Along the Trail

Day 1 of NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo: Aashish Vaidya.  Image taken on a trail during early, foggy, but fine autumn morning.)


Along the Trail


Breeze carrying the fragrance of little white saucers with a purple stain along the trail

First the hailstorm, then a stream rushing down the rain drain, along the trail.


Runners and walkers, cyclists and skaters, everyone jockeying for position

Being social is natural, but physical distance we must maintain, along the trail.


A peacock preens its long iridescent train to attract a mate, that’s his nature.

A narcissus falling in love with his own reflection, that’s just vain (along the trail).


At peak hour, commuters ride shoulder to shoulder, earbuds to earbuds

All that glides on rails are empty carriages of an empty train, along the trail.


In the park, not too long ago, talented young poets exchanged rapid lines

All you hear now is ‘Mirage’ of rhythm and rhyme and tired, old refrain, along the trail.


Notes:  First day of NaPoWriMo 2020.  Today’s prompt is: “…write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.”

So as much as I would like to be as active and go hiking, I seldom end up.  However, after working from home, all day, I’ve been hitting the neighborhood trail lot more often than usual.  Not sure, if that hits the prompt precisely.  Also, ghazal as a form is disjunctive. That is, the couplets are seldom thematically tied, hence, I don’t know how much of a self-portrait really emerges in the ten lines.

I have posted it a primer on ghazal, in case you want to know about the form.  The little, white saucers is a reference to saucer magnolias which seemed to be  blooming everywhere, and are amazingly fragrant.

Well 1 down.  29 more to go.  Happy writing!  Be safe, be healthy, be kind!

The Redwoods

Day 29 NaPoWriMo 2018

20140704-IMG_2919 LR

I keep my head in the clouds, Sylvia. I keep myself damp,
soaking in the moisture from the Pacific Ocean.
Why fear the ants and fire? I am resilient.

You do hear the Pacific Ocean in me,
Don’t you?
I am no void, I am life personified.

But, hate is on the rise.
Fake truths is what everyone is fixated on,
Lies make rounds like an eagle, hovering.

Day in and day out, I play sentry to the skies,
Let your wings grow, join me and feel
The calm, the silence.

Except when from below, the fossilized
Smoke rises and threatens my very existence
The rain instead of nurturing, pierces me.

Hundreds of years of sunrises and sunsets
Nurtured me as I become a sanctuary
The understory have tales to tell: the madrones, the fungi, the ferns.

I rise like a tower, forty stories above the ground
The fierce winds which were benign,
Now carries the seeds of my own mortality.

The fog, that served as my natural air conditioner
Now is devoid of moisture,
How would those berries grow and the bears be fed?

I shouldn’t care, why should I care?
Let it all self-destruct like you.
Give up this struggle – this desire to be loved.

But I have affinity to all those things that has a spark
A light that shines in me and I see in others
The same light that powers our sun and the stars.

Time flows, as it inevitably does,
I personify those that come and go,
Even it the scale is different for me and you.

If I am capable of longevity than my
Trunk and the top canopy will soak
In life from every leaf and every branch.

In the nectar of new dawn,
From the ashes the phoenix shall rise and will proclaim those virtues
That justify life, that justify life, that justify life.

Today’s prompt was:

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on the Plath Poetry Project’s calendar. Simply pick a poem from the calendar, and then write a poem that responds or engages with your chosen Plath poem in some way.

I chose Sylvia Plath’s Poem Elm
I took the point of view of the Redwoods, to provide almost a counter-point, sort of an opposite poem to Plath.