PAD 2020 – Day 8

Today’s attempt is another prompt two-for-one, combining the Poetic Asides call for a “future” poem, with the NaPoWriMo challenge to use a line, a phrase or word from a Twitter poetry bot as inspiration for a new poem. I used the pinned Tweet from @SylviaPlathBot, which just seemed to mesh perfectly with a future prompt and my own actively anxious state of mind.

 

It starts with a line from a Syliva Plath

 

I am not ready for anything to happen

yet I feel like I’ve been preparing my entire life.

Have you? We’re in this together, whether we like it

or not, but we didn’t walk the same path to get here.

We haven’t compared exit strategies. Worry

is a cruel teacher. Makes you a master of stasis,

mulling every kind of future, gluing yourself

to some version of a past. So little left for now.

If you can, imagine the frigid waters of a murky river

— one you will need to get across —

but that current, so tenacious.

Rabid dog crush of water that will not release you

from its teeth. I confess, since this started with her,

that I’m having a hard time remembering the shore.

Can you? Do you see it? Are the poplars still there?

The grassy cliffs? That spot where the mallards

gather in spring? Tell me it’s all still the same,

that nothing has or will happen. Tell me our limbs

will never tire from treading all this water.

 

wide_river_stock_by_tommygk-d6e0lt9

NaPoWriMo – Day 29

For the penultimate day of National Poetry Month, I used the NaPoWriMo.net prompt to write a response to a Sylvia Plath poem. Mine is not so much a response, as a stream of consciousness something-or-other that came from the line “Where do the black trees go that drink here?” from Plath’s poem “Crossing the Water.”

Image result for image bare branches

Black Trees

In a gift shop, I tell my friend about my recent obsession with bare branches.

I want to possess them in paintings, necklaces, a metal wall sculpture.
It’s the bud of spring here, and the trees are betraying this admiration.
Abandoning their minimalist life for something with more promise.
The birds, of course, rejoice, but it’s harder to see them in an elm, full plumage.
Harder to watch the small red chest of the robin shrink and puff just before he offers his melodic warble.
I imagine the solitude of a forest, fresh from a fire. Destroyer, perhaps, but purifier too.

It takes years before those charred, naked sticks are overtaken by new growth.

So many years, I could forget how to drink that stark beauty.