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.
For his Day 4 prompt, Robert Lee Brewer challenged poets to make the title of their poem the name of a painter. Now, I don’t know a lot about painters, but my favorite painting is Starry Night, so naturally, I think of Van Gogh. And when I think of Van Gogh, I think about this fascinating discovery about Van Gogh painting turbulence. So I decided to explore that in a kind of prophecy.*
And the stars shall speak to him. And the wind shall speak to him. And the air shall call his name and he will see it as it is. And the wind will greet him as a friend and tell him all her secrets. And he will paint the portrait of the wind in her truest form. And scientists will marvel at her nakedness for centuries to come. And they will study her. And they will measure her. And they will try to calculate the degree of her perfection. And they will find no fault. For she will whisper in his ear and he will hear nothing but her voice. And he will chase her as a sailor after a siren for he will understand her in a way no other can. For he will himself know the feeling of scattering and he will know her mind as if it is his own. And together, they will paint each other.
*On a side note, I find some level of comfort in the fact that Van Gogh’s ability to paint turbulence came during his most turbulent times, as if mental disorders have the ability to open up artists to things they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see. This is not the first time I have come across this idea.
When I read Robert Lee Brewer’s Day 14 prompt, I was naturally drawn to the thought of using my old home, New Mexico. So in this poem, I decided to look at the state question (red or green?) in a new light.
Where red mesas rise in the distance, dotted with green trees so scraggly you may wonder how they manage.
Where red and green join each other in the form of chiles (And “chile” is always spelled with an e.)
Where red t-shirts gather on the blazing green lawn of the flagship university as a display of Lobo pride.
Where brightly painted red and green balloons soar above a blazing horizon to greet the morning.
I will only ever need two crayons when coloring you.
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.