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years lost to locusts



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Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:46 am
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Meshugenah says...



EEeeeeeeeeeeeeee! *screeches*

(aka i love it and you know this. deliciously grotesque, yo)
***Under the Responsibility of S.P.E.W.***
(Sadistic Perplexion of Everyone's Wits)

Medieval Lit! Come here to find out who Chaucer plagiarized and translated - and why and how it worked in the late 1300s.

I <3 Rydia
  





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Sun Apr 11, 2021 4:27 am
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lliyah says...



Image
12. homebound
Image

Spoiler! :

I had way too much fun formatting that and playing with string for that poem! :)

text:
rivers can be bridges
or gates sealed tight
in the same way roots
are anchors or chains
bound to veins & after all
this time building boats
& watering seeds
one has to wonder
who isn't letting go?


bigger version:
Image

13. ripple effect | water sources
Image

Spoiler! :

everything goes back to the river
& the summer before (you)
I was still fish then & I could name
all the stars because they were mine
& (you) never said my name
the way it's supposed to sound.
alt formatting
Image

years lost to locusts -April 22, 2020 | for Alfred & Audrey 1895
~my great grandparents were native Appalachians; two buckets from the stream every morning, one to wash, one to cook, i keep wondering if i tried to cross the mountains back to my home, if i could find that stream, if i made it there perhaps some sense of natal homing would let me swim from there back to the river across the plains.~
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:20 pm
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Liminality says...



Hiya alliyah! I loved reading your Holy Week poems and thought they were super interesting!

"sea-sick" --> this one feels so abstract and stream-of-conscious-like, but with really strong imagery. My favourite phrases were "letting my hair get caught in seaweed" and "letting the fish eat me alive". The twist on the usual saying 'I was too afraid to try' > 'I was too afraid not to try' was really powerful as well.

"space to think" --> felt like a poem capturing intense emotions and depicting a mood of anxiety/panic. The most memorable part was the repetition of "space is relative", which felt almost like the speaker was trying to convince themselves of it.

I really like your redefinition of the dragonfly as well! I think dragonflies might definitely be mythological creatures, because I can never seem to remember the word for dragonfly in any of my other languages whenever I need to/ whenever I try ;)

Okay, and I love the concept of these recent string poems! The composition in those photographs looks really nice and I think the comparison of rivers to strings feels very sentimental and dream-like which really matches the subject of those poems. :D
she/her

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Wed Apr 14, 2021 4:16 am
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lliyah says...



Spoiler! :
@Liminality thanks so much for all of your comments! :) I loved your interpretations and reading your thoughts! <3

The "sea-sick" one was a pessimistic interpretation on the saying "there's plenty of fish in the sea" and then "space to think" was kind of a play on the idea that people often use the word "cocooning" for comfort -> but cocoons to me actually seem pretty claustrophobic and a better metaphor for anxiety. I'm glad the "space is relative" repetition worked out too!

Ah and thank you for the encouragement on the dragonfly definition - I tried for a few more today. Also the thought of "needing to find the word for dragonfly in another language" seems very poetic indeed: The necessity of dragonflies.

AHHH I really like how the string poem turned out :') I have like 7 different arrangements of it and definitely want to try out some more object-hybrid poems in the future! Glad you liked it! :)


14. quiet hello, quiet goodbye
Image
Spoiler! :
poem text because ooof tiny words.

i loved you hesitantly –
in the nod at the radio static and the daily rain report,
in the pause at the cross-walk and polite hello-goodbye between
another hello, and wondering what you are thinking now, and i’m probably busy
this weekend but maybe another a time, and trying the radio again,
and almost getting caught in a thunder storm, and in drawing maps out of your words,
in trying to catch the pattern in the wings of mayflies and
remembering too many of your stray details that don’t belong with me
so i leave them on my countertop hoping i’ll have a chance to return them
before we collect any more dust
in the days that make up seasons,
but only ever one at a time
little by little, because i knew
if i loved you how you were meant to be loved,
i’d never be able to let you go.

and i remember you hesitantly -
in the weight of the syllables of your name – heavy but silt-like
always sneaking through my fingers – until you return again
like a wave to a shore and these conversations echoing in my ears
over and over – between strained goodbye, and radio-static again,
in the recollection of uncomfortable hush as we listened that summer
to the snap of cricket choirs and foot steps on pavement,
and wondering what i am thinking now
or if the rain could fill up these broken fault-lines – keep land from separating,
draw close miles stretched out too thin, bring us back
if only to give up mapmaking, if only to misinterpret every sign of rain,
if only to pass at cross-walks and polite hello-goodbye
between hello again.

15. mayflies (definition)
Image
16. crickets (definition)
Image
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:00 pm
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lliyah says...



