Hey guys I’d just come to the end of a book and it’s like coming to the end of the road. In Alice Munro’s stories, typically you get a sense of a full life lived. The characters’ fates are intertwined, and really you get a sense of how their lives were by the persons whom they settle down with and the persons who had crossed their paths and then leave. And the strange twists of fate that meet some characters. You get a sense of poignancy when a partner dies, for instance, or when a daughter abandons a mother. Like all the props changed, know what I mean, and you become a different person almost. Transformation…that’s what life is about. So that’s what your poem’s about.
It’s been a while. My mind’s focusing elsewhere obviously. Yet I do return. Why? For clarity, for discovery, for connecting. Is that what writing does? Does writing serve that kind of purpose? Yes obviously. It clarifies the mud, even if the proposal is …mud itself. Yes. If you’re not muddy you’re not being real. If you’re downright dogmatic, you’re…a stick in the mud. But clarity is a wonderful thing, is it not? Like for days, for years, for decades you’re stuck in some quagmire, and then one day you feel lucid, and the sun is sparkling. It’s a little exaggerated perhaps, but maybe you’re discerning what I’m talking about. And writing? Perhaps it’s a bit like that. That’s something for your poem to address.
So what has been obsessing you these days? Surely there is something you’re obsessed with? Like what do you keep thinking about? I confess, I have a new obsession with instagram stories. It’s kind of like following different characters as they go about their daily lives. The locations are all over the globe. So there’s Iceland, Paris, London, etc etc…and these stories unfold as things happen. Is it a waste of time you ask? You can of course answer it both ways. But I like that the stories take place elsewhere, and you get to see intimately what these characters see and experience, even if it’s just an instagram moment. I was just talking about stories in the last prompt and these seem to be the real, undramatic stories that happen everyday to everyday people. Cinematic in their own way. So like say, you’revisiting a new place, how would you document it in your poem? Or if you’re at home, what kind of moments do have you in a day?
So I took my mind off poetry for a bit. It’s like a reprieve. The pressure’s off, isn’t it, till it’s back on. Back on? Who says? What gives this inner compulsion to write fiction? What gives, you tell me. Is it like having to say what you’re thinking or feeling, in a story form? Check out this quote: “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” ― Philip Pullman. Think about storying in your poem.
May 13 was the centennial celebration of Fatima. Three shepherd children had seen the apparition of Mary in the spring of 1917, whom they called Fatima, and received three prophecies. They then saw her a couple more times, a total of six, between then and 13 October 1917. On 13 October, a large crowd had gathered at the Cova da Iria, in Fatima, Portugal, and witnessed a sun dance.
“According to accounts, after a period of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disc in the sky. It was said to be significantly duller than normal, and to cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth before zig-zagging back to its normal position. Witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry, as well as the wet and muddy ground that had been previously soaked because of the rain that had been falling” (Wikipedia)
On 13 May 2017, Pope Francis canonized two of the children, Jacinta and Francisco. They died at age 9 and 10 respectively. The third child, Lucia, lived till age 97.
In your poem, reference the supernatural. You might want to use the words provided by The Sunday Whirl.
Hey you guys, how do you write? Do you do research, for instance, or do you wait for some kind of trigger? Do you extemporise? I do that a lot. Maybe it’s all of the above. I was just watching Ellen DeGeneres do it.
And decided to do a “thinking out loud” poem. It’s kind of being naked in your thoughts. And aren’t we humans interested in that, “what were you thinking?” Do you dare think out loud?
If you’ve lived long enough you might notice your own karma. Who do you attract? What patterns of relationships did you go through? It’s as the saying goes, if you do not learn from history you’re doomed to repeat it. So it’s an endless cycle. When you shift, the universe also shifts. In Buddhist terms, it’s called samsara. To be released from samsara is the ultimate spiritual goal. It’s the state of nirvana. Pure bliss, pure emptiness–wahoo! I’m too steeped in stuff to even aspire to such a state, or even think such a state desirable. It’s too ethereal for me. But shifts are possible. It is desirable to shift to another level of reality. That’s what dreaming does. What art does. Do that in a poem.