poem thirty: the end

OH MY GOD IT’S FINISHED.

Yes, here is my last poem for NaPoWriMo, and I’m still alive.

I saw a prompt some time ago about writing a poem giving thanks to a poet … I do not know where I saw that prompt. Anyway, I’m sort of thanking my tutors at university with this (writers, poets), but I’ve also ended up recognising the contribution my singing teacher from fifteen years ago made to my artistic life.

We are always learning. Too often we realise we learned something fifteen years after the fact.

(Also this poem is not to be taken as a good example that I suddenly know what I’m doing when it comes to writing. For one thing, I wrote it in 20 minutes. Until this month I’d never written anything in 20 minutes. And for another thing, I still have a lot to learn. Ask me again in another fifteen years.)

***

At eighteen I learned
to sing from my diaphragm,
how to hold and bend
the notes, how to breathe.
She told me talent did not
make you an artist.
She told me art was found
in what you could control.

I used to write poems
that didn’t make sense.
The words danced
but fell flat after one
pirouette, stumbled away
through the space on the page
and dragged themselves off stage,
saying “that’ll do”.

Eventually I began to learn
how to keep a poem
on its feet until the end
of the dance. I have to sing
to them: deep breaths, bend
the space around the words just right
so they dance in lines, smiling,
curtseying when the curtain falls.

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poem twenty-nine: barddoniaeth

Well the prompt for Day 29 was to use five foreign language words in a poem. This isn’t great, because I keep doing things in a rush, but any excuse for Wenglish (Welsh/English). It’s about my well known goal in life (amongst my friends, anyway) to one day be a crone hermit in Snowdonia writing the best poetry I’ve ever written in my life and unlocking the secrets of the universe.

It’ll happen! It will!

***

One day, when I am old,
I will leave the city,
leave England behind
for Eryri, and live
as a meudwy, writing
poems up the sides
of mountains.

Sometimes I will travel
to the sea, meditate amongst
the caregos, tywod, learn
the language, and build new
fairytales from every llwydnos,
perfecting my solitude
in a land where the dirt
still breathes the molecules
of my ancestors.

barddoniaeth – poetry; Eryri – Snowdonia; meudwy – hermit; caregos – pebbles; tywod – sand; llwydnos – twilight

poem twenty-eight: lamb chop’s collar

Again, a prompt! One from this site, that says to use at least six words from the list, and write the poem in the form of a letter or speech. (Words I used: horses, adolescent, autumn leaves, necklace, lamb chop, country rock, mother, scamper[ing], zap, bankrupt. I just couldn’t find a place for “no duh” and “Tikrit”.)

I don’t know who this guy is, or his dog, or his mum, or his band – but they seem to have been waiting around inside my head for just this exercise.

***

Dear Mother,

Thanks so much for our Lamb Chop’s
collar, it’s almost like a necklace
with the chain and charms – horses, autumn
leaves – so pretty. I hope you didn’t bankrupt
yourself getting it for her. She’s been
scampering around the neighbourhood
wearing it, showing it off to the bull terrier
and poodle down the road – a typical
adolescent! Anyway yes, the concert went
fine. Lots of country rock with this band, not
what I’m used to singing, but it’s good
to push ourselves sometimes. When we
play again you’ll have to come along.

Love from your favourite son,
Zap
x

poem twenty-seven: a anathema target drinker (??)

Well I’m catching up (again) and I used a prompt for this – Day 24 of NaPoWriMo prompts, to be precise. The instructions were to plug my name (Katherine Amanda Garrett) into an anagram generator, and write a self-portrait using some of the words found there.

Er … well. Okay.

***

She thanked them for the margarita
and retreated for a greater rethink
on the threatening trek behind,
and still ahead.

She could not regret anger,
or an adamant rant from her youth:
the target was not to agree with
every tangent.

She regarded the tang of the drink
and a forgotten trinket with
a greathearted mantra, and hiked
on, amongst the amaranth.

poem twenty-six: morning

Still held by the pillow
my eyes are two curved lines,
open and shut.

I catch sight of the smooth
“V” of your back, you climb
halfway into the day, into your

jeans, my head still murky
with curtain-filtered sunlight
and remnants of Jungian dreams.

I’m slow to wake, sleep deep,
tugged up by the sound of you
ruffling through jumpers,

clacking hangers, and the sight
and shape of your bare skin,
your lips, your cheek.

***

I actually DID write this yesterday, but was so exhausted I couldn’t be bothered typing it up until today.

But yes, only FOUR MORE TO GO. Today, tomorrow, Monday, Tuesday … ahhh.

poem twenty-five: once

you reached with words
across a space
full of the unsaid,
easier to hold
than hands, and hearts
are never really held
at all.

you walked away,
returning to the solid
stable place, while I
sat on the stone
steps, smoking,
a lorry blocking
my view of your face,
and hers.

***
Honestly, there are five days left of this challenge and half the time I don’t even know what I’m talking about in the poems anymore.

But well there they are.

poem twenty-four: a “love poem” for lydia

Yesterday I promised my friend Lydia that I would write a “love” poem for her based on the lipstick mark she left on her sandwich. I don’t think it’s really a love poem at all, but it’s hard to write those about your friends …

***

she takes a bite,
traces words
with red Sylvia lips,
heir to a bit
of Bukowski’s heart.
she holds it up
to her own –
sets it free
to roam over white
space, in sometimes

delicate
one
word
lines

through splinters
of letters,
touch,
and conversation.