twenty four hours of poetry
by Pea Flower Tomioka
These poems were written during a 24-hour poetry marathon, which began on November 28th of 2021. Prompts were generously provided by River Styx.
Prompt: What is a risk you wish you had taken but didn't? How could things have gone? Are you happy where you're at now or not? Why?
Had We Sooner Wed
That I could be so brave
As to hold your love as husband
In a sheath of bright silver
Instead of thinking your eyes wouldn't haunt me
Follow me down into every sadness
Daily reminders of the husband you were not.
But I am brave.
And the silver band shines so bright, catching the lifting mastery of your eyes
As though they were sunlight
Instead of the moonlight we encircled within our loving arms
To birth the son we might have had
Twenty years ago.
Prompt: Write an ode to your favorite childhood toy/stuffy. How did the toy/stuff help you? Were there any fun adventures you went on together? Maybe they still travel with you sometimes even!
My childhood teddy bear
The oldest friend
I ever sewed hugs into
Lives in my son’s room.
Prompt: Write a page-long poem where every verse is a haiku!
The Plated Mother
A series of haiku stanzas
The lines that tears carved
Into my wrinkled skin have
Taken a lifetime.
Eating her abuse
Her plated expectations
Her Gaslit stovetops
I had never learned
To cook meals that nourish me.
I'm an empty bowl.
Our family book
Has 60 pickle entries
and no plates of love.
I transferred each one
Handwrit and photographed, to
Who filled these floral plates
With the burnt ends of "family".
I taste only ash.
But bowls are magic
Holding raw materials
That I can swallow
So I bought my first
Pottery wheel and threw bowls
to hold space for love.
I thew porcelain
Into kilns, not across rooms
On Thanksgiving Day
Healing looks like hand
Thrown pottery. These pieces
Filling my cupboards
Remaking my bowls
is an act of defiance.
Now, I like to cook.
Prompt: Write about yourself from the perspective of a friend. Are you the friend who always drinks the same coffee order? Or do you have a tradition you do for your friends? You could tell us about an inside joke too!
My Friend Pea
when you meet my friend Pea
please don't touch her
for if you leave your mark before she's ready
you'll spoil the magic
like when the wind comes through the trees
and whispers secrets on how to love yourself
or how she smiles at the sky
so the cicadas will hush
because she knows it's your turn to speak
and she deeply cares about what you have to say.
Prompt: I want to hear a poem about if the stars were your only friends. Paint a picture of your night sky for me and tell me about your friendship. Is it good? Or maybe the city lights are keeping you from your friends? Tell me about your oldest friends, the stars!
The stars of his eyes
as a child
I would lie on my back,
rooftop to the open sky,
to count a field of flowers
and name each as Friend.
Prompt: Speak Ill of the dead
Sometimes speaking ill of the dead
And speaking truth to power
Are the same act of defiance.
Prompt: Tell me about what you would say to the main character of (one of) your favorite book(s).
You were my first love
For I also so loved the birds,
And thanked god for the perch he gave them.
Prompt: Tell me about your favorite vehicle and how it can (or maybe can't) bring you to your favorite destination.
Dead stopping my breath
Rich, chocolate brown
Kissed by milk
And my racing teenage heart.
Prompt: Hour 9 is about an ode to your device background/lock screen!
He eats ice cream
With proper support
All things are possible.
Prompt: let's write about a reunion from someone in your past.
I carried his eyes
down with me each time I
Fell asleep without
The warmth of his embrace.
The touch of his fingertips across the swell of my grief
He kept me safe when my hands couldn’t
The abuse drinking in my skin
So I turned to the depths of his flesh
instead of the knives in my drawers
A sea of ragged waves for me to surf my thighs across
But his mouth cut through the abuse more deeply
Bursting with more beauty than the pain my heart named Love in absence.
Prompt: You get one conversation with the ocean where she speaks back to you instead of just waving.
Mother Mother Ocean
I never met you when you were alive.
