(Untitled)

we exhale a bit
of our souls
not a huge portion,
not enough to fill
a toy balloon
nor form a bubble.

we exhale,
what scientists
would call
trace amounts.


mingling
with car exhaust,
vapor trails,
and the gaseous
remains from radioactive
decay, eventually



escaping the pull
of the planet




to disperse farther





and farther






into the ever-expanding







domain









of s










t










a











r













s.














I wonder, in the end,
what fraction
of our souls
will we have left.

“And the ransomed of the LORD shall return and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” – Isaiah 51:11

NaPoWriMo #2205

Other half

“I am looking for my other half,”
says the profile of the manananggal
on the dating app.

“Oh, silly me! Not that half,”
thought she, as she took
a glance at entrails moist
and pulsing, dangling
from her upper half.

******

Today’s prompt was to write a poem of a mythical creature doing something unusual. To the unfamiliar, a manananggal, by the way, is a Filipino mythical creature, usually female, capable of severing its upper torso. It flies on bat-like wings in search of victims.

NaPoWriMo #2204

Today’s prompt is to write
a poem about queueing
at the grocery checkout
because you can tell
a lot about people
from what they purchase:
for instance, that lady
probably owns
a sari-sari store,
those junk food
dangling, foil packaging
glistening and tempting
passersby. “Did they
really say
you must limit
your sodium intake?”
Convinced, they might see
it desirable for its
salty satiety.

And what of the guy
with only a mesh
strainer in hand?
Will he be cooking
pasta, sifting
flour, or rinsing
rice?

And of course, that
kid panicking
in silence
as his mother
leaves him
for a dozen
eggs.

NaPoWriMo #2203

Falling stars

“Do you still remember: falling stars,
how they leapt slantwise through the sky
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles
of our wishes—did we have so many?”
– Rainer Maria Rilke

Always, at eventide it rains
and the sky, a window, shrouded
by a velvety gloom
no constellation visible,
not the planets: not Venus,
not even Jupiter nor Mars.
And on evenings exceptionally fine
there is the gossamer haze of lights,
and smoke from factories, cars…
Do you still remember: falling stars?

On that night, we sat observing
the city in exhausted stupor
lights dimming like drowsy eyes.
and between us, not a word
escaping, the stillness unbroken
but for your sudden cry,
“Look!” and following where
your outstretched arm directed,
in that moment I saw unblinking
those tiny pinpricks of light fly
how they leapt slantwise through the sky

This scene that’s few and far between
of cosmic wayferers traversing
this dull and sleepy world’s thresholds
to disintegrate in radiant dust,
fallout from a long and weary journey
traced around the sun in circles.
Will it be its last or will it
repeat, reappear against
the backdrop of cosmic milky girdles
like horses over suddenly held-out hurdles

A tap on my shoulder to dispel
me of my celestial reverie,
“Now hurry, make a wish,” you said.
So with unopened eyes we breathed
the yearnings of our wistful hearts
sacred, silent, and plenty.
Will these falling stars, I wonder,
respond to us with grace
to realize, oh to grant any
of our wishes—did we have so many?

******

The glosa is an interesting Spanish form of poetry where four lines of another poem are quoted as an epigraph. These four lines also act as a refrain for each of the four stanzas of the glosa. Each stanza has ten lines and some sources say that the final word of the sixth and ninth line must rhyme with the tenth.

This is one of the prompts I found to be quite but I didn’t want to give up on it as it was very compelling to attempt.

NaPoWriMo #2202

several and sundry

severed, and torn asunder
from the field, the filth,
plucked: a prize,
washed,
rinsed,
repaired.
no longer
indistinct
nor vague
but whole
and wholly
mine

******

Well, what do you know, it is the National Poetry Writing Month again. Today’s prompt was to write a poem based on a word featured from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words.

NaPoWriMo #2124

The heart can be
a nuisance and a threat.
When startled, it rises
quickly, compressing
into tight
intimidating shapes.
But its murmurations
are dazzling,
ubiquitous,
and puzzling,
drawing many to watch.

We gather, in tens
of thousands,
aligning ourselves
with those nearby,
synchronizing
our movements
with precision
and grace,
like a moving stream.

But why?
A perplexing
question.

For every winter,
in the cold,
when it rains
night after night
after night,
there is only
us
and the statues.

NaPoWriMo #2120

Internet is down today. “Outgoing outage,” says tech support.
T-Rex jumps o’er cacti clumps. I hit refresh, then start all over.
What’s life like before we got wired? Seems ages past, hard to imagine.

******

The prompt was to write a sijo, a traditional Korean form of poetry.

NaPoWriMo #2118

the poemfish

comes and goes,
often unnanounced

in the dark of night
when you’re cozy in your sheets
and the bleating of the sheep
is lulling you to sleep,

in the rosy hour at dusk
as you’re waiting for the bus
while the weary crowd walks by
saddled with their cares,

at the point of deepest grief,
in the early rains of spring, 
at the waxing of the moon,
or the dying of the light

silently it floats
behind your ear, it bites
with many comb-shaped teeth
regurgitating words
that leaves you with an ache
to capture the sublime
or chronicle the trite
but as abrupt as its appearance
so too it flees away
without a trace
without a sound
no splish
nor splash
just
dangling
l
i
n
e
s

******

Today’s was an interesting prompt: write a poem based on a chapter title from Susan G. Woodridge’s Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life with Words.

NaPoWriMo #2117

thick grey ghosts, the clouds
make sorry excuses for
their shrouding of the moon

******

The prompt was to write a moon-themed poem. At the same time, I learned that today is also the International Haiku Poetry Day so I decided to write it a haiku. Not exactly 5-7-5 but adhering to the format in simplicity and brevity.

NaPoWriMo #2116

Careful now, that thing might fall,
drop like a ball
beyond that wall.
Too close a call,
so move away,
otherwise, there’s price to pay.
This cloudy day
might bring a squall
so quit the gall
or you might bawl
for what might be forever lost—
to drop it all
too great the cost.