DPVP does NaPoWriMo – More from our support group…

Pies…

I like to make big crusted pies
I bake them from your truth and lies
I bake them blind, so I can’t see the contents neath the crust.

What will you find, sweetness or dust?
Or a little of both, lines intermingled
Beneath the crust which is a little bit crinkled.

Contributed to by Alex, Jenny, Stefanie, Marie & Debi

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – A Veteran’s Guide with Mabh Savage

NaPoWriMo: A Veteran’s Guide

Okay, ‘veteran’ is maybe a strong term, but I’ve completed it on time two years on the trot, completed it a touch late one year and totally cocked it up another year, so I would say I have a wide experience of what NaPoWriMo is like, from all angles! NaPoWriMo is the anachronym for National Poetry Writing Month, the little sibling of NaNoWriMo which is the same for novels, which occurs later in the year. NaNo’s challenge is to write a 50,000 word novel in a month; daunting to most people. NaPo’s challenge is less about the word count and more about consistency and perseverance; the challenge is to write a poem every day. Every single day, and if you miss a day, then you do two poems the next day. And so forth. So why do we do this to ourselves?

Poetry is Fun

Many people think poetry is the height of pretension, playing with words to look clever, or to give voice to lofty, philosophical dreams. This need not be the case, although deep, philosophical poetry certainly has its place! If you’re thinking you wouldn’t have the necessary material to write decent poetry, think again. Some of my most popular poems have been about very un-deep subjects indeed. Some are downright silly.

I almost wish it were
A metaphor for death; decay!
Instead you’ll be surprised
To hear me say
That coming home to
Mouldy guacamole
Holy moley!
Guacamole!
Is actually a measure
Of my happiness
My pleasure
Green and lumpy
Like it should be
Now it’s blue as well:
Oh hell!
But no drama
At this sight;
I shrug and in this moonlit night
In the bin I put the mess to bed
And have a lovely curry instead.

There is no deep meaning to this poem. I came home one night looking forward to finishing off my lovely homemade guacamole, probably with some crackers and what not, and it had developed a lovely little hat of pin-mould. Yes, I will literally write about anything. And you should too. Don’t fret and worry over feeling the perfect bit of inspiration. Anything that makes you smile, laugh, roll your eyes, grit your teeth; anything you feel something over can inspire a little bit of poetry.

Poetry has No Rules

It doesn’t have to rhyme, although it can. It doesn’t have to have perfect form, although if you want to follow iambic pentameter (five sets of two syllables per line, with the emphasis on every second syllable) rigorously, that’s OK too. Here’s an example of a rhyming poem that tries to follow the same or similar rhythm on each line.

Poorly him is poorly me

A thing I cannot bear to see

A furrowed brow; a sweaty neck

A temperature I have to check

A grumpy face, a growly voice

Sad with each and every choice

Wants a blanky; wants a nest

Wants to cuddle to my chest.

Wants some food then nothing’s nice

Not eggs or ice nor toast or rice

Nor sweets or beans nor jams or creams

Not cocoa pops or ham, it seems.

So pillows, sheets and arms it is

Exhausted both; but friends in bliss

As poorly him hugs poorly me;

We rest: the best that we can be.

 

The rhymes lend emphasis and give the poem a sing-song quality that matches the subject, my little (then) four-year-old boy needing his mummy. In contrast, here’s a poem that has no reasonable rhyming scheme or structure.

Take a pinch of ecstatic ether

Breathe into lover’s eyes

Stretch silk over frame

Of sweat and sinew.

Remove stars from the sky

Place in own eyes

Blink three times

There’s no place like home

And there you are.

 

Sometimes the way the words weave together is enough. It doesn’t need to be pruned and prodded into a particular structure.

 

Pro tip: If you are unsure how your poem will read, try reading it out loud. If you find that it sounds a bit disjointed, try changing some of the emphasis onto different words, or getting your editing pen out. When we read a poem on the page, we always hear a voice in our head speaking it to us. If it sounds great read out loud, the chances are it will sound great in someone’s head.

 

Poetry is Great to Share

 

One of the most fantastic things I’ve found about NaPoWriMo is how many friends I’ve made dong it! From the comfort of my own sofa, which is exceedingly handy when I’m not able to get out and about, I have shared my poems through my own website and Facebook, including dedicated groups for NaPoWriMo poets. I also get to read everyone else’s poems, and comment on the ones I like best. And sometimes, I get lovely comments about my poems, which makes it all worthwhile! When someone tells you a poem you wrote made them smile; that, to me, is one of the best feelings ever. The other great thing about these groups is they encourage you to keep going. When you feel like your muse has slammed the door on the way out of the building; when you’re tired, anxious ,down, doubting yourself; when you’re thinking it all seems a bit impossible; go and have a read of other people’s work, see how they’re managing, and talk to them to find out what keeps them ticking along. And remember, it’s all for fun!

 

Good luck to everyone participating in NaPoWriMo this year. Here are some fantastic links and resources that I use every year. I look forward to reading everybody’s poems!

