NaPoWriMo 2018 Two Sylvias Press April 18, 2018

This prompt provided a list of 15 words, at least five to be used. I have managed eight. It also suggested perhaps to write about something you feel vulnerable about or that you feel you shouldn’t write about.  I was thinking about what it’s like when you’ve been given opioids for pain

Opioid Dreams

I wake to brain fog, blurred memory, as if a fever broke
as I slept. Above the lights dazzle, reflection of the tinfoil wrapped
tight around the shade. Why am I in this place?

More aware now, I am not sure where I am. The ring
of lamplight darkens the shadows. Figures in white coats
enter and leave. Someone bellows on the other side of the light.

Shallow laughter. And pain.
I run my fingers down my belly, stop at the spot
where the pain begins.

I have sprouted shoelaces. Or is it a tattoo?
I remember a dream of gold thread,
embroidery on my bicep. The tinkle of cymbals.

Flashing coloured lights. The pinball machine.
I was trapped inside forever
climbing after the small white ball.

Dilaudid. Ileostomy. Clostridium Difficile.
Pseudo Toxic megacolon. This is the vocabulary
I am about to learn.


Carol A. Stephen
April 18, 2018


A rebuilt Terminator 2 pinball machine.jpg


NaPoWriMo 2018 Two Sylvias Press April 17, 2018

Prompt for the 17th begins with hopelessness, to end on a positive note.

Cause and Effect

Winter wanders in weeks of darkness, and I,
in a cold despair, wander too, though
my body never travels, yet my mind spends
winter aging, becomes inseparable:
one the cause, one the effect or perhaps
the other way round.

Only when the sun returns, when the wind
blows away the snow, do my thoughts return
to hopes of spring, the cycle of seasons,
warmth on my skin.

I return from thoughts of where it all ends
to focus on where it begins again.

Carol A. Stephen
April 17, 2018

NaPoWriMo 2018 Two Sylvias Press April 16, 2018

This prompt is to write a poem where animals are doing something they shouldn’t.  A no-brainer here since last night on the CTV news (April 20) there was a story….


All Points Bulletin in Nanaimo

Last night in Nanaimo, a break-and-enter.
Inside the house a woman, armed with
nothing but an ice scraper, peered out, but
saw nothing, heard only the sounds of danger:
someone breaking in.

She shook as she dialed her neighbour’s number,
hollered for help. Waited for the police.
When the RCMP arrived, she sighed with relief.
The Mounties always get their man.

At the usual command about hands in the air
the perp turned around, gave quite a stare,
and slow but sure the tiny paws rose.
Nanaimo Norm, the most Canadian of perps,
a roly-poly beaver, turned tail and waddled off.

I don’t believe there’s a warrant out, but
he might want to hide out; he knows what
Canucks do with BeaverTails


Carol A. Stephen
April 16, 2018


Based on an April 20 2018 CTV news story.

NaPoWriMo 2018 Two Sylvias Press April 15, 2018

This prompt requires the use of oddly-named desserts. I have bolded the names I used for ease of identification. I didn’t manage to include fat rascals, treacle sponge, or pond pudding.



Across the table at our local café, my date
hair in a black bun, spoons into his dessert, responds
to my question with a mumbled
summer berry grunt, his attention
focused on his food, a drizzle of purple
red juice runs down his chin.

Beside us, two teens, both dressed
in matching berry-red sweaters giggle,
raspberry fools in sweaters and jeans,
tossing their heads of tight dark curls.

The server passes by, hobnobs with
the girls. Drops a plate. It lands
face down in a puddle of rhubarb mess.
A smear of fruit clings to his left
shoe’s orange buckle.

I look down at my own dessert, a fat
round slice of jelly roll. Raspberry jam
oozes out of the cake. It looks a lot like
dead man’s leg, but proof is in the taste.

This guy is a washout, but there’s
consolation here on the plate.

Carol A. Stephen
April 15, 2018