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Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Poet's Corner In April

In March of last year, Blogonia Bud Kim sent me some information about the Writer's Digest Poem-A-Day Challenge. April being National Poetry Month, I was intrigued by the thought of responding to daily prompts and keeping at it for thirty straight days. Ooh-la, what a month it was! There were days I wanted to give up, days that flowed easy like an old and gentle river, nights when the deadline was closing-in as I typed, and the day of the dreaded sestina which, ultimately, became my favourite of the month.

I felt like an Olympic athlete, just for breaking through the tape across April's finish line. Granted there was a lot of chaffe that blew away in the winds of editing but, at month's end, I had a decent chunk of work to look back on and a wonderful feeling of satisfaction for seeing April through, one poem at a time. I don't know if I properly thanked Kim for this maddeningly beautiful gift of work, so let me do that now. Though I grumble and wail through the work-out, my right-brain rejoices as it tones. Thank you, my dear friend! I dedicate "The Poet's Moon" to you this that came without a prompt, just whispered on a moonbeam by the Muse.

How quickly the seasons turn to bring the PAD Challenge around again. My right-brain is dressed in leotard and leg-warmers; I walk around mumbling cadences, pen behind my ear and notebook in hand. Some days I feel deep and metaphoric...others, a Hallmark Haolie as I practice my drive-by writing, in-between all the other work of the day. It's hard to believe that we've already completed 40% of the challenge. It began like this:

Day #1 prompt "Origin"

What Was I Thinking?

I don't know where it began,
the first thought that bubbled
from a hidden singing spring,
then like rapids rushing in
they carried me away with them.
Stroking back against the flood,
I dove to rescue my point.
Day three was dedicated to my high school English teacher, Fran McMullen, a passionate writer who threw me a life-preserver all those years ago.

Day #3 prompt "The problem with ___"

Problem Child

The problem with you, he said,
is you just don't listen!
I think there was more
but a bird sang at the window
and I so desperately wanted
to be outside.

The problem with you, she said,
is you just don't work to your potential,
her hands busy ripping the sleeves
from the sodding flowered dress
every girl was required to sew.

The problem with you, he said,
is you're a sky-high dreamer!
Knowing a nightmare waited within
the bottle in his bottom desk drawer,
I laughed and flew to detention.

Waiting for her to start,
I fingered the possible problems
like a Rosary ritual made by a soul
sinful and devoted.

You're a writer, she said,
and led the world---my dreams, my dread
through pen to each pristine page.

From the right brain in my head
she gently led me forward.
Day five's prompt inspired two poems. The better of the two came from childhood memories...but I can't resist sharing the second in the neighbourhood:

Day #5 prompt "Landmark"

Tacoma Telly

There's a bloody big telly
on the Pierce-King County Line;
commercials in living colour angled
for view from I-5 just fine.

Drivers--already in recliners and
mindless conversation over phones,
catch up on what they're missing--
what they sell on television;
there's no wasting time between
their work and homes.

Ooh-la--the screaming of the tires,
slamming, rolling cars on fire,
Jack and Jill have broken more
than just their crown---
Being known as quite the liberal ranter, I had fun with the sixth day's prompt. I'll leave you today with this one, but not before inviting you to join-in on National Poetry Month. You don't have to run it as a marathon; take any prompt that sparks you...and feel free to share with us in the comments. Poetry is for everyone...just break it out of the box to suit your fancy!

Day #6 prompt "Something Missing"

Speaker's Corner


Pardon me
while I climb
upon my box
and have a rant.

it won't take long.
Here we go.


Do you want
to know
what's missing?

I'm ready to tell you,
today I'm more than
ready to tell you,
hoo-boy, lemme tellya!

and kindness,
that's what's missing.

Thank you for listening,
and please clean up
after yourselves
before you go.

I'll miss you.


Kim Thompson said...

Your work is remarkable. I appreciate the dedication--I was blown away by it. THANK YOU!

I like these special writing events because they give such a boost to the writer (or kick in the a**, whichever applies).

3 Day Novel in September anyone? Yes, it's true. Lorraine and I know about this one. We are declining. But just mentioning in case some of you others are intrigued (btw, be prepared to write your guts out).

I admire your poetic skill. I can't write poetry for, you know what. I still love it though!

Stephanie Frieze said...

I stand in awe, Lorraine. Thank you for sharing your workout with us!

Lorraine Hart said...

Cheetos Crispy! The thought of a three-day novel could make me faint!!

Time to go check today's's twofer Tuesday again...but tomorrow marks (not thinking about taxes!) the halfway point of the challenge. The number of daily submissions has dropped by about half now.

JosephMcG said...

Lorraine: thank you for guiding me in thoughtfully enjoying special moments with you