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