Your Eyes

It’s your eyes that I remember.
Thick lashes that curl toward heaven,
that kiss the delicate skin
of your cheeks—like a breeze—
when you blink. Your eyes that hold
sadness and light. Loneliness and
hope unconfined. Gaze into mine
and see the lifetimes forgotten, see
our souls swaying together on stage
to the low rumbling threads on the
string bass. Your eyes are a defiant
love poem; they wince at visions
of settling. One man cannot possess
them—they shift with the tides
of the sea, patterned to the moon
phase. Break these chains of idolized
attachment. Open your eyes. Illuminate
my deathlike night. I can never claim
ownership, only the desire to see
your eyes smile one last time.

—Nortina


Today is the last Wednesday in June, which means this Saturday I will begin my journey to completing my novella, Love Poetry, for Camp NaNoWriMo!

Every Wednesday, I’ve been posting a poem that will serve as an introduction to a new chapter. Seeing that we’ve come to the end of my planning sessions, this poem will open the final chapter of Love Poetry, in which Jessica and . . . well, I won’t ruin it for you, just know that it is quite different from how my A to Z Challenge ended in 2015.

If you haven’t noticed, every poem is written by a character in the story— Jessica, Whitmore, and Bruce, the three parts to our love triangle. Can you guess who the poet is for this one?

If you missed the previous poems, check them out below:

Chivalry is Dead

Your Love is Like Jazz

Procession

Stay tuned for a post explaining what will happen with the blog next month while I’m away camping. I promise you’ll be in for a treat!

Procession

Ashes to ashes,
dust to dust—flutter in the
wind blown by my lust.

—Nortina


Every Wednesday in June, I’ve been writing love poetry for my Camp NaNoWriMo novella, Love Poetry. Each poem will serve as an epigraph to the chapter it introduces.

If you read my 2015 A to Z Challenge, you already know what happens to Whitmore. However, looking back at those posts, I don’t think Jessica really had enough time to process the events before she was back with Bruce. Yoga may help relieve some tension, but let’s be serious, one session is not going to help you get over that kind of guilt that fast.

So I’ve added a new chapter in which Jessica goes to Whitmore’s funeral to try to deal with her grief over his death and her guilt for wanting to be with Bruce.

This poem was initially longer, much longer, but then I found myself trying to rhyme and stick to a meter, and it just got really cheesy reeeally fast. Then I realized the only part I felt strongly about was the repetition of ashes, dust, and lust. And wouldn’t you know, those stanzas were seventeen syllables! The perfect haiku!

So I cut everything else out, which was basically meaningless babble, and kept the lines that conveyed the most emotion with the strongest imagery.

Sometimes shorter is better.

So what do you think? Should I keep it like this, or do you want to see the longer, cornier (and still unfinished) version? Personally, I think it says all it needs to say in just three lines.

 

Rumbling Thunder

Love Haiku #9

Thunderclap wakes me
in bed, void of your body
heat. I remember

a time when your eyes
lit my room as lightning, your
love gushed like driving

rain. In the distant
shower outside my window,
I think of you. How

you smashed into me
like hurricane winds and kissed
me with tempest force.

You are my storm, Dear
Lust. When darkness descends, I
burn for your fire.

—Nortina

#ThrowbackThursday Poetry: Fog

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today, I’m revisiting this ghostly poem written for the ironically named “Write or Die Wednesday” challenge, originally posted on May 13, 2015. 

I’ve occasionally thought about collecting some of my favorite poems from this blog into a chapbook of poetry. If I decide to pursue that option, this would definitely be one of the poems chosen. So what do you think? I’d love to hear your feedback!  


Fog

I see ghosts in the fog—
pale-faced shadows floating
above the surface, drifting into
what was, what used to be.
One dives down to kiss me—
grazes his frozen lips against
my cheek. He moans; I remind
him of a love long forgotten—
his only memory: her curly,
chestnut hair, how it wrapped
around his fingers like tiny
serpents, his blood flow halted—
stiff as stone. He tries to lay
me down, reincarnate his
devotion between the cracks of
a wooden bench— his limbs
disintegrate the higher he hikes
my skirt until only water
droplets lick my exposed skin.
Another fires cotton bullets
toward my head; shouts,
Who is your master?
Where are your papers?
I hear the crash of braided raw
cowhide behind me—  the tip
of a feather quickly brushing
down my spine. The halo overhead
descends, tightens around my neck.
Dark outlines of limp bodies
dangle from willows.
I swing with them
behind the veil of weeping leaves
until the wind blows, the fog lifts, and
the spirits of my nightmare
wander into slumber
before the morning rooster crows.

—Nortina


I recently came across Write or Die Wednesday, which is a biweekly writing challenge that provides you with a prompt and lets you run with it. This week’s prompt was:

img_2184

Read other fog writings, and have a go at it yourself!

Your Love is Like Jazz

Your love is like jazz music,
like the sultry Eartha Kitt
fitted in leather cat suit,
stretched across the piano,
purring into the mic.

Peel back my dress like the
delicate skin of a grape,
off my shoulders, slipping
down my waist and over my
hips; reveal succulent flesh
underneath, supple, ready to
burst under your prodding.

