Thursday, April 19, 2018

Day 18

This poem is a combination of the PAD prompt—to write a temptation poem—and today's NaPoWriMo prompt which was to write a poem structured as a line-by-line response to a previously written poem (preferably a poem with which you are unfamiliar.)  The poem I am responding to is found at the end of mine.



Recalling Paradise Lost

My father’s hidden secrets lived
to stretch the seams of our pockets, but
only heroes carry flags with deeper meaning.

I'm tempted to look, I know what’s there—
the words upon it writ in ancient Celtic script
would lead me to a blinding edge beyond the trail.

Impossible to find a map, retrace his steps,
to navigate a path between sharp blades,
the things I could not touch but only see.

I stand on hand-lathed legs
to view old memories.  Long forgotten are
the names of streets I wandered as a child.

It hurts to speak of what was—
imagined lives of family, where hope lets go
unless tethered to the frosted ground.

Like manic pigeons anxious to take flight,
they mound themselves prepared to leap
but none survive the splash, the sizzle of the fire.



Plane Truths
by Richard Osler

To plane a heart this fine to true.
Each piece peeled off into a curl so taut
it cannot be unfurled.

Wooden whorls, fisted shut, beyond bloom
as if each slice, thin as hand-pressed paper,
must turn back finally on itself.

How many times did I watch, wend
my way past band saw, table saw
cast-iron drill press, candle sticks

in the shapes of birds—dowel beaks
and birch wings—and rocking horses
made of pine, oak and ash,

to the armourer's bench worked with scars
and greet my father?  Only here distance
could slip off easily like the shavings

cut by the plane's bright blade and clench
up in drifts across the floor for me to sweep
and throw into the black pot-bellied stove.


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