Friday, April 24, 2015

NaPoWriMo Day #22

Today I really enjoyed the prompt over at NaPoWriMo.

It went something like this:  I would like to challenge you to write a “pastoral” poem. Traditionally, pastoral poems involved various shepherdesses and shepherds talking about love and fields, but yours can really just be a poem that engages with nature.

I grew up in nature.  My home was a place in the country where wildflowers grew and here and there you could find a bush full of raspberries, full for the picking.  I caught butterflies, laid in the grass to watch the clouds, sat on the front porch and counted the stars.  It was grand.  This poem is about one of those moments.


A Patch of Broken Hillside

When I was a child
And the air inside my world
Became too hot for breath,
I’d escape to the hillside
Behind our home, my make-believe
Neverland of raspberry bushes
That fed my sweet-tooth
With their sugar-sweet syrup,
And purple wildflowers that tickled
My ankles, gave my head a
Soft place to rest for a while.
Some days I’d spend whole afternoons
Pausing time and counting clouds,
Listening to the echoes of car motors
Rumble the horizon of their quick wheels
From The 201 Races that lay
Just across the other side of
My resting place, aware that along
Their metal-bleacher and wooden stands,
Older girls were falling in love
For the first time while holding tight
To the hands of teenage boys
Who were drinking beer for the
First time with proud fathers
Who sat upon large, plastic coolers
Full of ice, makeshift seat for the poor man,
While their wives wore lipstick
Of the reddest kind, slap-happy
From Fridays’ paycheck and speaking
To strange men from separate doctrine.
That was the life, to be alive
On a tiny patch of land in the backhills
Of Kentuky, a place so country
No freeway would ever be
Resurrected, nor would those shiny
Yellow taxis ever drive wealthy people
Past our small house, quick to chafeur
Them to some other important place.
But I was content there,
On my piece of grass against the woods
Where relics from my father Indians
Still lay, the tiny teepee’s so long-ago
Carved into the trunks of oak,
The huge boulder deep inside a spread
of tress that warmed my skin on falls days,
Painted with symbols I still can’t  comprehend,
These were the days that nature kissed my
toes as if releasing another child into the world.
Full aware, I was smelling the grass with my fingers,
Kissing the earth with the whole of my body.
Already sure, in my sophisticated reflection,
That I was someone else before I was born,
I would lay in the bird-chirp solitude,
and pray to the invisible sky matter,
while dreaming of the hot, light sensation of
Stardust spewing old soul, earthbound.

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