Saturday, April 16, 2016



NaPoWriMo's challenge today is " fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers."

Almanac Questionnaire
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Hometown memory:
Notable person:
Outside your window, you find:
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth:
Story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find:
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear:
Picture on your city’s postcard:

During the free-writing part of today's ultimate meeting of La Manzanilla writers for this season I went ahead and made notes about all those things. And now, for a poem. I was going to do what the prompt says, focus on one or two elements from the list and go from there, but I kind of like the randomness of this.

Quiet Good Deeds That Keep the World Turning

Always perfect for the day it is. 
Flora sounds like a Bobbsey Twin cousin,
Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi Frank Lloyd Wright.

Immigration and borders and prejudice and welcome,
jaguarundi spotted in the hills 
where I walk sometimes, alone,

yellow striped serpent somewhere in the garden behind me,
fish coming back to the bay, the birds, a plate nearby,
and still, I write.

Lamb in the attic. Summon a wolf 
when I closed my eyes and jumped up and down.
Street full of ghosts.

A. Export A. Nobody smokes like they used to, except here. 
Banksy would be fun at a housewarming.
Hello, lover, where'd you spend the night,

I'd like to spend more time here than ever.
Dress for success. The alternate wedding dress
that at least looked good on Alan, my bridesmaid man.

Code. Dress code. Pant suits all right, 
as long as they were coordinated,
so sayeth the Lord of the Airline in 1968. 

Running into a friend, going for coffee at the bus depot.
Notable? Let's start with the quiet 
good deeds that keep the world turning.

Outside my window drifts another world— 
light, darkness, beauty, horror.
In today's news, earthquakes in Japan, but don't worry,

the nuclear reactors are safe.
Cuneiform. Diacritical marks. 
All sorts of scraps for a letter sent, unsent, kept, tossed.

Oh Sasquatch, do you still wander the hills 
near the home of my heart? 
Are you real?

This fish, I said to Mr. C. 
I want him. I like him. And he likes me.
I will call him Otto. Goodnight, Moon.

A minute down an alley to find a way 
into the city's underbelly. 
Stop. Go back. You're not welcome here.

I fear unexpected death. 
My own, and anyone else's.
Big orange bridge.

Big Orange Bridge, affectionately known as BOB, July 1, 2015, Nelson, BC

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