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Situations happen in life where darkness seems to shroud us,
but those times help mold us in a lot of ways; thus, a light can emerge,
bringing hope and a better understanding than before.

(Photo by me)

(Photo by me)

For this week’s Poetics, let’s write about those times and how we learn from them: it might be your own, or you can talk about what you’ve gained from others who are/were going through the darkness.

The inspiration for this prompt is loosely based on the poetry of Frank Stanford. Most of his works surrounded death and times of bleakness; but with a southern vernacular                                                                                        written in way that was                                                                                  charming among chaos.

See his way of bringing light to darkness in this poem,

Living the Good Life

There is only one locale for the heart
And that’s somewhere between the dick and the brain.
I don’t believe love is for chickenshits.
It’s low, dark, and cold-blooded, like a cottonmouth.
Children are often involved. They stink
When they sprout in the garden of light,
And they stink mulching their way back down.
Cold-hearted women, work, madness, and death
Are the things separating the nuts from the shells.
Everything else is strictly a pile of shit-
Except for childhood, which we moon over
Because it smells to high heaven. So, go it Alone.
Solitude is a constellation:
People can’t connect light anymore,
The only code they can break is darkness.
You can get a file in the heart
But you can’t jimmy love -a woman once said
It’d take a shotgun to open my heart.
All the time I was on my knees in the bathroom
Crying like a fool. No one knows
How to love anybody’s trouble, nothing will
Deaden the chiggers of pain sucking
Blood in your sleep -oh beautiful tree frogs,
Sonic in the nasty oil of evening, I love you,
Sounds by yourselves a star’s life away.
But it doesn’t mean a goddamn thing.
Death isn’t cold, dark, and quiet.
It is a love letter written on an X-ray.
Better still, it’s a manta ray
Squealing in your wife’s drawers.
Is this where your will is kept?
What sleek doing is she dreaming of tonight?
How much money do you have in the bank?
Are your early years filed away
In another bureau under another name?
Ask me no questions, I’ll still tell you lies,
My father would sing like a bull frog.
I thought my father was a flat-out wonder,
A faraway and constant stranger in my midst.
He wasn’t even my father, the cuckold.
So do Lord help the bucket mouth son
Doing a job on doom and eating banana flips.
I for one leave the transcendence of language
To the auctioneers on the widows’ steps,
And to the truck drivers with ears
Looking for the smoke on the road.
As for the snow that drifts ever
So silently into the eyes of children,
It is all full of shit from the north
And radiation from the west.

 © Estate of Frank Stanford. All Rights Reserved.
From Frank Stanford’s Book, ‘Crib Death’
(originally published by Ironwood Press, Kensington, 1978)

Here’s how we get down AKA the rules:

  • Write a poem that fits the prompt on your blog/webpage
  • Click the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name & direct url to your poem
  • There you will find other poets’ work for today’s prompt – engage with one another and have a good time learning from each other
  • Feel free to share using the social media of your choice