Saturday, April 17, 2021

Day 17 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2021


Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: “[W]rite a waiting poem. It could be about waiting tables, but it can also involve any interpretation of waiting. Waiting in line at the store or for a package in the mail or whatever else someone (or something) might wait for.”

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: “I’ve seen some fairly funny twitter conversations lately among poets who are coming to terms with the fact that they keep writing poems about the moon. For better or worse, the moon seems to exert a powerful hold on poets, as this large collection of moon-themed poems suggests. Today, I’d like to challenge you to stop fighting the moon. Lean in. Accept the moon. The moon just wants what’s best for you and your poems. So yes – write a poem that is about, or that involves, the moon.”


Today, I offer for your perusal an ekphrastic persona poem in blank verse, combining both prompts.

The Moon, Always Waiting, Speaks
—after The Midnight Ride of
    Paul Revere
by Grant Wood
As I look down on Earth, my orbiting partner
in space, I am puzzled by many things, and I
just watch and wait and watch. Tonight, I see
a forest of green moons, dark baby moons
sleeping all together. I know when they
grow into teenage moons and begin to shine,
they’ll move into the buildings, with the square
windowpanes, their adolescent lunar light
radiating out onto the meandering road.
As adults, during the day when their moonglow
is hidden in sunlight, they will climb the spire
of the church and launch themselves into the sky
to begin their journeys outward through the galaxy,
each becoming, like me, a goddess for some planet.
But for now, the young moons are simply content
to watch the goings-on of the silly little humans,
like the small man riding by on a black horse,
leaving no trace, no track, on the trail lit by me.

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


Grant Wood, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere (1931)

Here is Alan's poem today, in response to both prompts, a Petarchan sonnet.

And I, Too, Am a Pocked Body of Dust If You Get Too Close

A scientist will say the sun can see
no more than its reflector, moon, but why
are we so quick to share the symbol, eye
for sun, a seeing eye like God’s, and be
content the moon, as cold as certainty,
see nothing? If you seek concealment, try
for shadow, sun- or moonbeam, but apply
your common sense: the moon is closer, free
of shimmers that distort our mid-day sight,
and never turns aside. It keeps its face
to us though sometimes veiled in shadow, lapped
in orbit, soft influence ev’ry night,
and, though its month-long blink’s a shadow’s trace,
it cannot help but watch and wait entrapped.

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

Today is International Haiku Poetry Day — the 17th day of National Poetry Month (traditionally, haiku in English are made up of 17 syllables). In celebration Alan wrote a haiku on the themes of "waiting" and "the moon." Bravo, Alan!

I am not waiting
on moon cycles to plant seeds;
the poles have shifted.

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

I wrote a haiku also. Today's prompts are quite agile!

the sky darkening,
we wait while the moon blacks out
the sun . . . ring of fire

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

Friends, won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   





P.S. This poem was published by the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art on 23 April 2021. Could be fastest turnaround I've had between composition and publication. Thanks, CRMA! Here's a link to the pub.



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4 comments:

Bruce Niedt said...

I love your take on that Wood painting. The life cycle of moons from green babies to bright orbs launching themselves into the sky is inspired. I really like that eclipse haiku too - well done. Thanks for the comment on my tanka. I've since added one of my older "moon" poems you might enjoy, a legend about the Chinese poet Li Po. It's not a haiku but it kind of resembles a string of them, with short tercets.

Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, thanks. Did you understand that the green babies are the trees in the background? The moon doesn't completely understand how things work on Earth. I'll come look at your older moon poems.

Bruce Niedt said...

Oh yeah, I got that. I figured you were riffing a little on Wood's style, and I liked the fantasy element of it all.

Bruce Niedt said...

I also really like Alan's haiku. It has a kind of cosmic/mystic feel.




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