Thursday, April 30, 2015

Hardest to Write

Dear Reader,

It is done. #NaPoWriMo 2015 is in the books, and I have successfully followed every prompt, and I have managed to write 30 poems in 30 days. Wow! I have mixed feelings about this. Part of me is happy that it is done, part of me is really going to miss it. I could not have got to this point without my wife Dianne. She encourages me and proof reads my stuff before I publish it. Thank you, my dear. I love you. And to Lizzi, Jesi and Cindy....another whirlwind month of craziness, tears, hugs and (allegedly) pictures (AHEM LIZZI!!!). Thank you 3 musketeers so much. And finally dear reader, thank you. Thank you for bearing with me, and thank you for all the feedback on my work. Let's do it again in October.

Today's prompt was to write a poem from the bottom up. So, we had to write the last line first and work our way up to the first line. This is harder than it sounds. But I did it. And trust me dear reader, this poem, out of all 30, was the hardest to write. 

Rod E. Kok
April 30, 2015

This month of poetry
has been
a lot of work, but
as my thoughts flowed,
my pen recorded
this magical time as
memories were born.

I’m glad I was able
to take part,
for it truly is
is an experience
I will never forget

I am overwhelmed
with emotion
now that my mind is
telling me
this journey is
about to end.

My heart is heavy
and my eyes
are filled with tears,
for the last one
is the hardest to write.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Inside My Heart

Good morning dear reader. Today is the penultimate day of #NaPoWriMo2015. The prompt today is something that at first seemed odd, and awkward to write about but as I thought about it, it came to me that this is exactly what I wanted. The prompt gives me the opportunity to write about a subject (or subjects, as you will soon see) that is very dear to me. Mention has been made in previous introductions this month of the 3 poets I hang out with on Twitter. We are a tight knit group. But, I won’t say any more about them. Read my poem. The prompt was to write ‘a review’ of something, or someone. Think along the lines of a book review. I took this prompt in the only direction I could. I chose to write an Acrostic, and finished it up with a quatrain. Lizzi, Jesi and Cindy, this poem is for you. I value you all so much. Thank you for the love and support. Always together, yet always apart.

Rod E. Kok
April 29, 2015

Four of us, drawn together by words
Our passions, our talents, on display for all
Ultimately we write alone, yet we bleed for each other
Responding in kind, we share a love for this craft.

Many tears get shed
Under the weight of emotion
Searching for interpretation
Keeping close to our prompts
Eager to pen our best yet
Thoughts of inadequacy fill us all
Even though our works are brilliant
Each of us has doubt,
Reason goes out the window in a moment of quiet
Searching continues for inner peace.

Lightning in a bottle, vibrant and alive
Inspiring, for her talent is overwhelming.
Zero days off, her work always amazing.
Zany at times, she always makes me smile.
I believe that there is no us without you.

Jam and crumpets, tea and sugar
Everything about you is amazing and fun
Seriously talented, you carry us all to new heights.
Igniting passion to all who read your work, you inspire me.

Color of spring, greens and reds is how I see you
Insecure at times, yet so full of intensely profound words
Nuances of seriousness, playful and jovial is who you are.
Deserving of everyone’s love. ‘Nuff said.
Yes, an integral part of our little group.

Regales us with words of love, passion, desire
Overtly displays his feelings, yet lacks confidence
Depicts himself as the old man in our circle.

No more words need to be said
My tribute is done, my pen it has bled.
Always together yet always apart
Forever remaining inside of my heart.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Bridge

Good afternoon, dear reader. Today our prompt was to write about a bridge. Initially I wasn't sure where I wanted to go with it, although I knew I wanted to cross a bridge. Finally I decided to write an Etheree, which is a poem that has 10 lines, with the syllables being 1, 2...all the way to 10. I hope you enjoy to poem, and I really hope I counted my syllables correctly.

Rod E. Kok
April 28, 2015

prevent me
from being whole.
Yet the love you give
is the one bridge I seek
to carry me across this
gloomy morass which threatens me.
Your hand guides me to the only place
where love and passion exist without fail.

Monday, April 27, 2015

My Day

Good morning dear reader. 4 days...yes, there is only 4 days left in #NaPoWriMo. I am sure that some of my Facebook friends are looking forward to that, for now they won’t have to see my timeline filled with links to my poetry.
Today’s prompt is to write a hay(na)ku). Created by the poet Eileen Tabios, the hay(na)ku is a variant on the haiku. A hay(na)ku consists of a three-line stanza, where the first line has one word, the second line has two words, and the third line has three words. You can write just one, or chain several together into a longer poem. I chose my subject to loosely reflect what my today is like.
Please enjoy.

Rod E. Kok
April 27, 2015

Coffee -
morning dose
of caffeinated goodness.

Working -
planning ahead,
playing with budgets.

Relaxing -
quality time
with my family.

Sleeping -
preparing for
the next day.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Time to Die

Dear reader, today we are prompted to write a persona poem, or a poem that is written in the voice of another. We were not given a subject to write on, and this made the poem that much more difficult to write. Ultimately, I chose to write a free verse poem in two parts, based on two of my favorite historical figures. Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia have long held fascination for me, and I have spent a lot of time reading about them. The words I write are pure fiction. I hope you enjoy my interpretation of the prompt.

