Here's one place to share your Napo offerings if you want.

Started by Gyppo, April 01, 2021, 10:37:13 AM

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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.



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.



Your kitchen must smell heavenly!

Here's my first offering.


night's reign
repels starlight
ghetto girl dies alone
another addict giving birth
to hope
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds


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.


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



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'.



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, 
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,

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.



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.


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.

Loss of Heart

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.


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb


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.


Loving all of it.

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


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.


"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb


Day 2


seeks sanctity
flickering flame kindles
tiniest spark illuminates
blind eyes
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds


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.



Day 3


grim harbinger
augurs mind-melting heat
dragonbreath quenches evil flames
and rules
Daan Katz, Author - Where the Magic Happens
Join my facebook group Daan's Magical Worlds


 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.


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


Tree of Life

We try to
on breaking branches.
for the next
before the


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
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." -Groucho Marx

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark. -Chinese proverb

Blondesplosion! ~Deb