And the monkeys don’t like us. They sit on the ladders to their windows and yell that we’re taking their land. They look down on us like we don’t have enough fur for them, but I don’t see how something so furry could survive in all this heat. We hear them in the night, complaining about what the world is coming to, with the likes of us moving in, as if there isn’t enough room in the rain forest for everyone, as if there aren’t tree houses aplenty. Mom says they just don’t like different. And sure, there’s a human neighborhood across the canopy, but the schools here are better, and we’ve got the right to send our kids anywhere we choose.
Yesterday’s napowrimo prompt was to write a poem about an animal. And it just so happened that my Dixit card for the day met that criteria perfectly. So I decided to go with a bit of a nature-documentary style poem about this creature here:
The Three-Eyed Sphinx
And here, you will see the rare, three-eyed sphinx. Like other sphinxes, the three-eyed sphinx has the face of a human, the wings of an eagle, and the body of a lion. But apart from having three eyes, the three-eyed sphinx also has a blue face, the antlers of a dear, and a unique sense of fashion. You can see that this one has chosen to wear a bowler hat. And like most three-eyed sphinxes, it drapes its antlers with keys. All sphinxes like to find their home guarding things, and most are known for telling riddles. But instead of waiting in front of one door with a question, the three-eyed sphinx collects the keys to many doors and wanders freely with them. To get to the place it guards, you must first find the three-eyed sphinx and discover which key you need. It will give you the key, if you prove you are worthy. But the three-eyed sphinx also carries the key to its own chest. And if someone were to determine which key that was, they could open its chest and kill it.
On day nineteen, napowrimo’s prompt was to write an abecedarian poem. What I ended up with also felt appropriate for the day after Earth Day:
A goldfish swims through the city Boys wake from their slumber to see City buildings, slime covered, as the fish looks for a method to breathe Dogs bark at the monster, but soon Every one of them Flees under beds, under tables, afraid of the Goldfish’s wide open maw, opening and closing He cannot blow bubbles here Icicles drip into its gills Jolting the fish with new energy Keeping it alive in this place Laced with pollutants Magically, it keeps swimming, Not stopping for buildings or smoke or cars Out late, barely noticing the lights Pointing toward it as helicopters come to investigate Quickening, it swims onward Rousing family after family Sensing a strange fin brush their windows Terrified this sea creature is an omen Underlying what they have always known Victory in the end will belong to the Earth We are only guests here Xenodiagnostic studies have found the infection while we are still Young, and rather than be overtaken by our Zealousness, she will recover.
What do you know? Today’s napowrimo prompt is to write an ekphrastic poem–my specialty! On Day 17, the prompt was to write a scene from an unusual point of view. So I combined these two with yesterday’s Dixit card.
The ribbon tastes like a truffle in my mouth. It is smooth and silky, and slices away so easily. But it is special. It is dessert. There is no sustenance in cutting satin ribbons in front of buildings. There is only pleasure in it, in feeling the silky smoothness of the satin slice between my teeth. But why can’t I find a meal in other satin? Why should I not cut the pieces of a satin shirt? The shirt bears more nutrients. It will hold up longer, be worn again and again, not merely discarded at the end of the ceremony. But then what of the cotton shirt or the cotton pillowcase? Cotton is ever so fibrous. Healthy, perhaps, but it tastes like bread. Though it’s soft, it doesn’t bear the silky texture of the truffle satin. And denim, though delightful, is rather hard to chew. But at least it’s not paper. Paper, that sticks to my teeth until I can bite nothing else. Paper, that is even less nutritious than satin.
Catch me if you can! said the little scissors to the big. Oh, I know I will. You’re nothing but a twig. I’m just as fine as you, for I am mighty sharp. Oh is that the reason you had trouble cutting through that tarp? But you cut the ribbon last year!Because I’m tried and true! But your blades are duller. I am young and new! If you don’t both stop this squabbling, I will have to do.
I didn’t really notice this card at first, but upon a closer inspection, I discovered I really like it. Like, this is probably one of my favorite cards. There is just so much going on in this picture. And I barely touch on it in the poem:
The Tree of Imagination
The view looks good from down here. The gears are spinning, the pages are turning. Yup, we can see everything. There’s Sunny on her bicycle. We’re rooting of her to win the next big bicycle race. The trophy is down that way. I think it might be bigger than me. We’d need the both of us to pick it up. Look, there’s the Wests and the Porters. They’ve lived next to each other for centuries. They have nothing in common, But they always put with each other. Oh! And there’s Peter West, Sunny’s brother And her America Porter. They’ve been hanging out in secret. They think nobody sees them kiss, but we do. And that means we see America’s brother, Aaron. And we know he’s happy About her and Peter, just wishes they’d stop keeping it a secret. Good old Uncle Peter. He finds the joy in everything. And look! There’s us. Under our tree.
There were 13 people inside when the saloon burned to the ground. no one knows how it got started… a match used to light a cigarette and not properly put out… a bolt of lightning… or a good old fashioned stick of dynamite. Whatever it was, that old saloon went up like tinder and didn’t stop burning Until a rainstorm put it out. Now, where there were floorboards, there is a lake. Even the trees nearby were too scorched to grow. But the old saloon doors remain in the middle of the lake untouched. No one knows why. Not even the ghosts.
They say those 13 people never left the lake They dance across the waters as if they never noticed the floor was gone Sometimes the sheriff goes out to greet new comers passing by. Though they usually believe the old saloon doors were blown open by nothing but the wind. Others say they hear the clinking of glass bottles or even the sound of the bartender calling a familiar name.
The ghosts aren’t evil, after all. They’re as friendly as they ever were. And would be happy for anyone to join them physically, that is– no dying necessary. Some days, Clarence strikes up his fiddle And everyone dances thinking a party may bring folks in But no one dances better than Lucy, who would entice every man, but never did choose one. Even Will, who blew in from out of town the week before the fire watched her fondly though he never made a move. Every day, he swears that if anyone can dance well enough to wake the living, it’s Lucy.
While they’re waitin’ Zeke, Hank, and Kit gather ’round the table for a friendly game of poker. When the saloon burned down, Kit was dressed as man. But the ghosts have gotten to know each other well enough that these days no one cares she’s a woman. So she lets her hair down And sometimes even plays darts with the deputy. She’s getting good too. He says if sheriff ever decides to go on to the other side he’ll make Kit his deputy. Though everybody knows Hannah is the one that’s good at settling conflicts. She’s just got a knack for it. Came in the bar to preach the gospel. Came the same day as Owen and Nora, newlyweds who’d planned to rob the place only it burned down before they could. Some of the ghosts thought they set the fire But it was Hannah got them all talkin’ nice. And now, as they all wait, Nora sings along as her husband plays piano to the fishes.