Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo.net is a lot easier for me to wrap my head around than yesterday’s:
Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.
Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.
Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!
Okay then! My favorite place for some time now has been a perfectly round hill tucked in a valley between two mountains in the Briançonnais region of the department of the Hautes Alpes of France. I lived in Briançon for a few years and came to know some of the mountains like the back of my hand, and there are pieces of my heart and soul that remained there after I left my beloved France to return home to the US.
Last June I wrote this post in response to a prompt from a WordPress Writing 101 course. When I read today’s NaPoWriMo prompt I said to myself, “Ok, dear, let’s not reinvent the wheel. You know what your favorite place is. Find that post from last year and make a poem!” Ah, I love the internets. I went to my list of the 504 posts I’ve published on Yoga Mom, searched for “mountain” and voilà! There was my favorite place described in detail…ahh, the nostalgia. Here’s a blurb from that post followed by the poem I constructed from it for today’s NaPoWriMo offering:
If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briançon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes). The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briançon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte. From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks. I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day…
Drive up the winding mountain road,
park in the little village.
Now hike in.
Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers,
Mushrooms here and there–
Maybe a fairy or an elf
will saunter by.
Stop every now and again
along the winding mountain path
to sip some water,
breathe the most gorgeous perfume
of fallen pine needles,
Round le Mélézin and
face the hot sun beating down.
Laying eyes the hill,
now climb it.
Sit and watch life unfold from this vantage point
cradled there between the two peaks–
a proper hill,
a BIG hill,
a hill that is steep and rocky on one side
gently sloping on the other.
Choose your steps
rock to rock,
across a rushing stream,
pick your way through mushy grass
wet with the spring thaw
melting into summer.
The greenest grass,
sheep pastured for the summer,
peppering their bleats
with the monotone music
of intermittent clanging.
At the far end of the valley,
a shallow, ice cold torrent,
melt-off from the surrounding peaks
–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July,
to soothe and invigorate
this body, so hot after a long hike.
with nothing but the blue sky,
and some sheep to witness your courage–
take a dip for a few AHA seconds,
hands cupping ice water
pouring over face and body,
Get dressed now.
warming in the sun,
walk back to the beautiful round hill,
round like the earth,
round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation,
round like wholeness,
round like balance.