NaPoWriMo wrap-up

My favorite line from yesterday’s poem:

like fireflies, radiation stars

I went with the prompt to write an ekphrastic poem. I’m going to wait on the cento-style poem–maybe until the end of the month or longer, to see whether different lines resonate more with me, to see what’s changed.

30 first lines and one last

In other years, I’ve listed titles–but because we were working with sequences, I have only six (and my favorite one’s going to have to change–darn.)

So this year, I’ll post the first lines, and the last line of the month.

The cloud as news drifts invisible

The dread cloud floating across the earth

Half your life going on, and how does it sound,

The front door says my name

Body hostage to such subatomic mysteries

Like balloons, light and ready to pop, your fears

The earth like a bear turning in her sleep holds her elements close,

After the fire’s out at the core and hope for return extinguished–

Power down, and water fills in. Call it solid,

The sea shoulders in, cuts off the pumps, the cooling water.

If weeds can burst and flourish here

On a peopled street, the world in petal light

That sky came from somewhere you knew,

One robin chiding from the pine

Find at home this shadow–familiar,

Enough to trust my voice,

Hands build a new nest, their backs marked

The shape of a cup or a tower–her eyes fly away

that frantic afternoon, the minutes in their own mysteries,

Look in one gone window to see

I pictured one tumbler by the sink, rinsed

For now the windows hold

You follow like a fish the strong pull home,

Follow the headlines to Mesopotamia,

Soot shapes chasing you till morning–

It doesn’t really matter that she cries

Tell us what they mean

Next to emptiness, that hollow waits for a god,

Nine hundred kinds of sadness

Clouds roil in like storm surf

Night seeps up from the depths.

The writing events

What did you choose to write about?

For my first event, I wrote about Chernobyl. For the second event, I wrote about Fukushima. In the third, I tried to connect them.

What I wasn’t able to fit in (yet): Stalker, Godzilla.

What’s next

First, I need to set these aside for at least a month or two–give them time to percolate and give myself a chance to catch up on laundry and housecleaning and family time.

Then, I want to dive much more deeply into research. For me, writing about an event turned out to be a lot more like investigative journalism–of which I have no experience. I need to learn a lot more about Ukrainian (and Soviet) and Japanese culture. And then there are all the facts, which are either slim or slippery or both–especially on the Internet. I also think that–even after all this–I haven’t connected with the real reason this has haunted me. I can tell you about it, but I don’t think I found the right experience in my own past. So that will be some personal research.

And, writing out these first lines–alone, without context–I can see that I really want to tense some of them up. (I really wanted to use “tension” as a verb there.)

How about you? What did you learn in NaPoWriMo this year?

What are your plans for May?

One Reply to “NaPoWriMo wrap-up”

  1. Wow, those lines are rather awesome!

    I typed in all my poems from the prompts this morning and found a lot of crap that had looked good in the rush of NaPoWriMo. That’s okay because there were some good ones too.

    My event was reading Rachel Carson’s Under the Sea Wind for the first time and boy was that a difficult one to fit into your prompts! 🙂 Much too nebulous and I ended up writing a lot of generic eco-poetry. Perhaps it got the drivel out of my system.

    In May, I’m going to make sure to write a short story (I’ve done one a month since the year started but gave myself a pass) and try to revise those of the Carson ones that seem decent.

    Thank you!

Comments are closed.