The Girrafin

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – April Day 21
Mythical Creatures  (posted by Brendan)

“Animals keep us guessing just what’s really going on. The Devil is a poodle in Goethe’s Faust, the prince is a frog who may have already joined us here at the Pond. One of my cousins, MacOdrum of UIst, runs with the seal-tribe. You just never know.

For today’s NaPoWriMo challenge, pick an animal and write its myth. You can riff on an existing tale or concoct your own. Put your beloved pet in a folktale, or walk a mile in an animal’s paws. Let’s honor the beasts who ensoul the Garden, and the child in us all who can still see and talk and ride with them.”

In the ancient land of Looking Glass,
when earth’s creatures swam
in clear waters, fine-finned
dolphins nosed along, filled
with song, swishing ’round
emerald sea turtles, and blue
soft-shoe crabs. Violet octopus
ruled and schooled her charges
in safety, survival, and electric
eel avoidance.

Changes in earth’s atmosphere
caused seas to shallow. New
land creatures evolved. A lone
giraffe gamboled on shore
where he saw a struggling
gray dolphin unable to paddle.
Giraffe stepped into cold water,
shook a knobby knee, and towed
the dolphin to safer depths.
The two became enamored of each
other, and sanctioned by
a ruling leg of the octopus,
they mated. Thus began
a species of The Girrafin,
happy on land or sea.

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Danger Lurks

Written for: Poetic Asides 2018 April PAD Challenge – Day 21
Write a danger poem.

Are you hearing alarms in your head
Before you go to bed?
Cannot close your eyes because
Dragons are drooling in the closet?
Every night is fraught with
Fears that chill your spine–
Gargoyles leering and leaping from buildings,
Holding swords that can cut
Into your brain
Just like that!
Keebler elves cavorting in tree houses
Look like benign little beings, but
Muttering murderers all.
None of their cookies are good, baked with palm
Oil. Spoil it for you? Would you rather be slowly
Poisoned by plaque buildup?
Questioning the
Reality of your own
Spouse lying next to you,
True blue as they come,
Until you suspect she has been replaced with a pod?
Very hard to prove.
What about your garden variety ghost?
X-mas always brings out the haunts and hauntees.
Yuletide season also has a dark side. There is an antidote–
Zinnias dipped in garlic juice is worth a try. Sip slowly.

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Memorable Places

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – April Day 20
“Say the names of the places you love”  (posted by Sherry Blue Sky)

“Our challenge is to write a poem in the spirit of “Say the Names”. What are the names of the places that live in your heart: their mountains, their rivers, their lakes or ocean shore, the small towns, the deserts, the city streets?

Sing us a song of those places, those names. Let’s sing out the places we love. I can’t wait to read your love poems to the places in your heart.”

Montauk, Montauk
I remember
when you were merely
a sleepy fishing village.

Cape May, Cape May
Gingerbread houses
pastel your shore.

Savannah, Savannah
A siren’s name
wrapped in pralines.

My love song ends with
Venice, Venice
where I bid you
from a moonlit gondola.

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Low Priced House

Written for:  Poetics Aside 2018 April PAD Challenge – Day 20
Take a line from an earlier poem to begin your poem for today.

Did someone die in there? Please tell me.
It’s not like I believe in ghosts.
What kind of house are you trying to sell me,
does it come with its own invisible hosts?

Will they resent me?
break dishes,
or moan
after midnight?

This reasonable price has me suspicious
that strange events indeed occurred.
I ask that you be honest with me.
Did someone die in there? Please tell me.

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winter forest

Written for:  Carpe Diem’s Crossroads #6 A Leafless Tree (Soseki Natsume)
“Welcome at a new episode of our special feature “crossroads” in which I challenge you to create a “fusion” haiku from two haiku given.”

the crow has flown away:
swaying in the evening sun,
a leafless tree.

over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

© Soseki Natsume

Two wonderful haiku that show that Soseki was familiar with Basho’s haiku, because you can easily “see” two renown haiku by Basho in this set by Soseki Natsume.

a leafless tree
sways in the autumn wind
no sound is heard

© Chèvrefeuille (our host)

Here is my attempt:

winter’s forest
winds wail through limbs
echoing in bareness

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Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – Day 19 – Get Listed:  Poems in April Edition  (posted by Sanaa)
Choose one of the word groups (use all four words) that best fits with mood/theme/personality of your poem.

My words are:  despair, blood, guts, dark

When engulfed in despair
it is difficult
to care that others
have it worse. Curse
the darkness that settles
in your gut, feels
like a rut you cannot
pull yourself out of,
like drowning in a pool
of your own blood.

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Hanging By A Thread

Written for:  Poetic Asides 2018 April PAD Challenge – Day 19
Take the phrase “(blank) Thread;” replace the blank with a word or phrase; make the new phrase the title of your poem; and then, write your poem.

He is hanging by a thread,
she wants to call it quits.
See him dangle in the air.
We hope they don’t grab mitts.

Compromise is needed, no one can
monopolize a relationship. They must
harmonize, and respect each other.
Personalize too much, and the thread
of trust will rust.


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a rainbow

Written for:  Carpe Diem #1410 Rainbow (short-haibun)

“I have a wonderful haiku by Kobayashi Issa for you, that haiku you have to use or at least a “revision” of it. Write your short-haibun, with a maximum of 100 words (including the haiku) and share it with us all.”

evening’s fall colors –
the rainbow in the valley
fades away

© Kobayashi Issa (1763-1828)

Here is my attempt:

A late afternoon rain left a sweet scent on the grass.  October leaves fell
in a swirl of gold and crimson, lighting the evening like a russet rainbow.

fading with evening
a rainbow of fall leaves
russet reminders

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A Wave

Written for:  Imaginary Gardens With Real Toads – “Write Here.  Write Now.”
(posted by Paul John Dear)
“Write me a piece about living in the moment . . . that place where time stops.”

“Forever is composed of nows.”~Emily Dickinson.

A wave is rolling toward the shore,
only this and nothing more.

(with a nod to Edgar Allan Poe)


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Graffiti or Not?

Written for:  Poetic Asides 2018 April PAD Challenge – Day 18
Write a temptation poem.

A poster glued to building’s wall,
so large in glare of midday sun.
I heard the magic marker’s call.

A mustache would be loads of fun
to draw on such a sneering face;
I would sketch it with great aplomb.

Perhaps a beard? Not out of place,
or pair of spectacles might do
to cover vacant eyes that glaze

over when questioned without a clue.
Last of all, an ear-muff hat
to distract from a bad hairdo.

Oh, I really must have at
that orange face of blandness.
Lend me a marker, it’s an art attack.

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