I’m using daily prompts associated with Inktober (artists doing ink drawings) to spur poetry this month. The poems flow from the prompts, though it may not be obvious (at all); and sometimes the poems are revisions of earlier poems that came to mind when I mulled the prompt. If there’s a photo in the post, it was chosen after the poem was written. I’m “showing my work” by offering some of the words, phrases, associations that came to me for each prompt. The poems may or may not have anything to do with gardens, gardening, or “nature” as it’s commonly considered. To see all the poems (once they’re written), check the Inktober landing page.
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Today’s prompt: MINDLESS.
Some associations: dense, senseless, feeble, simple, absurd, irrational, unreasonable, absentminded, heedless, repetitive, habitual, habits, autopilot, rituals, wandering mind, reactive, distracted, “there is something divine in mindless beauty” (Camus), eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, how the mind lets go, insipid, “I don’t know what I think until I read what I say” (Flannery O’Connor), divine grace, mindfulness, praying mantis (male headless), “If your mind isn’t clouded by unnecessary things/ This is the best season of your life” (Wu-Men Huikai), “one must have a mind of winter/” and “been cold a long time” … “not to think of any misery” in the winter wind and the nothingness that is (Wallace Stevens)
How easy to remember, how easy to forget
once the mind fits itself into the future, finds
itself both tethered and lost amid a landscape of loss
and disbelief, the years past amble companionably into
darkened groves of hay-scented fern and sassafras,
wherever I choose to go now the mind and
its years abide and abandon, disconcerting
like shadows that flit, flirt, and can’t be held,
can’t be seen completely but are felt
as solid and known, though they crumble mercilessly.
When I emerge from the woods, I’ve left something
firm and necessary there, exchanged
for all the bright sensations sparking mind,
not quite reminded but not quite forgotten.