Monday, June 23, 2008

Read Write Poem: Telling Stories

Another Read Write Poem piece. I'm still a week behind, prompt-wise. This is my response to prompt #31. This prompt is a story about telling a story. I have in mind a poem I would like to rework, so may try that tomorrow so that I can also post a response to prompt #32 this week.

He once claimed
to have looked after
a troupe of elephants
in a circus.

Afterwards we were never
sure whether this was a
flight of fancy but
we couldn’t put it
past him.

Our father was the
type of man you could
imagine standing on a
bed of straw, one hand
extended holding peanuts
awaiting a long grey
trunk’s caress.

He was a man who
cared more for intention
than for size. Scale did
not impress him as
much as compassion
and an open mind.

The elephant, an
animal with both a
long memory and a
sense of loyalty
would have appealed
to his nature.

We liked to think of
him, not riding atop
the beast’s great shoulders,
but leading him gently
to a river to drink.


Nathan said...

Love how you anticipate the reader's image of the father riding the animal and twist it into a much more beautiful and quietly surprising image. I liked this a lot.

Lirone said...

Nice work - particularly the fourth verse, which seems like the core of the poem, explaining why he was drawn to elephants - and not for the reasons you might expect!

Linda Jacobs said...

This glimpse of your father is really a portrait in words. Well painted!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Very well written piece here. I thought the first, second, third and last stanzas were brilliant.

The image of the man and the elephant extending to meet somewhere in the middle was at once effortless and clear. The use of "caress" really showed the power of the moment. This is not just a chore for the father, but is done with love.

The poem stumbles, just a bit, in the fourth and fifth stanzas as the narrator slips into telling us about the father instead of showing us.

It finds its legs in the final stanza, showing again the father's compassion and caring.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is lovely, nicely written.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This is lovely, nicely written.