A poetic interlude to try to replicate some of NaPo Buddy @chikara's themes / motifs / vibe

17. desert walkers
with William (1946)


how long did you think
you could walk this valley dear,
without tripping over skeletons
it seems you've long pretended
these grave bouquets are wild flowers,
and that all your bones strewn here
are no more than beach stones
the water drug up from the sea -

(do you still confuse
____the straying smoke
______for falling rain?
________do you still pretend
__________you can breathe?)


but there is no water for flowers here
and this land is ash dry with empty
words - left out in the sun too long
and there is no gain in pretending
when your skin is lit aflame,

(don't you know hope
________won't extinguish forest fires?)


years lost to locusts: moving to desert land
Texas June 2020 + William's military tour June 1946 -

i thought at first i had never lived a year without winter, but i learned i had never really lived a year with a summer. And all this Death sticking to your bones - vultures lapping up whatever's on the side of the road and all these flying crawling things - don't breathe too long or they'll steal your lungs or they'll set your skin aflame if you don't do it first.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Sat Apr 17, 2021 8:49 pm
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lliyah says...



18. echoes and familiar faces

Image


alternative formatting
Image

just text
Spoiler! :


i don’t believe in reincarnation
because heaven is vast and full;
but i believe i can hear the echoes of my ghosts
like water rippling from long ago.

river-people don’t long for the ocean
our scales never adapted to salt-water and
“if you go to the coast you’ll miss the harvest”
i say, never having planted a field in my life.

there’s still coal dust sitting in your lungs
from four generations back
we could never quite breathe without it.

we have a strange way of saving pictures
of people no one can remember anymore
but memory isn’t always concrete, sometimes it’s
fluid and love isn’t always tangible
and maybe i’ll take better care of preserving who i am
after transcribing all these unreadable inscriptions.

we still owe $14 to the company store in West Virginia
but some inheritance is borrowed debt
to remind you at harvest time
what starving feels like

we’ve lost three homes to house-fires
& yet we’re not afraid to smoke,
it’s never the flame
but the ashes that worry us.

where did those lines weather across your eyes come from,
were there miles they were carved out of?
and how many sleepless nights
did you look for a familiar star
to carry you back home.

i can hear the echoes of my ghosts
like water rippling from long ago.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Thu Apr 22, 2021 4:57 am
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lliyah says...



Image

____________________19. cloud thoughts
____________________re-write of March poem

____________________butter-moth zippery-shoo and hum-
____________________between lilac laughs, only
____________________stream between light beams blabbering
____________________spark turn-tumble-turn towards the sun
____________________and so tango-tap dance with the bees,
____________________shuffle-hop-hullabaloo delight we sing
____________________with our wings, and dance
____________________with all our darting dream hearts.

____________20. feeling stuck
____________your wings;
____________slender as air
____________only light catching breath
____________flitter on their own account
____________while you're pinned
____________into my windshield wiper
____________it'd be pretty i suppose
____________if only we weren't
____________quite so dead.

______21. doesn't he think he's clever
______butterfly girl thin as air
______lungs smashed tight
______all bosom and wings;
______no sound as she dances
______isn't this all you wanted?
______just some paper to whistle
______at as she crashes dead
______into your windshield,
______"pretty girl," you say,
______"but why can't she smile?"

22. migrations
the cicadas don't bother me anymore.
it's the monarch migrations i can't stand
-
she says, like it's obvious.
aren't they beautiful? - i ask, heart swept in
warm breeze, sunlight flying like flower petals
all swimming through the sky, twinkle breath,
dart between, shifting cloud of living light -

everyone dies - she responds,
still talking about butterflies, i think,

they follow the sun and it takes four generations
to cycle round, and for them to forget they'll never catch it
they're beautiful for a moment, a flash of blinding faith
but only until they make their graves against my windshield,
flight ending smashed under my feet, little life sacrificed for dreams,
vaper thin wings and dismembered hope littering the ground,
and i am tired of wading through all these warzones,
i am tired of pretending false-hope is alluring
i can't stand to look at them,
let alone see them fly.


my heart catches heavy - flutters back to earth,
as i can't discern anymore between land and sky
or if the butterfly is reaching for the heavens
or wavering towards her tomb,

everyone dies - everyone dies, i suppose she's right,
and our wings, maybe they're just as bound to flight
but also true for us; few really dare to chase sunlight.

Image
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:23 am
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lliyah says...



23. wishful thinking for the day's little tasks | monday morning mantra
Image
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Mon Apr 26, 2021 5:40 am
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lliyah says...



24. what is she thinking?
Image

25. cicada litany
these cicadas are always screaming out their secrets
or yours or mine, it doesn't matter, they just love
to scream. no sense of preservation here,
just a world unsettled by sound,
and unwilling to live without it.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Mon Apr 26, 2021 12:03 pm
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spatula says...



