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Sunday, May 4, 2014

Cleveland Poets do Poem A Day

A number of local poets took up the challenge of "A Poem A Day" for the duration of April, National Poetry Month. Some responded to challenges and prompts--such as the CCPL's poetry prompts, Robert Brewer's "Poem-A-Day" prompts or Writing Knights superhero challenges-- and some just took the challenge of writing a new poem every day for the month.

Marie Vibbert took Robert Brewer's "Poem-A-Day" challenge, where he posted a daily prompt on his "Poetic Asides" blog. Here's her poem from Brewer's Day 1 prompt, "write a beginning poem/write an ending poem":


Unlooping

I'm living a black vinyl record
And you gave me a scratch.
Every year I hit your chord.
What's past is future is passed.
It's an unwanted time travel catch.
At least we're spiraling inward -
Your impact fades with each pass.
Time is all travel and life is scored
With tragedies lost and dispatched
And all the things we forget to record -
What's passed is future is past.


--Marie Vibbert

Marcus Bales also took up the challenge of a poem a day, posting each one to his wall on Facebook.  Here's his poem for day 18 of the challenge:


On the Bus

She swayed with unexpected grace
            Along the pitching bus
Indifferent to the brutal race
            Aroused in each of us.

Her cotton dress was of that bare
            Beyond unbaring kind –
She pressed against the lucky air
            And trailed her scent behind.

She didn’t speak, but we could hear
            A lyric siren sing,
And our most lurid dreams were clear
            In wild imagining.

You couldn’t hear a sneeze or cough
            Among that motley lot
Til moments after she got off –
            As we, of course, did not.


--Marcus Bales

John Clarke was taken by this one enough to put it to music. You can see a video of him playing the song version.

Of course, with the press of time, poems from the poem-a-day challenge sometimes are a little rough.  My technique was to just write, don't think. Or at least, that's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it. I didn't even make half of the quota for poem a day, but here's my poem for Brewer's Day 24 prompt, which was to write a poem titled "Tell it to the (Blank)":


Tell the Mountain
 

Tell your woes to the birds in the air,
tell the ravens, tell the sparrows.
The birds will fly to the edges of the Earth,
and carry away your sorrows.

Tell your tale to a stranger on the street,
and listen to his own;
your stories are both different, your stories are the same,
your lives are both unknown.

Listen to the wisdom of the flowers of the field,
the blowing of the wind;
the buzzing of the bees and the ripple of the brook,
the knowledge that the world has an end.

Go tell your sorrows to the graveyard on the hill,
to the folk sleeping there;
in the silence of the cool grassy meadows,
they listen without care.

Shout your love into the sighing of the storm,
to rain and sea and sky;
the wind will listen, the wind will hear,
the wind will give you your reply.


--Geoffrey A. Landis


Did you do the challenge this month? If so, pick one of your challenge poems and post it in the comments, and I'll post it here.

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The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau