NaPoWriMo 2023: Day 20 – What are these toys?

Today’s poetry resource is a little discussion about poetry in bookstores. There are plenty of bookstores around with good poetry sections (two of my favorites are Bridge Street Books in Washington, DC and Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, Maine). But did you know that there are also a handful of bookstores that only sell poetry? Check out Boston’s Grolier Poetry BookshopBerl’s Brooklyn Poetry Shop, and Seattle’s Open Books.

And now for our (optional) prompt, once more taken from our archives! Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.

'What is this? '
"Some sort of a toy it seems."
'And this?'
"A ball, me thinks."
'What is that putrid smell?'

"It's coming from there-is it a femur?
See, in that crater-"
'Oh, their legs were longer,
and their bodies, bigger
than ours.'

"And their heads were so small.
compared to ours.
They were pretty-looking.
Don't you agree?"
'Dumb and pretty, me thinks.

Or else they wouldn't end up, all dead! 
Must be that toy with a trigger and the ball there, made of lead.'
'Got too big for their boots, me thinks.
"Does seem like that. Let's go. This place stinks!"
'It's the fermented stench of selfishness and greed in the air.'

On miles and miles of scorched land
As far as the eyes could see-
lay bodies, mangled, and burnt!
Distorted and maimed.
And shards of metal glinting in the sun.

'Yup, let's go and document this down
So, we don't end up like these clowns.'

10 responses to “NaPoWriMo 2023: Day 20 – What are these toys?”

  1. Tom Crossley Avatar

    Did not know there were bookstores dedicated soley to poetry, that made my day haha. Interesting poem too! Good job!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Ha ha. Thank you very much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sienablue Avatar

    I am about a third of the way through your book and loving it so far. Just wanted to let you know. Also, I recently found substack as a feed reader and it is full of writers, many self published, I was wondering if you have an account there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Oh Jo, that’s so wonderful! Thank you for letting me know that you’re enjoying the book. It’s gratifying.

      I have no idea how substack works. Thank you for thinking of my book. It means so much. It’s so hard to spread the word around. Would you know if one has to upload the book there and is it for free?
      I’ll check it at my end as well though I’m technologically not savvy.
      Thank you again, Jo. Please share your review of the book on Amazon and Goodreads. Hugs and love. XXX


      1. sienablue Avatar

        Here’s what I know so far. You can use it to post periodic newsletters that go out to people who subscribe to your feed in the app–they can read it in the email or readit on the app or by logging in to substack on their desktop or laptop. Then you can offer paid content. Some folks are releasing books chapter by chapter to their paid subscribers, for example. In your profile, you can link to your personal website, your blog, your facebook, your instagram, your twitter. I am just writing short posts (for free) about the creative life, and using it as a way to meet and interact with other creative souls online, and subscribing to folks that I enjoy reading about and talking to.

        You can actually have several types of newsletters on substack. Like you could do one for poetry, one for prints of your artwork, one for prose. You can copy and paste your thoughtful blog posts over there.

        Actually, there is a better description than I can provide here:

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Smitha V Avatar

          Hi Jo, I returned home last evening. I’m going to check out substack today ( hope I can decode it) and reread your comment on what it’s about. Thank you very much for sharing all the information you have on it. It’s very helpful. It’s a blessing to have this kind of support across the distance. I appreciate it very,very much.
          Hugs and love from Dhaka. Xxx


          1. sienablue Avatar

            It took me a few days to figure out substack, let me know when you start posting and I will follow you. I started a newsletter or post called Reclaiming Creativity.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Smitha V Avatar

            I’ll definitely let you know. Once I’m done with this month of poetry, I should have time to check it out. I’d love to read your newsletter. Does one have to be on substack to get it?


          3. sienablue Avatar

            I am enjoying the book and wondering how it turns out. I usually only read in bed on my kindle before I fall asleep.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. Smitha V Avatar

            That sounds perfect. Thank you, Jo, for letting me know. I love that you’re enjoying it, bit by bit. XOXO


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