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years lost to locusts



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Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:48 am
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alliyah says...



years lost to locusts

Image

~*~*~*~*~

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you.”
- Joel 2:25


Last year, I needed a little optimism during April - so I wrote about birds.

This year, I'm feeling more reflective - so I'll write about bugs.

It's pretty stark to remember that a whole year has passed since the pandemic started. No doubt, there's also been growth and joy this year, and many have experienced immeasurably worse than I've had it. But that doesn't take away the feeling that in many ways, a year has been lost. Something that's been a little comfort, sometimes in commiserating and sometimes in inspiring has been to wade through ancestry research during the last year. Covid may be a strange and unfamiliar occurrence in our generation, but "losing years" is nothing new for our family trees. I think of ancestors who left their homes and families in order to seek a better life, I think of ancestors who were stuck in tuberculosis infirmaries, or navy boats, or remote Appalachian cabins. It reminds of that saying that loss is ubiquitous, and maybe there's some solace in knowing that?

And on the edge of loss there's always hope. In scripture God promises, that those years that have been lost to locusts, will one day be restored. I find that to be one of the most poetic sentiments in the Bible. That maybe in our life, or in the next generation, or maybe only in the life-to-come that years lost will be restored. And that's what I've tried to remember when I sweep up dead bugs and browse through census records. Absolutely no promises that any of this poetry will clearly reflect any of what I just said, we're probably not going there at all! But I do know I will be writing some bug-poems, some ancestry-poems, & some loss-poems, & maybe some faith-poems, and now you know why I'm reflecting on those things and where my head is this year for NaPo. Good luck in your own reflections and writing this April, I look forward to reading what you come up with!

- alliyah

~*~*~*~*~

years found
2020 NaPo Pt I - i swear all the birds will live until the end
2020 NaPo Pt II - private reflections; cheap cheap software
2019 NaPo - love and complementary colors
2018 NaPo - heavy dreams & lofty responsibilities
2017 NaPo - a collage of mismatched contemplations
Camp NaPo - 2017 logbook, 2020 logbook
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Thu Apr 01, 2021 1:49 am
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alliyah says...



Image
0. march leftovers 3.31.21 [+ March 2018]
1. quarantine | sun stealer 4.1.21
2. quarantine | letters to our mothers 4.2.21 [+1918]
3. time 4.3.21
4. Maundy Thursday - you should love 4.5.21
5. Good Friday - it is finished 4.5.21
6. Holy Saturday 4.5.21
7. Easter Sunday 4.6.21 [+ April 2020 + AD 33]
8. sea sick 4.7.21
9. space to think 4.8.21
10. sweet dreams 4.9.21
11. sleepless again 4.9.21
12. homebound 4.10.21
13. water sources 4.10.21 [+April 2020 +1895]
14. quiet hello, quiet goodbye 4.13.21
15 mayflies 4.13.21
16. crickets 4.13.21
17. desert walkers 4.17.21 [+ June 2020 + June 1956]
18. echoes and familiar faces 4.17.21
19. cloud thoughts 4.21.21
20. feeling stuck 4.21.21
21. doesn't he think he's clever 4.21.21
22. migrations 4.21.21 [+ 4 generations back]
23. monday morning mantra 4.25.21
24. what is she thinking? 4.25.21
25. cicada litany 4.25.21
(collab) star chasing & falling dreams 4.26.21
26. tendencies of serotinous trees 4.26.21 [+April 2020, 2019, 2018, & every year backwards in time]
27. unfinished thread endings 4.1.21
28. photo album hunting | cinquain 4.29.21
29. these april threads become hope 4.29.21
30. everything i carry home 4.30.21 [+ July 2021 or some other day very soon]

Image

^ word-cloud of all this year's poems
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Fri Apr 02, 2021 3:32 am
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alliyah says...



0. march leftovers

Image
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Fri Apr 02, 2021 5:13 am
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alliyah says...



1. quarantine in hostile land | months the sun stole

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i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Fri Apr 02, 2021 9:52 pm
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SilverNight says...



Spoiler! :
I love the tally marks added on the side of this last poem! It's such a great way to convey how long isolation can seem, especially if we never expected it to be this long. And it's true that it does get hard to count the days after so much time. <3
Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47.


okay but does this mean I have a melting point of 1763.2 °F



silver (she/her)
  





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Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:33 am
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alliyah says...



Spoiler! :
Thanks so much for the comments @SilverNight!


2. quarantine too far from home | letters to our mothers
From Leslie (1918)


Image

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author note:
My great-granduncle Leslie lived in quarantine in a tuberculosis sanitarium far from his home for several months(?) / years(?) before passing. Having now lived in quarantine (also far from home) in a much different time, I've become curious about what was on his mind. I can't ask him, but I have a few of his post cards he wrote home. This is my poetic-interpretation of typical things he would write. And so, in a way we write together here.
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Sat Apr 03, 2021 9:14 am
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alliyah says...



3. time

Image
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Sat Apr 03, 2021 2:57 pm
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Liminality says...



I made a rule not to read anymore pandemic poetry this year, but this thread is an exception, and I'm glad I broke that rule because these are good~

I love that postcard poem. The line "not all cages have keys" is a really neat observation on several levels. At least one that I see is that this isn't a cage in the literal sense, but also the "keys" part emphasises something inescapable.

