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  • Poetic Asides

Day 8 Highlights

Categories: Poetry Challenge 2008, Poets.

The prompt on Day 8 asked you to write a poem based on one of two paintings: “Piazza d’Italia,” by Giorgia de Chirico, or “The Little Deer,” by Frida Kahlo. To see the paintings, go to: http://blog.writersdigest.com/poeticasides/April+PAD+Challenge+Day+8.aspx.

Many of the poems added stories to the actual picture. I think this may have been one of the more effective ways of dealing with this prompt actually. Also, there were quite a few who twisted the two paintings together in their poems, which was very cool to see.

Here are my highlights.

*****

 

Little Deer

 

Little bleeder,

you were dying,

before you even knew,

primitive Kewanee

with your doe innocent eyes

so human, staring back,

majestic. Your pomp,

and surety startles in oils

just as it did in polaroid,

And the trees,

they surround your feminine stance,

pluck from you your wiles,

your masquerading tongue

that speaks of men and madness,

seas brought to froth by spite.

This branch I lay before you,

nothing but a trap

to keep you,

intrigue you from your winter

leaving.

And Fellini, just what

would he make of you?

So pretty, so disdainful and wry?

I’d bet he’d fill you,

side to side,

with arrows,

just to spite.

 

 

Kevin |kevintcraigAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

The Little Deer

 

Why have you taken refuge in the garden?

Being around trees increases the risk

of being struck by the lightning snapping at the sea and sky.

Oh, you are wounded, that’s it

and you figure it doesn’t make any difference

how or when or where you die,

it’s going to happen anyway.

The hunters—oh god, am I one of them?—stalk nearby and know

there is no safe place, not even among the branches promised to shield you.

You could outpace those who want your crown for a mantle piece.

Instead you stand and stare and wait.

 

 

Cathy Sapunor |cathsapAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Piazza d’Italia

 

Alone at dawn in the piazza,

he and I.

We meet at last;

No turning back.

 

 

Sue Bench |hd_ultra_96AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Piazza d’Italia

 

We met upon a

Yellow Street

Beneath a pea green sky,

Nearby small scale Alps

Cast shadows long and high

Banners waved on building tops

The breeze was easterly

Business was concluded

Between my friend and me

We shook hands good-bye

Albeit solemnly

And as I wandered home again

Beneath a darkening sky

I realized that the architect’s

Perspective was awry

 

 

SaraV |slvinasAT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

Frida Kahlo

 

What lies within

a mind

or

heart

sometimes

bleeds red.

 

 

Emily Blakely |ecblakelyAT NOSPAMmsn dot com

 

*****

 

Piazza d’Italia

 

Their paths converged in the piazza,

One walking east, the other west,

When their eyes noted the other,

Alighting their faces with recognition.

 

Their paths had parted decades past

After a shared history

Of childhood? war? college years?

My vantage point didn’t allow for hearing.

 

Their paths converged in the piazza,

And friendship, knowing no boundaries

Of time or place or years without contact,

Allowed them to pick up where they’d left off.

 

 

Kevin D. Washburn |kdwashburnAT NOSPAMmac dot com

 

*****

 

The Little Deer

 

The little deer

Fiercest of all

Ran through the forest

Ran by the falls

Ran over the mountain

And across the desert sands

Ran and ran

In search of the blesséd land.

But people were unhappy

With the little deer’s quest-

It stirred up chaos

And caused unrest.

They hunted and taunted

And tortured the fawn

They shot at it with arrows

From evening until dawn.

But in the light of day

They always disappeared

Hiding their deeds

From those who they feared.

And by this light

The little deer traveled on

With the strength of a lion

And the spirit of a horse

Each arrow in its hide

A pincushion of remorse

But it did not stop

It did not hide

The little deer sought

The thing few would find.

It kept going and going

Head held high

It would reach its destination

Or a porcupine, it would die.

 

 

Anahbird |anahbirdAT NOSPAMhotmail dot com

 

*****

 

Piazza

 

They no longer come

To see the statue

The train doesn’t stop here anymore

The piazza, once swollen with crowds

Stands empty in the late afternoon shadows

It is agreed

No one cares for art

The train passes by

On its way to the city

Where the rides turn

The dice are thrown

Music blares from every open door

Car exhaust fills the cracks in the sidewalk

Where people talk loudly, but not to each other

Yet in the piazza

The only voices

Are the echos

Of two men

Saying goodbye

 

 

Ang |angie5804AT NOSPAMyahoo dot com

 

*****

 

The Delivery

 

They shook, and it was a done deal.

He would deliver the lion by train,

On a hot yellow evening

When the shadows stretched long

And the arches of the buildings

Kissed the windows, shuttered

Against the coming night.

The people prepared for the spectacle,

Flags waving gaily on the highest tower.

 

 

Amanda Caldwell |mailAT NOSPAMamandacaldwell dot com

 

*****

 

A Gentleman’s Agreement (Chirico inspired)

 

“I’m going to see a man

About a horse,”

He responded when asked

Where it was he was going.

To my ten-year-old ears,

It sounded plausible enough.

After all, he was a farmer—

A dairy one but still,

Even Holstein milkers

Could free up a stanchion

To accommodate a horse.

Of course, the reply wasn’t literal,

But in my childish mind’s eye

An agreement was all but struck.

He’d drop a few Ben Franklins—

He always liked carrying hundreds—

Into the horse owner’s hands

And seal the deal with a handshake.

Why then did an equine

Never show up in our barn?

I guess I never quite understood

The wink that always accompanied

Grandpa’s facetiously coy response.

 

 

Kathy Kehrli |theflawlesswordAT NOSPAMgmail dot com

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About Robert Lee Brewer

Senior Content Editor, Writer's Digest Community.

7 Responses to Day 8 Highlights

  1. Linda Hofke says:

    Anahbird, I really liked this poem. Wish I could rhyme like that.

  2. Ang says:

    Kathy,

    I was with my brothers yesterday and we were talking about some of my dad’s silly expressions – such as:

    when I asked for a ‘horsie ride’ – "I can’t, I have a bone in my knee"

    or his threat,(we knew he was kidding), "If you don’t stop that you’ll be picking up your teeth with the bloody end of a broken arm"

    or "Keep your nose clean" – a favorite among my cousins

    or pppfft( sound effect) and fall back in it

    Sometimes only family can appreciate such bizarre humor.

  3. Susan Reichert says:

    COUPLE

    He loved her with all of his heart
    is an expression most people use
    but he really meant it. They had
    been together for 46 years, just
    4 more would have had their
    50 years together…a lifetime.
    But all the love he had for her
    could not keep her from dying.

    Susan
    April 17
    Day 17

  4. Kevin says:

    Sue, I enjoyed your Piazza poem on day 8…and enjoy the revisit today. It was good to reread all of these poems. Thanks Robert.

  5. She made her appearance abruptly
    Unexpectedly, but not without nine months warning
    Under gas station lights
    Miles short of the hospital
    One foot into the world
    Followed by her behind
    She spent her first moments
    Breathlessly. . .
    But with a tap on her foot,
    She became just another girl
    With a really good story
    About the night she was born.

  6. Kathy Kehrli says:

    Thank you, Tonya. Aren’t Grandpa memories the best?! My other favorite of my grandfather was "I’m going to London to see the queen." That one was usually accompanied by tickles, so it fully registered with me that it, unlike the horse one, was a joke.

  7. Tonya Root says:

    Kathy – Your poem brought back some great memories. My grampa’s pat line was always "I’m going to see a man about a pair of pants for a fish." I always understood that he was being silly, but I loved to hear him tell me!

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