Monthly Archives: April 2011
Today is the last day of National Poetry Month (in the US, at least, though enough others seem to have taken part to rename it International Poetry Month). One challenge for the month, raised on several sites (the one I followed at NotWithoutPoetry and another at NaPoWriMo, among others) was to write a poem a day for the whole month. I took up this challenge. I did miss a couple of days but made them up so that, by today, I have at least 30 poems written. Click the Poems menu item above to work back through them.
I can say with all honesty that it has been the most productive artistic month of my life. It has made me eager to get out of bed and check what prompts have been issued on each site and see what I might make of them. I’m proud of some of the poems and will likely blush when I reread others. But, I am certainly pleased that I undertook and met the challenge.
My challenge for the rest of the year is to try and keep up the momentum, not to writing a poem a day, but to be able to follow through on the poems I do write and make them as good as they can be. For this, I’ll need to work even harder and in a different way but I am looking forward to that challenge. I’ll likely not post much more poetry since, as my friend Kona has discovered, posting poems excludes them from magazine publication and competition entry. But I may be back next year. By then I may need the challenge to refresh or restart my poetic voice.
For the last poem of the month, I’ve ignored all prompts and written a short, quick paean to National Poetry Month.
April is the lyric month.
For thirty days and thirty nights,
the words came, mine amongst them.
Long and short, rhyming and not,
of recognised form and all their own.
Amongst the tumult, I caught my
voice, now and then. If it will speak
in silence, I’ll soon discover.
But, to be a part of that
mellifluous chorus gladdened me.
These are probably the best pictures I’ve ever taken. Not just because they look quite good but because they were taken from the front deck of a small-ish boat, standing up, hanging on desperately with one hand to the back of a seat while the boat heaved up and down in 1m+ waves. So that left me holding my D90 in one hand trying to follow the flight of this albatross as it wheeled about in the skies above the boat.
I have to hand it to the D90. As long as I kept the albatross in the viewfinder, it kept it in focus.
I did suffer for it though, after all that twisting my head about, I got quite seasick on the voyage back – and that was in much calmer seas.
The prompt for today was simply to ‘write that poem that’s been lying in wait. Or use one of the prompts that you had to skip previously. Or just start something deliciously, gloriously new!’ So, I did.
I took my lead from a passage in the book I was reading last night, After the Fire, A Still Small Voice by Evie Wyld.
A feller stood on his patch
and shouted “Mine” so the sound
would carry to the boundary
and beyond. To any bugger
who might question the right of it.
I walked my Dad’s fence, it took
all day. The scrub on both sides
was the same, burned by the same sun.
We’ve lost the idea of land,
the feeling of what it is to
have land, to be that feller.
Beyond possession and ownership
is the rootedness of land,
the sense it gives of being
supported, held close and nourished.
They retired to a city flat, held
leasehold, and flourished. Gained, they joked,
a new lease on life. A long term one,
it turned out.
Too close a hold can
suffocate, escape can mean
breathing free again. Fences work
both ways. I never took root, took
off instead. Still, I miss the
completedness of that fenceline.