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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/2081410
by Rhyssa
Rated: 18+ · Book · Contest Entry · #2081410
my entries for the Construct Cup
It's that time again. Time when I lose all sense of proportion and sanity and agree to write a poem a day following prompts exactly as given by our fearless leaders (aka Ren~She goes HO HO HO! and Fyn - . I may not survive. But I will do it anyway, mostly because I can't imagine anyone having this much agony fun without me.

Come join us! We have cookies. And possibly, straitjackets.

The Winter Construct Cup Again  (18+)
The Most GRUELING 30-Day Prompt Driven Poetry Contest on the site: hosted by Ren & Fyn!
#2065770 by Ren~She goes HO HO HO!
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December 8, 2018 at 11:26pm
December 8, 2018 at 11:26pm
they gave us five whole days
to say goodbye,
long hours standing
by his cradle,
long minutes trying
to find words.
sometimes there are no words.
we spent eternities
singing lullabies to ears
that should have heard us.
less than a week
should not last
eons—it should be
so much more than the instants we had.
and when it was finished
and the measured beat of his heart
stilled, that moment
had the potential of a lifetime.
six years later,
I’ve lost the shape of his face,
and I never knew
the sound of his voice
or the music of his laugh—
but within me, the time
we had together
will linger, forever.

line count: 26

Prompt 16
December 8, 2018 at 12:11am
December 8, 2018 at 12:11am
I wasn’t hungry
until the phone rang,
and the mean, smug voice
at the end of the line
told me she was
at the patisserie, smelling them,
buying one, putting one
into her mouth,
and my mouth watered with
anticipation, and I wanted one

but England is so far away,
and in the Southern United States,
other foods rule (although
I’ve never really understood
the appeal of slime
well, frying saves anything),
and I sat back and wished
for a pocketful of heaven
to warm my hands,
to feed me—

but I could just
listen to her chewing
at the other end of the line
and dream.

line count: 25

Prompt 15
December 6, 2018 at 11:57pm
December 6, 2018 at 11:57pm
she asked me:
what is love?
and I paused,
trying to describe

chocolate brown
hugs, and harmonic silvers
singing together,
and dragon green words
flowing together,
and sharing peals
of sunrise gold and pink

finally, I explained:
when it has just rained
over a desert
and breaking through clouds
comes our sun’s ginger yellow heat,
baking it dry again,
that’s when our world smells
blue like love:

it’s a blue of clear skies.
wedding breakfast blue.
a blue of babies,
freshly bathed and powdered.

line count: 24

hearing silver
feeling/tasting yellow
smelling blue

1. harmonic silvers
2. dragon green
3. sunrise gold and pink
4. ginger yellow
5. wedding breakfast blue

Prompt 14
December 6, 2018 at 12:19am
December 6, 2018 at 12:19am
I brought him home just yesterday—
and mayhem did ensue.
but he goes on the naughty list
for chewing on my shoe.

last night he left his cozy bed—
to curl himself in mine,
I woke to those colossal snores
and that endearing whine.

I left him be so I could shower—
he met me at the door,
with puppy great big eyes imploring me
to ignore the floor.

and so I pet his wagging tail
and carefully explained why
the flamingo plushy wasn’t his.
he listened with a sigh.

but that’s why his stocking’s full of coal
and why I’ve mismatched shoes,
and why pink feathers fill my house—
and why I need a snooze.

line count: 20

Prompt 13
December 5, 2018 at 12:46am
December 5, 2018 at 12:46am
ten months old.
she spent the season
exploring the house—
discovering paper and ribbons,
toys hidden in the corners
where Mama had stowed them
for Santa’s approval.
she could climb
and adored the new game
called unwrapping, tearing
with little fingers
and draping herself in
glittering remnants, while Mama
sighed and wrapped again,
trying to find some new
hiding place.

Christmas dawned. all
the packages gathered together
under the tree, but she
wailed, not exploring,
growing heavier and hotter.
the only package opened
was a plush ghost
with a musical center,
that she held, cuddling close
to Mama, fevered and miserable,
while Mama sighed, disappointed,
and saved the presents
for tomorrow, when she
was well again.

line count: 30

Prompt 12
December 3, 2018 at 11:45pm
December 3, 2018 at 11:45pm
winter landscape—
snow, icicles.
wind bites. cold chafes.
red cheeks, brittle lashes.

suddenly—miracle appears.
reindeer stomp, snort.
Yule log burns.
charcoal bags await
naughty children.
elves dream
impossible toys.