You called my love for your son
A port in a storm
But I was raised by tornadoes
And his love was so gentle
That I thought my tears were rainfall
From an impossibility starry sky
And when I asked those stars if I was worthy of love,
He said my name was his to take
So I wrapped myself up inside the namesake of this family like a garden bed
Warming seed to sunlight
Before tending fertile earth along the shoreline
Carrying his child in my belly
And remembering the starlight of his gentle eyes
Your Mother Ocean’s green edging the warmth of his earth
And we stand toe to toe on the edge of land and sea
Reunited as family.
This poem is formatted so that each line contains the number of words as depitced in the title. The title is the same time as depicted on the counter, which began as a three month countdown to when he would return to my arms, being half way around the world. This image was taken the day this poem was written, and the same counter, which is still running from it's original task, shows how long we have been together.
Prompt: Use the following phrase somewhere in your poem:
“I closed my eyes, held out my arms, and I let myself fall over that cliff”
Cliffside to scramble
My eyes held
My arms let
That cliff fall
I closed myself out
And held over.
Prompt: Give yourself 2-5 minutes and brainstorms words, images, and phrases that you think of when you think of sex. Got a (neat or chaotic) list? Good! Now, don't use any of them in your poem about sex!
Sex poem after Margaret Atwood
you fit into me
like a TERF in radically supportive feminist lit
Prompt: Write a thank you note to (one of) your favorite song(s).
Thank u India
Thank u Alanis
These are the reasons I’m sober.
Prompt: Give me a dictionary definition of a word you've made up.
Pea Flower Tomioka
noun /pi flaʊə towmiowkə/ (she/fae)
1. an artist focused on building an art therapy platform through transformative art and positive erotica to help victims of sexual violence reclaim their power
2. queer voice/disabled body/acts of defiance
"Pea Flower Tomioka lives on a small island and hides from loud noises."
Synonyms and related words: @peafllowertea, peaflowertomioka.com
See also: Mother (N.), Wife (N.), Introverted Skittles Addict (N.)
Prompt: Discuss the following sentence: "You missed a natural phenomenon because you were too busy creating your own"
I missed the Perseids
falling deep through starshot inkwells
for the depths you consume within me
Sparkling kisses on my eyelids
behind our breath of prayer
The sky is over our creations
and we are the gods of this microverse.
Prompt: Tell a tale about the last thing that made you feel things when you didn't think you would feel or get emotionally attached.
Before and After Neil Hilborn's Writing Circle
I assumed too much
In their youth and in his fame
So I was unprepared for the poetry
They planted in my fertile earth.
We are gardeners, each, in a collective of joy.
Prompt: How do you say "I love you" without using those three words?
A 3am Song
His tiny hand
around my thumb
and I will lie awake to hear each breath
A chorus of beauty to witness with my eyes closed and my heart open.
Prompt: Tell me a story from the viewpoint of an inanimate object.
The chapstick I forgot in my pocket that one summer which is also every summer
could prevent mango melting
SPF 30 cascades from her lip to puddle
promising dipped paint brushes
for the reclamation of my magic.
I know my place in her pocket.
Prompt: This time, you're going to take a word that already exists and redefine it for us.
was a dirty word
until you held my son first.
Hour Twenty One
Prompt: Use the last message you sent as the title of your poem and then work from there.
Hour Twenty Two
Prompt: Write about a memory you do not enjoy from the perspective of someone else involved.
The Charge Nurse
I mark the thieves as dangerous
and keep the babies safe
from the monsters who
abandon new fathers
to punish their only daughters
for dying slowly across town
but I know she won’t stop
She’s screaming at her daughter because I refused to let her hold the son so grand before the mother
and this baby is not safe so long as
this monster can touch him.
And she will. She does.
But not on my watch.
Hour Twenty Three
Prompt: Take a drive out into the desert and scream a question into the sky.
We lay under a Texas sky
Arch to arch in curve with the planets
And asked the falling stars our secret things
But it was Kevin who answered,
“I once let a man piss in my mouth”
Hour Twenty Four
Prompt: Show me a ritual that relaxes and/or grounds you.
Boil the water
Steep the tea
Let the peace
Subsume in me.
About the author
Pea is an artist focused on building an art therapy platform through transformative art and positive erotica to help victims of sexual violence reclaim their power. She lives on a small island and hides from loud noises.