Writing

The Wonders Of Anonymity

Prompt #11 at Found Poetry Review given by Matt Trease, asked us to create a poem that was a reflection of our astrologist natal charts – right down to the degree of planets and the symbols therein. I found the prompt powerfully motivating. But then anything related to the occult and the extra sensory always resonates strongly with me!

Here’s my poem

 

The Wonders Of Anonymity

Going through this world
without the deep soul intact
is hell.

Things must be endured forever
in a barren world
and an outwardly determined existence.

Bearing great treasures
across the abyss
one must hang on just that long.

Working hard to find again what is lost
conspicuously missing,
something must be done to restore the pearl.

Seek and one shall find
Ache and one shall come to a restored wholeness
but not without the facing of the void.

Midstream, life is cauterizing, corrosive…
A single white swan swimming through gray mist
doing what is intended.

Multidimensional, vastly divergent realities
are lived simultaneously
still, one remains faithful to the cause.

The inner kingdom seeks to come out
in a subtle but mystic fervor
like a corrective to the shallow patterns of existence.

Blending in
becoming each world one has passed through
yet remaining incorrigibly other.

The wonders of anonymity!
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Writing

Grandpa

Prompt #10 by Katrina Marie Darling asked us to scrutinize a text and uncover what it was really saying to us. I chose a page out of the manual of Indian Flowering Trees by D V Cowen. The text I chose was on Wild Almond Trees. As I studied the text, the descriptions brought alive the image of my grandfather and the poem progressed on its own after that.

 
Grandpa

Tall and straight, like a wild almond tree
smoothly handsome
with faintly ridged rich brown eyes
whorled feet, chestnut palms
wrinkled branchlets of hair
skin the color of pale terra cotta,
grandpa had always spelt grandeur.

When grandmother died,
spilling yellow and scarlet blossoms
of sixty years of togetherness
on his chest, he stooped. Became serrated.
Narrowed to breaking point.
As if the resin that binded his book of life had gone.
As if a color flushed red had faded to dull, brittle tobacco
disappearing in silent, noiseless smoke.
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Writing

The Youth

Absolutely loved prompt no #9 at FPR. Frank Montesonti asked us to erase or choose words from a text and write a poem from those words.

The text I chose was Flowering Trees And Shrubs In India by D V Cowen. The following poem is composed entirely of words taken from the book.

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The Youth

Growing into scimitars
of pendulous parents,
the youth are sacred to the moon.

Carrying fragments of floss somewhere in their eyes
Their bearing somewhat dirty-white
like a well-curb or a water-scoop
Their scent – astringent;
youth are flat brown seeds.

Preparing heads for a heavy crown,
they learn to blow away films of dust
left by history
Learn, that the colors of foliage range from anything
Between bronze-green, parrot-suede, grey-pistachio
to Ceylon-grey, Indian-Summer-yellow to whetted olive.

The youth are a galaxy of color keys
representing influence, moulding, nurturing
A convolvulus trumpeting opinions,
soon ripening into
nodding, verdant, lime green canopies
born from three-inch pods over gaunt, hard earth.

May they thrive
stay buttressed between the past and the future
Never turn brittle but tough as leather
A strong resin caulking their own boats
May they grow into sorrowless trees.
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Writing

Let’s Go Home

Harold Abramowitz’s prompt for today, prompt #8, hit the mark with me today.

He asked us to write something you cannot remember: a memory of something – a story, an anecdote, a song, another poem, a recipe, an episode of a television program, anything, that you only partially or imperfectly remember. Write multiple versions, at least 6, of this memory.

When I was in my first year of college, I’d taken up elective English as one of my subjects. We studied a book titled Let’s Go Home and other stories. The title story is my all time favorite. Just thinking about it moves me to tears as did re writing what I could remember of it now, also did. I’ve been searching for the book for a long time on the internet but haven’t located it yet. I’d be grateful if any of you who read this and are familiar with the original story could kindly share the author’s name with me.

