth caressing the way they are and almost like she pushed away her hair when she was tired and sat down
The vase it was smashed in the bin by my mother who didn’t care that a simple vase might be a treasure
In my mind now it stands on my table with weeping tulips touching the wood Telling me there’s also a table cloth she touched and you didn’t care for.
Day 21 – 2021 Prompt: write a poem that uses lines that have a repetitive set-up.
They complain they can’t be free, then protest on the streets. Strange according to me. They complain they can’t go to school, and refuse to learn online. Strange, or am I the fool? They complain they can’t eat what they want, but limit their choices, but that doesn’t make me rant. They complain they can’t decide about the vaccination, but they refuse. My smile is near elation. They complain about the curfew but they just walked by, in a group. I had a good view.
They complain about their freedom taken away. They’re free to complain all day.
Day 20 – 2021 Prompt: Write a sijo. This is a traditional Korean poetic form, has three lines. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. In terms of overall structure, a sijo functions like an abbreviated sonnet, in that the first line sets up an inquiry or discussion, the second line continues the discussion, and the third line resolves it with a “twist” or surprise.
When writing poems like these, for me, the rhythm should come from within. But with so much disturbances as today, I left the poem as it was. So nothinbg artificial to adjust to the prompt, but in a moment … from within…
Almost a dancing sijo
She dances in inward concentration. Twirling around the axis, the center of herself. The lightness of the veils around her, seem to hide fairy or gracious elf. When movement stops, the fading breeze is her farewell.
Day 20 – 2021 prompt: Write a sijo, a traditional Korean poetic form. Has three lines. Typically, they are 14-16 syllables, and optimally each line will consist of two parts – like two sentences, or a sentence of two clauses divided by a comma. The first line is usually written in a 3-4-4-4 grouping pattern and states the theme of the poem, where a situation is generally introduced. The second line is usually written in a 3-4-4-4 pattern (similar to the first) and is an elaboration of the first line’s theme or situation (development). The third line is divided into two sections. The first section, the counter-theme, is grouped as 3-5, while the second part, considered the conclusion of the poem, is written as 4-3. The counter-theme is called the ‘twist,’ which is usually a surprise in meaning, sound, or other device.
Mouse and me
I look close. ‘Where are you now? Tiny sweet mouse, little sweet mouse!’ I hear you, and you see me. Who will escape? Who will be free? Without fuzz, a spider moved fast, jumped quick on us, friends now, aghast.
Day 18 – 2021 Prompt: Stephanie Malley, challenges to write a poem based on the title of one of the chpaters from Susan G. Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words. I tried to read the titels, but couldn’t due to bad eyesight.
Can’t read it
I am supposed to see the words italic, small, like badly written seeds that don’t know yet what to become.
I have wandered in my mind to find creativity of another but found my silence and the utter sound of wonder
Day 15 – 2021 Prompt: from Juan Martinez. Think about a small habit you picked up from one of your parents, write a piece that explores an early memory of your parent engaged in that habit, before shifting into writing about yourself engaging in the same habit.
Strange enough a quick read of the prompt made me think I had to write about a mutual habit of them. Couldn’t find any…
‘Whipe your feet’ and ‘close the door’, ‘Don’t throw stuff on the floor.’ That’s what my mother had to tell, Oh yes, I remember well.
Daddy listened, and so did I, but now I ask myself: why oh why?
Dictatorship, unfriendliness, She was unkind, and even less. Towards others she smiled so nice, but towards me she was pure vice.
So I decided to lead a different life, be a proper mother and a far better wife, To respect my children and treat them well, so none of us walked through the same hell.
Day 7 – 2021 Prompt: Fibonacci poetry was founded by Gregory K. Pincus last year 1 syllable for first line 1 syllable for second line 2 syllables for third 3 syllables for fourth 5 syllables for fifth 8 syllables for sixth
. Spooky Fib
I dream faultless except for nightmares that colour the day into endless horror
as ghosts appear in every sound and sight to me grasping hands never leave me be
Day 5 – 2021 Prompt: find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. You’ll find the poem ‘It’s The Africa In Me‘ of Diana van den Berg under mine.
It’s the earth in me
It’s the world in me that loves the mountains and forests the sun and the snow, up to the Himalayan tops
It’s the Everest in me, that always whispers and hunts me that I’ve never seen or heard, but in my dreams orchestrates my longings and part of my being
It’s Alaska in me, that makes me shiver when I cry in the middle of the night and loneliness again runs through my veins, like it never left, and I know it’s just me forgetting ‘me’ is enough.
It’s the Amazon in me that honors creativity and inspiration asking attention for every snake around the corner arduously waiting for any insecurity and naked psyche impeccably hitting a moment of fear and drawing me back
It’s the earth in me that keeps me grounded and loved for I am from human kind and a kind human in me is left
It’s the Africa in me that loves the forest in which I wake, that sees and hears its fauna and flora and revels in their names.
It’s the Africa in me that you hear in my spirited conversation, that shakes my shoulders as I sob my sorrows or laugh my insides, inside-out.
It’s the Africa in me that keeps me reading poetry deep into the night and causes me to stroke the sinuous muscles of my striped, domestic cat and kiss the muzzle of my gently nickering horse.
It’s the Africa in me that has taught me how to love and patches up the fragments of my soul after each disaster and renews my zeal and increases my understanding in preparation for the next onslaught.
It’s the Africa in me that has carried me from my first baby breath and will support me to my very last.
daily prompt: Sometimes, writing poetry is a matter of getting outside of your own head, and learning to see the world in a new way. To an extent, you have to “derange” yourself – make the world strange, and see it as a stranger might. To help you do that, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem inspired by this animated version of “Seductive Fantasy” by Sun Ra and his Arkestra.
Downtown tingeling turnaround raven
never fly the crawl-in tom
erupt eyes of trauma
to butterfly ancient afar
and then after the pit of silence loneliness perhaps she awakes curled up in the rain
The written content of this blog is written by Syl.
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