Inktober: 31 Days of Poems: Ancient

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: ANCIENT

Some associationsAncient of Days (God), ancient history, ancient as the hills, ancient Greek/Roman/Celt, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 7 Wonders of ancient world, Olympic games, mummies, pyramids, tombs, aqueduct, Apian Way, Ancient Egyptian, old growth forest, antiquities, age-old, prehistoric, archeological, ancestral, archaic, primeval, primordial,  classical, relic, fossil, history, antediluvian, King Tut, dead language, ancient light 

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Poem: (originally written in Nov. 2015, revised in Oct. 2018 and in Oct. 2019)

Vanishing Act

Just to keep still, to wait without wanting
interruption, attentive
to the sighs, cries, hums, roars beneath
what I can hear, aware of the shimmering air,
echo of earth, small devastation
ordinarily veiled.

Just to fathom the water cycling below,
pacing itself in geologic time,
slipping swiftly to notice
when voice and counting stop,
when the sweep of all that thrums
inside finds its turbid vibration
in the antediluvian flux.

Just to see the entangled sanctuary:
slugs, worms, beetles, vast
alliance of fungi and roots,
mysterious subterranean stagecraft,
entire ancient cast enacting sleight of hand
while face down I search my way in,
cloistered briefly and damp.

Just to keep still —
to refrain from remembering
all the other places:

tall blowing grasses along an inlet, blurred knobby bridges,
chained dogs, forlorn,
barely seen and entirely absorbed like breath
through smudged train windows,
place abstracted like artworks in dizzy succession;

half-obscured summers at the lake, the fresh scent of
dark lapping water, the dankness of a seasonal cottage,
geese assailing my sister for popcorn, a missing mother;

suburbia bicycled in familiar expanding orbit as time
continued to tick its milestones, as place and time
collided, conjoined, fell apart again,
landscape unhinged from memory.

Just to keep still,
relax in this place that holds me now,
that mingles my surviving absence with
elemental reminders:
air, water, earth.

©MMWms 2015/2019

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