Day 27: A Rolling Stone

The Old Traveler- Piotr Paczkowski

The Old Traveler- Piotr Paczkowski

The prompt for day 27 was to plug in the first three words of a common proverb or phrase into a search engine and “collect” words or phrases that are of interest from the first few pages of results. The collection then serves as an inspiration for the poem.

The proverb I chose was: “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. My poem highlights one of the multiple interpretations of this proverb.

Photo Cred: I was surprised I managed to find the perfect picture to go along with this poem! This particular one is a piece of digital artwork by Piotr Paczkowski titled “The Old Traveler”. To see more of Paczkowski’s work, go here.

A Rolling Stone

Though old and weathered,
he lacks the languid motions
that characterize others
of his kind.
With agility unheard of,
unseen,
he rushes along,
passing new towns,
new people,
everyday.
No rust hinders
his travels,
both mind and body
clear of obstacles.
He moves without hesitation,
as steadily as
a rolling stone
that gathers no moss
as it spirals down
a hill.

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The City Life

Men in the 1950s

Men in the 1950s

It feels weird not to have really “written” anything for the day 26 NaPoWriMo prompt since it was all about erasure poetry. Therefore, I decided to write something else as well, just for fun!

The City Life

The night was heavy
with smoke
and the scent of beer.
Chaos everywhere.
People
walking, running, sprinting
every they wanted
to go,
no time to stop and say
hello here.
Everyone had a job to do,
money to make,
a life to establish.
There wasn’t time for inane
babbling with random
strangers on the road.
People had a purpose
here, and nothing could change that.
Shiny,
glittering dresses
flounced behind
groups of ladies
as they strut down
the street.
Brown and black hats sat
resolutely on men’s
heads,
as determined
to fight the wind
as the men
were to fight
for their rights.

Day 26: Flute Music

 
The prompt for day 26 was to perform an erasure on a poem. Erasure poetry is form of found poetry that is created by erasing words from an existing text in prose or verse and framing the result on the page as a poem. The poem I chose is one of my favorite poems, entitled "Flute Music" by Rabindranath Tagore.
Flute Music
Kinu, the milkman's alley
   ground              room in a                       valley
                                 window barred.
                  walls, windows                      to dust in places
      strained with damp.
Stuck on the floor,
                       Ganesha,                   Success,
From                     a              cloth.
Another                                           lives in my room
For the same rent;
A lizard.
               one difference
He doesn't go hungry.

        twenty five rupees a month
As junior clerk                             .
I'm fed  
For coaching                 .
At dusk I go  
Spend the evening  
      save the cost of light.
Engines
                  shrieking,
Passengers
               shouting.
            till                  ten,
Then back to       dark,silent,lonely            .

A village on the                     river,            
Her brother-in-law's daughter -
                       to marry my unfortunate self,                            fixed.
The moment                       auspicious for her, 
        I ran          .
The girl         saved              ,
And I                 .
               not            to this room, but            in and out of my mind                      :
Dacca sari, vermilion on her forehead.

Pouring rain.
                costs go up,
                                    pay gets cut                       .
Along the alley,
Mango skins        stones,                  pulp,
Fish-gills, dead kittens
                                       other rubbish
Pile up        rot.
My umbrella                 my                     pay -
Full of holes.

Monsoon darkness
sticks 
Like an animal                      dead          ,
Lifeless           numb
                                     strapped bodily
      to a half-dead world.

At the corner                  lives Kantababu -
          hair, carefully parted,
Large eyes.
Cultivated tastes.
    fancies                 the cornet:
The sound                           in gusts
On the foul breeze                        -
                    in the middle of the night,
                          the early morning twilight,
                           the afternoon
When sun and shadows glitter.
                    this evening
He              play runs in Sindhu-Baroya        ,
        the              sky rings
          eternal              separation.
                    alley is a lie,
False       vile as                            a drunkard,
                           nothing distinguishes                      the clerk
From the Emperor              .
        umbrella                      parasol merge,
         on the sad music of a flute
                         heaven.

