Thursday, April 23, 2015

BLUE DECK INVITES INSPECTION IN THE LAYING OUT OF CARDS

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Today's NaPoWriMo prompt is to find a deck of cards, any kind will do, pull a card, free-write about whatever moves you for five minutes, then turn the result into a poem.

Cards I've got. I have OH Cards and Medicine Cards and Karma Cards and Angel Cards and regular old 52-pick-up cards, and even a deck from Louisiana complete with recipes!

I think I'll go with the image cards from the OH Cards. Of course, depending on how you look at the box they come in, they could be HO Cards. And that would be something entirely different.

Shuffling.

And...we have a winner. It appears to be a picture of someone's hands laying out cards. Oh look! Here it is now!


I won't put you through the excruciating pain of a free-write. It's enough I write most of my April poems directly onto my blog. Some of them are not very successful at all, and this would be one of those but I got stuff to do here so here's the poem I got:


BLUE DECK INVITES INSPECTION
IN THE LAYiNG OUT OF CARDS


Blue — stuck here
on rug, on floor,
ungraceful yet promising
the act of reading,
the art of being read.

Why blue, these cards,
why yellow, that tray, or rug,
could be oilcloth, who can say?
Why face down; to save face?
Whose? And where and what outcome and why?

On the sideboard napkins fidget,

wait for treats to wrap around.
Hands preoccupied while dealing
think of sapphires, bands of silver,
cards laid out like tournament treats.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

FOR A MOMENT— A PASTORAL

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Fifteen minutes until midnight. Can she do it?

A pastoral poem, to celebrate Earth Day.


FOR A MOMENT— A PASTORAL


wind steadies and the birds fall silent
       leaves cease their shimmerdance
              frogs in the slough out back stop talking

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SLIPS AND STONES

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Today, an erasure poem. Of course, I'm looking for a specific little pamphlet that was on my desk until I cleaned it off before we went away. Do you think I can find it today? Of course not. Can I think of any other source text I'd like to use? Ditto.

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Found a link to Shirley Jackson's The Lottery and pulled the last 750 or so words to use as source.





















Started the elimination dance. Got rid of lots of words!



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Until eventually, this:



SLIPS AND STONES



slips                papers            breeze            
glance                              keep each one

box the box 
hold tight       wonderingly

friends switching slip  
red and overlarge 
snatched out and held

slip sound edges
the way open
                        open
                        
slip 
then look, unfolded, 
                         blank

hushed, show slip
out of hand

black   black night
heavy and astir

finish forgotten ritual

remembered stones

made ready; stones

blowing stone


small stones gasping

stones and pebbles

held out

fair stone

fair


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Monday, April 20, 2015

KNOW WHAT NO NO

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NaPoWriMo, you're just the best! Today's challenge? Write about what you know.


KNOW WHAT NO NO



You know the difference between the last intense
stage of labour and the sting of a disturbed sting ray,
and it isn't much.

You know the reason birds sing and sing
they can't not
they have something to say and they're saying it.

You know there are more greens than there are names—
chartreuse, sage, hunter, pastel, forest, blue,
and none of them describe the nascent aspen on the mountain.

You know the way it feels to wake up in the morning
and not know where you are
or who that is.

You know your life is more than half gone
and look! those hands, that wrinkled face,
those inward-facing toes.

You know you've loved it here on Earth
stinky cities, stinkier outhouses,
a mountaintop, a farmer's field in Spain.

You know you are loved and all is possible.
Hockey's on, the playoffs at hand,
and night descends as Equinox approaches.


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Sunday, April 19, 2015

NATURE WALK WITH GRANDSON, ZUCKERBURG ISLAND

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I'm copying a lot of this prompt from NaPoWriMo's site where they tell me they'd "...like to challenge you to write a landay. Landays are 22-syllable couplets, generally rhyming. The form comes from Afghanistan, where women often use it in verses that range from the sly and humorous to the deeply sardonic and melancholy. Check out this long investigative article on landays for a fascinating look into a form of poetry often composed in secret, and rarely written down. You could try to write a single landay – a hard-hitting couplet that shares some secret (or unspoken) truth, or you could try to write a poem that strings multiple landays together like stanzas (maybe something akin to a syllabic ghazal?)


I read the article referred to above. Sometimes I just have to shake my head in wonder at what other women in this world have to deal with. Sometimes I'm so amazed at how lucky I am.


NATURE WALK WITH GRANDSON, ZUCKERBURG ISLAND


Today we walked the trails around the island, 
admitting our fears. His, spiders; mine, the snake.

We know it makes no sense, this recognition,
this frosting of bone that zaps the mind awake.

We become kinder to each other, wanting
to spare the details of some recent sighting.

He doesn't point out rustling grasses trailside
and I do not mention eight legs in the car.




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Saturday, April 18, 2015

LOCO AT THE LOO

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So yesterday I was quite poetry-involved, even though I didn't post anything. I spent an hour talking about poetry with three classes of students via the Internet. Now, I'm not actually a teacher, so whenever I get into situations where I have to do something like that the obsessing about it I do is unbelievable! The hour was both long and short. It was very strange, babbling at my computer while not being able to see to whom I was babbling. So yeah, did that, then went to Nelson to drop off income tax stuff and visit my sisters, then home, cooked dinner, sat down to watch the National, and boom! Woke up at eleven just long enough to go to bed and was just too tired to start writing anything. (The being tired like that is a natural result of the aforementioned obsessing).

But it's another day. Actually, it's almost eleven—again—but at least I'm conscious, so here goes today's effort.

The prompt, via the always interesting NaPoWriMo, is "to write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. It could historical, mythical, entirely fictional, or memoir-ical."

And I got nothing! 

An urgent journey? AND and important message?

Why is all I can think of to do with having to pee? Is there is message there? 


LOCO AT THE LOO


Why is when the line is long
it never seems to move?
If I were rich I'd add a row 
of special seats to prove 
how kind and generous I am,
how thoughtful and perceptive,
but be aware if there's a line
you'll suffer my invective.


So there. Historical,  mythical, entirely fictional, or memoir-ical? You decide.
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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A SPRING WALK PONDERING SORT OF POEM

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Tied, tied, tied up, getting ready for tomorrows poetry talk, so I'm not doing the prompt, I'm just doing something short.


SPRING WALK TO ZUCKERBURG ISLAND 
ALONG THE MILLENNIUM WALKWAY


River's low—
with sand to walk on, 
hiking boots 
not bare feet.

Sun warms 
but doesn't bake, 
peels layers off overdressed me.

I'm walking with the dead today, 
with Daniela who, 
only a few weeks ago 
was looking to buy a bike,

whose daughter will know her
through stories and pictures
as she flourishes, grows.

And I'm walking with Dalia
who taught me, who came from
a people who didn't then,
that it's okay to hug,

whose grandchildren will know her 
through stories and pictures 
that will have to do.

Current's swift—
wouldn't want to wade in too far. 
Sometimes living feels that way
but we splash in, regardless,

sinking, swimming,
and one way or another
we make it to shore.



Free verse. Four alternating four-, then three-line stanzas. Yet another exploration of this thing called life. We'll call it a Crosfieldian.

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