The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a poem about the meaning of your first or last name.
The April PAD prompt is to write a poem inspired by your immediate surroundings.
My Janus word for the A to Z Challenge is left. As a past tense verb, it means “to have gone”; as an adjective, it means “remaining.”
Because I’ve often written about the mountain (Berg in Swedish means mountain), I thought adding a structure or form would help inspire something unique, so I took a look at the Poetics prompt from yesterday over at the dVerse Poets Pub.
I’m glad I did, because it got me thinking about all the fun adventures I’ve had on the mountain and the animals I’ve met there. Kim’s prompt was inspired by the poem The Print the Whales Make by Marjorie Saiser as was my poem.
Black Bear’s Branch
I freeze. You haven’t seen it yet the thick, dark fur tucked among the fir trunks We are too close, my heart jackhammers with fear and fascination Is that how we are: a dangerous shape a few steps off the path? Too late. Can’t go back. But looking up at those sky-filling slopes with awe, I remember the deer and the fox prancing also encountered there and the way the bear licked at the grass, not bothered by the branch still attached to his bum, so peacefully grazing I didn’t notice him until I had left him behind on the return path he wasn’t interested in me and my fear of black bears in dark forests of fascination on the sky-filling slopes slanted sunlight on snow glinting promise of new bear sightings another day
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.
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 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.
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
Today’s poetics prompt at the dVerse Poets Pub is to write a laundry poem. De Jackson, today’s host, wrote a great example called Spin Cycle. The prompt brought up tons of memories: The cramped laundry room in my childhood home, sorting socks with Mom, the drying closet in Sweden, hand scrubbing in a basin in the Ivory Coast, late nights at the laundromat in New Orleans, stringing a line in the backyard, and so much more. It’s going to be tough to narrow this one down. I decided to stay in the now.
After I mowed, I didn’t jump in the shower I was hungry and thirsty and had emails to read It didn’t take long before my smell distracted I reeked, such a stench of grass, dirt, gas, and sweat So I ran to the laundry room and those clothes I wrenched off and threw in the washer then ran to the shower to scrub
While breathing the sweet gardenia suds of my soap in the steaming hot water, I thought of my shirt that burnt-orange, long sleeve U-neck with a front pocket just perfect for the shed keys and my small mp3 player, so I can listen to audio books and forget that I’m pushing and pulling large rotating blades
When I pulled my mowing shirt from the cupboard this morning it had more holes than fabric but I wanted to wear it so I zigzagged those pieces until there were sleeves and the pocket would work and slipped that perfectly worn almost sheer fabric over my sports bra and t-shirt I comfortably mowed for an hour and a half then tore it off and threw it in the wash just like that
To be soaked and agitated spun, churned and wrung then pulled still wet and shaken tossed in a hot tumbler to dry It won’t survive, not in that shape but I’ll stitch up its wounds again and again because it’s not the long sleeves or the useful front pocket it’s the mow then wash wear and tear that has made it so perfect
Today is Haibun Monday at dVerse Poets Pub and I found the cherry blossoms prompt timely. I went out to admire the cherry-plum trees in bloom and noticed the grass is already littered with pink. I’m glad Frank inspired me to spend some time admiring the pink against the sky before it is gone.
The first delicate, pink blossoms burst early this year, or was it me, still clinging to winter’s safe cave? Any excuse to stay hidden under the blankets ripped away by the brash budding cloud of cotton candy, contradicting the sky. But today, upon closer inspection, burgundy leaves already clash with the petals along the branch and the grass is littered with fallen flowers. The bee’s hum fills me with hope for future fruit. Last year I missed the juicy, pitted presents withheld, perhaps, due to a confusing late freeze. I am lucky to have poked my head out in time to witness this peek-a-boo of nature. Like an updraft billowing a circle-skirt, it surprises, shocks, and delights then is gone.
tiny pink blossom tickling periwinkle skies the flasher of spring
When I read The Tradition by Jericho Brown, I was drawn to his duplex poems. I was fascinated by how slight changes in the repetition of a line could completely change and deepen the meaning of both lines.
Today’s Poetics challenge at the dVerse Poets Pub is to write an ekphrastic poem. I chose Laura’s third option and began my poem based on the title of an image by an artist I wasn’t familiar with, Bridget Riley, before I looked at the piece. Then I looked at the piece and finished the poem.
Movement in Squares
quick turns, sharp angles only to find the point of origin
always on the straight and narrow never to meander with wanderlust
Today at the dVerse Poetry Pub the Quadrille prompt is “swift.” Because I had been bird watching this morning, I thought I would give this 44 word poem a try. Then I started looking at swift’s definitions and synonyms (like I do) and found the noun definitions very interesting. The birds that are called swifts are closely related to hummingbirds and are also the cave bird in Asia that make the nests for nest soup.
A very vocal hummingbird started hanging out in my cherry-plum tree this winter. He’s always trying to show off by making a loud, sharp chirp. I don’t know how well he’s doing, but I’ve seen three hummingbirds looking at each other in my tree recently. I love that he perches at the tip of the very tallest branch, attempting some minuscule dominance.
tiny humming- bird, a swift’s closest relation, chased from his perch in the cherry-plum’s top branch by three sparrows wanting, but he’s not gone a snappy chirp and he dive-bombs, headlong, a kamikaze at breakneck, dispatches the intruders and poses, prominent against the clouded sky
Yesterday at dVerse Poets Pub, Lisa presented an inspiring prompt for poetics. I figured I would rush out a few poems with the prompt “Edges and fringes,” but when I sat down to write, all I came up with were lists of words I wanted to use, nothing more. Today, after some journaling, it came together.
With One Toe Pushing
Ego drowns in the campfire at the edge of fascination at the brink of sanity with one toe pushing Who then maintains the role of oversight? An oversight of Ego’s; I am certain
When honesty eclipses opinion in the jelly shower of imagination its sharp bite creating borders verging on volatile Is it raising tempers to breaking or tempering passions to advantage?
Artistry crosses the hangnail edge of complete hurt I want to lose myself, to stay in the fire But I must strike while imagination is hot and yet my very being is on strike
Humility returns with the hitchhiker cobwebs of wisdom Between sane and mad is such a fine, fine line like a hummingbird feather’s quill an eyelash fallen from a field mouse a sand flea trail on a Northwest beach but the sand invites my toes to sink and waves crash to keep my attention the sand fleas irritate my body alive I am safely back from the edge I refrain–only peer at the beyond at what can and will be–singing the refrain: not today