Catching up with Buzzards

I’m a few days behind, but here’s #6 as per the prompt of Day 6: “a poem that looks at the same thing from various points of view,” taking particular inspiration from NaPo’s example poet Wallace Stevens — though I’ve opted for buzzards instead of blackbirds.

 

Draft:

buzzards

Final:

 

I

seven black ghosts
wind about the daylight blue,
seek the unmoving
—more yet may come

II

sickle silhouettes
loom heavily above
but fear eschews the gap
of one missing feather—
the immortal sky
cuts through

III

too close to the sun,
ashen angels descend
to mortal earth,
wary and unsure
on solid ground

IV

polished black diamonds
pierce the glint of dawn
from charcoal skulls,
dip to jerk and tear,
lift to scan the hearts
of their beholders—
trust no witness here

V

for death,
their dirks descend,
unpiecing what once was
before scattering
on the wind,
leaving shadows to dance
across the reeds

VI

she carries death
in her sable gullet,
promising restitution
in open, eager mouths

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The Sensuous Sublime

Day 5, as per NaPo’s optional prompt “to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape… that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often.” (Though I lament that I don’t have this experience nearly often enough!)

Journal draft (outlined in red, though the remainder of the scribbles were also relevant to its development):

sublime1

sublime2

The final iteration:

 

My blood is warm and willful
beneath the falling rain:
the rivers deep within my skin
flow fast and free again.

My heavy, sodden clothing
invites me to the earth;
I lift my face toward the clouds
to bathe in my rebirth.

The scent of loam and verdure
are dancing on the air;
I breathe into the atmosphere
a silent, wordless prayer.

The elements surround me
and waken through the storm
the anima within my flesh
in her immortal form:

I see beyond the rainfall
behind my shuttered eyes;
I rise into the dampened ground
and sink below the skies;

I sing into the tempest
with neither tongue nor voice;
I choose to be and not to be
with neither fate nor choice.

I linger in this moment
outside the veil of time
conversing with the living storm,
the sensuous sublime.

 

I might add some more discussion to this one tomorrow, but for starters, if it’s not evident, I was very meticulous with the metrical structure of this poem, and paid fair attention to a consistent rhyme scheme.

Eostre Aria

While I definitely want to return to NaPoWriMo’s suggested Sapphics prompt from day eleven, I felt moved to write a pantoum for spring today (throwback to last year?)

Here’s the draft:

eostre aria

And the cleaned-up version:

.

Tiny voices sing in clicks and purrs
outside my window, a timeless chant
enshrined in sacred spring
when muddy faces are washed clean.

Outside my window, a timeless chant
of waking, wanting, and hoping,
when muddy faces are washed clean,
stirs the sensuous.

Of waking, wanting, and hoping
I can sing, too; an echo of the season
stirs the sensuous
within me, rising to a cry.

I can sing, too, an echo of the season
bathing in rain and passion
within me, rising to a cry,
an Ēostre aria treading cool water.

Bathing in rain and passion,
tiny voices sing in clicks and purrs
an Ēostre aria, treading cool water,
enshrined in sacred spring.

.

As a side note, I’ve discovered something about my writing habits by recording the hand-written drafts in my journal: when I want to change something, usually something I’ve just written down, my first instinct is to erase the previous word or phrase completely instead of simply crossing it out. Each time I catch myself, I rewrite the original text and cross it out, then continue with the new so as to preserve all of the poem’s creative elements. I find it interesting that my old habits are so destructive, albeit on a small scale, but this experiment in hand-written drafts has certainly been helpful. Maybe I should graduate to pens, as they are much more permanent than pencil the first time…

Midnight Muses

Eighth day… seventh poem. It happens.

This one has been brewing for a while, but I still feel that it’s only a draft. At least the thoughts are manifest (and an unrelated thought or two in the draft):

seven sisters

“Final” iteration:

Violet maiden moonlight
trickles earthbound through fine mist,
soft, eager voices coaxing night-watchers
from behind their stars
to beam and wonder
at their sway when one foot,
two, then three and six
and more are planted
on restless soil.

Cool earth gives way beneath bare skin
and ancient paces trace the wind and
tumble, like rivulets of sand
dancing down their dunes until
they collapse in heavy breath
upon the turf.

Seven sisters smile wide
and burn away the brume,
together peering into heaven
from mortal gates
until twilight catches their breath
and distills it
into dewdrops
on silk webs and oaken fingertips.

While I’ve been trying to hash out those ideas since yesterday, the phrase “seven sisters” has been stuck in my head for many days now, but I hadn’t quite figured out why or from where. I’m only marginally familiar with the constellation and the mythology, but it must’ve come from somewhere.