The music     true,
                             everlasting twilight-hour                         ,
                      river flows,
     banks deeply shaded                               ,
        she who waits 
Is dressed in a dacca sari, vermillion on her forehead.

Day 25: Futile Endeavor

The prompt for day 25 was to write a ballad of any kind (sad, funny, silly, etc). A ballad is a narrative in verse form that is set to music. Though the ballad has evolved over time, the general composition of a ballad is made of “ballad stanzas” which are 4-line stanzas of alternating lines of iambic (an unstressed followed by a stressed syllable)tetrameter (eight syllables) and iambic trimeter (six syllables). There is also a rhyme scheme- while this can also differ, the most common one is ABCB.

Futile Endeavor

As stealthy as the waves that creep-
so passive in display-
towards the unsuspecting shore,
it leaped, devoured its prey.

Where calm waves once had lingered,
unrest had made its home,
the nights and days passed slowly by,
and ire began to roam.

The sands, incensed, fought for her life-
like branches in the sea.
She argued, screamed, unleashed her rage
still nothing came to be.

This irritating flu, always
appearing whenever-
attempt to overcome it- just
a futile endeavor.

Day 24: A Self-Portrait

The prompt for day 24 was to write a self-portrait using the words generated from your name (with the help of an anagram generator . This was insanely hard, both because I had some strange words come up in my name, as well as the fact that I’ve never been good at writing (or talking) about myself. The only way I could think of going about this was to follow a format similar to that of a self-portrait essay, and then manipulate it into a poem. I only managed to use a few words here and there, but its the thought that counts, I guess.

A Self-Portrait

Born in the city where the ashes
of loved ones past seek
liberation.

Not letting dust
sit in any one place,
new homes in new places
became as easy to slip into
as the purple sweater that hangs
behind my door.

Though seemingly staid
and hushed, 
they are mere acts-
hiding true natures 
in subconscious fear
of exclusion. 

Day 23: A Child

The prompt for day 23 was to write a triolet, which is an eight-line poem where the first, fourth, and seventh lines are identical, as are the second and final lines. There is also a rhyme scheme of ABaAabAB- the capital letters represent the repetition of the line. This particular poem was inspired by a video called Chotu CEO created by Save the Children India “to make corporate employees notice child labour around them. The campaign had a great impact and it helped many children get into schools.”

A Child

A child, barely at the age of ten,
with tears streaking down his cheeks,
toiling away at the jobs of men.
A child. Barely at the age of ten.
He wakes, works, weeps, and works again,
deprived of the childhood he so desperately seeks.
A child, barely at the age of ten,
with tears streaking down his cheeks.

Day 22: Reflections

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada

The prompt for day 22 was to write a poem that is inspired by the fact that today (April 22) is Earth Day.

Reflections

A mirror image,
reflecting every facet
of beauty, not hindered
by even a single ripple
on the surface.
Like a painter,
precise and meticulous
in each stroke,
every colour is defined,
the ridges of the mountains
that surround the lake
depicted perfectly.

But how long before
the water, now
crystal clear,
turns murky
with pollution,
like so many others
in the world?

How long will this reflection
last?

Day 21: Fortunes

Can’t believe the month is nearly over! The prompt for day 21 was to re-write Frank O’Hara’s Lines for the Fortune Cookies. These were really hard for me because this is nowhere near my writing style but I tried nonetheless. Of course, it also meant that I was only able to come up 5 fortune.

Fortunes

You will narrowly miss hitting a tree tomorrow, and hit a pole instead.

You will stumble upon some unexpected wealth in the back pocket of your old jeans.

You will find yourself surrounded by light very soon- the sun is about to rise.

You will embark on a long journey that will begin and end with elevator doors.

Happiness is just around the corner, 50 miles away.

Day 19: Wanted- You!

The prompt for day 19 was to write a poem in the form of a personal ad or any other kind of ad.

Wanted – You!

Like trees waiting to grow-
the epitome of patience.

Devouring through one book-
a shelf full of infinite others behind.

Moving time backwards-
making impossible possible.

Is this you?

If yes-

contact the writer,
the opposite of every thing
mentioned,
though the books
still remain the truth.

If no-
Why are you still here?