Best Writing Forum

Poet's Corner => Poet's Corner => Topic started by: Gyppo on April 01, 2021, 10:37:13 AM

Title: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 01, 2021, 10:37:13 AM
I suspect most of the regular poets will be congregating at The Tangled Branch - which sounds like a cosy little hostelry with a fig tree weaving its convoluted way around the entrance.  But if you want to give them a second outing, or if you feel a bit shy, then shove them in this thread here.

I'll kick it off for you.

=====

Immigrant

Hidden deep in the frozen earth,
waiting out the harsh winter months,
as enzymic triggers cock,
ready to fire as the snow  melts.
Peeping warily, growing tall, green,
then paling in the sunlight.

Cut down by monstrous machines,
beaten with mechanical flails,
divided into useful components.

The seeds take a long sea voyage,
arriving in the English Cotswold's.
Crushed between steel rollers,
bagged and labelled,
'Canadian Classic Wholemeal'.

A road trip brings it to my home,
where it's mixed with casual expertise,
ancient and beneficial processes,
almost magical in effect,
taking place under the brown skin.
 
Baked according to my rules and wishes,
It now sits in my kitchen.
Three days' worth of wholemeal loaf.
So far from its Canadian roots.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 01, 2021, 03:32:25 PM
Your kitchen must smell heavenly!

Here's my first offering.


promise

night’s reign
repels starlight
ghetto girl dies alone
another addict giving birth
to hope
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 01, 2021, 04:34:40 PM
One Bean Row Shall I Have

Green croquet hoops
just pushed up,
looped this way and that.
Soon they'll unfold, climb
the sagging chicken wire
and cover it with heart-shaped leaves.

Generous plants:
all summer they will provide me
enough to steam,
make green bean casserole,
shepherd's pie, and give
one bag each to Darla,
across the street
and Roseanne next door.

Next autumn, when they
turn brown and die,
they'll give back more
than they took from the soil.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 01, 2021, 04:40:56 PM
Well we're off! Great start both!

Gyppo, I've probably mentioned a hundred times, my relatives are wheat growers in the Red river Valley in North Dakota on the Canadian border--hard hard work even as mechanized as it is now and they started in the 1860s
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 01, 2021, 08:23:05 PM
Indar,

As a baker I know that Canadian 'winter wheat' produces a predictable and well-behaved bread flour.  Some of the 'exotics' make interesting and occasionally challenging bread, but the Canadian - wholemeal or white - is my preferred choice for regular breadmaking.

Inspiration is found in strange places ;-)

Your 'bean' poem reminded me of Dad.  He grew beans nearly every year.  But he never planted them in rows, always in a circle about three to four feet  across, with a conical wig-wam structure of eiher ash or hazel sticks and string to support them.  Every year we would go into the woodland with a sharp knife to cut a new batch of 'bean sticks'.

"That time of year again, Son.  Are you coming to help me?"

Of course.  I'd start off carrying two or three but was usually dragging them by the time we got back to the caravan.  By the time i was about eight or nine I would be carrying half of them.  His 'little man' learning to 'do his share'.

Gyppo

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 02, 2021, 01:11:41 AM
Napo 2 - 2021 - Polishing The Brass.

Gran gave us 'a little job', 
to keep little fingers out of mischief
when we couldn't play outside.

A bit of 'Brasso' wadding,
with its pungent smell.
Fingers turning green,
then black, as we rubbed,
and rubbed, and rubbed.

Removing the patina of age
from brass firedogs,
picture frames, 
horse-brasses,
silver snuffboxes,
and copper bracelets
for arthritic joints.

Sat on the handmade peg-rug
by her carefully tended fire,
hearing the rattle of her kettle
as she made tea for the adults.
Smelling the warmth of cake,
cooking in her oven, and soot
falling softly down the chimney,
burning again on the coals.

A white enamelled mug of cocoa,
keeping warm on the trivet.
Putting our black fingers
near our noses 'tainted' the drink,
so it skinned up on top, 
surface chilled by the wind 
which slid in from the kitchen,
stirring the ashes on the hearth..

Now, as an old man,
I sit in my soothing grey room,
with black and brown bookcases,
fitted carpet, and no chills,
and polish my own collection. 

Busy old fingers,
turning green then black.
Keeping my mind semi-occupied. 
Away from things which disturb,
dark paths I'd rather avoid. 

A shiny loading clip,
ten ridiculously bright bullets,
copper tips like slim arrowheads,
nestled in glowing brass,

A single round,
saved from a machine-gun belt.

A 20 millimetre shell,
from an aircraft cannon, 
World War Two vintage.
Copper bands and brass cap
far too beautiful for a thing of death.

A 'trench-art' paper knife,
made from recycled brass,
polished to perfection.
'Souvenir of St Omer,
1918.'

My blackened fingers glide
over a set of brass weights, 
from a 1/4 to four ounces.
My bakery apprentice memento.

Soothed and restful I wash my hands,
curl up in my bed,
and know all is well.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 02, 2021, 07:39:38 AM
April 2

Reflections from the End of the Pier

Things live down there
so deep it's hot as
a pot boiling on oozing magma,
deep as outer space. There are no stars,
only absolute dark,
where earth, in a throes
of eons, offered up her first born
and continues to nurture forms
we could never guess at.

If all else fails here on land
thanks to green house gas, nuclear winter,
asteroid crash or massive eruption,
there they are, hidden from disaster or exploitation,
waiting to start over.

A comforting thought.

Why do I care? Maybe the insistence of ego;
an inability to name the end;
or the will to persist built into human DNA,
the frightening thought that if we fail
there might not be
anyone left anywhere.

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 02, 2021, 11:36:46 AM
Very nice Gyppo, Dan, and Indar.  I have more to say (what's new?) but will have to save it.

Maybe Mark and Dylan di Vilde will join us this year and hey, can we tempt Patti, Laura, and Heidi? Let's invite Qwerty.

I'm struggling with finding anything worthy this year. I don't want to do a bunch of heartachey, sappy stuff. The muse is in stun mode, locked down with depression.


Here's my first shot this year which was summed up in desperation of the deadline.

#1
Loss of Heart

Thoughts
slip away
like lip gloss
and pain reliever.

Typos are thieves
that pilfer your thunder
while lovers
nick your spirit.

He imagined
your betrayal
but you never
had the heart.

~Deb

04/01/21
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 03, 2021, 02:54:03 AM
April 3

Noon a Purple Glow

From deep in a sun blazed crevasse,
orange-ochre cliffs frame
cloud-drifted flats beyond--
real-world proof of color theory.
An unlikely outcome:
the warms of rock walls heat hot
against the background,
and, in turn, cool the noonday desert view
to shades of spring irises and lilacs.
The artist's color wheel comes alive.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 03, 2021, 06:07:46 AM
Loving all of it.

 Indar, your #3 had me worried I was a day behind.  ;D



Havoc


Dreaded East winds
dusts my bones,
sucks the marrow,
as my skin groans.

It shoos the birds,
stings the bees,
gusts the palm fronds
from the trees.

The heat bites my humor,
itches my scratch,
lightning bolt fingers
on every latch.

Ion imbalance
balloons to hair.
No escape from the static,
it’s in the air.


~Deb

4/2/21
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 03, 2021, 09:07:58 AM
Day 2

vision

dragon
 seeks sanctity
 flickering flame kindles
 tiniest spark illuminates
 blind eyes
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 03, 2021, 11:34:56 AM
Napo 3 - 2021 - Echoes of War

Gran fitted fabric slam-stoppers,
home-made, to all internal doors.
Two world wars in her life
and the slam of high explosives,
from graceful Zeppelins the first  time,
imprinted a reflex she couldn't hide.

With four lively children running around
she had to do something.

The whistling kettle paled Grandad's face,
catapulting him back to the trenches,
the shriek of incoming shells,
the helplessness of lying flat,
blindly hoping it wasn't your turn.

The rattling kettle also sounded bad,
like a German heavy machine-gun,
but he could cope with that one.

Better that than clouds of steam,
billowing from an untended kettle
and rolling like mustard gas.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 03, 2021, 12:55:48 PM
Day 3

fever

hedgehog
grim harbinger
augurs mind-melting heat
dragonbreath quenches evil flames
and rules
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 03, 2021, 05:55:45 PM
 Indar, your #3 had me worried I was a day behind.

I got ahead but still on the 3rd somewhere. I like getting some extra time so I can peruse and comment on posts in TTB in my own good time, which I'm doing today.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 04, 2021, 07:40:00 AM
I don't know about this next one and getting it in just a half-hour under the wire.
I have principles, you know. :D


#3

Tree of Life

We try to
balance
ourselves
on breaking branches.
Fumbling,
scanning
for the next
lifeline
before the

fall.





~Deb
04/03/21 (sp)

I envisioned this as a concrete poem with three times the words. I wanted to show a cracked branch clinging to a tree, but do not currently possess the patience to construct such a beast in less than an hour, but I might use it, or aspects of it later.

As it is, I keep playing with the way the words line up and have decided I'm still undecided. :P
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 04, 2021, 07:51:31 AM
You're on a roll, Dan.

I'm enjoying all of these poems.

I'm struggling this year where it looks like others have fleshed out some thoughtful verses.

The Santa Ana's zap and weaken my resolve.
Maybe I just need therapy. Ha!
A classic from Not Funny U.


Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 04, 2021, 03:09:13 PM
Napo 4 - 2021 - Two 'spears' for Saatchi & Saatchi.

Master 'M', the armourer,
received a rush order.
And, for a hefty fee,
worked his fiery magic overnight.
A craftsman's sleepless frenzy. 

Two Pilums, Roman javelins,
as deadly as the originals.
Wooden butt, soft iron shaft
and a lethal 'diamond' point.
Props for an ad campaign.

No fancy wrapping,
just two luggage labels,
hanging from string
with hand-penned address.

Delivered by a 'four hour' courier,
who found the office still closed,
with no-one to sign,
and only a slim letter flap
in the stylishly crested door.

But like the Roman legions
he had a job to do.

He rammed them through the hole,
felt the resistance but kept pushing.
Slipped the delivery note after them
'Delivered as addressed.'

The secretary, opening the office,
felt the resistance but still got in,
slipping her gym-honed body
and high heels through the gap.

Amongst the morning's mail,
two stark reminders of history..
Points driven deep into her desk,
flexible shafts bent as designed,
butts jammed against the door.

Saachi's phoned in a panic,
"They're broken!"
"Not at all, just bend them straight.
That's what the Romans did."

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 04, 2021, 05:44:18 PM
You're on a roll, Dan.

Thanks, Deb.
I made things easy for myself by deciding on a theme (my novel) and a form, the cinquain.
It takes the decision-making bit out of the equation, which I find incredibly helpful.

Here's today's offering



highroad

guileless
hero takes flight
despised child remembers
rebel rises to challenge past
failures
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 05, 2021, 01:53:23 AM
April 4

Bee-loud Glade

W.B. did not need to concern himself
with murder hornets on his idyllic island.
Reading his words now
I am saddened by his innocence.
I wonder if he really did arise and go there:
live alone in the glowing, glimmering
world he envisioned. Was he ever disillusioned?
Union of opposites he said--synthesis.
Innisfree/Byzantium: nature/art.
We have yet to learn the outcome:
either/or is still too much with us.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/murder-hornets-new-nests-washington-canada-scientists/

 
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 05, 2021, 03:44:33 AM
#4
Affairs

I’ve gone out with too many to count,
the sharp and sexy,
the athletic type
runners and trainers
of course, my favorites, the endurance hikers.

I’ve had my share of thick ones,
courted the classy, flashy, wine you and dine you type.
I’ve had ‘em in boots;
dress boots, cowboy boots,
the occasional, tall ankle-breakers,
skimpy sand dwellers.
My newest attraction, the rugged river kayakers.

They hide in my closet and under my bed.
So many affairs with
my sole mates.

~Deb
21/04/04 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 05, 2021, 05:23:22 AM
#4B

Beached

I gazed in the face of the moon.
watched the waves dance in the moonlight,
while the moonbeams surfed the shore before the break.
The ocean crashed on the beach as if angry with the goading rocks,
before the sea shunned the sand and absconded back to the churning depths.
The rolling motion of the ocean’s tides chanted a lullaby that made me forget I was drowning.


~Deb
21/04/04 (SP)

Revised last L.

Beached

I gazed in the face of the moon.
watched the waves dance in the moonlight,
while the moonbeams surfed the shore before the break.
The ocean crashed on the beach as if angry with the goading rocks
before the sea shunned the sand and absconded back to the churning depths.
Rolling ocean’s tides chanted a lullaby that washed over me until I forgot I was drowning.


~Deb


Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 05, 2021, 06:01:10 AM
Napo 5 - 2021 - 5 am fidgets.

Some nights I  sleep deep,
but briefly.
Today it was the 5 am fidgets,
wide awake again,
no thoughts of sleeping.
Not the least bit tired.
This isn't insomnia.

The neighbour's homes are dark,
apart from one little window,
the child with a nightlight.
That soft orange glow
gently warding off the darkness.

The sun is still lurking,
below the horizon.

Even the bloody Internet is quiet.
Time for a drink, and a read.
Two pleasures not, mercifully,
ruled by the clock.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 05, 2021, 02:28:41 PM
Couldn't resist an extra one.

Napo 5a - 2021 - Nanny

'Nanny' was a tough old lady,
forged in the fire of two world wars,
several lesser conflicts,
and a hard peasant lifestyle.

But she wasn't poor,
just wed to habitual thrift.

