The Hermit

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SPACE 26 February 2020

The space of my desk holds the card
The one that keeps appearing
The one nudging me to rest, burrow,
Go within
A small yet infinite space 

Earth has acquired
a brand new moon
that’s about the size of a car

Truth, a primary pilgrimage
Lit by the simplest of Light
Discernible in dark, no obvious borders
Small enough for a few steps at a time
A time for slowing, introspection 

Our new moon is probably between
1.9 and 3.5 metres across,
making it no match for Earth’s primary moon.

I am an elliptical orbit
Swooping unbalanced
Reaching for certainty
Knowing grace is in the unknowing
Resting and going
Coming back again

It circles our planet
about once every 47 days
on a wide, oval-shaped orbit
that mostly swoops
far outside the larger moon’s path.

I am not stable here planted
Tulips rise
There will be snow and ice
Rabbits delight in buds
Old growth hides snake
All within our orbits
Bumping into one another
Our right relation

The orbit isn’t stable,
so eventually 2020 CD3
will be flung away from Earth.

Will I gently step
When the veils opens
or be flung from this crust

I think I shall choose the flinging

 

Author’s Note:

This is Day Seven of the National Poetry Writing Month/Global Poetry Writing Month challenge of writing a new poem every day.

The Hermit continues to visit me. Often. I need to heed his advice. So melding the optional prompt and his presence gives me words to share today.

And I will have to use the iron rain story, too, sometime. That is just too good a prompt to pass up.

From the folks at NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo:

And speaking of news, today our prompt (optional, of course) is another oldie-but-goodie: a poem based on a news article. Frankly, I understand why you might be avoiding the news lately, but this is a good opportunity to find some “weird” and poetical news stories for inspiration. A few potential candidates:

Earth Has Acquired a Brand New Moon That’s About the Size of a Car,”

Ohio Man Seeks World Record with Beer-Only Lent Diet

Pablo Escobar’s ‘Cocaine Hippos’ May Be Restoring Colombia’s Ecosystem

Researchers Discover Faraway Planet Where the Rain is Made of Iron

Being

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Being

It is not by self we fly

Each to us a gift
One of fur and claw, a fisherbeing
One of beak and wing, a flyingbeing
One of beauty and strength, a motherbeing
One of roots and leaves, a respirebeing
One of song and nest,  a reflectionbeing

Together we take flight

 

 

Author’s note:

Birds, flying, roots of trees on which birds nest…these images from Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights were the inspiration today. Lovely, really.

From the NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo folks:

Today’s (optional) prompt is ekphrastic in nature – but rather particular! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.

Peter from St. Petersburg

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The day rolled on
unfolding like the toilet paper
he dropped and couldn’t catch

But he knew he could get it wound
back around without anyone noticing
perfection was his way of being
all of his expeditions capped
themselves in excellence

His slender fingers, smooth and agile
gentled the paper back around
he made no sound
no patterns noticed, no crumpled edges
it was perfection, done

His nose drank in the thick coffee scented air
awaiting his return
he licked his lips, remembering her brew
instead, only salt flavor
from his morning run

His name was Peter
oddly enough
Peter was from St.Petersburg
they met yesterday

Opening the door
the air was fresh
linen and dryer sheets
churning round and around

He forgot
just like the day
to replace the roll
so carefully wound, he returned
to complete his agency

TP never looked so good,
he was proud
he was certain
she would never learn
of his transgression

But once a roll unrolls and rolls
there is no returning to perfection, ever
there will always be telltale signs
scars and scabs, wounds

When are we leaving?
I have a plane to catch later tonight?
He thought Tiger didn’t remember
A child playing with her emotions
she had already ordered the Uber

A modern chariot of escape
for both of them

The TP roll was a brick in his hand
something to throw at her
but it wouldn’t hurt
just frighten, then
he could leave

He could walk out the door
fly home, instead of seats
narrow, too close, no room
yes fly, Peter wanted to fly

Tiger wouldn’t know
miss his departure
unaware of his grace in takeoff
her loss

He will land with ease
and be free of her
cheap toilet paper
too thin, see through

She dropped the viperous coffee pot
losing what small promise of conversation
she had in balance

She would make him leave
Peter from St. Petersburg
telling him it was all his fault
unrolling the facts
not able to take them back

Drbroye utro.
Da, was all she answered.

The coffee shouted
from cracks and corners
seeped and puddled
Leave. Just leave now,
Peter from St. Petersburg.
You are not welcome here.

And Peter from St. Petersburg
rolled out the door.

Author’s Note:

This is what happens when you write after midnight. Of course, toilet paper is on most everyone’s mind in this odd time in our lives.

The prompt from the NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo folks today, or should I say yesterday, was ridiculous in the most delightful way.

I simply went down the list and wrote to each prompt with as just a ridiculous story. Each stanza goes with each prompt in order (except for the name prompt which I used earlier in the poem.) But I like the last two stanzas.

Yes, I do.

Our (optional) prompt for today is one that we have used in past years, but which I love to come back to, because it so often takes me to new and unusual places, and results in fantastic poems. It’s called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course,  if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!

