End of NaPoWriMo! What’s next?

April may have come and gone, but I’m having too much fun writing a poem a day to stop now! I’m going to move the festivities over to Tumblr, because as a blogging platform Tumblr is both more customizable and more fun. (Easy content-sharing with millions of bloggers at once? Yes please!)

You can check it out at http://caffeinatedandhopeful.tumblr.com. If you have a Tumblr, give me a follow! If not, consider bookmarking the page and checking in on me every once in a while.


Bury the Sun

You are the salt on the rim
of my first margarita, the burn
and the bite that follows the sweet
but I won’t be the one you call
in a whiskey daze when no one else
will take the bait in their pretty
crimson mouths. I want to be
your laughter at three o’clock,
head back, teeth showing,
can hardly see for the tears
and the me in your eyes.
I want to be the cup with breakfast
that sets your hands to shaking.
I am one of those girls who was
first to arrive at school dances
and last to leave, learned I look great
in mama-warned-you red.
Felt like a poppy flower,
get tilted on this nectar.
I make you mine in the glow
of a daydream, two happy
little hipsters causing mischief
at record stores, lining up
the first letter of each sleeve to read
“my love, the unriddleable.”
Every morning the ceiling
of my room is rose-tinted
and I throw an arm over my face
to save me from the dazzle, while you
bury the sun in your open mouth.
I stay in bed, refuse to quit dreaming;
in this time before waking
you are always how I want you,
rearranging records at a record store,
writing my name when no one
is looking, tenderly, on pricing signs –
buy one get one 3 Camerons off —
lips clamped shut over the light
between your teeth.

Prompt: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2015-april-pad-challenge-day-30
I did kind of a stream of consciousness for this one. Didn’t realize until the end that the poem had taken a complete turn in mood and message halfway through. Call it a two-for-one in honor of the last day of NaPoWriMo.

So Close (Nell Inspired-The Finale 4/30)

If I ask you
“What are you thinking?”
What would you say to me?

That night when you were near
I wanted to stay in that beautiful place with you
You brushed my arm so gingerly

And with my heartbeat pounding
The guitar muttering, the voices floating
In my eyes, you were special

If I ask you
“What are you thinking?”
What would you say to me?

The sun’s light was falling across you
In a colorless shirt, and your skin was glowing
Were we meant to meet?

And with my lips stuttering
The cars passing, the people ignoring us
In this moment, you are perfect.

This poem was inspired by Nell’s song “Island”, a romantic song with beautiful imagery. Overall this was a wonderful month, and I hope that those who were following this blog liked the little insights into my daily life experiences/moods this month. Thank you to Cameron for getting me involved, and to everyone who commented and/or liked my posts both here and on Facebook. Please enjoy this final poem and go listen to Nell’s song, they are such a talented group: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sM_RfoFBKPk

I Hate the Christian Music Station

I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I no longer
Care too much for the songs we sang,
(I don’t know when I stopped)
VBS was so very long ago and I was just a child

Who disillusioned me or was I?
Perhaps this mood is not natural for me,
But repetitive lyrics grate on my nerves
And I won’t hold hands or praise-and-worship

However, the sincere effort is somehow
Inspiring, compared to those frozen mouths
I guess, play your guitar, sir,
Maybe I’ll whisper the words which you cling to.

For 4/29, my thoughts on the sudden frustration I developed with the local CCM radio channel when I was about fifteen. I just stopped listening, and I still cringe sometimes (it is the last resort when no other channels are playing things worthy of listening to).

What Nobody Knows

I felt inspired to write a kick-butt, read-me-aloud-to-a-room-full-of-feminists kind of poem after watching a video of April Ranger performing “South America Addresses Her Latest Conquistador.” It was extremely cathartic.

What nobody knows about ants
is how hard they are to get rid of. Set out vinegar
and sugar water and they’re gone for a day,
but then you’re buttering your toast and you find one
clinging stubbornly to the end of your knife.
Not unlike some men that I’ve known.
Why do guys think that texting you every – single – day
for a month will change your mind?
You, sir, are drunk, and no, I don’t want
to watch Netflix, I know it’s not Netflix
you have on your mind. But they keep coming back.
Like rashes like bruises under my knees
like boomerang don’t you hear me saying no?
I don’t want your attention this is not
real affection — sir, this is disrespect.
But even now I’m still calling you sir.
What kind of a shell do I live in, when I feel
like I have no right to get angry?
I’ve been with men who sang
so many odes to the skin of my legs
I forgot I had a heart, too. Now listen up —
I am the queen of a tall and curly country
and you forgot to bow when you walked in here.
Go on, I’ll wait. And while you’re at it,
learn to compliment something other than my appearance.
I am a living constellation of lessons learned,
hope and all the things that make me laugh
until I cry, but you will never know me
if all you look at is what you can get from me.
What no woman’s body knows
is the dignity of never being degraded.

