For Prompt #21 at NaPoWriMo – Erasure, and an inexplicably unsettling Ted Talk by the International Justice Mission’s Gary Haugen, even though this probably doesn’t count as an erasure poem.
I’m not much of a crier-
In Rwanda tears just aren’t much help
Compassion – cum passio – mean(s) to suffer with
Up close to human suffering.
Your first introduction
Might have been We Are The World.
A mom from Zambia, three kids,
Widow, coals on the cooking fire
Completely cold, watch
Peter suffer, grow cold.
Where were you when
They were marching
Our Japanese-American neighbours
To internment camps, beating
Our African-American neighbours
Because they tried to vote?
I hope we can say we had compassion
Raised our voice, moved to make the violence stop.
A bloke can do no worse
Than believe his own hype
Unless it is to hope
That a grand Messianic gesture
Might turn the ebbing tide of Love,
Where a simple one would do.
For everything there is a time
And a season for everything under the Sun
But what virtue does Hope have unless
She stir in dire times?
Parting is all we know of hell*
Heaven the delightful linger of the touch of love’s spell.
For the Day 19 prompt at NaPoWriMo; not quite a formal landay but this will have to do 🙂
*Paraphrased from Emily Dickinson’s My life closed twice before its close (96)
With these two feet I begin
This journey, of probing and inquiry
A thousand miles stretched taut
Like a string. Losing itself in the
Distance between here and there
A road untraversed separating
This beginning – hallowed ground
And that distant pleasure dome.
One cannot escape the lure
Of mystery dived head first into,
The call of the unknown, enthralling,
Siren-like, borne on the wind like
Pollen from a flower to its receptacles;
A birth,new beginning from wanton waste.
The promise a snippet of a dream leaves
When one awakens in a cold sweat drives me
And like a pilgrim, there will be no wavering
Till that place of hidden answers.
On the biology of love (amongst a ton of other fascinating stuff), and the three brain systems that evolve from our human experience of mating and reproduction – lust, romantic love and (long term) attachment.
If you came in late
Naiman’s banned from Hearthstone-
Attempted to judge this lady in
Ten tailored jogging pants.
Fold up the paper map
You should get lost
This May you can get
A lot of writing done
This has been cobbled together from tweets by @BillSimmons, @DailyDot, @DamiOyedele, @Esquire, @NYTimes and @BLoreWriters in response to the Day 17 NaPoWriMo prompt to write a “social media”-style poem, quoting from friends’ texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table.
Sometimes a thing is just a thing with no stakes*
And the ardour of a mid summer’s night kiss just a fling,
A memory lingering long after the act like shimmer of dusk on a lake.
Sometimes the moment is all there is to everything,
A gift to savour, like the sparkling stones a river brings
To its delta, ground round by their unseen journey.
When the hoops begin to multiply, and everything becomes a drudge
Does it mean the dream has begun to fade,
and that our scars and secrets are in the light?
Or does it mean that joy has hitched a ride
To a distant plain, and that dark clouds
have begun to shove our sun into a desolate corner?
*Line purloined from La Reine’s response to the NaPoWriMo Day 14 prompt.
Sometimes silence is
the song a caged bird sings,
the fading echo the flailing
of a broken wing leaves,
as it creaks beneath the weight
of life’s hammer blows.
Sometimes silence is
the shrill scream rushing air makes
as it leaves a pierced balloon
as it runs amok in its death throes
before nestling limp like a wet sock
Sometimes pain will break you
and the linger of unrequited memory
will haunt you, seared as it were in the very
fabric of your mind’s skin.
Years later in a season of re-memory
you will remember – how
uneasy laughter masked worry
and how in the midst
of the milling, madding crowd
it was you, yourself
and a thousand broken things.
This, is why I write
For peace, for clarity
And for my seasons of re-memory.
For the Day 15 Prompt at NaPoWriMo
Does it pop and fizz,
And crackle like a log flame
Entrancing the mind?
Does it arrive like
Dawn, sweep away the dark night
Promise a new start?
Does it intoxicate
Like the aroma of sweet wine,
Bringing delirious Joy?
Or is it there in the
Quietness of steady habits
Neither loud nor brash?
Oh that some sage could tell.