Category Archives: NaPoWriMo Challenge

30 poems in 30 days. I can do it! I think.

Directions to…

Illustration by Gyo Fujikawa

I know a place where the elves and the gnomes
Hide and seek among toadstools by arbor homes
I know a place where the fairies bathe
In violet waters under waterfall sprays

Bring some water and snacks ’cause it’s quite a long walk
Follow the ringing of bells to the city hall clock
Take a left at the stop sign beside the corner store
And continue on until you see the sparkling shore

Now by the beach there is an old water fountain
Circle three times and find an acorn on a button
Touch it with a twig that you’ve found in the sand
And watch the reveal of an entrance to the land

Of singing daisies and frogs that can fly
Go through the brambles of eyeball berries, don’t ask me why
Tiptoe across the chocolate bridge, careful not to wake the troll
And through the psychic forest where trees can see into your soul

When you hear the mermaids singing, you are very, very close
Keep following the path where fairy dust has gathered the most
Turn a gentle right as you reach the pond of bubbling beer
And there you have it friend, your destination is here!

Last poem for the last day of NaPoWriMo! The prompt was to write directions to any place, I chose a magical one this time around. Sad that poetry month is coming to an end, but I suppose it doesn’t mean I can’t write poems now and then. (I’ve gotten used to writing in rhyme, to get rid of that tendency will take some time!)

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April showers bring May flowers

Tip tap tippity drip drop
Tinny splattering on the car top
Flattened discs merging into one another
Erased by squeaking wipers as my father
Splashes through sneaky pothole puddles
Landing where earth and sidewalk muddle
Soaked, budding florets dance and sway
While we try to stay dry on a rainy day

Creation of the day for NaPoWriMo day 28.

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In the centre of action at any establishment
Explosive spontaneity and loud excitement
Hurrahs and congrats, collective laughter sings
In this moment, she feels a sense of belonging

Near the edge of the crowd, hearing blurred conversation
Sipping drinks in company, without need for recognition
Exchanged smiles, silent interactions, gently observing
In this moment, she feels a sense of belonging

Surrounded with attention
Recluse yet with affection
From the inside projecting outwards
From the outside looking inwards
What for one brings joy, the other annoys
“I feel bad for her, she’s so alone and separated.”
“All that noise and fakeness is so overrated.”

My poem fro NaPoWriMo day 27. The prompt was to take inspiration from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows and here is the word that I chose:


v. intr. feeling the tranquil pleasure of being near a gathering but not quite in it—hovering on the perimeter of a campfire, chatting outside a party while others dance inside, resting your head in the backseat of a car listening to your friends chatting up front—feeling blissfully invisible yet still fully included, safe in the knowledge that everyone is together and everyone is okay, with all the thrill of being there without the burden of having to be.

I honestly thought this definition was so poetic in itself so took the idea of “midding” as an explanation for why it might be nice to enjoy quieter, less public spaces within a gathering and made it a point for comparison to what is generally seen as the typical way one enjoys a party. Extravert or introvert, which one are you?

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Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Sweet dreams are made of cheese
Gouda, cheddar, feta, halloumi
I’d travel the world and the seven seas
Everybody’s looking for some brie

Short one for NaPoWriMo day 26 – a parody inspired my misheard lyrics of the song “Sweet Dreams” by Eurhythmics.

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Hello, my dear, you’ve come a long way. What a wild ride it’s been, eh?
Looking back it must feel funny – joy, love, achievements, money –
Things I seek now, did it matter – to make our life better?
Memories created, which one is your favourite?
Sorry for the questions, I have inhibitions…
Do you believe something exists after death?
I hope I didn’t leave you with regrets.
That was the fear, to waste away years.
Experiencing chaos, noises –
Would you change any choices?
Listen to more voices?
I hope you are proud.
Fears are allowed.
It’s alright,
Just say

A poem for NaPoWriMo day 25. The prompt was to write a poem for a particular occasion and one that came to mind was a last conversation with my future old self. There would be so many emotions, questions, and stories to talk about – yet time would be running out, so I wanted to reflect those limits and urgency in the “countdown” structure of syllables per line. It turned out more morbid than I anticipated, but so writing goes.

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Pikas and Toddlers

Photo by Janko Ferlic

Despite their cuddly appearance, toddlers –
Are among North America’s toughest.
Their trails of chaos survive the alpine terrain,
Windswept no-man’s land above tree line.
Small, with short stout bodies,
Big round ears, and no visible tail,
With earth-toned colouration
They easily camouflage among the rocks.
American toddlers have adapted to exploring
Very inconspicuous environments.
Hidden, they collect grasses, weeds,
And tall wildflowers in the sun’s heat.
The American toddler can recognize
Members of their colony.
In a high pitched and squeaky call,
they gurgle away their position,
Alerting frantic searchers of their presence,
To their parents’ relief.

The prompt for day 24 of NaPoWriMo was:

Find a factual article about an animal. A Wikipedia article or something from National Geographic would do nicely – just make sure it repeats the name of the animal a lot. Now, go back through the text and replace the name of the animal with something else – it could be something very abstract, like “sadness” or “my heart,” or something more concrete, like “the streetlight outside my window that won’t stop blinking.” You should wind up with some very funny and even touching combinations, which you can then rearrange and edit into a poem.

I have taken inspiration from a former biology professor who taught us about pikas and their remarkable abilities and behaviour. I took excerpts from the article titled “American Pika” from The National Wildlife Federation as the starting point for today’s prompt.

Study: Geography, not genetics, influences American pika's response to  climate change
Here is what a pika looks like. Photo by Keith Kohl

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Would you

Would you wander
Across the parched desert
Against sandstorm winds
On foot, not on camel

Would you search
Across the Sahara
Through oasis mirages
For riches?

Would you sail
Across monster waves
Against whirlpools and rapids
Sunshine or rain

Would you search
Across the five oceans
Through light and dark waters
For peace?

Would you ponder
Across words and images
Against fact and fiction
All of knowledge across time

Would you search
Across the edges of the web
Through thoughts and opinions
For truth?

Would you inhale
Across mountains and valleys
Through tunnels and caves
The air crisp or smoky

Would you search
Across chakras and psyche
Through victory and trauma
For purpose?

Would you wander
Would you sail
Would you ponder
Would you inhale
Would you sacrifice
Would you suffer
Would you smile
Would you start
Will you start
When do you start
To live?

NaPoWriMo day 23, channeling existential crisis number who-knows-what.

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A poem for Earth Day

Coral Reef Bleaching & Rising Sea Temperatures

Florals of the sea
Shelter for urchins, anemones

Nourished by green floater by’s
Outstretched towards sunny skies

Mosaics of coloured towers
Unwavering through tidal hours

Tumble into the sand
Killed by particles from the land

Ignorance, disinterest, concern
Rescue efforts and lessons learned

Creeping recovery on the ocean floor
In hope that they shall blossom once more

NaPoWriMo day 22.

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Without water one cannot swim
Without competitors one cannot win
Without secrets one cannot lie
Without breath one cannot die
Without a king one cannot checkmate
Without words thoughts cannot precipitate
Without will there is no action
Without want there is no attraction
Without gravity one cannot fall
Except in love

NaPoWriMo day 21.

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Travel – a sijo

Breathtaking views, incredible stories, strangers to friends
In this vast world are new experiences at your fingertips
Everyone’s invited, gather round – say hello through a screen

I am late to the NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) party, but here is a sijo for day 20.

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