Going past – NaPoWriMo 19

Up past the owls
down past the trees
and on to the end.

Sharp stop.
L  O  N  G    S  T  R  E  T  C  H.
Nar/row – cut in half.

Join the river, along the river,
here between you and the water

turn again, past the light

the waste.

For NaPoWriMo day 19, where the prompt is this: 

Our (optional) prompt for the day takes it cue from Brady’s suggestion that erasure/word banks can allow for compelling repetitive effects. Today we challenge you to write a paragraph that briefly recounts a story, describes the scene outside your window, or even gives directions from your house to the grocery store. Now try erasing words from this paragraph to create a poem or, alternatively, use the words of your paragraph to build a new poem.

I wrote a paragraph about my drive to work. I think I’ve kept the sense of a journey in this poem. It was tricky to write a paragraph knowing that I would be pulling words from it, (and tempting to put in words that would be useful in a poem), but I tried to keep it very factual and to the point. There are owls there, we often see them. I feel no guilt about putting them in.

So Far

Well, so far it’s been a bit of a disappointment, this journey. I thought by now we’d be getting somewhere, getting a glimpse of what it’s all for – True Love, Endless Riches, Cloak of Darkness, something like that. Inner Peace.

I left everything for this, you know – soft bed, fresh bread, sitting by the fire reading – left it all. It’s been so long now, I hardly remember it.

How long has it been? I don’t remember. Weeks. Months. Years, maybe. We spent weeks crossing the desert, and months in the mountains. And now this forest. I’m scratched and torn, and dirty. It’s endless. Walking, foraging, battling to light a fire. Some nights we sleep in a barn, next night under a tree, once we were fed by a village, once by a farmer. Some nights we’re boiling roots to make soup.

I’ve seen things I never would have seen otherwise. Snow topped mountains catching fire at sunset, raindrops gathering on pale green leaves, the desert like snow in the moonlight.

Some of the old ones say that is enough. Not for me, though. I want more.

For Linda  – a Stream of Consciousness. Unformed, unedited…

The Journey – microfiction for Jane Dougherty

Sometimes he wondered at how heavy they had become. At first, when there were just one or two of them, they had each seemed as insubstantial as mist, and he had hardly felt their cool hands on his arms or neck, had scarcely heard their whispers, that moved through the air like wind through sedge grass. Now they clung to him like ivy to an old wall, and all he could hear was their insistent murmurings – “The princess, the princess” they whispered, pushing him on.

“We are her dreams” they told him, “Her memories. We are the stories she tells herself. How can she be herself without us?” And they cling to him, begging to be carried, to be taken on the long journey to the lost princess.

In the beginning, he had trusted them, but with the passing days he grew to hate them, and to fear them. There were more each night, holding out pale arms to him, and he couldn’t refuse them. He wondered if the princess would welcome him, and his strange company – if ever they should find her – or if she would turn from them, preferring her forgetfulness.

But still he journeyed, as if this forest had no end, and his destiny was to walk these twisting paths for all eternity, seeking a princess who had forgotten her own story.

This story is for Jane Dougherty’s microfiction challenge. The image is by John Bauer. Check out her site – her entries are really great stuff.996px-john_bauer-ha%cc%88sten_ledde_han_vid_betslet

Red boat rondelet 2 – for Jane Dougherty

823px-Redon,_Odilon_-_La_Voile_jaune_(The_Yellow_Sail)_-_Google_Art_Project

And as I am a glutton for punishment, here is my second rondelet for Jane Dougherty’s poetry challenge #37. The rhythm is a tricky one, but I think we’re getting there.

 Journey makers

We’ve travelled far,
You and I, through the great wide world,
We’ve travelled far,
Two backpacks, a tent, a guitar,
And we’ve watched the sunrise unfurl
Roads of diamonds, oceans of pearls –
We’ve travelled far.