2019 Poetry Marathon: My half-marathon recap

Another year’s half marathon come and gone. As I often point out, I prefer to do the half marathon because I like to sleep; consequently doing the full 24-hour marathon simply wouldn’t work for me, as it would take me at least a couple of days to get back to normal.

Making things easier this year was my recent acquisition of Scrivener. Thanks to the program’s separate panes, I was able to have the prompt always visible as I wrote:

 

Screenshot showing working layout in Scrivener, with area for notes on the right

 

As before, I worked with all the prompts for the sake of simplicity. That said, a couple of them still gave me trouble. For example, for the hour 5 prompt calling for a poem about a dream, nothing immediately came to mind, so I dug out a couple of my old journals that I knew included detailed descriptions of dreams I’d had. The problem was that the ones I still have dim memories of today turned out to be not that interesting. I finally just picked one and tried to reduce it to the barest details (taking a couple of liberties along the way). Similarly, none of the photos in the hour 4 prompt did much for me—and my first choice (the black-and-white photo of the woman next to the tipped-over stool) felt a little too obvious for me. And the song chosen for the hour 7 prompt was not at all my taste, so I had to take some time to find something I would find more inspiring.

In the end, most poems took me 30–45 minutes to write, lightly edit, and post. On the whole, I think they turned out all right. At least, I didn’t hate any of the poems I posted.

This time, I did get around to checking out the later prompts and using them to write additional poems. I posted only one of them (also written while listening to music), however.

Now to pick out the two poems to edit and submit for the anthology…

(23 June 2019)

Listening

Familiar voices lilt in the background weaving through  the gentle picking of sweet guitar
the harmonies simple,
the message tender
I don’t need to hear the words to get the message
we are all in this together
Family knows no bounds
Life is eternal and all that we give now can somehow matter
Love now
Live on…

I Survived!

You made it! After the first Marathon was completed I came up with the phrase “I survived The Poetry Marathon.” It seems a lot more accurate than the word winning or even the word completing.

Due to popular demand this year we made t-shirts with that saying on it, availble in three colors.

The t-shirt for the event is now available here. There are three different color options. Any money we make (which won’t be much) will go towards future marathons.

I also made two meme images, sharable versions of these are up on our facebook page.

Night Road

unaccustomed
in taking the road at night
journeyed along the starlit trail
a hill against the southern stars
he plodded along, in the
darkness and solitudes
the world belonged to him
the moon and stars
had wrought
a coat
there were great distances the highways promising
incense to his gods.
he knew no reason
his vague imaginings
he saw
the night
far
off the
night advanced.
so frequently
determined

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

Dear Me

dear me, the 7th grade loser–

you, with the short hair,
tomboy embodied

you, with the lazy eye,
the knock-kneed girl

you, with the bullied
quiet demeanor

you, with the anxiety,
the unpopular everything

you, who sits by herself,
hiding

you, whose moments
will shape her life

you, whose memories are lost
on long-forgotten dusty shelves

you, when home have moved
and life unbalanced

you, when the waters have calmed
from the turbulent storms

you, when her life has meaning,
can look back with
a sigh
a smile

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

Morning Coffee

“Damn,” she muttered,
pushing through the fog uncluttered.
holding her canteen full of coffee,
her bag loaded with toffee;
down the misty dock she went.
fast upon the hill she made her ascent,
up the path made of concrete,
what a momentous feat!
she arrived with a hush,
she wasn’t in a rush,
she paused–unlocked the door,
oh, her mornings, what a chore!
she looked to her right and on the fir shelf
sat a little toy elf.
a smile upon her face,
the day she’ll well embrace;
her first customer walks through,
that one last sip of her brew
she sets it down,
and sells a toy crown

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

Hill House

these dark halls
deep secrets and meandering spirits
years of misanthropic ghostly misfits
the house in restless humor recalls
frightful weather falls in rainfalls
the solemn spirits befits
the walls close up; this house commits
the broken down spirits, trapped and held, there is sits

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

Danny

Danny, by himself
in these winter months,
long carpeted hallways-
cycling past doors

Danny was not alone,
the woman in 217,
his mother, the twins
Hallorann’s shine reached out

… and they stayed with him forever

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

Heartsong

that deep sadness stays
those long nights we laid awake
our hearts, they feel the ache
that loss decays
our long lost moments, the faraway gaze
we hadn’t know what was at stake
one last long night before we wake
one last long night before our never-ending days

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)

the dark box, it holds me in
dirt on wooden lid
panic sets in– match burns out

© Nicole Harlow (grenbisous)