jillypoet: mom trying to write

Each day I wish I had invented waterproof sticky notes (for shower inspiration) or pen-friendly diapers to get down all my quirky thoughts that I am sure are relevant and publishable. And so God (actually another writer-mommy) sent me The Blog.

Monday, April 21, 2008

NaPoWriMo #21 - for read write poem

One For the Record Books

A record-breaking eighty degrees in April.
Seventy-nine years of anger have turned on you.
Sun and shine have children swimming in icy mountain streams.
Four months shy of eighty and your veins are bulging time bombs.
The fish are deep asleep.
To operate could end your life.
The young boy casts his worm into an empty lake.
To rise up and wait could end your life.
He does not know the life is deep below.
Daily, you wrap your age speckled arms in fury’s barbed wool.
Hot flat rocks bask naked in the sun.
Even as the sun shines, a miracle of eighty in April,
you sleep in your rotting chair, inside, alone.
Even the water snakes have forgotten,
how to slither into the warmth of spring’s first soiree.
You are an old bear, trapped in your handmade cave.


What an amazing prompt. Write five (or more) lines about a happy time. Write five (or more) lines of a sad time. Then, weave them together. Thank you, read write poem!

Below are my original lines. As I crafted the final poem, I kept coming back to the two separate originals, adding lines. I still think this could be even better. The irony of eighty degrees and the question of reaching eighty years old bears examining. As does the metaphor of hibernating, even as joyous life goes on around you. Maybe a freewrite is in order...

Eighty degrees in April.
Sun and shine for the record books.
The fish are deep asleep.
The young boy casts his hook into an empty lake.
He does not know the life is deep below.
Hot rocks bask naked in the sun.
Even the water snakes have forgetten
to come to the early-spring soiree.

Seventy-nine years of anger have turned on you,
blown your veins into bulging time bombs.
To operate could end your life,
to rise up and wait could end your life.
Daily, you wrap your gray-haired arms in fury’s scratchy wool.
Even as the sun shines, a miracle of eighty in April,
you sleep in your chair, inside, alone.
You are an old bear trapped in your handmade cave.

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Blogger Mariacristina said...

What stands out for me right: the images of life throbbing deep below the surface. Tte veins, the slepping fish, the warmth on the outside, the rocks in the sun, the man wrapping his death/live veiny arms iin "barbed wool."

A fantastic poem. Somehow the contrasts work well together. A boy in a natural setting, an old man who needs to make a big decision. and his anger. Wowza.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Mariacristina said...

Okay, too many typos. sounds like Jabberwocky! Should say the veins, sleeping fish.

I was tyoing quickly because the poem was that good! Excitement got the better of my fingers. :P

11:12 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Hi Jilly, I came over to copy the reply I made to you re prose poems (not that it's that sensational but :)

yes, it's weird we both started doing them at the same time. For me it was a result of reading At Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept (Elizabeth Smart)......have you read it yet? It sort of got into my mind, the style, the inflections, the way of looking at and writing the world. It's very over the top, well in my humble opinion, but intensely beautiful. And I was getting a little bored of poems too.....plus there is an element of cop-out (as in I find these easier, quicker).

What about you?

11:25 AM  
Blogger Jo said...

Just read your poem, really love that first stanza and also the scratchy wool image. Nice.

11:26 AM  
Blogger Jan Doble said...

hi jill, i like how you wove each line together; and, i like the poems as they first were, individually. i especially love this line: "you wrap your age-speckled arms in fury's barbed wool"...what a great image. jan

12:46 PM  
Blogger Jan Doble said...

oops...perhaps it would have sounded better had i said "i like how you've woven...". sometimes proper grammatical structure can get in the way of speaking and writing thoughts!!

12:56 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

you have really been on a roll this month... i think your poetry has really been exemplar and that you should stick to the poem a day thing... it has really been working for you...

i loved this,, and yes,, i believe the contrast is very worthy of attention.....

9:43 PM  
Blogger Scot said...

interesting concept--good poem. like the weaving.

thanks for visiting

6:18 AM  
Blogger Linda Jacobs said...

There is so much in this poem! The anger, the old man, the young boy, the depths of the water...I could go on but it's just awesome! You have such a gift for creating sharp and fresh images!

1:49 PM  
Blogger distracted by shiny objects said...

I reread this a few times and it's quite grown on me--even without reading further about the form of the poem. Excellent.
Earlier, when I read about the prompt I wasn't very clear about how it would look and this is a great example for me. I think I'll try to take some time this week and try one. Thanks! Annie

10:09 PM  
Blogger PDW said...

i'm so proud of you for writing this. about this. so proud!!!

and then to discover the method (i've been absent from everything, including RWP for weeks) makes it that much more wonderful!

2:06 PM  

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