Ingrid tends the bar at dVerse Poets and challenges us to write a poem in the voice of a fictional character. It can be any character. One can introduce the character in one’s own voice, but the main body of the poem must be in the voice of the character. It can be a dramatic monologue, or create a spirit voice through whom the poem speaks. The challenge is to experiment with fictional storytelling in the poem.
I’ve gone all medieval king returning home at the end of a battle.
One moment Donna was waiting to be picked outside the music academy in the afternoon. A sedan pulled up and the next thing she knew she had awakened at night, to find her ankle was chained to the bed, the only furniture in a plain featureless room. Nothing to give her a sense of place other than she was in a basement room of some sort.
Donna was young and smart. She knew enough of the world to understand that her family was wealthy. It had been told to her, and her siblings, that despite their best efforts at security, a kidnapping was always a possibility for a family as hers. She never imagined it would be her that was taken.
She spent the first few hours screaming until she was held down and gagged. She knew it was less so that her screams could not pierce to the outside than for those on the inside not to hear her. After the first full day she realized wherever they are, there was no foot traffic. Thus, no passersby to hear her screams if they could have been heard.
The only light sources in the room were a lamp on the floor by the door that stayed on even in the daytime. She could not reach it without dragging the heavy bed across the room. At ten years old she certainly did not have the strength to ram the bed into the metal door which opened inward with any discernable force. There was a clearstory window too high for her to reach. It had amused her captors to discover, that even with the chain, she had managed to turn her bed on its short edge to try.
She never left the room, except to be taken to a bathroom. The men wore masks and made a point of showing her a gun before she was blindfolded and guided to a loo which had no windows at all. She had been given food the second day. If a couple of protein shakes, and bottled water could be called food. She read it as a good sign that they did not expect to keep her for long. Still, she had started to grow hungry again.
She sometimes heard her captors through the door. She understood the leader had a plan and that demands for her release were sent. Some of the things heard would sometimes send a chill through her. She deduced they knew she can hear them, and they purposely said horrible things. She also knew her parents would do anything for her release and/or to find her. Anything. She also knew once she was free it was going to be a bit not good for her captors once they met her Papa.
She just had to wait for a sign and be ready.
Donna had been held captive four days when she heard a slight screech sound above her that fourth night. Her head automatically popped up to look at the window. She recognized the sound as something that had scratched against the glass. But it was night, she could not see anything and nothing else was heard.
Then a miracle happened.
A feather landed in her lap.
Not just any feather; a black raven feather. A raven was on the family crest, she knew what it meant. It was a sign. The sign.
Her father was there!
Suddenly there was screaming and gunfire in the outer room. She dived under the bed in fear of the just as sudden silence. It felt forever as though had passed before the metal door that had once locked her in opened and Donna knew it would never close on her again. Her father ran to her while her ankle was freed at last and she tearfully threw herself into her father’s arms.
I remember a time when Someone like I Would never consider Myself being worth anything, let alone everything Funny how life can change a thing like that As my self-worth, my self-care and love of self grows
National Poetry Month for 2021 Day 30
First time ever completing thirty whole days of original poetry – YAY!🎊
I end National Poetry Month, keeping it short and simple, with my first Golden Shovel poem using the opening line of Sonnet 15 by William Shakespeare
The Golden Shovel form was created by Terrance Hayes in tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks. The rules are simple:
Take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire.
Use each word in the line (or lines) as the end word for each line in your poem.
If you take a single line with six words, your poem would be six lines long. If you take two lines and the first line has 19 words, and the next has 13 words your poem would be 32 lines long in total and so on…
Keep the end words in order of the original poem.
The new poem does not have to be about the same subject as the poem that offers the end words.
Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line (or lines).
