Napo Corner, 2022: A place to park your poems for Napo 2022.

Started by Gyppo, April 01, 2022, 02:42:03 AM

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Day #4/P5


She walked across the ballroom as though she owned it
mirror-ball dress and all

Glided to the podium, arrived choked up, and wept
mirror-ball dress and all

She felt like an imposter receiving the coveted, golden trophy
mirror-ball dress and all

It was elegantly painful to watch her accept success
mirror-ball dress and all

"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


Where Has All the Neon Gone?

I worshipped at The Shrine of the Flying Horse
outlined in red-lit tubing,
prayed to the unknown powers as we travelled
through the Valley of the Theater Marquees
flashing signals into night skies
and the Holy Cross above Souls Harbor
on the edge of the Mississippi River
promising deliverance inside.

When I die, bury me in fertile ground,
plant a silver maple tree and when it's grown,
hang from it electric arrows
with chase-lights flowing down, on it's trunk
inscribe the words in glowing green:

Here lies one who, as a child, understood
the language of these mystic symbols.


Indar, as a child I remember those chase lights running alongside messages.  The red and purple neons were the ones which fascinated me the most.

And the small scarlet fixed neon sign at the 'almost hidden' entrance to a subterranean cafe which incongruously thrived beneath the still uncleared remains of bomb damaged buildings, where allegedly the food was superb, and illicit lovers held hands in secluded booths ;-) 

Eventually, like a lot of history, about sixty years on, it succumbed to a major redevelopment

I always intended to visit the place, but never did.



Napo 5 -  2022

I'm going to borrow Colm's Otter theme for a one off.


Caught on the fixed video camera,
sleek and wet on top of the sluice,
resting, lord of all he surveys,
inches above the rushing mill race
at the old City Mill, Winchester.

In daylight hours,
when the tourists troop through,
and chattering school parties
play with model-sized versions
of querns, hoppers, grain hoists,
and the boards above the water
echo with footfalls
and vibrate with the turning millstones,
he sensibly stays away.

There have been several mills on this site, 
utilising the abundant free power
as the chalk stream flows through,
for over a thousand years.
Some fell to decay, or flood,
and some to fire,
the Miller's lurking nightmare.

His ancestors played and hunted here,
and his descendants will too.
We just borrow the water,
using its power via sturdy cogs
and massive turning stones.
But to the otter, it's his entire world,



Dan, so glad to see you here too and Vienna, what a pleasant surprise. Enjoy reading both of you.
I can't wait to read more.

Linda, I love, love, love your #5, Where has all the neon gone?

Gyppo, I  appreciate that you envision and remind us of the otter's home.

All are lovely writes and lovely writers, as far as I know, or AFAIK, in internet-ease.

Here is my AS contribution for Day #5:


Identity crisis
I deny the crisis

All my roles in life
have become unnecessary
An estimate of my value
has depreciated

Expired as the Band Booster President
or the parent volunteer who brought
hands-on science projects
and music into classrooms

Unwanted as a mother,
wife, partner, best-friend
Unneeded as a granddaughter,
daughter, sister, aunt

Those titles behind me now

No longer young, slim, and pretty
Most Spirited in my senior class
invisible to society

I have become utterly
alone and lost
in an identity crisis
I deny

"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


Napo 6 - 2022


Making bread.
It used to be my trade,
along with other fancy goods.

Now it's just twice week,
more of a loving ritual.
Once for myself,
a freezer full of rolls
for my daily ration.

And once for my girls,
two small loaves.
One to share at tea time,
and another to take home.

Rediscovering the magic
hidden in the 'trade' process.
You never lose 'the knack',
though some days it varies.

It's an absorbing process,
best done whilst calm,
whilst 'in the moment'.
Anger makes mistakes.

Artisan fingers 'talk' to the dough,
listen to the answers,
correct small imbalances
by hard-earned instinct. 

In retirement I missed it,
and now, in small batches,
it makes me feel good.
Rituals can be wonderful,
when they have tangible results.



Day #6

Mother, Sister, Daughter, Earth

She had risen to give her daughter something
Her name was Daughter Earth
She tried to sustain the masses
but the masses refused to protect her

She rapidly faded
before the human population died
after it had thrived upon
and raped her supple, verdant land

"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


Inspired by Gyppo's response to "neon"

​​​​​​​April 6, 2022

Secret Passageways

What called me to crawl into the tunnel
by the marsh, trickling water murmuring,
enhanced by cement tube acoustics?
Why slide beneath pine branches
drooped, held to the ground 
under the weight of heavy snowfall,
a sacred shelter from what I could not articulate.
Why eschew the sidewalk for uneven ground
through the brambles, over fences?
Why navigate the neighborhood by ways
unknown, unseen--like me?


Indar, that is simply beautiful. Gyppo, I am there, aware.


Make yourself small
the invisible
Don't draw attention to yourself

Make yourself small
Try to pretend
you're nothing special

Make yourself small
an intellectual
attempting reason

But you make yourself small
You can't stand out at all
so you make yourself small

Make yourself small
yet you're invincible
after all, you make yourself small

"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 7, 2022


When I first took her in she followed me

all over the house, shy, alert to my every move.

