I am participating in National Poetry Writing Month, where the goal is to write one poem a day for 30 days. During the month of April, I will be using the writing prompts at ReadWritePoem.org and posting the results.
Day twenty-two prompt (list day)
Grab five of your favorite poetry books. Open to a random page in each, copy a phrase or a word that catches your eye, use them in a poem.
My phrases were:
"Lost, she said, / my moon, my butter calf, / my yellow moth, my Hindu hare. - Anne Sexton, "The Frog Prince" from "Selected Poems of Anne Sexton"
"When Beethoven is brutal or whispers to lady-like air." - Gwendolyn Brooks, "The Chicago Defender Sends a Man to Little Rock" from "Selected Poems"
"It seems a time has come / when you've become like those horses / wild with spring / who long for distant fields / where the light mists rise." - Ono no Komachi (trans. By Jane Hirshfield with Mariko Aratani), "The Ink Dark Moon"
"whose powers are of lava, / of magma, of deep rock strata, of gunpowder, / and the Sun." - Gary Snyder, "Spel Against Demons" from "No Nature: New and Selected Poems"
"Bird Plane / Flying near Mecca" - Amiri Baraka, "The World is Full of Remarkable Things" from "The LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka Reader"
Daydreaming While Staring at My Poetry Shelf
On days like these, of fallen
tulips, of lead skies, I become
like those horses
wild with spring
who long for distant fields.
On days where tasks drag, days of
irksome calls, when Beethoven is brutal
or whispers to lady-like air,
I would board
a bird plane,
and fly near Mecca.
cascading after me, swirls
of cat hair and clutter.
I'd cast off my tedious
sweatpants, don golden robes,
exchange keyboard for a wand
whose powers are of lava,
of magma, of deep rock strata, of gunpowder,
and the Sun. The better to see
sprawling desert dunes
vast white tundras
swollen brown rivers
The better to sweep above
a glorious world, declare it all
my moon, my butter calf,
my yellow moth, my Hindu hare.
Senses reeling, I'd throw
my arms wide, thankful
for what I am about to receive.
I am actually quite proud of myself, because I turned down some extra work in order to write this poem. Too often, I let paying jobs take precedence over my creative works, and I need to learn to value the time I've spent writing. These phrases all had a similar quality, I felt, a sense of longing for a more perfect, more magical place. I wrote this poem while watching the opening scenes of "Oliver!" which explains the last two lines ("More? You want some more?").
It's important to make time for poetry.