Today’s prompt asked for a “remix” of another poem written during this month’s chapbook challenge. I chose my Day 5 poem, “self-destruct” and worked it over with a different beat.
Are there reasons to be hopeful? The countdown on the self-destruct has sped up. We’re expecting the warning alarm any day. Tonight, after the ocean went quiet and all the music stopped in Helsinki, we listened for the siren in the distance. We listened between the worried mutterings of the people, and through the optimistic Eureka! of someone who thought he’d figured out how to bring hope back. You’re not listening hard enough, he said, or you’ve forgotten how to do it right. Just put your ear here. And he held a purring cat to a microphone. Those magic vibrations, right in the 20 to 140 Hz range. Reminding us there’s comfort, power in the smallest of affections.
Five days in already! Time flies when you’re working words. Today’s prompt was to write a “self-destruct” poem. Hard not to go to the big picture of humanity place with the state of things, so I rolled with it.
There are reasons to be hopeful. At this exact moment, a man in California is hearing his child laugh for the first time. Better, he’s the one making the child laugh. A woman is being pulled from the Mediterranean Sea, and will live. People are dancing in Helsinki. Imagination burns. Someone is inventing new ways to be or not to be at all. Lighting the slow burning match that sets off the self-destruct. The end of everything — except. Radioactivity subsides. Fauna revives. Flora grows. Winds blow. It lightens the heart, really, this universal resilience. Take a sip of tea. Dip your cookie. It all goes on just fine without us.
In other poetry news, I am so excited that my first ever haiga has been chosen as an honorable mention in the Second Annual Jane Reichhold Haiga Competition, photography category. I took this photo at the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village just outside Edmonton, Alberta. The poem didn’t come immediately, but I could tell those old gloves had a story or two. Please take a moment to read all the winning entries in this issue of Failed Haiku magazine, and see my haiga, as well as the judge’s comments below.
Comments from contest judge Linda Papanicolaou:
“If senryu is about the human condition, old age can be an endless source of humor. This is a warm poem in the way it depicts an old man who retains the charisma of his younger days despite decrepitude. The image reinforces the poem nicely, illustrating line two with an image of boxing gloves. Its pale coloration evokes elderly skin while the empty space between the hanging gloves evokes missing teeth.”