#NaPoWriMo Day 23 ‘Entwined’ #poetrymonth #April #Writephoto #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

For Day 23, I’m joining in with Sue Vincent’s weekly #Writephoto prompt. Writers and bloggers are invited to use the image as inspiration to post on their own blogs, poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, or whatever you choose.

Click on the banner for more information about this fun weekly writing prompt!

#writephoto

 

 

Entwined

Roots and trunks entwined,
Welcome sunlight in their midst.
Come closer, listen
To the whispering branches
And the shining of the leaves.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 21 ‘Sleepless City’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

For Day 21 poem, Sleepless City, I’ve decided to follow the optional daily prompt  ‘Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic. Happy (and perhaps weird) writing!

I’ve incorporated free photos from Pixabay to illustrate my surreal tanka for today.

Sleepless City

Clusters of juicy

Seeds, like city lights shine bright.

Amber-eyed maiden

Bites into the howling night,

Wipes blood dripping from burnt moon.

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That was fun!

#NaPoWriMo Day 19 ‘Madonna of Pain’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 19 poem, Madonna of Pain was inspired by a church float, for Holy Friday Parade, I took this morning in the church of The Holy Spirit (Espiritu Santo) in Cordoba, Spain.

Madonna of Pain

Lady of Sorrows,

Witnessed son suffer and perish.

Madonna of Pain,

Crowned and draped in rich, gold cloth,

Lit up, displayed, on parade.

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Today commemorates a sad event in the Christian calendar, Jesus Christ’s death by crucifixion.

This float represents Christ's Descent from the Cross

This float represents Christ’s Descent from the Cross.

His mother, Mary’s, sorrow is vividly represented in many symbolic rituals, such as the famous church parades which take place all over Spain. Everybody can identify with a mother’s pain at the loss of her son  which is why the paintings, statues and floats of Our Lady of Sorrows (Virgen de los Dolores) are so popular in religious art and especially Holy Week celebrations.

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Are there any special, religious rituals where you live?

#NaPoWriMo Day 18 ‘Worn not Dead” #poetrymonth #April #Poems #ThursdayDoors

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 4 poem, Doors, was inspired by Norm 2.0’s weekly challenge, Thursday Doors. Check out his challenge and blog with plenty of inspiring and fabulous doors every week!

Worn not Dead

Worn not Dead,
Weathered not destroyed,
Weary not deceased,
Weak not derelict, 
Wounded not defeated,
Will guard sacred entry,
For months, seasons, years,
And generations to come.

****

Writing poetry is like walking through a doorway into your mind and soul. It’s the place where conscious and subconscious images and thoughts melt into rhythmic words and suggestive lines…

#NaPoWriMo Day 16 and 17 ‘Fading Light’ and ‘Spring Day’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 16 poem, Fading Light was inspired by a photo I took recently  as evening fell over my garden, coinciding with the deteriorating health of an elderly relative. Day 17 took me to a Spring Day…

Fading Light

Fading evening light,

Once a powerful beacon,

Turned golden shimmer,

Bravely resisting slow death.

Unforgiving dark night looms.

****

Spring Day

Life is like a Spring day,

Rising to the sound of chirping  birds,

Long, lazy breakfast,

Watching sunrise on the porch,

Then hours of toil and sweat,

Later busy afternoon,

Frolicking and rolling in the hay.

Time to rest and ponder,

In the protracted evening,

But make haste,

Dark night falls far too soon.

****

 

#NaPoWriMo Day 15 ‘Don’t You Dare!’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 14 poem, ‘Don’t You Dare’, was inspired by a photograph of John Malkovich by Sandro Miller I recently saw at an exhibition. The original photograph, on the right, is Smoke and Veil, Paris Vogue (1958) by William Klein. More information here

Both muses will come face to face in my poem…

Don’t You Dare!

How dare you judge me?
Who the hell gave you the right
To think you’re better,
More entitled to be loved,
Because your skin is smoother,
Your lips are plumper,
Your eyes less worn and wrinkled?
The time will soon come,
When you’ll stare back at my face,
As you paint on your make up,
So don’t you dare…

****

 

 

#NaPoWriMo Day 13 ‘Sturdy Pillars” #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 13, poem, Sturdy Pillars was inspired by pictures I took yesterday of the Roman Arch of Triumph in Cordoba, Spain.

Sturdy Pillars

Sturdy pillars rise,
Pierce sky, reaching for heaven.
Necks crane up in awe
To Roman Arch of Triumph,
Proud reminder, ‘We lived here.

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Buildings inspire me, especially ancient ones which remind me of our collective past. Poetry inspired by these monuments is a tribute to the architects, designers, builders, workers, who built these magnificent constructions, which we are fortunate enough to visit, preserve and share as part of our cultural heritage.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 12 ‘Powerful Gibberish’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka #Haiku #FridayFictioneers

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

For Day 12, I’ve included a haiku and a tanka within a 100-word piece of flash fiction, inspired by Rochelle Wissoff Fields weekly flash fiction challenge photo prompt at Friday Fictioneers. Check out this inspiring and supportive writing challenge!