For now, I am writing only one version. I’m source I’ve got many facts of the plot wrong..but never mind. I know I have the gist of it right.

Let’s Go Home

His father had died when he was two. After his death, he and his mother moved to the higher valley and went to live in a beautiful cottage that they owned. His mother grew vegetables at the back garden and cooked delicious food for him. His school was now farther away than before and he had to walk longer to get there. But the path ran alongside the swiftly flowing river and was dotted with wild flowers. It made him happy to run along this path – his satchel sliding to one side, his shoes muddy and his hair all wind blown. He could t wait for school to end and head off home. Invariably his mother would have baked him fresh cookies or made potato fritters. The enticing smell of her cooking would be wafting out of the windows as he got closer home. When he turned nine his mother baked him a fabulous chocolate cake. He’d eaten almost half of it at one go! A few months later, she too died. His distant uncle who stayed close to the school that he was attending took him under his care. He continued to attend school but the light had gone out of his life. He missed his mother terribly. He missed home. One day there was a celebration to mark the silver anniversary of his school. The delicious smell of baking wafted out of the canteen as cakes and muffins were prepared for the party. The boy knew a strange restlessness at all these preparations. The smell of baking was awakening memories inside him. The weather too was particularly lovely that day. Low clouds, soft caressing breeze and just the hint of a nip in the air. When school got over, without thinking, he snatched his satchel and ran down up the path by the river. His mother would surely be waiting for him. He ran as fast as he possibly could. Within minutes he reached home but stopped short. The door was locked. The windows shuttered, curtains drawn. The cottage looked list and abandoned. He felt tears running down his cheek. His mother was no more…how could he have forgotten?

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Writing

Looking Back

Prompt No 7 at FPR was given by Simone Muench. She asked us to write an autobiographical cento.

 

write a cento that is a self-portrait, or anthology of your life, utilizing lines and fragments from your own work.

Here’s my cento using lines from my previous poems:

Looking Back

In the still waters, a still moon holds my breath swallowing me gently.
The night cannot be peeled away
It is in the yolk of my birth
Hurt chatters like broken dishes inside me
and the glimmer of love pass slowly away
Slowly I grow away from my shadows

Late afternoon,
I long for the same real meaning of life
long for the beginning of light
My real story is embedded
in all the things I haven’t done
and in the hypocrisy of all that I have

So much is adrift now
The votives of clattering flowers
yearn only for the chest of pebbles:
for things to happen just as they should

Do not speak to me of broken clouds now
or of crumpling thunder and cutting lightning
Nothing jarring
I don’t know how well I can hold my pain today

A tenuous calm has descended
cauterizing my tissues of guilt
And tonight, I am just like the night –
seeking something luminous over the horizons
tracing the sadness of stars with my eyes
locking marks of hurt in my heart

Recalling only the laughter
As you taught me how to inhale the scent of peonies from a photograph
before we became loose as sand going where absence took us
Tonight, allow me to paint with smoke
the fires with which I lived my life.

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Writing

Apsis

Noah Eli Gordon’s prompts for today were a buffet of mesmerizing prompts. Ten in all. I was spoilt for choice. I intend to work on all his suggestions but for the time being, I’ve chosen prompt no 5 for today’s Prompt#6

This is what he asked us to do:

Write a sonnet in the modern key:

Line 1: narrate action, include at least two nouns
Line 2: ask a question without using “I”
Line 3: make a statement without saying “I”
Line 4: now say “I” in another statement
Line 5: use a fragment
Line 6: narrate another action, include one of the nouns from line 1
Line 7: ask a question using “I”
Line 8: use a fragment that
Line 9: spills into the next line
Line 10: now say “I” and include the other noun from line 1
Line 11: answer your first question
Line 12: make a statement that is in total opposition to line 3
Line 13: combine phrases from lines 5 and 8 here
Line 14: answer your second question