She answered to two surnames,
one she was born with,
known and revered in local legend,
the other shared with her son
and the man who fathered him.

She hated the courtesy title of Missus,
having shunned ceremony and paperwork.
"But a boy should have his father's name."

Once a week she collected rent,
from several properties she owned.
Bricks and mortar were her security,
and bundled banknotes,
stashed away in secret corner.

On her big black upright bicycle,
wheels fitted with dress-guards,
her crow-black figure
made the rounds.

My uncle, a child with a toy snake,
tied it to the rear fork of her bicycle
whilst she was indoors, collecting.

It was a proper wooden snake,
realistically painted.
Many irregular flexible segments,
making it wriggle convincingly
when pulled on a string.

Clambering onto her bike
she saw it lying alongside,
and panicked.
Probably the only thing she feared,
or at least admitted to.

She raced through village streets
howling like a demented witch,
ragged clothes flapping.
Whenever she looked down
the snake effortlessly kept pace.

She flung her bike aside,
screaming for her son
as she ran indoors.
"Kill it!  Kill it!"

Minutes later he came back in,
wriggling it by the tail,
laughing with his whole body,
as only a country boy can laugh.

"I don't want to see it!
It chased me from the last cottage!"

Later he took it back to my uncle,
who retouched the paintwork,
scuffed and chipped
in the headlong flight
over gravel and grit.

And a local legend was born.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 05, 2021, 02:51:28 PM
Day 5

secrets

thief yields
mighty dragon
limp knight shields lame warlord
combat master travels the world
beyond
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 06, 2021, 12:17:42 AM
April 5

Veils of the Mourning

The Bereaved can't grieve in private.
Televised, they blow their noses,
wipe their eyes with twisted wads
of tissues.

An elder presses head
to laptop trying to stop the images;
reliving the reality he could not stop.

Stop you're killing him--

(shouts in a young girl's cellphone).
A voice-over the infinite rehashing:

we watch and watch the videos
hoping this time it will turn out different.


Some savior please step forth,
roll the body over, administer
the breath of life, please god, help him--

A crowd bears witness but none, perhaps,
knows the import of this moment
that will play and replay until
it becomes the myth for this time:

all that has been said, familiar,
the same ending, over and over.

Father forgive them?

George Floyd, executed on the street,
calling for his mother. When the rock
is rolled away what revelation?

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 06, 2021, 06:05:54 AM
Wow! Awesomeness galore from every one of my peers here. I am honored to share pages with you.


#5

Misgivings

Groundless suspicions are
like the pitiless snow,
cold and unyielding.
The frequency and the
spectrum of your accusations
mess with my head
like abstract algebra.

Set me free to fly
as a mountain bluebird on the wing.
Don't treat me like
a geisha run amok.
I surrender to the universe
and beg to let me be seen
as I really am, wholesome and true.


~Deb

21/04/05
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 06, 2021, 09:30:38 AM
Day 6

obsessed

killer
prowls in darkness
dragon humbles giant
exile and tribe of lords unite
for life
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 06, 2021, 03:41:57 PM
Napo 6 - 2021 - A Summoning?"

2 am, alone in the forge,
communing with history,
meeting another impossible deadline.
Usually self-inflicted. 
'Moving metal' with a hammer,
and Vulcan's fiery breath.
Forging a sword.

A battered tape machine playing.
Hendrix bouncing off the walls,
Voodoo Child,
absorbed into the darkness
of surrounding fields.

'M' The Armourer,
in his element.
Ragged working clothes,
roughly sewn from blankets,
old curtains and suchlike.
Heavy stuff which catches sparks,
without bursting into flame.

Plus his filthy medieval hat,
the long-tailed blood-red 'liripipe',
growing shorter each year,
nibbled by flame and machinery.
Often used like an oven glove.

A knock on the smoke-smeared glass
a glimpse of black and red beyond.
He thinks it's me, 
having a restless night,
and opens the door.

A stranger stood there,
a curious time-warp figure,
a classic 60s Hippy,
thirty years adrift.

"I was hitching on the bypass, Man.
No traffic but I heard your sounds,
just had to check them out."

'M' pushed the kettle onto the forge.
"I can offer you tea,
if you'll make one for me.
I'm busy though."

The Hippy obliged, but looked puzzled,
bewildered by the archaic tools,
mesmerised by the glowing hearth
and the medieval ambience.
Totally failed to understand why.
"Who wants to play at war?"

They talked for an hour,
a rambling dialogue on music,
festivals, and dead guitar heroes.
Interspersed with noisy hammering
and the hiss of quenching metal. 

'M' gave him a sandwich,
then the Hippy cocked his head,
listening to the world outside..
"Sounds like the traffic's picking up,
 time to wag my thumb again, Man."

As the day dawned so did the thought...
Was his laid-back visitor real?
Or the ghost of a long dead hitcher,
summoned by the voice of Hendrix?

Gyppo

If you don't know the Hendrix tune, here's a link.  Imagine the opening chords echoing out into the otherwise night-quiet countryside.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZBlqcbpmxY
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 06, 2021, 08:15:21 PM
April 6

Bigamist

He's been gone much longer than usual this time,
we have no idea where until this envelope arrives
postmarked from Florida
inside, a single photo, 3x5, there they are.

She's in a green dress, probably taffeta,
wearing a goofy net headpiece
that flairs out in every direction, looking all lovesick.

He's leaning over her grinning right into the camera.
They're cutting a wedding cake with
a little bride and groom on top.

Mom says its not legal, puts the photo
in the shoebox inside her closet
and we all stop waiting for him to come home.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Mark Hoffmann on April 06, 2021, 08:38:37 PM
Wow.

Just a note to let you all know I'm reading these and enjoying them.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 07, 2021, 09:08:46 AM
Napo 7 - 2021 - Swordplay

My Grandaughter is learning
'the way of the sword'.
Swordplay, not modern fencing.
with its rules, and limitations.

Foil, Epee, and Sabre
can come later if she wants.
We'll find her a teacher
if she chooses to 'go formal'.

We use safe swords,
made from heavy foam pipe lagging.
She works off surplus energy
after being 'good' at school,
and develops 'combat awareness'
without it being spelt out.

Quarterstaff lessons, with real sticks,
are a more measured practice.
Training rather than fighting.

I teach her Medieval swordplay,
a boisterous mix of hack
and thrust, and stamping
on any sword too close to the ground.

When short fights tall the ankle-hack,
so obvious, is tempting,
but a four-limbed defender
turns it against the attacker.
Whatever works.
Baron Sable's pragmatic schooling.

I taught her a selection of parries,
and, once she learned deflection,
I taught her avoidance.
How a side-step makes you safe,
and opens up the other's defence.

It's already like fighting myself,
she absorbs it like a sponge.

But I kept catching her out
with one sneaky combination move.
More go than show,
practical rather than theatrical.

"Teach me how you do that."
I could hear her frustration.

"No, not this time, Pet.
Work it out for yourself.
Do an action replay in your mind
every time I catch you with it."

It's almost Judo-esque,
using their own strength
to defeat them

Last week she escaped a sword-lock,
cut away and under, sidestepped,
and nailed me. Hoist with my own petard ;-)
A sharp blade would have sliced,
deep into my ribs.

She was so pleased with herself,
and so was I.
Now I'll teach her not to rely on it.
I'm having to dig deep, re-finding
old skills and reflexes.

My line of warrior women
continues unbroken.


Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 07, 2021, 05:05:37 PM
Day 7

locked in

early
despair relived
unsettles holy man
wheels turn to wrestle hidden truths
open
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 07, 2021, 09:25:32 PM
April 7

Boundaries

Our house arrangements are reversed
attached at the garages.
I peel potatoes at my sink. I can smell
she's cooking something with sesame and garlic.

We smile at one another while I pull weeds
and she waters her front yard flowers,
stop to exchange pleasantries at the mail boxes.

It's unspoken but we both know better
than to start acknowledging a shared presence
from our kitchen windows, yet it would be rude
to pull the blinds as if we are hiding something.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 08, 2021, 01:38:55 AM
Napo 8 - 2021 - Fireplace.

When he betrayed her, repeatedly,
with a string of younger women,
she tried to kill herself.
She loved that man,
far more than he deserved.

When she recovered,
more quickly from the overdose
than from his betrayal,
she threw him out.
Got rid of all his stuff,

She finished some of his projects,
jobs around the house
he'd promised to do
but 'never had the time'.

She didn't need a man,
found she could paint walls
and un bung drains single-handed.
"Well, someone bloody has to."

I visited her a few times,
drank her coffee,
listened to her tales,
heard her stop blaming herself
and settle into her new life.

She finished off the fancy fireplace
with a rustic stone hearth
which he'd left half done.
It was a grand job.  Very sturdy.

And if I'd not seen him later,
walking around, unscathed,
I'd have always wondered
if he was entombed beneath it.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 08, 2021, 03:48:12 PM
April 8

A Small Cabin Build There

Here's what I learned about pain:
I'd never been to the ocean
but I chose the place
on a bluff with surf breaking
on rocks below I'd seen in a movie.

I didn't go directly there:
started in the familiar stand of pines
from home, followed a dark path that led to
sun and wildflowers. I thought up
a hut of solid rock, rough on the outside
but inside, Persian rugs and candlelight.

Tucked in a corner by a sea-facing window,
wrapped in an afghan great aunt Selma
crocheted from soft wool yarn,
I could put up with almost anything.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 08, 2021, 07:47:54 PM
Day 8

fated

daughter
of agony
heritage of heartbreak
ancestral perspective observes
the pledge
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 09, 2021, 08:59:37 AM
Napo 9 - 2021 - Symbolic Gestures

He was a grand one for gestures.
Way-markers on his life journey.
He buried his guns in the garden
and swore he'd never shoot again,
that his pot-hunting days were over.

But he prepared them first,
packed with grease inside and out,
'mothballed' rather than abandoned.

Secured in a gun case,
the wool lining also well oiled,
then several layers of polythene,
the entire package duct-taped
and heat sealed with a soldering iron.

With a small tree planted on top.
More symbolism?
Or an aide-memoir, just in case?

More 'bollocks' than symbolic?

He probably took a compass bearing as well.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 09, 2021, 01:33:35 PM
Nice one, Gyp!

Day 9

gloom’s grip

substance
smothered by doubts
heir questions integrity
understanding shared in silence
restores
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 09, 2021, 08:57:21 PM
Great Aunt Selma

The family called her a spinster (so sad).
The things that mattered to her were
the Swedish-American Lutheran church,
(she made me dresses and took me to Sunday school)
the YWCA (I went with her there
to lunch with lady friends who lived upstairs)
and me, the closest thing
to a daughter she would ever have.

She lived with grandmother,
kept to herself in her upstairs room
with the walk-in closet (treats for me
on the shelves) a dresser, single bed
(she'd crocheted the bedspread)

and an easy chair with big fat rolled arms
I sat on to watch her do needlework
and wait for her to read to me.

She died when I was five but I remember
the stars on her ceiling, miniature boxes
of Sun Maid raisins, fairy tales (East of the Sun and
West of the Moon) and her eyes because
she looked at me when I spoke
and thought before she answered.

East of the Sun and West of the Moon - Wikipedia
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 09, 2021, 09:19:31 PM
Thanks All. It's been a busy day. I'm posting this just so I don't break my streak. It's on the fly.

#6

Cement

Pain anchors me to the ocean floor.
I dance in the kelp forests
below the air I need to breathe.


~Deb
Tues, April 6, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 09, 2021, 09:20:33 PM
#7

Climbing Out

Went on a walk
- my old fitness route.
I gave up on fitness three months ago.
Curled up in a ball and stopped.
Locked up in a caged heart of obscurity.
Haziness felt like everything
and nothing at all.
Worthless.

I started slowly.
- only go halfway.
At least it’s something.
The hill steeper than remembered.
No strength for the upward climb.
Energy nonexistent
until the scent of citrus blossoms
sparked endorphins.

Pleasant,
like heaven dripped in honey
or honey dripped with heaven.
I forged on, a third of the way,
two thirds – I’m almost to the top
Just do it. Finish the damn thing.

Mr. Red Breasted Robin greeted me
from a fence by a treehouse.
It reminded me of childhood
when we’d dream big dreams and pretend
to be grownups in a world where
everything would be okay.


~Deb
April 7, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 09, 2021, 09:21:47 PM
#8

My Blonde

Airport run, arrival.
Rush hour in Los Angeles.

Both sides of the 405 jammed
as far as the eye can see.

I was early so we both waited.
I, at the wrong airport.

When you live close to LAX
That is the go-to.

He said he told me, Burbank
but I don’t recall hearing it.



~Deb

April 8, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 09, 2021, 09:22:56 PM
I was on an incredible journey last summer with my first ever experience on a real river in a kayak by myself. I loved it so much, I'm going to make it a yearly trip up to Montana. Two of my best friends and my former flight-attendant room mates have homes in the Flathead Valley. I spent six weeks up there from June 1st until after 4th of July.

There is so much to write about with this experience but what surprised me most...


#9

Bow Wow Wow

Flathead River Summer Solstice Float
North fork from the Canadian border
25 miles in two days to Polebridge.
16 boats, 35 humans, and 7 dogs.
Canines like hood ornaments
in life vests.

Ancient dogs, adolescent pups,
big dogs, little dogs,
rescue dogs,
hot dogs, beer dogs,
sunning dogs, wet dogs,
funny dogs.

River kings with attitude.
Head up, nose pointed at the bow.
Taking it all in
as if the day were theirs
while the humans navigated
and provided the manpower.

