Prompt #4: Animalia

Prompts in honor of National Poetry Month…
feel free to share poems via email or in the comment section below.

I realize that if you are participating in some way with my daily prompts, you may be frustrated if you aren’t writing a poem every day, or maybe you are frustrated because you think your poems aren’t any good.

But I want to encourage you to ignore that little internal editor.  Our efforts are not to write masterpieces every day–that would be impossible.

Instead, we want to plant the seed for daily writing.  How are we to write that masterpiece if we never write?

In the first chapter of Susan Wooldridge’s Poemcrazy, she writes, “Poems hang out where life is.”  The prompts are meant to help light a spark.  If all you do is collect words, so be it.  You are beginning to change how you view the world.

I want to be excited about writing and poetry, to see space in a new way.  I want to accept that poetry isn’t always being clever or smart–sometimes it’s just about giving yourself permission to write.

Prompt #4: Animalia

While I wish that all of the prompts sprang whole from my brain, there really is only so much ‘quality’ up in there.  Writer’s Digest can be a great resource for poets, especially Robert Lee Brewer’s Poetic Asides Blog.cows

This is #209.  “Write a poem somehow influenced by an animal.  The animal could be the title of the poem, the subject of the poem, a bit part in the poem.  Dive into what it means to be animal or non-animal.”

April’s Attempt

Somehow, probably in large part due to the fact that I know the prompts ahead of time, the prompt about parenthood and today’s prompt have melded together.  The result was a poem that came at me from an unexpected direction.  Once again, these examples are often Works-in-Progress: No revision at this time!  Should I choose to revise it and ultimately submit for publication elsewhere, then the work would be taken down from the site.  But in the meantime, it’s interesting to share the accidental amalgam of ideas.

A Day Like Others

There was that time I let Charlie curl up in my lap,
despite the distinct smell of dirty feet clinging
to her matted black fur,
tangled in large part due to my own neglect.
But I let her rest there, my fingers tightly fisted
as I watched the story unfold on the six o’clock news,
a story I would rather have never known,
of a man who walked into a school not unlike my own,
walked in with his assault rifle and shot terrified
kindergarteners as they huddled in cabinets,
pushing aside the construction paper and glitter glue,
their tiny bodies shivering in fear,
my own babies resting quietly, safely in their beds,
the silent tears tracking down my face,
tasting like waste.

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