That’s Not Flying

Today it is gorgeous outside, a balmy 65 degrees and it’s still early morning.  While waiting for my class to begin I wandered out to the balcony-type landing overlooking the side of the mountain.  Anxieties of the near-future uncertainties were snatched up and put on hold.  I took in the birdsong and the dancing trees in the mellow breeze.  (Breezes aren’t always mellow, but this one was particularly so.)  As my eyes traveled down the trunks of the closest trees I noticed a gardener down below, diligently weeding.  It was Silas, a fellow poet.  I looked around for something to throw, to voice where I was.  Someone had left a cup of ice cream which had solidified into a sticky lump around the spoon.  I picked it up, brushing ants off my hand, and tossed it in his direction.  Startled, he looked suspiciously up at the windows above him.  I frantically waved until he saw me and waved back.  Satisfied, I retired to a nearby bench.  Thought thunder struck—a flashback to reading Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum in a cozy room at night.  Me: reading aloud.  You: interpreting verbose prose into rudimentary phrases.  And through a synthesis of all those events I wrote this simple verse:

A bit of gravel–
Let it fall;
Boulder shrapnel–
Let it fall;
Let it drop;
Small chink of brick–
Let it drop
Into abyss…
I am scared.



8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 12:34:17

    Very interesting to see where your poem came from, to find that a wide variety of influences brought it about. Nice.


    • wordcoaster
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 15:06:50

      Thanks! I’ve thought about including explanations for a few of my poems before, though I do enjoy the mystery an unexplained poem provides–this prompt was a perfect opportunity 🙂


  2. charlesmashburn
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 13:37:11

    Yes, veery interesting. Sometimes the story that births a verse is complex in a simple, everyday kind of way. The underlying current in this one, seems obviously your concerns over what the future holds. Nice one!


    • wordcoaster
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 15:16:33

      Exactly right! I actually went back after writing the prose paragraph and added that detail because without it the explanation seems extraneous. Thanks, and I enjoyed your fighting words as well 🙂


  3. brian miller
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 13:54:39

    really it is very interesting how all of that came together to give you that verse…nice use of repetition as well…it makes us wonder too and give symbolism to something as small as a pebble….


    • wordcoaster
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 15:20:19

      Thanks! Any time I can make someone wonder (in a way that still is effective communication) I am happy. I’m still wondering if I should have “Let it fall” repeated throughout rather than switching to “Let it drop.” Glad you enjoyed the metamorphic metaphor 🙂


  4. Chazinator
    Mar 16, 2012 @ 18:03:50

    A nice prose piece orienting readers to the way your poem came to be. The juxtaposition of Poe and the serenity of the day is very effective, giving weight to the poem that follows your introduction. Life seems so strange when what we read affects the mood of the day, even though it might originate in fantasy.

    This fact itself seems to deepen your poem after you’ve added the commentary, which since it too influences the way we understand the poem and its meaning. So there’s an effect of irony that occurs when text on text affects the poem and the life from which it sprang.


    • wordcoaster
      Mar 16, 2012 @ 22:20:36

      Ooh, I like that a lot! There is definite irony, a curious spiral of twisting fact and fantasy. So glad that it deepened the poem; sometimes explanations cheapen poems 🙂


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