Standing there by the old fence She sure is a pretty sight He forgot just how her eyes do shine Under the bright sun light He ain’t seen her in over month Truth be told not since that night And he knows the call bringing him here Can’t be for something right
She tells him the baby is yours And he knows she ain’t lying Inside her a life slowly grows But inside him he’s slowly dying Being a dad at seventeen Wasn’t part of his plan A baby makes him a father But it don’t make him a man
She leans against the old fence Not enjoying the cooling breeze The silence between them is deafening It’s not meant for times like these She remembers how he held her close that night How he made her weak in the knees Not this distance she feels now standing next to him Like she’s got some kind of disease
She tells him the baby is yours And he knows she ain’t lying She should be happy about this life that grows But she’s on the verge of crying Being a mom at sixteen Wasn’t part of her plan A baby makes her a mother But it don’t make her a woman
He’s thinking how two together Can sometimes add another one She’s thinking she can’t raise herself Let alone a daughter or a son Both want to stand their own ground Both of them want to run And neither wants to dare to think What the other thinks should be done
If he offers his hand would she be his wife And somehow together maybe make a life Or let it be something that they just let go The distant dreams only the two of them will know She tells him the baby is yours And he knows she ain’t lying No matter what they decide Its knot that’s never untying
Having a child in their teens Wasn’t part of their plan A baby makes them parents But she’s a long way from a woman, And he’s a long way from a man
Tonight at dVerse Merrill asks us to build a bridge of sorts with the Puente form or to write a poem about bridges.
In a Puente (Spanish for bridge), the first and third stanzas must have the same number of lines, but there is no set number of lines, as long as the two stanzas match. They can be rhymed or unrhymed. The bridge line is one single line connecting the first and third stanzas. The last line of the first stanza and the bridge line are a couplet, and the bridge line and the first line of the third stanza are a couplet. The bridge line then often connects stanzas written from different points of view or about different ideas. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it really is not. Two stanzas with a middle line that connects them.
I bridge rhyming Puente of a woman celebrating the birth of her newborn with a vampire longing for the dawn.
For the past near sixty-one days, I have blogged every single day. Last month for Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Writing challenge was arduous enough. That self-promise of thirty-one days straight of blogging, especially when I had posted barely a couple dozen times from all of May 2020 to March of 2021, was truly diving off the deep end to see if I can swim. [I actually did that dived into a 16 foot deep pool without knowing how to swim.] No, I still cannot swim – don’t ask. Luckily I was much better at following through on immersing myself into regularly blogging again.
Because it is following right behind the March challenge, April is its own war as it is all about poetry. Each year for National Poetry Month I look around and enjoy the work of other poets. Each day I also post original work of my own, honoring National Poetry Writing Month. At least I’ve tried to. I admit I in previous years I have been a spotty poster during April at best. If a dozen new works happen it was a good year. C’est la vie.
As I had naught else to do, I also challenged my self to try more of a poetry form I was not fond of the Villanelle. I absolutely knew I could not do thirty days of them, but I have managed one new one per week, the most recent as of today which I published this morning. Which means I now have five villanelles in my poetry portfolio. Having written four more it is better than the single one that has existed for nearly decade by itself, so that is a huge win in my book.
2021 is the only year in which I have participated in National Poetry Writing Month where not only have I not bailed halfway through the month from writing exhaustion. Granted some were posted late, like yesterday’s coming in at nearly 11:30pm, but I will have thirty new poems under my belt, including four new villanelles! With the finish line a mere three days from now, I am confident I will complete it. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of myself for this!
Slice of Life – Tuesday Writing Challenge – Two Writing Teachers
The Villanelle is a poetic form composed of nineteen lines. These are arranged as five tercets (three-line stanzas) followed by a quatrain (four-line stanza).
There is no established meter to the villanelle – modern villanelles tend to pentameter, while early villanelles used trimeter or tetrameter.
The most striking thing about a villanelle is that it has two refrains (“A1” and “A2”) and two repeating rhymes (“a” and “b”). The first and third line of the opening tercet are repeated alternately as the refrains, until the last stanza, which includes both refrains.
With this, the pattern of the villanelle can be illustrated as as
A1bA2 abA1 abA2 abA1 abA2 abA1A2
where “a” and “b” are the two rhymes, and the upper case letters (“A1” and “A2”) indicate the refrains.
The spark that once set my soul alight with fire and fight I thought died in the embers of the long ago killed slow But a moment of the then returns to the now and how The desire for apathy crawls upon my skin and sinks within But I turn in tune, a marionette who can’t forget When words of honor marked needs negated by dishonorable deeds I am conjured by promises left unspoken and now broken In the end whose price is the one direly paid for thoughts mislaid? For once the Fates in their own twisted sense divine it shall not be mine And eventually, the pain subsides and the soul heals from wounds surreal Finally shelved to deal only with today’s realities I welcome the banalities