Reviewing NaPoWriMo and a Beltane Surprise

If someone had told me when I was younger that I would write a poem for every day in April with a grin on my face, I probably would have made some sort of sarcastic remark and gone back to whatever book I was reading. If someone told me that during that month of poetry I as good as promised to have a finished collection of short stories ready to publish, I would have looked around for a walrus fencing a member of the Russian ballet while Pee Wee Herman sang an aria, because it could only be a strange dream.

Well I did (wow!) and I will (gulp!). I've been so inspired by all the great poetry I was introduced to this month and I think I've learned a decent bit about poetry and prose just by looking over my own words. One of the biggest things I learned was the magic of punctuation! I'm a bit red-faced over my realization of what a difference it makes. I mean, I know exactly what it's supposed to sound like in my brain. I suppose it would be kind to let the readers in on the secret as well.

I took a long look at a poem I had written for Magpie Tales, Impertinent, partially because it seemed like a pretty good response to one of the poems I had written during NaPoWriMo, Imaginary. I still liked it quite a bit, but knowing what I know now, I felt I had to make some corrections. And since now it reads the way it should sound, I thought I should record myself reading it, because it just seems like the perfect sort of poem for Beltane. Enjoy!

Song Choice: I Get Weak by Belinda Carlisle


Ukiyo-e blue is my inspiration.
Lost in cerulean perfection,
    a sky filled by dreams
          and caresses from impish winds,
              implied but not seen.
                 At least by most.

Ukiyo-e red is my inspiration.
My soul engulfed by its fire.
      Scarlet hues dare me
          to be consumed completely
              in a passion of my choosing.
                  If I am brave enough to say yes.

I do not exist without them.
Life, a sad monochrome
without the impudent tints
animating me.

More than lines and colors on paper.
They are muse.

South Wind, Clear Sky (Red Fuji) by Katsushika Hokusai

Song choice: Love Letter to Japan by the Bird and Bee
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 30: Poetry Gone Wild - any topic!)

And with that, I am done with NaPoWriMo! Whew! Thank you to all the brave souls who kept reading! 

In Thirty Days

Trading in a lab coat for a beret isn’t easy.
Stories in the brain
scamper like sugar fueled toddlers once on paper.
Thirty days seems like a long exercise,
but it makes a mind more limber
with each lesson learned.

Every day, write something new,
or refine an errant scrawl.
Learn the confines of the project,
then make it your own.
Get to the heart or guts quickly.

This D-town girl be but little,
but she has a fierce love for the written word.
And even if thunder and lightning
don’t bring the rains that bring
the blossoms I wanted,
I still flew.
And that's better than just thinking about it.

Song Choice: Gonna Fly Now by Bill Conti (better known as the theme from Rocky)
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 29: This Poem Has a Mission - what do I hope to accomplish in 30 days)


Dilated blood vessels
tint skin rosy hues.
Neurotransmitters spill out
to be cupped by awaiting receptors.

Breath comes quick now.
Adrenaline races perspiration,
leaving the stomach the loser.

That’s all this is.
The same way
are just nonsense, 
alphabetically speaking.

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 28: A poem based on a Terry Pratchett quote). The Hogfather was my first introduction to Pratchett and this quote is the first one I think of when I think of Discworld. 

"Yes! The sun would have risen just the same, yes?"
"Oh, come on. You can't expect me to believe that. It's an astronomical fact."
"Really? Then what would have happened, pray?"
― Terry PratchettHogfather

Get On Up Day – April 27th

One day might do.
Just ease into it.
Tap a hand.
Jiggle a toe.
Sometimes, that’s all you can do.
That’s all right.

But your head might begin to nod.
Your shoulders want in on the action.
Dance still might be too much -
Air guitar, air didgeridoo -
whatever it takes.
Just give in to that movement.

If you are scared,
go into a room.
Turn out the light.
Play the music through headphones,
or make it up in your mind.
It doesn’t matter which.
Once you’ve got it,


Let joy animate your limbs,
heart beating out your rhythm,
each step bearing witness to your existence.

Hips slide expertly,
or not.
But do it
not because it’s a holiday.
But because it’s a heck of a lot fun.

Song Choice: Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 27: Making up cheer: A poem about a holiday you made up)


It was not an easy thing to admit,
this need.
I had done with girlhood fairytales.
Stupid to believe in those.
I learned my lesson.

It was just a kiss among the cherry blossoms,
a song at the right moment,
just touches of beauty sublime.
I ignored each golden thread spun from those moments,
binding me.

