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    Valkyrie
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Retrospective - NaPoWriMo 2021 - 3. Week Three

*Warning for #15 - contains sensitive content*

Retrospective – Week Three

*Warning for sensitive content in #15

 

#15

The poster went up three days before he died.

A picture of an unassuming face wearing a cowboy hat

And oversized glasses.

The words of a desperate man seeking companionship,

Relationship, any kind of –ship.

Snickers and scoffs followed,

Along with pointing and derision,

In the dining hall line.

“That’s him”

“Pathetic”

“Loser”

He bore it with quiet stoicism.

No one saw through the plea,

Saw the drowning man abandoning ship,

Until it was too late.

 

#16

And the emptiness turns its face to us and whispers “I am not empty, I am open.”

It beckoned me to enter,

So I did,

And walked slow concentric circles,

Until there were none left.

Then I stood and listened

Wondering what it would say,

But expecting silence.

“You are not alone,” the emptiness said,

And I retraced my path,

Hoping to believe.

 

#17

The brown rabbit stops and sniffs the air.

It nibbles the lush, verdant grass.

 

The only thing moving is time.

 

I am a housecat trapped inside, twitching my tail.

 

The only thing I can do is check my email.

 

#18

In Praise of Adjectives

Nouns are boring,

But add the lowly adjective

And people, places, and things become

Vibrant, colorful, and interesting,

Leaping from the page like verbs.

 

#19

Nature is taking the scenic route through spring,

Breezing by to visit long-lost summer,

Then realizing she’s neglected winter

And completely forgotten about fall.

Snow-covered blooms stare at her, bewildered.

 

#20a

Time is slow and inexorable,

Yet viper-quick,

Meaningless when it strikes.

 

#20b

Time stopped moving in March of 2020,

Even though another number is peeled off the

Cursed calendar every day.

 

 

#21

That Same Small Town

The long blast of the train whistle stirs distant memories,

And I ride the Doppler Effect thirty years into the past,

As the engine chugs rhythmically along the tracks behind the grocery store,

Where we shopped in our pajamas at three in the morning,

Giggling and stocking up on cheese puffs and cookie dough,

And doing the Russian Cossack dance in Aisle 8.

 

The sound travels across the road, to campus and the dorms where I met my family.

Nine of us with little in common, yet somehow we bonded

Over Meatloaf and Don Henley

And midnight runs across the Old Quad when everything became too much.

 

Years go by, yet nothing has changed,

Bonds intact,

We’re back in that same small town,

A part of each of us

Unbroken

Unwavering

Timeless

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prompts:

15. Unprompted

16. It’s Tomas Tranströmer’s birthday. He was born April 15,1931 and died in 2015. To honor this amazing Swedish poet, winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize for literature, let’s start our poems today with a Tranströmer epigraph. They are stunning even in translation.

17. Tranströmer Form Imitation Exercise Copy the form of the four stanza poem below. Stanzas: 1. an external image in two brief sentences (following stanzas each only one short sentence) 2. A stanza/statement beginning “the only thing…” 3. an “I am” image 4. Another stanza/statement beginning “the only thing…

18. Grammar School Exercise Write a poem about grammar or that teaches a point of grammar. However, the trick is to also have it say something meaningful or funny beyond the grammar lesson. Steve Kowitt’s “The Grammar Lesson” is a villanelle for Pete’s sake. Who’s Pete?

19. Detour Prompt Allow a detour of some sort, actual or metaphoric, to be in today’s poem.

20. Let today’s poem in some way talk about Time itself and perhaps your relationship to it.

21. Time Travel Prompt The prompt is to go ahead or go back in your personal story or in some larger history. Be perhaps muddled or awestruck. What is time anyway?

Thank you for joining me in my journey this week. I enjoyed re-living some of my college experiences. I can't believe we're starting the last week...

Copyright © 2021 Valkyrie; All Rights Reserved.

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Chapter Comments

I enjoyed this latest installment. #15 was most powerful, and a stinging indictment of the unthinking, superficial judgement we engage in when we think we're all grown up;  #18 appealed, particularly as I liked your characterization of adjectives;  #19 was a perfect description of our erratic springtime - who ever said our seasons were predictable?  #21 strikes an almost elegaic tone; you transported us to that time and place, and we could see and sense your experience in that time so many years ago. Thank you for these.

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3 minutes ago, Parker Owens said:

I enjoyed this latest installment. #15 was most powerful, and a stinging indictment of the unthinking, superficial judgement we engage in when we think we're all grown up;  #18 appealed, particularly as I liked your characterization of adjectives;  #19 was a perfect description of our erratic springtime - who ever said our seasons were predictable?  #21 strikes an almost elegaic tone; you transported us to that time and place, and we could see and sense your experience in that time so many years ago. Thank you for these.

Thank you so much for reading and your kind words. :hug:   Springtime is always erratic, but I'm like the flowers, bewildered every time.  :P I'm glad you enjoyed my trip back in time.  :)

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#15 broke my heart.

#19 is my favorite.

You did very well this week. :yes:

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38 minutes ago, aditus said:

#15 broke my heart.

#19 is my favorite.

You did very well this week. :yes:

Thank you so much :hug: :kiss:  

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This collection might be your best in memory. It's not often I am enamored of every poem in these weekly offerings, but I am with these...

"I am a housecat trapped inside, twitching my tail."  Love this line. I feel trapped as well, and constantly go to check my phone for messages and emails.

Fifteen shows the callousness we are capable of, as faceless victims pile up. 

The second poem took a couple of readings before I connected, but then I really did. So many times I find hope where there was none.

Sometimes I think Mother nature is all knowing, and sometimes I think she is as haphazard as we are. Beautiful poem.

I liked your destination in time. That time when family becomes something different... something more than the one we knew.

Let's hear it for adjectives!

Two odes to time... we are at its mercy for sure. I am more aware every day of its limitations.

Cheers!

 

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8 hours ago, Headstall said:

This collection might be your best in memory. It's not often I am enamored of every poem in these weekly offerings, but I am with these...

"I am a housecat trapped inside, twitching my tail."  Love this line. I feel trapped as well, and constantly go to check my phone for messages and emails.

Fifteen shows the callousness we are capable of, as faceless victims pile up. 

The second poem took a couple of readings before I connected, but then I really did. So many times I find hope where there was none.

Sometimes I think Mother nature is all knowing, and sometimes I think she is as haphazard as we are. Beautiful poem.

I liked your destination in time. That time when family becomes something different... something more than the one we knew.

Let's hear it for adjectives!

Two odes to time... we are at its mercy for sure. I am more aware every day of its limitations.

Cheers!

 

Thank you so much :hug: I'm so glad you connected with these.  

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Another wonderfully written set of poems. #15 is an awful reminder of just how insensitive and cruel humans can be. #19 is lovely and so true as this spring has shown. 21 took me back with you. 

Thanks, Val! 

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2 minutes ago, Defiance19 said:

Another wonderfully written set of poems. #15 is an awful reminder of just how insensitive and cruel humans can be. #19 is lovely and so true as this spring has shown. 21 took me back with you. 

Thanks, Val! 

Thank you for reading and commenting :hug:  

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