Spoiler! :
The cicada poems! The bugs in general! :O

All of 22 is just beautiful ~ I think using butterflies and death together is really interesting, and it's nice to see a poem that mentions death but not necessarily in a dark tone. I also enjoy how migrations could refer to life after death as well.

everyone dies - everyone dies, i suppose she's right,
and our wings, maybe they're just as bound to flight
but also true for us; few really dare to chase sunlight.


Ooh "few really dare to chase sunlight" is lovely! The tone is very accepting of death, and that's really appealing, I believe; it's mostly the other way around with a fear of death. Seeing it from a new light is nice.

I also enjoy 23 ~ it's simple, but it's still powerful. I honestly want to be a cicada now, so I think I have to start following that to-do list too! :O

Ahh keep up the great work!
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.
  





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Tue Apr 27, 2021 6:42 am
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lliyah says...



Spoiler! :
@chikara thank you so much <333 I'm also really loving some of these bug poems + doodles too; and poem 23 feels a little lazy, but it lowkey might be my favorite :]

Ah and so glad you enjoyed the themes in that migrations one - you're right on, that I was trying to touch on some themes about chasing after-life / death in a somewhat contemplative way. Thank you so much for your comments and encouragement!! <3


~*~*~*~*~

napo interlude | star chasing & falling dreams
poem co-written with @rida


Image

~*~*~*~*~
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Tue Apr 27, 2021 7:02 am
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lliyah says...



**CW: fire / drowning / death / a little dark

26. the tendencies of serotinous trees

Image

years lost to locusts | yearly aches
2020 - 2019- 2018
and i reject these bones grown from seeds you planted
and i leap, pretending i can fly, because this earth is scorched.
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  





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Tue Apr 27, 2021 2:53 pm
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Euphory says...



Hiiiii @alliyah !! <3<3<3<3<3 dropping a quick review here <3

Spoiler! :
AAAAHHHHHHHH I WAS SO incredibly thrilled to check out your thread and I am BLOWN AWAYYYY~ the figurative language you use, the clever way you word everything, and how you tackle so many emotions and events in a single poem, the weight that your sentences carry, AHHH truly, your thread has been showstopping <3<3<3

I'm also loving how consistent you are with your theme, and by theme, I don't mean just the locusts- I feel like all your poems are so carefully connected to each other, like they each address different topics but are interwoven so masterfully that it all feels like you're telling one story and AAHHH <333333 I've noticed there to be a lot of reoccuring motifs throughout your poems; rivers, housefires, bugs (of course), stars, coal, death, to name a few~

There's also been this sort of gentleness in your poems? Acceptance? If I tried to explain it, it's like a calm reassurance, or a flow in all your poetry that atleast gives the illusion of serenity and gentle love for the world around you and your ancestry and bugs- not quite sure if that was the tone you may have been going on, but it's what I got, and I absolutely adore it <333333333

I'd love to leave a quick review on some of my favourite poems from your thread <3~


2. quarantine too far from home | letters to our mothers
Spoiler! :
this oneeee aaaa <333 I LOVED the postcard photo you added here, it was such a neat touch! <3

Dear Mother,
[may I always call you that?]


THIS WAS SUCH A STRONG START, I was all for this poem from the very first line and that painful little thought kajdke <\3

The repetition of "I hope for what I can not ask" really elevated this poem to a height of heartbreak that I didn't expect aaaa <\3 I adore how your additions to the letter, with those little thoughts in brackets, completely changed the very essence of the letter and added so much depth to your great granduncle's personality aaa <33 and the "893 miles away, a distance that might as well be infinite" <\3333

I took home to mean the actual "home" with families but also, as earth, or life on earth, and the lines about if home was truly home if you only longed for it, and that last part about how he can hope for that home, it's like he was hoping to stay alive but he might die and- aaaa <\3333 atleast that's how I interpreted it T_T


9. space to think
Spoiler! :
this one really is the perfect representation of worry, panic, anxiety, and it had that whole rambly feeling to it, where the person is so racked with worry they can't stop talking and they're making no sense and they're trying to convince themselves "space is relative. space is relative" and the entire feel of this poem just <\3333 my heart went out to the speaker so much <33333

The imagery in this poem was something I loved as well, especially when that part about the sun and light and space <\3 I also noticed how it started with a stirring heart and ended with a similar line except more extremely, with that entire fly or crash thing and just aaa, you're so good at poetry alliyah <33333333333


18. echoes and familiar faces
Spoiler! :
AH I REALLY LIKED THIS ONE, I interpreted this poem to mean that no matter how far we have come, we will still have pieces of our ancestors inside us and that the past will always be preserved and will always haunt us, and the way each stanza flowed so seamlessly from one to another, each one containing so much pondering and emotion in every piece of imagery I just aaaa~ <33333 this was such a delight to read ^^

Ah but despite that, this one actually had a lot of a haunt-y feel to it.
there’s still coal dust sitting in your lungs
from four generations back
we could never quite breathe without it.

we have a strange way of saving pictures
of people no one can remember anymore
but memory isn’t always concrete, sometimes it’s
fluid and love isn’t always tangible
and maybe i’ll take better care of preserving who i am
after transcribing all these unreadable inscriptions.


we’ve lost three homes to house-fires
& yet we’re not afraid to smoke,
it’s never the flame
but the ashes that worry us.