At the time, it seemed like I was caught in an instant,
but you set your trap well.
Before the words even left my lips,
there was no hope for me.

All that was left was to believe again.
I hope you’re pleased with yourself.
I know I am.

Art used with kind permission of artist: True Love by Studio Yuki
Check out more of her stunning photography at her etsy shop, Studio Yuki.

Song choice: Head Over Feet by Alanis Morissette 
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 26: Speak to your affliction)

When Mayhem Attacks!

First, I make a list.
At least I would, if I remembered it.
Then I should gather all the necessary supplies,
which I would have accounted for on that list.

A fine idea indeed.

Standing means not crawling.

And then I look for the punch line.

Song Choice: It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) by R.E.M.
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 25: Anticipating Mayhem -  write a poem about how you ready yourself before facing known troubles, and what you do to cope once mayhem has done its thing).


Some moments sublime
experienced alone are
no less beautiful.

Stars by Maxfield Parrish

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 24: Art Speaks to Art: A poem on a piece by one of my favorite artists) 


Tea, chased by coffee, followed by more tea,
when I was young and had no respect.
It’s more stagger than swagger these days,
when I ignore that need.

I used to complain about
all the things I could get done,
if I didn’t have to.
Now I marvel at how little I can do without it.

Song Choice: You Learn by Alanis Morrisette
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 23: Pain and Sleep)

Dear Joscelin

Dear Joscelin,
Elua himself could ask for none
more loyal than you.
It is Cassiel’s star
you vow to follow.
Oh my love, I have my vows too.

No, more than vows.
It is what I am.
Blood in my eye,
dark craving of my flesh -
my gods have laid this upon me.

I cannot lie when I say
I find pleasure in it.
But the sight of your face
makes me wish it were otherwise.

You kneel in the rain
praying to Cassiel for understanding.
I hate the sight of these austerities.
But it is what you are,
I’ve accepted that.
Please accept this!

Please accept me.

Oh Naamah, oh Kushiel,
give me strength to bear this.
I am more used to receiving pain
than dealing it!

one I love best
among all mortal men and women.
Please let that be enough for you.

My gods call,
I must follow.

Art used with kind permission of the artist: 
For more of her art, visit her website The Fantasy Art of Angela R. Sasser 
and her etsy shop of the same name

Song Choice: Beth by Kiss
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 22: Plant a poem within a tale; create a poem within a story I've read. The story I chose was Kushiel's Chosen, the second in the Kushiel's Legacy series. If you haven't read these, go do it now! It's an amazing series with some wonderful and engrossing world building)


It must be exhausting to live that way.
Waiting for the shoe to drop.
Holding your breath before the water takes you.
Bracing for that killing blow.

You’re in bare feet.
Real or imagined shoes
aren’t getting in the way.
We left them behind
as we ran through the field together.

The water isn't too deep here.
Perhaps if you were a mouse
weary from fleeing a cat
there might be an issue.
But you're safe.

There is no danger,
not now, not ever.
Not from me.
Love, may I offer you a kiss instead?

Song Choices: Anything For Love by Meatloaf
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 21: This poem is a fighter; writing something that challenges the veracity of at least three negative thoughts)

Supper in the Native Tongue

The laboratory seemed safer.
At least I knew which combinations would kill me there.
No cocino Americano.
Cooking in general
was not a thing I knew much about.
But a lioness wants her cub to eat
and cubs miss their favorites.

It starts with meat,
(What else for a hungry cub?)
and then wine,
or if you’d rather, some juice.
Just liquid and sweet is the important part.
(But what about the amount?)

And then ketchup,
or tomato sauce.
Heck, even some kinds of jelly.
Just sweet and thick is the important part.
(A teaspoon? A tablespoon? A cup?)

Oh and vegetables.
Sweet of course.
A carrot, maybe.
Celery, why not?
Onions, if you have them,
brown them with the meat.
But if you don’t it will work too.
Vegetables are important.
(How much? Cut how fine?)

Brown, and then put in a pot,
or a crockpot.
(I put down my note pad)

well, just until its fall apart done.
(Of course)

I look at my notes.
And realize my mother cooked the same way.
Just not Americano. 

Song choice: No Speak Americano by Yolanda B Cool & DCup
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 20: Finger Licking Good - A poem with a recipe)

Odd Sprout

If I look at you
carefully, in the right light,
I almost see bark.

