Prompt #217: Yes, the River Knows

Greetings poets! This prompt is a community prompt which asks you to do something a little out of the ordinary. Together, we will all write a poem. So, we will behave like a river, flowing together with our poetic contributions — hence the title of this prompt, borrowed from the title of a song by The Doors.

How, you ask? Borrowing a little from the Surrealists’ “exquisite corpse” method, each of you will write one line at a time. In this case, of course, there really isn’t a practical way of being true to the original method (which would only allow you to see the last few words of the previous contributor’s lines), so we are modifying it a bit as described below:

  1. Someone here should start — post the first line of the poem.
  2. Then, other poets chime in, each adding a line in succession to continue from the previous line.
  3. You will be able to post a line more than once, but try to allow a few poets to contribute lines after you before adding another one (maybe 3-4?).
  4. If you want to suggest a stanza break, please indicate at the end of your line when you contribute. (Final formatting decisions are made by me, of course, but I will remain as true as possible to what I read from your contributed lines — no editing otherwise except for obvious typos.)

To allow the madness to continue as long as possible, comments will be open on this prompt until 8:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time on Wednesday, July 30. After then, comments on this post will be closed. The lines will be collected and then posted as one long poem, here, in a blog post sometime Wednesday afternoon.

Thank you, everyone, for making my time enjoyable with Red Wolf Journal. I am stepping down as an regular editor on the RWJ staff effective August 1 due to upcoming MFA studies, but I remain here in the community as Red Wolf Poems co-administrator and honorary RWJ editor as well as poet writing along to these prompts. It has been a pleasure helping put out such a fine journal.

-Nicole

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43 thoughts on “Prompt #217: Yes, the River Knows

  1. What’s that sound? Like a piccolo. Does anybody know?
    It’s heaven’s refrain bouncing off ethereal eaves.
    Summer rain patters on chestnut leaves
    as soul does weep at what this world does cruelly show.

    We wear masks, move deftly through plastic crowds
    un-noted. Polymer minds are willfully deaf, implausibly blind
    Listen, listen to the piccolo’s call. See, see each rounded, sweet note.
    Better the sound of the piccolo than the call of the peacock – must art make noise?

    Trills snagged in the clouds, carried and there to tote,
    notes ride rain drops back to Earth.
    Silvery ping with thunder for bass
    as the albino peacock looks for color…in those reflective crystal drops of life

    crystal curtain beads, white peacock blues
    and the piccolo blends with the peacock’s call –
    backed by monsoon drumbeats on concrete veins
    one would think the death of the day would be enough….

    Yet the waters flow through an ancient channel challenging the rocks of time,
    using time’s own acid to etch stone. Tracks

  2. color. We sink briefly in rainbows. Where are the pots filled with gold? Or a pirates chest filled
    with silver pieces of eight? Who will lift my veil…

  3. What’s that sound? Like a piccolo. Does anybody know?
    It’s heaven’s refrain bouncing off ethereal eaves.
    Summer rain patters on chestnut leaves
    as soul does weep at what this world does cruelly show.

    We wear masks, move deftly through plastic crowds
    un-noted. Polymer minds are willfully deaf, implausibly blind
    Listen, listen to the piccolo’s call. See, see each rounded, sweet note.
    Better the sound of the piccolo than the call of the peacock – must art make noise?

    Trills snagged in the clouds, carried and there to tote,
    notes ride rain drops back to Earth.
    Silvery ping with thunder for bass
    as the albino peacock looks for color…in those reflective crystal drops of life

    crystal curtain beads, white peacock blues
    and the piccolo blends with the peacock’s call –
    backed by monsoon drumbeats on concrete veins
    one would think the death of the day would be enough….

    Yet the waters flow through an ancient channel challenging the rocks of time,
    using time’s own acid to etch stone. Tracks
    bleed. We are drunk in time. And truths we like them black-and-white. A zebra crossing. Skunks lifting their tails tall.
    Instead, we clench cinereal clouds in our fists.

    color. We sink briefly in rainbows. Where are the pots filled with gold? Or a pirates chest filled
    with silver pieces of eight? Who will lift my veil…
    Are there no charmings? I want to dance.
    To be the dance so you’ll not know the dancer from the dance.

  4. What’s that sound? Like a piccolo. Does anybody know?
    It’s heaven’s refrain bouncing off ethereal eaves.
    Summer rain patters on chestnut leaves
    as soul does weep at what this world does cruelly show.

    We wear masks, move deftly through plastic crowds
    un-noted. Polymer minds are willfully deaf, implausibly blind
    Listen, listen to the piccolo’s call. See, see each rounded, sweet note.
    Better the sound of the piccolo than the call of the peacock – must art make noise?

    Trills snagged in the clouds, carried and there to tote,
    notes ride rain drops back to Earth.
    Silvery ping with thunder for bass
    as the albino peacock looks for color…in those reflective crystal drops of life

    crystal curtain beads, white peacock blues
    and the piccolo blends with the peacock’s call –
    backed by monsoon drumbeats on concrete veins
    one would think the death of the day would be enough….

    Yet the waters flow through an ancient channel challenging the rocks of time,
    using time’s own acid to etch stone. Tracks
    bleed. We are drunk in time. And truths we like them black-and-white. A zebra crossing. Skunks lifting their tails tall.
    Instead, we clench cinereal clouds in our fists.

    color. We sink briefly in rainbows. Where are the pots filled with gold? Or a pirates chest filled
    with silver pieces of eight? Who will lift my veil…
    Are there no charmings? I want to dance.
    To be the dance so you’ll not know the dancer from the dance.

    Piccolo music slithers, weaves through vertebrae, plays Kundalini
    Prince or thief…woven mystic; who am I? Silver piccolo etched with a peacock feather…
    Ocellus, look and see, fan your lashes, lavish love on me
    sing your fluty siren song of come hither, whether…
    come dance with me as the leaves dance on the branches of the chestnut tree

    Beneath the sheen of chestnut leaves in silvered moonlight glow I dance into the piccolo
    as the shining darkened skin of Soul encases the tender, precious nut of Self.
    hold notes like gumdrops on my tongue, hope to never swallow
    the bitter rind of gossiped words that paint false pictures of true loves’ spirit
    They cling to my teeth, stick inside my jaw.
    a plaque of jelly-bellied unused words, unsung,
    unheard each word a world that seeks a voice within my lungs

    Release these birds. They carry current breath. Render the unknowable in misty mountains.

  5. this is from Rosalyn (I know not why she can’t post):

    and fly through hallowed heart where heaven breathes the dust of earthy dreams.

  6. Okay, it seems because I have been vocal in regard to Israel over the situation in Palestine, in passionate but moderate mode, someone has hacked my email address and registered me as spam. Both of my email accounts were hacked last week and since this controversy has been raging I am pretty sure it is the cause. The other day I had an article published on the issue and then my WordPress posts were prevented from appearing. When I did some research, being identified as ‘spam’ seemed to be the cause. So I changed my email address and now can post. Sorry about this but I am now on moderation but just letting you know it is me.

  7. And I am struck by the synchronicity of my words with my situation:

    and fly through hallowed heart where heaven breathes the dust of earthy dreams.

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