blogging · creativity · culture · Humour · poetry · travel · writing

Oh, Canada!

Welcome to my country,
there’s so much to explore.
We really are a friendly bunch
but there’s a few things we abhor

So, we’ve written specific rules
for our visitors to keep in mind –
above and beyond the expected
these oddities are considered crime.

Please refrain from removing
a band-aid while in a public place,
and it’s more than just offensive
to fart when in another’s space.

Should you happen to encounter
our most coveted royal, the Queen,
avoid startling or scaring her, or
your arrest will cause a scene.

Driving a sleigh down the highway
may seem a ludicrous thing to do,
however; it’s actually acceptable if
your horse sports bells more than two.

Taking your feet off bicycle pedals,
is illegal in Ottawa, our capital town,
and riding through Sudbury with a siren
will elicit more than just a frown.

While sightseeing with your mother
in Toronto – our largest city by far –
no matter how much she provokes you,
save any expletives for inside the car.

Climbing trees, tying laces, and even
painting wooden ladders, all have laws
you’ll need to abide, so next time you’re
in Canada, before you act, give pause.

And for goodness sake, be sure to
visit our beauteous province of B.C. –
but leave your gun at home, for
killing a Sasquatch is illegal, you see.

napo2018button1

(The final prompt invites a little humour – to write about strange historical facts or laws.  These little known Canadian laws are courtesy of narcity.com)

adversity · creativity · mental-health · poetry · Uncategorized · women's issues · writing

Dear Sylvia Plath (Response to Apprehensions)

Please let me preface with a confession –
I am not familiar with your work.
It is not oversight on my part, rather
a deliberate avoidance – you see,
I too have faced the brand of madness
that drove you to your death, have
feared that any intimacy we might share
would stir my own apprehensions.

Indeed, I understand all too well
the presence of walls,
have believed in the power of sky,
the promise of green, found faith in angels –
nature my solace – realized too young
that the sun’s brilliance, that my brilliance
cannot be sustained by the innocence of white –
bleeds at the fate of indifferent stars.

I understand how gray seeps in,
tears away at the illusions,
entraps us –
how the past stalks, spirals
threatens to suck us in, and how
having lost my own connection to birds and trees,
wonderment sours.

It is the fate of women
born into patriarchal times,
that the blood of our menses
should colour our fists –
our fury as potent as a paper bag –
how can we not feel terror
when we worship a God
whose religion disparages our gender?

I have faced the inevitability of black –
what once brought solace having lost
its definition, unidentifiable –
have faced mortality, the cold blank
stares of death still haunting –
I am the one who has passed you by –
afraid to linger too long in your words,
have woefully overlooked
the merit of a sympathetic read.

napo2018button1

(Today’s prompt is to write a response to a poem by Sylvia Plath.)

aging · creativity · poetry · spirituality · writing

Moon Message

I stand on the threshold of change
anxiety and depression howling at my side
the shadows of uncertainty elongated
by the fullness of the moon.

She is no guide, this orb-faced
deity, whose countenance
fails to reveal a directive –
and yet, at some primal level

I feel we are aligned,
know that her pull is primal
her presence a reminder
that life is cyclical and

just as the emotional waters
rise, so too will they ease
and her voiceless essence
calls me to still the madness

close my eyes to the distortion of fear
and attune to a calm inner glow –
to trust the light within, and
move noiselessly into the unknown.

napo2018button1

(Today’s prompt is to select a tarot card and write about it.)

creativity · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Impossibility of Morning

Shards of light cut around the edges of blinds
puncture the bubble of sleep, my eyes
resist opening, consciousness absent
from body, lying corpse-like
under a mound of blankets –
the furnace failing in the night.

Incessant chirping accosts my ears
not yet ready to respond to birdsong,
brain encased in a cement-block fog,
the mournful coos of a dove more fitting
for this somnambulist state.

Mouth, cotton dry, dreams of that first
honey-sweet sip of hot tea, smells coffee
brewing, the warm, encouraging aroma
of toast, weakly considers the possibility
of moving, but body still bears the weight
of death – refusing to respond.

Minutes will stretch to hours –
these mornings when illness wrestles
me into submission, the harshness
of its reality wrapping me mummy-like,
imprisoned in immobility – sentenced
without crime, trial or jury.

napo2018button1

(Today’s prompt challenges us to use all the senses.)

 

creativity · culture · poetry · travel · writing

Whales and Protocols

“What is that?”
a boy, two seats over
echoes my thoughts
“I’ve been wondering that too!”
I blurt, disregarding social protocols.

What are the protocols for people
herded onto a ferry, headed across
open water, seated in close proximity
to neighbours?

“A whale?”
his mother asks, obviously as eager
as I to catch sight of one.

“Not whale behaviour, really –
it hasn’t submerged.”

“Sometimes they roll on the surface.”

I’m not an expert on whales, but doubt it.

“It’s a boat,” the father declares
bursting our bubbles.

A curtain draws between us –
they return to their lunch
and talk of things unrelated to whales.

napo2018button1

(Today’s challenge is to incorporate dialogue into our poetry.)

creativity · Humour · life · ME/ CFS · poetry · writing

Finding Corners in Fitted Sheets

Intensity drops in,
early, before I have a chance
to set the day in order –
puts me on the defensive.

She clings, encourages me
to hold on, her sick creativity
awake with impulsivity –
I am ailing, loyal, compelled

to launder the linens,
desperately trying to find corners
in the circular fitted sheet –
dependent on daily chores.

She wants to talk about feelings –
but I am still numbed from sleep,
from this never-ending illness,
from this perfectionist drive for optimism.

She wants to embrace, hug me
into submission, lecture me on the benefits
of organics and loose-leaf teas, and I am
too busy avoiding her to be grateful.

napo2018button1

(My chosen prompt for today’s challenge is “circles can’t have corners”)

creativity · culture · Love · poetry · relationships · writing

Narcissus and Echo

A tragic flaw
does not always a hero make.

She thought it did –
despite her beauty,
despite the Zeus’ who pursued her;
she set her sights on the unattainable.

Was it self-degradation or the sting
of a jilted spouse that tarnished her –
either way she lost her voice,
her autonomy shattered.

He tolerated her –
to a point – let her fawn
perversely intrigued,
no doubt flattered,
by her willingness to cloy.

Love was not in his DNA –
he lacked the missing component
so wrapt in his own drama;
he had no empathy –
no capacity for compassion.

Was it Nemesis, or
did they just reap what they’d sewn –
for theirs was a tragedy of Greek proportions –

the more distant he grew
the more she desired him
like a flower, too delicate to grasp

the less she demanded for herself
the less visible she was to him –
meaningless words lost on deaf ears

Sadly, theirs is a common tale –
though mythical in its telling, the patterns
repeat – love continues to elude.

napo2018button1

(Pretty sure you can guess today’s prompt.  Hope you enjoyed.)