I have finally managed to catch up!
At the beginning of the month one of my bookmarked writers’ websites issued their annual “A poem a day” through the month of April challenge. It is always something that I have wanted to do, but never felt that I had either the time or the talent to go for it.
I am glad that I did it this year. It has provided some much appreciated distraction from the sadness of my sister’s death, and the long wait for autopsies, coroner’s reports and funeral arrangements. It has also provided an opportunity to do what Rabbie Burns did – to respond to life’s observances with poetry.
The challenge each day is to respond to a prompt – a word or a phrase or an instruction. My poetry has always had a spiritual focus to it. Even a poem about tulips ended up with some reference to creation and God and worship. There is something nice about everything coming back to God, but there was also a sense of been “poetically crippled” if I couldn’t just write about something and not put a spiritual swing to it.
All of life is simply all of life and it has been a challenge just to write. There are no word limits, and to some extent, no time limits. Although it is a poem a day, there may be circumstances that prevent you from writing a poem one day, so the challenge allows you to post a poem at a later date in the month.
What has surprised me has been the sheer variety of things I have written about. Some are short two line couplets, while others are much more of a free verse ramble – but I did it! I am amazed too about the insight they provide about me – about my feelings and experiences throughout life – maybe not so much in just a single poem by itself but in the whole twenty five of them so far. It is also so unsettling when I see some very raw emotions seeping out! A pocket history of Mel, if you like.
Here is a selection:-
The shortest:- Loch Ness ( the prompt being a landmark)
Despite the way the scientists spin it
I am convinced there’s something in it
The darkest – Friday (the prompt being Friday)
I remember it was Friday
When we said goodbye
They pulled out the plugs
And I watched you die
The most pretentious! - Phoenix (the prompt was rebirth)
I stand within my nest
Of broken dreams
Ignite the fire
And let me burn
Then I will be
And the ashes
Gathered by the wind
Will drift away
The one I like most - A Different World (the prompt was Travelling)
Words create the carriage
Sentences carve out the highways
Climb between the pages of the book
Disengage the world
Ease off the stresses of the day
Press down on your imagination
And steer towards a different world
Some of the poems are just too raw to share with people that might know me. My sister’s death has opened up a door – much like the opening of Pandora’s box! I have no hesitation, I suppose, with posting them on a site where there are a hundred other poems just like them, and no one knowing who I am. Sharing things with friends isn’t always so easy.