Hello dVersians! Lisa here, ready to serve up drinks, snacks, and today’s prompt challenge. If you look at the pub’s schedule, you’ll see that this is the last prompt before Halloween as Thursday is Open Link Night. It is my pleasure to call in the spirits of the season as muses to delight and chill you.
Are there any among those cozied up to the bar that don’t have a pet peeve about some human attribute? :::looking around::: No hands raised? Good! If there is anyone who can articulate an irritating aspect of humanity, it is poets. I went out into the cyber-wilderness to find an example and was delighted to find this one right away, by Oscar Byrnes, called, “All in One Afternoon.”
All in One Afternoon
He laughed, and icicles of sound
Dripped from the roof, pink limestone stalactites;
He laughed again, and this time from the floor
The stalagmites, like echoes, grew up free.
He laughed a third time, and sealed up the cave
With millions of blind fishes and white bats
Rocking eternally with happiness
Inside the dark, secure from day and night.
I wasn’t looking for it, but we can also have pet peeves regarding ourselves. This poem by Judith Ortiz Cofer, “Saint Rose of Lima,” speaks to just that.
Saint Rose of Lima
She was the joke of the angels – a girl
crazy enough for God
that she despised her own beauty; who grew bitter herbs
to mix with her food,
who pinned a garland of roses to her forehead;
and who, in a fury of desire
concocted a potion of Indian pepper and bark
and rubbed it on her face, neck, and breasts,
Then, locked away in a dark cell,
where no reflection was possible,
she begged for death to join with her Master
whom she called Divine Bridegroom, Thorn
in my Heart, Eternal Spouse.
She would see His vague outline, feel His cool touch
on her fevered brow,
but as relief came, her vision would begin to fade,
and once again she would dip the iron bar into the coals,
and pass it gently like a magician’s wand over her skin –
to feel the passion that flames for a moment,
in all dying things.
And yet again not searching for it but finding a poem speaking to “big picture” attributes like declaring war and sending young people to die that can haunt. Wilfred Owen’s, “Dulce et Decorum Est*.”
Dulce et Decorum Est
Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs,
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots,
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of gas-shells dropping softly behind.
Gas! GAS! Quick, boys!—An ecstasy of fumbling
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time,
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime.—
Dim through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams, you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,—
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori.
*Latin phrase is from the Roman poet Horace: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”
Today’s challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to write a poem speaking to a human attribute that is particularly irritating to you — and it must have a Halloween or Samhain theme to it.
For extra candy corn bonus points, write the poem in the Duodora form!
Duodora is a quatorzain that doesn’t claim to be a sonnet. Written in 2 septets, L1 of the first septet is repeated as L1 of the 2nd septet. The form was created by Dora Tompkins who was an editor of the Nutmegger, a poetry magazine published in Connecticut.The Duodora is:
a quatorzain made up of 2 septets.
syllabic, 4/6/5/5/5/10/10 syllables per line.
rhymed Axxxxxb Axxxxxb L1 is repeated as a refrain that begins the 2nd stanza. x is unrhymed.
Kerfe Roig was kind enough to give me permission to use her wonderful duodora poem, “An Expedition for Thursday Doors,” as an example of the form:
looking for doors looking
for ways to connect
one with another–
walking and looking
for the one door that becomes the center,
the pivot that marks where I turn around
should I retrace my path?
or sit for awhile
and consider how
I came to be here,
thinking of all the doors I haven’t seen–
they are not lost—just waiting to be found
If you are new, here’s how to join in:
*Write a poem (in any form – or a Duodora!) in response to the challenge.
*You will find links to other poets and more will join, so check back later to read their poems.
*Read and comment on other poets’ work–we all come here to have our poems read.
*Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog.