Young Writers Society

Home » Forums » Special Events » NaPoWriMo

weathered, yes, but still standing



User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:55 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



The last NaPo of my 20's, just in time for a new job, old fears, a world in chaos, and my ever-present rumination.

Previous threads
saturn is home, and all is well (2019, completed)
all the thoughts you wish weren't real (2018, not completed)
buried under the coffee table (2017, completed)
the (non) master of my own (sham) destiny (2016, completed)
often wandering, still quite lost (2015, not completed)
Niteowl's Nest (2014, not completed)
Niteowl's Nonsensical Nothingness (2013, probably not completed)
Nite's Poetry Dumpster (2008, not completed

Note for 2021 Niteowl-if you're reading this and doing NaPo, you should name the thread "the other side of catastrophe". Unless you come up with something better in the next year.

Random inspo when I think of it
Spoiler! :

"on the other side, will you say you missed me?"
From Camp NaPo
-write about a meaningful place
-write a Terza Rima that uses two of the following words: camp, fire, lake, bear, bag.
-Take a poem that you've written before - either from camp napo or just that you've got in your files, and now re-write it, the catch is that you can only use half as many words.
-write a poem about milestones and memories written in narrative form or for extra points try putting it in the form of a sonnet!
-emily
-the parts of me that argue when it comes to love (and other things)
-a poem about how I don't like to tell other people I'm a writer or share my writing irl
-bucket list poem, write a ballad. About something, anything.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:19 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



when i meet you on the other side

i want to believe
that there's something for us
on the other side of catastrophe.

i want to believe
that i'll get through this,
not just alive, but stronger,
finally believing in myself
the way i used to believe in fairytales.

i want to believe
that you're safe and healthy
wherever you're hiding from the storm
and maybe you even miss me a little.

i want to believe
that one day soon enough,
we will emerge from our caves,
our footing uncertain
as our muscles remember how to walk.

i want to believe
that when you see me next,
you don't feel the need
to introduce yourself
because you remember me.

i want to believe
that when i joke around asking
"did you miss me?"
you'll lie and say yes.

and most of all,
i want to believe
that someday,
when i ask if you miss me
and you say yes,
i don't assume you're lying.

Title/inspo from Keane's "Bend and Break"
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
108 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 3342
Reviews: 108
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:37 am
View Likes
bluewaterlily says...



Niteowl, I love your poem. I'm in total awe at the aching nostalgia of it and also how you're able to control the form of your poem and your line breaks. Line breaks are the hardest thing about writing poetry to me, so I admire people who use effective line breaks, and judging from the natural rhythm of your poetry, you do. Incredibly strong start to NaPo.
"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." - W.H. Auden
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Thu Apr 02, 2020 3:55 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



@bluewaterlily, thank you! Yeah line breaks are tricky. When I was younger, my lines were always pretty short and uniform in lake. I think this was a byproduct of big handwriting and small journals :P. But eventually I learned that it's okay if lines vary in length, but the end words should be what you want to emphasize the most. I'm still not always crazy about long lines, but sometimes it makes the most sense.

And I have a second poem already. Enspoilered for 16+, mild language.

2. our inciting incident, half-remembered

Spoiler! :


as i read the fragments
of the story i never told,
i discovered what i'd forgotten
about the night i started to love you,
that cursed birthday
where the crowd i invited
only made me feel more lonely.

somewhere on the foreign hills,
i stepped in dog shit
and you said that some guy told you
that was good luck,
and for a moment i felt safe
because if i had nothing else,
i had you.

it's the butterfly effect,
if the butterfly was a dog shitting
somewhere in northern spain
for a drunk girl to step in
and find it noteworthy enough
to write into her plot line.

that glorious detail was forgotten
in the haze of longing and madness
and trying to survive the last ten years,
but looking back, i see
how it translated into that feeling
of "i'm okay, it'll be okay"
and that's what i craved
when i was missing you.

and maybe it was good luck after all,
because it brought me you
and gave me this story to tell.

"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Fri Apr 03, 2020 3:29 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



Okay so these are more fragments of a song idea but I have no idea what sort of structure I want to put this in.

3. A Quarantine Song (working title)

It's so quiet on these streets
Alone in a place of crowds
So strange to hear my own heart beat
Alone in a place of crowds
(original chorus-keep or ditch? work idea into a verse?)

We should have seen the warning signs
in colder winter nights.
Now the spring is rolling in
but we can't see the light

the smallest life form's taken over
and we don't know what to do...

(chorus)
We're all just trying to figure out
How to be less contagious.
Everything's on lockdown now
But is it enough to save us?

