Sunday, April 16, 2017

Day 16 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2017


Happy Easter! Happy Passover! Happy Spring to all you northern-hemisphere readers. Happy Fall to everyone in the southern hemisphere.

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: an epistolary poem. "Today I challenge you to take your inspiration . . . from the act of letter-writing. Your poem can be in the form of a letter to a person, place, or thing, or in the form of a back-and-forth correspondence."

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: "For today’s prompt, take the phrase '(blank) System,' replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. Possible titles could include: 'Weather System,' 'Solar System,' 'Writing System,' 'Ecological System,' or any number of other takes on systems."

I usually try to go beyond the examples Maureen or Robert suggest, but as an almost–astronomy major in college lo those many eons ago, I was attracted to one of Robert's today . . .

To the Solar System

Dearest Sun, Planets (and you too, old friend Pluto,
plus fellow dwarfs), Comets, Asteroids, and Moons:

Sorry that sounded like a Lucky Charms commercial.
Thank you for five billion years of spinning, spinning.

Thank you, Sol — center, pivot, compass, auroral wellspring.
You've anchored us amoebas, flora, fauna, humans, and ghosts.

Thank you, silvery Luna — night light, hunter, inspiration of all
werebeasts — for keeping your brightest face to us always.

Saturn, thank you for your humongous hula-hoop act of the ages.
Jupiter, we appreciate you keeping your huge stormy eye out.

All you planets, big and dwarf, all you moons, thank you
for keeping time in the music of the spheres, whiz and hum.

Asteroids, many many thanks for dodging nimbly out of our way.
Comets, gratitude for swishing your tails in eternal light shows.

Little green men, bug-eyed monsters, pilots of UFOs,
we are thankful for your visits. We love the crop circles.

And most of all, thank you, Earth/Terra/Gaia/Blue Mother,
we thank you for your dust and rock that cradle our feet,

your ancient, star-mined water that makes up our bodies,
your delicious air, your ozone canopy, your long sweet dance.

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


  Click on this image to see it larger. Source: NASA

Interestingly, Alan — quite independently from me — also chose a "solar system" topic. Well, that's how the poem begins, at least, but moves to some other kinds of stars.

Dear Pluto, Regarding Your Solar System Designation

I.

When some situation comedies
have been on the air many years,
they attempt to add children
to renew audience interest in the program.

The discovery of Eris in 2003
made the inclusion of Pluto
as a major planet problematic,
given that Eris has a larger diameter.

There is a persistent rumor
that John Lennon wished
to introduce more members
to The Beatles.

II.

One has only to think of Cousin Oliver,
a late addition to The Brady Bunch,
as the negative consequence
of completely misreading the dynamic
of a group with devoted followers.

Part of the problem in designation
has to do with when one stops inclusion,
because we face expanding possibility
that as we learn more about our solar system,
we may discover more large objects
in orbit around our sun.

Two likely candidates
for an expanded Beatles line-up
would have been Eric Clapton,
who plays the guitar solo
in “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,”
and Billy Preston, who is on keyboards
for the Let It Be sessions.
John wanted Yoko Ono in the group
as well, so the story goes.

III.

Yet situation comedies are product,
and we have to expect the production
companies to exploit its material
past its benefits, although good stories
come to well-earned endings.

But math is math, and definitions hold,
and romance has no place in measurement;
nothing detracts from Pluto as an object
just because it has faced demotion
in its designation. We make more discoveries
and include those objects as we can.
Each discovery makes for a new story.

Less romantic types suggest that McCartney,
influenced by a less than scrupulous manager,
fought the idea of expanding The Beatles,
and we are only left some consideration
of the social impact an expanded lineup
of racial diversity may have had
during the social unrest of the ’70s.
I have heard unpolished tapes of Linda
McCartney’s vocals
the Wings over America tour
and marvel at Paul’s rift with John.

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

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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1 comment:

Bruce Niedt said...

Both excellent poems - especially love yours, Vince: "Humongous hula-hoop act of the ages" is delightful. Guess who else wrote about the solar system?

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