NaPoWriMo/ GloPoWriMo 2019: Days 25–28

Playing catch-up again, because this is my life. 😀 Sometimes it feels like a juggler walking a thin rope through fog. Anyway, here’s my “debt” of four poems!

For day 25, I wrote a poem about stained glass, for which I have a very healthy (I do assure you!) obsession.

Own photo of stained glass detail in St. Peter’s Church, Preston Village

Stained Glass

Whom do these painted windows serve,
whose contemplation? Light
grants them life, but their joy
is short-lived. Their frames, suffused
with names, remember no-one.
Their message, camouflaged by cobwebs
preaches to the husks of flies. And yet
their sky explodes with patterns,
and the roads that wind through them
speak to the aching feet. Colour
reigns supreme in all but the eyes
of their inhabitants, whose ascetic
pupils hide under bashful lids.
Such wispy figures never cease to talk.
Even at night they fill the walls
with chatter, frightening ghosts
that would prefer less holy noise.
Alive or not, the windows mark the air
with the stubbornness of alchemists.
“We, too, can dream,” they say,
“We, too, can sleep and wonder.”

For day 26, I went all out with a haiku. 😛 No, this wasn’t the lazy choice, it probably took me longer to figure out than many of the other poems.


And so with sparrows –
they build a nest of seasons
and feather weather.

The poem for day 27 speaks of mistakes, and the dangers of trying to erase them. (I wish you could see all the poorly written lines I crossed off while writing this!)


in place of space,
instead of rest,
by way of silence.
This absence
does not make room
for new thought. Rather,
it keeps the slate blank
and wears it down
to dust. Cross out,
do not wipe off.
Make errors
stand out.

Finally, for today, I followed the optional prompt that suggested we write an ars poetica, a poem about poetry.

The Definition

A poem is nothing
but found words,
osmosis, a river
that carries you
into worlds, sometimes
against your will.
It shapes and fastens
bodies, decants
the undiluted.
It turns familiar landscapes
on their head,
makes everyone
an Antipodean.
A poem has no rules
and knows no mercy.
Once out, it raids
and ravages.
Desire is its currency
and debt its glory.
A poem answers
to no one.


NaPoWriMo/ GloPoWriMo 2019: Day 23

Today’s prompt encouraged us to write a poem about an animal, which was an excellent excuse for me to to write about a cockroach for the first time! I dedicate this one to my patient hissers, Kafka and Rilke.

Vintage postcard depicting fairy and gentleman cockroach, via

The Cockroach

He burrows, searching for
the trail left him by his ancestors,
alive with the warning that
no food should go to waste,
the knowledge that
the steady flux of day and night
is the only constant.
Tripped up by my fingers,
he scurries away –
my warm scent frightens,
gives an edge to the flight.
At the border between
human and insect,
an offering of apple and bread
marks an unsteady truce –
we may both be searching
for the same truth.