Art, used with kind permission of the artist: Dryad, by Francesca De Grandis. 
Francesca is one of my favorite artists and I'm super
 stoked she let me display her piece here. 
Check out her blogs at and
and her Faerie Enewsletter at

Song Choice: What A Wonderful World as performed by Joey Ramone
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 19: I, Tree - poems from the point of view of a tree to its keeper)


The old question is it?

My answer is, never make me choose my bliss.
My lips will love as they will,
and their will is not one I shall deny.

Will it be a smooth refined taste
that may tease me with florals?

Will it be a strong intense note
that caresses my mouth?

Shall we play dress up
with cream and sugar?

Or go bare
with nothing to separate us?

Decide on just one?
No, thank you.

Image used with kind permission of the artist 
Coffee and Tea Variations 2 by Susan Farrington
Visit her webpage and her etsy shop to see more of her work.

Song Choice: Well I have to have two don't I? They are Everything Stops for Tea by Professor Elemental and Proper Cup of Coffee by Trout Fishing in the USA
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 18: Tea or Coffee?)

Reflections on Negativity While Walking My Corgi

A bit like fertilizer really,
with all the stink and none of the nutrients.
It seeps up from below
where you might miss it at first,
though something smells off.

it will gradually work its way in
soiling the things you once took joy in.
Every step leaving an imprint,
perfuming the trail for those that follow.

Miasma most foul - 
don’t let it into your home!

Negativity happens.
Just deal with it as soon as it does.

My corgi, Kit.

Song choice: Clean Up Your Own Backyard by Elvis
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 16: Negativity runs in circles)


I see her there
On pious knee
She is good
She is meek
She never thought enough to seek
that made her heart race madly

She prefers order to impulse
Perfection over passion
She cannot comprehend
there is more than this
and waiting

The wonder she denies
will wait too
for one perfectly mad moment

Song Choice: Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 16: Out of this world - the speaker travels to a remote parallel universe)

The Park

The NYC suburbs sometimes bleed across state line.
My town was an Accent spiced potato cube
in the Great Melting Pot.

Not as genteel as Fair Lawn,
we were mostly gentiles in the Park.
Not as flashy as Patterson,
our dads’ blue collared shirts
were crisp with pride,
some with “manager” written on the pocket.
At least most of them in our corner of the Park.

That corner might as well have been
the whole town to us.
We mostly stayed there.
Grandmothers and mothers knowing which kid went where.

Though I liked to walk down the Boulevard,
across the forest to the other side of the Park,
where the hues and cooking didn’t have that saz√≥n.

I imagined all sorts of quests through those trees.
I was too scared to explore off the path,
but not too scared to walk to the library,
where I left the Park behind
long before I left for good three years later.

Song Choice: My Hometown by Bruce Springsteen
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 15: Where you lived when you were 15)

An April Haiku

First butterfly seen
A fall of cherry blossoms
Tea amid them both

Song Choice: Sakura Saukura
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 14: Favorite things to do in April)

Primal Furor

Note carried wailing
Peasant stock stomps
A waltz avant-garde
Discordantly and raw
What vulgarity is this?
Barbarian bones
At the ballet?
Primitive frenzy
Where demure demoiselles should be
No one wants to own this!
Beauty, not revolution!
Chaos in the music
Chaos in the crowd
Riot at the ballet
Art is not there to make you comfortable
Any more than life does

Song Choice: Rite of Spring of course! This particular video tries to recreate the original choreography
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 13: Headlines from 1913. When Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring first debuted it was so shocking that fist fights actually broke out in the theater and it was rumored that police needed to escort people off the premises to calm things down)

Myth in the Blood

I asked for stories.
There are plenty you said.

No, not those.
I want old stories.
I want stories of blood.
Where did things start?
Where am I from?

It doesn’t matter you said.
That was there,
we are here.
There’s nothing more to be told.

It’s not enough I said.
These are your stories too!
Don't you know them?
Can't you feel them?

I went out looking for a myth to adopt.
Instead, the myth hidden in my blood
adopted me.

  Art used with kind permission of the artist: Dreaming by Amanda Clark
Visit her etsy shop, Earth Angel Arts to see more of her work

Song Choice: Rainbow Connection
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 12: Poems of alienation and detachment. Process note: Since I had so much fun writing from Yuuki's point of view, I wanted to write a bit from Ana's view as well. The topic fit so off I went. )

Under New Management

Glinda followed Jane through the maze of cubicles. Although Jane had agreed to walk instead of fly, Glinda found it difficult to keep up.

Jane said, “This is where Battalion Squad Epsilon…”

Glinda shook her head, clicking her tongue until Jane corrected herself.

