My mother forbade us to walk backwards.
That is how the dead walk, she would say.
Anne Carson bot @carsonbot
Do they walk backwards to redo
Do they bump into us on purpose to feel us one more time
Do they do this to stay here and not move on
Or maybe it is our wish
That we could say it over, more nicely a second time around
That we could touch them just once more
That we want them to stay, stay, stay,
With us, not to leave, go away, never kiss us again
Death is keenly at our doorstep
It is not a game of words or politics
Nor a time to blame
Death’s hand is waiting
We need to acknowledge its presence
I will plant two small trees
that were on the sale table
after Christmas, drying needles,
spindly branches, tiny enough to hold one in each palm
A bit of water and light
hope and care, time
it’s always about time
now spring stands at the threshold
I will plant them instead of taking Death’s invitation
I will plant them deep into her nourishing soil
roots to stretch in room to grow
air and sweet breeze to strengthen limbs
promise and hope
Yes, that’s what I’ll do
From the folks at NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:
Today’s poetry resource is a series of twitter accounts that tweet phrases from different poets’ work. The Sylvia Plath Bot, as you might expect, tweets snippets of Plath. @PercyBotShelley tweets Shelley, @ruefle_exe tweets bits of Mary Ruefle’s poems, and @carsonbot and @sikenpoems send into the world small fragments of the work of Anne Carson and Richard Siken.
And if you’re feeling puckish, perhaps you might enjoy (or enjoy the act of not-enjoying) the “poems” created by @VogonB. If you’ve ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may remember the Vogons as the aggressive aliens who, in addition to destroying the Earth, have an unpleasant habit of reading their poetry – known as the third worst in the entire universe – to their victims.
Our prompt for the day (optional as always) asks you to peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots, and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite a respectable lineage of poems that start with a line by another poet, such as this poem by Robert Duncan, or this one by Lisa Robertson.