Father Christmas welcomes—
hot chocolate ambrosia,
iced cookies, milk,
random carrots.

everyone working.
pick up tools—
knit blond doll wig,
sew princess dress.
q-tip blue paint eyes.

peppermint cane guards.
cinnamon essence perfumes.
tinsel. fairy lights. bells.
singing, laughing, joy.

line count: 24

Prompt 11
December 2, 2018 at 9:40pm
December 2, 2018 at 9:40pm
I hear that the blizzard
will linger for days—
but we shouldn’t care—
we are on holiday!

we’re all done with shopping.
our cupboards are full.
we’ve plenty of water
and needles and wool.

our medicine’s stocked
and our blankets are many
and I’ve been to the library—
books, we have plenty.

I hear that they’re planning
to measure in feet,
but why should we care?
we both here, off the street.

we’ve plenty of wood
and the fire is bright—
even though the electric might
fail in the night.

the candles are stocked
and the matches are found
and our solar powered backup
is perfectly sound.

best of all, you’re here with me.
we’ll cuddle up tight—
our love will secure us
throughout this cold night.

we’re all ready now
and we’ve nowhere to go—
we’ll snuggle in close
though the blizzard may blow.

we won’t care a bit—
let it snow, let it snow.
what the heck, let it snow,
let it snow, let it snow.

line count: 36

Prompt 10
December 2, 2018 at 12:19am
December 2, 2018 at 12:19am
in the middle of the earth is a cave
where the world tree grows
the kallikantzaroi chop at it—
just why? nobody knows.
they try to make the world fall down
for mischief—I suppose.

but Christmas eve begins a siege
that lasts for twelve dark nights
when kallikantzaroi leave their sawing down
because there’s little light—
instead, they come to reign in mischief
with bumbling skill and might

they slip like shadows into towns
and cities found in Greece
those naked men with long dark tails
and blind eyes never cease
to creep into each happy home
just to disturb its peace.

where kitchens once were spick and span
they leave a royal mess,
they block up chimneys, sour milk,
and then they’ll reassess
to see what other awful things
would cause the max distress.

but grannies know the ways and means
to stop them, don’t you see?
a colander placed at the door
will keep a household free—
they’ll stop to count the holes, but never,
ever count to three.

a log to burn for twelve long nights
will stop those goblins, too.
they’re scared of the sun and holy water
and burning, stinky shoes,
and so, to keep them far away
is quite easy to do.

and when Epiphany dawns bright and clear
their siege at last is ended.
they slink back into the world tree’s cave
to find it whole. all mended.
and so they snarl and raise their saws
to chop it down again.

line count: 42

Prompt 9
December 1, 2018 at 12:44am
December 1, 2018 at 12:44am
I was sixteen when she was born,
a tiny thing, so easily cradled
in the crook of my elbow,
and I wanted to shield her,
to stand between her and hurt.
twenty-five years later . . .

I think of her voice—clear and pure,
and the way she moves effortlessly
from one melody to the next
as the phrase takes her,
and I laugh as the song
changes to where I cannot follow.

I think of color—
bright rainbows and wheels
and dark landscapes, fireworks
and flowers and shades and hues and
permutations of color
that my untrained eye can
only glimpse as she
points them out with artist’s fingers.

I think of eyes.
I see things differently
knowing that the words
that come so clearly to me
are reduced to colors and shapes—
words coming last to her,
and I long for her world
where other people's meaning
is shadowed.

I think of those hands,
that laugh,
the puzzled look she gives
as she tries to understand
a world that isn’t as honest
as she needs it to be—
and I want to shield her.
but I can’t.

she’s too tall to fit
in my shadow

line count: 40

Prompt 8
November 29, 2018 at 1:39pm
November 29, 2018 at 1:39pm
after the cradle
and the room
she’d decorated so hopefully
in yellows and whites
were reduced to boxes,

still, at odd times
something would jog her memory
making her eyes burn
her breath catch,
her arms ache with the weight
she would never hold—

the dance of light
over some random baby
laughing at the air,

the song of lullabies drifting near
as she walked past
the toy store,

the ornament marked
‘Baby’s First Christmas’—bought
in anticipation, before—
slipping from her fingers,
landing in shards on the floor,
blurring in the flood
from her heart, released again.

line count: 24

Prompt 7
November 28, 2018 at 2:31pm
November 28, 2018 at 2:31pm
white snow blankets all—
bare trees promise "life returns,
when we wake again."