Ears flapping in the wind
over class I, II, and III rapids.
Easy going dogs,
ran that water like old pros
while I dog paddled
for my life in a ducky.


~Deb

April 9, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 10, 2021, 09:56:15 AM
9a

Extra Mile

Dermatologist appointment in So. Cal.
Skin cancer check.
“While we’re at it, can you treat this rash again, Doc?”
What? Make a separate appointment?
Am I interrupting your day? Drove an hour to get here.
Insurance billed $175, I pay $25.
For what? A quick glance? Silently fired my doctor.
I guess if you aren’t getting Botox, fillers, or implants,
you aren’ t worth much time these days.


Gas stations were once called, service stations.
Fuel was pumped, windows washed, oil checked,
and sometimes, “Would you like me to check your tires, Ma’am?”
at no extra charge.
Service station attendants made minimum wage -
had nothing to gain by going that extra mile.
Young and weathered men
would scratch their heads, wiggle some belts, change a hose,
and just charge for parts, way back when service was golden.


~Deb
April 9, 2021

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 10, 2021, 09:57:52 AM
For my birthday, way back in December, I asked for an experience, rather than gifts. I finally got my wish on March 27th when we drove three hours up the coast to Moonstone Beach and stayed in more affordable, San Simeon, a few miles away for two days and a night.

9b - on a roll

Labor of Love


Build our own beach hut, Mom’s quest for the day.
We mapped out a square in the sand
large enough to comfortably fit
a party of six, for three grown boys and me.
Using entrenched trunks for foundations on three walls,
it quickly transformed it into a hexagon.

Hunted among wreckage of bleached white wood
for the perfect lengths and shapes.
Made use of natural digging tools
and one giant, abandoned, red sand bucket
to dig deep and plant sturdy support posts,
one in the center and four for each wall.

On the boardwalk from the cliff above,
people stopped and watched,
admired the fortitude,
or wondered what kind of nuts we were.
Several commented on what an ambitious task
we had undertaken and how “Cool” it looked as it took form.

The front door was an arch of two opposing,
carefully placed tree remnants, each with branches
that reached a natural peak to allow head room when bent to enter.
We added a stick fence and decorated the entrance with
a great, heavy, ancient pinecone, a bench for two,
and a few fragments of dried-up seaweed bulbs.

A couple of older kids, brothers, I think, played
close by, keeping their eyes on the prize,
waiting for our inevitable departure.
A man with two small children
barged in without a word to take snap-shots
while facetiming a woman. An odd occurrence on any day.

In three and a half hours, we built our own Air-BnB
from driftwood on the beach –
a collaboration of fun and determination.
We couldn’t stay to use it but drove away deeply satisfied.
I’m certain we built the best shoreline hut
on any beach in California that day.


~Deb
April 9th, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 10, 2021, 10:45:08 AM
Napo 10 - 2021 - Rain

In my bungalow rain rarely wakes me,
wide eaves keep it off the windows,
so the sound is muted.
Unless the wind hurls it sideways,
smashing into the glass,
like an assassin's knife to the ribs.

In the house it was different.
Virtually no eaves,
no protective overhang.
Even light rain smeared the glass,
made itself know,

Fifty years of tree growth
muted the rattle or tap
on the downstairs panes,
but in a winter storm,
with no leaves to bear the brunt
the bedrooms were noisy.

In our caravan even gentle rain
would make itself known,
a sparkling stream, gathered
and then escaping the narrow gutter,
would twist and turn across the glass.

A subtle change in air pressure,
or temperature, could wake me,
even before the rain hit.
Sometimes it still does.

In winter storms no-one slept.
The rain beat a Devil's Tattoo
on the roof.  We had to shout
to be heard above the racket,
and Mum felt trapped.

She loved our van,
our cosy twenty-two foot home,
Would sit on the step peeling veg.
even with snow on the ground.
Or knitting, or hand sewing,
or just because she could.

But after fighting for reason,
for ten noisy winters,
she could take no more.
White-faced with near-panic,
trapped in her claustrophobia.

We sold up and changed,
'living in brick',
with doors and windows open
at the least excuse.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 10, 2021, 01:43:01 PM
Day 10

crisis

brutal
charges of guilt
spark violent thoughts of death
imprisonment brings rare comfort
from grief
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 11, 2021, 12:48:02 AM
April 10

Evening Full of the Hummingbird Wings

The sun's last effort blasts rays
down the length of the canyon,
picks up a snot of copper, a glint,
riding the air up and down
changing vantage points.
over the back mulberry tree.

Thor, I've named the little shit,
his wings thunder
like a popsicle stick
wound up on a rubber band
and released over and over:

he rises and lowers.
Its not the tree he protects,
oh no,

it's my sapphire showers sky flower
grown to the height of my neighbor's roof,
blooming enough for squadrons
of Rufous hummers like him.
But not while Thor is watching--
oh no.

Its not for love either--
there does not seem to be
a Misses Thor to impress
with his valor, besides
who would have
any guy that obsessive ?

https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/rufous-hummingbird
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 11, 2021, 07:05:44 AM
Napo 11 - 2021 - Maria.

She had twinkly grey eyes
and a deep enjoyment of life.

She hid the brutal blue tattoo
under long sleeves.

Not from shame,
or 'survivor guilt',
but because, post-camp,
she had a life to live,
catching up to do.

She didn't want to waste time
talking about 'the camps',
explaining the inexplicable
to future generations,
some of whom would deny it all.

She lived well, but quietly
damaged, but never quite broken.
Sixty years of extra living.
The best possible revenge.
Maria:  More than just a number.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 11, 2021, 02:54:42 PM
manifest

hidden
key opens door
to darkness quelling aches
protector’s skills cannot handle
lightly


Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 11, 2021, 05:59:45 PM
Midnight's All A Glimmer

I tore down the board privacy fence
and opened up my piece of overlook.
All night lights swim through high-density
housing in the bottom of the canyon.
Up and down, to and fro, headlights,
tail lights, break lights, shimmer
in the near atmosphere.

Further up the terraced far side
lights slide like beads along a string
stop and start, obedient
to intermittent red and green.
Above, seemingly afloat, detached
from earth, a glowing mega cross
erected by Our Savior Evangelical church.

The Walmart is open all night
for those who pull the late shift
I suppose: its a super store with groceries
and a Burger King. Who watches
their children I wonder, when they work:
those people of the traveling lights?

The gas station has a taco shop,
their sign twirler at the intersection
has grown old in the eighteen years I've lived here,
lately he's been sitting on a folding chair.
The dancing cow with the sign that says
eat more chicken has disappeared.

Are they all down there, those who
shop, twirl, dance by day: in the dark,
are they all down there?
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 12, 2021, 12:16:58 AM
Napo 12 - 2021 - What if?

I was her safe shoulder,
one she could cry on.
A trusted ear for her woes,
for her litany of wrong men.

Each step convincing her
that she was the problem,
'soiled goods'.
Her phrase, not mine.

If she'd been my daughter
I'd have slit throats for her,
thinning out the bastards
who saw her vulnerability.

"Who will ever want me now?"

I knew one man,
who would have treated her right,
buried her mistakes,
given her a new start.

But he was loyal to his wife.
And years later, on quiet nights,
I sometimes gently wonder,
"What if?"

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 12, 2021, 03:37:03 PM
Day 12

candid

anger
battles pity
as trouble roams the night
the tender opposes the strong
in love
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 12, 2021, 11:31:19 PM
Napo 13 - 2021 - Instinct

I 'un-boxed' my new toy,
stroked the sleek black stock,
read the inadequate manual,
and set up a target,
an old tool catalogue.

Damn, my eyes are 70 years old,
not what they used to be.
The sights are too small
for a really clear 'sight picture'.

I put on my 'distance' glasses
and things are a little better.
How long since I  last shot,
with open sights?
Too bloody long.

But I select a white sticker,
an aiming point on the book.
The rifle lifts well, nicely balanced,
comfortable against my shoulder

I fire a five shot group, standing,
off-hand, unsupported,
no padded bench rest,
and amble down to check.

Not too shabby for an old man,
who needs bigger sights,
or bright Hi-Vis aiming elements.

It seems growing cataracts,
stealing light from my retina,
can't kill instinct.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 13, 2021, 03:02:38 PM
April 12

Arise and Go Now

Intense before your laptop,
you visit sites
under key words: van life,
watch videos by folks
who romanticize the freedom
of living On the Road.

You search Amazon for:
solar powered fridges;
fold-up beds;
portapottys with their
own auxiliary tents.

Do you fantasize setting out
for high adventure?
Do you stay because you think
you have no other choice?
Do you believe I could not
survive without you?

I have grown old, so old:
you are a man, I understand.
I have one request;
please, please talk to me
before you go:
say goodbye without excuses
and don't forget--
it is I who own the van, not you.

https://vanclan.co/vandwellers/
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 13, 2021, 09:10:27 PM
Day 13

pursuit

hidden
behind false names
they keep their secrets close
to their hearts as they fight against
whispers
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 14, 2021, 09:01:16 AM
Napo 14 - 2021 Pink Elephants

We shot Pink Elephants one day,
in a friend's garden.

They made a magnificent 'Splat!'
Squirting their life fluid
in thick streams
as they catapulted backwards,
somersaulting between tall weeds
before stopping, momentum expended,
piled in an oozing untidy sprawl,
against the end fence.

This frenzied slaughter ended,
eventually,
when there were no more to shoot.
We each claimed the highest kill count.

Total extinction.
When the box of 100 sachets,
of kid's 'novelty shampoos',
found hidden in his Dad's shed,
was finally exhausted.

Slightly shamefaced,
but only slightly,
and glutted with slaughter
we dug a hole, interred the evidence,
and burned the empty box.

But the 'grave' looked so obvious,
so accusing,
we put aside our guns
dug over that end of the garden,
making it less obvious.

Later his Dad politely thanked us,
praising our 'unexpected efforts',
and that made us squirm,
far more than the slaughter had.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 14, 2021, 04:20:20 PM
April 13

The Deep Heart's Core

Dark is best
for listening:
belief irrelevant,
only surrender.

This is probably the last one I'll write using words from Yeats as prompts:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43281/the-lake-isle-of-innisfree
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 14, 2021, 08:31:57 PM
Day 14

fare

cautious
night time travel
shelters the innocent
where dragons’ kin pursues her prey
and kills

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 15, 2021, 07:04:43 AM
Napo 15 - 2021 - Stark

It stood in a little enclave,
surrounded by new homes
a pool of greenery,
and fruitful blackberry bushes
around its stark white trunk.

The lightning tree,
its ragged split crown,
and a few remaining thick limbs,
bleached by sun and rain,
dried and hard as iron.

Older local remembered it,
a proud tall oak, before the storm
ripped off the top two thirds
with a mighty crash,
followed by a thud
they felt in their houses.

That area was called the 'bunny fields',
but I never saw a rabbit there.
Dormice, shrews, slow-worms,
but no rabbits.
Squirrels and most birds shunned it.

But every year a pair of woodpeckers,
the red-capped variety,
took up residence.

Every year the 'peckers, so industrious,
bored a new hole.
One of the highlights of village life,
the machine-gun rattle of drumming beaks
heralding the arrival of Spring.

The hollowed lower bole of the tree,
just big enough for two children,
of skinny 'end of rationing' build,
to crouch inside.  Hiding from Indians,
Germans, whatever.

Over the years the hollow grew black
where boys with 'borrowed' matches
lit little camp-fires inside.
But it was too dense to burn,
no loose fibres for the flames to grab hold
and slowly eat deeper.

In the mid 60's the noise shook the ground,
rattling doors and windows,
when a group of  'older boys'
with several pounds of explosive,
made from sugar and weed-killer -
usually mixed in far smaller quantities -
tried to blow it apart.

A very determined attempt,
the mix properly tamped tight,
packed into the hollow.
It cracked, but didn't fall.

But the rain found a way in
and a few wind-borne seeds
found homes there.

The dead branches bloomed next spring,
playing host to tiny birches,
sycamores, and a few tufts of meadow grass

The 'peckers ignored their new neighbours,
growing defiantly in the small cracks.

Tiny Nut-hatches visited occasionally,
thinning out seeds which were too tardy
about putting down roots.

Many years later an urban planner's pen,
infinitely more destructive than lightning,
woodpecker's beaks, boys' fires,
and a home-made bomb,
buried both it and the companion bushes
beneath six homes in a small close.

All the streets are named after trees,
but only we old ones know why.

'Oakfield' is a classy address now,
but the living history died with the stark tree.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:16:21 AM
I almost hate to share this one but, it's all about getting the draft down, right?

#10

Tears

Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
brought me my first adventures
into the world of animals.
The brutality of a lionesses kill -
nature's cruelty for a weak baby animal
stalked, left behind, defended by the herd,
win or lose, remains with me.
As does the amazing quest of it all.
In my lifetime, over 50% of the animal population
has been decimated by the thoughtless.
Mankind is unkind.
Rivers of tears.

We found fascination with of the mystical oceans and seas,
thanks to Jacques Cousteau, the smooth-talking voyager.
He opened our eyes to underwater marvels
and the need for conservancy.
Sea Shepherd takes a stand to end the travesties
being done to what remains of sea life now.
So few against so many voracious appetites of greed.
If the oceans die, so do we.
Yet, some conservationists fund overfishing
and oil drilling is relentless.
Plastics are carelessly tossed by the uncaring.
Mankind is unkind.
Oceans of tears.