Empty Theater

All my longings lie open before you Lord;
My sighing is not hidden from you.
The secret pining of my heart
is not a secret to you.

The recesses of my heart
lie exposed before the Lord

In shame I cower because
I know my sinful thoughts,
my selfish motivations,

I do not want you to know me!
You cannot know me!
You cannot love me!

My worthiness is conditional on my performance.
Let me dance for you.
Let me demonstrate my acting skills.
I am a great pretender.

Yet, you step backstage with me.
You see all the preparation it took
to make myself look good.

You strip my costume closet bare
You burn up all my masks
Cast aside my makeup
overturn my vanity.

You flip the tables of the temple
I had built to honor me.

“What is this show you have made
to try to show me someone other than yourself?
Do you not like the way I made you?
I do.

Is my applause not enough for you?
Do you need more than an audience of one?
Who exactly are you trying to impress?

I know you.
You cannot impress me.
Nor do you have to.
Don’t you see how I have been smiling all this time?
Take off your layers of makeup,
Remove your mask
Look at my face and see it clearly!

Your charade has come between us!
You were so busy preparing for your performance
that you did not even notice that your theater was empty.

I know your longings
I have known them before you knew what it was to long.
And I have longed for you.
I have been waiting for you to come off the stage
patiently waiting backstage for you to stop performing.

Come back to where you belong
I made you for behind the scenes,
For where it is just you and me.
Where the spotlight does not burn your face,
Where you are not subject to judgmental gaze.

I want to know you.
I want to love you.
I can know you.
I can love you.
I do know you.
I do love you.

You don’t have to dance,
but if you do, I’ll dance with you.
You don’t have to act, there’s no one watching.
You were never that great at pretending anyway.”

The Call to Dirt Floors

Before me lie two open doors
one dirty and one tiled floor
I step close to peer inside
to see behind what each door lies

I tap the first and it swings open
revealing quite the scene
bleeding wounds and broken bones
the injured left unclean.

As I look she meets my gaze
her eyes are filled with pain
She holds him close, her little boy
whose body met a blade

I turn my head
I feel my eyes
are burning hot with tears
when I see him there, just sitting
he’s been immobilized by fear

The wounds of war have left him here
No family to claim
He’s watched his loved ones suffer
No one left who knows his name

He trembles as he reaches out
He knows not what Hope is
He holds my gaze with his tender face
as my hand touches his.

I see the scars,
I feel the pain
My heart has ripped in two
That they would see
true healing hands
there’s nothing I won’t do.

I hear the coughs,
the cries for help
and my tears begin to fall
I see my hands are well-equipped
I want to help them all.

I lift my hands
then lay them down
Watch the Great Physician heal
Be reminded God is faithful
No matter how I feel.

Offer physical solutions
and spiritual as well
to stand and fight the battle
right before the gates of Hell.

To know the God of healing
The God of mended hearts
offering completeness
despite lives that fall apart.

My feet were made for
dry, cracked ground
these hands were made to heal.
This voice was made for shouting
that God is alive and real!

My Father’s Eyes

Soft and hazy
lightly brown
I have my father’s eyes

Pain and shame,
depth of hurt
behind a kind disguise

Quick to judge
quick to glare
to see she as less than I

Glance of anger
shameful stare
I have my father’s eyes

Brooding gazes
I fall victim to the lies

Lofty glances
no second chances,
I have my father’s eyes.

To see the hurt
to feel their pain
to hear the silent cries

To care beyond
what I can see,
give me my Father’s eyes.

From lonely places,
to know what grace is
to believe in second tries.

To see the lost
to bring them home
give me my Father’s eyes.

Turn my gaze
from on myself
Watch as the old me dies

To see the world
love it like He,
give me my Father’s eyes.

Foam to Steel

The battle rages
hard and long
armored bodies
soldiers strong

He withdrawals his weapon
sweat on his brow
the warrior
is ready now

With confidence,
he makes his blow
pulls back his arm
with strength, it goes

The sword flies
with surprising ease
he straightens his arm
and locks his knees

The sword splits in two
as it meets its match
the soldier, with surprise,
does gasp.

He stares at the foam
lying there on the floor
He’s just a grown man playing
With a little boy’s sword.

Stop fighting with
what you knew before
It is not capable anymore!

You have entered
a battlefield that is real
Replace your foam
with a sword of steel.

When you were a child,
you fought like one
But now your boyish days
are done.

Set aside your childish ways
numbered are your days

Don’t waste your life
with playing knight,
pick up your sword and join the fight!

oh hallelujah

I passed through the fire
like gold was born again
I came out of the crucible
skin stripped raw
trusting as a newborn
no infection to haunt,
purified of all that made me afraid
to come before the holy one

I passed through the water
currents too strong to resist
I was sinking in grief
had drawn my final breath
but mercy saw fit
to reach down
and a way was opened
to the other shore

oh hallelujah, nothing
is more cleansing
than the fire of hardship,
the water that brings death
nothing is higher than the hand
that rescues and saves