I don’t know what poetry is
Is it rhythm and rhyme?
Is it words arranged on a page in space?
Words spoken, moving in time?
I really think that I don’t know what poetry is.
So this poetry challenge is already taking a turn for the worse. I’ve discovered that I’m not really sure what a poem is? Is there even any such thing as a poem? Well, I’m pretty sure there is.
I might need to take a break from this self-imposed challenge and read some poetry. I also need to be in a tv-less environment. I want some time to myself.
*I need a deep sleep where I can dream of silence.
*Now that sounded poetic
In my younger days, I wrote a lot of poetry. I don’t much anymore, but I want to, and I want to go to some readings and share my work. So I’m giving myself a personal poetry challenge. I will write a least one poem per day between now and December 31st. Here’s Poem #1.
Winter sends you threats
before it officially arrives
there will inevitably be a warm week
an Indian Summer
a little one day and
more the next
Snow falls in North Dakota
and then becomes a sloppy, nasty, two weeks of rain
in your town 5 states away
Then you know that summer has breathed its last breath
but you hope
but you hope for just one more freak warm week
November is day after day of cold and cloudy
Thanksgiving is gray
You start speaking as if winter is already in place
it gets worse
you forget about January
best not to think of January
You believe a white Christmas would be festive
December slips in
when you’re not looking
Someone tells you it’s December 1st
you almost deny the truth of it
it’s so cold and you think
it’s not even winter yet
it’s not even winter yet
And then winter
thank the gods that
now the days will get longer
You tell yourself that spring is on the way
You conveniently forget about February
and that mid-March snow that always comes
I feel as if I’ve gone months without seeing the sun, though I know that isn’t really the case. There were a few sunny afternoons last week. I should have saved those days for myself with photographs or poetry. Instead I let them slip by unappreciated.
Today is gray, flat, and empty. I look up and my chest tightens because I think the sky is folding in on me. I can hardly breath, and I can’t see past this colorless day, this colorless mood I’m in.
My mind is wrapped in a gray sky of its own.
The days are getting shorter. We’ll soon be at the shortest day of the year. After that, the world gets lighter and brighter. We anticipate the warm glow of spring even though the coldest months lie ahead.
My task is to survive these dark days. I must find a way to live and breathe under the gray sky. I have to fill my bucket with the color that I create (I must create it), and splash it liberally on the walls of my world. I have to fight the urge to succumb to the enfolding sky.
So I kept going on about how I was going to make Christmas cards this year. I made a total of two cards. I’m not crazy about them, but by gosh I’m sending them out.
I used rub-ons on both, and some paint on one. I think the problem was that I didn’t have a process in place for making a bunch of cards. I’ll chalk this effort up to a trial run.
Time to buy a bunch of Valentine’s Day rub-ons.
Another Trifecta writing challenge
a : visualization of a future event or state
b : an object or form that anticipates a later type
If I were a writer, I might write a story about a girl who lived in a town called Anticipation. Between the ages of five and eight, the girl in the story would have a head full of dreams about growing up and becoming a movie star. From ten to fourteen, she’d see herself as a detective, a journalist, a rock star, and even a writer. Then she would go to college and change majors three times, probably in anticipation of something feeling like the right thing to do.
If I were to write a story about a girl from Anticipation, USA, I would give her a name like Carla, or Sandra. I would give her long dark hair and a pretty face. She might have brown skin. Carla or Sandra would probably have trouble finding a boyfriend because boys in Anticipation are never quite real. They are handsome, sensitive, rugged, athletic, intelligent, but not real.
The town of Anticipation would be small and quiet. It would have a community college, a quaint town square, and a Walmart. Anticipation should be a reflection of the real world. There would be salt-of-the-earth working class people. snooty rich people, and a cluster of ex-hippies trying to start a commune. It would be a town full of promises both fulfilled and broken.
Toward the middle of the story, Carla or Sandra might have the opportunity to leave Anticipation. To venture into the world (just a few miles past Walmart). Will she be able to gather up the courage? Is there some lesson for her to learn if she stays? That would be the story’s moral, wouldn’t it?