Thursday, April 22, 2021

Day 22 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2021


Happy Earth Day, o fellow earthlings!

Robert Lee Brewer’s Poem-a-Day prompt: “[W]rite a nature poem. Write about the natural world, sure. But don't be afraid to delve into human nature or the nature of love or whichever other interpretation comes naturally to you. Poem on!”

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo suggestion today begins by citing a Poets & Writers prompt based on "an essay by Urvi Kumbhat on the use of mangoes in diasporic literature,” which maintains that “mangoes have become a sort of shorthand or symbol that writers use to invoke an entire culture, country, or way of life. This has the beauty of simplicity – but also the problems of simplicity, in that you really can’t sum up a culture in a single image or item, and you risk cliché if you try.” Today's prompt “challenge[s us] to write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.”

I use the mango again in linked haiku here, but in my mash-up of both prompts, the mango is not a symbol but rather a mountain.

Mango World

Partially eaten
mango lying by the side
of a park pathway.

Nearby, an ant hill
brims with workers and soldiers
to explore this world:

mountain of mango . . .
deep within, the wrinkled seed
a brown rocky mass.

Workers swarm over
the gigantic precipice
of sweet, golden fruit,

mango flesh seething
with interlocked ant bodies,
legs and antennae,

in concert, a corps,
individual soldiers
bound in regiment,

a bucket brigade
made of thousands of bodies
heaving together.

The crag of mango
starts to slip sideways toward
the waiting ant hill.

Slow lurching at first,
then gradually moving
faster, a smooth glide.

The yellow mountain
swallowed by the open mouth
of the ant hill nest.

The community 
shivers in merriment, joy
at mango treasure.

Juicy mango meat
will feed the giant city
one bright, long season.

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


Today, Alan worked with, not the mango, but the mimosa.

Mimosa

A forked mimosa stood on the western edge
of our property, its split so low I could
straddle it or hoist myself up into it,
climbing higher but never more than a man’s height
from the ground. They broke easily.
In spring, their blooms looked like the pink hair
of Muppet fairies, and they would fill
with webworms, building tents
and feeding on the leaves,
leaves so fragile that touching even healthy ones
would trigger them to close,
fragile as the tree itself,
imported as ornament
and bringing its own destroyer
along with it.

My home now, miles and years away,
is filled with black locusts,
bearing sharp thorns,
sending shoots underground,
and twisting upon itself
as it grows, so that its own asymmetry
supports it or its neighbor,
leaving some standing dead,
an imminent, heavy threat
should it fall.

I would be an oak,
taking my time to mature,
reaching all around and up.

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

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

Ingat, everyone.   


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3 comments:

Bruce Niedt said...

You guys are on a roll! Two more excellent poems, though today Iiked Alan's best - reminded me of my own poem "Cedar."

Vince Gotera said...

Bruce, many thanks! You've been a very faithful reader of my blog this month!

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Thank you, Bruce!




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