I managed to finish reading a book of poetry last night 100 Best-Loved Poems by Dover Thrift Editions. And although it had some great, classic poetry, I wouldn't consider it a personal favorite. Most of the poems are classic and date all the way back 500 or 600 years.
I decided to write with the NaPoWriMo prompt today.
It went something like this: Today, I challenge you to write a poem that takes the form of a dialogue. Your conversant could be real people, or be personifications, as in Andrew Marvell’s A Dialogue Between the Soul and the Body, or Yeats’ A Dialogue of Self and Soul. Like Marvell, and Yeats, you could alternate stanzas between your two speakers, or perhaps you could give them alternating lines. Your speakers could be personifications, like those in Marvell and Yeats’ poems, or they could be two real people. Hopefully, this prompt will give you a chance to represent different points of view in the same poem, or possibly to create a dramatic sense of movement and tension within the poem.
And here is my poem:
Body, Soul, and Breath Converse on Life
All day I have been busy
Consoling hurts and writing
The raw matter of whatever ailments
Have rubbed my soles sore,
Left my hair in shambles,
My heart too quick for the
Beat to catch my breath.
I could have been anyone else.
I could have been a baker, instead,
Rolling dough, strong as a sculptor,
And scraping the rusty bottoms
Of silver bowls and maybe
Once I was dead the town-folk
Would have preserved my oven,
Perhaps a mitt as well.
I could have lived forever, you know,
Instead of doing this.
Don’t be fooled by the mortal spell
Of expensively-decorated closet hangers
And calendars that whine the days
Down to stumps of loss, handless things.
Clocks are merely the bitterest
Of tricks, a sugarless dish we all cook
Our lives in, swallowing the bad
Aftertaste all too willingly.
Don’t be fooled by the religious
Woe of lords and gods that swing
Whole lives before you like
Threaded pendulums that break,
Spells that point your paths.
There is a blindness to beget
In the mere hoard of a leader:
There’s the martyrs that follow
Without the need to be led,
False prophets who bellow
Of a heaven and a hell.
Neither are coming to claim the
Sticky grit of your bones when you die!
I want you to calm your heart,
Really, it beats just to keep me on repeat.
Close your eyes and with your mind,
Follow the flow of my exhale,
Pull your hands up and wave them
Between me and understand this concept:
You cannot see me, though I’m there,
This strong, life-giving energy.
Smart men have manufactured glass bottles
To measure my weight and width.
Ah, but they are wrong, and the
Extension of life and mind are immeasurable!
Hear me when I whisper between
The candle flame and the eves:
Your body is but a vessel and
It’s punishments are long, but
The soul knows no last breath,
It simply blooms from old bones
Transcends the world for a while,
And then moves on into theSkin and flesh of whatever
new home awaits.