GloPoWriMo – Day 1

Screenshot of my Simself at the computer


workers, from home, from the corner of the street, from the parking lot, where the families drive in their procession of cars to pick up laptops and free meals

Stay in the car.

The essential worker leans toward the window, in her mask, with her latex gloves, and hands the mother the laptop. the printed work books. the meals

in plastic bags.

The essential code flies from my fingers and points the way to the school with the social distance lines where 10,000 families get two free meals

a day

and 10,000 loaner laptops find their ways to students.

Fifty-four essential emails chime, and the zoom meeting starts, and my mic is essentially


and I find my way back into the code where a href directs 49,000 families to the note that tells them school is closed and what will we do now


Everything takes five times as long as it did before

But when the email chimes stop, and the code flows, around me stretches
the softest bubble that holds within it me and my Jim and our tiny room with our two laptops and two devices and two computers and Dvorak playing in the other room and the only person I will see today is the bright-eyed boy I met 40 years ago, when we were both young, and the planet still had time to stop

in essence

every crisis, even this one.

Daily Prompt:write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Author’s note: It’s GloPoWriMo, a poem a day to celebrate April during National Poetry Month. I am overworked, and, likely, will continue to be throughout the month. Global crises seem to result in extremes: some of us are underworked, and some are overworked. I could be tempted to abandon GloPoWriMo this year. I have too much to do. But this is the time for poetry. Our minds, our souls, our empathy, our love, our daily breath demands and depends on poetry. If I can’t write through a crisis, what good is writing?

If you want to participate this year, check out the Na/GloPoWriMo website to find (optional) daily prompts. Maybe writing poems will be your lifesaver during these days, too. Let me know in the comments below if you join in (with a link, please), so I can enjoy your poems.

Be well. Be gentle. Be resilient. Be kind, essentially.

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NaPoWriMo 2020

GloPoWriMo – Song 30

Sister Moons
















Daily Prompt: “try your hand at a minimalist poem,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Poet’s note: This poem fits as a piece of A Psijic’s Measure, and, most likely, doesn’t make the type of sense I intended unless one reads it within the context of that collaborative novel. But I’ve had fun thinking about what kind of meaning it might carry (if any) for a reader unfamiliar with its source work.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 29

Silent After Battle

After the battle —

— the ringing still in the ears, from mace against shield, steel on voidsteel, drop your rubedite blade, ruby in the grass, the crack of bone — “I need healing!” — the ache in the thighs, miles run, still, to the last fallen, race, over bodies, are they bodies, or corpses? My powers to raise the fallen don’t extend to the dead.

in the cool night stillness —

— your pulse still hot, your face, fevered, here, drink this, rest, hold this, it’s nirn root, on your forehead, rest — “Heal me.” — quiet, the pulse still races, lay back, be still, the blood still flows, drink this, shhhh.

under silver from twin moons, who have witnessed all, battle, and aftermath —

we all need healing

even the healer.

Daily Prompt: “produce a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully,,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 28

For the Story Walker

I met an old spinner
‘neath the shade of the graht oak.
On the path, I was a beginner
when to me, these words she spoke:

Simply follow the story,
hold your ear to the song.
You’ll find no richer quarry,
and you’ll never stray wrong.

Wend your trek through the night,
sing your legend all the day.
You’ll discover dark is light
in the twists along the way.

The gold is in the telling
weave through peace, wind through war.
In the tale, we will be dwelling–
Story walkers live for lore.

Daily Prompt: “try your hand at a meta-poem of your own,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Poet’s Note: I have a guild on ESO called StoryWalkers, designed for those of us who love the lore! (We even have a library at our guildhouse where our collection of Shalidor’s volumes are nearly complete!) Our motto is “Read fast, play slow.”

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 26

ShareAlike License: This image is licensed under the ​Creative Commons by-sa license. It can be found on the UESP website, ​”Darien Gautier”.

Gold Crush, In Denial

Dare I e’en–

Your eyes. Why do
your eyes have to be
so stupid when you
gaze into my innerspace?

Got ye, eh?

Your arms. Why do
your stupid biceps have
to be wider even
than my waist?

Dare I e’en–

Your mouth. Why do
you keep your stupid
mouth open, so I
see your moist inner lips?

Got ye, eh?

Your shoulders. Why
are your stupid
shoulders strong enough
to carry continents?

Dare I e’en–

Your shield. Why do
you have to hold up
your stupid golden shield,
for me to stand behind?

Got ye, eh?

Your service. Why did
she, the Lady of Infinite
Energies, choose stupid you,
to be the one to serve her?

Dare I e’en?

Eyes, mouth, shield
arms, shoulders, service

Dare I even admit
for a stupid second

that I love stupid you?

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that uses repetition,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWri – Song 25

Summer in Coldharbour

Summer in Coldharbour
never comes.
What black daedroth
devoured the sun?

