NaPoWriMo 2018 Days 10 through 13

Day Ten On April 10, 2018 from

 Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happing at once.


As I sit, willing a poem to come
by door, by window, or casual thought
the heater hums, warms the room to summer,
droops my eyelids closer to each other
wills me to doze instead of write.

As I sit, the day passes by the window.
She’s wearing her same grey dress she
wore yesterday and the day before.
She frowns in the window, her clouds
lowering, perhaps angry she cannot pass
through the glass and into my room.

As I sit, cars vroom by too fast
for the street, in a hurry to
somewhere or in a rush back.
A small-town idea of getting things done.
A small-town way of going nowhere.

On the wall, a tiny black bug creeps
toward the painted scene of a
Mexican market that blends into
the background of the room, seldom noticed
It hangs its memories of elsewhere and the spice
scent of subtropical flowers and the sea.

I take a tissue, capture the creature’s
small existence, ending in a moment
his long journey from the floor.
Perhaps, like me, he hoped for
some warmer welcome.

His, in a wormhole of the picture’s frame.
Mine on the beach near the market in Acapulco.


Carol A. Stephen
April 10, 2018

Day Eleven On April 11, 2018

 a poem that addresses the future, answering the questions “What does y(our) future provide? What is your future state of mind? If you are a citizen of the “union” that is your body, what is your future “state of the union” address?”


After the White Light

In the future I will live
further away from the sun

although live is not quite
the right word.

I will be surrounded
by the earth, becoming earth

as my bones and ashes
burrow deep into the soil

the soul separates
a different energy

body and mind will separate
their existences, create new

sparks in the energy
of the parallel universe

Carol A. Stephen,
April 11, 2018





DAY 12

“Today, we’d like to challenge you specifically to write a haibun that takes in the natural landscape of the place you live. It may be the high sierra, dusty plains, lush rainforest, or a suburbia of tiny, identical houses – but wherever you live, here’s your chance to bring it to life through the charming mix-and-match methodology of haibun.”

Day 12 haibun attempt:

Noting that I do not usually write in this form, or any Japanese form, for that matter.


She counts her many winters on worry beads she keeps in a drawer by her small bed. They come faster now, and colder, with a chill that creeps into her bones. It stays with her now, this snow inside the body, this ice running through her blue veins. Her landscape no longer vast, for even as time quickens her pace slows. She moves now with a measured step, the fragility of age that mocks her with memories of summer fields of wildflowers, the ones she ran through as a child.

Daisies in green grass
crushed yellow white haloes
small suns melting snow


Carol A. Stephen
April 12, 2018


Day 13

Today, we challenge you to write a poem in which the words or meaning of a familiar phrase get up-ended. For example, if you chose the phrase “A stitch in time saves nine,” you might reverse that into something like: “a broken thread; I’m late, so many lost.” Or “It’s raining cats and dogs” might prompt the phrase “Snakes and lizards evaporate into the sky.”


The large reptilians were first to leave,
melted into rivers of sweat that carved
shores of great lakes and inland seas.

Only their tiny brains
survived, becoming
something other.

The smaller scaled creatures, the first
frogs, toads, the turtles all waited
to become.

As the waters cooled into snow,
they dreamed themselves
fur, almond eyes,

sharp teeth
for protection, sleek bodies,
a deep purr.

They persuaded the later apes to
provide food, shelter
and worship.

Apes, who
would become
the first  humans.

Carol A. Stephen
April 13, 2018


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