Napowrimo 2020 Day 25- Some Advice

I wouldn’t open that door if I were you.
Last year I stored the Atlantic ocean
behind it, stuffed it into every corner.
I only just managed to close the latch.
If opened, the room will fill with brine,
the house as well, the streets of this
sea-level town all submerged and we will
sink down to rest on the carpet below.

I probably wouldn’t open that door either.
for you will see a short corridor, leading
to another door, which leads to a short
corridor, leading to yet another door-
you get my point. After weeks you may
turn back, to be faced with the same
endless recursion of impossible doors.

That’s where I store my collection of
nebulae and black holes, that one there
leads straight to the hurricane hangar.

Only the last one is out of bounds,
the wooden door a foot high, there
above the skirting board in the corner.
I keep the key around my neck on a chain.
It’s alarmed, but you wouldn’t know it.
That’s where I keep my worries. Inside,
a cupboard of ink-stained shadows,
paper torn into confetti, a whistling,
quiet and high, with no visible origin.

Prompt became the opening line- “I wouldn’t open that door if I were you” from Apples and Snakes

Napowrimo Day 24 – Ripples

“It’s been a while,” the water whispers
as I enter, inch by inch,
“but what’s a few million years between
friends? I know why
you abandoned me for land. I forgive you”

Every part of my body
is held so tenderly as I submerge my head,
the cold slowing all
anxieties. I realise I have always been a wave,
never the same from
one moment to the next, always dissolving
into surf. I watch
my worries float away, turn into foam.

I kick forward,
make the first stroke and the water murmurs
“Welcome home”

Prompt was “Why are you swimming and how long are you in the water?” from the Poetry from the time of being alone group. I love swimming and miss it a lot.

Napowrimo 2020 Day 23- Erasing

“I know how this goes!” I say to no-one
as light starts to intensify, obliterating
all detail. Trees will become indistinct
shapes in the mist, never coalescing
into objects. The grass will flicker
with blue fire sparks, but that will
be the least of my problems. Walls,
so dependable and solid, will become
transparent as the hungry light feeds.

“Bring it on!” I will shout towards the
rapidly dissolving sky. “So predictable!
You’re not even trying!” I will scream
as the outline of my body transforms
into scattered pencil smudges, as my
carbon is disassembled, as I become
the cyclone. “C minus!!” I will shout,
“Unlucky, try a lot harder next time!”

Prompt was the first line “I know how this goes…” from Apples and Snakes. They are also doing some great readings over on their youtube channel, so check those out.

Napowrimo 2020 Day 21- Confessions

I know they have secrets to spill,
given everything they’ve witnessed.
I’ve tried different approaches,
asking “How are you?” directly or
“Did you see the game last night?”
as an icebreaker. They never respond,
remain stubbornly shy. Perhaps
I have not found the right topic.

Some nights the floorboards creak
out curses as they shrink or expand.
At times, the computer sings softly
to itself, a single note to clarify
the air. I have heard these stories
too often, consider their secrets dull.

I know the walls understand more
than they let on, but I am unnerved
by their lack of reply. “It’s OK,”
I whisper, late at night, palm on
the cool bricks “You can trust me.”
They remain speechless. All I hear
is my own breath, slow and patient,
and outside the persistent muttering
of winds, yearning to find a way in.

Prompt was “The silent walls” from LemondaisyPoetry on Instagram

Napowrimo day 20- Ritual

Thick mists and darkness linger. Crows try
listlessly to call the day into being, to
dissipate the vapour and somehow praise
the unknown. One plummets, arrow in the
fog, landing crooked. A fragile wing mutilated.
It cries, summoning the dawn, the golden world.

Prompt was to “make a golden shovel” from the Poetry in the Time of Being Alone group. I used a line from this poem for this one.

A Response From the Black Box

One night last week, I thought I had a breakthrough. I was fiddling with a new set of code in the middle section of the input. I don’t work with the programme directly of course. It’s beyond us now. No-one has any idea what it’s doing. It’s meant to be running simulations to find a solution to the energy crisis but it doesn’t do anything.

It was one in the morning. Maybe two. Most of the time its just me and a screen. Sometimes the text dances, my head spins, the world becomes distant. I should probably stop when this happens, but I never do.

