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Happy end of the third week of Na/GloPoWriMo 2022, everybody!
Today’s prompt is one I got from the poet Betsy Sholl… write a poem in which you first recall someone you used to know closely but are no longer in touch with, then a job you used to have but no longer do, and then a piece of art that you saw once and that has stuck with you over time. Finally, close the poem with an unanswerable question.
I loved the first featured poem, Kielbasa Speaks to the Vegetarian of Polish Descent by Jacquelyn Markham, which was packed with food but actually for me was all about those Grandma’s. Wonderful.
Brussels Sprouts Make Their Case by Bruce Niedt, combines prompts from NaPo & Write Better Poetry. A brilliant humorous sprout poem.
I listened to At 23 by Michael Montlack, a beautiful, reflective poem.
At 23 love was inevitable as the sun
on a windowsill. Days disposable.
Nights thinly disguised afterlives.
Then I listened to The Flower is Haunted By – Adrie Rose. Powerful poem.
Wooden trays filled
with slabs of moss, little caskets
limned with plush greening,
I also read The Knife, Sharpened by Adrie Rose. A story I know well.
The Night Heron Barks is a beautiful journal which I will be going back to delve into and read.
I started at the end of the prompt with an unanswerable question and then it seemed natural to follow in reverse. There is one piece of stunning art which has never left my mind, I have jobs I remember that I no longer have, so that was just a matter of choice. Friend was harder, mainly as social media has put us all back in contact, but I got there.
I wrote the whole prompt out as a free write and then decided which words/phrases to pull into the final poem (or the first draft of one, at least). The whole result felt a little disparate initially and the poem felt too long. After some form it felt more connected. I realised I should have added the question at the end to tie it together better. I spent some time considering this change.
Extracts from each of the prompted sections:
how different our lives were,
how unalike our mothers. It was that night
I started to understand.
creatures of habit – same day,
same time, same order.
I let the image light my head
with its glory,