We used to hug, we used to dream,
But now we live in fear
None of us know what this means
for the ones that we hold dear
(this is terrible but it's a placeholder haha)

And all the stores are boarded up
Till nobody knows when
The virus is a lottery
that no one wants to win

Our plans on hold
Until further notice
Nobody knows
How this saga ends

But we have minds
and we have hearts
and we can keep
six feet apart
and when the virus fades away
none of us will be the same
but we'll rebuild the way
we always do
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
95 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1791
Reviews: 95
Fri Apr 03, 2020 1:12 pm
View Likes
LZPianoGirl says...



I loved that last poem/song! I liked how you put your own input into it too. The title is awesome too, maybe just make it The Quarantine Song! Keep up the great poems!
My Memes and Other Random Stuff Tumblr: https://lzpianogirl.tumblr.com/

You will drive yourself less crazy if you adhere to the dictum that other people's success is not your failure. - Christian Borle
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Sun Apr 05, 2020 1:45 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



@LZPianoGirl thanks! It def needs some work but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

4. on swimming and self-flagellation

i used to push myself
into ice cold waters
of strange pools
at ungodly hours on saturday mornings
under the guise of warming up
as if i could ever win.

i guess i kept trying
because for a few glorious laps
i felt like the long lean line
coach told us to become
and all the thoughts went away
into just keep breathing,
just keep kicking.

but then you get out
and you're ice cold and half naked
and the time clock reminds you
you're a fat useless loser.

maybe i kept going for so long
because if i stopped loving the water,
there'd be nothing left of me to love.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
915 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 123561
Reviews: 915
Sun Apr 05, 2020 2:30 am
View Likes
alliyah says...



Those last three lines in the swimming poem hit hard <3

I'm a big fan of the Quarantine song as I've been thinking about that a lot myself these days, but not sure how to put it into poetry without being cliche or melodramatic. You do go a good job getting a lot of the tough aspects into it, and parts of it already have really good flow just reading through it, I'd love to hear you sing it. Good start nite! :)
but i still don't think i can ever love someone
who doesn't understand that teal
is a different color than dark cyan.

my capitalization choices
are intentional


  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Wed Apr 08, 2020 1:53 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



Took a couple days off, but you're getting three poems today so that should make up for it.

@alliyah thanks! I agree about not trying to be melodramatic. I'm also trying to strike a balance between pessimism and hopefulness without sounding too trite. But I don't know if I'll get there.

5. on plants better off dead

one year at christmas,
you gave us each a potted plant,
soil and bulb already inside,
just add water.

mine was amaryllis,
named for the mythical maiden
who stabbed her own heart for love,
which seems so fittingly dramatic for me.

as i watered, it gave me leaves
but never bloomed,
and in time the leaves would fade and fall
from too much time in a south-facing window
and i would have to start over again.

when i was finally brave enough to leave,
i took it with me,
hoping it would grow in a new home.

but time and time again,
the leaves wilted
and so did i.

the last time i moved,
i brought it along once more,
intending to give it one more chance.
but i let it languish in the corner
as i tried to fertilize my own life.

today, i looked at it,
felt the parched dirt
and worn-out shell of a bulb,
two stubs of leaves still sticking out,
and i realized how far away i am
from that christmas.

i am finally blooming
in a way i never could for you,
and i don't need to hold on
to your dirt anymore.

Spoiler! :
It's kind of weird that this sounds romantic because it's about my advisor and a literal plant he gave us. Thankfully that wasn't romantic but it still was pretty toxic.


6. the socks say i'm alright

in the back of my sock drawer lives a pair of non-skid yellow socks gifted to me
by generous psych-ward nurses.
when i left, i took some things I should have left behind,
like toothpaste, hopelessness, and words i never wanted to see again.

in time, i discarded most of them, even the words
(i had to burn them, but it still hurt to let them go).

but i still wear the socks sometimes, even though i am free
to buy any socks i desire, i could toss them like any sane person would do,
but i am, at my core, not sane, which i why i have the damn things.

why does it hurt to think about letting them go?

perhaps it's because i've taken so many steps
i never thought i'd take the day i was released,
and i need these silent witnesses
to remind me of how far i've come.

7. a fragment on love (I like this but am uncertain about expanding it)

and in the storm i wonder
if i will ever find the kind of love
that laughs at the idea
that a little lightning could break it.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Wed Apr 08, 2020 2:41 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



And one more, because I guess I don't know when to stop.

