Today’s prompt asks us to create a poem by engaging with a strange fact, or an odd bit of history, or some obscure morsel of trivia. I tried. Really I did…I read some bits and pieces in all the websites that were linked in the prompt, but nothing really spoke to me, so here I am, just thinking I’m going to write something and call it a poem, because I can!
FACT: I want to know how long it will take to grieve
FACT: I’m tired today
FACT: I’m waiting for things to change.
FACT: I’m scared they won’t.
FACT: I’m not sure I’ll ever learn to trust again.
FACT: I still have hope.
Ah, today’s prompt transported me to the world of Sylvia Plath. I spent some time reading her and loving her, amazed by the depth and the intensity of feeling evoked by her words. Truly masterful were her combinations of sounds and phrasing. Sometimes as I read them aloud the words became percussive in my ears. For this penultimate day of NaPoWriMo 2018 I chose Plath’s Poem “Elm” as the starting point for my poem.
Here are the first three tercets of Plath’s poem. I just love them.
I know the bottom, she says. I know it with my great tap root:
It is what you fear.
I do not fear it: I have been there.
Is it the sea you hear in me,
Or the voice of nothing, that was your madness?
Love is a shadow.
How you lie and cry after it
Listen: these are its hooves: it has gone off, like a horse.
And now here you go with today’s poem:
I know the bliss of realization, she says. I know it with my greatest summit.
It is what you dream of.
I do not dream it: I live there.
Is it the galaxy you taste in me,
Or the embodiment of forever, that was your serenity?
Love is pure light.
How you move and sing with it
Feel: these are its wings: it rests with you, like an angel.
Today’s prompt asks us to write a prose poem inspired by messages seen on vintage postcards…
Wish you were here.
Actually, I’m glad you’re not.
You’d have to see how I’m really doing then.
Today’s prompt: take an image from the tarot deck and build your poem from there. I love trying something new. And I’ve loved the tarot since I was in middle school. Win-Win!
She nourishes the land and sea
with her naked essence;
her vulnerability renders her
She is so focused on her task
of sharing the life giving waters
She doesn’t hear the little bird
chirping in her ear.
If she could,
this is what it would be saying:
Slow down, dear,
take your time.
Give of yourself, yes,
but let it pour forth slowly.
There is no hurry
and this world may not be ready
for a flood.
You don’t have to try so hard;
you are already good.
Today’s prompt asks us to write a poem that engages all five senses. Hmmm. Alrighty then.
I reach out for you in the middle of the night still.
You were there for years, but now you are not.
The sound of your snoring,
even your breath in the morning,
how much more would I have savored those
if I knew what was coming?
I remember your hairy belly.
Isn’t it silly,
these things that stay in my mind?
I remember running my hand
on your tummy, loving the feel of you,
your warmth; I suppose it’s unkind
to do this to myself, to remember like this.
But do I have a choice?
I can feel the sadness now in the back of my throat,
the tears that want to come.
I can taste those uncried tears,
their bitterness, my fragility.
Now you are with her,
and I include you both in my forgiveness practice.
So many have told me to let go,
to focus on me,
to be my own best friend.
But what to do when nothing feelings like home anymore,
when I am a stranger to myself,
when the most familiar things are the memories
growing fainter with each tear that falls?
Today I experienced an emotional trigger—like the sting before tears fall—as the first words of the poem immediately leapt in my mind upon reading the prompt. I’m feeling raw today. Low and lonely, without a safe harbor in the world. God help me.
Thinks too much.
Don’t get too close.
May share opinion without being asked.
May care too much.
May fall in love with you immediately.
May get too attached.
May think there is a future with you.
May believe her own dream.
May waste away to nothing
when the dream falls apart.
Run in the opposite direction
if you see her coming.
Today’s prompt…write an elegy. Maybe you can figure out to whom I am writing the elegy?
I could feel you after I met him,
and the promise of you drew nearer
with each meeting.
And then the day came
when you were finally a reality.
Friends and family gathered
to celebrate your beginning,
such a joyous occasion.
I had such high hopes for you,
invested in you with my heart and soul.
I had longed for you my whole life
and here you were.
They told me you would be difficult,
so I didn’t bring any false hopes going in.
I was willing to roll up my sleeves
and do the work to keep you going
for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.
But you began to fail.
And try as I might to keep you alive,
he no longer wanted you,
and he chose to let you die.
No…that’s not it.
He chose to kill you.
He even mocked you,
disrespected your memory,
threw away your remains
as if you never existed.
And I tried to pick up all the pieces,
to make some sense of what happened.
There was no saving you;
I wonder if you were ever really there.
And now I weep for you.
I miss you.
I had you for eight years,
and now you are gone.
Rest in peace;
you are remembered by me
and you will live forever
in the gratitude I feel
for the lessons you brought me.