POEM THIRTY

Woo whooo!!!  The last day of National Poetry Month!  And my 30th poem of the month–written from a most intriguing prompt.  Here’s what NaPoWriMo presented as the final challenge:

And now our final (and still optional) prompt! I know I’ve used this one in prior years, but it’s one of my favorites, so bear with me. Find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. For example, you might turn “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “I won’t contrast you with a winter’s night.” Your first draft of this kind of opposite poem will likely need a little polishing, but this is a fun way to respond to a poem you like, while also learning how that poem’s rhetorical strategies really work. (It’s sort of like taking a radio apart and putting it back together, but for poetry). Happy writing!

And here’s Will….Shakepeare, that is.  I have printed Sonnet #71 and then my

reversal below.  Great fun this.  NOW, back to my novel!!!

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William Shakespeare

Sonnet #71

No longer mourn for me when I am dead

Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell

Give warning to the world that I am fled

From this vile, world, with vilest worms to dwell:

Nay, if you read this line, remember not

The hand hat writ it; for I love you so

That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot

If thinking on me then should make you woe.

O, if, I say, you look upon this verse

When I perhaps compounded am with clay,

Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.

But let your love even with my life decay,

Lest the wise world should look into your moan

And mock you with me after I am gone.

~Shakespeare

Sonnet Reversal

Now rejoice for yourself when you are alive

Then I shall hear the benevolent joyful bell

Withhold invitation to the village that you have arrived

From this sensitive world, with sweetest dragons to expell:

Yay, if I read this missive, you forget not

The foot that typed it; for you hate me so

That you in your foul diatribe would be remembered.

If speaking on you, then should not destroy my joy.

O, if you remain silent, I ignore this nonsense

When you perhaps are destroyed by liquid,

Do so little as my rich declassification forgets.

But let my hate even with your death prosper,

Lest the fool’s village should not look into your silence

And revere me with you after you have arrived.

Copyright 2013

                   C.J. Prince

POEM TWENTY NINE

One more day to go.  NaPoWriMo prompt for today is to include words from another language at least five times in a poem.  I decided on two:  Yiddish and Spanish.  Perhaps misused but ever so fun to play.  This is what wrote itself.

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Whatever Will Be, Will Be

Castanets dance in his hairy ears,

inveigle him to go where he would not.

He steps into the tavern darkness,

a world unknown, a magnet

to his wounded heart.  His eyes

adjust, focus on the bright stage.

 

She whirls, her taffeta skirts fly,

heels click, castanets

match his heartbeat.

Someone serves him a drink.

He drops his bundle of tsuris

like laundry and looks up.

 

She dances down the aisles,

twirls, skirts unfurl,

teasing and stops in front of him,

dark eyes flash.

He can smell her and his body

does what it has never done before.

It betrays his desire.

 

She laughs, clicks castanets

around his pounding ears,

leans down to whisper

magic words

¡Te amo!    

 

Oy vey.  He wants to touch—

just one finger to hers—

but she is gone,

on stage again.

He could plotz.

Vei is mir,

he mutters into his drink.

 

He’s lost in the rowdy noise,

the fantasy challenges the bundle

tugging at his conscience.

The whole place is traif.

What is he doing here?

He’s meshugeneh.

She’s a shiksa.

He should shlep his bundle

out the door into the bitter night.

 

Mi corazón.

Her voice is a cloud.

She slides into the chair next to him,

in street clothes now.

His heart races

as her finger twines his earlock,

his peyos

 

Te necesito.  Rose petal words

he doesn’t understand.

He nods an almost smile.

Shpilkes subsides.

Estoy enamorada!  Her lips move

close to his ear.

 

Let the snow blow,

and the music roar.

Vos vet zein, zein vet.

 Copyright 2013

C.J. Prince

POEM TWENTY EIGHT

NaPoWriMo is headed into the final stretch but the prompts keep coming.  Today’s inspiration comes with color.  Or in this case, without it.

 

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Undertow

 

Black as midnight

on the dark of the moon,

she wants to touch him

long after the owls go to bed.

 

Black as his iris huge with longing.

Black as the waves at night

on a lonely beach.

 

Black as a tourmaline tower

to flush the pain in her heart,

a black hole

imploding with his absence.

 

Black as half of yin yang.

Coal black smeared under her eyes,

kohl of an Egyptian goddess.

 

Black like Tibetan tektite

igniting, unifying

heaven and earth.

 

Black sand clings to their feet

walking starlit beaches

to lie under rolling black clouds.

 

Black nail lacquer

pulls him to her dark regions,

to the intimacy he’ll want to forget.

 

Blackest moment when Neptune

takes her to the final darkness.

Black as the void.

 

Black is what you wear to funerals.

Copyright 2013

C.J. Prince

POEM TWENTY SEVEN

 

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Image Source:  Unknown

What Does She See?

 

Her mother’s words rise up

like dandelions in spring,

ubiquitous.

 

Hack, whack or mow them down

and still they rise again.

You must suffer for beauty.

 

She wonders now

if she can even define

the details or the results.

 

She sees the little lines of life

become creases

and then crevices.

 

Mirror, mirror are you true?

What does suffering require?

A little gold chain

 

edging from ear to ear

tucked under,

 to hold up her double chin?

 

or a surgeons scalpel

to make her face a drum

so tight she can’t smile?

 

She wonders

if that’s what her mother meant.

What was her mother’s other expression?

 

Beauty is only skin deep.

 Copyright 2013

C.J. Prince

POEM TWENTY SIX

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Image Source:  Facebook

Burning Bright

 

Night cat hunches spine,

pounces on oak table,

jumps to my pillow.

Tiger haunts my dreams,

Cell phone alarm meows.

 

Morning cat stretches, purrs.

Be cautious when calling

totem animals.