Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Day Five ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day Five . . . about to finish counting on one hand. Gonna need two hands tomorrow.

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD prompt: "For today’s prompt, we’ve actually got two prompts (that is, a Two-for-Tuesday prompt). Here we go: (1) Write an experienced poem. Or . . . (2) Write an inexperienced poem. The word “experience” can be applied to a multitude of things and situations. So . . . there’s a lot of possibilities today!"

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: I’ve recently been paging through seed catalogs, many of which feature “heirloom” seeds with fabulous names. Consider the “Old Ivory Egg” tomato, the “Ozark Razorback” or “Fast Lady” cow-pea, “Neal’s Paymaster” dent corn, or the “Tongues of Fire” bush bean. Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities. To help you out, here are links to the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange and the Baker Creek Seed Company. Also, here’s a hint – tomatoes seem to be prime territory for elaborate names. And who knows, maybe you’ll even find something to plant in your garden! Happy writing!

When I facebooked Jed this morning with the day's prompts, he said, "Too late; the Muse got to me first. Though you could easily pretend this is an 'experienced poem.'" Well, okay, there you go, folks, here is Jed's "experienced poem"!

Writing Prose

When I wrote stories
When I was younger,
It was just phrases,
Stilted reminders

Of something in my head.

As I grew older
I had to study
Life for the Other,
And what eyes would see

If those eyes were not in my head.

When I wrote stories,
When I was older,
They grew much longer
Each time I revised,

Packing in everything that was in my head.

I’m older still, now;
I start to learn how
To say just enough
To push my thoughts through

Into your head.

—Draft by Jedediah Kurth    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

About today's poem, Ven said, "So this one was also a lot of fun. Heirloom seed names was a pretty freaking random prompt."

Jimi’s Muse

With his mouth full of Cherokee Purple, haze lifting from his hung-over gaze—
he saw a foxy lady with manic depression come out of a red house:
“Hey Jo . . . this is far out but would you feel love or confusion if I told you that I don’t live today?”
“Listen brother, my name’s not Jo, put yo’ ear to the ground and you gon hear the wind cries Mary
when it whistles my way. Now this may be love or it may be just fire, you dig?
But we don’t gets much time on this third stone from the sun so before we swing
I just need to know one thing — are you experienced?”


—Draft by Ven Batista    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

About merging today's prompts, Alan said, "Exotic seed name and experience — I made something that lilts when read aloud."

Sweet Wormwood

Sweet wormwood, sweet wormwood, sweet broken-down buried,
beloved and bedecked in your finery
all of those summery weeks we exhumed
our relations before the new highway went in
to grant access to Wal-Mart, who promised us jobs.
I pitched in, a graduate student aware
that my time in retail would be shorter than time
I would spend with my uncles who taught
me to finesse as I lowered the blade
of their backhoe to spoon up the headstones
and scrape clean the vault lids
to wench up the newer graves, coffins still sealed,
and cradle the much older graves long exposed
to the dirt and the insects and elements,
earth and seeped water
diluting old time to a tarnish and wither
diluting old kin to mere bone frame and leather.
We love them, we moved them, we look at new pavement
and grieve for those dead who had not found old peace
in a family graveyard all bordered with cypress and cedar and fern
and sweet wormwood, sweet wormwood,
sweet broken-down buried we mourn.

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

Sarah riffs today on Adam's garden, a pavane of myth, geology, history, and beginnings, starting with a melon seed.

Eden's Gem

A name of gentle mythicality
for a bit of peach-pale flesh, rippling
to vitalizing shimmer of green light,
hidden deep within ribs of snake-scaled shell.

But my mind’s eye leaps beyond sweet nectar
to a garden, almost unreal in such
perfection. Scholars puff up and call it
the Cradle of Civilization, proud
in their half-way formed guesses and gambles.
They point on ancient maps and dance graphite
circles around origin zones (so called).
Pangaea is their angel, history
their god. Such experience in knowing
absolutes of nothing except “maybes.”

Maybe degrees in sociology
are unneeded to hear a story told:
a genesis, a clean slate stained black, good
and evil. Humanity in lockstep
with the Devil and God’s gorgeous, green gem
desecrated. Maybe chipping through stone
and sediment will bring us more knowledge,
but absorbing words of truth brings wisdom.
The intricacies of tectonic shifts
escape me; love and sacrifice do not.

I wonder if Adam farmed muskmelons,
experiencing in them his Eden;
the layers of delicate beauty, sharp
contrasts, and carefully concocted balance.

—Draft by Sarah Smith    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Melded all three today: seed names as well as both experience and inexperience. Fun prompts to shuffle together.

On Helping Kathy in the Garden

Amaranth (Love Lies Bleeding),
Bachelor’s Button (Black Ball),
Cosmos (Memories of Mona),

all the way down the alphabet to
Yellow Torch (Mexican Sunflower),
and Zinnia (Thumbelina) seed names

seem to beg for fables and rhymes
of lost loves and broken promises,
of some dark danse macabre where

the bachelor’s button is sabered
off his belly by Zorro’s keen blade
or, worse, Satan’s forked, sinewy tail.

I boast both experience and innocence,
inexperience and expertise in such
fairy-tale shenanigans and quests.

All I can tell you, my love, is this:
I’ve horsed a garden tiller before,
wrestled its wheeling tines down

a line of backyard earth. I don’t mind
sweat on my brow like a son of Adam
as long as you, my daughter of Eve,

will feed me the sweetest Pink Lady
and Irish Peach apples, pick for me
the bluest Morning Glories at dawn.

Let us dine on Avalon Plums and
Maiden’s Blush Cherries. Ornament
our table with coronas of sunflowers:
Inca Jewels, Evening Sun, Velvet Queen.

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


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Ingat, everyone.   


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1 comment:

Jedediah Kurth said...

I knew I was going to like Vince's poem after the first stanza, and it did not disappoint. Lofty, fanciful, yet close-grained and personal. It reads like sheer delight.

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