The ammonia stench
–soulless husks
in azure plasm–
no water, no pure

blue, but the blue
of freezing of
death of
devouring the sun.

Sharp bite
of voidstone ingots,
bitter on the air,
each breath stings.

More than clanking
chains of fetters
and anchors–
the silence

that settles
like frost
in your bones.
Coldharbour, alone.

Don’t look for
summer in
Don’t expect

the flash,
the brilliance
the spark
of Darien’s sword

Don’t expect it
but you will find
it. The shield that
brings Meridia’s sun.

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ ‘where are the songs of spring?’)”

–from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 24

Reference: Soul-Trapping I

For the Archmagus Elomion
it was a simple question:

If our consciousness
remains bound
to our soul,
then how do we
want to spend

For Molag Bal, it is a
question of economics:

Pragmatically, if the
souls of legions of
useless mortals
can be put to use
fueling anchors
and other forms
of machinery of torment,
then what better
use for them?

But for Meridia–
and thus for me–
the soul belongs
to the one
to whom it belongs
and, thus,
belongs to

Have I cast free
millions of souls
bound in dense
Oblivion’s factories
merely to fill
again my satchel
of empty soul gems
at the end of each

Or will I,
like the Archmage,
defend to the last
the soul’s right
to be free?

tell me.

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that… is inspired by a reference book,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Poet’s note: ESO is chock-full of books! One of the in-game goals is to locate all of the volumes in Shalidor’s Library. This poem was inspired by one of the reference books in that library, Soul-Trapping I: An Introduction, by Warlock Elinyon (this is the last book I need to find in the Dungeon Lore set! I know where it is [Selene’s Web], just need to get there to pick it up!).

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 23

Frogs, Fetlocks, Forelocks

Black frog,
like a tongue,
where each
step kisses
the earth

My weight
against her
withers, she
lifts her hoof,
so trusting,
to lay in hand
her foot.

My fingers
trace the black
frog, the gentle
spot, a heart
in a hoof.

My new pony
knows no fear
of me–

my fingers
twist in

She has not
seen me in
battle, nor yet
in the hunt–

her muzzle
in my hair
and the
sweet breath

of burdock
and nirn root

of warm earth.

I leave her
by the camp site
when I
head to
battle, to

My new pony
trusts me.

I want to
keep it that way.

Daily Prompt: “write a poem about an animal,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 21

Portal Dreams

through the portal–white-flat-white
to a world with no sky, no water, only
flat cold and stone, everywhere, stone
with the gaping maw, the hunger, the
stark loneliness of terror–that gape
in the gut, that hole that pulls down
into the abyss of the world where no
one no no the hole it gapes and then
the portal the light the bright the
pull the pull the whole brightness
of the sun and everything is golden
and sunflowers sparkle into the pull
of another portal where the sky is
covered in gears and the inside of the
clock is outside and the insistent
tick of time remember this is not
timelessness this is


this is not a dream. A dream is
a quiet home in the roots of a
graht oak with a fire in the pit
and a hammock near the window

this is not a dream–

it is a hero’s life.

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that… incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic ,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

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NaPoWriMo 2019

GloPoWriMo – Song 20

As Heard in Mournhold

“Is it true you slew the Daggerfall Army at Davon’s Watch?”

I try to walk unseen
the crowded street
the path, the shadows.

“I’ve got my eye on you.”

The guard, always,
trained to spot
the vagabond likes of me.

“Take pride in your work, I always say.”

I do, but it’s not
something I can talk
about, not with you.

“This is taking longer than I planned.”

It always does, whether,
like you, you sweep the steps,
or like me, travel the depths.

“I wish I was off adventuring.”

I wish I was home,
had a home, had a task
that kept me home, like you.

“Did you get it? Did your invitation arrive?”
“Rub it in, why don’t you? I’ve been rejected by Shad Astula, again.”
“Oh, I’m sure it’s just a clerical error.”

The voices of friends,
to meet complaint
with cheer, with hope.

“I’m in the middle of something.”

What was I thinking?
Oh, yes, friends.
To meet complaint with hope.

“Come! Do your trading here!”

I would trade my solitary
way for walking my path
with another.

“I’ve got what you need!”

Would you leave your stall,
pack your wares,
travel with me?

“No cost to have a look!”

No cost, but to step
out of shadows, to
meet another’s eyes.

“There are no rules here, but I’ll tell you if you break one.”

Daily Prompt: “write a poem that ‘talks.’ What does that mean? …it’s largely based in spoken language, interspersed with the speaker/narrator’s own responses and thoughts,” from Na/GloPoWriMo.

Poet’s notes: The quoted lines come directly from overheard statements and conversations from NPCs in Mournhold. ESO has great NPCs!

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NaPoWriMo 2019