Day Five: Human reserve & April 2020

This is my official Calendar 2020 post with twenty photos that I took in my human reserve this month last year, and a poem that starts off badly but has a foxy ending.













Prompt 5: “This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. … And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas.

I found this tender love poem on my first blog after working hard to get one with exactly 28 lines. It is called “On Pinkish Paper”, in original Na ružičastom papiru, and is performed (and probably written but I’m not fully sure) by Rade Šerbedžija, Croatian poet and actor. I translated it into English myself, as I sometimes do. From that poem only the first letters remain here, though, as instructed.

One human reserve

I’m learning how it feels. They fence you in.
You live, run, breed, sleep and survive, while elsewhere
your species slows to less and less. They know
and tell you nothing. You feed. They want you fat.
Winds promise hunger. You study rabbits;
so naive. You bark hello to dog friend 
and he barks back. You haven’t met today.

An evening walk like any other but 
as you approach a clearing round the bend,
a heavy shadow darts and hooves resound
along the path before you in a frenzy
and you don’t know which species this could be,
not even as you catch up with it 
and it flees again and almost crashes.

Afternoon on the edge of your reserve
where the canal runs deep. A movement:
for a blink a grand set of horns appears,
with golden light reflected off the hide.
You know without knowing: this was the beast.
“All well to you, now run,” your awe lets out,
“until the hunt is back in season.”

Queen fox appears right there another time
to cross the road before you even blink,
to tell you wilderness is still in charge
and is about to prove it, just in time,
as needed. It seems to say: “Oi, human,
you go your way in your human reserve,
we have it covered. And don’t want your help.”

Today I’m late because I needed two dog walks to get a sense of what to do about my poem. Then it came together nicely when I realised that I will incorporate today’s post into my regular Calendar series with the selection of my favourite twenty photos from the same month last year. All these were taken last April during writing poems for last year’s poetry month.

At the end of this post there is a novelty which I might repeat every day. Seeing that this is my fourth NaPoWriMo in a row, I’ve decided to link to a favourite poem written on this day on one of three previous occasions (that is, if I like any of them enough). Today’s is a fun misheard villanelle from two years ago.

None of the encounters from today’s poem were captured by my camera, only rabbits stand still long enough for me to catch them.

I try not to dwell on the fact that everything looks like last year and I could be taking the exact same photos. Hard to live in the paradise reserve when one cannot leave. Well, not really that hard. We’ve got foxes.

Previous months of 2020:

April in previous years:


NaPoWriMo 2021 Button with black background

This day in my NaPoWriMo history (2019):

Women know and men wonder.
What is it that
the men don’t know but the little girls understand?

Better be gone than be right.
Is this what
women know and men wonder?

Listen to the sound of the howling wind.
You might guess what
the men don’t know but the little girls understand.

Can you imagine how angry it makes them?
A simple fact that
women know and men wonder.

The truth of the night.
We claim it. It's ours. This is what
the men don’t know but the little girls understand:

“I’m a back door man
living in a land down under
where women glow and men plunder.
The men know but the little girls don’t understand.”

48 thoughts on “Day Five: Human reserve & April 2020

  1. What beautiful little details you’ve captured. I never get tired of looking through your photos, even when they are repetitions. Even without Covid restrictions we are all just repeating ourselves aren’t we? Thank you for the poetry translation. Wishing you well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you kindly, Atrayee. 🙂 This poem is mine, not a translation, we just had to use one poem as a model and I used my old translation from the link. Or are you thanking me for that one? And yes, indeed, one big repetition, this is our life… Happy spring!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, Lady Beetle! Is this how you call it in Australia? I only know ladybird and ladybug. Thank you, Bushboy. I’m watching my birds differently after spending some time on your blog. Trying to take photos but they rarely cooperate. The donkey is more at peace.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps I once labelled it when it was fully flowered out but this one is hard to i.d. And often I, too, depend on bushboy or Derrick or other plantsmart blogging friends to i.d. flowers I’ve photographed in places other than my own yard.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you for that. I’ll be reading all you’ve got this month. Yes, here under your name it’s still the link for intricatebeginnings. You should be able to replace it in your profile (if you want to, that is).


  2. “Hard to live in the paradise reserve when one cannot leave. Well, not really that hard. We’ve got foxes.” -> I guess a golden prison is still a prison, right? :/ Hang in there, let’s hope this nightmare will end soon…I hope you had a nice weekend and Easter, btw 🙂 Un abbraccio.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi, Sara! I hoped you had a lovely Pasqua too. Golden prison is right… And those looking in from outside only see gold and think How can this be a prison? And yet it is. Thank you for your comment. All well to you.


  3. Reading Misheard, I kept hearing Maya Angelou in the background. Your piece has the ring of ‘Phenomenal Woman’ to it, I think.

    The photos are a treat, especially the sunset with lamp, the full moon (I love moon gazing), and your tree friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Gloria, this is an extraordinary praise. I haven’t read her very much at all and now I’ve searched for this poem and I feel so flattered. When you don’t need to shout, you’re doing it right. I’m glad you like my April. Thank you so so much.


  4. Love love love the bicycles shot, and the fuzzy moon, and the eclipse. That shot blew my mind for half a second! Ha! Your poem is outstanding. I am impressed with how you are able to change poetry styles and still write something to be proud of.

    Liked by 1 person

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