Pale Cast

Day 21 NaPoWriMo 2020

(Photo by Aashish Vaidya)

Pale Cast

The subconscious mind intends

A potent, but merciful, rosy scene


Nearby, the desk portrait decays in blue light,

My soul freezes at every lore That Man concocts

And my face goes raw.


The camera captures my chiseled face in forest

But my last photograph doesn’t flatter

even in profile.


Now tuned into pandemonium bereft of data


misguidance makes even the sun ebb

In a pale cast.


Cast normalcy

aside and doubts linger.


Notes:  Day 21 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  Today’s prompt:

“….asks you to make use of today’s resource. Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it. What does that mean? Well, it means to try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds. You may not wind up with a credible poem at the end, but this can be a fun way to step outside of your own mind for a bit, and develop a poem that speaks in a distinctive voice. As an example, here are the first four lines of a poem by the Norwegian poet Gro Dahle….”

I picked a poem Underneath Me in Romanian by Domnica Drumea.  Here’s the original:

sub mine se întinde

o pată mare şi roşie

nu mai pot trăi decât cu lichide

mirosul frigiderelor pline cu mâncare

îmi face rău

închisă în camera fără ferestre

mă las fotografiată din faţă

şi din profil

tu n-ai iubit pe nimeni niciodată

mă ghidez după sunete ca un orb

îmi păzesc castronul

castronul meu gol

şi lingura mea docilă


Here’s my first translation which was pretty jumbled up:

What the mind intends

a potent mercy rosy

near my portrait decay blue light chide

My soul frigid every lore feline cue man cares

In my face raw

In chisel face in camera in far forest

My last photography didn’t flatter

Is the profile


Tune in, albeit pandemonimum a bit per no men niche data

misguidance dupes the sun at its ebb

In my past cast null

Cast null my goal

See linger my do silly


Here’s the actual translation by Anca Barbulescu:

underneath me

a big red stain spreads

I can only live with liquids

the smell of fridges full of food

makes me sick

locked in the windowless room

I let myself be photographed from the front

and from the side

you never loved anyone

I guide myself by sound like a blind man

I guard my bowl

my empty bowl

and my docile spoon


It seems, Maureen’s (Thorson) gone back to 2013 NaPoWriMo prompts for many of the inspiration for 2020 prompts.  So if you’ve made it this far, here’s my 2013 NaPoWriMo poem on the same prompt.  I looks like I picked Gro Dahle’s poem in 2013.  In re-reading the poem, I think I like how it turned out.

Two hay(na)ku: Greatest Dear Leader & SARS-CoV-2

Day 10 of NaPoWriMo 2020

Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

Greatest Dear Leader

shun experts
form death squads.
of Lincoln’s
cult of personality.
lies umpeenth
time, gaslights millions.
Unproven cures,
Cover up incompetency.
Lie, cheat, disenfranchise
Steal the election.


in home
grounded by virus
vocabulary enters
lexicon – physical distancing.
little freedom,
save many lives.
little pleasures,
appreciated, when lost.


Now  new normal
for foreseeable future.




Notes:  Day 10 of NaPoWriMo 2020.  The prompt is “is another one from the archives, first suggested to us by long-time Na/GloPoWriMo participant Vince Gotera. It’s the hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios and named by Vince, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. For example, you could write a hay(na)ku sonnet, like the one that Vince himself wrote back during NaPoWriMo 2012! ”

Here’s my hay(na)ku sonnet from 2015: Alternate Universe.  I was really trying hard to stay away from the whole virus and the orange cheeto thing. But, when things are front and center, it is hard not to think (and write) about it.  The two 30 words hay(na)ku sonnets just spilled out.