Tag Archives: Grace Q. Song

NaPoWriMo 2022 ~ Day 19

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Read the full post here.

Our featured participant today is Ute Kelly, who brings us a lyrical and mysterious response to Day 18’s “five answers” prompt.

Today’s featured online journal is The Cortland Review, I’ll point you to Justin Janisse’s “Missing You, Expensively” and Grace Q. Song’s “Birthday.”

Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command. It could be as uncomplicated as “Look,” as plaintive as “Come back,” or as silly as “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.”

I found the link takes you back to Day 18. I found the poem by Ute Kelly here.

I read/listened to the suggested poems from The Cortland Review:

Justin Jannise

Missing You, Expensively

This poem really touched me.

Grace Q. Song

Birthday

There is something very compelling about hearing a poet read their own work. This one nearly had me in tears. Both of today’s poems have spoken to me deeply.

Our separate lives bookmarked 

my grandmother, her hair
blown and bed-white, 

We want her to thaw,
but who can return again and again
without consequences. 

and we begin to sing, our voices like ravens,
trying to find each other in the dark.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

I started with collecting imperative verbs whilst thinking of commands and life’s instructions. I thought about small children learning (possibly because I saw Billy Connelly Does… Fatherhood last night), computer coding and instruction manuals. My brain fired off in multiple directions and stuck like silly string on several ideas. So I decided to carry them for a bit longer before sitting down to write, knowing that the initial few ideas aren’t always the best subjects.


I went to visit family this morning and inherited a manual, perhaps that’s a sign for this prompt!

I also like the idea of misusing instructions. Or substituting the wrong verb. Both methods I have played with before. It’s exciting going to the page and not really having any idea what will come out (which is basically my NaPoWriMo experience in a nutshell! I also liked – “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.” from today’s prompt.

I opened the almanac at a random page and LOST IN THE WILDS appeared first in my line of sight!

Obviously published before mobile technology, but signal doesn’t always work in rural areas and these are the sorts of skills which died out with the last generation. The archaic nature is the appeal and this advice would definitely aid survival (especially if you have packed a mirror/knife/whistle and a flare/smoke signal and are wearing a watch. Which until the arrival of Fitbits (other brands are available), people weren’t wearing watches, instead relied on their phones to let them know and stopped wearing watches. After years of this – working where the phone is not allowed to be switched on, your internal cavewoman clock ticks in!

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Wow, a history and poetry prompt! Thinking about this also made me remember a news story earlier this month about snowboarder Tim Blakey, who survived after falling 15ft into a crevasse. And then I glanced at the time on my laptop and realised this rabbit hole has taken an hour! Time to go and write the poem!

PROCESS NOTES:

I ended up having an hour of great fun with this prompt, producing a Found Poem which starts with a command. And today – you get an entire poem!

Reflective

Whistle to this usual day,
give mirror smoke,
keep moving.

Blast impulse wild –
find a way to stay put
in a pause.


And here are some progress shots!

What really shocked me was this book is from 1994! I was convinced I was looking at something from the 80s… I don’t remember the mid 90s being this outdated! Off to feel old! Happy Writing!

NaPoWriMo 2022 ~ Day 11

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Read full prompt here.

Two featured participants: first, we have Whimsygizmo’s Blog and second, Snigdha Choudhuri.

Today’s online journal is Tinderbox Poetry Journal its archives are available online. In their latest issue, I’ll point you to Grace Q. Song’s “HOW THE STORY GOES,” and Ayokunle Falomo’s “ETYMOLOGICON.”

Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about a very large thing. It could be a mountain or a blue whale or a skyscraper or a planet or the various contenders for the honor of being the Biggest Ball of Twine – versify in praise of the huge.

© Napowrimo.net

Today my head is not in the game as funeral arrangements begin. I spent my time writing a reflection for the funeral and my head and heart are very much there. I may not post for NaPo tomorrow, as we have the funeral. I will double post on Wednesday, if I can.

I started with With Ardent Affection for an Indifferent Moon  one of the featured poems, a love poem to the moon.

They say 
we’re out of ways 
to woo you. 

But I, 
heart tied to sky,

Are you the smudge-sketched 
thumbprint tintype of some long 
-forgotten goddess, 

An open jar of firefly hope, 

Some beautiful reflections and questions of the heart.

Unfortunately the 2nd link doesn’t take you to the participants site – I did a quick search last time this happened and managed to find the website, no success this time.


I will come back to the magazine when I have time. Today I just read the recommended poems. I listened to HOW THE STORY GOES Grace Q. Song, a beautiful poem with lingering memories.

Like the dark, watery spell my finger traces

in search of the Little Dipper. Or the reason

we scream at each other like wild horses.

That love so helpless must be a child

in a field of lilies. That you can hear a blue whale’s heartbeat

10,560 feet away,

Then I listened to ETYMOLOGICON (Winner of the Majda Gama Editors’ Prize) by Ayokunle Falomo. Delighted I could listen to these in the poet’s voice – as I don’t have the strength to read poems today. I am not sure I will be able to write one either.

Depending on

how you say it, three letters—A R A— 

can mean thunder or wonder or body

or family.

A poem exploring language, mistranslation and meaning (and so much more than these themes). Thought provoking.


I had a quick look at the biggest ball of twine – who wouldn’t! Before going off to use a vast object in a poem of my own. After a couple of days of sharing the poems in their entirety I think we may be back to extracts.

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At first I collected the idea of BIG objects, starting with this Ferris wheel. Some I’d seen before like the giant rubber duck art (especially as Mr G. has always wanted one)! There’s quite a collection here, although many are art/sculptural and not objects which usually command praise for being huge.

They did remind me of the giant teddy in Qatar Airport that I saw in 2018, Urs Fischer’s famous Lamp Bear. I started to think of other massive things I’ve seen, the Half Dome at Yosemite National Park, the Grand Canyon, both of these already feature in several poems I have written since visiting in 2005.

During my search I also found this site – which will blow your mind! mindblowingfacts.com/megalophobia I was particularly taken by the giant driftwood and the reminder (from the sun) of how small we are – not to mention that small circle of ALL the stars we see in our night sky compared to the entire galaxy!

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For a long time today (not surprisingly) I was blocked. In the end after hours filled with other things I sat to write the only thing I could. I wrote in one prose block/ separating thoughts with backslashes/. I wrote about how I couldn’t write about any of the big things whilst my head and heart are dealing with such a big thing.

Some extracts from today’s as yet untitled poem:

When challenged to write about something big today/ all I can think about/ is how big it was to lose you/ how colossal grief can be/ how huge the emptiness brought by your body missing in our time/

I can’t think about what I would write in praise of the Ferris wheel or Grand Canyon/ when all I want to do / all I need to do /is praise your life

how soft your hugs/ how huge your prayers / how dominant your light and love

how can I think of teddy lamps in Qatar or Redwoods in the States/ when all I want to be filled with is thoughts of you and your life/

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