  1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
  2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
  3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
  4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
  5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
  6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
  7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
  8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
  9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
  10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
  11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
  12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
  13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
  14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
  15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
  16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
  17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
  18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
  19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
  20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

Kitchen Exoskeleton

 

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Kitchen Exoskeleton, Photograph with PicMonkey, Lex Leonard

I start, I see the primal
hear the bridal roar in denial
a vaginal entrance we all make
to end up here together 

Kitchen vision driven into me
locked with Lycian masks
everywhere I strain to see your faces 

But there is an economy
like a dovekie pitter-patter
an audible homily telling me
what’s right and what may not matter 

In my elemental life, what I
resemble and reassemble

with pencil marks on paper white 

Where coffee rings the page
embodies stroppy space
taking over the gentle poppy
from my brush 

A sweetly water-colored specimen
medicine for the artist
adrenaline
leaving only
my exquisite exoskeleton

Author’s Note:

Day Three of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo

At the last breath I made it. These days are odd in what we do now. Schedules fade into something lifted easily away in breath. I made it, though, I’m here before midnight.

Today’s prompt:

Today’s prompt (optional, as always) asks you to make use of our resource for the day. First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting, etc. Now, for each word, use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. For example, if my word is “salt,” my similar words might be “belt,” “silt,” “sailed,” and “sell-out.”

Once you’ve assembled your complete list, work on writing a poem using your new “word bank.” You don’t have to use every word, of course, but try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using your rhyming and similar words.

I see her in the distance…

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With one hand free we walk
he pulls and tugs, sniffs and wanders
I touch down off the stoop
careful not to stumble
pulling back on his leash
a safety bar for me
in balance with him

A few steps on scratchy
grey-to-match-the-day sidewalk

right turn around the corner of the house
down the driveway
then a quick left
and we are free

I see her in the distance
Mothertree
as he pulls and zig zags from sniff to sniff
she on top of the hill
waiting for us

First we must cross emptied streets
quiet in their distancing

We maneuver around dip of open space
spindly arms of buff bowing to earth
in honor of sprightly green pushing up,
frosted blue this fine April day

Past the stand of trees
blackened branches cradling bird nests
soon to be filled
then up the hill toward her

Upon arrival we see
her sap flows again
from a old wound partially healed over
but only partially
she allows an opening
a way for me to know she is alive
and well and ready for spring

Author’s Note:

from NaPoWriMo:

“Our (optional) prompt for the day takes a leaf from Schuyler’s book, as it were, and asks you to write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.”

Social distancing is our way now to show our love, honor every being of this Earth.

 

April 1st: Grace

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Birds were my alarm this morning
Teasing me to open my eyes
Take my first breath
Gentle myself in their call

Without judgement or demand
Their delight lightened my spiral
Changing its course
Leading me into the grace of this day

Author’s Note:

Day 1: NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo

Hello, friends! This is my first poem for National Poetry Month.

Today’s prompt is “to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life.” It is always optional to use the prompt and I never know if I meet the criteria. And I really don’t worry about that very much anyway. I write what makes me happy and I hope that is what you do also.

If you can, please visit the site. They share some fun resources – a metaphor generator which is quite unique and I couldn’t really grasp any of the rather weird metaphors. I might try again later when I’m in a more playful mood. Oy. And they shared a link to an Emily Dickinson poem as an example of using a metaphor. Wellllll, I won’t lie. I had to Google a commentary on the poem to understand it. Then I realized how obvious it was. There is NO judgement here on myself. It’s all about learning. 🙂 

I have a few friends who are being VERY brave and are humoring me this month. I have such sweet and wonderful friends. They have agreed to jump in and try writing poetry. They are amazing writers but don’t write poetry. They are going to give it a try. BRAVO!!

So I thought I would share one process I do sometimes. Poetry is about the essence of a thought. I see poetry as writing pared down into exact words, not too many and not too few. It is not over descriptive using flowery words. It is about your voice. The one inside your head that is precise and brings images to mind. 

I always have a movie running inside my head as I write. If I am writing a story, I write what I see. If I am writing a poem, I’ve done this long enough that I can edit the imagery into less words for my poem.

So I challenge my friends who are reluctant poets to start with a simple narrative. Then take away the unnecessary words. Especially words like “the” or “and”. Pare it down to just a beautiful image – even if it is not a specifically beautiful image.

Here is my example of my narrative and then the poem. I really didn’t end up taking away words from the narrative. But I gathered the essence of what I wanted to say. The narrative was the movie. The poem, my review. See what you think. 

So here is my process today:

Metaphor: Birds are my alarm clock

I didn’t set my alarm clock last night before I went to bed. It was late and I was feeling the spiral of these days taking me deeper. I thought I should sleep in. It was the birds I heard call me awake this morning. Not the beep, beep, beep of the red eyed glowing demon pushing me out of my warm cocoon.

This morning the birds were my alarm clock. They were a symphony of delight. Gentle in their call. In joy I gave gratitude to all that surrounds me that I may not pay attention to or acknowledge. This is the day of moving into wonder and grace given to me without judgement or me needing to prove my worth. This is the day I step into grace.

 

 

Red

Red

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You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.
Sun hides behind clouds longing to shine through,
except that she wouldn’t.

Unable to warm soil, words hinder
poppy sprouts anew.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.

Memories held inside her frame injure.
She longs to break the glass of that view,
except that she wouldn’t.

A spark of flame leaves but only a cinder,
too dark to see what she really knew.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.

His words she gathers unhindered
and places them carefully to later pursue,
except that she wouldn’t.

New moon gives rise for her to surrender
to stillness within safe solitude.
You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red.
Except that she wouldn’t.

 

 

Author’s Note:

Oh, the poetic form! It’s always worth a try.

From today’s NaPoWriMo challenge…

The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!

My lines are taken from a book I am currently reading. I picked it up, opened to a random page and pointed. There were the two lines side by side from The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah that just happened to be “opposing” ideas. I kid you not: You’ll look pretty as a picture in this, Red. Except that she wouldn’t.