Lisa at dVerse Poetics: One True Sentence writes: “Your challenge today, should you choose to accept it, is to pick ONE of Hemingway’s quotes to be inspired by and write a poem. Do NOT use the quote in your poem, but please do include the quote on your post page somewhere, with Hemingway’s name as the source of inspiration. For bonus points, please say a few words about the experience of writing to an idea from the mind of Papa Hemingway.” Channeling Hemingway was a fun challenge for dVerse: his abbreviated diction, especially in dialogue, the unsaid reflected in the landscape as much as in the pools of silence surrounding a character. Click on Mr. Linky and join in!
‘It’s gone the way the mist is burned off the hollows in broken ground when the sun comes out,’ the Colonel said. ‘And you’re the sun.’ – Ernest Hemingway, Across the River and into the Trees (1950)
the teapot boiled the cat began to whistle the man bolted out the world began to tremble
the cat began to whistle the pot was just a thought it was never really there
the man bolted out he was missing his body he left his coat and hat
the world began to tremble we turned the music up nothing was hard to hear
I thought I’d try my hand at some absurdist poetry of the type popularized in the middle of the twentieth century as Grace at dVerse challenges us with a new poetry form: “Today’s poetry form is Trimeric (Trimeric \tri-(meh)-rik), which was invented by Charles A. Stone.
1. Trimeric has 4 stanzas 2. The first stanza has 4 lines 3. The other three stanzas have 3 lines each 4. The first line of each stanza is a refrain of the corresponding line in the first stanza (so 2nd stanza starts with the second line, third stanza starts with the third line, etc.). 5. The sequence of lines, then, is abcd, b – -, c – -, d – -. Note: No other rules on line length, meter, or rhyme. Click on Mr. Linky & join in!
In the sky through the clouds you can see silver haze Dispersed like the sheen of a dragon of steel Look too long and you’ll swear that your gaze Is returned and the dragon above sees its prey.
Do not run, do not hide, or you’ll be her next meal Say charms, not too loud, dance a jig, maybe two If the fear in your eyes, it can see, it can feel Then no magic on earth can save you or save me
As she comes, whisper soft, murmur tales of lost love Spin dreams of a land where a knight stays true blue Melt her heart, let her eyes fill with tears, and above Your bent head she will breathe not her fire, but her cheer.
Then your heart it will swell, you will ask all you will, Deep lore of the earth, wondrous songs of the sea All to you she’ll impart, from her lips it will spill Then she’ll fly to her lair over clouds over moons.
BJÖRN RUDBERG at dVerse challenges us today to write our verse in Anapestic Tetrameter, and so I’ve attempted, with a dropped syllable in each quatrain’s second line. See more dVerse offering and join in by clicking on Mr. Linky.
Laura at dVerse asks us to reinterpret one of several Chinese poems. I’ve chosen to reimagine “Stopping at Incense Storing Temple” by Wang Wei.
When in the concatenation of bells that toll I stop at dusty pools of ghost-bearing scents The rains having come and gone, ashes remain The acrid smoke of the dead stings my eyes Choking the young, ridiculing the old I turn away to the bowers of forest glades Where You await storing love’s incense And I like a wanderer home at last Stand strong in Your warm embrace Escaping the dragon of the past To rise with You to eternal joy.
Laura Bloomsbury at dVerse challenges us with “Poetics: The Poet as Painter”: She writes, “For those of you who like an extra challenge, then only after you have completed Part 1 [using only the title of one of the given paintings], look up the artwork link of your title choice and write a second part to your poem as ekphrastic.” The title and painting I chose: Bridget Riley’s “Movement in Squares.”
Movement in Squares
I’ve seen movement in squares when no one’s looking:
peeling yellow edges, masks removed the triangulation of centers multiplying or rounding a buttery corn on a cob a cluster of seedless green glowing grapes sunlit reifying corners into succulence the pear juice piercing sweet the sticky drippings of watermelon seeds mathematical
I’ve seen movement in squares when everyone’s looking:
until they march row after row checkerboard cells of interlocking black and white, marching in step devolving, eliminating, disappearing into folds of antiseptic non-existence squares no longer, inching lines rectangular, a comedy of illusion designed to perpetrate a hoax teleological
careful, my friend, around squares there is no end of desire finally
For the listener, who listens in the snow, And, nothing himself, beholds nothing that is not there and the nothing that is. — Wallace Stevens, “The Snow Man”
There ought not to be anything but that my mind has ordered it so —
So I had been taught — for the mind is designer
Reality but the by-blow, bastard child that diminishes as I diminish
But that the Emperor of Ice-Cream has clay feet
Which stand on eternity’s threshold eyeing a feast.
There the bread and wine of Thy design
Grain and grape sweetly lies upon the tongue
To “taste and see the goodness of the LORD”
Yet nothing tasting if not sanctified by Thy Word
Blood spilled and body broken
Spoken gospel of love heard by a few
Who once nothing being are born in You
Till nothing become sons and daughters
Alive to You.
Laura at dVerse asks us to address paradox as a matter for today’s “Poetics” prompt, including using as a starting point and/or epigraph the above Wallace Stevens quotation. Click on Mr. Linky for more and join in!
Mish at dVerse’s “Poetics” asks us to take on the persona of a color, “imagine what they see . . . . slip out of our human bodies and become nothing but a color.” So it is written, so it is done, but in the voice of one particular color, Vincent van Gogh’s yellow.
Van Gogh died in July 1890 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
When you turn to me away from Rachel For whom you sheared your face of an ear Isn’t the world brighter, like sunflowers? And the walls of your house in Arles Lavishly canvased, as the awnings As cafés, bedframes, straw hats, sunsets I am the light running before you Swirling you up to starry nights and moons Away from the blackness of eyes That never see you like I have seen you Radiant in the waving fields of wheat Until the day you clasp your hands Round the ochred skin of despair.
Today, Grace at dVerse asks us to “Meet the Bar” with regards to setting. So I began with that age old phrase, “once upon a time” and discovered that it seemed to be a setting unto itself, one that the speaker and the listener partake of evocatively, symbiotically. Or so I indulge myself in believing.
Once, the old woman/man/animal/tree/rock began, in the ages when spring set in for a millennium water gushed from every nook and cranny of underground wells and the vaulted heavens opened she/he/it paused there was an orchard where a blind child played the rains dancing like fingertips, skimming her face leaving braille-like tales of love and longing the old woman/man/animal/tree/rock sighed, upon the upturned eyes that could not see, the nose, the chin the water savoring their quill-like strokes the papyrus face now a harbinger of things to come so that the blank eyes took on diamond sharpness – here a tear fell, or was it a leaf, or a stir of dust – her breath like the sifting wind among the chaff her words a beat out of time so that the foolish laughed but the earth claimed her as a shepherd’s star one still night in the ages when spring set in for a time.
Rochelle Wisoff-Fields invites us weekly to join the Friday Fictioneers in their creative quests of a hundred words or less, prompted by a photo; likewise, dVerse’s Sarah prompts us towards “Poetics,” the watchword this time being fungi.
No longer there the Edenic tree though long I linger near its breathing traces like a dreamer awakening after a song-vision, aware only of her pounding heart as witness to the night’s transactions when what once was a maiden day eternal or a thousand years, where golden bridges lighted woods aflame with love so deep betrayal seemed impossible until a serpent came with clever tongue sowing seeds of deception, sly in its jealous conceptions, and I, plunging into deadly deceits, unstrung the heart-cords that made us whole, left instead with the decaying remnants, and vernal roots now dotted with fungus.