Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt called for a haibun, and included a link to this excellent essay on the form. I mashed it with the Poetic Asides prompt asking for a poetic lament.
Lament for Downtown Living
I miss things. The barista at the coffee shop who knew not to ask, “Room for cream?” The friendly nod of the man who always got to the bus stop before me. The thundering bass from the apartment above, rhythmic declaration that the weekend had arrived. The chorus of cooing pigeons on the balcony, calling us awake before the alarm. The jagged shadows of the leafless trees, back lit by a row of streetlamps. The smell of fresh-baked croissants sneaking into the apartment lobby. The overheard banter between students walking back to campus after last call. The consumption limits, imposed by small spaces. The naive faith we shared, that a 2-bedroom apartment would be plenty of room for us and a baby. The ease of slipping a rent cheque in a slot. The ignorance about the pros and cons of variable or fixed mortgages. The righteous opinion that suburbia was for the old and boring.
neighbour stops shoveling
I regret to say that I didn’t have much time today to thoughtfully consider a poem about “regret”, which is the Writer’s Digest prompt. But, this micro did spring pretty quickly to mind.
Pointless but potent
heart sting of
A few nights ago I had the pleasure of attending a Edmonton Poetry Festival reading, and discovering that poet Angela Kublik is a staff member at my own, beloved local library. I have read some of Ms. Kublik’s work in the past, and adore the anthologies she’s co-edited: Home and Away: Alberta’s Finest Poets Muse on the Meaning of Home and Writing the Land: Alberta through its Poets. Being a huge fan of haibun, I particularly enjoyed Ms. Kublik’s “An Unsuspecting Lump of Clay” series which was published on DailyHaiku.org.
Today’s Poetic Asides prompt called for a poem about footwear. I cheated a little, and morphed something I had previously started into this haibun of sorts.
I’ve accepted that the oceans will grow to gobble cities — mostly the too-big, grimy ones. Polar bears will be drawn like unicorns on children’s stickers with rainbows and hearts. Mangoes will grow in Canada. I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not all bad. Sure, the ancient Greeks never dreamed of globalisation. Twitter. 24-hour Wal-Marts. But wouldn’t they be dazzled? Wouldn’t they gape at our toys, the parasitic progress? Say: this isn’t what we meant when we talked about Beauty and certainly not Justice but we know you’re trying to mime Good. We applaud your effort. Maybe they’d tell us that when we’re long gone, circles will still be imperfect. The sky will still be blue. Nothing changes that much.
Sneaker sale —
whose soul’s been sold
for this sole?
Sonnets are the theme of the day at NaPoWriMo. I’ve attempted sonnets before with little success, which is perhaps why I am so enamored with the ones that work — both classic and modern style. One I am especially fond of is “Blank Sonnet” by George Elliott Clarke, our current Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate (with darn good reason!)