Prompt 6
November 27, 2018 at 1:21pm
November 27, 2018 at 1:21pm
I’ll be home for Christmas
in my head these words
sing with train rhythms
as I sit and watch landscapes passing.

mountain passes climbing
through evergreens with first
hints of snow. I take pictures
through train windows and send to Mama
so she can wonder with me.

as we climb, snow grows thicker
until grass is covered—distantly
I see cattle, dark shapes placid,
munching, with bales upon bales
of hay piled nearby in preparation
for later storms.

two, four, six, eight inches
deep—tracks are paralleled by wire fences
to warn of avalanches, but surely
daily trains prove our safety.

through tunnels we climb
past all hope of cell phone connection
while rivers tumble by
far below—water shaping mountains.

finally we reach a tunnel
so long, so high that
at its end, snow falls—
a faint glitter kissing mountain air
I can barely see through train windows
as we head down, out of winter
towards Christmas and home.

line count: 30

Prompt 5
November 27, 2018 at 12:10am
November 27, 2018 at 12:10am
I came to life
in a twisting, writhing
coil, and I creaked
with pain as I fought
the hands
turning simple boughs
into beauty—
until I caught
a glimpse of me
in the window pane.

see me? I’m more
than evergreen—
I’m hidden berries
poking unexpected red
and the smell of pine
and oranges and cinnamon. I’m
a golden ribbon wrapped
and tied into a bow
that dwarfs your simple
doorknob. I am magnificent.

and as the snow
catches on my needles,
it gives me a coat of glitter
you are unworthy to come
home to.
but I’ll let you in
anyway, for the smile
you give as you pass.

line count: 28

November 25, 2018 at 7:11pm
November 25, 2018 at 7:11pm
some people string lights
until their houses glitter
red and green and blue
and purple and gold and white
and their lawns erupt with
blow up Santas and nativities
and animatronic reindeer crashing
into their roofs with a humorous
kick of their hooves, and lightshows
that blink in time with radio stations
and wreaths centered in every
window and door and I pass them
on the street and gasp and stare.
there is a house in town that I’ve
appointed unofficial winner,
whose house is as adorned as a parcel and
as shining as a gingerbread castle,
and everywhere I go, I find an excuse
to pass that house so I can awe,
before returning to my simple dwelling,
where two strings of icicles
welcome me from where they yawn
over the upstairs windows
giving my home a sleepy grandeur—
eyelashes drifting shut.

word count: 143

Prompt 3
November 24, 2018 at 11:46pm
November 24, 2018 at 11:46pm
you lot are all total pumpkins!
Cousin Emily shouted,
and we looked around for signs
of orange shells
and general seediness, but all we saw
were familiar faces—Uncle Andrew
expressing temper
until his ears turned tomato red,
and Great-aunt Janaleigh
smiling sweeter than maple syrup
while thinking of something truly
dreadful to say,
and little Nikki swiping her finger
clean, and so we nodded,
agreeing, agreeable—
which is why Emily started throwing
things, we decided later
as we toweled the leftovers away.

line count: 18

Prompt 2
November 24, 2018 at 12:13am
November 24, 2018 at 12:13am
at half past dawn,
in the company of three thousand
five hundred seventy-two
strangers, I formed a line.

it clumped and milled
and stomped its feet
like a herd of cattle,
spooked. ready to stampede
at the first sign of movement
from the gate
guarding glass doors.

our breath
curled patterns in the air
our noses dripped.
do you know how long it takes
earwax to freeze?
we do.

line time lasts eternities.
I personally witnessed
three marriage proposals,
a divorce, and the birth
of a litter of Chihuahuas
from the purse of a
surprised woman, before
dawn broke,
and in its light
we saw the metal rise.

and we ran inside—a mad dash
three thousand five hundred
seventy-three strangers strong—
our line breaking into
individual spenders.
and I felt its absence
like an empty hand
or a hunger . . .