I’ve been contributing with an ongoing story about Alice and her family. Today, Alice is asking her parents’ opinion about a poem she’s written.

PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Bultot

Powerful Gibberish

“Which one do you prefer, mum, the haiku or tanka?”
Sharon slides on her glasses and reads both poems aloud.
Weathered, cobbled path,
Lined with overgrown bushes.
Ancient cloister sighs.
****
Weary wanderer
Pursues answers to his prayers,
Chasing fleeting shadows,
Swaying with voiceless monsters,
Screaming in his tangled mind.

****

“The first one’s descriptive, but the second one’s powerful. What do you think Kevin?”
“Let’s have a look at the picture prompt.”
“Here dad,” says Alice.
Kevin shakes his head. ‘Neither. Cloisters don’t sigh and the second one’s gibberish.’
Sharon coughs. ‘Powerful gibberish, wouldn’t you say, darling?’
‘Of course, dear.’

****

Kevin doesn’t quite understand that writing poetry is like walking through a doorway into your mind and soul. It’s the place where conscious and subconscious images and thoughts melt into rhythmic words and suggestive lines…

So, which of Alice’s poems do you prefer?

#NaPoWriMo Day 11 ‘Chained’ #poetrymonth #April #Poems #Tanka #ThursdayDoors

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

Day 4 poem, Doors, was inspired by Norm 2.0’s weekly challenge, Thursday Doors. Check out his challenge and blog with plenty of inspiring and fabulous doors every week!

Chained

Abused, silenced, chained.
Keep out. Forbidden entry.
Private property.
Eyes wide with shock, feet weary,
Weathered. Still sad lips wear smile.

****

Writing poetry is like walking through a doorway into your mind and soul. It’s the place where conscious and subconscious images and thoughts melt into rhythmic words and suggestive lines…

#NaPoWriMo Day 8 ‘Unpromised Land’ #poetrymonth #April #Writephoto #Tanka #MondayBlogs #Migration

NaPoWriMo

National Poetry Writing Month is a poetry writing challenge to write a poem a day, which takes place every year in April. Follow the link to find out more, be inspired, get daily prompts and meet other poets!

For Day 7, I’m joining in with Sue Vincent’s weekly #Writephoto prompt. Writers and bloggers are invited to use the image as inspiration to create a post on their own blogs, poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, or whatever you choose.

Click on the banner for more information about this fun weekly writing prompt!

#writephoto

 

 

 

 

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For visually challenged writers, the image shows the view from within a cave on the sea shore, looking out onto a beach. There are the shadowy entrances of other caves across the bay and a waterfall tumbles down from the rocky cliffs.

Unpromised Land

Undocumented.
She swims to shore, hides in cave,
Waiting for nightfall.
Ringleader promised new life
In free country, but he lied.

*

Another prison
Awaits gullible migrant.
New shackles bind her
To heartless, greedy owners.
Still a slave in a new land.

*

Hopes and dreams will fade
Into an endless dark night,
The Unpromised land
will swallow her youth and strength,
Bursting starry-eyed visions.
****

Many undocumented migrants try to enter richer countries illegally, with the help of globally organised traffickers who promise them a new and better life, but sadly, it’s often just a ploy. Many end up being exploited or even worse used as slave labour, unable to break free from their captors.

Small, unpopulated, seaside locations are often used to smuggle these vulnerable people into another country.

According to a recent article in Business Line, women are especially at risk, due to the demand for prostitution. Almost three-quarters of women and girls who are trafficked are sexually exploited, and 35 per cent are trafficked for forced labour.

There is plenty of news coverage about this issue. A very recent article in the Guardian called One in 200 people is a slave. Why? Gives us some shocking facts about modern-day slavery.

An article in Time magazine on March 14th 2019 called ‘It Was As if We Weren’t Human.’ Inside the Modern Slave Trade Trapping African Migrants includes more information on the topic.

It’s not an issue a single person, or group of people can solve, because it’s a complex, global concern, which needs to be addressed at an international, political level, but building awareness of this shameful practice is the first step towards helping those who are victims of modern-day slave trade.

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Langston Hughes 1936.jpg

Langston Hughes in 1936 by Carl Van Vechten, Wikipedia

There’s a long history of the poetry of resistance, in which poets have spoken out about all kinds of social injustice. There’s more information on the Poetry Foundation in an article on Poems of Protest, Resistance, and Empowerment

Here’s one of my favourite, by Langston Hughes at the Poetry Foundation

I look at the world

I look at the world
From awakening eyes in a black face—
And this is what I see:
This fenced-off narrow space   
Assigned to me.
*
I look then at the silly walls
Through dark eyes in a dark face—
And this is what I know:
That all these walls oppression builds
Will have to go!
*
I look at my own body   
With eyes no longer blind—
And I see that my own hands can make
The world that’s in my mind.
Then let us hurry, comrades,
The road to find.
*
Langston Hughes, “I look at the world” from (New Haven: Beinecke Library, Yale University, ) Source: Poetry (January 2009)
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Do you have a favourite social protest poem, or poem about human migration?