30 Flavors of Poetry: NaPoMo 2020 Recapped

Here’s a linked list of the thirty poems I did this month (each in a different style) for National Poetry Month (and the various other descriptors it’s become known by: e.g. #NaPoWriMo and #GloPoWriMo )

1.) Limerick: Viral Limerick

2.) Sonnet: A Sonnet in Contradictions

3.) Haiku: Solitude Haiku

4.) Ghazal: Away

5.) Acrostic: BANGALORE

6.) Villanelle: Escaping the Frame

7.) Clerihew: A Few Clerihew

8.) Ode: Ode to my Immune System

9.) Ruba’i: Cloud Ruba’iyat

10.) Tanka: Rainy Day Tanka

11.) Free Verse: Train of Sleep

12.) Rondeau: I’ve Seen Sunsets

13.) Senryu: A Few Senryu

14.) Pantoum: Bee Flow

15.) Elegy: Spanish Flu Elegy

16.) Narrative: The Philosopher

17.) Doggerel: All Hail, Warhol!

18.) Prose Poem: Perpetual City

19.) Idyll: Sense of the Meadow

20.) Sestina: Fear in Motion

21.) Lai: Rubber Ducky

22.) Ottava Rima: The Unblemished & the Indelible

23.) Aubade: Booty Call Aubade

24.) Confessional: Fear & the Snowflake

25.) Triolet: The Cult of Leandra

26.) Lyric: Sound

27.) Eclogue: After the Rains

28.) Symbolist: Pressure

29.) Dickinsonian: (1)

30.) Ballad: Orpheus Twisted

POEM: A Few Clerihew [Day 7 NaPoMo: Clerihew]

Edmund Clerihew Bentley
delivered his sarcasm gently
with just four lines
using the simplest of rhymes

It’s said that Adolf Hitler
shoulda been killed when he was littler,
but maybe he’d not have been reigning
if someone had bought one of his paintings

Edgar Allan Poe
always wrote in the Flow
his secret was a life of melancholy
you don’t write “The Raven” while jolly

President Woodrow Wilson
might’ve lost votes in the millions
think how one would do
with first term Spanish Flu

POEM: Escaping the Frame [Day 6 NaPoMo: Villanelle]

[A villanelle is a six-stanza form (originally French) in which the first five stanzas are three lines (tercets) with an A-B-A rhyme scheme, and the sixth is of four lines (a quatrain) with an A-B-A-A rhyme scheme.]

a vast grassland spans my field of vision
bison languidly trample the dry grass
azure sky seen in perfect precision

are these the fields the Greeks hailed Elysian?
but while it’s vast I feel it has no mass
perhaps, it’s just hi-def television?

I find my mind is wild in ambition
and ignores the window frame and the glass,
pretending all that is, I envision

but I know I see with imprecision
a glance sees no more than in science class
though vivid, it’s as false as a gryphon

but beauty beats logic to submission
I become one with wind-tousled tall grass
dazed, I’ve lost all mental inhibitions

why would nature thrill in exhibition?
baring beach to beach across each landmass
it’s not to employ more aestheticians
but to drown out distrusting suspicions

POEM: Away [NPM Day 4: Ghazal]

[Ghazal is a poetic form of Arab origin consisting of between 5 and 15 couplets. Traditionally, it is metered (how many feet per line varies from poem to poem, but shouldn’t within a couplet,) and has a rhyme scheme of AA-BA-CA-DA-etc. A common theme word or phrase across couplets is also tradition, and it often forms the rhyme. Loss and separation are among the most common themes.]

In the airport, I think I’ll find a way
to be “he who stayed” as I go away.

“Left” and “stayed” aren’t just matters of locale.
Some who stay, long ago drifted away.

Some retreat within their seats, I speak true.
Body here; mind a million miles away.

Unwalking undead, this kind of zombie.
So, the living must become runaways.

They’ll say I’m playing games of semantics,
but games are done, now I must go away.

POEM: What’s the Secret to Tiger Fitness?

Taken at Bannerghatta Biological Park in Bangalore


What’s a tiger but a bright, orange cat

who naps all day but doesn’t get fat?

How does he stay muscled and lean

when he eats and eats and sleeps between?

Sure, now and again, he’ll chase a gazelle.

Unlike my cat, who’s trained me with a bell

to deliver food to a bowl right under her nose

lest I hear the pitiful yowl of hunger throes.

But when chasing prey, tigers never run long.

He picks slow and weak over fast and strong.

And you’ll never see him run in the mid-day sun,

and he’ll always be napping when his meal is done.

[National Poetry Month: Poem #14]