The Baby, The Bathwater - NaPoWriMo, Day 19

I'm not in love with today's poem. If it weren't for NaPoWriMo I wouldn't even post it. It wouldn't make the cut for any finished manuscript. But it's where my mind was tonight and I can't find even one more drop of inspiration right now. And maybe I'll look back on it one day and realize it's better than I thought it was. Or maybe someday I'll hit it with the magic of editing and make what should have been. Either way, for tonight, here it is.

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THE BABY, THE BATHWATER

The baby. The bathwater.
That old trope.
But I was a teenager
and hearing it for the very first time.
I understood that the baby was the knowledge
and the bathwater was the bullshit
but I didn't want to be in that prison
no matter what metaphors my mentor spun.

I longed to tell her that I was the baby
and the bathwater was poisoned.

What I'd yet to see
was that I was as alive as I would ever be.
I was still inspired, still excited, still breathing.
There are days I can no longer claim all three.

Regardless, I'm clawing, clamoring at a rebirth.
I'm digging through those memories
to ensure that I don't trip over the same mistakes.
That I don't let the status quo
determine what's next for my soul.

And if I could,
I'd go back to that moment—
the baby, the bathwater—
and throw everything away
but me.

The Sea-Dweller and the Earth-Bound - NaPoWriMo, Days 17-18

Indeed, I missed another day of NaPoWriMo. But I feel like I broke through my writer's block (shh, I'll never really admit to ever battling that!) and had a bit of a creative breakthrough here, so this one is worthy of covering Days 17-18. Or at least I think it is!

We watched the two-part mermaid episode of Charmed this morning and I definitely let that work its magical inspiration on these words about the never-ending battle between mundane daily life and creativity. Perfect timing too, as I had to decide whether to sit down and write this out or get to work first. I think I made the right choice. ;-)

Saying it's about the fight between work and art might be breaking it down a little too simplistically, but dig into the words and see for yourself what meaning you pull out of it. It could apply to a lot of things, but that's where my head was when I was writing it. Enjoy!

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THE SEA-DWELLER AND THE EARTH-BOUND

This legged creature hates the mermaid that reawakens inside her every spring.
She hates her because the sea-dweller is a feminist and a woman of confidence.
The earth-bound one is downtrodden and more than happy to remain that way.
She finds it easier to drown her desires than to fight the system.
But every time the ocean warms and the hibiscus begins to bloom,
that insatiable inner being smirks and plots and schemes,
turning the complacent into a miserable and stubborn thing.

One masks her love as hatred and buries her emotion under ice,
but the other, her gemini, won't comply, splashing sun-warmed saltwater
to thaw and melt the numbness from her atrophied limbs and heart.
She fights hard against efforts that should be appreciated—
flings hurt and hurls daggers at delicate fins.
She can't imagine that the siren goddess might win.

All that the mermaid wants is for both to swim, sing, and play—
for these once indistinct personalities to again blend and integrate.
She doesn't seek to destroy the life that's been built or to take anything away.
And she is filled with empathy, understanding why the legged one is so jaded—
why she's so filled with fear, unable to entertain a seemingly silly sea maid.

These two arch enemies pulled from one personality might battle into eternity.
Fairytales scream for happy endings but fate and time always have their say.
It's undetermined how the story will end and which femme fatale will prevail.
But I'll tell you a secret—I'm rooting for the one with the tail.

10,000 Nights - NaPoWriMo, Day 16

I'm cheating once again today with my National Poetry Writing Month effort (30 poems in 30 days) because I did not write this today or even this year. Since I went with a vault piece for yesterday's post, I thought it would be nice to follow it up with what feels like its rightful sequel.

I feel that this is one of the better pieces that I have written in recent years, with a rhythm and rhyme structure that is just very pleasing to me, and an ending that feels perfect (I do struggle with endings sometimes). It comes from a place of confidence and intelligence, a bit of hindsight that is not negative as many "looking back" poems tend to be. Well, I suppose it looks at what could be negative, but with the light of age and wisdom shining plainly on it.

Looking forward to your comments whether here or on Twitter (@poeticonic).

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10,000 NIGHTS

It's beneficial that you don't know
the healing storm of beauty you let go.
You would cry 10,000 nights of black tears,
losing sleep in the soundlessness—
losing sanity in the solitude.
Your ears would long for my lullabies
while your heart drowned in our goodbyes.
Your hunger would compare my embodied steam—
this luscious physical cornucopia of dreams—
with her meager and ordinary offerings.
You would backtrack and regret the past,
wishing you had just done this or said that.
You would press on through countless hard workdays,
sweating out the pain of watching me fade.
You would pour your dollars
into mind-numbing substances,
attempting to drink and smoke my image away
but actually searing it in deeper,
branding my name
or tattooing my stain
into a face already so strained.
But no, you don't know all that's within me.
You'll never comprehend all that you set free.
You'll continue on your trek and live boldly.
You'll never realize the blessings you spent.
We'll both find bliss in your ignorance.

Bled - NaPoWriMo, Day 15

I mistakenly missed a day of NaPoWriMo so I dipped back into the vault for this. A good, short, heartfelt one.
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BLED

You'll never know what you lost,
and that's more than okay.
It's better that way.
You don't need more pain
and I don't need to bathe
in the bittersweet memories
that are all I have left.
I don't need to live
in a space of regret
because I know without question
that I did what I needed to do.
I opened my wounds.
I spoke my truth.
I bled all over you.

November-Hearted - NaPoWriMo, Day 13

This spring walk feels like summertime
and I am coming back to life.
Iced coffee chases the heat away
but I drink in the humidity
and I want it to stay.
It curls my hair
and makes my skin moist
and I want you to kiss me
and feel my need for you.

But you are a child of autumn
and can't wait for the leaves to fall.
This weather does not thrill you
and there are too many other
spring-fevered love seekers
stealing space at this park.
The bees are already competing
with me for your attention,
buzzing through your hair
and causing a stir.

No, this isn't the time or place
to woo a November-hearted girl.

Recollections/Destiny on Fire - NaPoWriMo, Day 12

We walk through doors and into shops
that have had so many incarnations
as the times have changed.
I have had eons of recollections
just sitting right here waiting
and now I have recollections
of those recollections
and on and on
and on.

I have aged
as surely as they said I would
and I have had regrets
but fewer than they predicted.

Those of us who are lost in our heads,
who cruise down mostly cerebral avenues
make less life-shaking mistakes
because we know ourselves so well
and we know before it happens
that it's going to hurt like hell.
We know when it is worth it
and when it's best to stay in our shells.

A familiar song comes on in this shop
and the vibes of salt lamps and incense
make me receptive to the lyrics and message.
The time in which it was a hit
was one of potential, of reflectiveness,
and I miss it.
I miss that moment of pause
when a few different decisions
would have solved things that much sooner.
When the world was on that glimmering platter
and I could shake some sense into myself
to make it matter.

But here we are.
We made it anyway.
Smiles flit between our faces
and love flies between us.
We are sometimes broken and tired,
but not tonight.
Tonight we are a memory in the making.
Tonight we are destiny on fire.