I picked up another book of poetry yesterday that I hope to add to my reading list for this month. The 100 Best-Loved Poems by Dover Thrift Editions. I read a bit on it, so far it's mostly classic poetry...but I'm not complaining!
The prompt over at NaPoWriMo today went something like this: I challenge you to write a visual poem
As I sat thinking about this....my thoughts were all over the place. Everything is visual, right?
But then I started thinking in specifics, about visuals (in various forms) that had been prominent memories, moments, derivatives of my personal, inner, writer's world. And that brought me to the memory of all the art that always hung (and still does hang) on my mother's walls. They range from Victorian parties to grand balls, to beautiful old chateaus by the sea. Several pictures of the sea, actually, and those were always my favorite!
So that's sort of what this poem is about: myself as a child, enjoying the scenery in one of those framed pieces:
Sheetrock Walls and Grecian Shores
Always, for as long as I could remember,
A picture hang above my bed,
An acrylic visual for the sounds
of a calm gulf, the gulls, and laughter
of toes first touching the tropic.
Though the sounds had all been silenced
By the dusty trick of time, of real life
Running through elbows and ankles,
Almost the way an unsuspecting
Wave does, chilling your bones
As you shiver, unaware
For the sun in your hair, the shells
Of the beach distinctly shining
Against the sky like ship-wrecked
Loot, long ago discarded
By an angry storm, rough waves
Splitting pirate masts, those drowning
Martyrs of the ocean water.
When I was a kid and life
Got to be too much with its lengthy
Test scores, or the long, brittle
Battle of my parent’s marriage,
I’d lay backwards on my bed,
Feet propped against the headboard
And will myself into this
World beyond sheetrock and wall.
I’d bask, face turned upward,
In the blue horizon, light as helium,
My fingers lifted skyward, faced cooled
By the receding end of a sharp wave.
I’d spy the clapboard shimmies,
Quaint-brick structures shining
Behind moss among the cliffs
Like ancient, miniature chateaus.
I’d make my way to the salt-dusted
Windows of each one,
Noting the bored children too busy
Wishing for the shiny paint of a new toy,
The lover-less mothers who wrote empty
Letters to men who’d left the country
In a language that abhorred the sea
While their old-lady mothers stirred soup
Atop centuries-old stoves, gray rock
Of each surface burned smooth
by so many years of use,
all those evenings spent boiling
broth for the tangy, sweet Gelato,
trademark of their ancestral roots,
And I could almost feel the contouras it swam my tongue.