GloPoWriMo – Song 11

Anchor Rain

Was a time when Nirn rain fell,
sweet, soft, and bringing life.
Now it’s always anchor rain,
dark with death and decay.

I stand at cliff’s edge,
above the anchor chains,
below the chants and moans
as worm cultists sway.

We sign one contract
for the Fighters’ Guild.
Destroy every anchor
Meridia’s order: Make Molag Bal pay

When comrades arrive
we descend, armed with staff and blade.
Fight magic with magic
And at each curse, we pray.

The Harvester of Souls shouts:
“The skins of those you love
will fly as my banners.”
But we keep our souls today.

We keep our souls
We fight another day
We hold our curses
Together we pray

When the anchor spins
And silence returns
Oh, may sweet Nirn rain
Next cloud the sun’s ray!

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo: Day 17


The Adventures of Gigi

Remember when Gigi
chased the bear?
Oh, yeah. Mom and
Dad were like
A deer? How nice.
Now go back to sleep.

–And we hid all night
in the tent
except for Cathy
who slept out
under the giant sequoia.

–But she was only like five!
–Yeah, but that was OK.
Gigi chased off the bear!

–And the next morning,
remember the claw marks,
all up and down the trunk?
Smelled like vanilla,
that amber pitch.

–Oh, yeah. But what about
the paw print–

–at the base of Cathy’s
sleeping bag!

–Good ole Gigi,
scaring the bear.
Remember the time
she dove into the
algae in the hot springs
that smelt like sulfur?

–Oh, yeah. Dad fished
her out with his canoe paddle.
–She looked like a drowned rat.
–Smelt so bad, too. Remember

the time she jumped off the cliff?
–Right into Dad’s arms.

But I was never worried,
not at the bear,
not at the hot springs,
not at the cliff,
and not because
Gigi was heroic,
but because Dad was there.

–Yeah. Back then,
the world was safe.

Daily Prompt: “Write a poem re-telling a family anecdote that has stuck with you over time,” from the Na/GloPoWriMo site.

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Septemus 33


Dear Sept,

What a week. I bought you a chemistry set. You’re so smart and curious. I honestly thought that it would be a good idea.


And it was, at first. You were taking measurements, mixing ingredients, writing down everything in your notebook.

I should have supervised you more carefully. I can’t believe I left you out there alone, with vials of acetone, benzene, and ethanol.

What was I thinking?


I smelled the smoke first, and when I got outside, you were calmly walking away from the fire. I panicked.


Once you were safe, your panic kicked in, and you ran screaming towards the street.

Hearing your screams forced me to focus. I grabbed the extinguisher from the porch and went at it.

“Wait on the sidewalk!” I yelled.

“Come with me, Pops!” you yelled back.

“I can’t! Just go!”


At last the fire was out.

We were both OK.


The house was OK, too, surprisingly.

The chemistry set was ruined. I’m not getting a new one.

You seemed OK. I was worried that the fire might trigger old traumas, but you calmed down pretty quickly. I was the one who was tense.

The next day, you played at the dollhouse, eyes closed and singing, like you do:

Star brother, brother-star.
Listen brother-star,
My house was on fire!


“Hear me brother-star,
I have a new house.”

“Is that a new song?” I asked you.

“No,” you replied. “It’s an old one. It’s Manny’s song. He had a fire, too, and he had to get a new house. Will we get a new house, Pops?”

“No,” I replied. “We’re staying here.”

“Good,” you said. “I like it here.”

Me, too.

I don’t know who Manny is, if he’s one of your imaginary friends or one of those that you somehow talk to when your eyes are closed.

Either way, his song brought you peace.

Sometimes I feel that we’ve got invisible helpers spread through the universe, bringing us strength when we need it–courage, comfort, resilience.

Maybe that’s who Panda, Rocket, and Manny are–some sort of connection to your first home, in a way I might never understand.


Keep being a mystery, son. You really are a star boy.


Your pops

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Author’s Note: Whose song is that? Why, it’s Manny’s, from Allysimbuilds’ Alienated!  You can hear him sing this song to Septemus in “Burn.” Thanks, Ally, for the song and for the singing!

Wonder 26



Minha mãe is a hero. I always knew it. Today, due to my idiocy, I put that knowledge to the test. It started with the best intentions: my club buddies were over, we were hungry after yoga practice, and I volunteered to scramble up some eggs for us.

Tia Berry said that morning that she heard snapping sounds coming from the stove when she was heating water for tea. We thought it was the kettle expanding.

But as I was cooking, there was a loud pop under the front burner, and then the stove burst into flame.

I grabbed the fire extinguisher before my mind even registered what was happening, and then next thing I knew, there was Mãe at my side, fighting the fire with me.


Mãe!” I yelled. “Go outside! Take Berry with you! Get safe!”

“We got this, Charlie,” she said.

Yuki ran in screaming. “I smelled smoke!”

“Get outside, Yuki!” I shouted. “Take my tia with you!”


Time did that weird thing where it stops and silence wraps itself around everything. I loved it. I hated the fire, and I felt like such an idiot for having started it, but I loved that silent envelope. I felt like I was moving through clarity–not a thought, just total awareness, like I could step through the frozen moment.


“You’re awesome, Mãe,” I said when the fire was finally out.

“We did it, spud,” she said. “Not bad.”


She got that wistful look she gets when she watches me.

“I ever tell you about the first fire I fought?”

She hadn’t.

“It was my second trimester,” she said. “I was hungry all the time. And sick all the time, but you don’t want to hear about that.”

She told me about how the stove had burst into flames when she was scrambling up some eggs for breakfast. She’d put out the fire then, too.

“I liked it,” she said, “if you want to know the truth. I liked the power of quenching the flames. I liked knowing I could keep you safe.”

“That’s how I feel now,” I said. “I’d do anything, Mãe.”

“Me, too,” she said.


The kitchen was a mess–flakes of ash everywhere, the stove emitting the stench of burnt plastic and electrical wires.

I cleaned it up. If I really would do anything, then that means doing the gross work, too. Heck, minha mãe had just put out a kitchen fire. She shouldn’t have to clean up the kitchen, too.


I realized I was starving once the biggest part of the mess was cleaned up. We had to wait for the new stove to be delivered, and, besides, I really didn’t feel like cooking with heat. I made a salad.


Later, after Hugo and Yuki left, when Mãe and Tia Berry were sleeping, I did some reps out back. It’s a weird feeling I had. Can a person feel both tender and strong?

I felt vulnerable because I realized how quickly anything could go wrong. I felt like a baby because minha mãe had rushed to save me. I realized she’d always do that–as long as she lived. No matter how big, how strong I am, I’ll always be o bebê da minha mãe.

At the same time, I felt powerful. I’d protected her. I’d protected our house. I’d found this strength and courage inside of me. I’d stepped into that mighty tunnel of silence, and I’d found something in me I never knew I had.

I don’t know how this works: How does it work that I can be both a baby and a man at the same time?


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