“…Former Battalion Squad Epsilon now is stationed for Operation Munchkin City Beautification ma’am.”

Glinda nodded and walked over to one of the cubicles and cleared her throat until the winged monkey sitting at the desk typing stopped to turn and look at her. He stood up and struck a salute.

“Ma’am. I trust you’ll find everything is in order.”

Glinda smiled, “No need for that, er…” she looked at the name on the cubicle “…Jim. How is your lovely fern doing?”

Jim gave what he hoped was a convincing smile, praying she didn’t look too closely at the plant. “It thrives ma’am.”

“Lovely! Jane, can we visit the meditation park now?”

“Do I have a choice?” she mumbled under her breath, but she nodded and briskly marched off in the direction of the park with Glinda prancing to keep up.

“Lucky break Jim,” Joe said as he walked to Jim’s cubicle.

“Don’t I know it! When that stupid plant bit it I had to scramble to find a replacement? Do you know how much that damn munchkin fleeced me for a fake fern?”

Janet poked her head up from the adjoining cubicle. “I’m glad I’ve been able to keep mine alive, but it’s not looking too good.” She looked around the office space at the ferns Glinda had issued them, all in various states of distress. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this!”

“Do you want to end up like Jack?” Jim asked. They all shuddered.

Jane came back in, without Glinda. “Good save on the fern situation Jim.”

“Never mind that! Jane, tell me you’ve figured something out,” Jim pleaded.

“I was so hoping the water bit would work again,” Joe said. They all nodded, remembering that attempt had only resulted in her staging a revival of Singing in the Rain.

Jane said “Not water, but I think I may be on to something.”

“What? What can stop her?”

Jane’s grin grew feral. “You think anyone can be that perky naturally? Oh no, I got her number. Those munchkin bastards keep her rolling in tributes of coffee beans. We find a way to decaffeinate those suckers and I think we’ll be on our way to having things back the way they should be.”

The office erupted in happy hoots and yells until Glinda came back in. Jane quickly explained to Glinda that everyone was cheering about the plans proceeding well for the meditation park. Mollified she beamed at the winged monkeys. “Yes you poor dears, soon you will have everything you’ve longed for but could never have under the reign of that cruel, cruel witch!”

“Won’t that be lovely,” Jim said. 

Song Choice: Nine to Five by Dolly Parton

This blog post is part of Linda's Shadows of Oz blog party. Follow the link to see what the rest of the guests are up to!

Slash in Silken Iris

It was my favorite
Iris strewn
Purple silk
A nod to actors of old
who played any part they fancied
And, of course
A memory of a home
half a world
half a lifetime
far away

My siblings said it suited me
I asked a lover once
if sewn square sleeves
and summer's jewels
were too odd a combination
A kiss was the reply
It was my favorite 

This gash could have been avoided
had someone been a bit more compliant

Come to the city you say
You have a friend who can mend it like new
I suppose if I can trust you
with the child that I hold dear
I can trust you with this

Irises by Vincent VanGogh

Song Choice: Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 11: Poem from the view of a fictional character). For this, I chose Yuuki, a character that has appeared in a few short stories on this blog. This poem bridges the gap between this story and a story that is likely too big for the blog, so I plan to release it with a few more short stories as part of a collection.

Silence Beckons

Silence beckons,
sink into tranquility
begin to glide down.

Within seconds,
tension goes, 
breathing slows, 
peace is found.

Where you lie, now
is hallowed ground.

Stillness takes you
(rest long overdue).
In every bone and sinew
a quiet peace abides.

Silence beckons.

Song Choice: Clair de Lune
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 10: Poetry for Blood, Flesh, Bone and Spirit)


So that’s what the inside of my brain looks like
A multiverse indeed
It’s one thing
To idly tell yourself tales
To pass the time
It’s quite another
To uproot them
From where they were
In the Wonderland they resided
Where they half made sense
To paper and pixel
Where you blink at them
Do I even know you?
Word doodles dissected
Splayed out
Strange oddities that took root
On the inside of my brain
But some of these show a bit of promise
And you rearrange the guts
Give them some sun
And when they’re ready
Set them out into the world
And go back inside your brain

To see what’s rooted this time

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 9: Something I Made)

Shimmy Drill

A bit of soreness in my thighs,
that’s what I get for being a paperweight as a child -

hips that aren’t quite as fluid as I’d like,
feet that turn out,
and a bit of a slouch.

