Poetry Superhighway Day 5 Fears

Day 5 prompt from the Poetry Superhighway challenge is a fear-based prompt. My poem is titled Segue, as it segues from childhood to adulthood and from dreams to daily worries.

A Prompt-A-Day for National Poetry Month: April 5 – ‪#‎napowrimo ‪#‎poetry Lions and Spiders and Fears! Oh My!

 

  1. Make a list of your childhood fears. If you are feeling really brave, try to come up with one fear for every year of life until you turned age 18. If you can’t recall what you were afraid of when you were very young, try to imagine what might have frightened a typical infant, toddler, or young child in your family back when you were a kid. What images plagued your nightmares, and what scary thoughts ran rampant through your mind on sleepless nights?
  2. Turn this list into an image driven dream where you come face-to-face with each of these frightening images. Describe them with as much poetic detail as you can. They may each be only a brief presence in the dream returned to try to scare you again, or perhaps they will try to explain to you why you shouldn’t have ever feared them. Perhaps these “fears” were each trying to teach you something. One fear may take over the whole dream and become an extended metaphor or spokesperson for the rest of the fears. Follow the poem wherever it takes you. Even if it’s down a dark tunnel filled with lions and spiders. Have fun with it!
  3. Try to end your piece with the most comforting image you can imagine. Perhaps something that comforts you now.
  4. For even more frightening fun and perhaps a deeper analysis of your work and your psyche: circle words and images that stand out to you as powerful or meaningful (10 to 15 is plenty, but feel free to look up as many as you like. If you write a lot of poetry, some of these images may already be familiar themes in your work)
  5. Look each of these images up on a dream interpretation/analysis website and write a second poem which “psychoanalyzes” the writer based on the images in the dream.

Good news is that you likely aren’t crazy, you are probably just a poet.  Submitted by Raundi Kai Moore-Kondo ( http://www.theloveofwords.com/raundi.html

 

Segue

When I was 9, I dreamed the Creature from the Black Lagoon
lived our backyard swamp, legacy from winter’s skating rink melting
At night the creature tapped on my window  Creature from the Black Lagoon poster.jpg

Monsters might chase me in dreams where I can’t run, my feet
stuck in the mud, or working only in slow motion

I still dream my teeth are crumbling, I chew
dental fragments in my sleep

In other dreams I run down streets, lost, no keys
I look down. I am naked. It might be snowing
It might be raining, or even summer. Still I am naked
And running

Daylight fears are different. The regular mundanities:
Girls travelled in threes, but when two of us quarrelled, one
would be outside the circle and walk alone. I feared being the third girl.

I was afraid of baggy-knee jeans. Always wanted tight pants.
Before spandex, there was lycra. But the knees were still wrinkly.

Planet of the Spiders  Planet of the Spiders (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I fight my fear of spiders with the vacuum cleaner.
I am afraid to use the telephone because I fear rejection.

I love red tulips and coral-coloured roses. I have no flowers at home.
I am afraid because my cat eats anything green. He spits up later.

One afternoon in the back field a cat running, a potato chip bag
over its head. Backwards, mostly. I scared it into losing one life.
I fear pain, mine, yours, theirs, that cat’s.

My first bank account, I took out two dollars each day. Didn’t know
how to ration. Afraid to run out of things. I still stock up at 3 for 1 sales.

I’d rather eat white bread. When I was a child,
my mother would cut off all the crusts. Not fear. Just loathing.

I fear illness, dependency, the way my body ages.
Not death. I won’t know, I will be dead.

My greatest fear is fear.

 

Carol A Stephen
April 5, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National Poetry Month April 2013

Poster from the League of Canadian Poets for National Poetry Month

English: Wild daffodils at Donnington Wild daf...

English: Wild daffodils at Donnington Wild daffodils beside the footpath across a field to the north of Nurdens Farm, Donnington. Early April (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love April!  First of all, it’s my birth month, so I always have at least a small celebration to look forward to. And it’s Poetry Month. National Poetry Month, in both Canada and the USA. So there is a lot of focus on poetry this time of year. I know in Ottawa there are numerous readings as well as some fantastic workshops coming up at the Ottawa Public Library. You can read about those in my CAA-NCR weekly listing.

Right now though, I wanted to share a few other links with you, ones that relate to poetry challenges inviting poets to write a poem every day. This is by no means an extensive list. I am sure there are many others. These are the ones  I will be looking at and writing to.

First up is NaPoWriMo, short for National Poetry Writing Month: http://www.napowrimo.net/  which has some fantastic prompts for quite a variety of challenges. It begins officially tomorrow. To participate, you can register your blog, put up your daily poem and that’s it. Or you can simply write a poem to the prompt.

Second comes from Writer’s Digest Poetry Editor, Robert Lee Brewer. For this one you can post your poems online or you can keep them private, then at the end of April select the best per the rules and submit to the contest: http://www.writersdigest.com/whats-new/2013-april-pad-challenge-guidelines  

Then there is a Found poetry one that I just learned about yesterday. It is restricted to 85 already registered poets, but if you can access the source material, no reason why you can’t follow along and write your own poem. It is based on Pulitzer Prize winners: http://www.pulitzerremix.com/   To see how to write a found poem, if you haven’t done one before, visit the sponsor, The Found Poetry Review for guidelines: http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/category/blog

Another new one is this, just discovered yesterday: http://poetrysuperhighway.com/psh/a-poetry-writing-prompt-a-day/

And an interesting twist on the idea here: Write one poem on April 1st (or start it) and each day revise it. i.e. one poem, 29 revisions.)

http://anexerciseindiscipline.com/

Ok, I am sure there are others out there, and you can always google poem a day challenges for April 2013. Choose the best one that works for you. Or more than one.

One year I attempted three challenges and ended up with 80 or so draft poems. Some good ones too. One I really enjoyed in April 2011 was the Not Without Poetry one, which has not run since but the prompts are still there, starting with Day 30 and working backward. The prompts are so good, I am glad they haven’t yet been taken down.  http://notwithoutpoetry.wordpress.com/ 

So, there you go! Rev up your poetry engines. And drop a line to let me know how you are making out, or share a poem if you wish. Remember, though that some publishers will consider it published if you post online!

Carol