Fin: I did it!


I did it!!! I’ll say it again – like most NaPoWriMo poets, my work schedule will get in the way, but boy am I super proud of myself. I did it!!!

I wish I could have produced two or three poetry blogs in April like I used to, but I’m looking forward to tackling prose in May for Story A Day.

These days, I feel like I’m nothing but running after my own writing. Just have to stay positive: Time management is key. Maraming salamat for reading!


Day 30: Sailors ate fellow mates

Day 30 prompt: Wierd facts
Resource: Jorge Luis Borges’ 1967-8 Norton Lectures On Poetry (And Everything Else Literary)

The HMS Terror endeavored
to power through a way
across the Northern Passage

but it was no match for ice
and storms, and the overwhelming
Yeti, commanded by a mute

Inuit, and lead poisoning by
unscrupulous tinning factories
just bent on stealing the last

pound. That’s why sailors ate
fellow mates, and lost themselves
trying to hunt. That’s why

maps are still blank
when it comes to the frigid north.
The Yeti just followed them around.

Day 29: In California delicatessen

Day 29 prompt: Plath Poetry Project
Resource: Plath Poetry Project calendar
Reference: “Little Fugue” by Sylvia Plath

Our yew hedges have turned
into six-foot nests
untrimmed for a decade,
housing starlings and robins.

They clump perched on a
dessicated pine tree in the afternoon,
invisible overnight,

Taking in every drop of warmth. At
night, they fly to California,
munching on pineapple upside-down

cake, fuel for the jetstream journey
they can’t seem to cease to make.

Day 28: The Ginger


Day 28 prompt: Prose poem

If fragrance can glow, the beehive ginger blossoms would bathe the floodplains of _____ and compete with the constellations for the best summer night show on the island. In town, there was only one way back home from adventures by the lava shore – a four-lane highway, encroached by a robust clump of ginger growing wild on the northbound side. One monsoon, the ginger soaked up rainwater collected by overwhelmed storm drains that amazed neighbors said their basements were dry after a decade of rain. Driving southbound on the highway, I roll down my windows and catch a whiff of the hypnotic honeyed aura. I swear I can see it glow like a thousand flitting fireflies. The ginger follows the concrete canal that hugs the highway for miles, disappears into an underground sewer and pops up again in a secret cenote, the summitt of a tiny, extinct volcano, in the middle of an opaque grove, the highway semi-trailer horns a gentle echo in the distance. Here, lampyrids separate ginger serum from dish soap, and grow into silkworms that die after laying their eggs for the spiders to eat. But from the highway, all you can tell from this secret world is the pungent frenzy of gingerhives buzzing, a chorus singing, “Night time, harvest time. Beehive ginger for the taking.”

Day 27: Temperance

Day 27 prompt: The Tarot
Reference: Temperance


Neither male or female,
neither giver nor taker.
Neither positive nor otherwise –

You are not ARE,
but you are changeable,
symbol of passages,

avenues, tunnels, bridges,
people just passing by,
a conduit, steadfast and

unyielding. Must be tiresome,
holding this chalice aloft
day in and out, a medium

ever-ready to receive, or store,
and offer to the next. Temperance
is your identity, and this is why

you are stoic, yielding, letting
others live and become who they
wish they could be. Often,

simply bearing witness
is just as difficult and frustrating
as the one involved in morphing.

Day 26: Molokai sweetbread

Day 26 prompt: The five senses

The retreat house
let us stay a while
after festivities had concluded
and nap for a moment
inside one of the bunkhouses.

I got to see the retreat house
alive with fellow campers
clamber up and down
iron staircases and yell
jokes at each other,

I remember boistrious laughing
in the parking lot while
unloading suitcases and ridiculous
amounts of clothing for a weekend
retreat right next to the Auau Channel

whose tides retreat to a mere three feet
a hundred yards from shore, and rise
seven feet in the afternoon, deep
enough for a speedboat to cross from the
retreat stage to Molokai Harbor,

where we waved friends away, on their
way home to Honolulu or Maui. The
roasted giant blue crab – the largest I’ve
ever seen almost 18 inches across! –
and the sweet Molokai bread baked
and bought from a literal hole in a wall
in someone’s backyard bakery garage,
still tangy and perfect on my tongue’s tip.