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Autumn

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Autumn
and this weight
is heavy
at the back of my mind,
(push it down.
keep it at bay.)
in the pit of my stomach.
(take a deep breath.
push it down.)

Distracted for a time,
when I stop,
I wonder why
everything is so onerous.
and then it hits me again —
the dread.

Will I know
when it’s time to say good-bye?
Will I be able to let go?

Is that look an appeal
or confusion?
Is there pain?
I wish you could tell me.
But your eyes speak
and I’m afraid.
I hear your ragged breathing
and I fear what comes next.

It’s inevitable.
It hurts.
But I will be there
and hold you
and whistle
in the face of death.

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Day Twenty-Nine:   Take one of your favorite poems and find a very specific, concrete noun in it.  Use that word as a building block for a new poem.

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Learning to Let Go

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So busy
going through the mindless loops
that tie each day together
to make a month,
a year,
a lifetime.

Then suddenly —
DEATH.
The full stop
which sucks out breath.

And the world
abruptly
stands still.
But,
not     the world.
For everyone else
carries on,
oblivious
to the darkness,
unaware
of the massive hole in the universe.

I cannot sit; I sink,
pulled down into lethargy.
Moonlight streams
through forgotten curtains
and bathes me
in her violet scent
and
I begin
to breathe
again.

 

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Day Seventeen: Write a nocturne. In music, a nocturne is a composition meant to be played at night, usually for piano, and with a tender and melancholy sort of sound. Aim to translate this sensibility into poetic form!

 

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Elegy for BobCat

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Eyes. All eyes. Round, green surging seas ever alert, watchful.
Dark scarab nestled on the forehead, extending legs like brows.
Tiger stripes and cheetah spots marble muted grey flanks.
Tentative, careful steps on muffled pads. Solid thump when jumping
from some high perch. Sleek, solicitous face-rubs against ankles
and shins.  Depositing abandoned coats of fur in patches over
clothing, carpets and chairs. Small mews infused with rattling purr.
How, dear cat, you entwined yourself with our hearts! Took them
like felt-covered mice and batted them about till we were yours.
And how abrupt this end, finding your form still and cold,
in the grey morning. As we slumbered, you laboured to come home,
falling before you made the door, slowly haemorrhaging life
before we had a chance to say good-bye. Dear cat, good-bye.

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DAY THREE:   Write an elegy – a poem that mourns or honours someone dead or something gone by.

How to Deal with Death

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Ignore the pain.
Take 2 deep breathes, one at a time.
Focus on your surroundings.
Note the hue of the curtains.
The light fittings.
The design of the furniture.
Do not look at faces.

Distract the mind.
Talk.
About (almost) anything.
The price of watermelons.
The unseasonable weather.
Why Jackie left Michael.
And who’s to blame for the exchange rate.

Keep busy.
Don’t stop for even a moment.
Wash the windows.
Clean out the fridge.
Sweep the floors.
Balance the budget.
Sort the socks by colours and lengths.

And just wait.

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DAY TWO:   Write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe! It can be a recipe for something real, like your grandmother’s lemon chiffon cake, or for something imaginary, like a love potion or a spell.

death

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“Death be not proud, though some have called thee  
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,  
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,  
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.”
—
John Donne

 

i.
You’ve been told to lie down,
hang that dog-head of yours,
but every time we turn around
you sink your nasty fangs into more tender flesh.

 

ii.
random reaper
taking what someone else has sown

 

iii.
threadbare and thin
(almost transparent)
like a pot of soup
with more
and more water
added every day

 

iv.
a slow turning
from one form
to another —

atoms changing dance partners

 

v.
a door
no one wants to knock on,
no one wants to go through

 

vi.
does the bell
yet toll for you,
oesophageal rattlesnake?

 

vii.
Like a proper sentence,
we will begin with a capital
and fix a steady period
to the end.

 

viii.
a dark passage into the unknown

 

ix.
a bridge
over an anxious river

 

x.
finally
arriving
home

 

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Björn is hosting the bar at dVerse and the challenge is to write a cubist poem.