Steve Irwin, the delightful champion
for crocodiles and all living things
was admired globally. Me and my children, fans.
An Aussie with a gentler introduction
to harsh realities on our shared earth.
He presented knowledge with his boyish charm
and winning smile.
Gone too soon but still admired
for being the reptile whisperer.
He demonstrated to the world that
deadly creatures are not to be feared
but respected.
He wouldn’t have blamed that sting ray.
A kind man.
Mankind is unkind.
These are not crocodile tears.


~Deb
April 10, 2021


“Touch the heart to teach the mind.”
~Jack Hanna
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:17:20 AM
#11

Murder Van


The cop said,
“More than 40 women
murdered or missing
from the Highway of Tears.”

1,500 suspects,
mostly men with big rigs and vans.
They carry tarps, duct tape, and zip ties.
Trucks with hidden compartments,
vans with drop down floors.

The detective not astonished at the variety of contraptions.
Con – trap – tion
A con to trap an unwitting victim.
Hitchhikers, runaways, abducted from parking lots,
parks, trails, gas stations, and food joints.

The legend of the murder van,
a point of conversation on the road,
passed down from driver to passenger
and so on.

Never park next to a van
or approach your car
if a van is parked next to you.
Did you not see, Silence of the Lambs?

We point at every van on the road and say,
"Beware the murder van."
Some people laugh but it isn't funny
except when whispered around the campfire
while camping close to vans.

~Deb
4/11/2021



*I was camping with a friend on the way up the Oregon coast at a site off the grid. We saw a van and the murder van tale came out while we were sitting around the campfire under a broken tree rope that looked like a noose. I have too vivid of an imagination for my own good and can scare the daylights out of myself. :o ;D

I tried not to let my mind go there after I crawled into the tent. What are the odds?

The next morning, we met the lovely couple and their dog, Broodle, the labradoodle from that van. They were picking up the Memorial Day trash left by ignorant/lazy campers. We helped and exchanged road stories and info. It was a delightful morning.

Turns out, they sold their home and went on the road and have a social media following at OneAdvantureAtaTime (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvmNlFaWwrfw-EJ5ZY5cf1Q). <---Click to see.

We toured their 'mobile' home and took a photo with the darling couple and Broodle, who happened to be groomed like a lion. :D
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:19:49 AM
#11 a

Thoughts

Cohabitated for 35 years.
I thought I knew you.
I thought you knew me.
Maybe we never knew each other at all,
only versions of each other we thought we knew.
I thought I saw you.
I thought you saw me.
Maybe we never really looked at each other.
Maybe we only saw what we wanted to see.

~Deb

04/11/2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:27:58 AM
#11b

Pivot

Do I stay?
Should I go?
What’s a lifetime worth
in the shadows
of our emotional blows?

You shouldered my insecurities
and my hoard of baggage
like the Incredible Hulk,
steadfast, volatile, and strong.
I didn’t deserve your madness.
You didn’t deserve mine.

You rescued me.
I rescued you.
Yet here we are
Needing to be saved
From ourselves
and each other
again.

I want to let myself feel
you completely.
I know we have love
but I’ve come to fear
the pivot.


~Deb
April 11, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:30:54 AM
I promised myself I'd try not to overwhelm my writing this month with lovesickness and heartache but there it is, impossible to escape. I'm finding this sappy stuff sickening to re-read but it keeps writing itself. I mean, it's all been said before and feels tiresome.

#12

Damage

Words screamed - our battle cries
locked and loaded,
one bomb after another.
Accusations hurled,
doors slammed with fury
on the threshold of abandonment,
in an all too familiar scene.

We retreat to our foxholes for shelter,
one waiting for the other
to make amends.
Disquieting respite.
"I'm sorry"
feels like inadequate first-aid
-a bandaid for hemorrhaging security.

Trust battered against rage
drips into puddles -
evaporates into the invisible truth.
With every wound inflicted,
the delicate leftovers are mutilated
until we are unrecognizable
to each other and ourselves.

We manage to break through gaps
in each other's walls,
then the bricks are restacked
and mortared. Reinforced.
The barriers, becoming nearly impossible to breach.
We are weary in our deadened wariness.

"Never-give-up" heroics have been
replaced by feeble attempts
to put the battered fragments back together.
We struggle to collect the shards
as they reveal there may not be
enough adhesive to repair
the damage.

~Deb
04/12/2021

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:34:25 AM
Humorous irony struck me today.

I was on a walk on the road through orchards on a rare, cool, low cloud, moisture in the air, day here in California.
If ever there was an evening I could have used my phone to take pictures, tonight was one. Also, the muse was on a roll.

I thought I would text myself the lines and ideas that were flooding in but my phone was completely out of juice by the time I got to the top of the hill.

So, as soon as my phone had enough charge, I dictated what I could remember and sent myself a text. I was busy, working on something so, I did not check for dictation accuracy.

Here's what I ended up with:

#13

Minced Words

Walk with the clouds
gray with white from love and bloom
peeking through two dogs.
The owl atlas in our flowers
talk about the unique needs
of the rare birds
out of the moisture in the air
and not having your phone charged
this very moment.


~Deb
04/13/2021 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:36:10 AM
#14

One-Sided

I can’t be
who I used to be
when I used to be
pregnant.

It’s not a thing
you go back to.

Would I deal with hormones,
the weight gain,
the lopsidedness,
and heartburn?

For one moment just for kicks
and a photo
of your baby feet
poking my belly.

It's not a thing
you get to go back to.


~Deb


April 14, 2021 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 15, 2021, 10:36:54 AM
#15

Road Work

An hour back and forth across
a baked valley one day
turned into two hours,
times two, each flippin' way.

Traffic bumper to bumper,
impatient drivers throwing fits.
Way too many people.
Damn! My A/C’s on the fritz.

The nodders, the wasted,
the too-old-to drives -
please use your blinkers,
you are giving me hives.

Red taillights at interchanges -
jerks with car breaking fits.
The speeders, the clueless,
and the punk-assed dipshits.

The blind-you high beamers,
bullies riding my ass,
I need your lane for my exit
so I won't get swept past.

Pull up next to some dude
with half his fist up his nose.
Wish he had a tissue -
did his excavating with blows.

Fastlane Jane could use a phone-book
on her seat to see over the wheel.
She slowly moseys along,
unaware of glares she can’t feel.

The choking, smoking
black cloud, soot makers.
Rich folks in Teslas
and Hollywood fakers.

Movie star’s dark windowed,
black SUV’s,
rock idol’s tour buses,
and guys who cut trees.

Delivery drivers, buses,
big rigs, and box trucks,
the contractors, and road workers,
out sweating for bucks.

The chewers, the smokers,
headbangers, and dogs.
Crazy race bikers
and big, noisy hogs.

The texters, the beaters,
the nose picker and eater.
I tell ya’, it’s gross!
Who turned up the heater?

The singers, the readers,
pusher is back on my ass.
The snobby dog breeders
who pretend to have class.

The kids who make faces,
the middle-finger-salute.
The nice man in a Tacoma
let me into the chute.

Giant caravan drivers without special training,
who gave them the right?
Rush hour commuters
dashing home for the night.

On the shoulders ahead
you find broken-down clunkers.
Car haulers whoosh by
with the smashed-to-Hell junkers.

There are innocent victims
in careless car crashes.
Move out of the way
for emergency flashes.

Over ribbons of freeways,
offramps, and boulevards
crawling through blocks of stoplights
with all these blowhards.

It’s all part of the scene
when you live ‘round L.A.
human beings in vehicles
get in each other’s way.


~Deb
April 15, 2021 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 15, 2021, 02:59:51 PM
April 14

The Chauvin Trial

Illegal death; legal def.:
permanent loss
of consciousness
from the body;
loss of impermanent
body consciousness;
farewell to all;
all that is
to all that was,
that is.

Taking the midnight
outward bound;
bound for glory;
autopsy reports 
consciousness gone,
took the el
for gory.
L is in the luggage rack
pull the emergency cord.
Iron clamp,
iron clad, no going back
right? That's the law.
Oh yay oh yay.
All kneel.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 15, 2021, 08:29:30 PM
Day 15

alight

the flames
of hatred die
where sunshine brightens gloom
evil dies and nightmares are laid
to rest
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 15, 2021, 10:35:57 PM
April 15
Half Way

I won't quote that old saw
about the glass, I promise--
the one about half-full.
It's supposed to be about
optimism/ pessimism
but it's stupid and overused,
like so many sayings.
Anyway, we're on the backside:
over the hump, the humpty hump,
all gravy from here.

Sometimes I say I'm all in
but then I do things halfway:
take my house (please)
it's a halfway house,
the other half belongs
to my neighbor. they're called
double bungalows
(doesn't that word-combo
have a nice ring?).

I get half-baked ideas for poems
sometimes, (this is one of them)
like something about
which of the two of us
is the better half. I might
write that one next unless
I think of something better
between today and tomorrow.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 16, 2021, 10:07:59 AM
I was rushing because I thought I hadn't posted yet today but I did at 3:00 am.

I thought if I didn't get this in before midnight, I didn't have a #15. So, here it is, start to finish in 30 minutes.

#15 a (for absentminded)

Buzzing

Forty-nine minutes to fail
or fly.

I wonder if bees have a sense
of urgency too.

Hurry, collect that pollen,
carry it home to the beehive,
to our honeycomb.

Walking between avocado
and orange orchards,
the trees heavy with fruit
and blossoms that smelled
like honeysuckle on steroids.

I counted five
honeybees today
on both sides
of two-laned Sycamore Road,
on the white reflector lines
painted to the edge of the cement,
to warn about the nonexistent shoulder.

A ditch,
a tree,
a wall
that's all.

I wondered why the bees were being still,
unperturbed by my shoe landing nearby.
Were they warming themselves?
Perhaps resting because they were exhausted
from carrying around all that pollen.
Were the bees poisoned?
Drunk on honey?

I decided they were drunk on honey.

If the scent of orange blossoms
hung as heavy on the bees
as it did on the evening air,
the altered state of
inhaling sweetness,
is my excuse.

~Deb
April 15, 2021 (SP)


I feel as though I should know this because I've lived in this town for sooooooo long but I'm off to research why the honeybees were behaving as they were.

*I read that it could be due to power lines and cell towers. Edison has been upgrading the local power lines.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 16, 2021, 10:33:54 AM
Napo 16 - 2021 - Storytellers

I've watched many at work,
plying their ancient trade.

Some mesmerise,
softly summoning their audience,
everyone leaning forward,
ears straining for whispers,
fearful of missing a single word,
or some subtle nuance.

Then there's The Bellower,
cudgelling the crowd
with a tale of bloodshed,
pirates, or ancient warriors.
His audiences leave stunned,
senses rocked.

Or the Ghost Whisperer
weaving tales of darkness,
and slithering things.
Invoking hidden fears
and race memories,
and bedside lamps
left burning until dawn.

More specifically we have Cliff,
his Viking red hair aflame,
performing Poe's Raven.
Lost in the tale,
dancing the thin edge of sanity,
peering into the dark abyss.
"Nevermore."

Or Fiona, bubbly children's storyteller,
involving every child,
each wrapped in colourful rags
from her gigantic 'props bag',
re-enacting Greek legends.
One tongue-tied Ulysses standing,
with a beaming smile,
holding aloft a plastic sword.
School dinners were served late that day.

The Jewish Lady, softly spoken.
She holds four thousand tales,
all traditional, all linked,
physically plucked from an invisible matrix
waiting in the air before her.
"But that's another story, for another day..."
The Ice Fish still haunts me
She performed in her bare feet,
saying it 'just feels right'.

Grandad, with an audience of one,
feeding a receptive mind,
creating secondhand memories.
A human 'thumb drive',
to continue the tradition
when his voice is finally silenced.

Gyppo, the rogue in stark black,
crimson red dicklo loose around his neck,
Controlling 200 juniors,
sat on the floor in the school hall,
all making noises and actions
to suit the tale,
but only when prompted.

"If you don't behave, I'll stop.
Then it's back to ordinary lessons."
The teachers envy this hold,
working the subtle 'stranger danger',
the unpredictability,
the warning 'edge' they no longer have.

But young Jason, hyper-active,
doesn't just make a helicopter noise
in response to the hand signal.

He circles the hall at a flat gallop,
shouting "Whop, whop, whop."
Frantically waving both arms,
terrifying the teachers.
"Look, Miss.  I'm a Chinook!"

Don't punish the lad,
he's just under the spell,
like the classroom assistant,
paused by the wall,
pinning up 'artwork',
caught in the web of words.

Sometimes this hold is intoxicating,
and sometimes a little scary.
But storytellers have no choice,
It's burned deep into our genes,
imprinted for life.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 16, 2021, 09:40:53 PM
Day 16

rise

steadfast
against illness
and death the righteous stands
who from darkness brings forth child of
promise
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 16, 2021, 10:22:59 PM
April 16

Strange Phenomenon

If we were to come upon
a bush burning in the desert
and, in time, realize
it is not consumed by flames
but almost seems to beckon
to come closer and we do
and kneel before it
and ask (feeling somewhat silly)
what it wants: what do you think
it would say?
 
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 17, 2021, 12:03:15 AM
Napo 17 - 2021 - Street Theatre.  The Third Row

I recommend the third row
to watch public performances.

In the front row you're a mere prop,
willing or otherwise.
The performer can drag you on stage,
physically if need be,
making you a part of their act.

This can be fun, but, sometimes,
on introspective and private days,
it's horrendous.
You end up feeling used, then discarded
like a second-hand condom.

The second row is better,
barricaded against pushy performers
by the 'suicide jockeys' in front.
In an unholy alliance, damn them,
they keep the front row trapped.

But the third row, sensing your unease,
can become gently porous,
letting you step back one pace.
with minimal fuss and disruption.

They also get the best of everything,
because the better performers,
knowing this is their true audience,
project to the third row.

Beyond the third row are the bystanders,
Physically there, but not always present.
Eating ice-creams, chatting, snogging,
sending text messages.  Butterfly brains,
already looking for the 'next thing'.

The third row is the Goldilocks Zone,
'just right', for both audience and performer.

The row where you see all, learn much,
and always find something to take away.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 17, 2021, 04:14:27 PM
April 17

 The Red Eye is the Cheapest Flight

I arrive at LAX, Los Angeles
where The Beach Boys ride the waves,
Movie Stars populate surrounding hills,
palm trees and balmy breeze in January,

Real birds of paradise bloom out front,
Sonny and Cher might pop up anywhere
and sing I Got You Babe, Jan and Dean
might mistake me for a surfer girl,
this is where the Mamas and the Papas
live the dream, Where it's Happening.

Did I mention birds of paradise?
Here it is the middle of the night,
I can see palm trees outlined against
the lighted sky just like the post card
my father sent when I graduated.
It said Sorry, couldn't make it after all,
what can you do with a degree in art?


I sit on a side of the LAX raised flower bed
and cry I'm so excited: Los Angeles, where
any thing can happen, and wonder
what will happen to me next.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 17, 2021, 11:04:56 PM
Day 17

hold

words fail
when dread provoked
by sovereign grasp induce
nightmarish visions of torture
and grief
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 18, 2021, 11:07:19 AM
Napo 18 - 2021 - Cave

Mum had backed out after a few feet,
but Dad and his 'little man' pressed on.
These were 'tourist caves',
with clearly marked routes,
dim lights threaded on cables,
along dripping tunnel walls,
and numerous information boards.
And padlocked barriers,
criss-crossed steel bars,
blocking 'dangerous' routes.

But I lagged behind,
fascinated by some fossil formations,
and suddenly found myself alone.

I scampered along, to catch Dad,
and came to a slim steel bridge,
with high handrails and wire mesh sides.
I started to cross the dark gap,
looked down, and froze.

I know now that it was fake lava
for theatrical effect, 'tourist stuff',
but that bubbling fiery stream terrified me.

Dad came back and called me across,
but I wouldn't move.
No, I couldn't move.

Dad told me it was safe,
but the fear was absolute. 
He came back to guide me across,
but I wouldn't budge.

"I'll carry you across, Son.
You know I won't drop you."

"But I'll still see it, Dad."
"Close your eyes then,"
He was a pragmatic man.

But I knew myself too well, even then.
Knew I'd be tempted to peep.
Told him this.

"Do you trust me?"
"Yes!" Clinging to his legs.

He slipped off his jacket,
told me about frightened horses,
safely led from a burning barn,
because they couldn't see the flames,
and gently wrapped my head.

Lifted, held in the trusted embrace,
reassured by the familiar smells
of Old Holborn tobacco,
dried cement and wood chippings,
heard his steps echoing,
steadily across the metal bridge
as he carried me to safety.

For a few weeks afterwards,
if he heard me whimpering,
sleep disturbed by memories
of that fearful glow,
he'd enter my room
at the end of our van,
and talk me back down.

I love fires, but that glow,
moving and rippling underground,
still haunts me.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 18, 2021, 05:24:50 PM
April 18

I Finally Venture Out After Vaccinations:
a true story

I mention to Marcy
I write poetry, so she
signs me up to recite
at Bliss Tea and Treats,
suggests I bring three
for round robin reading
so I print my favorites
14 points, ariel heavy
so I can see while I read
without my glasses,
I find out last minute
my best black pants
no longer fit me
so I wear stretchy tights
with a long sweat shirt
arrive at 6:00
the advertised start time
no one else there
but a waiter says they'll
show up eventually
and they do: just kids
who read from their iphones
tight rhythm and end rhymes
when it's time for my turn
I walk to the mic,
shuffle my papers
the guy running the show
laughs and asks
do you carry those with you
wherever you go?
I say yes because
you never know
(what kind of poetry
can you write on a phone?)
But I listen, I listen
not imagist for sure
no "rich ambiguity"
nor metaphor
but in your face statements
about their world
I have probably lived
four times their lives
but by god I admit
they have something to say
I come away with lemon
bars to go,
and a feeling of hope.
 
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 18, 2021, 10:16:48 PM
Day 18

ruin

lessons
in history
redouble sense of doom
crippling ancestral curse governs
ill minds
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 19, 2021, 01:28:35 AM
Napo 19 - 2021 - Holding The Edge

He had hands like shovels,
fingers like bananas,
and an eleven inch span.
But...

There was a craftsman's reverence,
I would even say love,
in the way he cared for his tools

He could put an edge on anything,
usually with just a few passes
over an oil-slick stone.

Coarse, fine, and ultra-fine.
He hardly ever touched the first one.
It lived under a layer of sawdust,
buried by disuse until someone,
often me, bought him a 'hopeless case'.

It was as if the cold steel,
which resisted my attempts,
recognised the touch of a Master,
and willingly rearranged itself
at some deep sub-atomic level,
eager to please.

And in return he never, ever,
forced a slightly dulled edge
to make 'just one last cut.'

He'd always pause and re sharpen,
for one final pass,
one ultra-light finishing cut
for a precision joint,
or a bowl spinning in his lathe.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 19, 2021, 07:45:41 PM
April 19

Closing Argument

I came of age during
the skinny-women era:
Twiggy, Mia Farrow come to mind
as those to emulate, no real directive
anywhere to love yourself
the way you are

but plenty of women's magazines
touting ways to starve yourself
on grapefruit, cabbage soup
every frickin' meal.

Then came the magic curative:
diet pills; dexamyl; greenies;
amphetamines; uppers; speed;
one of mother's helpers
prescribed by family physicians--
what harm?

Now picture this: bone thin;
hopped up; obssessed with
the next prescription,
I'm stopped by cops.

A ridiculous proposition, I know,
but consider this: I am a young
woman who only wants to be accepted
as desirable by 60s standards
and got drawn in.

Pretend you are my sister or my brother,
pretend you see me in the gutter
under three grown men,
pretend you have witnessed
my nine and one half minutes prolonged
death begging for my life.

Now,

pretend you hear your neighbors
and the media accuse me:
She was no angel,
What would you say?
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 19, 2021, 09:57:21 PM
Day 19

EDS is a bitch

the day
has gone and night
darkens my mind and soul
exhausted and bereft of words
I rest
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 20, 2021, 11:59:36 AM
I really had no idea what today would bring, but a memory from nearly twenty five years ago strode into my half-awake mind as I fried an egg for breakfast.   Another example of the mental video player, picking up stuff I only half registered consciously at the time.   Even whilst eating I penned some rough notes, key images.

So here she is...

=====

Napo 20 - 2021 - Andrea:  One of my students

She was a lady of deep waters,
restless in dock,
clearly uncomfortable on dry land.
Her eyes always scanning distant horizons,
reading the waves and clouds.

Long dark hair and a weathered face,
the red-brown of a blue-water sailor.
A straight gaze, but always watchful.
A machine gun vocal delivery,
but always clear and direct.

Always busy, 'squeezing things in'.
Striding in wearing her thick jumper
and baggy trousers.
Or on wet days her serious 'storm coat'
more suited to an Atlantic Gale.

She wanted to learn 'something useful',
how to tackle editors and publishers,
'an entirely alien species'.
Men in suits and ties who spoke a strange language,
who didn't appreciate that simply staying alive,
or breaking sailing records or masts
deep in the stormy Southern Ocean
took precedence over emailing her words
to some snugly heated office.

She always came late, 
smelling of paint, or fibreglass resin,
or wood shavings, or salt water,
straight from 'working on the boat'.
She always apologised,
or phoned in if she couldn't make it.

In class she took copious notes,
focused like a watch keeper in fog,
like a bosun checking his mental list,
or a navigator over his charts
laying a course for the route ahead.

When her folder snapped shut she was away,
after a polite unfailing "Thank you".
Striding though the door, 
off to check her stores, chase a tardy supplier,
grease a windlass, coil a rope,
maybe lasso a sponsor.
Round the world yacht racing is expensive.

Walking with that wide stable stride,
as if expecting the concrete corridor
to surge or pitch under her feet,
or heel over in a sudden squall.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 20, 2021, 03:11:37 PM
  Here's an extra, an instant response celebrating to the view from my office window.   I simply couldn't sit on this until tomorrow.

Napo 20a - 2021 - White Legs and Midriffs

...and a few bare shoulders.[/i]

It's that time of year again,
when practical trouser suits
and puffy jackets get thrown aside.

The girls, passing my window,
display pale skin,
basking in the  warmth
and the gentle breeze.

Loose skirts and light summer frocks
rule the unplanned fashion parade,
and normally pinned hair is freed.
Some showing a hint of grey,
which wasn't there last year

Even the big butch lesbian lass -
who normally stomps by
dressed in dark denim and chains -
with her lithe and lip-sticked friend
trotting demurely alongside
can't resist the weather.

In a loose mid-calf 'Hippy' skirt,
a riot of bight colours,
and a sleeveless cheesecloth top,
her stride longer and more fluid than usual.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 20, 2021, 11:15:21 PM
Day 20

charge

exiled
and rejected
dragon defeats hunter
but surrenders to innocent
dreamer
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 21, 2021, 11:37:45 AM
This one's very different from the previous few.

Fair Warning:  If you or your family have ever lost a young child you may prefer not to read this, or to not make a comment.  The ​​​​​​​choice is yours.  We all react differently to reminders of mortality.
[/i]
=====

Napo 21 - 2021 - The Untaught Lessons

For several months after Matthew died
an unexplained cot-death at 4 1/2 months,
his 'presence' hung close,
colouring our lives.
I felt as if I was holding him back.

Then one day, saying I needed time alone,
I took his ever present 'shade' for a walk.
Father and Son time.

I took him to my garage,
explained a bit about motorbikes,
the why rather than the how
the stuff I would have shared
had we been given time.

I walked him through the fields,
showed him rabbit runs in grass,
explained how to set snares
'on the high'.
Showed him where partridges nest,
an almost invisible 'scrape' in the soil,
where they lie still and unseen.

On the way to the river,
down the twisty lane,
I imparted hedgerow wisdom.
The best wood for a fire,
for making clothes-pegs,
or an improvised fishing rod.
Which berries not to eat.
Stuff like that.

At the river I showed him
the vee shaped ripple of a vole,
wisely swimming to the far bank
to avoid us.
Showed him where trout like to lie,
how to avoid casting shadows
which scare them away.

Showed him the places to avoid
if you don't want to catch eels.
Showed him a heron's tracks
on the gravel bar, the perfect fishing place.
The Grey Fisher always has first rights,
because we have a freezer, and shops.

Then in the deep green peace,
with water rippling nearby,
I told him it was alright to go,
if he had other things to do.
That we'd never forget him,
but my business was with the living,
because it had to be.

I felt a shift in the air,
then walked home alone,
to where my wife and daughter
hugged me as if they'd never let go.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 21, 2021, 05:39:21 PM


April 20 (belated)

Calla Lilies

Folded vessels hold the sacred center
an egret rises in shining raiment
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 21, 2021, 08:10:32 PM
Image

April 21

Talavera Pottery

heavy shouldered,
voluptuous body
radiating lime, salsa,
bright evening fiestas,
levitates from wrought iron
with offerings of greenery
in my sunroom
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 21, 2021, 09:20:31 PM
Day 21

foresight

erlen
king shares visions
of futures that might be
and cautions holy man to choose
wisely


Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 22, 2021, 06:16:25 PM
April 22

Tourist

It was not the ten Bernini angels
on the Ponte Sant'Angelo Bridge
but the young Asian woman,
cross-legged on a mat at the end,
folding palm fronds into amazing
crickets, mantis and grasshoppers.

It was not the famous art glass
at the Murano Island Museum
but the Venetian vendor
in a slap-dash enclosure
using a single jet to shape multi-color
beads to tie on thong necklaces.

It was not the artisan twist of brooches
in the goldsmitheries of Valenza
but the man in blankets before his
portable stand weaving intricate wrist bands
from string and hard brown seeds.

I asked if I could photograph them
as they worked, bought what they made,
took it home as gifts for friends.

It was not the items themselves endowed
with great worth but the images of the workers,
real, nameless, using abilities they had,
materials they gathered in that foreign land
to earn a living on the streets.


BTW I did appreciate the art, the history and buildings of Italy---it was all good too :)


 
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Dansinger on April 22, 2021, 07:28:52 PM
Day 22

alliance

dragon
shall rule again
as love brings unity
remnants of glory shall prosper
anew
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 22, 2021, 08:24:41 PM
Napo 22 - 2021 - The Night The Laundry Burned

The local copper, a big cheerful chap,
hammered on our caravan door
in the small hours.

The three of us woke, bewildered,
and Dad answered.
I remember how he stood,
in his pyjama trousers,
blocking the door.
The instinctive shepherd,
always guarding his flock.

Beyond his shoulder,
less than a hundred yards away,
like a misplaced sunset
the local laundry burned.

"If the wind changes direction,
be ready to evacuate.  Fast.
Because of the smoke.
Otherwise sit tight,
don't get in the way."