My hips wind against you
like a ticking clock to the
rhythm of your tongue rolling
off the roof of your mouth,
so close behind my ear naked.
Oooh . . . don’t kiss me—
Yes . . . please kiss me—
My neck elongated,
graceful, like a gazelle;
your lips right there.

No—Yes. Make up my mind.
You over him. Whisper me
sweet wine to flood my
trepidation in red. Spontaneity
over consistency. A fluttered
heartbeat bounces to the
spinning trumpet, and
I wanna be evil with you,
I’m sick of being his angel,
I wanna be your devil—
Oooh . . . Bruce—let’s do it.

—Nortina 


So, I think Wednesdays in June will be dedicated to love poetry from Love Poetry, my Camp NaNoWriMo novella I’ll be writing next month! This poem introduces the chapter where Jessica and Bruce reeeally get to know each other… 😉

If you want to learn more about Love Poetry, check out my 2015 A to Z Challenge. Eventually I’ll have all these posts together in one location.

I Prefer My Body in the Morning

I prefer my body in the morning,
when there’s a faint taste of
last night’s dinner on my tongue,
when my stomach is leveled flat
like measured baking flour, and
growling from the calories
it burned in sleep.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when my thighs haven’t swollen
from too much salt, and my panties
glide over my hips like silk,
when the water that hugs my
waistline has receded, and the
stretch marks aren’t taut from
menstrual bloat or Mexican gas.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when I can turn to the side and
half see a figure in the full
length mirror, when I can breathe
in my gut and it not appear
too obvious, when I can squat
and a round buttocks starts to
take form, when I can tuck the
fat with the tails of my blouse
into my pants and not morph
into the shape of a pear.

I prefer my body in the morning,
when I can strut with confidence,
when men turn their heads, when
caking makeup becomes an
accessory instead of a mask,
when I’m three pounds lighter
than I will be after lunch,
before I skipped breakfast,
and binge ate dinner.

In the morning when I wake,
when I stare at my naked
reflection, cup my breasts
in my hands and push them up,
it feels almost enough—I feel
like I could be . . . enough—

—Nortina

Chivalry is Dead

Chivalry is dead.
Chivalry is an excuse
for men to treat women
as objects. And objects
are breakable— Like
this dish; like this
crystal Princess House
mug, and that one and
that one; like this
picture frame; like
this mahogany armchair,
an heirloom passed down
the generations, an
antique no more when
split in two. Objects
are replaceable. Swipe
a card and buy five
more. Women are fickle.
Men are here to stay.
Leave he won’t; give
up for another’s claim—
never. Inadequacy will
drive a nice guy bad.
And he’s sick of
running, wants to
finish this race on top.

—Nortina


I’m bringing back my 2015 A-Z Challenge novella this July! In my June Agenda post, I announced that I will be rewriting Love Poetry for Camp NaNoWriMo. Now it’s time to plan! I’ve sketched out a plot; some things are the same, but a lot has changed. I still plan on incorporating poetry in the novella, most likely in the form of an epigraph before each chapter.

This poem is a revision of my poem, “Last in the Race,” posted for N is for Nice Guys. In this particular chapter, Whitmore throws a hissy fit in Jessica’s apartment when he suspects her of cheating. A bit different from what I wrote in the A to Z Challenge, but a scene I have explored in the past. So are you ready for Camp NaNoWriMo? I know I am! Looking forward to finally finishing this story. 🙂

English #frapalywo: Warrior’s Return

Love Haiku #8

I hear crickets chirp
in the fields as the door creaks
open, and the wind

blows your mint cologne
to my bed. Your boots tread the
carpet—home from war.

—Nortina


Written for English #frapalywo. #Frapalywo is a German poetry challenge for Mrs. Paulchen’s poetry week. All this week, we are writing poems about our theme, noise. Today we end the week with one last prompt: “in the night.”

English #frapalymo: Fire of Love

Crack. Pop. Snap. Pop. Crack.
Your lips melt in my mouth
like marshmallows, gooey,
cloying on my tongue. The
fallen tree becomes our bed
before the fire, a soundtrack
to our exploration of one
another. Crack. Your hand
under my skirt. Pop. Kiss
on my neck. Snap. My fingers
through your hair. Pop. Shirt
tossed to the flames. Crack.
Your bare chest press hard
against mine. Snap. Goes
my bra  strap. Together we
make delicious s’mores.

—Nortina


Written for English #frapalywo. #Frapalywo is a German poetry challenge for Mrs. Paulchen’s poetry week. All this week, we are writing poems about our theme, noise. Today’s prompt is “at the campfire.”

English #frapalywo: Rock. Steady. Love.

Love Tanka #9

He took me to sea
to meet his first love. The salt
in the air, I ask.
No. Kiss of mist on my cheek
in ocean breeze—No. Gleaming

reflection of sun
on rippling waves’ surface—No.
Shhh, he whispers, his
breath a spritz of water—
refreshing. His hands on my

waist, gently rock me,
steady. Listen, soft lips pinch
my earlobe, voice calls
my name in the wind. Nothing.
No – thing. You, my love.

—Nortina


Written for English #frapalywo. #Frapalywo is a German poetry challenge for Mrs. Paulchen’s poetry week. All this week, we are writing poems about our theme, noise. Today’s prompt is “at sea.”