I don’t know how far I’ve maintained the structure of a sonnet, but this is what I came up with :

 

Yesterday the wind looked for you in sunspots and twilight
Were you there?
Embedded in the coterie of drunken emotions
I fetched the eastern-end apsis
captured your fleeting figure
found you in twilight’s aisles
Did I see an illusion?
Strapping my eyes
like a latitude of yearning
I found you splayed inside sunspots like stain-glass light
In the basilica of my heart, that’s where you were
Stenciled in pure awakening
Your figure strapping me to this universe
No illusion this…your breath against my skin.

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Writing

Splintered Inertia

Prompt 5 at FPR, given by Sarah Blake went like this :

Pick a song that you find dynamic. Track its moves. Try to replicate that movement with a poem. Replicate the song’s music in your poem. Not the lyrics, but the music.

Hmmm….the tune, mind you, not the lyrics. So basically poetry from the intangible experience of listening to a song! Tough. 🙂

I chose the song Hotel California by the Eagles.

Here’s what I came up with.

Breeze like a guitar riff
saffrons the ears
shoulders, fingertips
The rasp of sand against night air
something alight in the eyes.
The earth lifts
tweezing tremors from veins.
This is another world –
ripping out Newton’s first law
tugging me down a tunnel
desert-scented.
Stirrups of velvety strings on the soul
Rein less chariots
and the breeze like a guitar riff
capturing all who choose to sink.

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Writing

Word Blocks

The prompt for today was Word Blocks given by Woody Leslie. Here’s how the prompt works:

Prompt: WordBlocks

Words have multiple meanings. Meanings have multiple words. I think of wordblocks as a single-word stand-in to express multiple meanings, or an ambiguity of meanings. I use them in my writing all the time, and often generate them as a warm-up exercise before I write.

Write a word.
Make a list of other words that are related to this word, in meaning or in spelling.
Combine these words into one wordblock sharing letters. (See pictures for example)
Keep rearranging, adding, or subtracting words until you have a wordblock you like aesthetically both visually, and linguistically. A wordblock rarely looks great on the first try. Wordblocks have vast potential both handwritten, and typeset either digitally or with moveable letterpress type.
Your wordblock can stand alone as a one-word poem, or be placed in a sentence. Try stringing multiple word blocks together. The result is a sentence that provides multiple ways to navigate it.

I had a blast doing this one. Thank you Woody. Here’s what I came up with:

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Writing

Vispo

Nico Vassilakis provided today’s poetry prompt via Found Poetry Review was mystifying. He asked us to stare at a word…and reproduce what happened thereafter. I was stumped at first because nothing really seemed to happen as I stared at my word. But then gradually, something did. I chose the word Discordant. Here’s the result:

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Writing

Oppression Is A Noun

The second poem based on the prompt offered by Colliers Nogues. I used a technical invite to invest in Zinc stocks and replaced it with other words.

Oppression Is A Noun

Free speech is precious speech,
producer of gun control.
The barrel operates through segments
which include same sex marriage
and smelting of just every marriage.

Walls, anti-immigrants and middle-class refugees
Asylum energy…
Free speech is the 2nd-largest revolution
The first being the mind and its verses.

Politically mined thoughts
the largest – by polls produced globally
are amongst the highest cost producers for mortality globally
comfortably in the top emojis for desperation.

ISIS Rationale –
Free Speech is headed into a structural encryption
mainly because of the word CRYPT
and because the recent/upcoming Apple technology
has not probed production of deaths.

Hope and catharsis have fallen by 14% over a single year alone
and are at a ten-year low.
Lack of long-term support for pro-life fundamentals
may come from the fact that at current choices
new thought invasions are not remunerative.

Perception, the largest free speech refiner,
assesses that the price of Rs infinity is required
to incentivize new gun control development.
Standstill is a condition afflicting those who pretend to move.
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