If the flames breached, or ignited,
the row of trees,
a twenty foot tall barrier
between laundry and caravan site
it would be time to go.

The three of us dressed.
Packed family treasures into two suitcases
and prepared to 'abandon ship'.
That's how Dad, only recently ex- Navy,
described our situation.

I wasn't frightened at all,
because Mum and Dad stayed calm.

Hoses snaked between the vans,
and through the hedge,
like thick grey serpents,
sucking water from every available hydrant.
A pumper slurped thirstily from the stream,
hastily dammed to create a useful pool,
just yards from our van.

The copper came around again,
wearing a reassuring grin.
"The Brigade say it's contained,
but a long way from going out."

So Dad swung round his 'rustic bench',
made from birch poles he'd scored
after a site clearance job,
and we sat there to watch the flames.

There was a hell of draught from behind,
air rushing in to feed the flames.
It would have been cold, 
but wrapped in a bright patterned blanket,
'Best Dutch Wool' according to the label,
I sat safe between two people I trusted,
and enjoyed the spectacle.

The flames were well above the trees,
mostly scarlet and orange,
but with occasional greens and blues
as various chemicals burned.

Occasionally a drum of something,
or maybe a gas cylinder,
would hurl itself skywards like a rocket
riding a rush of coloured flame.

"Probably five gallons of 'Carbon Tet',
 or something like that," Dad said.

As walls fell in the burning buildings
the ground shook,
and Dad gave me an extra squeeze,
reminding me of the escape route,
through the back entrance of the site.
"Just in case, Son."

For him and Mum it must have been hard,
a vivid reminder of recent bombings,
and, for Dad, burning warships.

But Mum, and the other site women,
made cups of tea and took them out
the back entrance to where firemen,
taking a respite  as fresh crews arrived,
with clanging bells and even more hose,
gathered around their command post.

As dawn rose the thick dark smoke,
and the smell of steamy dirty water,
became more obvious,
and the flames dropped below the treetops.

The pretty chemical fireworks had finished,
much to my disappointment.
The Copper made a third circuit,
announcing all was safe.
"The lads are just damping down now."

I went on another 'tea run' with Mum,
saw soot-stained men coiling hoses.
watched them breach the dam,
letting the stream flow freely again.
I wondered how many minnows,
freshwater water shrimps and pond-skaters
had been sucked up and squirted.

Later still, with a group of local lads
I wandered around the fire site.
Saw men with grappling hooks,
dragging out still glowing metal debris
and hosing it down to avoid re-ignition.

The older boys, with ghoulish enthusiasm,
were looking for bodies or skeletons.
(As far as I recall nobody was injured,
probably because there was no night shift.)

I was fascinated by numerous small leaks,
fine jets of water glistening in the sunlight.
Almost as bright as the brass couplers
A black-faced firemen warned us away,
stopped us touching them.
He held a wood shaving in the jet,
demonstrating the power of the pumps
as it was torn to shreds.

When the wind picked up later the leaves,
all dried brown by the heat, rustled strangely,
and most crumbled away

By lunchtime there was just one pump,
and a fresh-faced crew, hosing down
and sifting through the ashes.

But the smell lingered for days,
like a fog permeating the whole village. .

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 23, 2021, 06:29:14 PM
April 23



Marching to Sequoia to Meet General Sherman



the largest tree on earth:

two thousand seven hundred years.

Named post civil war

(the story may be apocryphal)

by Wolverton, 9th Indiana cavalry.



Utopians gain control: socialists

(oh no) rename the tree Karl Marx

noting the role Sherman played

in Indian wars and forced

relocation. 1892 national park status:

tree reverts to its previous name.



2006 the largest branch breaks off

smashes surrounding pavement,

maybe a natural defense mechanism.



Well folks, that's my attempt at a found poem. I chose this subject because I'm reading about Sequoia National Park. We have camping reservations there starting May 9. Only 2 nights but Its a beginning.
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 24, 2021, 01:44:51 AM
Napo 24 - 2021 - My Little World

The stream near our caravan was shallow,
only up to a little boy's knees,
but a bit too wide to jump,
even with a galumphing run-up.

But I kept trying,
and going home wet
despite the handy crossing place.
Two sturdy railway sleepers
laid parallel. 
Twice a year the site owner
carefully drove his mower across
to harvest the hay field
and 'earn a few bob'.

Between these destructive forays,
redolent with black smoke
from the noisy exhaust.
I would wade across and play there.
Watching and hearing grasshoppers.
Small green ones,
bigger brown ones,
which looked like the locusts
in my much thumbed Encyclopaedia,
and, just the once,
a massive green Cricket
thicker than my forefinger.

Butterflies too.
Dad bought me a net
but I was rather inept with it.
I was a clumsy child in many ways,
unco-ordinated.
Total Crap at cricket and football,
and perfectly happy not to be picked.

There were compensations though.
I could braid grass or rush wristbands
better than many of the girls.
I was never afraid to ask them how
and the kinder ones showed me.
The Inner Artisan slowly learning
that some things can't be rushed.

But I could always move quietly,
sit still, my presence 'dialled down',
and watch the small things,
scurry and move about their business.

Occasionally I'd hand-catch something,
triumphantly take my trophy home.
in a jam jar, hand blocking the top.
Mum and Dad would nod and smile,
identify the creatures for me,
and then suggest I took it back.

"Can't I keep it for a pet?"

"If you lived in a meadow,
would you be happy in a jar?"
I couldn't argue with that logic.

I always tried to put them back,
exactly where I'd captured them.
Imagining their families greeting them.

When we moved into the house
I was bereft.  I'd lost my world,
my private kingdom.

But, just across the gravel track,
lay a deep woodland,
Terra Incognita,
waiting to be discovered.

And beyond that, sloping cow fields,
and a proper river,
with sparkling shallows
and deep pools where trout lay,
and a stunning blue kingfisher
catching silvery minnows.

Maybe life wasn't so bad after all.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 24, 2021, 10:30:17 AM
Napo 24A - 2021 - Balance Bird

It's an ancient plastic toy
grown brittle with age,
the bright colours faded,
leached away by sunlight.

It balances, seemingly impossibly,
by its beak, on your fingertip,
or a flowerpot's edge,
or your nose if you lie still enough.

Wings and tail bob in the lightest breeze.

My Grandaughter is fascinated,
has mastered a seamless transfer
from one fingertip to another.
Always over the carpet,
just in case it drops.

She's taken to posing it,
in odd places around my home,
"To see if you notice, Grandad."

This morning it was in my office,
waiting to greet me.
Bobbing on the shiny brass tip
of the 20mm cannon shell
which adorns one end of my desk.

A glorious anomaly,
a dove of peace,
fanning the cold steel of war.

Later I'll move it to a safer place
where it can't fall,
but today I'll revel in the image.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 24, 2021, 02:13:01 PM
April 24

Daughters

I hung on to pinch pots they made in grade school,
summer camp weaving projects, saved that pair
of green and white hound's tooth knee highs
Jenny loved although we teased her
for wearing them with everything
even pastel floral prints.

Saved my mother's mother's glass top
tea table, a kerosene lamp
from the North Dakota farm house
peopled by ancestors they'd never met.

I envisioned my daughters who'd
survived me handling these things,
a legacy connecting my ancestors to me
and through me to them. And so the story
would continue and so they'd
share with those who followed.

That vision depended on the two of them
remembering, laughing, crying together.
With Jenny gone it's all turned hollow.
I dare not tell this to my oldest daughter.

She no longer talks about my mother's
eastern star ring or the Pier One
carved wood plant stand
she and Jenny saved to buy
when they started getting an allowance
to present to me on mother's day.
I have it still holding a potted peace lily
in the front room window.

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 25, 2021, 02:08:16 AM
In 1970 I made my first ever trip down to Cornwall, a land which cast its spell on me right from the start.   This was a time when people were fairly well disposed toward hitch-hikers.   Most of the roads I travelled were the old A Roads, no motorway.  And a lot of them were only two lanes, and twisty as hell.  I would come to love these routes later on a motorbike.

Coming back up country was a surreal experience after two weeks of camping along the coast.  I made it home in one long day, but what a day it turned out to be.

I assure you neither drink nor drugs were involved, nor hallucinations, these things just happened.  As I have often said, when people cast doubts, "Things happen to me."

=====

Napo 25 - 2021 - Surreal Summer, June 1970

Eighteen hours and every one of them hot,
a pitiless sun from a blue sky
seeming determined to fry my brains.
Hitch-hiking back up from Cornwall.

A day when generosity reigned.
The lifts were frequent but short,
mostly local folk, farmers and housewives.

"I'll run ee to the top of this hill,
But then I needs to turn off."
Sat in the bed of a pickup truck,
with three straw bales, a sleeping Collie,
and a rattling collection of fence stakes.

Crammed into an overloaded Mini Estate,
already full of a family with camping gear.
Plus a hilariously wobbly ride
on the back of a labouring little Vespa,
two stoke motor screaming
at walking pace up a long steep drag,
as the fat girl ordered me to
"Hang on tighter, I won't break!"

Then a very fast thirty miles or so,
with a fully accoutred Bishop
in his purple robes,
staff laid along between the seats,
Driving a deep purple Austin Healey 3000,
open-topped of course,
as if the Devil were in pursuit.
Definitely 'a man with a mission'.

But the best was a little old lady,
with tight grey curls and freckles,
dressed in a sensible tweed suit,
with no-nonsense 'peasant kicking' shoes.
Probably a Women's Institute member.

She drove an immaculate black Rover,
with those old fashioned 'suicide doors',
the ones which open arse-backwards.
It trundled along in near-silence,
fast but never quite illegal.
She probably learned with the ATS,
during the war years.

I mentioned my surprise that she'd stopped,
a lady alone,
picking up a wild-looking young hitcher.
She laughed, totally at ease,
"Oh.  You don't look like a rapist,
or a bad person."

"Thank you, Madam."
Then, driven by my writer's curiosity,
"What if I had been?"

She smiled again,
but her eyes tightened a little.
"I'd have told you to get out.
Without stopping the car."

I felt this was begging the next question.
"And if I refused?

"Then I'd have to shoot you."
Very calm, as if it was a foregone conclusion.
She flipped open the glove box,
way beyond my reach in that big old car.

Nestled between a pair of dress gloves
and some rags, grip at just the right angle,
lay a sturdy revolver,
brass cartridges showing in the cylinder.
Probably an old service weapon.

She closed the flap again, smiled,
and went back to the usual 'hitcher' chat.

Several companionable miles later,
dropped off at a busy crossroads,
I watched her drive away,
with a cheerful wave and a "Good Luck."

Thumb out, waiting for my next ride,
I wondered if she'd ever shot anyone.
Maybe she'd been more than ATS.
I'd bet a lady like that, well organised,
also had an entrenching tool in the boot,
'just in case'.

Gyppo

=====

For those who don't know ATS was Auxiliary Transport Service.  This was where thousands of young ladies learned to drive and carry out basic roadside repairs.  One of them went on to become our Queen ;-)

===
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 26, 2021, 12:39:03 AM
April 25

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Johnny+Mathis+-+The+Twelfth+Of+Never+-+Bing+video&&view=detail&mid=49EDF18004FA5670823749EDF18004FA56708237&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DJohnny%2BMathis%2B-%2BThe%2BTwelfth%2BOf%2BNever%2B-%2BBing%2Bvideo%26qpvt%3DJohnny%2BMathis%2B-%2BThe%2BTwelfth%2BOf%2BNever%2B-%2BBing%2Bvideo%26FORM%3DVDRE





Never Know

We did figure 8s on our bicycles,
(mine was a JC Higgins),
singing Twelfth of Never.
Fitted dips and turns
to exaggerated interpretations:
lifted voices into tightest curves,
vocalized without the words
too abstract for ten year olds. Yet we
understood love and longing
somehow. Who knew then
what was meant;  twelfth of never?
The non-event always over
the horizon. Questions
with no answers. We believed
all mysteries have their solutions:
that in good time the wind in the
catalpa tree would tell us
why it hurt us so to hear it.


(Egads, don't know why that link went on forever.)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 26, 2021, 06:06:03 PM
April 26

Thrilling

An octopus won an oscar;
no mention of her designer
or how shocked the audience
by her skimpy dress
or how inappropriate
of her to politicize the award.
I can't wait to see the movie,
filmed off the tip of Africa,
set in a kelp forest,
the plot, a real favorite:
her leading man saved
by her grace.

https://www.chron.com/entertainment/article/My-Octopus-Teacher-wins-the-Oscar-for-best-16128198.php

Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 26, 2021, 08:42:28 PM
Napo 26 - 2021 - When the bakery flooded

Some idiot chef, on the third floor,
had dumped things down the drain,
bunging it solid with congealed fat,
meat scraps, bones, and veg peelings.

It was easier than carrying it downstairs,
black bagged, and binning it properly.
'Idle Shite' only begins to describe him.

The overnight thunderstorm,
had scoured the rooftops,
filled the down pipe and backed up,
as the blocked drain failed.

The thirty foot column of water
had to go somewhere,
forced itself through a damaged joint
and flooded the bakery downstairs.

The car park was prone to flooding,
another bit of crap design,
so the bakery door had raised sills,
similar to those on a ship.

A rush of water greeted the Foreman
as he unlocked the door around 5 am.

When the initial gush died away,
he took off his shoes and socks,
waded in to the six inch deep 'lake',
and assessed the options.

Gas ovens, still useable.
Tall stand mixers, electronics still dry,
useable.
No power sockets underwater.