Muscles groan.
Bones ask me,
"Do you really want to do this?"

Then the music starts.
I whirl,
brought to life by the rhythm.

I scoff at the soreness.
There will be stretches.
And perhaps Epsom salts later.
But, yes,
I want this.

Image used with kind permission of the artist, Meredith Dillman
This and other art by her is available at her etsy store The Art of Meredith Dillman.

Song choice: Chicky by Oojami 
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 8: It Hurts But Does Not Harm)


Amid the rubble
After armageddon
Just an ember
 All that happened
Condensed to a small glow
Almost forgotten in the heat of battle
Thoughts drift in
Like some half remembered dream
Remembrances of things undone
Of hopes not yet realized
Of love unconsummated
Knowing it is not done yet
That becomes fuel
Ember flares
Now blinding sun
Victory cries shatter the air
Wings unfurl
Propelling it to its zenith

Image used with kind permission of the artist:
This and other art by her is available at her etsy store Marina Petro Fine Art.

Song Choice: Phoenix by Fall Out Boy 
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 7: Poem about a mythological character)

Thirteen Weeks

I’m not the traditional sort of Bull
Sure, I love my rich food
OK, I adore silk
But schedules
They feel a bit like strait jackets
Or coffins
Without the fun
Bovine inertia sets in
And like Bartleby
I prefer not to
When someone says march
If my muses are already waving a shiny golden ball
And toss it into a well
I’m damned if my curiosity
Doesn’t make me dive
And out I come
Brain on fire
Ready to polish a few rough stones
Ready to show a fox a night on the town
Ready to put those together
And launch them down the electronic river
Unless someone bakes cookies first

Song Choice: The Lazy Song by Bruno Mars
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 6: Three achievable goals in Thirteen weeks)


Why yes I’ll have a cuppa!
Let the missus know I’ll be there soon.
Not sure how I got here
Because I’d feel sorry for a Goblin King
Who presumed he’d take what isn’t his
My own goblins will set him straight soon
And educate him on monsters and planets
I may just take over when they’ve finished him up
This labyrinth might do for a nice vacation spot
May I bring my mister?
He knows where the best sweets are
And after tea is done
And our bellies are sure to burst
I’ll ask the right questions
Say my right words
And go right to the center

Song choice:  What else? Magic Dance by David Bowie from one of my favorite movies of all time, Labyrinth

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 5: Poem to a fictional character)

That Year

Red knees seemed in fashion
With red eyes to match
Don’t look for a bloom among the thorns
She has curled her petals tightly in confusion
Because there was no wild rumpus for the boy in the wolf suit
And the dragonfly felt his wings pulled out
His childhood in a shriveled corpse
That screamed pain out its eyes
I wrapped all I could in my best silks
Let jokes ease a fraction of the many blows
But when the night came
And nothing but ash
Was where a paw print should be
I’d look at the stars
And gush scarlet tears
That my eyes could not in the light of day

Song choice: Everybody Hurts by REM

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 4: Feeling So Deeply It Hurts)

To Indulge

It is often thought a dirty thing
Especially when
It is considered sensible, wise
To deny those impulses
To forsake
To renounce
When all that is needed
Is a bit of discipline in delight
Restraint and revelry in equal measure
Urges denied find ugly ways to rise from where they are buried
Honest joy in ecstasy is the more prudent path
But perhaps I am immature
If so
Then I thank the gods for allowing my immaturity

Song choice: I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown
This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Day 3: Indulgences)

An Advantage

There’s an advantage
to being picked last.
In far left field,
I had plenty of time
to plant some stories,
watching them
bloom in my mind
only for me,
until the bell rang.

Now that I am grown,
having known the delight of strength and speed,
when the metal leaves my will,
when scarlet whirlpools drain me,
when I wish
for at least the gracelessness of my youth,
I remember
those seeds planted in far left field.

But this time,
this time I am brave.
I plant.
Then I pick a bouquet.

Image used with kind permission of artist Reba White who has a 
blog and Facebook page devoted to dealing with depression and anxiety.

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Creativity and Pain)

A Yen for Flight

To my young eyes
It seemed
Like every book in the country was here
Playful invitations
To a new world
Mysterious secrets of sages
Leather bound
Just out of reach
Curiosity drew me
Into a realm of gods and heroes
With names I could not quite say
Old tales
Reaching through the ages
Pulling me
And delighted
I fell

This poem was created from a prompt offered by Magaly Guerrero for NaPoWriMo (Birth of Inspiration: the first art that inspired my creative addiction)