Original ideas through playing with opposites

Today at the dVerse Poets Pub, the Poetics prompt is to write an opposite poem. Lisa offered up an amazing video called The Opposites Game from TED Ed that I highly recommend watching.

I thought it would be fun to start with one of my own old poems and create its “opposite.” I started with a NaPoWriMo poem from last year called A future voice in the dark.

Another future voice in the dark

You demand I unlearn the light
leaving the past unseen
stacattos played allegro
under the facades of blank stares

that direct route
the straight line is known
weightless without speed
smooth without old disadvantages

many blank surfaces, many original sounds
severe, substantial discomforts
close cacophonies of
what will be

That was really fun. Reminded me of the poetry MadLibs I did with some of my old poems last summer. (Those this one makes a lot more sense). I think I’ll be trying this technique a lot more. This could lead to some nice two-column, reflective poems.

A Wine-tinted World

The World through Grape-colored Glasses

Peering out my wine
windows tinted
and clouded
at a swirling landscape
of bitter-sweets
the view skewed
by tannins and cork
floaters among
the cloudy
reveries
shuttering my
wine windows
I delve
the cellars deep
for lofty thoughts
and epiphanies
before the heady
kerplunk

This poem is a response to today’s Quadrille prompt at dVerse Poets Pub.

April First: And so it begins

The View Out My Window – bokeh photograph by Maria L. Berg 2021

It’s the very first day of National Poetry Writing Month and the prompt is to “derange” myself, make the world strange and see it as a stranger.

This could tie in nicely with the April PAD Challenge prompt: write an introduction poem. As part of my poem, I could introduce a stranger: create a persona and see the world through his or her eyes.

Over on the A to Z Challenge blog they came up with a Scavenger Hunt for the month. What a fun idea. For the A to Z challenge my Janus word is adumbrate which can mean both to disclose and to obscure.

This prompt may call for some new bokeh filters.

Reflection from the Outside In – Maria L. Berg 2021

Breeding Fruit Flies with Two Different Eyes

An impression arrests the fruit flies in kitchen sinks full of ideas
frozen in mid-irritation, fleeting yet multiplying before your eyes
what indelible marks will topple to the tongue
and adumbrate the growing clutch

Contentment empties the glue of flavor and steals the scissors of artistry
the constant irritation and insatiable hunger
–of those fruit flies, feeding in the sinks–
sketch an impression of furious flight

Refreshment wriggles among the moles under the tent of solitude
having vacated the house with the ideas, but left the kitchen sink to the fruit flies
the dark, fresh-earth tunnels adumbrate new and curious spaces for contemplation
where crawling, not seeing, may nourish new understanding


An Explosion of Color – Maria L. Berg 2021

It’s open link night at dVerse Poets Pub, so head over to share and read some poetry.

Using paint names in poetry: Being Green

Bokeh shape photography of flowers on the lake behind a rosemary plant using a green filter

Just yesterday, I was exploring online paint chip collections–specifically Sherwin-Williams and Dunn-Edwards–in response to a paint chip poetry prompt. Then this morning, I took a look at the dVerse Poets Pub Poetics prompt from yesterday and it is to write a poem from the point of view of a color. It feels meant to be, so here’s my poem:

Being Green

What am I to you
when you admire my hue

The cool spring grass where
you lay your picnic blanket or
the grasshopper leaping
from the blades
to escape your hand
The gleeful spritz of electric lime
you add to your julep while
a lark tickles a breeze

And is the light true
when you see my value

As crisp as Romaine
or kale in your salad or
the luck in the clover
you pluck as you chew, feeling
the grip of envy tightening your chest
as you admire the parakeet flying

My value changes with the passing hours
like the roller-coaster dreams of day traders
I arise the delicate and dutiful lacewing
but may grow flat like Espalier against the wall
And somewhere in between
I sizzle with chroma,
letting my additive primary show
in the neon glow.

After night falls and I am no longer seen
I am the eerie call of the cricket
the chirp of the tiny tree frog
the needles falling
from the firs
in the wind
coating the driveways
carpeting the forest floors.


Fungi poetry: such a great prompt!

A circle of mushrooms on the end of a felled tree
photo by Maria L. Berg

Today’s Tuesday Poetics prompt at the dVerse Poets Pub is all about fungi. Mushroom poems–and I was just looking at Alice in Wonderland images. I had so many ideas while reading the prompt poems. Here goes:

Fungous Circle

My Swedish Mom took me mushroom hunting
specifically for chanterelles, small orange ruffles hiding
among the stones and birch one would think obvious
but for a tween too elusive.

I thought fungus was gross as was all food
but she caught my attention as she pointed out
the important signs of poison.

Like the beautiful little wild flowers that
sprung through the forest floor after the winter waned
I had been kept ignorant, though a curious child.

Now, it is understandable that I hadn’t been guided
to see, to hunt, to appreciate
each unique cap, each frill of a delicate gill,
each stalk and ring.

When our mushrooms grow from septic or near run-off
my wild palate wasn’t encouraged
free food can be dangerous
I was already known to eat flowers.

Taught the circle of life, I saw
the little trees growing from the fallen as
I traipsed across the canyon.

I told my parents I would be buried there.
They denied me. Said it couldn’t be done.
But now, it’s clear, I was not the only one.

To be put in a sack, made of mushroom spores
And planted, it’s happening, possible.
Then I read people are making mushroom sneakers.
Do I want to be stinky feet? That run comfortably and well.

I want to be a tree.


Monday Quadrille – Mr. Fix-it

Since I finished my short story draft for the Writer’s Games and need to let it sit a bit before the final edit, I thought I would wander over to the dVerse Poets Pub where it’s Monday Quadrille day. Today’s word to put into my 44 word poem is “fix.”

tools of physical labor

Mr. Fix-it

He has always been Mr. Fix-it
he can fix anything
every motor, structure, even nature
bends to his will eventually

But this time admit
he can’t fix this
the right part isn’t online
WD40 won’t loosen this screw
no spray will discourage this scourge

Dramatic Interplay: Poem for dVerse Poets Pub

When I finished my observations post for today, I went to my wordpress reader to see what other writers were up to and saw Frank Hubeny’s prompt for the dVerse Poets Pub. The prompt is to write a poem of fourteen lines.

Since my week of observation is almost up and I’ll need to turn it all into a poem soon, I thought I would test out some observation-to-poem by putting together a few of today’s observations into fourteen lines.

Dramatic Interplay

A morning, exploring light and shadow
backlit life turned to space
to dive into
shadow painted leaves and lilacs
on walls, over mountain murals
and in my mind
I look behind
the subject to focus
on the light
the blur and glow
excite the drama
each click dramatic
scene in contrast
light painting of the in between