A poem-a-day for National Poetry Month

Prompt #06: Flora

Today’s prompt is from poet Bill Noble:
***
Scrolling down from the top of this page you’ll find a display of the astonishing variety of one species of spring-blooming iris in the wild lands around my home, Iris douglasii. The prompt? Spring. The general exuberance and complexity of life. Any or all of the erotic associations blooms have (the fleur-de-lis is supposed to be not just an iris but stylized male genitals). Or none of the above.
***

Reminders for Participants: You can post your poem below in the comments, offer a link back to your site where the poem is posted, or comment about the experience of writing the poem (without actually posting the poem). If you’re going to comment on other participant’s poems, please remember that this is not a critique space — comments should be kept thoughtful and supportive. Lastly, remember you don’t have to use the prompt to write your poem — they’re here for your inspiration but they’re certainly not a requirement.

Let the Wild Poeming Being!


38 responses

  1. Beautiful photographs, Bill!

    Iris

    Hold out your hands.
    Yes, like that.
    I would like to place there, in the cup
    of your patience, this
    exotic, tender-skinned, blue
    veined gift.
    See how it curls against
    the heat of your palm? Feel
    how it shivers
    reaches
    to all six points of the compass.
    How delicate
    fireworks in daylight,
    how slight
    my desire to reach you
    as scent.

    April 6, 2011 at 2:20 am

    • Bill Noble

      Nikki – you triggered an instant whole-body reaction with that one! Delicious.

      How would you feel about my adding it to my iris page?

      April 6, 2011 at 5:58 am

    • Nikki – OMG brilliant!

      April 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

    • chloe

      Beautiful

      April 6, 2011 at 8:49 am

    • whew took my breath away.

      April 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm

  2. Another short one today and nothing to do with the prompt. You may need to know more than you want about physics for this one :)

    http://wp.me/pbg4K-33

    April 6, 2011 at 2:59 am

    • Just modified.

      April 6, 2011 at 5:16 am

      • And again. Must stop this :)

        April 6, 2011 at 5:26 am

  3. Almost

    The lesson of unfoldings is the spell of anticipation
    Constructed or found
    Opening or rising
    It is the unreckoned pause
    That locks your eye
    Tunnels your vision
    Collapses time
    Sends away walls
    Until your only thoughts are continue and remember

    April 6, 2011 at 6:03 am

  4. Bill Noble

    Day late, dollar short (two days late, but wotthehell).

    WHY I LOOK LIKE THIS ON MONDAY

    You tug me out of my torpor
    with squeezes, Sleepy Slug;
    roll the flat of your hand
    as far as Overcooked Sausage;
    fingerdiddle to Lank Banana;
    ring-wring what I’m hoping
    you see as Full Magnificence.
    It’s okay, you whisper,
    already decided on everything:
    You can sleep in tomorrow.

    April 6, 2011 at 6:03 am

  5. dorlamoorehouse

    I love this prompt and I wanted to use it, but I was so inspired by something my yoga teacher said yesterday that I had to do today’s poem about that. So maybe I will do today’s prompt tomorrow. :P

    http://dorlamoorehouse.com/2011/04/06/napowrimo-day-6-4/

    April 6, 2011 at 6:21 am

  6. I’d be delighted if you’d like to use the poem, Bill. Thanks!

    April 6, 2011 at 6:39 am

  7. Once again – no prompt – here’s today’s pathetic attempt.

    http://mizadventurez.blogspot.com/2011/04/day-six.html

    They’re following a theme for the most part, but I can’t choose when the muse strikes.

    April 6, 2011 at 6:44 am

  8. Serene window view of wild
    of meadow, river, road.
    Hummer zips and dips at feeder
    to be filled,
    roses wait for planting, collards acknowledge
    peas already planted, rising up the trellis.
    Dogs survey the window scene
    Waiting protectively for the evil squirrel
    who stops on his journey down the phone line
    waves his tail spitefully
    at the barking behind the window. All fulfilling
    their natures but me
    a human, spinning my wheels and watching,
    wanting as much satisfaction as in a bark.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:45 am

  9. Robin Elizabeth Sampson

    Went in a rather interesting direction with this. Came out as “Wild Iris.”

    http://erobintica.blogspot.com/2011/04/where-i-went-day-6-poem.html

    April 6, 2011 at 8:47 am

  10. Pingback: Poem-a-Day #6 « Shanna Germain

  11. I went in an interesting direction as well. Thanks for the great prompt!

    Self-Portrait in a Meandered Stream

    http://yearofthebooks.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/poem-a-day-6/

    April 6, 2011 at 10:36 am

  12. I’ve been participating in the poem a day goodness, but this was the first one directly tied to the prompts over here.

    http://pdxrockpoet.tumblr.com/post/4396852532/swell-season

    April 6, 2011 at 12:32 pm

  13. Slow Start, But Steady

    Outdoors we won’t have flowers,
    here in the mountains,
    until the snow melts,
    (maybe May, maybe June),
    but indoors potted geraniums,
    smile in reds and pinks,
    on the shelf by the window,
    and the baby chicks,
    two-days new,
    scratch in the tub
    by my desk.
    Peep!

