NaPM 2023 Spotlight Thread
In honor of the ten year anniversary of Pigpen's NaPM, and also as an experimental concept, here is a thread where you can spotlight a poem (or poems) from this year's NaPM that you think worthy of honorable mention.   

* Please post all poems to be spotlighted as a reply to this thread.  Do not start a new thread. 
* Please do not spotlight your own poems.  
* Please do credit the author of the poem--the clearest way to do this would be to post the poem inside the 'quote' box that shows who said it.
* Please do remind us what the prompt was and which day, or post a link to the original for reference.  
* You can post just the poem, or you can write a little blurb about why you are recommending it. Either is fine. In this thread, a simple "I really liked this" is perfectly acceptable. 
* You can spotlight more than one if you wish. 

Often it is easy to think of these rushed poems as 'throw away' poems, or practice. This is a good place to let an author know if one might be worth pulling out of the bunch and polishing up.  Also, it's a nice way to encourage one another. 

General NaPM reminders:
* You are all definitely allowed to take your own poems from the NaPM threads and re-post them in the workshops to keep tinkering.  (Maybe one at a time of course.)  Just don't forget to post feedback in the workshops if you do that.  
* You are all definitely allowed to keep posting poems in the NaPM threads.  Perhaps you missed a few days (I certainly did  Confused ) or perhaps you have a fresh idea for a prompt you already answered.  These threads are always open to new poems.  

The purpose of this thread is simply to have a bit of fun and to celebrate the efforts of our wonderful members after this gruelling month. Big Grin
The Soufflé isn’t the soufflé; the soufflé is the recipe. --Clara 
I'd like to start with this poem by Mark. It is one that stood out to me because it says so much in so few words. Also, it never actually mentions gold (which was the prompt) or what the objects ("them") actually are, and yet both are clear to the reader.  It's a lovely poem, and a very clever answer to the April 9th prompt.  I have read it over several times and like it more with each read.

(04-09-2023, 12:22 AM)Mark A Becker Wrote:  Worth More Than Their Weight

If I took them all
and melted them
they would never
weigh as much
on a scale
as they do
on my heart-
these simple
from complex
The Soufflé isn’t the soufflé; the soufflé is the recipe. --Clara 
I have two:

April 3, 
Topic: April Fools Day makes me think of Fool's Gold. Write a poem inspired by confusing or misidentifying something or someone.

On Reading Eliot's Burbank by RiverNotch

Once, I thought I knew the land
of which he drew his map of man,
the hollow moonlit streets of Rhapsody
leading to London's aged king
casting his line into the Thames,
mourning the loss of his Norton.
But synechdoche and metonymy
must always give way to history, and
the bridge he built between his sestieri
can't always be ignored. 
The rats are underneath the piles.
The jew is underneath the lot.

April 30: Write a poem as a fatalist - in other words, write a poem inspired by fate, luck (good or bad) pretty much not being in control of your own destiny.

by Wjames:

There are 7,000 people
in the Unorganized Kenora District,
and fifteen million hectares of forest.

A moose is the head of state,
a beaver is the minister of finance,
and everything with eyes
is a landscape painter
at heart, walking the shield rock
and smelling the pine
on the way to ten thousand lakes
and countless muskeg swamps
draining Hudson Bays rivers
into the earth.

There will be more invaders soon
and the forest is unarmed
and prostrate.
Oops- I forgot the reference prompts. Oh well.
If I have to choose I'll go with this by WJames, simply because I loved the slant rhymes that I highlight, below:

I wear my finest overalls
and vintage flannel shirts,
to cocktail bars in Montreal
to woo and gab and flirt.

Some women like a rugged man
so that's what I present,
but in my bones I love Rembrandt
and fuchsia, floral scents.

And this, also by WJames. The bolded phrase is fantastic:

When a lemon drops
in your palm, and there is no sugar
to meringue, or steak to marinate,
and you have only swallowed saliva
since the full moon lost a quarter
in a bet with the wind

over the weight of the harvest,
guzzle the juice and ration the skin.