Benches, legs swimming
but work surfaces dry.

Flour, salt, sugar, in metal bins,
still dry.  Bulk flour in sacks,
laid flat, stacked about eight high.
The bottom layer ruined, but the rest okay.

Water from the taps, running clean,
Gas cooker working so he made tea,
and gave us a choice.
"If you want to go home, you can,
But there's no reason we can't work."

So work we did, slopping around,
Some kept their shoes on,
most opted for bare feet.

I was reluctant to touch switches,
having electrocuted myself once,
through my own stupidity.
But serious kit has big buttons,
easy to find.  Usually waterproof.

The Foreman saw me twitching,
handed me a rolling pin.
"Press them with this, Young John."
Made me feel much happier.

The customers looked bewildered,
as well they might.
There's something particularly bizarre
about a barefoot boy in a long white apron,
delivering a tray of bread into the shop.

With cuffs rolled to mid calf
We looked as if we had no trousers.

The shop girls stood on the bottom step,
smugly dry, telling us what they wanted.
 
The Water Board men un-bunged the drain,
cursing at the revolting contents.,
and started to give us grief.
The foreman sent them upstairs,
to "That bloody idiot of a Chef."

A tradesman mended the pipe,
wondering aloud about the design,
running down inside the building
"Bloody architects."

The Fire Brigade visited briefly,
slurped out the trapped water,
and laughed at our 'bathtub feet',
all pink and wrinkled by then.

I don't think I'd do it now,
but at the time it seemed reasonable enough.
After all, our customers relied on us.
Sometimes it really is that simple.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 26, 2021, 08:45:54 PM
Napo 26A - 2021 - Woad

At Royal Mail rules are flexible,
as long as you are honest,
reasonably punctual,
and get the job done.

If a few customers like you,
and write in to tell the boss,
it earns you some leeway
for the times when things go wrong.

But trainee managers,
keen to make a mark,
don't always understand this.

"That man...," he said,
 pointing at me.
"Is improperly dressed."

"Really?  How's that?"
Brian, my usual line manager,
was already smiling.

"He's not wearing a tie."
Brian laughed and winked at me.
"Medical exemption, claustrophobia.
It's on his official records,
top two buttons undone as well."

A sceptical grunt, and then
"He's not wearing the official belt either."

Brian sighed.  "Just let it go,
otherwise he'll get another exemption
saying he's excused clothes.
Do you really want him out on delivery
wearing nothing but Royal Mail Woad?"

If he'd seen me delivering on May Day,
wearing my pagan wreath of Ivy,
the new man would have freaked out.
But my customers loved it.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 27, 2021, 09:48:34 AM
Napo 27 - 2021 - Flicker

I blamed my eyes at first,
too much keyboard time.
Even a gentle screen,
with eye-friendly colours,
can get to you eventually.

There was a flicker in the clouds,
far distant above the screen
where I refocus periodically,
to give my lenses a break
and let muscles relax.

Or maybe a shimmer,
there and then gone,
like a trout against the riverbed
surface ripples randomly colluding
with camouflaged skin patterns.

I blinked a few times,
lost it, saw it again,
but a bit to one side,
and then the other.

A small flock of birds,
performing their weaving sky-dance,
circles, ovals, a brief diamond,
a chevron, a helix,
constantly changing.

But so distant,
so briefly in fly-past silhouette
that I only twice saw individual shapes,
momentary tiny dark crosses,
making up the whole pattern.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 28, 2021, 12:48:44 AM
Napo 28 - 2021 - Why do they pick me?

Watching a female motorcycle team,
all pretty normal lasses,
except for the fire stunt girl.
She had a deep glow in her eyes,
lacking in the others.

One of them prowled the perimeter,
selecting twelve volunteers,
people willing to lay down
and be jumped over.
Ignoring some who seemed too eager.

"How 'bout you?"  She asked,
her Cornish accent challenging.

My Lady smiled, shrugged gently.
Her two kids, wildly enthusiastic,
almost bundled me over the barrier.
"Yeah, do it!"
I was going anyway.

Packed in a line on the grass,
youngest ones nearest the ramp,
I took mental notes.
The girls protected their faces,
the men, predictably, their balls.

I doubt even work toughened hands
would offer much protection
against a spinning knobbly tyre.

She landed well clear,
and the smug ones,
safe behind the barrier,
were exhorted to 'Cheer
the brave volunteers.'

Later that Summer,
watching a Falconry display,
I saw two of the crew watching me,
having a discussion.
reaching a head nodding agreement.

A few minutes later one sidled up,
"Would you volunteer..."

I had to stand in the middle or the arena,
arms above my head, fingers interlocked.
The lass with the hawk on her gloved fist
wandered around behind me,
talking to the crowd.

It was a biggish bird
about a four foot wingspan.

The other lass,
with a scrap of bloody meat
held behind her back,
on a thick leather glove
stood about twenty feet in front of me.

"Bring your elbows closer together,
about nine inches if you can."
It was uncomfortable, but I did it,
leaving a little empty triangle,
just above my hair.

(I checked in front of a mirror later,
it looked impossibly small.)

The crowd went silent.
The assistant checked the line-up,
said "Keep still,"
then held up the bloody lure.

There was heavy flapping behind me
and then a feathered missile,
wings folded tight, body extended,
brushed my hair as it shot through,
flared to slow, and its talons struck,
with a distinct thud.

The gloved hand dipped a bit,
then took the weight.
Moved to the resting position
in front of her skinny bosom,
and the hawk settled to eat .

The Falconer patted my shoulder,
smiling as she passed.
"We always do it from behind
with strangers. Well played.
It's almost impossible not to flinch
when a hawk flies straight at your face."

Now I know why they recover
to an raised arm.
Better for both bird and handler.

But I don't know how they select,
how they choose the 'dummy'.

Or maybe I do...

We used to pick 'A Lady For The Day'
for our bigger medieval shows.
To dress up in a steeple head-dress,
with a long cloak, and sit on her throne.
A decorated picnic chair,
a prime viewing point
to one side of the arena.

We always chose one who looked quiet,
but self-confident, instinct guiding us,
to one who would 'rise to the occasion'.

We tossed a coin to see who chose.
Nigel always chose a blonde,
I went for the dark haired ones.

===
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 28, 2021, 04:13:19 PM
April 27 ( a day late)

Forbidden

We were on the edge of the Great Plains
not a lot of hills.
The few there were bore names
given by locals,
some of them, secretly, by us
the rise by the Minnesota River, for instance:
Beer Hill where we went to watch
the submarine races
and you know (wink) (wink).

The hill by Bush Lake was different,
more than a rise and crowned by an iron
ski jump. We were the cool ones
parked around it, car radios tuned
to Gatemouth broadcasting from
somewhere in the South, a DJ
who spun music like we'd never heard;
some of it banned. Ray Charles'
What'd I Say: sneaky lyrics about a girl
with a diamond ring
(she knew how to shake that thing).

Ban something and there will be those
who'll find a giant antenna on a hill
somewhere and listen.

“What'd I Say” by Ray Charles - Song Meanings and Facts

Gatemouth Moore - Wikipedia

 
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 29, 2021, 12:30:24 AM
Napo 29 - 2021 - Blue

I  rarely wear it these days,
but I like to see it about.
It's rather like an old friend,
or a local character,
always about somewhere,
but noticed more in their absence.

Most blues work for me.
Denim blue - Timeless
Bluebell blue,
nodding in a spring breeze.
Kingfisher blue, rarely seen now,
but an exquisite bolt of colour,
unexpectedly seen and then gone.

And here's another blue.
At Day 29 I wondered.
Has time finally muted the memories?
I  should have known better.

Here she is, arriving late
like the rare times she missed her lift
and had to wait for the delivery driver,
'Big Bill', exuberant ex-Bomber pilot.

Sometimes the restaurant manager,
short staffed, commandeered her
to work in the kitchen instead.
Twenty plus miles away,
which made my day a little grey.

The Foreman took pity on me.
"Stop looking at the door, Young John.
She'll not be in today."
I was too shy to ask.

The glimpse of her nylon overall,
flitting through my memory.
A dark practical blue.
No fashionable logos,
or contrast piping on the seams,
or trade names.
None of that fancy crap.
There never was.

It's 'Sally' blue,
still clear, still present,
even after half a century.
And I can still see her smile.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:31:17 AM
I just threw these lines on the page because I was reading about allusions last night and came across the one example below and kind of loved it. So I wanted to try to fit it into something but was at a loss all day.

I started this draft at 11:06 pm and am submitting at 11:49 pm. I'm just saying, it's a very rough draft.

#16
Balm in Gilead

Children are always searching for friendly faces
unless and until they grow up,
relinquish hope, and become disillusioned adults.
Because I think we all want to believe
that the world is a safe and friendly place.
I think friendliness is contagious, and

I believe,

the world would be more joyful
if only we were all aware, willing, and able to disperse
the balm in Gilead.

I always smile at other earthlings, especially children
to let them know there are nice grown-ups.
Before COVID, and the masking of smiles
I made faces, tried to engage little ones
in some joyful play, usually with a humorous payoff.
Perhaps that's dangerous because
to say so sounds kind of creepy.
But my heart is in the right place.

I believe,

giving a child a genuine, friendly smile
is like giving the balm in Gilead.

Some people look straight ahead,
but I greet everyone I pass on the street
with a friendly, “Good evening” or, “Hello” from a distance.
Some pretend not to notice.
Others are happy to be noticed.
I don't know why so many people avoid
eye contact these days.
I think it's kind of sad.

I believe,

to engage another human
is like sharing the balm of Gilead.

I crossed paths with the young teen neighbor
from the sweet family across the street,
he walking on the sidewalk,
I driving in the opposite direction.
We made eye contact, he waved and smiled
searching my face for acknowledgment.
When I reciprocated, his smile broadened.

I believe,

we were spreading the balm in Gilead.

~Deb
04/16/2021 (SP)


From LiteraryDevices.net
"Example #8: The Raven (by Edgar Alan Poe)
“Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door—”
“Is there—is there balm in Gilead?—tell me—tell me, I implore!”
Here are two allusions: One to Pallas to show the burst of wisdom, as Pallas is the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. The other is more obscure: “Balm in Gilead” is an old statement that was used to ask if there was comfort in the world."
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:33:29 AM
#17

Across the Street

The family across the street
are odd in a good way.
Country folk mentality, living in the suburbs.
A young couple.
She home schools three boys,
a tween, a nine-year-old, a seven-year-old,
and she has a baby girl to look after, not much over two by now.

I’m not sure what he does.
If I were to guess,
maybe a mechanic or an oil field worker
electrician, a craftsman,
operating engineer, or
a longshoreman.
He seems like an all-American kind of guy.
Restoring an old t-bird
Motorbike in the garage
Two sets of drums, one from us,
regularly banged on in the garage.

The two older boys ride
skateboards on the sidewalk, congregating around
the stop sign,dipping their toes into the street
with a few other neighborhood kids,
from a different culture of partying parents.
I’m sure they must be an incorrigible bad influence,
while branching out into life,
trying on adult words like “Asshole”
and “Bitch” thinking they are getting away with something.
The wholesome boys and the street smart kids
growing up.

Two years in a row at Christmas the young mother marched
her progeny across the street to ring our doorbell.
Both times, I've answered in my robe
nudged from my dark room to be delighted
with their bright, inquisitive faces.
They wish me, "Merry Christmas!" in unison
as the oldest son hands me a loaf of banana bread.
Occasionally, he leaves a sack of avocados on the front porch.

When she had the baby,
I intended to take a meal over to the young family
but depression, excessive heat, and other excuses got in the way.
I'm grateful for their neighborliness.
Still haven’t cooked a dish or taken baked goods
over to my neighbors across the street.
I really should.


~Deb
04/16/2021 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:34:10 AM
#17a

Used to Know

There was a time when I was self-assured.
but I can no longer read your face.
Your words hang on my ears like cement shoes,
with me rotting just below the surface of the water.

I keep intending to separate the bolts
but I carry the load of your indifference
heavy on my soul,
as frustrating as the screws that don't fit.

We tiptoe around the herd of elephants
until somebody gets stepped on,
then the stampede of accusations
and insults get stirred up in the old dirt.

The tears come but the drought remains.
I wonder now, is it worth clinging to each other
when the time we spend crying
surpasses the time we spend content?

Is it because we are afraid to let go?
Don't want the inconvenience to follow?
What are we to do with the empty cup
of kindness there on the table?

~Deb
04/17/2021 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:34:56 AM
First draft.

#18

Mother

We thrive precariously in her bosom.
kaleidoscopic soil colors across the continents
created by the seasons, the fauna, and life
as life, fauna, and the shifting lands shape the seasons.

The falling snow quiets and makes my peace.
Hurricane’s torment, the wrecks in my brain.
Ideas blow in with the wind.
There is solace in her drifting rain.
The ocean my tumultuous conscience.
The stars, trees, critters, and flowers are my friends.

We’ve given her an entire day
to demonstrate how much we care.
And only some of us do.
We abuse, neglect, and take her for granted
every 365 days as we swing around
father sun,
a universal family
not caring enough about Earth.


~Deb
April 18, 2021, in recognition of Earth Day

April 22nd is the 51st Anniversary of Earth Day and how much better off is the earth?
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:35:54 AM
#19a

Not Amused


We’ve all heard the sad tale
of the lover who lost his muse.
Where did his muse go?
Did she sail across the sea
and forget how to navigate the stars?