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Napowrimo 2020 Day 19- The Movement of Boulders

Given the kindness and cruelty of time,
a majority forgot those years where
the tilt of the earth increased. Only
a degree. Or more. Scientists spoke,
we didn’t listen, lost in our own panic,
sick with adrenaline. Maybe others
were able to convince themselves
by repetition: It wasn’t that bad. We
pulled together. It wasn’t that bad.

What they omit is the months of still
night, a numbness that never left,
the dread- this situation was static,
we had buried our normality with axes
under the ice floes that spread arms
down from the north, over city towers,
consuming mountains, farms and futures.
A new ice age. Mostly I woke, limbs numb,
wondering how I would endure the day.

I always did. And given enough days,
even the glaciers melted and receded,
leaving behind new altered landscapes,
sun painted gifts for our patience.

Prompt was to “Write a poem including the words ‘forgot’, ‘maybe’ and ‘tilt’” from the Poetry in the Time of Being Alone Group

Napowrimo 2020 Day 18 – The Return

When I landed I felt the weight
of myself rush back into my body
like water through an open dam.
I was thankful for no longer
being a raindrop. I saw the sky
as an ocean we swim through daily.

When I landed I felt the spinning
of the planet under my shaking feet,
a constant treadmill, a dizziness.
I understood it was always this way.

When I landed I felt the breeze
stroke my skin and breathed in
all the blooms of the world.
For a second I heard the voices
of the stratosphere and spoke
in reply with quick exhales.

When I landed those dreams ended.

When I landed I left a part of myself
floating but never falling. I longed
to release myself from gravity again,
to leap and sublimate this limited body,
join the air currents and become diffuse.

Prompt was to “use anaphora” from AmyKayPoetry. I didn’t quite use it correctly as it’s meant to be successive phrases but I liked the end result.

Napowrimo 2020 Day 17- Waiting

My former body is discarded over
a plastic chair, abandoned to
numbness. Now I am these walls,
the vending machine in the corner
humming its constant mantra,
the flicker of that strip light
spelling out a morse code psalm,
the runes of mould creeping over
each ceiling tile. Aeons vanish.

I try to affect some small change.
Three thousand years or thereabouts
pushing at the door, another hundred
attempting to disturb the leaflets
which remain stubbornly motionless.
So this is eternity, the room thinks,
still, peaceful and yet repellent.

Prompt was “The Waiting Room” from Apples and Snakes on Instagram

Napowrimo 2020 Day 16 – Surface Tension

Between worlds the shine of the sea,
the light that marks the dividing line
between our world and our neighbours.

We see reflections of what we could be-
our limbs rippling, our throats opening
our eyes wide and dark, our skin slick
like oil. The salt crusting over our lips,
covering bare shoulder blades which almost
poke through the skin, sodium crystals
becoming scales. Our laughter now visible,
rebounding off submerged landmasses.

How we, stranded above, long to let
the glimmer into our lungs, breathe in
the perfection of each gentle wave.

We skim the surface of that blinding
mirror with cupped hands, searching
for entry. Clouds gradually gather.
Our parallel selves fade into foam.

Prompt was “The blinding mirror” from LemonDaisyPoetry

Napowrimo 2020 day 15 – Late fees

CW: death

Your library is now scattered.
Yellowing paperbacks you found
by chance in second-hand markets,
hardbacks with messages inscribed
on the first page, the much read,
the dogeared, the pristine copies,
the underlined, all now are removed
from your shelves and returned back
to the world. Those words were always
loaned. Given the absence of you,
the catalogue that arranged the spines,
we dispersed piles to charity shops,
disintegrated each memory and each
sentimental gift. Your neurons too,
were always borrowed, now separated
into atoms and thrown back into
the wild universe, to be reused or
discarded or recombined into new
words, new combinations, new life.

Prompt was “object permanence” in the Poetry in the time of being alone group. Halfway through!

Napowrimo 2020 Day 14 – Modified

Purple clouds transform and jitter
over the emerald sky. My limbs
are sprawled over silicone grass
as I observe butterflies flit in
and out of existence. Everything

is as it should be. Idly, I conduct
the morning, my arm leaving blurs
behind like a paintbrush. Memories
of another world, similar to this
one but seen through a petrol spill,
congeal at the edges of my vision.

I shake my head free. Leave me here,
in this field suffused with scents
of burnt cinnamon, with the chimes
of those distant crystalline waves.

A soft rain falls, melting trees.


Prompt for today was Purple Clouds from LemondaisyPoetry on Instagram