I also very much liked this one by 'notch, bolded parts especially:

All lives lived in this world
are sick, one way or another.
You start out a sickly child

always vomiting on your mother's shoulder
or your father's lap, then as you begin
to stand up on your own, to walk, to run,

you learn your parents were actually the source
of your many diseases -- their impatience
when you were an infant, their present ignorance,

their malice as you are forced
in this uncaring world out of your home
to hold down something even they can't call

a living, to treat your time
as a series of debts to pay, to pass down
your own lack of vision

to the succeeding generation -- and then you find
it's not so much a lack as it's beginning
to blur, your arms and legs

are weakening, a mere cold
translates into pneumonia: the end comes
so quickly, instead of a treatment
you think it's one more sickness.

And this by Steve from Bryn Mawr.  The poem is as evocative as the painting:

Springtime at Giverny

As you lay in the quiet
of your cot did you dream
of her reborn at the spring
waking from the sanctuary
of her long winter sleep?

Hope she rose like the daffodil
with a green stretch and a yellow yawn

ready to don her bonnet; shrugging the dark
earth from the purple of her shoulders,
unfurling her petals with the crocus? 

Then walk the garden to the fragrance
of first cut grass, her touching
the stable bloom of dogwood,
wild-white and cultured-pink, hearing
the breath of your young lover’s sigh
like the early bird song heard
on a dawn’s breeze through the cottage window.
really good imagery

But she was fragile
as the magnolia bloom with beauty
unable to survive beyond
the mildest spring storm.

Now she is only a memory lost
in the corner of a dusty dream
dreamt from beyond the grave.

And this one by Duke, especially the end:

The You Know, The Thing

“What’s black and white,”
she said, “and red
all over, twice?”

“I’ve heard this one, it’s
a newspaper,” I simpered.


“Oh, alright. I know
the other one.  It goes,
‘A sunburned zebra.’

“What about that ‘twice?’”
she riposted in a trice.

“It must be,” I muttered,
thinking rapidly,
“two newspapers!”

“No.  That will not go.”

“Then it’s two sunburned
zebras, there now, plains as...”

“Still no go, Romeo.”

A third clever possibility
escaped me like a bumblebee
flying free
after stinging.
“I give up.”

She grinned.  I groaned.
a sunburned zebra
reading a newspaper
right down to the want-ads
and obituaries.”

“That’s silly,”
I complained
but she wanted
something explained:

“What’s a ‘newspaper,’

What a little dimpled lark
you are, I thought,
to memorize that entire jape
without any understanding,
darling ape.  And said,

“It’s like an influencer
but made of wood
and, you know,
I like the idea of a NaPM spotlight thread. Otherwise, too many good ones get buried in there.

I liked WJames in this one. I don't know what S2 was talking about (can only think of spongebob), but the lines in bold were nice. And the final one....transfixed by TV / youtube...:-

Laughing all morning
with a bowl of cinammon toast crunch
in maple leaf pyjamas
on the corduroy couch
you burned a hole in
playing with matches.

The tv is playing songs
on a mayonnaise trumpet
in a woman's bathing suit
at the bottom of the ocean,
and I am transfixed.
Before I am forced to pick some favorites, I have to say that the quality of everyone's poems produced day after day was nothing short of phenomenal. Thumbsup
Here are a few that represent!


When a lemon drops
in your palm, and there is no sugar
to meringue, or steak to marinate,
and you have only swallowed saliva
since the full moon lost a quarter
in a bet with the wind
over the weight of the harvest,
guzzle the juice and ration the skin.


Preparing a Holiday Meal

I'd had half a bottle of Shiraz
before anyone arrived.

Now I'm tearing up 
chopping the fucking onions
and remembering aunt June
once telling me
that a dull knife 
is much more dangerous
than a sharp one.

