The challenge of NaPoWriMo on Friday, the 13th, is to write a poem in which the words or meaning of a familiar phrase get up-ended. For example, if you chose the phrase “A stitch in time saves nine,” you might reverse that into something like: “a broken thread; I’m late, so many lost.” Or “It’s raining cats and dogs” might prompt the phrase “Snakes and lizards evaporate into the sky.” Those are both rather haunting, strange images, and exploring them could provide you with an equally haunting, strange poem (or a funny one!)

Here’s my take at the prompt. I have played around with about 11 idioms and it turned out rather funny 🙂 Though these are common idioms, I am listing their meanings below. Hope you’ll enjoy!

                                                      Poem: How do I zip my lips


My mom said her friend smiles

But once in a blue moon

But I wonder why

she’s never blue while smiling (even on full moon)



Some say making her smile

Is a piece of cake

But why waste a cake

To make her smile



I rather treat her

A hot potato

And make a concoction of

Hot potato and apple of eye



But my mom advised

To stop skating on thin ice

While she knows I can’t skate

On land or the ice



She then rebuked and yelled

Eat your words and Zip your lips

Now as simple as that seems

It’s driving me crazy (though I can’t drive)



As, you see, it’s been four days

I have overeaten my words

And now I’m in a pickle

But I’m full of beans and still searching for the zip!


©Vandana Bhasin


Idioms used and their meaning:


once in a blue moon: very rarely

piece of cake: something that is easy to do.

a hot potato: a controversial issue or situation that is awkward or unpleasant to deal with.

apple of eye: someone very precious or dear

zip your lip: to stop talking

eat words: to force someone to retract what they have said to admit that a statement you made before is wrong

skating on thin ice: to do something considered quite dangerous or risky

as simple as that: extremely easy to understand

drive crazy: to disturb or irritate someone to upset someone to the point where they lose focus

in a pickle: to be in a difficult situation

full of beans: to be optimistic or enthusiastic