The last line of 'time' is really neat as well, as it reveals the dragonfly origami shape of the overall concrete poem. Keep going <3
  





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Sun Apr 04, 2021 2:36 am
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chikara says...



Hi NaPo buddy! Oh wow "i would have learned / how to read a map / or how to build a boat / from all my spiral thoughts" is such a powerful ending ahh! I'll just leave these here -> :eyes: :eyes: :eyes:

Good job so far! You got this! <3
The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma.
— Patrick Star
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Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:29 am
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rida says...



Can I just say
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Phew. Ok, now I’ve calmed down.


All of these poems are A M A Z I N G!
You are a professional poet!
  





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Tue Apr 06, 2021 7:02 am
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alliyah says...



Spoiler! :

@Liminality thanks so much <333 hopefully the covid theme isn't too heavy this napo !! I also love the "not all cages have keys" line :) My initial thought was illness can be a cage (Covid & tuberculosis) & then a home or sanitarium & also the "idea" of a home can be cages too and then as you mentioned too it also is just the idea that some "cages" can't be escaped / have keys; specifically the body / physical realm in this case. Also AH you catching the dragon fly shape is very generous, as I wasn't quite sure I wanted to make that one really concrete or just kind of hint at it with the "fold" or center of the poem being that "& yet" line. Thanks for commenting!

@chikara Aye napo buddy! <3 Ahhh thanks so much, glad you are enjoying them!!

@rida Awwwee thank you! <3 The first ones came out looking semi-polished :]]] and I'm really happy with how that post-card one came out. We'll see how the rest go. ;) Thanks for your encouragement!


I'm a day or so behind posting for Poem a Day, so might just be done with that - but have been working on these Holy Week poems the last few days. Still going to try to catch 30!

4. Maundy Thursday - ἀγαπᾶτε – you should love
these hands that fashioned Adam
from dust of the ground,
pluck us from the soil – weathered roots
and all – let us drink the Jordan River
until we’re drowned all the way through;
these hearts scrubbed clean
as water to his disciples feet.

5. Good Friday – Τετέλεσται – it is finished
these hands that fashioned Adam
now hang pierced all the way through,
tacked to wooden beams – his breath wavers.
death; is a strange victory scene for a hero
and the earth knows it – the sun cloaks,
the ground breaks, the veil is torn,
it would appear God is dead,
but what last words are these,
“it is finished.”

6. Holy Saturday - making preparations
these hands that washed the messiah’s feet,
just days before he was crucified
now prepare oils to mask the scent of death
footsteps to a tomb – waver in grief –
had their devotion been misplaced?
or their sin too great?

7. Easter – Χριστός ἀνέστη - Christ is risen
these hands that nailed his body to a tree,
how often do we seek him at empty tombs
leaning in as a force of habit – hoping
he won’t catch us lingering here; again.
but his voice catches us as we emerge,
our name caught knowingly on his lips,
“it is finished” he says – leave this tomb
behind. and with nail-scarred hands
he brushes off the grave-dust
we cling to.
years lost to locusts - Easter 2020
~"the days run dark here too,
and the jars we carry to mask our pain
lay heavy in our arms, God's words
ring dissonant in this spring born silent" ~
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Wed Apr 07, 2021 6:21 am
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alliyah says...



8. sea-sick

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i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:02 am
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whatchamacallit says...



ALLIYAH WHY are you so good at putting abstract thoughts into words ;-; like it literally makes my heart ache at how good you are at finding the perfect metaphors and creating the perfect imagery WHAT <33333

march leftovers -> I really like how you use the "&-" twice, it creates such a lovely pause and hesitation in the flow in those two spots! (also has the cool effect of making the phrase "winter is infinite" feel like its own statement, and all I can is that is such a @_@ mood hehe)

time -> "so boldly we try / to fold eternity into a day" what is it with you and such simple but AAAAAH images <33

sea-sick -> the way you take such an ordinary, commonplace metaphor and make it complex and layered and SAD is incredible !! "always letting the fish eat me alive if they want" :'( And the tone throughout the whole poem is so -- tragically hopeful? Like the narrator is still thinking that they might get somewhere if they just keep doing what they're doing :/

ANYWAYS I COULD GUSH MORE but I'll leave it at that for now ^^
u make me go wat cuz u so wat n u can always go what around u watcha

--SpiritedWolfe


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Fri Apr 09, 2021 6:03 am
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alliyah says...



Spoiler! :
@whatchamacallit <333 thank you again so much for your comments and encouragement and for sharing your thoughts on my poems! :] I'm loving ampersands (&) rather than "ands" lately so I'm glad you liked that.


9. space to think
Image
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  





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1060 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 139278
Reviews: 1060
Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:42 am
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alliyah says...



@Meshugenah :]

10. sweet dreams
Image

11. sleepless again
Image

~*~*~*~*~
Image
i can't love you if you don't know the difference between teal & dark cyan
&
you should know i am a time traveler
&
there is no season as achingly temporary as now

  








We tell ourselves stories in order to live...We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We live entirely, especially if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate images.
— Joan Didion