NaPoWriMo Day 1: An Instruction Manual to do…umm…’Nothing’

Its April and its NaPoWriMo time – 30 days, 30 poems. Its great to be back and to meet acquaintances made during the previous NaPoWriMo challenge and new ones too. Wishing all those who are taking part in the 30 day challenge, ‘All The Best!’

Today’s craft resource is to write poems that provide the reader with instructions on how to do something. It can be a sort of recipe, like O’Neil’s poem. Or you could try to play on the notorious unreliability of instructional manuals (if you’ve ever tried to put IKEA furniture together, you know what I mean). You could even write a dis-instruction poem, that tells the reader how not to do something. This well-known poem by John Ashbery may provide you with some additional inspiration.
My poem for the day:

I finally decided to share it-

To let you in

Post the never-ending glares

deepening frowns and eternal stares

From mom and dad

And as if that wasn’t bad

Grandma and grandpa too

And they asked, “How do you do what you do-

Sit all day long and do nothing?’

So here it is : this little secret of mine

8.00 a.m- still early

I lie down a bit

Candy canes, chocolate factories

Furry dogs, snow; Dong, Dong – it’s 9!


Beep! That’s a message

Fifty three on what’s app and nine on Twitter

Instagram has fifteen

And Facebook twenty!

Thumbs up, Hearts, Open mouths

Wait! Did they love my post?


Change it back to ‘like’ then

And reply with a humble thanks

Oh! Just a thanks won’t do

A hug, a kiss…how many has the sender put?

Seriously…with so much love

God must be His happiest self now

Yikes! Its 10 a.m.; some more beeps

But wait…what’s that on the ceiling?

Up, down, in, out- Wow! What intricate work!

How does it do what it does?’

Deftly it spins

The beauty! Painstakingly makes

‘Wonder Woman’ will be here soon

One stroke and it’ll be part of the rubble

Oh, The poor soul!

Dong, Dong, Dong- 11 already!

Have I told you the secret?

First, I need to send a message

Snap chat

Or I’ll miss my streaks

Woah! That was close-

Kites swooping

Big wings, strong, gliding

One flap, turn and now they soar

Hawked beak and that watchful eye-

A rat for brunch perhaps or is it a squirrel?

Knock, knock…Mom’s at the door

A frown, “What have you been doing? It’s 12!”

‘Nothing,’ I mutter, stumbling out of bed

“Doing Nothing? For so long?”

A frown, a glare

You’ll have to wait

For the secret-

The steps to the art

Of doing Nothing-

Or did you just learn it?

I dedicate this poem to my younger teen who has truly mastered this art.


Copyright© All Rights Reserved.


23 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 1: An Instruction Manual to do…umm…’Nothing’”

  1. Kurian Avatar

    Hello Smitha, Kurian here; did you send whatsapp number for the Intermittent Fasting Group? Please send to my number +919400056031 or mail:


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Will get in touch soon

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kurian Avatar

        Please do. We have some good articles shared in the group


  2. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    This is great fun Smitha, you’ve really captured the art of frittering time away 🙂


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Andrea…lol. I believe this is all my younger one could be doing cooped up all day in her room :). Because she simply says ‘nothing.’

      Liked by 1 person

  3. lifelessons Avatar

    Don’t you think every step in doing nothing is also a step in writing a poem?


    1. lifelessons Avatar

      I think the fact that there was nothing to do in my small town is what made me a close observer and therefore a writer.


      1. Smitha V Avatar

        Well, I love the way you write…so if that’s the secret to your writing, then I’m going to let it be. Thank you Judy for sharing this. Gives me a lot of relief.


    2. Smitha V Avatar

      I agree Judith. This poem was the product of the same’nothingness’ 🙂 Its so good to hear from you again.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Susanne - WY/USA Avatar

    Wow. Nicely done. But…doing ‘nothing’ is something!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Susanne😊. Well, my daughter would love your comment…something she’s been trying to make me understand😀


  5. memadtwo Avatar

    Doing nothing is indeed an art…adults are usually too busy for it! (K)


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Absolutely…though I do wish she wasn’t as good as she is at it😀. Thank you for reading the post and your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Moushmi Radhanpara Avatar

    Hahaha those people are masters indeed who master the art of art of not doing anything and yet keep themselves entertained. A good one Smitha.
    Also I am so excited abput this NapoWriMo.
    Ps: How have you been? Hope all’s well.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Oh yes they are Moushmi 🙂 Its good to reconnect and good to know you’re taking part too! April flies past thanks to NaPoWriMo and the amazing prompts.
      I’ve been good…How about you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Moushmi Radhanpara Avatar

        All good on this side too 🙂


  7. Preeti S. Manaktala Avatar

    such a light hearted poem Smitha. Welcome to NaPoWriMo 2019.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Preeti 🙂 Welcome to you too! Its good to reconnect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Preeti S. Manaktala Avatar

        Indeed Smitha. Feels good to be back. Thank you.


        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Yes it does:)


  8. Feelings and Freedom Avatar

    Ha ha! I loved this one 😂😂
    Starting the month with a poem that makes one laugh is a great way 😀


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Hey…its so good to hear from you…my first reader on NaPoWriMo. Hugs to you Vands

      Liked by 1 person

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