Read the full post here.
Our featured participant today is Ute Kelly, who brings us a lyrical and mysterious response to Day 18’s “five answers” prompt.
Today’s challenge is to write a poem that starts with a command. It could be as uncomplicated as “Look,” as plaintive as “Come back,” or as silly as “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.”
I found the link takes you back to Day 18. I found the poem by Ute Kelly here.
I read/listened to the suggested poems from The Cortland Review:
Missing You, Expensively
This poem really touched me.
Grace Q. Song
There is something very compelling about hearing a poet read their own work. This one nearly had me in tears. Both of today’s poems have spoken to me deeply.
Our separate lives bookmarked
my grandmother, her hair
blown and bed-white,
We want her to thaw,
but who can return again and again
and we begin to sing, our voices like ravens,
trying to find each other in the dark.
I started with collecting imperative verbs whilst thinking of commands and life’s instructions. I thought about small children learning (possibly because I saw Billy Connelly Does… Fatherhood last night), computer coding and instruction manuals. My brain fired off in multiple directions and stuck like silly string on several ideas. So I decided to carry them for a bit longer before sitting down to write, knowing that the initial few ideas aren’t always the best subjects.
I went to visit family this morning and inherited a manual, perhaps that’s a sign for this prompt!
I also like the idea of misusing instructions. Or substituting the wrong verb. Both methods I have played with before. It’s exciting going to the page and not really having any idea what will come out (which is basically my NaPoWriMo experience in a nutshell! I also liked – “Don’t you even think about putting that hot sauce in your hair.” from today’s prompt.
I opened the almanac at a random page and LOST IN THE WILDS appeared first in my line of sight!
Obviously published before mobile technology, but signal doesn’t always work in rural areas and these are the sorts of skills which died out with the last generation. The archaic nature is the appeal and this advice would definitely aid survival (especially if you have packed a mirror/knife/whistle and a flare/smoke signal and are wearing a watch. Which until the arrival of Fitbits (other brands are available), people weren’t wearing watches, instead relied on their phones to let them know and stopped wearing watches. After years of this – working where the phone is not allowed to be switched on, your internal cavewoman clock ticks in!
Wow, a history and poetry prompt! Thinking about this also made me remember a news story earlier this month about snowboarder Tim Blakey, who survived after falling 15ft into a crevasse. And then I glanced at the time on my laptop and realised this rabbit hole has taken an hour! Time to go and write the poem!
I ended up having an hour of great fun with this prompt, producing a Found Poem which starts with a command. And today – you get an entire poem!
Whistle to this usual day,
give mirror smoke,
Blast impulse wild –
find a way to stay put
in a pause.
And here are some progress shots!
What really shocked me was this book is from 1994! I was convinced I was looking at something from the 80s… I don’t remember the mid 90s being this outdated! Off to feel old! Happy Writing!