So with this Shadow of May is finished, though a day late. I haven’t found anything for June in either poetry challenges or tarot challenges, so I might take the month off as I’ve got to finish up my sister’s book and begin learning Blender to help a friend out on a game she’s developing. If I do take off I will most likely be back in July – I don’t want to leave this place dead for too long. Plus. I like writing semi-daily, it’s become a nice, relaxing habit I’ve developed for after I get off work. Anyway, enough with all the babble. The last prompt for Shadow of May was: What do I need to explore?
My life is all about the cost
Of living, living modestly, and working well
For long hours. I leave the living in the little bit
Left over between one work day and the next.
I’m methodical an I’ve no reason to rebel,
I swear, It’s one of those painful sort of comforts-
I got a job and I pay the right price everyday
To keep it, and most days, most days
I only get off feeling sort of dead for it all.
It’d be perfect, if only my heart wasn’t nostalgic
For a place I’d never been but in my dreams,
Of the day and night variety, a dream where I live
And work happily, without conflict and worry
How I’ll balance my bills and what I want to be.
Okay, so I’m trying to power through these and get caught up. I’ve finished day Twenty-six of Shadow of May which asked: What is my direction in life? What is my purpose? Yesterday and today’s are just notes sitting on my desk right now – hopefully not for long.
Tell me what it is I’m trying to be,
The Queen, the King, the Knight,
Oh, night! It’s time, allow me to wash
My hair tonight in that icy, icy sea.
Tell me the truth, tell me please,
How there are many kind and gentle things,
People, really, and though I don’t always
Consider myself one of them – often,
It’s every so often that some one looks
With eyes too soft at me, telling me –
Cruel. I don’t want to talk, and so I won’t.
I refuse to be anything but cruel to me.
I like the challenge, oh, it’s a challenge yes –
Let us go wash our hair in the sea, tell me,
Why shouldn’t I? Why shouldn’t I be anything
But cruel to me – I am driven to overcome.
Yes, I want to overcome the life I lived,
But couldn’t live. Is there not something
Beautiful, yes, and cruel, in wanting to be
Something else other than the me I’ve seen?
Many apologies – I have been ill the past few days. Still going too, but at least I’m a little livelier than before. There’s probably going to be a number of mistakes and typos, but I can check those out later. The twenty-fifth Shadow of May question was: What three things do I most value?
‘A Light Haunting’
My house feels haunted, is haunted
By me. The soft whispering of my feet are
Still just as uncertain despite the two years
They’ve brushed against the concrete floors
That have supported my slippery shadow as I ghost
Between the front door, kitchen, bathroom,
My room – a path of half-existence taken daily.
Sometimes I see the sunlight drifting
Between the semi-closed blinds by the couch,
And sometimes there is food in the fridge
Waiting for when I remember that I’m alive again-
For no mater how tranquil I feel in my incompleteness
There is an existence outside of work, books, and sleep,
Which might require basic actions of me.
It’s a calm sort of crazy, sort of madness,
Haunting myself, that is, being there and yet gone.
For eighteen years I was trained to be quiet and light
On my toes, so much so that I learned to drift from room
To room. My mother began hanging up mirrors just
So she could catch me every now and then, but years later
I forgot how to stop and, I don’t know if I can – or want to.
Lately I’ve been feeling out of it with my writing. It happens from time to time. I just haven’t been enjoying the tone that I’ve developed over the last few weeks, maybe it’s because I haven’t written this regularly in a long time and it’s spreading me thin. I like to think I get better piece by piece, but, alas, instead I usually get annoyed and feel like I write the same poem nine times. They all start to bleed together and seem… I’m not sure how to say it. They don’t read clearly for me. Anyway, my point is – I’m trying to.. move back to more solid and clearer language. I’m also not a huge fan of first person, but I suck at everything else. Lol.
Enough of the word vomit. Today’s Shadow of May asked: How do I express myself?
In the south we are taught
Hospitality is keeping to yourself
While reaching out to others, like
Cold lemonade offered in the summer.
Polite, Friendly, and just shallow enough,
Not to be intrusive, but
You would not realize it by the letters
I mix together every night and morning-
There are so many emotions that I am
Just too weak and unwilling to express.
Pen ink appears much warmer on paper
Than any ounce of forced politeness I give.
The summer is usually so warm, but this year
I have grown to love the cold,unnatural storms,
And I enjoy seeing my face in the puddles they leave.
There’s just so little time left for cold lemonade
When it storms, and sometimes it’s better this way.
You don’t need lemonade when the heavy, wet air will do.
The warm pavement, warm ink, warm everything – it hurts
And most times, I’d prefer to keep all that to myself.
Have I ever mentioned how hard it is for me to name things? Like, I’m terrible at it most days, but today I just couldn’t decide.. But I guess this will work. Today’s Shadow of May asked: What is my hatred to my energy levels?
I have learned, ever so slowly
To stay tender despite the bitterness
In the many years I’ve lived and seen.
I like believe the most terrible thing I can do
Is spit in their face by refusing to be mean.