    April 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm

  14. From the NaPoWriMo prompt

    - – - – - – - – -

    Allegretto

    The arc
    five seven nine
    and in the middle
    the poise
    the poised
    the step
    the hoofbeat
    the heartbeat
    the moment of not quite
    holding your breath
    the moment of
    lips approaching
    fingers touching
    the moment
    portending greatness
    unleashing freedom
    karmic resolution
    that moment bringing
    hope unspoken
    speaking of joy to come.

    Mary Beth Frezon 6 April 2011

    April 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  15. Pingback: National Poetry Day #6

  16. Still in the game. Perversely, though I’ve written several spring poems on my own, I could get nothing from the prompt today (maybe tomorrow, but not today).

    However, the oxymoron generator linked in NaPoWriMo sparked today’s strange little offering.

    http://teresanoelleroberts.blogspot.com/2011/04/todays-effort.html

    April 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

  17. The direction I took for this one intrigues me, because I was thinking something totally different this morning. Ah well, thus is the effect of an 8-hr work day I suppose.

    http://thegermoftheidea.blogspot.com/2011/04/defiant-bloom.html

    April 6, 2011 at 6:14 pm

  18. I taste the colours of
    dawn and the fresh greens
    clear my senses. Fluttered anticipations
    subside and fall away.

    The warmer it becomes, the colder I am.

    Nothing can stop this
    chamomile scented attack
    on what was this winter
    The fallen leaves are replacing themselves

    Flourishing life stops short my chest.

    April 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

  19. Mine’s a quickie due to commitments, but this also has inspired notes that may lead to others. The fruiting / flowering of fungus is fucking fascinating… People? Less so, but the floral bit still danced towards the political as my pay is kinda in question if this goes on too long.

    Also at http://localhost/~ejr/JasonsChatter/posts/Day_6_2011/ :

    Better dead than red,
    so the early blossom said,
    excusing its loss.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:11 pm

  20. Kam Leitner

    Don’t show me that
    Why is it so light tonight
    Winter’s car dies now

    April 6, 2011 at 7:42 pm

  21. Pingback: Poem#6 – Come Spring (Haikus) « Black Satin

  22. Come Spring (Haikus):
    http://jacquezyon.wordpress.com/2011/04/07/poem6-come-spring-haikus/

    April 6, 2011 at 8:01 pm

  23. I’ve got absolutely nothing today
    But taxes are done and Easter is near
    So the children can roam through the green
    Bear grass blooming white among
    Mountain lilies
    Hiding from the ill-conceived Ether Bunny
    Soiled felt rag in one paw
    Woven bamboo basket in the other
    Filled with whiskey and candy

    And yet there’s this iris
    Not at all the blue of the iris in your eyes
    But it will have to do
    For now

    April 6, 2011 at 9:06 pm

  24. Jennifer Pratt-Walter

    Today’s offering is not from the prompt, but seems to find a small home there.

    Ballad of All Her Being

    Footloose through the pining air
    she writes herself:
    Heel away from darkscape dreams,
    you with scribbling pen.
    Ride the updraft slant
    beyond bird and cloud,
    into whens and wheres of
    too-fine moments,
    ghostings of eternity.
    Tool these lyrics into
    the Ballad of All Your Being,
    then sing it,
    really loud.

    JPW 4/6/2011

    April 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  25. Jennifer Pratt-Walter

    Today’s offering is not from the prompt, but seems to find a small home there.

    Ballad of All Her Being

    Footloose through the pining air
    she writes herself:
    Heel away from darkscape dreams,
    you with scribbling pen.
    Ride the updraft slant
    beyond bird and cloud,
    into whens and wheres of
    too-fine moments,
    ghostings of eternity.
    Tool these lyrics into
    the Ballad of All Your Being,
    then sing it,
    really loud.

    JPW

    April 6, 2011 at 9:09 pm

  26. This is definitely more along the lines of complexity:

    http://lanijo.com/poetry/dont-forget-wear-your-clogs

    April 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

  27. chloe

    UNTITLED

    two years ago, I fell in love madly crazy
    Our affair started with the end of Winter and ended with the start of Summer
    That was enough she decided then, and I
    say now

    All is not fair in love.
    It was the wrong time in her life
    perfect timing in mine.

    I was barely able to breathe for
    natures was awakening loud
    fast
    so green
    and wet
    and exploding
    I could barely breathe

    I am so glad she came with the tulips
    daffodils, daphne, witch hazel

    She encompassed everything good I wanted to be,
    the search, the calm, the care

    and brought out the very good like
    a child brings out the very best

    I repaid the debt

    April 6, 2011 at 11:52 pm

  28. Kosuke Miyata

    My 6th, a haiku:

    Camellias
    carpeting the path to the
    deceased’s house

    Cherry blossoms are in bloom in Tokyo now, while some late camellias (Camellia japonica, tsubaki, kigo for spring) are around too.

