Saturday, April 15, 2017

Day 15 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2017


Midway through National Poetry Month today, or actually at the end of today. Halfway, half-and-half. I'm equal parts happy and sad to be at the midpoint.

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "Because we’re halfway through . . . I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that reflects on the nature of being in the middle of something. The poem could be about being on a journey and stopping for a break, or the gap between something half-done and all-done. . . . Let your mind wander into the middle distance, betwixt the beginning of things and the end. Hopefully, you will find some poetry there!"

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: "write a 'one time' poem. This poem could be about a once in a lifetime experience. Or it could be about something a person wants to try just one time (good or bad). Or take it where you will — as always."


Alan introduces his poem today: "My family has gone through a lot of changes in the past couple of years, some of them natural, some of them perhaps avoidable, but when the prompts for today combined to suggest a middle and an experience that I might not repeat, I could not help but think of my experience of being 'middle-aged' me. There are times when I feel about the same as I have ever felt, but there are other times when I feel drained, depleted in ways I have not experienced before. I would not halt the life transitions I see — of course we want the children we know and love to grow into happy, talented, beloved adults who explore life in their own way — but there are also those costs of some losses that seem to grow in number and frequency the older I get. The only remedy I have found in this situation has been to change as much as I can during these times, too. I have been as engaged a parent as I can figure out to be. I take classes as well as teach them, I help my younger colleagues in their projects, and I always have a new project of my own in mind, too. I keep a 'moveable middle,' I guess, and resist being fixed in place, as a title or a seat of honor fixes a person."

On the Bench

The wedding party placed me on a bench
beside my widowed mother, and I knew
then what photographers don’t say, what they,
my family, my new-bride niece, may not
have planned together or have thought to say,
that now, our father gone, I am the one,
the oldest Holmes of us, at middle age.
It’s some relief to live these years just once,
my pain of losing loved ones as they pass,
my mingled joy of children turned adult,
my bracing harder every day to fight
despair’s distracting me from each day’s joy,
a struggle always worth it, every time,
my forty-minute 5K, climbing stairs
while holding onto railing, nodding off
to droning meeting presentations, costs
of aging, true, but just this week, I saw
a friend I hadn’t seen in months, and all
I had for him was listening. These years
require resilience for the next long stretch.

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

Alan mentioned in his intro feeling "drained, depleted in ways [he has] not experienced before." I find that true for me with the Trump presidency. The current saber-rattling with North Korea is troubling, for example, but not the first time I've felt such depletion in his first 100 days, which are not over. My poem today works with the ideas "halfway" and "one time" and also the date, "15." Trying to write as small a poem as possible here.

This-Better-Be-a-One-Time-Thing Haiku

Wish we were halfway
through Trump, not 15 days short


of the first hundred.

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

Yesterday, Alan mentioned to me on facebook a visual idea he had: "I wish I were a graphic artist, Vince. I would take that scene from Dr. Strangelove, convert the bomb into a big Viagra tablet, and have Trump straddle it like Major Kong." Alan did add, however, that if such an image existed he probably wouldn't post it because it would seem like a cheap shot.

Well, cheap shot or no, I couldn't resist creating that image. And here it is.



You can also see it here in my DeviantArt gallery. Yesterday, Alan had shown me an image of Trump riding a bomb from the facebook group Americans Against Trump. I photomanipulated that image to produce my parody. Today, I discovered the Trump/bomb image had been created by WMX Design and was an illustration for an article. Beautiful work!


Friends, won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don’t find the word “comments” in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


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