More and more these days she lays

in her favorite place, following me with

the white glow of cataract eyes

in a graying face. Thumps her tail

on the dog-scented blanket when I bend

to scratch behind her terrier ears.

We've settled on several truces regarding

such things as barking at the mailman

from the arm of the sofa, and the degree

of struggle while trimming toenails.

We are not so different: both enjoy

the afternoon nap, the perfect treat,

the comfort of home. Except

only I carry the burden of dread

knowing the pain of loss ahead.


Napo 7 - 2022

Stitches and Glues

Sometimes it's all you need
to hold things together.
Furniture, clothes,
and occasionally your entire life.

Stitches can vary enormously,
from neat semi-invisible
with perfectly matched colour,
to long but sturdy 'whatever'
which will get you home safely,
to do the job 'properly'.

The glues can be quick,
or slow,
obvious or discrete.
Or even 'iron-on patches' 

They all work...
If you let them.



Napo 7a - 2022


Watching me do some jobs
you'd think I was a lefty.

Moulding a single round loaf,
instead of handed pairs,
or using my computer mouse,
with the wrong hand

Lefty!  Sinister in Latin,
as opposed to dexter,
the root word to dextrous.

But I'm not.

Some things,
instinctive or learned,
are just easier
when done caggy-handed.



April 8, 2022

Sky Walkers

Those of us in the know
avoid the hoi polloi,
winter city-gritty snow,
humid heat, our feet
need never touch
cement where bums
and beggars sit,
sidewalks stuck
with spit-out gum
and in the gutter,
spent rubbers, Colonel
Sanders squashed buckets,
runoff from greasy spoons,
alley piss and bus fumes,
empty bottles, used syringes--
no, we float above
in glass passageways
insulated from
a sea of plague:
the dreadful things
beneath us.


Napo 8 - 2022


There's an oddity in Palmistry
which fascinates me.
There are busy hands,
cobwebbed with lines,
many of them vague and shallow.
Some almost erased by hard labour.

And simple hands,
with very few lines
but all of them cut deep.

The anomaly is that Saints,
and Psychopaths,
tend to share the simple hand

Fortunately both are rare
in the 'taffeta booth'.

It's not the force within
which dictates your life,
but how you choose to direct it.



Napo 9 - 2022

Rope Break at Town Quay

It was at least a two inch rope,
maybe a little thicker,
countless threads,
woven from manilla yarn.
No lurid nylon ropes back then,

They were usually a dark brown,
sometimes almost black
from weather and salt,
with constant dipping and drying.

But this day it was almost gold,
fresh from the Chandler's store,
the protective whipping around the splice
still a bright crimson,

Being a sunny day the passengers,
self and Mum included,
were on the ferry's deck,
waiting as it pulled into the quay.

They always came in bows first,
at both ends of the crossing.
The skipper, perched up in his wheelhouse,
would read his newspaper,
spread out over the spoked wooden wheel,
during the journey.

It was a fifteen minute trip,
except when a big ship was there,
slowly easing into the docks.
In this case the ferry would idle,
loitering until it passed,
then butt its stubby bow
impatiently against the  waves.

Swinging into the narrow berth,
opposite where the flying boats once moored,
a signal bell would ding below decks
and the engine cut to a low rumble.

Momentum took it the last hundred feet or so.
A crewman casually dropped a big eye-splice
over the first sturdy Greenheart piling,
the rope figure-eighting around two steel bollards,
slipping and then tightening,
feeding from the coil by his feet,
controlled by calloused palms
and stringy work-hardened muscles.

A man at the bow stood ready,
another rope coiled,
waiting to slip the second eye
and snug it in tight,
secure against the woven fenders.


Like a gunshot,
echoing from the approaching harbour wall.
The rope exploded in an instant,
a cloud of golden fibres catching the sun,
seeming to hang in the air
as both ends recoiled.
One harmlessly into the water,
the other lashing back onto the deck.

No-one was hit, but nobody moved,
until the bells clamoured below deck
with a hideous discord,
and the engines bellowed full astern.

People stumbled then,
grabbing each other,
and at the railing.
White froth billowed at the stern,
then turned black as dock-bed sediment
was churned free from its slumber.

A locker slammed open,
a different rope appeared,
the crewman, previously silent,
ordered everyone to stand clear,
and poised ready as they approached again.

The skipper, head out of the side window,
laid it alongside with barely a bump.
Both ropes tightened, the bell rang again,
and he swung down his ladder.

"Sorry 'bout that.  Everyone okay?"
The adults all said they were.
The two rough men with bicycles,
slung across one shoulder,
were a bit more vocal.
What Dad called 'colourful language'.

We filed up across the gangplank,
carefully climbed the seaweed-slippery steps,
because the tide was low,
and went up into town.

I couldn't wait to tell Dad,
knowing an ex-sailor would be interested.
But Mum was quiet and thoughtful.

When I told Dad he went white,
and hugged us both, really hard.

"Bloody hell." He said quietly.
"That backlash could have killed someone."