28 April 2010

April Poem A Day Challenge Day 28

I feel like one of those prisoners keeping a secret diary.

"Day 28. I was forced to contemplate the end of the line today. My captor claims I will be released in two days, but time has ceased to have the meaning it once had. I see an endless array of poetic feet marching before me, kicking me to produce more and more. The Guard Muse seems sympathetic, tossing me crumbs when no one is looking. I notched another day in the wall of my cell and buckled down to producing what the Warden demanded. doG only knows what hideous prompt awaits to torture me tomorrow. . . "

Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, write an end of the line poem. Maybe the narrator of your poem is at the end of his or her line. Other possible lines that have an end: assembly lines, phone lines, power lines, rail lines, graph lines, dotted lines, waiting lines, lines of poetry, etc.

My poem today kind of dovetailed off of yesterday's hopeless prompt, it was a poem of despair that refused to take itself seriously, mocking me at every turn. The dangers of attempting to shoehorn your poem into something pre-envisioned. I forced it to a conclusion, then wrote another about what waits out West when the train tracks run out in the middle of nowhere. Then I wrote a little piece that needs a lot more work on 'lines' as in genealogical lines. So I may get three poems from this, or I may get none. Or I may mash all three poems together into one giant FrankenPoem. I have the power.

A few end of the line poems.

by Louise Bogan

I had come to the house, in a cave of trees,
Facing a sheer sky.
Everything moved,—a bell hung ready to strike,
Sun and reflection wheeled by.

When the bare eyes were before me
And the hissing hair,
Held up at a window, seen through a door.
The stiff bald eyes, the serpents on the forehead
Formed in the air.

This is a dead scene forever now.
Nothing will ever stir.
The end will never brighten it more than this,
Nor the rain blur.

The water will always fall, and will not fall,
And the tipped bell make no sound.
The grass will always be growing for hay
Deep on the ground.

And I shall stand here like a shadow
Under the great balanced day,
My eyes on the yellow dust, that was lifting in the wind,
And does not drift away.

The day my mother died
by Marge Piercy

I seldom have premonitions of death.
That day opened like any
ordinary can of tomatoes.

The alarm drilled into my ear.
The cats stirred and one leapt off.
The scent of coffee slipped into my head

like a lover into my arms and I sighed,
drew the curtains and examined
the face of the day.

I remember no dreams of loss.
No dark angel rustled ominous wings
or whispered gravely.

I was caught by surprise
like the trout that takes the fly
and I gasped in the fatal air.

You were gone suddenly as a sound
fading in the coil of the ear
no trace, no print, no ash

just the emptiness of stilled air.
My hunger feeds on itself.
My hands are stretched out

to grasp and find only their
own weight bearing them down
toward the dark cold earth.

by Marjorie Pickthall

Now in the West the slender moon lies low,
And now Orion glimmers through the trees,
Clearing the earth with even pace and slow,
And now the stately-moving Pleiades,
In that soft infinite darkness overhead
Hang jewel-wise upon a silver thread.

And all the lonelier stars that have their place,
Calm lamps within the distant southern sky,
And planet-dust upon the edge of space,
Look down upon the fretful world, and I
Look up to outer vastness unafraid
And see the stars which sang when earth was made.



Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

Most important thing I took from your post: you have the power!

Constance Brewer said...

Alas! It was merely caffeine induced power...