    April 7, 2011 at 1:29 am

  29. Only slightly influenced by the prompt. I used the opportunity to wrestle my inchoate rage at the premature death of a friend into something a bit more formed, a little less jagged.

    I have no idea if I can evade the stylesheet for this website; this poem wants to be viewed in a constant-width font.

    Elegy For Allie

    I am not so bold so as toClaim the right, or the ability,To take the measure ofA man's life.
    To weigh the value of his time on earth,In dollars, products,Friends and loved ones,Kisses, babies.
    I would not dareUnpack the layered meaningsOf the names that he was givenBy his father, mother, teachers, friends,Colleagues, lovers, wife and children,Names he'd earned fromRoads he'd followed, books he'd read,Songs he'd sung and dances danced.So many names, like those each person getsFrom places lived, sunsets seen,Sins and sacrifices, enemies and loves.Condensed, compressed, encoded, multi-valent,Unchanging and inconstant.
    I can try to measure his death, though.I can measure it,In hours of doctor time,Inches of stacked medical records,Millirems of radiation for brain scans and full-body MRIs,Pounds of merciless weight loss,Nights of ER visits,Number of trial medicines,Years since diagnosis.
    I can countFriendships abandoned aborning, Raging arguments over nothing,Missed motorcycle rides on crisp fall mornings,Saturdays when synagogue was just too tall a mountain,Nights when the need to see events he could not live to seeTortured him beyond all reason,Sand slipping through his fingers all the fasterWhen he'd tighten his grip.
    And I can talk about the end.
    Taken by a cancer so mindlessly voraciousAs to steal his breath by wrapping itselfRound his nerves and squeezing them untilHis tortured body quaked and spasmed thenFinally asserted its need for air, nearlyTearing his diaphragm in panicked demand.
    In the only sunny hour of a cold and rainyIris-blooming cherry blossomed blotchy dayAfter weeks of pain that morphine couldn'tBlot away, when the only hunger he'd senseWas that of the cancer for anything not-itSelf, he conjured up a cloak of dignity toReplace what physical necessity destroyed.
    He said his last goodbyes,Crammed on the headphones,Cranked up the AC/DC loud,And then, with wracked andRuined body, performed thefinal exercise in his life
    By choosingWhen to dieAnd how and
    Why
    April 6, 2011

    April 7, 2011 at 1:54 am

    • I am not so bold so as to
      Claim the right, or the ability,
      To take the measure of
      A man's life.

      To weigh the value of his time on earth,
      In dollars, products,
      Friends and loved ones,
      Kisses, babies.

      I would not dare
      Unpack the layered meanings
      Of the names that he was given
      By his father, mother, teachers, friends,
      Colleagues, lovers, wife and children,
      Names he'd earned from
      Roads he'd followed, books he'd read,
      Songs he'd sung and dances danced.
      So many names, like those each person gets
      From places lived, sunsets seen,
      Sins and sacrifices, enemies and loves.
      Condensed, compressed, encoded, multi-valent,
      Unchanging and inconstant.

      I can try to measure his death, though.
      I can measure it,
      In hours of doctor time,
      Inches of stacked medical records,
      Millirems of radiation for brain scans and full-body MRIs,
      Pounds of merciless weight loss,
      Nights of ER visits,
      Number of trial medicines,
      Years since diagnosis.

      I can count
      Friendships abandoned aborning,
      Raging arguments over nothing,
      Missed motorcycle rides on crisp fall mornings,
      Saturdays when synagogue was just too tall a mountain,
      Nights when the need to see events he could not live to see
      Tortured him beyond all reason,
      Sand slipping through his fingers all the faster
      When he'd tighten his grip.

      And I can talk about the end.

      Taken by a cancer so mindlessly voracious
      As to steal his breath by wrapping itself
      Round his nerves and squeezing them until
      His tortured body quaked and spasmed then
      Finally asserted its need for air, nearly
      Tearing his diaphragm in panicked demand.

      In the only sunny hour of a cold and rainy
      Iris-blooming cherry blossomed blotchy day
      After weeks of pain that morphine couldn't
      Blot away, when the only hunger he'd sense
      Was that of the cancer for anything not-it
      Self, he conjured up a cloak of dignity to
      Replace what physical necessity destroyed.

      He said his last goodbyes,
      Crammed on the headphones,
      Cranked up the AC/DC loud,
      And then, with wracked and
      Ruined body, performed the
      Final exercise in his life

      By choosing
      When to die
      And how and

      Why

      April 6, 2011

      April 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

      • Mary Beth Frezon

        I am sorry for the loss of your friend and for your struggle. I’m sitting here in the mall, on lunch, and the tears are rolling down my face. Hugs to to in this hard time.

        April 7, 2011 at 11:46 am

  30. Thank you for your kind words, Mary Beth.

    April 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

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