#NaNoWriMo, #NaPoWriMo, 50 Day Blog Challenge

Thankfully, today is the last day of NaNoWriMo, something I participated in once and never again. This year I was tempted to do something to feel part of a writing community but nothing quite attracted me. But when 3 things converged: NaNoWriMo, my subsequent discovery of NaPoWriMo (similar to NaNo but for poets), and a writer friend posted her 50 Day Blog Challenge, I decided to do a combo of all three.

Why poems? It started when I started feeling overwhelmed during this time of transition, selling our home in Las Vegas, moving back to Florida but living in temporary housing while waiting for our new house to be built. I was lying in bed, unable to sleep in the middle of the night, so I grabbed my iPhone and started expressing myself through poetry, thinking it could all be fodder for future songwriting.

Then I started getting addicted to expressing myself through poems. I also realized that those who advise you to do object writing as a songwriting exercise have it all wrong. It shouldn’t be about an object – it should be about a feeling. Certainly for me.

I think I ended up writing about 55 poems and so the challenge ends with the ending of NaNoWriMo, which ends today. I’ll probably continue to write poems because I find it quite a satisfying way to express a feeling or an idea or an observation. And it was a wonderful way to discover other poets and bloggers in the WordPress community who stopped by to follow my blog and/or “like” my poems. There are some really talented people out there.

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Advent (#poem)

Her belly leaps with joy as he feels a mother’s love
And the presence, a promise of a loyal companion
A long ago story come down from above
And the reason for the season

Advent gives us hope in the midst of sin
The tragic results of a broken world
For we must repent before we can be forgiven
To do any less would negate the yes of a teen-aged girl

When a mother-to-be resists the gift
She inflicts a lifelong wound
When she cries every day, she creates a rift
One felt from within the womb

Whatever happens, we are not alone
Questions unanswered we hold in our hand
God is there and the light is shone
Someday, my child, we shall understand

A Young Girl’s Dreams (#poem)

A young girl dreams at ten or eleven
Of riches and fame, singing on stage
Elvis matinees and Beatlemania she starts writing songs of her own
She can see it now who she wants to be when fully grown

A young girl dreams at sweet sixteen strolling the streets in the city
A storefront window peeks her interest as she catches a glimpse in the mirror
The cradle beckons offering an inkling of what might become her future
Laughter, Love, a handsome man, a happily ever after

Looking back she wonders how she veered off track
Was it a lack of choice, the choices she made, or just circumstance
Whatever it was doesn’t matter now cuz there’s no going back
It wasn’t meant to be anyhow, not the dance she was meant to dance

So she picks up a guitar, a keyboard not far and she starts writing songs
Some dreams disappear and others appear
Revealing which were right and which were wrong
Following her heart all along

I Swore I Would Never Forget (#poem)

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to be young
To stay out late
To play loud music at the guard gate
Madonna, Cyndi Lauper and ‘girls just wanna have fun’

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to be a child
To wake up early
To play with my brother’s cars instead of dolls
Beatles and Elvis and ‘born to be wild’

I swore I would never forget
What it was like to feel desire and love
To risk it all
To be with the one I could not stop thinking of
A look, a touch, a ‘kiss is still a kiss,’ a sigh, a smile, and everything that makes life worthwhile

I swear I will never forget…

Pain (#poem)

Pain fills the earth like a landfill on the outskirts of town
You can hide it, deny it, dull it, or spin it around
Food, drink, plastic, sex, beauty, fame
Marketing and big business using us, making money off our name

As the pain lessens, the poems weaken
The good news is, there’s been some healing
We scratch our heads, we begin to wonder
How can I profit from my blunder?

If others take advantage, why shouldn’t I?
A book deal, record label, a business online
Go for the numbers, that’s the big secret
Sell your soul, sell to the idiots

 

The Fool (#poem)

If a fool babbles like a baby, like a child gone wild, flaunting social conventions to speak the truth
Then I guess I’ve been in awe of a fool since the days of my youth
For the fool is the ultimate storyteller, risking it all to tell the tale only he can see
After all, it’s his POV

I never heard a song about a fool I didn’t like
One of those words we no longer hear, perhaps it’s unPC, when truth is considered unkind
Perhaps because today there is no right, there is no wrong
But that’s what made us survivors, that’s what made this country strong

Idiots will always be drawn to what’s being sold to the masses
These are not fools, there are clowns in sunglasses
The rest of us must idly stand by, holding our sides, shaking with laughter
The morons calling the fools names, as we are helpless to stop the latest disaster

Mothers & Daughters (#poem)

Mothers and daughters can love and can hate
The relationship can change from age to age
Some things remain the same and this is what the world knows
But only those in the know can know and this really blows

To be so close yet never know them at all
The facade they show their mother and at the Kingdom Hall
Years later a clue leads you to truth you resist
Nothing makes sense until you see through the Narcissist

These daughters of these mothers are their own special breed
For most of their life they’ve been down on one knee
Until this moment when they seize the day
Leaving behind chaos and walking away

Dear John (#poem)

I did not know you, no you were not the first man to break my heart
The sadness came when the other man, the one I knew first turned out not to be who he claimed to be
But once I knew you, I couldn’t understand how we’d been kept apart
Once I knew you, I couldn’t understand how you could walk away, once you knew me

She wrote you a letter with ink and a feather that started with “Dear John”
You were fighting a war so far from home, and she threw you over for another man
You got drunk on bad rum screaming about the stranger who stole your wife and baby – would it be a son?
But daughters need fathers and didn’t you think she’d grow up some day with a hole in her heart where you should have been?

She heard many stories of a tall handsome hero with charisma who sang and danced
She came looking for you with a heart you held in your hand
On the day that she met you she was too late to impress you for your heart to someone else it belonged
She sent you a letter with ink and a feather that started with “Dear John”

The Promised Land (#poem)

Tiny little towns lie in the Valley paved with gold
Pickup trucks and cowboy boots lined with filth
Rickety shacks and outdoor houses she didn’t have to choose
Coats catching fire, coffee burns or so I’ve been told

Two families from the same place take different paths to the Promised Land
One chose north, the other chose south, but it didn’t really matter
Picking fruit or Hollywoodland, mine chose the latter
I ended up with the one that was fake, but I played in the sand and got a nice tan

Too young to understand what true love is, it’s not for me to say
It’s not what I would have wanted for her, but others wouldn’t have changed a thing
It’s their version of the Promised Land of sun and Golden grain
Muscle beach, curly hair, eyes of blue, and a quick roll in the hay

They hold on tight to the lie he didn’t give her a ring
Those are the same who like to say I have no legitimate claim
This is about my life, I say, this is not some twisted game
Close to my heart for so very long, it’s my God-given dream

Another Kind of Freedom (#poem)

Getting your driver’s license when you turn 16
Some wanting it more than anything
I don’t know why I resisted
I surrendered when my mother insisted

Parents terrify you when you’re learning to drive
White-knuckled and buckled, praying to stay alive
I remember a story about a girl barely surviving
Those teen-age years with more worries than driving

The first time I solo’d in that blue Chevrolet
On Oregon back roads once we left L.A.
I knew then my first taste of real freedom
Cars would forever beckon like a beacon