Today I drew the prompt “Tanka,” which is a form poem. Five lines, measured by syllables: 5-7-5-7-7. What I love about form poems is I have to get present. I have to see what is right before me and play with it. I also give myself the added restriction of not adding -ing to the verbs to create a needed syllable. Extra fun. I loved tripping over rain and reign and finding the ending.
Morning clouds bloom dark
Wind twists, rips tiny green leaves
Coffee drips, the dog pants
The cat poses on a sill
Here, anticipation reigns.
I cross a bridge most everyday
On my way to most everywhere
Most days, mid bridge, I think about an escape plan if it collapsed
Would I have enough time to press the automatic windows down?
Would I be able to think, “Finger. Window. Open.”
Would it save me?
Would the other falling cars me crush me?
I’m never able to answer these questions of course
So I think about the engineers
who designed the bridge
Who thought about every weight contingency
Who imagined me stopped with forty other cars
Who calculated every pound at every speed.
Are the other drivers are making disaster plans?
Are they thinking about dinner and loved ones
Across the river?
Imagine this city with no bridges
For the closest bank
The sturdiest boat.
I swim hard to the surface
As my car sinks to the bottom.
A little more than a gallon of blood
Churns under my skin
A bucket’s worth of ocean water
Sloshes in the pail
the six-year-old carries
across the white sand
full of Look Mom treasures
a starfish, a hermit crab, some snails
The sand and water jerks wildly
Nearly spills on the
Striped beach towel
where each treasure dies
all summer long
suffocated and boiled
in clear water, no longer blue,
when carried away in a red plastic pail.
Well, yesterday’s poem was a bit of a rant. Let’s see what prompt I pull from my dad’s riding bowler today.
“Finally, the truth”
Hmmm…I think a prose poem is required.
I sat across from him. Charged and held. A flight risk because he had money. A lot. The charge was child pornography. He took lots and lots of pictures of young girls. Had sex with some them. Back when the images were burned onto film. Hard to escape that reality. But he tried. They answered the ad. They liked doing it. They got paid.
Every time I saw him in his orange county scrubs, he had another version in which the perpetrator is victimized, set up, ruined by people who can’t see The beauty The innocence The art Of his beautiful pictures.
They were 35mm.
You know, real artistic value. The last time I accepted the collect call from the Lockhart unit, he begged me to tell his side of the story because he didn’t do anything wrong. How was he supposed to know that having his film developed across state lines was a crime? I really am the victim here.
Today is April 1, the start of National Poetry Month. In 1996, the Academy of American Poets proclaimed this month to celebrate the amazing wealth of emotion, humor and human experience found in poetry. Liz Garton Scanlon, a poet I love admire and proudly call a friend, turned me on to it many years ago and I joined her in creating haikus for each day of the month. Funny little bits of the human experience. Then, for several years, I explored the works of other poets and shared their poems. Last year, I posted a poem a day of my own. That was fun. A little scary, but fun. I thought I might rejoin Liz in the land of Haikus this year but then I had another idea. A scarier one. Why not create 30 prompts, draw one each day, write a poem and post it? Eeeps. It’s a bit of high dive. Naked. But hey, we’re celebrating the human experience. Let’s jump in.
Have you read this phrase?
Have you seen this word?
It seems to be everywhere.
Who was this human
Who stumbled upon this word and texted
In an aspirational fever
OMIGOD This word describes exactly what we are trying to do: create beautiful spaces where people feel the desire to achieve something greater than who they are or what they have. It’s not glitzy or glam or rich or bougie. It’s ASPIRATIONAL. We’re giving them an idea of what they WANT to be.
Everyone in the text chain blinked hearts and exclamation points
And here we are:
With lives, somehow deemed less,
By being given treats and glimpses of how we can be more.
L2-Writing Right Now
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A Tree grows in Sedona
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