Wednesday, April 04, 2007

NaPoWriMo 3: Perennial

Three poems into NaPoWriMo, and a prompt a day is turning out to be an interesting discipline. It's hard to find enough time to write a poem every day. I find myself composing at my desk, when I should be working. Plus I find that, with the need to meet a daily deadline, that quality is being sacrificed for consistency. Still, I think that in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. There's are benefits in being forced to write every day, and once the wheat is sorted from the chaff something worthwhile may well surface.

Today's prompt was especially difficult. I thought about writing about my garden and the complicated relationship we share, but I have written quite a bit about the earth around this home of mine, and I wanted to take a different approach.

The tsunami in the Solomons has been in the media here a bit, and other recent events in my life have reminded me that nothing is certain, and nothing can be taken for granted. I ended up using the prompt, not in its botanical sense, but in the sense of everything being continuous and ongoing. I don't think this is a particularly good poem, but I wanted to try something a little more different, a little more in the form of prose, and a bit stream-of-consciousish.

Perennial
A man visiting his elderly parents on a remote Pacific Island for the first time in 18 years has died,
swept away by a tsunami.
Another man is knocked off his bike on his way to work and is seriously injured, future prognosis unknown.
His wife is expecting their second child.
But everyone thinks they are perennial.
We go on talking about that about one day in the future
when we have a family of our own,
when we own our first home,
when we find our dream job,
when we lose those three kilos,
when we have enough time,
when we have more money.
Perhaps everyone should follow the example
of Buddhists and
meditate on the end of things (whether near or far in the future)
instead.

1 comment:

leonie said...

i remember in a personal dev course i did a couple of years ago with some friends (and where i met Rene), the presenter taking us through an interesting exercise... we were asked to contemplate our death for a while and write down the age we have chosen to die. he suggested that with that out of the way we could truly focus on being alive. it was the first thing i was reminded of when reading your poem.