Tuesday, April 29, 2014

National Poetry Month: The Everyday

Only a few days left to celebrate. On the 24th, our poetry moderator provided us with the following prompt:

* Write a poem about a mundane, everyday activity.

Well, I've been watching the history series Nazi Hunters recently, and so my psyche is filled with accounts of human carnage. Let that preface my little poem about gardening:

"Pulling Weeds"

Is it worth raw fingers,
bleeding scrapes,
mud caked under fingernails
to pluck up roots, overturn 
cities of underground highways, 
to iron out the ugliness, trim and mold and 
beautify to my liking,
to change the world one blade at a time?

It takes a certain sense of false
supremacy to say 
this beetle’s abode
is worthless.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Road Trips: Mountain Corridors

My husband had training this week in Denver, and it's times like this that it pays to be a writer. I get to pack up my laptop and my notes and travel with him. Writing in hotels, where there are no distractions, is one of my chief pleasures. Hiking in the mountains with friends is another. Once training was over, we kidnapped our friends and they took us to the South Platte Corridor. It's a gorgeous hike up a pine-clad mountain that overlooks the tumbling river. The voices of rushing water below and wind in the pines above sound almost identical.

We came up over a ridge and were faced with the devastating results of a forest fire. The sight of the barren landscape took my breath away. This particular fire had happened a decade or more ago, but the land still had not recovered. My inquisitive mind, however, was fascinated by the lay of the land, as it looks underneath all the trees. It felt like getting to glimpse a secret.

This rocky peek that jutted up from the burned slopes inspired all kinds of fantastical stories in my head.

And bleached tangles of old roots always provide lovely specimens to admire.

We snacked and refueled at an abandoned mine, then hiked back down the mountain. On the 11-hour drive home, we raced a snowstorm. Made it just in time. 

Looks like our next trip will be in August, when we'll head back up the mountain for the Leadville mountain bike race. Until then, I have ogres to slay.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

National Poetry Month Returns!

I love April because National Poetry Month comes round again. Check out Poets.org for more info on what this celebration is all about, and even find a link to 30 ways to celebrate the art of poetry.

At LegendFire, the moderator of our poetry forum has put together another month's worth of poetry prompts and inspiration. It's a great time to practice.

I wasn't home yesterday, so I missed the grand opening of LF's activities, but I got to dive in this morning. One of the prompts she provides today is: "Write a poem about one or more elements/forces of the weather. For example, rain, sleet, hail, tornadoes, clouds, wind, etc."

Now, I dread the coming of spring. In tornado alley, spring is the season to be watchful. This year might be the year, I say. Our town, our house, might lie in the path this time. And since today we are having our first threat of severe weather I chose to write about tornadoes and my first experience of running to a neighbor's storm shelter, which I blogged about last June.

So here I am, inflicting some really bad poetry on the readers of my blog. But it's for a good cause, right?

Prompt: Tornado
Style: haiku series

black afternoon sky
eyes raised to watch boiling clouds
a wail of sirens

running rabbit-like
a burrow deep underground
hail knocking on doors

morning in the sun
a palace where dreams are stored
strewn trash by nightfall

May 31, 2013. From our iPhone.
Copyright 2013 Court Ellyn