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years lost to locusts

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Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:08 am
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alliyah says...

27. file sorting & unfinished thread endings


28. photo album hunting | cinquain
For Wilhelmina (1867)


this is actually a personal photograph cropped ~ the other side is one of the only pictures I have of my maternal great-grandmother - her name was Wilhelmina and I often write poetry about her though I only know her through photos and stories.

years lost to locusts
maybe time could pull us close
turn hours into ghosts
maybe we could dance
while the sun tries to pull us back again. - 9/2020
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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Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:13 am
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alliyah says...

29. these april threads became hope

As I do every year at the end of NaPo, I combined a snippet of every NaPo thread title into one big NaPo poem ~ this one is dedicated to you all. It is a privilege every year to poet alongside you during April especially and to read the words you bring to share. Thank you each for being poets!

when a year is lost to the palms of eternity
poetry attempts to deny inertia
claiming back lost time, to be found again
sewing these threads of april into living sun
right in midst of these shadows of life,
shaping our house of bones into castles among cupboards
this poeting it seems crafts these few words by magic
because these are the bricks and hands we have
that we have been given to build an awry track
straight to the sky, even over the clouds
because we must reach the moon or turn to madness.

we turn hot colonial tea into fine wine in the summertime
because in this shoreline delirium someone must make snow
in a plague year when the locusts eat the whole harvest
this journal of deep breaths and unspoken words is more
than air, more than desert windchimes among windsongs,
but these themeless rushed out lines become our place of living hope
until hope becomes us and you know this means something,
poetry means so much more that merely musings,
the echoes in the margins, our parables of the heart
these words turned birds of circling flight, and tiny wisp of beauty
found in all the silent things becomes a new beginning springing
from the alphabet, this collection of spare words and words unsaid,
this voice from the wilderness, this love song to nature and science
and every way we wanted to love in this life gathered into all our
memories, dreams, and forgotten lore turns loneliness by poetry of
metamorphosis to twice-over metapoesis beyond even referring to ourselves
into an exploration of euphoria and motivation for all.

these wind gales from the metro, these scenes
between our scattered lines where we don't know
what comes next sometimes will cause our hearts to ache
until we wish we were somewhere else or become
homesick for a place we never left and talking to our floorboards
but in all this lost time, and repetition of tacking dead leaves
back to maple trees, turning mud into concrete, we have learned
through poetry not to retreat, or be forced to zugzwang,
18 miles down, we wrote sonnets and learned how to swim,
become fish, and from the very depths of the sea learned
in a year that has promised only that nature's pushing gravity
we learned through our limericks and every line the poetic-truth
that everything that falls down eventually rises.
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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Points: 146890
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Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:23 am
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alliyah says...


30. everything i carry home (a list poem, a final poem)
an echo to last year's everything i brought from home | April 2020

1. my name means to pilgrimage; to journey home, to walk one thousand miles with your sunburned heart tied to your back if you need to, because some places are engraved into your bones - and i've known for a while i was supposed to return, a longing attached to the wings of birds migrating and river currents and seasons passing when the harvest is soon and the locusts are coming. but the map in the lines my hands has blurred, so i just follow the memory of stars and walk and walk. i know i must return, but i know not where home is, or if it was ever real at all. i can't stay here though; so i walk and i walk.

2. all i can think about sometimes is that the pink tree should be blooming in our front yard by now, the one my sister and i wove floral crowns from when we asked the robins to allow us to be their queens. royal coronation in the sun, and i have never been so whole since. all i can think about is that the tree should be blooming; but once again i've forgotten it's been removed years ago now. sometimes home is remembering, sometimes it is closing your eyes and forgetting everything that's been lost and will never be again. all my memory is landscaped with home, and i hang on to even the plants that have been unrooted, they remind me too much of myself to leave anyway, i should be close now if i follow their roots, if i follow the river, so i walk and walk until i drown.

3. there are too many bugs here - and i realized right away if i breathe too deeply, the cicadas and beetles try to fly into my throat, make their nests and consume me while i sleep, so i hold my breath and stay awake - i wait for open skies and plains - i wait until the sun turns easy and turns her shoulder just enough for me to breathe, sometimes the north wind calls my name and tells me stories from home, "they're waiting for you, just walk a little further" - and when i can't hear her, i repeat my name and i begin my journey again.

4. there are fewer stars here too - and i know because i've counted. i used to believe if i walked far enough; that the land would pull me back herself, i wanted to believe hope could become my compass when the stars failed, but i've been walking quite a ways and i've started seeing the traces of my footprints in the soil from ground i have already traveled - and i suspect i have always been walking in circles. and i am so very tired of walking and holding my breath. but i still know i must return. so i tie my veins again to the migrating birds and river salmon and trust they'll know the way.

5. i wonder if being preoccupied with homes you can not reach by land is another way our souls remind us we were born of dust but are bound for heaven - perhaps it is God putting tension on the string between us and where we belong. or perhaps i am only sentimental, and miles are only marks drawn on maps. but when i pray, the cicadas go quiet and i can hear an echo to my footsteps - and i imagine i too have become like the bird or the fish and i too am following the one who carved the river out of the map on his own hand, who plucked the stars from their sky to remind me i must sleep, and who replants every unrooted tree into his own garden, and one day restores every grain the locusts have stolen. i imagine there is enough room to breathe and believe for the moment the space between this walking and where i'm going is only the space between now and spring.
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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Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:09 pm
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Euphory says...

@alliyah never a problem!! <333
Spoiler! :
AHHHH YESSSSS I was really so hyped for your thread so it was a nobrainer to comment on it, and I'm so happy to hear it made your day a little brighter yay <3333

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


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.

Yes, I definitely did, you crafted the poem so incredibly well <3 ahh heaven is definitely an interesting theme, and you can be sure I don't think it's noticeable enough to be morbid, but it definitely gives your lines extra meaning <3

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"!!

I'M SO GLAD I CAUGHT THAT TOO YAY! Yes, each of the stanzas explore different scenarios, but having a same theme interlapping between all of them is what makes the poem very cohesive, I think!

<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

I found it incredibly impactful and hard hitting, so you should be super proud, yes! <333333

:') thanks so much for all of your encouragement and praise, you are so sweet and I love reading your interpretations and thoughtful comments. :')

You're most welcome, you are just as wonderful and encouraging, and I'm so glad to hear you love to read my interpretations, I have such a blast analysing your poetry too <333 :"D
Viola Tricolor also known as wild pansy, Johnny Jump up, heartsease, heart's ease, heart's delight, tickle-my-fancy, Jack-jump-up-and-kiss-me, come-and-cuddle-me, three faces in a hood, love-in-idleness, and pink of my john-

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Sun May 02, 2021 4:53 pm
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Arcticus says...

@alliyah I really loved your ancestry-related poems, there seem to be a lot of wonderful stories behind each of them and I would love to hear and read them all someday if you share them with us here!
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