8. ode to the campus woodlot

between my dorms and the river
lies a forest, if you can call it that.

it's got trees and trails, fat squirrels galore,
and a bank to watch the geese from
bordered by the under-bridge
covered in graffit
and the road that marks the east end of campus.

normal students don't think much of it.
to them it's just another place
to toss beer cans and smoke weed
in the makeshift teepee.
perhaps if they're feeling romantic,
they'll carve their initials
in the oak tree where the paths meet.

i would look at those initials
and wonder if any of those couples
ever made it out in the real world.

but to me, it was a bridge
between the fanciful daydreams
of my adolescence
and the sobering realities of adulthood.

some days,
i would dream instead of studying,
and weaving stories in my head,
straining to look normal
when someone passed by.

other days, i would agonize
over the big decisions crushing me
and mourn the would-be friends and lovers
i could never hold on to,
hoping the trees could tell me what to do.

when i donned the green cap and gown
i knew i had to say goodbye.
it hurt a little, but i thought i was moving on
to better places.

i've walked many paths since then,
from city streets to rural lakesides,
but none of them felt the same.

i'm just 70 miles away,
and i've thought about going back,
but i know better than to think
the trees will embrace me once again.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
1727 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 114310
Reviews: 1727




User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:15 am
View Likes
niteowl says...



9. on roadblocks and legacies
(cw: thoughts on death)
Spoiler! :

nine days in, and we are here, where there are thousands of words in the english language but none of them seem right. where even the ideas i want to write about seem unattainable because my words aren't good enough. i mean they can't be, not as long as they come from me. i can't live up to the lofty expectations of rhyme and reason, or even the refined chaos of free verse.

this is why i can't tell anyone in real life that i write poetry, because that would be calling myself a poet, and i'm too honest to lie like that. it's bad enough they probably laugh at me already just because i dare to exist. how much worse would it be if they knew the secrets my heart lays bare in fragmented lines?

i am safer this way, safest if they don't know. but sometimes, when the morbid thoughts creep in, i wonder what would happen if i died without telling a soul. if the words i have loved in secret for so long will live on only as keystrokes attributed to a pseudo-identity. there are journals, sure, the sort of thoughts i'd rather not have anyone see while i'm still alive to feel embarrassment, but they will likely go unread.

after all, who would have time to read the thoughts of someone who never seemed like she had anything to say?
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
1237 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 35932
Reviews: 1237
Sat Apr 11, 2020 8:20 pm
View Likes
niteowl says...



10. ghosts

we all have ghosts
of faces, voices long since gone.

some are just whispers,
the ones you're surprised you remember
when you're cooking dinner
and you suddenly think about
some girl you used to ride the bus with
and you wonder how she is.

some are monsters,
the faces you wish you could escape
but you can't,
because no horror movie villain
can destroy you with the same finesse.

some are phantoms,
those bittersweet reminders
of the people you swore
would be in your life forever,
but life doesn't work that way
and you wish you could reach out
but you're afraid they just think of you
as a whisper, or worse, a monster.

we are all ghosts to someone,
and i can't help but wonder
what kind of ghost i leave behind.

11. to the high school sweethearts

i don't remember your name
(if i ever knew it in the first place)
but i remember how after the bells rang
i would make my way onto the bus
and watch you at the door
kissing your boyfriend goodbye,
so reluctant to leave him
that the bus driver would start moving
and still you hated getting on.

i remember how
i'd make fun of you to my friends,
but secretly wish i had someone
who wanted to kiss me that much.

statistically speaking,
you're just ghosts to each other now,
and wherever you are,
you probably cringe when you see buses
and think of that desperate youthful passion.

and i'm just a stranger to you,
but somehow your ghost lingers in my mind,
a symbol of the love i never had.
"You do ill if you praise, but worse if you censure, what you do not understand." Leonardo Da Vinci

<YWS><R1>
  





User avatar
95 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1791
Reviews: 95
Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:01 pm
View Likes
LZPianoGirl says...



niteowl, #11 was amazing! I absolutely loved it. I liked how you wrote it from the bystanders point of view, instead of the sweethearts. It is very unique and it was a good change of theme for me, after reading poems about love, ham (Lavvie), and cheese. Keep on being awesome! ~Lucy
My Memes and Other Random Stuff Tumblr: https://lzpianogirl.tumblr.com/

You will drive yourself less crazy if you adhere to the dictum that other people's success is not your failure. - Christian Borle
  





User avatar
108 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 3342
Reviews: 108
Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:18 pm
View Likes
bluewaterlily says...



niteowl, I absolutely adore your tenth poem "ghosts." The whole poem is beautiful and evocative. I think my favorite stanza was the second to last one about phantoms. That really resonated with me because i definitely have many of those in my life as most of us do. But those last three lines are simply stunning and end the poem on such a chilling note. Absolutely stunning. I don't know if I have any other words to express my awe at what you pulled off in this poem.
"A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language." - W.H. Auden
  








cron
'They are afraid of nothing,' I grumbled, watching their approach through the window. 'Together, they would brave Satan and all his legions.'
— Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights