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: FREEZE.
Some associations: deep freeze, when hell freezes over, freeze-frame (stop action), frozen, fix, suspend, stunned, paralyzed, ice, winter, restriction or limit (spending freeze), blood runs cold, freeze someone out (exclude), numb, in cold blood, cold comfort, cold as ice, Freeze! (police)
The white winter spreads like stretched skin, not entirely taut and yet not slack.
Stacked snow conceals all the nothing it proclaims,
dips and mounds, rising and falling, a ghost written landscape
like breath suspended and carried in the mounting air, the air
mourning a certain vivid something that’s gone now,
returned to root and burrow.
One moment closes upon another, but lightly, breathlessly,
with all the paleness of the place,
a quiet hum enclosing earth’s brutal hush.
I can walk silently now, without ice crunch or leaf scatter,
secretly shadowing the nothing that sprawls ahead.
Already numbed, already senseless amid the surrounding ruin
of scrawls emerging from a formless patient
whose cold sleep came hundreds of years before
and yesterday, I waver below the brooding air,
half ghost myself, living both now and then,
listening for pulse too faint for day
as snow absorbs the thickening blood, again and again.
I’m interpreting the past with an inconclusive gloss,
the riddle of the white world, the scripted trees, unsolved
like grief that whispers indistinctly of all that’s vanished
into the shivering air.
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