 

The Official Site: http://www.napowrimo.net/

They are already blogging about this year’s event, and during the month of April you’ll find prompts to inspire you, hints, tips and poems from this year’s participants. There’s also a place to share your website, should you want to.

 

The Official Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/napowrimo

An easier place to share your poems if you don’t have a dedicated website. More prompts on here, and usually a dedicated post each day to share your own poems and read the other poets’ work.

 

NaPoWriMo Sharing Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/357732567604333/?ref=br_rs

A nice, friendly group for sharing poems. I’ve found some lovely people here.

 

The Poetry School: https://poetryschool.com/theblog/napowrimo-2017/

These are last year’s prompts, and I’d be very surprised if they don’t put some new ones up this year.

 

My Site: https://soundsoftime.wordpress.com/

My daily poems will appear here, mostly on a theme of spring this year, although who knows when I’ll be inspired by something gross in my fridge!

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – More from our support group…

A poem doesn’t have to be long, doesn’t have to tell a huge, convoluted story… Sometimes, a poem is simple, to the point and just… A little poem. 🙂

I Had A Little Tree

I had a little tree
It grew strong and tall
So tall, in fact, it knocked over my garden wall!
It grew so tall that I could not see
Anything that wasn’t tree.

By Debi, Lisa Ann, Marie & Alex

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – And now for something completely different…

This week we invited the members of the PF disabilities support group to help us write some poetry by each person writing a line each… We’ll let you decide how successful we were with this first one! 😉

There was once a little old witch
Whose spells could make you sneeze or itch
Her cauldron was rusty
Her spell books were dusty
Her potions she threw in a ditch

Contributed to by Jen, Alex, Jon, Marie and Annette.

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – The Dark Call Home by Thea

The Dark Call Home

 

I am of a hill tribe, overlooking the sea
Fierce, warlike, steadfast and wise.

I am of a warrior race, where women fought together with men
Equal in all things.

I am of an independent people, uncowed by weather
Proud of our resilience, astuteness and cunning.

Our  vistas are huge
Our  mountains high
Our  seas deep
and our dark moors are ridden by Calleach and not by the maiden.

These are harsh lands, essential to our survival
These are wild lands, haunted and hunted by freedom
But these are our lands,
scattered with kinship and niedfire.

This is home.

Thea

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – Reach Out by Krys

Reach Out

‘Reach out’ they say
Like it’s an easy thing to do
But I might as well climb a mountain
When it’s only a hill to you

Who’d want to know this ship wreck
This mess upon the floor
I have no strength for fighting
I can’t even open the door

I am the party pooper
I’m the rain on everyone’s parade
Why inflict myself on others
When I can’t play the charade

‘It’s just attention seeking nonsense’
That’s what I fear they’ll say
And so I keep it to myself
Until it goes away

Yes there’s days I’m happy
Times when I’ll join in
But now is not one of those
So I’ll hide and draw within

Krys

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – I Don’t Write Poems by Debi

I Don’t Write Poems

I don’t write poems
I find it really hard
I used to write them all the time
But not any more.

I don’t write poems
It’s too much emotion for me
I don’t want to dig deep enough
To write the poetry I used to.

I don’t write poems
I like to make them rhyme
And writing well enough to rhyme
Feels like too much braining right now.

I don’t write poems
I have no poetry in me
I used to be verbose and witty
Now my writing’s really shitty.

I don’t write poems
Hey, I managed a rhyme
This is first poem i’ve written for years
Wow, it’s crap.

Debi

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – The Phone Call by Iona

The Phone Call

 

She didn’t talk for long
What she said touched me
I had been there myself

The call had woken all those memories again
Memories etched deep in my soul
Carved blood red on my heart
Like tribal initiation scars.

I was overwhelmed with pain
Her pain, my pain
The pain of so many
No longer trusting
No longer strong

It hurt so much.
Enveloped in tears, I wept
Hoping to flow away into eternity
To a place,
Where pain would never find me.

I cried like a child,
Sobbing and croaking,
Trying to catch my weak breath….
Exhaustion led to deep sleep

I woke

Full of surprise
The world was still spinning
The sun still in the sky
Oblivious to the fact our
Lives had changed for ever.

Iona

DPVP does NaPoWriMo – I Know A Druid by Anna

I Know A Druid…

Oh i know a druid with a long and knobbly staff
At each and every gorsedd it always gets a laugh
It keeps the bards and ovates chortling from Imbolc to Yule
Though it could do with polishing and it needs a new ferrule.
Some say it’s made of bog oak, some say ’tis made of yew,
And passers by, they say ‘Hey bloke
Show us your didjeridoo.’
We treat it with respect, and all regard it as a friend
‘Cause when it’s stood erect
We hang the banner on the end.
At every pagan meeting, when he waves it about
People give a happy cheer, and raise a mighty shout!
The Wiccans, they all giggle, and the hedge witch starts to laugh
And calls ‘Hooray! Here comes that druid, with his knobbly staff!’

Anna

(This poem can also be sung to the tune of “My Old Man’s A Dustman”)