Not if you're being chased 
by an 80's horror flick psycho,
I used to think.

I won't go into detail 
about my gored thumb,
or auntie June's strange gloating,

but everyone raved about dinner
and when Jaded June let a fart slip at the table,
all the masks came off.


A cloud of cow-pen daisies
rise in a wave, 
a few early blooms, 
yellow tipping the flocking green
surrounding a rusted iron kettle
filled with a debris of rock and wood -
April rises to its peak
before summer bears down
and the sun conquers all.


Route 9 from Harper’s Ferry 

On an April eve like this 
the road is made for driving, 
when a Shenandoah moon 
shines low on the horizon. 

A “welcome home” aroma 
greets me at a country fair;
funnel cakes, cotton candy,
honeysuckle sweetened air. 

While crickets chirp and chitter 
on discordant singing saws,
old bull frogs belch and bellow
deep mud puddle mating calls. 

Threads of silky mist are spun
like fine webs upon the fields;
the spindly, silent spider
lightning crawls across the clouds. 

On a country road like this 
evening's made for driving, 
as flowers fill the distance 
between leaving and arriving.


Some kids I played with, when they hid,
were never found again.

Our chairs would always disappear
until there were only two of us
fighting for one seat.

When we would run out of food to eat,
some would die of hunger
while others, they would choose instead
to choke on marbles.

The grown-ups always forbid
tag and all its relatives
in case one of us tripped.

Those who refused to jump rope
would later hang by one.
Thanks River and co for running this, I haven't written much in a long time (I doubt I wrote 30 poems in the previous two years) and it's good to get back in to it. Having a goal of writing 30 poems in 30 days makes it a lot less painful to write stuff I don't think is any good - and eventually you will find some gold.

Here's some poems I enjoyed - there are a bunch of others as well.

NAPM 13 Prompt: write a poem inspired by edges


Those who have the luxury
to claim they live on the edge
are still within the confines
of bourgeois fantasy:

try climbing down a cesspit
still in operation
without any equipment,

with your arms and legs
full of sores and bites,

to try and clean it out,
to buy something to eat
after an empty week. This stanza and the previous two are perfect - I really like beginning an idea with 'try'. That is something I think I will steal and use myself going forward. It's a good jumping off point for a poetic image as it puts you in the middle of the action - and here River follows it up beautifully with some dank imagery and feeling.

At that point, some would claim
they were not even living.


NAPM 9 Prompt: Gold.


Golden brown garlic butter crust
250 degrees out of the oven
But the tongue doesn't care.
The brain doesn't care this cost
A quarter of the days income.
That a doctor's visits overdue
Or that the engine light turned on.
The emotional rescue is cheaper
than therapy, and some people
can seriously mass produce it.


NAPM 6 Prompt: The euphoria of doing something for the first time.


From this moment on, this is the only thing I ever want to do.

It was lightening crackling through my brain, like chemicals prickling through my veins. It was the feeling of standing at the bow of a ship as it races full sail into the wind.

It was like finding a secret door that leads to a mysterious passage in a crumbling castle. It felt like a shadowy ancient forest full of trees that sometimes seem to have faces and sometimes don’t where everything smells of moss and petrichor and leaf-green sunlight flickers on the forest floor like candlelight. 

It was that feeling you get as a child where you suddenly know that you are a child and desperately wish to stop time and place in your pocket the ability to wonder at the magic of butterflies.

It was like staring at the full moon on a warm summer night and catching the scent of roses and lilac on the slightest breeze.

It was like walking barefoot along a familiar cool-earth path that ends at a friendly door where a wise old woman waits to send you on a magical adventure.

It was a portal, a door, an escape hatch. It was air.

I fell into a book when I was eight years old, 
and I’ve been chasing stories ever since.
"A hippopotamus is just a really cool opatamus."
I liked the Quix one above, particularly the last two lines.
Worthy of the spotlight.

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