or a rush of melting earwax,
so wrong.
so terribly wrong.

line count: 38

February 28, 2018 at 9:53pm
February 28, 2018 at 9:53pm
I dream of them, sometimes,
when I’m sitting at my laptop
waiting for the next prompt to drop
like an anvil on my head.

in the vision, their heads are together,
across miles and computer wires,
and they’re rubbing their hands
together as they think up—
a witch’s brew of torture.

let’s start with form,
Ren says,

Fyn nods. additionally, let’s include three
obscure required words, preferably archaic
and complicated enough that spell check
will think we’re lying. furthermore, let us
forbid all articles and pronouns, as well
as all prepositions with less than four letters.

it is at this point,
as they cackle with delight
at the thought of the hoops
the next prompt will
guide us through,
that I wake with
a cackle on my lips.

once, Fyn revealed the final prompt,
sixty forbidden words long,
followed by the real prompt,
not nearly as cruel—
but interesting, always interesting.
once, I learned Ren sees and hears all.
she took something that I said
and turned it into the prompt:
poetic particles of dust.

I loved writing that poem.
I love the obscure forms and words
(even the ones that mean my rhythm
falters) the cup requires.
I love to twist my words
into a lacework, surrounding
the words I cannot use.

and that’s why,
even when the cup feels
more than my tired mind can bear,
I am here, first,
waiting, my fingers poised
for Ren and Fyn to brew their worst—

I take it into me, and stir up something
in my own cauldron,
that amazes me.

line count: 53

February 27, 2018 at 10:33pm
February 27, 2018 at 10:33pm
at the end of things,
I remember.

to throw a pot well,
requires a thousand hours
of throwing poor pots,
each time the clay becomes
more obedient to the potter’s will,
more willing to be shaped,
because the potter’s hands
grow stronger, surer—
and so it is in everything.

words are my clay,
my canvas, my yarn—
and to turn them into dream,
I must work with them,
constantly. consistently.

as I end a challenge to write poetry every day,
following the prompts with exactness—
I remember why I promised myself
to write every day,
polishing, honing, becoming
better with every word.

line count: 22

February 26, 2018 at 10:34pm
February 26, 2018 at 10:34pm
the Olympic road starts months
in advance, as throughout the world
knitters hold their breath, waiting for the
pattern’s drop. and deep within cottages and
condos—amid cats and spinning wheels,
the knitters are off,
women and men choosing their tools
with precision—double points or circulars,
acrylics or wools or more exotic fibers—
needles and yarn in Olympic colors.

hats. knit perfectly, with photo proof—
that the pattern was followed, the brim
was ribbed, the top was decreased,
and that the hat
could be worn by an adult—
children’s hats need not apply.
the photos mark the finish line,
as one by one, in country after country,
knitters finish amid acclaim.
wait too long—and the road ends.

only one champion from each nation need
knit, the Olympic flame for their backdrop.

February 25, 2018 at 8:04pm
February 25, 2018 at 8:04pm
my daddy taught us rhythm
at the keyboard—
just two fingers, he said.
one on each hand,
and count

one, two, three, four, five, change.
one two three, four five change,
one two three, four five change,
one-hold, two three


then the chorus:
one hold-two, three hold-four, five hold-six,
one two three four hold-five
one two three four hold-five,
and done.

in the bass, he rounded out
the melody—ohm, pah, pah,
ohm, pah, pah,
and suddenly, we played music.
not just chopsticks.

we laughed, sitting on the bench
that my mama covered in
patchwork—lavender and blue
to protect it from scratches
and mud and grass stains
and the occasional dog slobber.

when we knew it, he taught us
the bass, and we’d play
ohm, pah, pah,
while he played chopsticks
like we hadn’t heard it before—

one-y, two-y, three-y, four, five, six—

and we stopped playing to see
what he was doing, but he said,
just play, and we did,
and suddenly, we were playing
something new.
and then he changed again.
we knew better to stop this time,
as he played chopsticks

one, two, three, four, down, six.

and then we switched, so that we could learn.
my sister learned best.

she plays chopsticks two handed,
her left hand on the bass,
while her right hand to play the melody.
and her children look on and ask,
show me how, and they play chopsticks,
two fingered and laughing,
theme and variations.

line count: 50


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