Behind Me

Day 8, NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo by Aashish Vaidya. Tulip Farm)


Behind Me


The tulips turn to me, and the windows behind me
reflect the rays of sun, as shadows lift, and blind me.

The crocuses sway gently laden with dew
I take their closeups, they don’t seem to mind me.

The experiences, genetics, expectations, biases,
aspirations, all combine together and defined me

It’s long odds for lightning to strike once much less twice –
By the end of the year, the trashcans of history will find me.

Not the streams of Netflix or Prime, nor Zoom happy hours,
It is your caress and gentle touch that wind and rewind me.

Faith in a huckster is certainly seductive, but it’s a ‘Mirage’
Fatalities follow and new realities confront and confine me.

Notes:  Day 8 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is to, “peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots [Sylvia Plath Bot, @PercyBotShelley, @ruefle_exe, @carsonbot and @sikenpoems or @VogonBot] and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite a respectable lineage of poems that start with a line by another poet, such as this poem by Robert Duncan, or this one by Lisa Robertson.”

I didn’t use the bots.  Instead I looked up a line from Tulips by Sylvia Plath and penned a ghazal.  In the original Plath line, window is a singular not plural.  I turned it into plural, so I can maintain subject-verb agreement to make the rhyme (qafiyah) come out correctly.

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!