3 Schoolyard Ruminations

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Day 26

 

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1.
Fallen branches on the wrong side of the fence,
a pile of crab apple blossoms detached from their source.

I wondered of my disunion, would I fare the same,
a chaotic pile left to wither without worry.

2.
“It’s half,” she reported, confusion crossing her face.
“What is half?” I inquired.
She searched for words in her urban six-year-old
awareness, desperation growing.
Finally, “Worm.” A need for rescue, not for the worm,
but her place in line where she was to sit,
sidewalk still damp from last evening’s storm.

I wondered if myself halved, all that was left after
tempest, would dissolve someone’s tranquility as well.

 

3.
They stood on guard, circled under tree shooing
away curious littles. “I bet someone shot it.”
There it lay, iridescent black feathers
tightly drawn, eyes glossed, crow fallen. The janitor
brought a box, with gloved hand lifted the cadaver.

I wondered where I will be lifted once breath
has its final escape.
I looked down the road and wondered.

 

 

 

Author’s Note:

Today I had the choice of three prompts. My writing group met and I usually write a story from the prepared prompt. But I am writing poetry this month. I did not care for the NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo prompt. I just couldn’t see my way around it. Here it is:

“And now for our (optional) prompt! Have you ever heard someone wonder what future archaeologists, whether human or from alien civilization, will make of us? Today, I’d like to challenge you to answer that question in poetic form, exploring a particular object or place from the point of view of some far-off, future scientist? The object or site of study could be anything from a “World’s Best Grandpa” coffee mug to a Pizza Hut, from a Pokemon poster to a cellphone.”

At our writing group, we had a list of words to incorporate into our writing. Those did not sit well either. I’m usually up for the challenge, but not tonight:

benevolent, eclipse,  asshole,  magnanimous, hide”

Then came the prompt from the blind pile:

“92. Within the last five minutes, he’d seen three people die and had looked down the road toward his own death. The question was – how would he go?”

That was it, along with three events from the past few months.

Matter and Space

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Day Twenty-four

 

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We are less matter than space

There’s space between
subatomic particles
filling the unknown
between protons and
neutron, up quark and
down quarks

Places so small, unseen
to the natural eye,
I wonder if it exists at all.

It does, scientists
have proof.

And I am there,
a piece of me, a part
of you, where we dance
and dream, and be.

 

Author’s Note:

Prompt from NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). In 1958, the philosopher/critic Gaston Bachelard wrote a book called The Poetics of Space, about the emotional relationship that people have with particular kinds of spaces – the insides of sea shells, drawers, nooks, and all the various parts of houses. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that explores a small, defined space – it could be your childhood bedroom, or the box where you keep old photos. It could be the inside of a coin purse or the recesses of an umbrella stand. Any space will do – so long as it is small, definite, and meaningful to you.”

And from questions of six year olds about “matter” and “space” and “What would happen if we didn’t have space?”

When I Am

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Day Twenty-four

 

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“When I am nineteen
I want to make a star.”
Sit in a redwood way up high
on eggs to hatch and
follow Blue wolf deep into forest,
fear running the opposite direction.

When I am forty-four
I want to sing an opera with coyote
ringed by sage and arroyos.
Dance flamenco at midnight on Madrid’s
cardinal peak under star breath.
And play my ukulele in summer pastures
by the Chukchi River, shepherded
by camels and shaman.

When I am ninety-seven
I will throw a silver line up to the moon
and tether her earthward.
I will rest in her curve perfectly held.
She will bear me to her quarters
and with a gentle nudge I will fly
forevermore.

When I am me,
now and forever, that’s how
it will be.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Prompt for today from NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“Last but not least, our (optional) daily prompt. Today, I challenge you to write a poem of ekphrasis — that is, a poem inspired by a work of art. But I’d also like to challenge you to base your poem on a very particular kind of art – the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. Here you’ll find some characteristic images of rabbits hunting wolves, people sitting on nests of eggs, dogs studiously reading books, and birds wearing snail shells. What can I say? It must have gotten quite boring copying out manuscripts all day, so the monks made their own fun. Hopefully, the detritus of their daydreams will inspire you as well!”

Special thanks to 7-year-old Romanieo Golphin Jr. who, “When I am nineteen, I want to make a star.”

Lacuna

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Day Twenty-three

fire

 

 

lacuna
intimate hollow
own innermost silence
ancient lodestar, you kindle
grace

grace
greed’s balefire
ashes to nourish
new growth, fresh life
dawns

 

 

 

Author’s Note:

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Our prompt for Day Twenty-Three comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us to write a double elevenie. What’s that? Well, an elevenie is an eleven-word poem of five lines, with each line performing a specific task in the poem. The first line is one word, a noun. The second line is two words that explain what the noun in the first line does, the third line explains where the noun is in three words, the fourth line provides further explanation in four words, and the fifth line concludes with one word that sums up the feeling or result of the first line’s noun being what it is and where it is. There are some good examples in the link above.

A double elevenie would have two stanzas of five lines each, and twenty-two words in all. It might be fun to try to write your double elevenie based on two nouns that are opposites, like sun and moon, or mountain and sea.”

One

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Day Twenty-two

 

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Catarrh allows for only this,
all I will accomplish today.
Our morning walk,
a drop of rain for remembrance,
how delicate we are,
how lovely we are,
and how we are all One.
May we take care of her,
this beautiful Earth of ours,
for she is generous in her benevolence.
Happy Earth Day.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“Last but not least, here is our prompt for the day (optional, as always). In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.

Your Georgic could be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.”

Olivia

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Day Twenty-one

 

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Olivia wanted
to be a firefighter.
South Metro obliged
a six-year-old’s bucket list.
One organ at a time
shut down Olivia,
but not her dream.
Olivia wanted
to be a firefighter.
And South Metro
obliged.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“And now for our (optional) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates overheard speech. It could be something you’ve heard on the radio, or a phrase you remember from your childhood, even something you overheard a coworker say in the break room! Use the overheard speech as a springboard from which to launch your poem. Your poem could comment directly on the overheard phrase or simply use it as illustration or tone-setting material.”

 

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La Peregrina

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Day Twenty

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A child’s game it seemed,
a line scratched into earth,
not an escargot’s spiraling swirl
but a straight, no nonsense incision

Lilacs bloomed early
at winter’s end, a season
that never chilled

Spring lolloped
over outlined angles,
triangles, rectangles,
side-by-sides,
ignoring crisp precision to
cast clouds of purple
brume across the day,
a honeyed balm,
a Pilgrim girl’s
scotch-hop from
purgatory to heaven,
plum child’s play
under Dante’s smile.

 

Author’s Note:

Prompt from Day 20 at NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

“Last but not least, here is our (optional) prompt for the day. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that incorporates the vocabulary and imagery of a specific sport or game. Your poem could invoke chess or baseball, hopscotch or canasta, Monopoly or jai alai. The choice is yours!”