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Saturday, June 18, 2011

NEVER A CROSS WORD - PROMPT #8

morning, package, fairy, shopping center, aluminum, pillow,
heretic, pyramid, rebel, door, concierge, pocket, cot

One thing you can say about our genial gardeners here at POETIC BLOOMINGS, is that there is never a cross word between them. Use as many of the words in this crossword grid and write a poem. This week is a challenging change of pace.

Marie's submission:


ASSETS

Once upon a moment,
The moon’s aura rested
At my window,
Leaving silver-plated packages
Of windfall in my name.

I believed that door to be
Slammed.
Sealed at the whim of a heretic.

What then could I do,
But prepare to lay my head
On the pillow-less aluminum cot
Of an uneasy future
Of shopping center pleasantries
And pyramid schemes?

But I have a fairy in my pocket
And a penny rebel’s heart.

Morning broke.
I collected my being.

Concierge?




Walt’s rant:

Another Day in Paradise

Morning is a rebel, fighting the grip
with which night clutches, slipping into its pocket.
An uninvited visitor at the
door by which the heretic had entered.
In the shadows, the concierge rests,
the aluminum fa├žade of the
shopping center becomes his pillow;
the street, his surrogate cot, proffers dreams.
Sugar plum fairy dances by the grace
of the distant pyramid’s gleam.

BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS - PROMPT #7

I have thoroughly enjoyed this peek at the favorite of your favorites. A wide range of inspiration and thought provocation. The quality level continues to rise making this task both enjoyable and taxing. But we have made our decisions. So without further delay:


Marie’s choice:

This week, I chose Kim King’s "Poetry Reading," inspired by a line from Billy Collins’ "Introduction to Poetry":

"But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it."

Don’t you just love it? What a line!

Kim’s "Poetry Reading" is well planned. It tells a story, complete with relatable characters. She raised my level of discomfort, and made me squirm in my seat as though I was back in junior high. In the first two couplets, Kim manages to introduce us to the personality of the author of the love letter. These lines are absolutely dense with tell-tale description: "scratched in ink, some smears along the margins," "folded words," "loops of L’s and O’s in Bic he borrowed," (that is my favorite!) "Rhyming words with silly pleas," and "figures sketched to make her smile" … all help us get inside his head, and endear him to us. Using only a handful of couplets, Kim weaves her love story, while showing us what poetry is all about.

Kim, you should feel very special, being chosen among such splendid work this week !

Poetry Reading
By Kim King

The lines he wrote were scratched in ink, some smears
along the margins. Folded words he penned

to her with loops of L’s and O’s in Bic
he borrowed. Rhyming words with silly pleas

to never leave him, figures sketched beside
his poem drawn to make her smile. That note

he wrote in English class when Mr. Hughes
was teaching sonnets, verse and metered feet

while tapping beats, "da, Dum, da, Dum da, Dum."
He slipped the page across the aisle to Joe

who passed it––Hughes then grabbed the note and read
the poem. Mouths agape, they stared at both

who blushed and shook while Hughes kept reading all
to twenty kids who did not move or hear

a single word. The fate of couplets, verse
and trochees lost in fear and horror shared.

The lesson learned, the note returned, the class
then left the room. His poem shared, he bowed

his head and dropped the note into the trash.
She pulled it out and pressed his fragile words

into her breast. She hid that note inside
her book. The poem fresh, she breathed his verse.
 
 
Walt’s honoree:

Well, it had to happen sooner of later. I had scrutinized the wonderful works this week, and while waiting for Marie’s selection had made my decision. SO in fairness, I will congratulate my first choice, Kim King for wowing Marie and me with Poetry Reading.

But I will choose another of these equally impressive works.

In this piece, the imagery is abstract but hauntingly familial. Our daily struggle to find who we are and from whence we came plays itself out in this work by one of my favorite poets in his own right, Daniel Ari.
 
Playing Favorites offering by Daniel Ari

"When I pray for you, I also pray for myself."
—Mirabai


this kid pierces me though
turns my body to flash fire
a feral look beyond rage
and i can’t be sure what species
we belong to
the bear or the beetle
something that eats its young
or destroys its sire

in that accusation
is the crucible of years
the deadly kung fu
of unappeasable caterwaul
and the reason after reasons flee
impulse before libraries of wisdom
surrender of shedding live skin

sure as any animal is chemical
adrenaline will not let me sleep
i need a new lair
i need a medicinal berry
or for the moon to set

and in the morning
this kid runs balm through me
a beatific smile beyond cosmic
and i’m still not sure what species
we belong to
the bear or the beetle
something that carries its young
to the only safe corner of the ocean
or something whose only program
is to nourish its queen
with morning honey
 
Congratulations Kim and Daniel for your Week #7 Beautiful Blooms.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

IN-FORM POET - SIJO

The latest form to be highlighted on In-Form Poet is the Sijo.

Sijo is the classic form of unrhymed poetry in Korea. Sijo have three long lines. Each line varies between 14 and 16 syllables, with the middle line the longest. The first line states a theme, the second line counters it, and the third line resolves the poem.

Marie Elena’s offering:

Mild reprieve from thought confusion and hallucinations,
At what cost? Becoming functionally blind? Movement disorders?
Regrettably, treatment often begets unwelcome fate.


Walt’s Example:

The winds of change blow harshly, burning my face and my eyes.
I shield them with my calloused hands, hoping for some relief,
so that I can steel myself against its stark reality.


Sijo are not usually titled. Try your hand at a few.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

PLAYING FAVORITES – PROMPT #7

Take your favorite line, from your favorite poem, by your favorite poet. Make that line the inspiration and title of your poem. Shine a fresh new light and write.


Marie Elena’s effort:


What sort of poet has a difficult time choosing between Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky … and King David? I finally chose King David, who truly is the ultimate praise poet. I have so many favorite lines from his psalms, but must say that I am partial to De Jackson’s life-motto: From Psalm 61, a psalm of David: “And I'll be the poet who sings your glory - and live what I sing every day.” This has become my own personal daily prayer as well. Several of the psalmist’s expressed feelings found their way into my sonnet, below.



AN IMPERFECT POET

My Lord is great, and greatly to be praised.
In Him, I live and breathe, and take delight.
Yet, even though I’m awed and stand amazed,
My hollow words do not reflect His might.

How regal is Your name in all the earth!
Lord, who am I, that You would care for me?
Creator of my heart before my birth,
I long for it to be a light for Thee.

Now, “may the meditation of my mind,
And words upon my lips,” as David urged,
“Be pleasing in Your sight,” and may You find
Offensive ways concealed in me, now purged.

Imperfect poet, bound in mercy’s frame,
I seek to daily lift Your sacred name.




Walt’s Week # 7 Poem:

My favorite poem from one of my favorite poets is “A Man In His Life” by Yehuda Amichai. In it there is this line:

“A man doesn't have time.
When he loses he seeks, when he finds
he forgets, when he forgets he loves, when he loves
he begins to forget.”


WHEN HE LOVES HE BEGINS TO FORGET

Her face retains some semblance
of familiarity, a rarity these days.
He says he can recall a time when
she was his sunshine on a cloud filled sky,
but he cannot remember her name.
The smile is soft and comforting,
yet he doesn’t know why she smiles.
“Have you seen my wife?” he asks,
confused by her tears. “She was just here.”
Her head lowers to the bed in sobs.
A hand reaches to comfort and caress.
“Dear, don’t cry. I love you,” he states
“but, what is your name?”