Rod E. Kok
April 26, 2015

My sleep is troubled,
vivid dreams of terror
keep me from resting.
I’ve many hours to reflect
on this frail existence
I now live.
Where did it all
go wrong?
I fear for my children,
dear Olga and Maria,
Tatiana and Anastasia.
What will become of you?
And Alexei. Oh my son,
I wish my kingdom
could be yours,
but alas, there is
no empire to give.
All I had is
I pray to my God
to protect my wife.
Dear Alix,
forgive my weakness.
I wish things could
be different.
I hear the boots of men
stomping in the hall,
demanding we come
with them, for safety.
I hear the sound
of gunfire,
bullets are tearing through
all that I love.
Farewell my family.
Goodbye, dear Russia.
Remember me fondly.
It is time to die.

Do I have regrets?
This life of luxury
is filled with
false illusions.
How can I be happy
in the midst of
My heart beats wildly
when I think of
how life will be
for my darling Alexei.
This family curse
haunts him, prevents him
from living.
Will there be release
for him, or will he
be cursed to live
in the grips of death?
And what will become
of my beautiful girls?
Will they be slaves
to royalty as I myself
am a slave?
And Tsar,
my husband.
Have we ever been
I hate this land
you rule,
it is as cold towards me
as your subjects are.
We now await
our fate,
what will happen to
We have fallen
from grace.
What lies ahead?
I hear the boots of men
stomping in the hall,
demanding we come
with them, for safety.
What are the guns for?
My Nicholas lies dead,
my children scream.
All I hold dear
is now gone.
It is time
to die.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Me in a Nutshell

Well, dear reader, we are approaching the end of #NaPoWriMo2015. After today, we only have 5 more poems to write. Today we were prompted to write a clerihew. These are rhymed, humorous quatrains involving a specific person’s name. We could write about celebrities, famous people from history, even our mom. I chose to write about the most famous person that exists in the darkness of my mind...myself. I hope you enjoy it.

Rod E. Kok
April 25, 2015

Rod E. Kok
believes he is a top bloke
but the truth is misleading
more confidence he is needing.

Friday, April 24, 2015


Dear reader

The challenge today is to write a parody, or a satire of a favorite (or not so favorite) poem. I have chosen the poem The Red Wheelbarrow by William Carlos Williams (1883 - 1963). If you’re wondering about the title, the poet originally published the piece without a title and was designated as "XXII" as the twenty-second work in his 1923 book ‘Spring and All’. I first heard this poem when my youngest brother took a poetry course in University and came home having learned this piece. It struck me today that I should write about it. I don't know if I wrote a parody or not, but I wrote my answer to it. First is the original, and following that is my reply. Please enjoy...or at the very least, smile at the absurdity of it all.

Rod E. Kok
April 24, 2015

so much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

I struggle immensely
with the idea
of placing my trust
in garden implements,
although the rain
helps things grow.
Chickens, however...
now there's a food
I can feast on.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

3 of Hearts

Dear Reader,

Our prompt today was to draw a playing card from a deck, write about that card for 5 minutes and then create a poem out of what we have written. I chose a slightly different path to the same end. I did not ‘draw’ a card, but rather I chose to use the 3 of hearts. This card symbolizes for me the 3 poets who have been my constants during this time of #NaPoWriMo. The four of us share our work, encourage each other, lift each other up, and share our thoughts on the works we have produced. #NaPoWriMo is a challenging month. It is hard to come up with fresh pieces every day. For myself, if it wasn’t for the feedback and encouragement from Jesi, Lizzi and Cindy, I may not be where I am today. Therefore, my 23rd poem of the month is dedicated to the 3 of hearts. Cindy, Lizzi and Jesi...this one is for you.

I chose to write in the form of an Ottava Rima. An Ottava Rima is a poem written in 8-line octives. Each line is of a 10 or 11 syllable count in the following rhyme:
one octive poem. abababcc
two octive poem. abababcc, dededeff

I hope you enjoy today’s effort.

Rod E. Kok
April 23, 2015

We all are poets, we write from the heart.
We bleed passion as we pen our words in blood.
Tear stained paper carries those thoughts we impart,
emotion pours out in a torrential flood.
From the depths of our souls, our course we will chart
we journey on paths of dry land and mud.
We challenge each other, we write every day,
and via our words, great friends we will stay.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nature Sleeps

Good morning, dear reader. Today for #NaPoWriMo, we were asked to write a Pastoral poem. This form, or genre, is a poem about nature. Traditionally, they involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but mine is just a poem that engages with nature. I hope you enjoy this piece.

Rod E. Kok
April 22, 2015

The sun frowned
on the land I worked,
sleep was drawing nigh
for man and beast.
Even the earth
needs it’s rest, I suppose.

During darkened evenings
we take time to
look back on a day
well spent, toiling for
our daily bread.

In the blackest of night,
crops enjoy a cool change,
so different from
day’s blistering heat.

With little to none
of the moon’s light,
beasts of the land
also find respite,
sleeping peacefully
under a blanket
of stars.

I dreamed of my land,
a vision filled
with golden wheat,
gently swaying
in a light breeze.

It is at night
that I find peace,
my weary head rests
on my pillow.

All of nature
has gone to sleep,
but only for a time,
for soon the sun
will smile again.