These lines <333333 I love them so incredibly much

And continuing on about the haunt-y feel I got from it, it's amplified by the visual you made with the text- it looks like a whirlpool to me, so it feels like all the ripples that you speak of are constantly surrounding your psyche, constantly echoing around you, and that's so tragically beautiful <333333


26. the tendencies of serotinous trees
Spoiler! :
This one definitely made my heart shatter into a trillion pieces, oh my gosh, this poem, AAAAAAAAA <\333333333333
I was looking through the poem, wondering which stanza to quote, which one was my favourite, and honestly I cannot choose because this entire poem has won my heart over and THE EMOTIONS IN THIS POEM <3333333333

I really think you did such a splendid job with this one, each line packs such a punch to the gut, and the entire theme with leaving fathers and forest fires was such a clever device to use, I'm still mind boggled by how you managed to come up with conceptt <3333 and the lines in between the brackets were all so heartwrenching as well, especially the parts about mothers, and that last line about the Adam's apple, all the tension of the poem ending on that line it WAS AAAAAAAAAAA </3333333333333


Spoiler! :
AHHH sorry for such a long review <33 feel free to not reply! Overall, the feeling I have after reading all of this is just that you have such a genius mind, alli, and I love how fresh your poems manage to be and they carry such raw emotion and wisdom in them <33333 I can't help but be intrigued by all the thought processes you had while writing these!

You're such an amazing poet, and definitely a big source of my inspiration <3333333 I wish you lots of luck on your next poem or venture, thank you for sharing, and keep growing <33333
"If you look around with a bit more sincerity, you'll find that you're surrounded by good people, more than you think." - V

"The world is beautiful to still have ppl like u here...^^ - 707
  





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Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:59 pm
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Meshugenah says...



Alliyah. 26. It burns.
***Under the Responsibility of S.P.E.W.***
(Sadistic Perplexion of Everyone's Wits)

Medieval Lit! Come here to find out who Chaucer plagiarized and translated - and why and how it worked in the late 1300s.

I <3 Rydia
  





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Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:02 am
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lliyah says...



@Euphoria8 thank you so much for sharing all your thoughts <3!!

Spoiler! :

It means so much to me that you wrote all this and read all my poetry, and absolutely made my day!
I'm also loving how consistent you are with your theme, and by theme, I don't mean just the locusts- I feel like all your poems are so carefully connected to each other

AH! I'm glad you were able to see the connections, the first few poems I wasn't so sure the bugs and ancestry and covid stuff would all come together, but I think in my final napo poem I have planned it will all connect hopefully even more <3

There's also been this sort of gentleness in your poems? Acceptance? If I tried to explain it, it's like a calm reassurance, or a flow in all your poetry that atleast gives the illusion of serenity and gentle love for the world around you and your ancestry and bugs

This is so perceptive and I'll need to think about that more!

letters to our mothers
I am really glad you caught the tension between longing for home / facing death / maybe longing for the final home I was trying to get at there. I think I tried to use "home-longing" a little bit as "heaven-longing" in my poetry this month but hopefully keeping it subtle enough to not be morbid.

echoes and familiar faces
Yay! I'm happy you found those to feel connected, because I wasn't sure how the stanzas would feel together as a whole, but your definitely right on the interpretation of kind exploring different "echoes" of the past in the different stanzas - and AHHH yes it is a bit "haunt-y"!!

serotinous trees
I really think you did such a splendid job with this one, each line packs such a punch to the gut, and the entire theme with leaving fathers and forest fires was such a clever device to use, I'm still mind boggled by how you managed to come up with concept

<333 Awe thank you so much! I'm so pleased with how that one turned out! And am glad you also found it impactful! <3

You're such an amazing poet, and definitely a big source of my inspiration <3333333 I wish you lots of luck on your next poem or venture, thank you for sharing, and keep growing <33333

AWE MY HEART

:') thanks so much for all of your encouragement and praise, you are so sweet and I love reading your interpretations and thoughtful comments. :')
you should know i am a time traveler &
there is no season as achingly temporary as now
but i have promised to return
  








Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness
— Allen Ginsburg