Easily, I’ve grown to live and love
All those terribly disruptive emotions
That kinder people would find so distasteful-
All that negativity, the sour and bitter things,
Such as drowning in sadness and feeling hateful.
They’re a part of life, at least half of it, surely.
Emotions so strong and uncomfortable they sit heavily
Inside of you, in your stomach or lungs, on the tongue-
I enjoy them all in my own way, contemplating how it is
That they are there, waiting, but mostly left unsung.
They are so usually unsung, except in hate-
And it’s ironic what we’ll do to those who feel
A little less than human for more than a minute.
Tenderness comes from living painfully and knowing
That we can’t expect everyone to be perfectly absolute.
Here is yesterday’s Shadow of May! I’m still a little sick – but I’m going to try and keep on top of these. I at least want to get through all 31! Even if I’m a bit behind in some areas – the challenge asks some very interesting questions… Yesterday’s question was: How do I perceive pain?
‘All the Little Hurts’
I’ve grown to hate the question,
“Who hurt you?” as if all the little hurts,
Many little hurts, many little things
That make a person over time can be pointed
To some single person to blame it all on.
Pain has become a natural part of my life,
It’s all the little lost hopes, the forgotten dreams-
All which hurt and have made me who I am today.
It has never been just a single person,
Someone tangible that I can be protected from.
I love how it’s never been that simple-
I would never have got here if it was.
Yesterday’s Shadow of May question was ‘What does Self Love mean to me?’ And it’s late because I was practicing self-love – that is to say I got off work and then spent the entire night talking and playing video games with my sister. I went to bed at 6am. It was great.
This poem though – not so great, but then again my shadow work poetry generally isn’t.
It’s a sweet and sour balance,
Affection caught briefly between
My bitter, salty and cut lips.
“Love yourself” they whisper,
Drink water with some of that rum.
I could rip myself to pieces over and over
Every day of the week, but I leave at least one-
And on that single one I believe
In small insignificant acts of self-love.
To eat or not. To sleep or not.
I decide in finality what I need,
And nobody needs me today.
Or. No. I need nobody today.
Self-love, my love, I know-
I know when to stop and be selfish,
It’s a sweet and sour balance,
Balanced between two broken lips.
The school semester is almost over and work has been a little crazy, but I still managed to get today’s piece done! Today’s Shadow of May questions were: How do I treat others? How do I treat myself?
‘They Told Me’
Home is where the heart is
They will tell you
But what if I don’t want to go
To where my heart lies.
Why can’t home be where I’m safe,
Not a place where I’m afraid to open
The front door, a place I haunted-
Another heart, sky, and world.
Why can’t home be
The simple thought of existing
Home is where there are people,
They will tell you,
Who love you, sometimes.
But sometimes I cannot bare to look
Anyone in the eye, not after all those nights
I spent intolerably alone,
But I still offer little hellos
To strangers because I remember being
Strange, alone, mistaken, and abused, once.
It’s not the best thing I can do,
But sometimes the only thing I can do
Are little tiny words.
The final day of NaPoWriMo is here! I managed a solid 29/30 which is much more than I expected to accomplish. I have a tarot challenge picked out for May to participate in and have plans to post a poem for each day based on my readings, so hopefully I will still be active daily.
The final prompt was to write about something that reoccurs. Here it is:
‘Again and Again’
Every night, and sometimes day,
I lay my head down and I just lay.
I lay there and I think and I dream
And I hope and I worry at everything.
If I could sleep away every sorrow,
Lay down, say goodbye until tomorrow-
Or the next day, the next day, another day
Until, in time, I wake with some hope again.
I want to stop going to bed in equal parts
Of hope and despair, dreading but wishing
For what another day might finally bring-
I want to wake up and feel my heart sing.
I dream sometimes and I think other times
Of all the things I’d do if only I didn’t just lay,
Lay here, down here, dreading my future dreams
To act instead of thinking constantly of pointless things
Sorrows may grow like dandelions every day,
But could I not grasp them, could I not play with them
By blowing their spores into the wind with wishes
Causing more in time to grow, more little sorrows.
Again and Again, I lay my head down and say-
Maybe I can sleep away some sorrow today.
But every morning I wake up still waiting to know
If another day is full of hope or wasted until tomorrow.
I was a bit later than usual today, but I managed to work out a Skeltonic poem per the prompts request. Now, i’m a little mixed about this one. I like it, but outside of the words involved, I find putting this thought into words to be lengthy. Keeping my lines short was quite hard.. But a fun challenge. I might try this form again, later.. I will admit, this is not very dipodic. I kept switching between two and three stressed syllables, and I can’t seem to figure out how to keep myself at two.
Keep quiet love
Near – in a glove
Maybe, or above
And out of touch
To see but not clutch
At desperately – much,
Not overly much.
Sell your soul;
Comfort is the goal.
Keep it in control,
Keep quiet love –
Or I must get rid of
It, all of it, right here.
Keep it gone, or near-
Hush love, hush soul:
Living is not my goal.