Friday, November 9, 2012

[4/40] - Musings Before Winter

I fail at doing things every day. But I'm still going. Today's prompt is from Writers Digest.

Musings Before Winter

She’s been thinking about things that don’t need thinking
about -- like how sleep is a poor substitute for drinking,
how movies lie and love ceases to matter
when your ship is sinking, the water's rising--
no one survives, not the rat, not the adder,
not the bundled up or the gloveless
or the loveless. The weather's prising
everything out of your hands, your fingers clutching
numbly, sensation-less--the water's cold;
You've lost all feeling, you're growing old,
she misses you.
                          What's there to miss?
Your gasping throat, convulsing on a kiss.
Collarbones, fingers, the way you paused,
between 'my' and 'darling', as if considering
which word to use. The way your hands hooked into claws,
into her hair, into the sheets. The way you laughed
at others' scars, hiding your own. How jealously
we all protect our skin, how zealously
push others off the raft.
How desperately we all want to be seen
and loved and understood.
How she would like to do some good
before she dies. And how the sword is keen,
the word is sharp, and how the water's cold,
but battle's hot.
And how she'd love to fly south for the winter.  


Saturday, November 3, 2012

[3/30] - Untruths

Playing catch-up. Today is day 3, so here is the third poem. Prompt taken once more from Creative Writing Now. This one requires me to "Write a poem about yourself in which nothing is true."

This should be fun.

 A False Autobiography

My mother was a traveler,
A fairytale unraveler,
That noblest of professionals:
An archaeologist by trade.

She bore me out in Timbuktu
Or in the mountains of Peru
Or some such distant area...
I don't know where I was made.

She nursed me for a month or three
And then longed to be rid of me
So she gave me to a maiden aunt
Who'd always craved a child

Well as a mother, Brigit ruled
She was always stern, but never cruel
She let me do just as I pleased
So long as I didn't run wild

Aunt Brigit told me of my Mam
Who visited now and again
I thought her fond but distant
But Brigit was my mum.

For though I called her by her name
In my heart I would always proclaim
That Brigit loved and raised me
More than that other one

Still, when I grew to be a youth
I had to recognise the truth:
From my mother I'd inherited
A blazing wanderlust

I still loved Brigit and my home
But my destiny it was to roam
To long-abandoned distant lands
With not a soul to trust.

I kissed my mother-aunt goodbye
(And I'll admit, we both did cry)
Then left the house where I was raised,
not for the final time.

I said I'd be back in a year
After I'd seen the Golden Tear
and other ancient mysteries
in distant lands and climes

I'd tell you more, but I must go
I've only got an hour or so
Until my bus leaves for Tomé,
a town I've never seen

If I run into you again
I promise you I'll shake your hand
And tell you more about my life
And the places I have been.

'Til then, farewell, bon soir, adieu!
I hope I will run into you.
And share a drink with you again
And call you, lovely stranger, friend.

[2/30] - Fairytale

Yeah, I know. I failed this game instantly. But I'm still trying.

Today's prompt is from Creative Writing Now. I'm to write a poem from the perspective of a character in a fairytale.

Vasilisa's Doll Speaks

To be the embodiment of pure motherlove
For a girl who receives no other love
Is a more difficult task than it seems.

To do her work so often
And make her pillow soften
And send her sweeter dreams

To help her when she's in need
Is simple indeed
And to cleave to her

But I must think: how much is too much?
Which things require my touch
And which should I leave for her?

Impossible tasks are my purview,
All the things Baba Yaga asked her to do
But what of the tasks her stepmother set for her?

Sure, it's cruel to work all alone
Wearing her fingers to the bone
But will she be spoiled if I do all that for her?

All these things I thought
While doing as I ought
And gave her no sign

It's not to my credit, nor to her dad's
That she didn't grow up hateful or bad
And was always kind

For I was too generous by far
But I love her as the Earth loves its star
And how could I do less than my all?

In some ways she's my own child
I raised her and soothed her until she smiled
Though I am but a magical doll.

And it's well that I did
For if I hadn't, she'd be dead
And that would be a loss for all of Russia.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

[1/30] - Matches

So I've decided that I'm doing the 30 poems in 30 days challenge for November. I'm not doing NaNoWriMo because I don't currently have a novel inside me that wants to be written. I'm not sure I have thirty poems inside me either, but it's a poem a day, so why not.

I'll be getting prompts from the Internet by googling "poetry prompt". Today's prompt is from Writer's Digest, which tells me to write a "matches" poem. 


I bought a Bleeding Heart candle
to remind me of you
I've only lit it a few times
but it is pungent
It smells of geranium, blackcurrant, cedar
Not bleeding heart flowers at all
I lit it once in my dorm room,
the sudden flare of the match against the bare white wall
I breathed, silent, as the smoke curled upwards,
wary of the alarm.

My lighter has a camo design on it
I lit a twig with it
transferred the pale spark to some paper
watched it licking the bare dry wood
someone played a guitar
someone sang
I watched, absorbed in my creation
waiting for the pyramid to fall

Sometimes I smell campfires when I step out of my dorm room
It is only cold I smell
But my brain thinks the two go together
It's absurd
I've gone camping in the summer
But cold and fire go together
After the hurricane there was wood everywhere
I wanted to collect it, build it up into a bonfire
I wanted to steal the pine branches
Watch the needles become sparks and smoke and ash

I miss burning with desire sometimes,
watching my changeling heart writhe in the pit of my chest.
I miss being made reckless with longing
being changed by it
I don't think I'm done with changing
But maybe I'm done with burning
If I change again, it won't be on fire
I think I'll keep my lighter
and the candle
and maybe a book of matches, just in case.