My muse is not lost.
She’s running around my mind in circles
with the devil and the angel
that normally live on my shoulders
and whisper into my subconscious,
collecting the pieces of my battered soul
and wondering how in the Hell it all fell apart.

No, my muse is not lost.
She’s busy at the moment,
maintaining the brain,
preparing for the inevitable battle ahead.
She would love a glass of wine about now.

~Deb
April 19/2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:37:12 AM
Oh my goodness. I remembered by the skin of my teeth.

#20 in 24 minutes, and I think you'll be able to tell.


By the Skin of My Teeth


Sitting 'round the firepit this evening,
sipping wine coolers after a day of walking,
crying, exercising, sorting,
tossing, fighting, and trying to stop endings.

We spoke of the coming meteor shower
and how the moon will be too bright
to see the faint meteors
flash beyond the hemisphere.

We talked of old road trips
and some of the dumbest things we ever did like,
Lake Tahoe in a storm on a blow-up device,
not considered a boat by the Tahoe Lake Patrol.

Long story, short,
we all lived,
and no one was injured or ticketed.
Chalk it up to bad parenting 101.

Reminisced about the child
who tested the geyser pool in Yellowstone
and the one who got busted
in high school by his friend's alert mother.

We barely escaped a 'school' issue.
Boy, were we shocked!
What could possibly possess
our two intelligent offspring to do such stupid things?

Consider the source.
Two potential tragedies avoided by dumb luck.
We laughed and I suddenly realize
it's 11:00 pm and I haven't written a poem.

We'll see the results tomorrow
as the wine has clouded my thinking.
For now, I retreat to the fire-pit
to enjoy the company of my family.

Cheers,
~Deb
04/20/2021

That was so bad.

Haiku:

Fire-pit blaze intense
memories burn in smoked sighs
the moon smiles at fate


~Deb
04/20/2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:38:43 AM
#21

Wings

Here we sit, drinking beer
back where we began
at your beginning and of my end
in Playa del Rey at the edge of the runway.
Cheers to the beginning of the new beginning.

We haunted our ancient past like ghosts
and danced with old shadows.
Funny how walking a familiar path,
like a spark without fire can ignite a dream.
Today marks the end where I will begin again.


~Deb
April 21, 2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:39:22 AM
#22

Boxed In

A life compiled in stacks
of rotting containers to be sorted.
Memories dumped out of boxes
on to the yard to be judged
and sacrificed, as is the keeper.

Realization of a sickness misunderstood
in a brain that refuses to recognize
the mess it is in
while a household suffers
with clutter that clatters the mind.

It's time to say, "Goodbye"
to all that does not serve you.
Some keepsakes function
as commemorations and reminders
to replace the people we lost,
their gifts, letters, photographs.

Lest you forget
these little things that bring you joy.
The tangibles, words of encouragement, and love
Birthday and Christmas letters.
They thought enough of you,
to remember to tell you so.

Your collections of what others call, “Junk.”
Antiques and curiosities, memory triggers
bleeding into the ground to be lost forever
ready to be carted off
as if they were nothing.


~Deb

April 22, 2021
Top
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:40:10 AM
#23

Black Tar

Sweltering, humid summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains,
a friend, Kim Farley and I spent weekends, walking barefoot for miles
across the melting black tar on newly paved
Blue Jay Road in rural West Virginia,
shaped by Jesus and love around our grandparent's homesteads.

We visited with old folks like the Crawford's and the Short's
who all seemed to have a glass jar of hard candy at the ready
"In case the grandchildren showed up."
Lemon drops, peppermint twists, and rootbeer barrels.
Gray-haired adults with candy & time for 10-year-old girls.

We collected golf balls at the new golf course
and marched home before dark to our own singing
of folksongs by John Denver and The Kingston Trio's,
Where have all the Flowers Gone,
or a robust belting of Joy to the World.

Looking back, I wonder
how we walked so far without shoes
nor a care in the world, and cannot imagine
nor remember how calloused
and tough our young feet were.

We happily traipsed to the beat
of a different drummer together,
chewing on grass,
eating green apples and wild strawberries
as if we owned the world. and the universe was ours.


~Deb
04/23/2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:41:13 AM
I got a wild hair to play with pens and pins while walking by a horse pen this evening.

#24

Pinnups

We pen our lives
pinned in to our pens
with families and friends.

A penchant for pensiveness
under the pendulousness of pressure
reaching for that pinnacle.

No pinheads allowed.

The goal is to penetrate
those pent-up thoughts,
put pen to paper.

Pinwheels spin the webs while
we pay our penance
with panache.

Penalization not allowed.

Please pardon the penmanship
while we pinpoint the pincushions
used to pinprick your opinions.

Pennames allowed.


~Deb
04/24/21 (SP)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:43:29 AM
I feel the need for background here. As some of you may or may not know, I am going through a hoard of things because my life is about to undergo very dramatic changes. I've written about it in my poetry.

I have to decide what is worth keeping, selling, tossing, etc. I have a lot of unique, cool stuff, antiques, advertisement tins, old bottles, and folk art, but it is all going to waste and rotting because I cannot afford to store it and our current living situation prohibits storage on the premises. We went from a 3000 squared foot home to 1360 square feet. Plus, it looks like I will be moving a long way from where I am and can only take what I can carry or ship once I figure out where I'm going.

This started out as a very different poem for me as I was coming to terms with getting rid of things, dreams, projects I've longed to incorporate into my own home.

#25

Old Woody

It came from Athens Stove in Athens, Tennessee,
across the Oregon Trail up to Nebraska, (or so I was told)
down through the Rockies, then to Raton, New Mexico
on the border of Colorado.
Somehow it made its way
to my mom’s parent’s home in the Mojave Desert.

It heated my great-grandparent's house
until they upgraded
and my grandparent’s house
until they had indoor heating
installed in the 1970s.
I remember feeding it wood.

I rescued it from the junk pile,
much to my husband’s chagrin
after my grandparents moved
from the home my grandpa built
where their five kids and grandkids were raised,
where I lived with my grandparents during my tweens.

I was told to get rid of, “That old piece of junk.”
Cursed for it. It weighs a ton!
It is rusty on the back, missing a handle,
and one of the four legs needs repairing.
Tonight, it is laying on its side in our backyard
covered with a piece of plastic, held down by two rocks.

I’ve been carting, "That damn thing" around from rental to rental
hoping to land in my own home,
and turn it into a planter.
I looked up the information on the metal plate
affixed to the back of that old thing to add provenance to this poem.
My son found the very same stove for sale on eBay for, $402,788.00!

I guess it's true
some projects are meant to be let go of
no matter how longed for or dreamt about,
how ancient, or what family history they hold,
even if you love them. But then again,
sometimes, maybe you score!

~Deb

April 25, 2021

Click here if you want to see--> Old Woody. (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Athens-Stove-Wood-Furnace-Heater-Circulator-Old-Iron-1930s-Antique-/192885105263?mkevt=1&mkcid=1&mkrid=711-53200-19255-0&campid=5336728181&customid=&toolid=10001)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:44:07 AM
A string of thoughts.

#26

Ponderance

A nightmare coiled up under your pillow,
shadows on the wall dance with the trees,
monster in the closet waits.

On scooters and bicycles
bouncing balls or kicking them
children’s fears and emotions are visceral.

Would we wander back to those days
of vivid terror and exuberance
to replace the boogie-men we face today?


~Deb
04/26/2021 (SP)
Top
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:45:29 AM
#26b

The Hill’s

Delmer and Virgina Hill
Parents of someone I once
loved and lived with for five years.
We didn’t end well but I’m a better person for it.

They became like family to me.
Adored each other - both from Texas,
he tall, kind, and quiet. A hard-working man
for the oil fields on the Rincon in California.

She was a short, red-headed, ball of fire,
funny, ballsey, and generous to a fault.
She drove a huge, baby blue Thunderbird,
smoked cigarettes, talked to truckers on the CB radio.

She spent money like it was going out of fashion,
signed me up on her bowling team,
took me under her wings, fed me often,
and she and her daughter, Christy became my friends.

He helped me rebuild the top engine
part of my old Mercury Marquis.
He did all the work and patiently explained
engines to me while I handed him the tools to fix my car.

Christy died early of cancer or some illness
– I didn’t know until after I heard of the parent’s passing,
three days apart, right before Christmas.
She died and he followed his love with a broken heart.

Delmer and Virginia Hill,
Parents of someone I once loved.
They held me up and loved me as if I were theirs and they mine.
We didn’t end well but I’m a better person for it.


~Deb
April 26, 2021
Top
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:45:59 AM
#27

Daybreak


Alone on the porch swing
as the mist lifts and swirls around
my head, at the break of dawn
while the sun undresses the mountains.

Mockingbirds sound off and repeat
with the morning chorus of life.
The world wakes up to
the dew’s fading kiss.

~Deb
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: DGSquared on April 29, 2021, 06:47:24 AM
#28

Undertones

Beloved art teacher, John Brothers’ old house
on Cliff Avenue overlooking
the sleepy town of Fillmore
in the Santa Clarita Valley.

They greet me on my daily walk.
Three sets of big brown eyes,
satin brown coats, behind white noses,
and twelve feathered hooves.

It’s obvious to me
they are a family of high breeds -
a mare, an adolescent colt
and a younger filly.

Sometimes the mare greets me with a nicker.
I respond with, “Hey pretty baby.”
They gather at the edge of their pen
to watch, follow me along their confines.

I long to pet their noses and greet them
but it is considered poor etiquette
to pet someone’s horse without permission.
The urge to break protocol intense.

The barriers of a drainage ditch
and strategically placed cacti
make an approach impossible.
We resign to become curious friends from afar.

In an exchange of unspoken kindness,
and peaceful agreements that transcend
the ability to physically connect. Our third eyes
meet an undercurrent of interconnectedness.



~Deb
04/28/2021
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: indar9 on April 29, 2021, 07:52:53 PM
April 28 (late again)

Count Down

Life expectancy: female living in California,
eighty-three years. Four more to go
and I'll be living on borrowed time.
Borrowed from where, certainly not the future.
I get it--it has to be paid in advance.
A red tailed hawk sails from low over my roof
down the canyon. Never flaps its wings once
the whole trip. How much time: knowing
this might be my last memory of hawk flight,
that pain, how much now do I owe?

Does the soul fly away and forget this wonder?


USA Life Expectancy (worldlifeexpectancy.com)
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on April 30, 2021, 06:21:38 PM
Napo 30 - 2021 - Cripple?

Back when 'cripple' was just a  medical diagnosis,
not a pejorative label or insult,
I went to visit Dad at the respite care home.

Twice a year he spent a week there,
giving Mum a break from full-time caring.
She didn't want it, but it was good for both.

His shared room was empty,
his wheelchair missing.
They'd paired him with 'Mr Dennis',
having decided they had a lot in common.
Dennis could move, slowly, with a pair of sticks.

"He's a whining bastard,"
Dad privately confided.
"But maybe he's got a good reason,
his wife walked out on him."

Dad was paralysed down his left side,
following a motorbike crash.
Needed help to get in and out of bed

But in wide corridors he could get around. 
Kicking himself along with his good leg,
braking one wheel with his good hand
and spinning around to back in through doors,
all designed to be wheelchair friendly,
or shouldered open by a nurse with filled hands.

I headed for the lounge, found him in the corridor.
Charging along, barging doors open,
then spinning away to the next one
after a quick look.

His face white and set, a rare but known sign.
His Viking-red beard bristling.
Way, way beyond mere anger.
Something, or someone,
had pressed his Northern Berserker button.

But when he saw me he stopped,
spoke very calmly, another warning sign.
"Hello, Son.  I'm looking for that bloody Dennis.
I'll swing for the bastard if I can find him."

I never doubted it for even a heartbeat.
He was a gentle man, good with his family.
But a willing warrior if necessary.
I saw much bigger men back down,
faced with that cold determination.
His 'protector' gene was strong.

A nurse appeared, flustered,
grabbed the wheelchair handles,
spoke soothingly, pushed him back to his room.
"We've moved him to a different home, Ginger.
You'll never have to see him again.
Matron promises this."

Dad looked doubtful,
but his face relaxed a little.

I found out later Dennis was still there,
cowering in the nurses' room,
one of the few with a lockable door,
up a few wheelchair proof steps.
But 'Patient Transport' was coming.

As another nurse bustled in,
and bagged up Dennis's possessions,
Dad started to believe them.

When we were alone I asked what happened.
"I won't speak his filthy words,
but he said bad things about your Mother."
 
Later I got the full story.
Dennis, to cheer his own dark life,
had 'cast doubts on Mum's morals'.
 
Overall, I'm glad Dad didn't reach Dennis.
But I wouldn't have stood in his way.

Gyppo
Title: Re: Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.
Post by: Gyppo on May 01, 2021, 09:03:01 PM
As I relaxed today, outside the pressure cooker world of Napo's relentless 'one a day schedule'...

One more sneaked in...

Quiet

In the creative vacuum,
the silent hollow,
where Napo reigned
like Brigadoon for thirty days,
my Muse straddles her motorbike
and goes off for a short break.

"See you soon, Big Fella.

"Give the keyboard a break.
Use your fingers to make bread.
Make a Mayday Votive offering,
twisted from freshly harvested branches
and blossoms.
Hang it for all to see,
an unashamed pagan.

"Dance the slow ritual steps
to welcome the Summer.
Balance is restored."

Gyppo

Here's the tune...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9KvspjpKN8

=====

I've been writing ever since I realised I could.  Storytelling since I started talking.  Poetry however comes and goes  ;-)

===