NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 20: Winter wet dream

Dear, rose, fill this blue Christmas
with violets. Love is stagnant in
this winter storm. Frigid air clings
to my bones. My teeth chatter like
an audience in a crowded auditorium
waiting for the show to begin.
Show me love. Tease me, caress me,
please me. Spread my legs and let
spring bloom before the ice sets.
Aren't you cold? Yes, numb to your
touch, but inside I'm burning up.
Come inside me—I'm burning up.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 19: Autumn kiss

Love Haiku #18

into fallen leaves
I dive, searching for your lips
sweetest autumn kiss

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 18: Millennial Snow White

woman lying in brown grass mirror edited photo
I don't know when I stopped
living and started existing.

The coffee keeps me up. 
A sandwich for lunch, 
a bowl of noodles for dinner—
just enough sustenance to 
keep me existing until
tomorrow, when I replay
the same days as I have
for the last six months.
Present but not here,
hearing but not listening,
visible but simply a ghost. 

One day I will meet a prince,
who, with a kiss, will wake 
me from this cycle of 
dreaming and bring life into 
my purpose for being, again.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 17: Freedom feels fleeting

Freedom feels fleeting in this land of the free, home of the brave
enough to siege the seat of government, reclaim country from
those who pledged allegiance to the same flag—just different skin color

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Also written for the Ronovan Writes Sijo Wednesday Poetry Challenge. Sijo is a Korean poetry form that consists of three lines with 14-16 syllables per line. For more info on sijo, click the link above.


NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 16: Each day

black and white photo of person looking at the window

Lactose intolerance. Gastroesophageal reflux. Shellfish allergy. Heart palpitations. Each day a new WebMD misdiagnosis. My body is attacking me worse than pandemic fatigue. And the stress of a four-year long-distance relationship has added inches to my waist, additional pounds to my gut. The wait should feel lighter now that it’s off your procrastinating and onto government processing. Blame COVID delays, lack of funding, an unstable political climate, ethnocentric immigration policies—the timeline feels more indefinite with each tick of the clock. It’s the not knowing that’s slowly driving me insane. Each day I wake to repeat the same routine. Each day I pray it will be something different.

a mask to conceal
tears that cry oceans away
seven thousand miles

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

Long-time followers of this blog know I love Japanese poetry! So even though I’m late in joining, I still wanted to write something for the Pandemic Haibun Challenge hosted by trE on A Cornered Gurl.

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 15: Revival

Love Haiku #17

winter approaches
to shatter my empty heart—
your love's revival

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 14: peculiar weather

birds gather above
like storm clouds—when it rains, I
wonder what will fall

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 13: Baby, come back

blurred taillights of car in rain

Love Tanka #15

In driving rain, your
voice pours through my car's speakers,
"Get home safe." Thunder 
rumbles, lightning flashes, I
ponder coming back to you.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 12: Humid

Love Sedoka #2

The humidity 
of your breath is stifling. 
Kiss me again, before it rains.
Pouring rain cools me,
but your body heat—to be
in you is like an oven.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons

The sedoka is a pair of 5-7-7 or 5-7-5 syllable katauta, or half-poems, that acts as a conversation between lovers.

NoHoldsBarredPoetryWritingChallenge Day 11: Housewife

I’m waiting for my husband to become a millionaire so I can quit my job. Not that I hate it—most days—but I’d much rather be a housewife, and I know I’ve set feminism back a century with that statement, and though I love to cook, I hate to clean, and you really need to have the “right” husband to desire to be his servant without it belittling your worth, and I believe I’ve snatched him. He respects my autonomy, doesn’t command submission, didn’t even make me change my last name, and he supports my dreams of being a writer, which is the true reason for why I want to stay at home, because what I crave most is time, less time wasted making a conglomerate richer, more time curled in a corner of my loveseat, pencil and notepad in hand, creating the worlds that play like films on my brain during strategy meetings and scribbling the words that flood my thoughts as I edit the writings of authors who’ve fulfilled their destinies while mine remains indefinitely on hold. So if it means taking a little more care in vacuuming and mopping floors, in washing and drying and setting his clothes out for the morning, in preparing the bacon he brings home by five each evening for dinner after a long day’s work, with a kiss on the lips and words of affirmation, I will do it, and after dinner, I will brew him chai and sit him in my lap and massage his scalp, and between his sips and his futile attempts to not fall asleep, I will tell him of my day, between the dusting and the folding and the rearranging of furniture, how the stories poured from my head and flowed through my arm and bled onto the page in the ink from the pen that I held in my hand, and he’ll nod, though I’m sure he’s only nodding off, so I’ll put him to bed and lay my head on his chest and listen to his heartbeat slow as he finally drifts to sleep, and when his breathing becomes rhythmic, I’ll close my eyes and dream of the plays I plan to pen tomorrow.

© 2022 Nortina Simmons