Thursday, April 3, 2014

Day Three ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2014


Welcome to Day Three of National Poetry Month! Here are today's "official" prompts:

"Write a message poem," begins Robert Lee Brewer. "Messages can be delivered in a variety of ways: postcard, e-mail, text message, letter in a bottle, smoke signals, secret codes, jumbotron proposals, etc. Also, messages themselves can be simple, complicated, nice, mean, happy, sad, and so on" (Poetic Asides).

"Third Time's the Charm" is the title of Maureen Thorson's Day Three post today. "In keeping with today’s status as the third day of NaPoWriMo, I challenge you to write a charm – a simple rhyming poem, in the style of a recipe-slash-nursery rhyme. It could be a charm against warts, or against traffic tickets. It could be a charm to bring love, or to bring free pizzas from your local radio station." (NaPoWriMo).

Had fun mashing up the two prompts again.    Hope you enjoy it!

A Charm Against the Chill

Old Man Winter, stay away.
Eat hot peppers every day.

Take a trip to Trinidad.
Sunbathe in Bermuda plaid.

Put chili powder in your pot.
Rage and let your blood run hot.

Pay attention to my spell:
Break the ice, then go to hell!

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

When I was drafting, I had the phrases "sip a julep" and "sniff a tulip" in play at a certain point but they didn't end up staying. I just might have to build a limerick around those two lines!   

Today, our friend Thomas Alan Holmes is writing from Maureen Thorson's prompt yesterday "to write a poem based on a non-Greco-Roman myth." Here is Alan's introduction for today: "While this poem does not exactly incorporate a mythic figure into contemporary time, as suggested by yesterday's prompt, it takes an old story and follows its logical conclusions." Enjoy, friends.

Field Dressing Snow

Miss Trimble in the second grade described
how Cherokee would hollow fallen logs
to make canoes, hack through the outer bark
and char through heartwood, scrape out ash, and shape
what hull remained with sharpened flint, the husk
of something dead transformed, conveying braves
to food, to war, to villages and men
beyond familiar life, a chance at change.

Christana Ellison picked out the book
for story time that day; she chose Snow White,
I think, because the princess was brunette
with lips like rubies. She would eat Red Hots
and cherry candy, making pouty red
expressions on the playground. There the girl
is exiled in the woods, the huntsman sent
to kill her overcome with mercy; he
through mercy sees a doe and downs it, takes
its heart, and offers it as evidence
that he will murder as the queen commands.

On my first hunting trip, when I was eight,
my granddad bagged a doe with one clean shot,
and I began to learn how one makes meat
of life, to splay a carcass, split its skin
from throat to crotch, to tie off guts in case
the waste remains, much like the bladder, core
the anus, push the lights and guts aside,
but save the treasured liver, precious heart,
most savory of organs, bury dross,
and haul the hollow body home for food.
Had I brought down the doe, he said, my cheeks
would be smeared red with blood from my first kill.

The huntsman knew; the queen intuited
that he, surpassing murder, must break through
compassion, burst her sternum or reach up
into that cooling cage of ribs to grasp
a chambered, muscled pump and tear it free.
He had to leave the meat. I tell the tale
that he, his audience complete, approached
the royal cook with one request, to sear
that liver, mostly rare. I say he ate
it there inside the kitchen, sure that one,
some serving girl or such, would spread a tale
the queen would hear at last, and he would have
a favored spot within her court for life.

—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes     [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Wow, Alan, that poem rocks! I love the phrase "grasp a chambered, muscled pump and tear it free." And then he risks being discovered to have the "liver, mostly rare." And the queen, maleficent as she is, of course assumes "the treasured liver, precious heart" are those of her own sweet daughter. Stepdaughter, of course. Wow.

Friends, won't you comment below, please? Alan and I would love to hear what you have to say about our poems. To comment, look for a blue link below that says "Post a comment"; if you don't see that, look in the red line that starts "Posted by" and click on the word "comments."

Ingat, everyone.  


POEM-A-DAY 2014 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


1 comment:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Fantasy literature is always popular in my house, and, when a major movie studio decides to adapt "Jack and the Beanstalk" into a summer tentpole event, I have to wonder just how far this interest can go--it has to do with more than the stories' being in public domain.

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