NaPoWriMo – Day 18

Decided to experiment this morning by combining the Poetic Asides prompt calling for a “temptation” poem, with the NaPoWriMo.net call for a reverse, line-by-line response to a published poem. Sounds a bit more complicated than it is, but here are the rules:

  • Find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with).
  • Use a piece of paper to cover over everything but the last line. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it.
  • Now move your piece of paper up to uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem, and write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line.
  • Keep going, uncovering and writing, until you get to the first line of your source poem, which you will complete/respond to as the last line of your new poem. It might not be a finished draft, but hopefully it at least contains the seeds of one.

I am not sure mine really meets the “response” instruction, but I just went where my mind took me.  I suppose I’ve been influenced by news of the Kinder Morgan pipeline, and other daily news about the threats to water. I’ve posted my poem first, and the source poem below.

 

 

Hands in the Well

 

Tempted by still, blue water

how long do we cup it in our hands

before bringing it to our greedy mouths?

 

Our solar system, even beyond

awash in water they say,

liquid planets.

Life could be teeming

in the smallest drop.

 

Here it is not a maybe.

What makes this home

a home,  welcoming water smile.

 

When did we start

to take it for granted?

So humdrum it even falls from the sky.

Pour in the dirt. Bottle up the clean.

It doesn’t care if we dance

in praise or thanks.

 

Our eyes clouded by

too much too much too much,

we’ve forgotten the word sublime.

Can’t see past the mirrored surface.

 

Together, our hands panning for gold

what can we get get get.

 

Minds clogged

like a pipe jammed with

grease and hair.

 

Future solutions,

gummed up in there somewhere,

if only we can rinse them free.

 

The poem I reverse responded to was “With My Back to the World” by Saskatchewan poet Judith Krause, from her book Homage to Happiness.

 

With My Back to the World

by: Judith Krause

 

I have no ideas of my own.

I empty my mind every day

 

and wait for inspiration.

Alone, my back to the world,

 

I seek the sublime.

Nothing in nature

 

can match the happiness

I find in rectangles —

 

so much friendlier

and welcoming than squares.

 

The grid is my door

to the universe.

 

Bands of colour wash

through me onto the canvas —

 

green waves of beauty.

 

November PAD – Day 16

Today’s prompt asked for a letter to the world. I wanted to write a beautiful love poem to the earth, but what came out today was not my solitary voice, but a cynical chorus heard all around  — one that reads so much like a rejection letter.

16.

Dear world, thank you for sharing your work with us. While we have enjoyed exploring your great wonders — the ones we love to take photos of, and the mysterious ones we can only tickle the edges of when we are deeply dreaming, or have just fallen in love — we regret to inform you that we have not chosen to include you in our forthcoming preservation anthology. Members of our collective take into consideration many factors when deciding what is worth protecting, including whether or not it serves a particular hobby of our sons’, how much it strokes our ego, and how much profit we might lose were we to deem this particular part worth saving. As you can imagine, we have to make some very tough choices, and many stunning creatures, or life-sustaining elements, such as air or water, are often left out. Please trust us when we say this is no reflection on your work, but rather an indication of our own moral bankruptcy. We acknowledge that in many ways, your work is what allows us to continue, and we thank you for that. Best of luck in your sustainability pursuits.